Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery Revelation 13:1-18 June 5th, 2016
I. Naming the BEAST from the SEA. (v.1-8)
A. It has to do with KINGDOM. (v.1-2; Dan. 7:1-14)
B. It LIVES even though it DIES. (v.3-4)
C. A PROBLEM with its MOUTH. (v.5-6)
D. The DESIRE for WORSHIP. (v.4,7-8)
E. Dragon motivated POLITICAL POWER. (v.1-8)
There is more than one beast there are actually two who work as servants of the dragon. And I think that they are very visible in the world we live in today. As we look at the descriptions of this first beast we cant help but notice some similarities to self-exalting political power. While God establishes governments, in their rebellion against him they can often become servants of Satan.
1. What have you traditionally thought about the beast? Did you think of only one?
2. Has this study challenged your past thoughts or strengthened them? How or how not?
3. What do you think about the idea of the first beast symbolizing dragon motivated political power? Does that fit the text?
II. Naming BEAST number TWO. (v.11-18)
A. A DIFFERENT kind of LAMB. (v.11)
B. A DISPLAY of POWER. (v.12-13)
C. It FACILITATES misdirected WORSHIP. (v.14-15)
D. MARKED with a NUMBER. (v.16-18)
E. Dragon motivated RELIGIOUS POWER. (v.11-18)
The second beast is very different and seems to want to serve the first. It brings all its power to bear on pointing people to the first beast in worship. It looks different, like a lamb, but its mouth is just like that of the first. It spews forth arrogance and blasphemy. And this is where we see that cryptic number that has inspired so many ideas
4. What have you traditionally thought about the the mark of 666?
5. Is it fair to say that this beast symbolizes dragon motivated religious power? Why or why not?
6. When have you seen people devote themselves almost religiously to a desire for political power? What was the result?
III. The DRAGONS attempts at IMITATION.
A. A beastly TRINITY. (v.1,11)
B. HEALING of a FATAL wound. (v.3-4)
C. An OBJECT of WORSHIP. (v.5-6,14-15)
D. The USE of SIGNS. (v.12-13)
E. MARKS on the FOLLOWERS. (v.16-18)
F. The VERDICT Coming up SHORT (666). (v.18)
As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. This dragon, even though defeated by Gods armies and tossed out of heaven, still seeks to be like God. He mimics the Almighty in several visible ways, but ultimately that is all it is a cheap imitation.
7. In what ways does Satan attempt to imitate the work of God today?
8. What are your responses to Jeffs thoughts on the mark of the beast and 666?
IV. The REVELATION for TODAY.
A. Keep POLITICS in its PLACE. (v.1-8; Ps. 2)
B. Be CAREFUL what you WORSHIP. (v.8, 11-17; Ex.20:3)
C. LEARN to DISCERN (v.18; James 1:5) D. Surrender to the RESULTS of FAITHFULNESS. (v.9-10, 16-18)
As we have said repeatedly throughout this series, Revelation is a book about now. There are several points that we need to take to heart for our day to day lives. Satan still uses political power for his agenda. He still co-opts religion and uses the two together as a powerful mix in his desire to destroy all who call on Jesus.
9. What is the role of the believer in the political systems of the world?
10. Everyone worships something. True or False? From the evidence around you what things do you worship?
11. What could be some of the more difficult results of faithfulness?