Zechariah 1 [Read]
Zechariah 2 [Read]
Zechariah 3 [Read]
Revelation 17 [Read]
When I first came to the US more than 30 years ago, “Merry Christmas” was a common vocabulary in December. Although I was not a believer then, I gladly joined in with the Christmas spirit. People openly greeted each other with this term without concern, and you can hear Christmas carols and songs playing everywhere you go. It was really wonderful! However, things have changed. “Merry Christmas” has been mostly replaced by “Happy Holiday”, and public places have to consider the risk of displaying the nativity scene. What happened?
Revelation 17 depicts symbolically the spiritual battles that have been rampaging since the fall of mankind. The great prostitute, Babylon the Great, comes up to the scene riding a beast with seven heads and ten horns (Rev 17:3). She is wearing all kinds of luxury and is carrying with her a cup filled with abominable things (17:4), and her power of temptation is over all people, multitudes, nations, and language (17:15). Through her power, wealth, and immorality, many will be overcome and fall into the dark side. In the mean time, the beast will be given the power and authority to rule over many nations (17:13). The situation looks hopeless, but it is actually all in God’s hand (17:17).
Such evil will not last long, and internal conflicts will rise and the power of the beast will overcome the great prostitute (17:16). People who have been deceived by the temptation of fame, money, and immorality will now be ruled by those very things that attracted them, and the beast will become their master. They will find out the true face of the dark power, but it will be too late. Such internal conflicts within the evil domain will also mark the beginning of the downfall of its empire, and the Lamb shall overcome it eventually (17:14).
It’s not hard to relate to such temptations and evil in today’s world or even in our own lives. Human beings are weak and can easily succumb to temptations of power, fame, money, and adultery. Once we are trapped, it’s impossible to break free from its power grip on our own. John’s vision of spiritual battle may seem terrifying, but the Lamb is still and will always be the King of kings and Lord of lords (17:14). In the darkest hour of our lives, we must always keep such victory in mind and let such fact and hope be the source of our strength in fighting our own spiritual battles.
Keep on reading.