Revelation 13:5-10 (NKJV)
5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
“If anyone has an ear to hear, let him hear” (9). This is a phrase found in prophetic writings. Jesus says it on five separate occasions in the Gospels and seven times in Revelation, once to each of the seven churches. It might sound a bit odd, but the meaning is clear: “Pay attention; this is important.”
And the thing that is important here—the statement that one shouldn’t miss—is the encouragement to the saints that comes in the next verse: “He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints” (10). In the face of tribulation, small or great, one thing remains the same: God is still in control, His plan is still moving forward, and His saints are still loved and cared for in Christ. The message to the saints in persecution here is the same message Jesus told His disciples in the upper room: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
“Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” That is, by their patient endurance in tribulation, the saints give witness to their faith in Christ, that He is their Savior both from sin and ultimately from the evils of this world as well. Although things will happen to show that our physical safety is not secure, our eternal security remains firm in Christ our Lord, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” for us. Nothing can change that fact, as we cling to Him in faith. And, because of that, our names are forever written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
“If anyone has an ear to hear, let him hear.”
Let us pray: O almighty God, mercifully look on Your people, and by Your great goodness govern us in body and preserve us in soul; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.