The Dragon Turns Beastly

Title: The Dragon Turns Beastly

Bible Book: Revelation 13 : 1-18

Author: Johnny L. Sanders

Subject: Beast; Tribulation, The Great; Satan



We called him Jick. I really do not know where he got that nickname, but the only time we heard him called Kenneth was when we got a new teacher at our school. Every one knew Jick and most of us liked him. One Fall we went to the Halloween Carnival at Sledge High School, Sledge, Mississippi. I was mostly looking and talking with friends. I had been taught that we should not participate in games of chance, so I had some idle time on my hands. Jick told me he wanted to talk with me. He then invited me to walk to his house and watch a boxing match. He was primarily interested because his Uncle Robert had offered to bet him one dollar on the fight. Jick could pick either fighter and Robert would bet a dollar on the other one. What Jick wanted to know was which fighter he should pick.

“Who would you bet on,” he asked. I assured him that I would not bet on either one - or anything else. He asked me to pick one for him and I told him I would not do anything to encourage him to gamble. Then Jick said, “Okay, but who do you think will win the fight, Joe Louis or Rocky Marciano?” I gave him my honest opinion, “Rocky Marciano.”

I walked with Jick to his house and watched the fight. Joe Louis out pointed Rocky Marciano for seven rounds, as I recall. Then, the old champion decided to stand flat footed and exchange punches with Marciano. No fighter who ever did that won. No fighter who ever did that had a career after that! I will never forget how Marciano took punch after punch to get in close to the taller Louis. He sprang up and landed a straight left and a short straight right and Joe Louis dropped his hands and began falling backward. He glided through the ropes and landed with his back across the bottom rope. I have never figured how he glided backwards so that he landed between the bottom two ropes.

How did I know to pick Rocky Marciano, an almost unknown fighter against one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time? I knew that he had hit Carmen “Bingo” Vingo and Vingo never got off the matt. Marciano was deeply effected and did all he could to support his widow and child. I knew that Roland LaStaza was one of the most exciting fighters I had ever seen - and then he fought Rocky Marciano. There would be fights with Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles, and others, but when he fought Joe Louis, he was inexperienced. As a matter of fact, he was a late starter. Some claimed that Joe Louis was over the hill, and he was. Marciano, on the other hand, had hardly reached the hill. He was green and inexperienced.

When I was twelve years old I would wait for my parents to go to bed and then I would slip outside and listen to the Friday night fights from Madison Square Garden on the radio in the car. Don Dunphy was the blow-by-blow broadcaster. He painted word pictures and I created the pictures in my mind, “He bobs, he weaves, he leads with a left jab. He dances wide, he closes again, he leads with a left hook. He follows with a straight right! Wow! He’s down. He is not getting up. Wow, you should have seen that one-two punch - left/right, left/right.”

So now you know I was more than a boxing fan, I was a fanatic. By the way, I saw Rocky Marciano referee a few matches in the state golden glove championships in Jackson, Mississippi. By that time Rocky just looked like a middle-aged, overweight Italian, like some I knew in the Mississippi Delta.

Now, you are wondering what all that has to do with the thirteenth chapter of Revelation. Well, I think it has a lot to do with it. You see, a great fighter needs more than one weapon in his arsenal. When our troops invaded Iraq you can be sure they had more than one weapon in their arsenal. No baseball pitcher becomes a great pitcher with only one pitch. Even Nolan Ryan occasionally threw something other than a fast ball.

Today, I would like for you to see some of the key weapons Satan has in his arsenal. But first, let me remind you that in chapter twelve we see Satan on a rampage against Israel, against Christ, and finally against all who believe in Him. At the close of chapter twelve we see Satan suffering from yet another defeat, having been frustrated at every turn, just when he seems to have been sure of the victory. He finally realizes that his time is short - unless he can do something to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. He regroups and begins a fresh assault. Let’s watch out for his one/two punch.


