"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).
Pertinent Observations on Revelation
Representations Made by Given O. Blakely
These pertinent observations on Revelation 19:20 and 20: 10 were made by Given O. Blakely. They concern Satan, "the beast" and "the false prophet," and their ultimate consignment to the "lake of fire burning with brimstone" (ch. 19:20).
All three represent an intrusion of Satan into the affairs of men, in opposition to God and His purpose for the race. The "beast" and the "false prophet" are but men and men's institutions invested with the cunning craftiness and power of the Devil. Thus, he is called "the god of this world" (II Cor. 4:3-4). He has deceived the world (Rev. 19:9), and largely rules it (I Jn. 5:19).
The "beast" evidently is the political governments of earth, as Daniel 2 and 7 make clear. The "false prophet" stands for corrupted religion, wherever found. It is perverted religion founded upon worldly principles and permeated by the spirit of the world, rather than That of God. Such religion is involved with social and political issues--sheerly earthly concerns--instead of with the gospel and heavenly things.
The outwardly unitive success of the "beast" and the "false prophet," as contrasted with the seeming deficiency in this area of God's truth, is a remarkable phenomenon. They appear to be able to bring people together in espousal of the concerns of earth, while Divine truth seems not to do so with respect to people's single-hearted devotion to Christ and the things of God.
The principle bane of the ''beast'' and the ''false prophet'' is their competition with God's kingdom and their distraction of people from God. The modern church's indifference to religious error, its aversion to the controversy which the error necessitates, and its neglect of heavenly realities evince its falseness.
It is gratifying to God's people--the true church--to know that this opposition is destined to be forever vanquished. When the opposing triumvirate is "cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:15), all competition with and opposition to the church will have forever ceased. Then, as it is written, shall God become "all in all," and the joy, rest, and undisturbed worship and service of God begin (I Cor. 15:24-28).
Another Form of Spiritual Adultery
By Fred O. Blakely
Throughout, Scripture stresses that the attempt by people to divide ,their professed allegiance to God with opposing interests constitutes spiritual adultery, and is fiercely resented by God. With the Jews, it was devotion to idols and alliances with heathen nations, both of which were forbidden.
In the New Covenant, in addition to those ancient forms, spiritual adultery consists of worldliness, or the love of and ensnarement by the world. James especially recognizes and condemns that sin, as he denounces the "adulterers and adulteresses" of the church for their friendship with the world (Jas. 4:4-5; cf. I Jn. 2:15-17). The Revelation likewise takes cognizance of and condemns such division of heart and life (Rev. 2:20-23; 3:15-18; cf. Mt. 6:22-24).
In the light of Paul's pronouncements in Romans 7:1-6, another and perennially-prevalent form of spiritual adultery emerges. It troubled the first-century church to no end, and continues to flourish today, to the confusion and division of the church. It takes the form of Judaistic legalism masquerading under the guise of new-covenant faith. That it is the product of an adulterous situation, as respects Christ, is evident from the text cited.
There, the Apostle makes clear that one is bound to the marriage partner until the partner's death. In application of the rule to one's spiritual relation to Christ, the individual, he says, died to the law, to which he was formerly wed and by which he was captivated. That was done in order that he might be free to be "married to Another," i.e., to Christ, who is risen from the dead. Such termination of the relation to the law was necessary, it is indicated, to avoid adultery (v. 3; cf. Gal. 2:19). That is just because one is not allowed to have both--the law and Christ--at the same time.
By this kingdom principle the spiritually-adulterous state of the "Christian" legalists is manifested. They say they have been joined to Christ in spiritual wedlock; yet they, like the Galatians of the first century, both seek to themselves live by Sinaitic principles and bind them on everyone else.
These people must be made to realize they are not permitted to have the two husbands simultaneously. If they prefer the law as a manner of life Godward to the glorious efficacy and liberty that is in Christ, they should be honest enough to say so. To continue endeavoring to live under the two opposing flags, so to speak--that of Moses and Christ--is wholly unlawful, and incurrent of God's extreme displeasure.
It is a form of spiritual adultery, which adultery Scripture everywhere condemns. That is for the reason that it nullifies the freedom for which Christ set us free (Gal. 5:1). And in doing that it provokes the wrathful jealousy of the God who purchased that liberty for us at such infinite cost.
"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).