From Richard Roberts:
I am finding it increasingly difficult to keep my eyes upon the sovereignty of the Lord, upon His goodness and promises to His people, and upon the real chaos underneath the visible chaos. Underneath every hateful word and hateful act, and under every abuse of power and seizing of control by force, there is an Enemy who seeks to destroy God's image-bearers, to kill them, and to steal the joy and peace from them.
John received a vision on the island of Patmos which he wrote down for our benefit in the book called "The Revelation of Jesus Christ." In the 12th and 13th chapters, John sees a Great Dragon who seeks to kill the Son of God and His people in his rage (12:17). But he also sees that the Dragon raises up a puppet government made up of all kingdoms of the earth (13:1-2) whose was "allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them" (13:7). Thus, the governing systems of our evil present age are not as independent as they believe. In 13:11 a second puppet arise, a spirit of false religion which denies Jesus and seeks to gain power over all men. So, beneath the dominant power structures of this world, militarily, politically, philosophically, there lies a greater threat, which is not new, but ancient.
So, what shall we do? The angel in John's vision tells us, "this is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints." (13:10) We hang on to Christ Jesus. We keep our lamps lit for the Master's return. We do not take vengeance into our own hands, because it belongs to God. We do not fret or fear to the point of giving upon Him, but we take our fears and anxieties to him and read chapter 14, "Then I looked, and 'BEHOLD!', the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were one hundred and forty-four thousand, who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads."
My friends, the whole of God's people, 12 by 12 by 10 by 10 by 10, the fullness of the saints, are marked out by God as HIS OWN, as belonging to Him!! This world is not our home and this age is not our age, for we belong to the Lamb's Father and are protected by the Lamb Himself. Where are these saints standing? "With Him!" We are "with Him"! The endurance and faith of the saints places us in the company of the greatest One who will one day destroy that Dragon underneath all the evil and chaos and fruitlessness of this world.
We must learn to see what is underneath and what God has said about it. The Lamb has triumphed! And He will triumph! In the meantime, He has given us the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to help us remember His words and promises, His commands of how we are to live in this present evil age, how to testify to His grace to the lost and to those who treat us as enemies, and to strengthen us to endure through faith until His return. This promise of the Holy Spirit was given by Him to give us peace, as He told His disciples, "I have told you these things [concerning the Helper] so that you might have peace. In the world you will have much oppression. But, cheer up! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Let us look to the eternal things today, and remember the Dragon's Demise is coming quickly and the Wedding of the Lamb is near.
The fearsome fire of taunting terror
roaming the face of the earth
seeking someone to devour
to and fro heart to hearth
Roar and fluff of pride and stuff
of bluster full with wind
a toothless scowl and harmless growl
that wields a Cheshire grin
You've been undone from tip to tail
full desecration nail to scale
no more to harm or fool to charm
by hollow sore or grim travail
The narrow stake has power take
all glory from your light
withered gone plunged fire headlong
into the Lake stoked white