1) In verse one, John saw a frightening beast coming up out of the sea, 13:1-2a.

“And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. He had 10 horns and seven heads. On his horns were 10 diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. The beast I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like a bear’s, and his mouth was like a lion’s mouth.”

The number ten was the number for human completion - you have ten fingers and ten toes. In the Bible a horn represents power. Satan is the prince of this world and he lays claim to all humanity, and his power over fallen humans is awesome. The number seven is the number for perfection or completion. The beast out of the sea is hideous, powerful, and frightening. He claims complete power over the world. This best fits what we read of the Anti-Christ.

The beast was like a leopard. A leopard is known for its speed, swiftness, and agility. The leopard became a metaphor for the swift conquests by the ancient Greek, especially under Alexander the Great.

The beast had feet like a bear. The bear was known for its crushing force. The bear was a metaphor for the ancient Medo-Persian Empire, which was known both for its crushing force and its stability as an ancient empire.

Its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. The lion was known for its fierce charge, ferocious attack, and its dominance over its territory. The lion was the perfect metaphor for ancient Babylon, which was known for its ferocious attacks and for the establishment of its domain.

2) The beast received its power from Satan, the dragon, 13:2b-4.

“The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. One of his heads appeared to be fatally wounded, but his fatal wound was healed. The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast. They worshiped the dragon because he gave authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to wage war against him?”

The description of The beast rising up out of the sea reminds some Bible scholars of the Roman Empire. “So he carried me away in the Spirit to a desert. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names, having seven heads and 10 horns” (Rev 17:3, HCSB). A number of emperors used blasphemous names or titles for themselves. Domitian signed documents, “From you lord an god, Domitian.” To some, this all points back to the Roman Empire, but to others it speaks of a revived Roman Empire of the future. No doubt many of the first readers of the Revelation would have tried to relate this to Rome and her persecution of the church. Others see this as something that is set for some time in the future.

“The dragon (Satan) gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” Make no mistake about it, the beast is a weapon in Satan’s arsenal. Satan’s power is nothing to compare with the power of Almighty God, but it is far beyond the power of mortal man. His power is demonstrated in an unusual way here: “One of his heads appeared to be fatally wounded, but his fatal wound was healed.” Did Satan give the beast the same power Jesus had over death. Hardly. Perhaps the beast fakes his death and resurrection, either to call into question the resurrection of Jesus, or to claim a similar power. But who would want to do that? I am glad you asked! Have you ever heard of the Anti-Christ? There are many anti-Christs in the world today, but there is a coming Anti-Christ who supercedes those anti-Christs.

Satan has his one-two punch. The anti-Christ is his most powerful weapon. The false prophet, whom we will see later will set people up for the anti-Christ. Rocky Marciano led with a left and followed with a right that put Joe Louis on the matt. The next morning, did the papers state that Joe Louis was defeated by a left hand? By a right hand? No, he was knocked out by Rocky Marciano - with a left and a right! We are looking a the right hand, the ferocious awesome power Satan will use during the Great Tribulation against Israel - just as he used every weapon at his disposal against you and me today.

The dragon, Satan, gave the beast such awesome power that “The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast.” They worshiped the dragon because he gave authority to the beast.” Furthermore, “they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to wage war against him?”

There is a coming anti-Christ who will have awesome power, power to deceive, power to destroy, power to bring people to their knees before the dragon, before Satan. At the present time, Satan is giving various anti-Christs power to deceive, to control, and destroy lives. During the presidential election of 2004, people who represented themselves as compassionate, caring Christians vehemently attacked Christians who were pro-life. They militantly claimed the moral high ground while fighting for the right to murder unborn babies and protect homosexual unions..

Most of the people who waned to see Scott Pederson convicted for the murder of his pregnant wife, Lacey, did not hesitate to accuse him of murdering both Lacey and Connor (their unborn baby). Many of those, however, will fight for the right to kill the unborn, all for the noblest of reasons, including “the mother’s right to choose.” If Connor was a human being, so are those millions who are being murdered by men and women who take an oath to preserve and protect life.

With righteous indignation, millions are claiming to defend homosexuality on moral grounds now! When you hear that you know that Satan is indeed alive and well on planet earth! Anti-Christs are highjacking Christian ministries, denominations, and churches today, and Satan is giving them the power to do so.

3) The beast out of the sea speaks boasts and blasphemies against God, 13:5-6.

“A mouth was given to him to speak boasts and blasphemies. He was also given authority to act for 42 months. He began to speak blasphemies against God: to blaspheme His name and His dwelling—those who dwell in heaven.”

The beast, empowered and commissioned by the dragon, will boast of his power and authority, and at the same time he will blaspheme God. To blaspheme is to speak evil against. He will viciously attack the true God and everyone who follows him. Islamic anti-Christs are doing this very thing today and no one in the media is saying anything about it. When Franklin Graham warns us our media attacks him.

4) The beast was permitted to wage war against the saints, 13:7-8.

“And he was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. He was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. All those who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered.”

The beast is empowered and commissioned by the devil, but he can do nothing apart from the permissive will of God. There is the directive will of God - He causes things to happen. There is also the permissive will of God. Satan has a purpose, and God permits Him to carry out his purpose for a brief time, only because here it is going to serve His ultimate purpose.

The beast out of the sea will be so formidable, so awesome that “All those who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered.” There is no protection from Satan except through Jesus Christ. There never has been, and there never will be, either here and now or during the Great Tribulation.

5) We had better pay attention, 13:9-10.

“If anyone has an ear, he should listen: If anyone is destined for captivity, into captivity he goes. If anyone is to be killed with a sword, with a sword he will be killed. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints.”

Satan will make a final assault on God and His saints. It will be a last-ditch effort. Those who are lost are destined to eternal destruction and those who are saved will spend eternity in heaven. All who place their faith in Jesus Christ will be saved.


1) John was shown a second beast, this one coming up out of the earth, 13:11-13.

“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; he had two horns like a lamb, but he sounded like a dragon. He exercises all the authority of the first beast on his behalf and compels the earth and those who live on it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He also performs great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth before people.”

We must not think the beast out of the earth is a carbon copy of the beast out of the sea. The first beast is bold, frightening, boastful, blasphemous. The second beast is, on the surface, warm and friendly, pleasant and winsome, subtle but compelling. After the horrifying picture we have of the beast out of the sea, the beast out of the earth is a relief - at first, that is. First looks, however, can be deceiving.

The beast out of the earth does not appear as a beast, he appears as a lamb. Why would he disguise himself as lamb? The answer to that is obvious. Jesus is the Lamb of God. This beast is a counterfeit, trying to pass himself as Christ or a prophet of the Lamb of God. When the second beast speaks he betrays his true identity, purpose, and mission. He is not the Lamb of God, he is the ultimate and final false prophet (16:13; 19:20; 20:10). His purpose is to persuade people to serve the first beast and in doing so, the unsaved will be worshiping and serving the dragon, Satan.

The beast out of the earth seems as gentle as a lamb at first, but he comes in the power and authority of the dragon, just as did the beast out of the sea. He compels people to worship the first beast, the anti-Christ. The anti-Christ is primarily a political and military leader the second beast will be a religious leader. In his effort to persuade people to worship the first beast “He also performs great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth before people.”

2) The second beast will deceive and destroy those who to not follow the Lord, 13:14-17.

“He deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs that he is permitted to perform on behalf of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image of the beast who had the sword wound yet lived. He was permitted to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he requires everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark: the beast’s name or the number of his name.”

The beast out of the earth, the false prophet deceives people in order to get them to serve the first beast, the anti-Christ. The first beast is a figure to fear, but the false prophet gives him a spirit of life to the first beast, and power to kill all who will not serve him (v. 15).

The second beast will require everyone to be given a mark on his right hand or his forehead in order to do business. Without the mark of the beast no one will be able to buy or sell. This has been a hot topic for ages. A friend confided to me that he was convinced that the mark would be implanted on a computer chip. All anyone will have to do is run a scanner over the hand (wrist) where the chip is implanted.

3) The believer who has wisdom can calculate the number of the beast, 13:18.

“Here is wisdom: The one who has understanding must calculate the number of the beast, because it is the number of a man. His number is 666.”

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Those who have the fear of God in their heart will be given the understanding to calculate the number of the beast. John was told that it is the number of a man - 666.

Seven is the perfect number. The number 6 is the number for incompleteness. It may represent that which seems to come so close to perfection, yet it falls miserably short. The Anti-Christ will be the most powerful human being ever, but he will fall miserably short of the glory, majesty, and power of God. The three-fold use of the number may simply reiterate the fact that though he seems invincible, he falls far short of the power and authority of God.

This is a good time to remind you that I cannot answer all of your questions, or mine, for that matter. But I will continue to look for the promised blessings (1:3). One way to do that is to see if we can find an application of some of these principles in out time. Let me offer a simple principle here. This is not the deeper interpretation of this chapter. What I am going to do is to look at how Satan will operate during the Great Tribulation and see he works today. I think we will benefit from this application.


A skilled, gifted, experienced boxer knows how to set up his opponent for his “Sunday punch,” which more often than not is some version of a straight right. It may be a round-house right, an overhand right, or a haymaker, but the boxer is looking for an opportunity to throw it. Rocky Marciano did not start boxing in gyms as a youth, so he had to learn as he boxed. He discovered that he had one of the most incredible rights in the history of boxing - and he needed the money. In early fights he would take several punches in order to land one. And if you could see the cover of one of the leading boxing magazines of the day after one of the fights with Jersey Joe Walcott, you would be amazed at the power behind that punch. The left side of Walcott’s jaw seems in line with the right side of his face.

It would be more accurate to say that Marciano fought rather than boxed in his early fights. Then came Ezzard Charles, a true boxer who could move. Marciano surprised many people by out-boxing him. He still had that awesome power but he had learned how to box in order to set up an opponent for the knockout punch. A skilled boxer will move in and out, dance to the right, back to the left, try a jab, move in or a left hook, feint, bob and weave, and suddenly there is the opening and he throws the one punch he hopes will end the fight.

Satan is like that. He has a lot of weapons in his arsenal and he has a lot of experience in using them.
When a Walcott went into the ring with Rocky Marciano he had to be aware of his left because it could end a fight. He was keenly aware of the right - no one could stand up under that. However, when he entered the ring he faced not just a right hand or a left hand, he faced Rocky Marciano. Marciano had courage to fight aggressively. You knew he would be coming after you. No one ever had to chase him down. He had a heart, he would never quit. He had confidence, he knew he was going to take you out. One way or another, he knew he would win.

When you face Satan you must understand that he is an enemy totally committed to your destruction, confident of victory, and ruthless in his attack. And he has had a lot of experience in putting people down for the count. If one thing fails he will try something else. He has one goal in mind and he will never stop as long as he sees any way of reaching you. He has deceived billions of people and he knows that there is but one hope for anyone he targets. He also knows how very few there are who seek that protection.

Satan sends various anti-Christs to do his work today, just as he will send the first beast, the Anti-Christ, to deceive and destroy during the Tribulation period. The first beast is bold, terrifying, arrogant, boastful, blasphemous, and offensive. Many will be frightened of him, others will flee from him. Then, Satan sends out his prophet to set us up. The final false prophet will disguise himself as a lamb and deceive many, but when he begins to speak his message is that of the anti-Christ and the dragon, Satan. Now, I would like to mention a number of ways Satan uses this combination every day, and very effectively, I might add.

1) The anti-Christ tells us there is no God. Satan knows better. You may have had doubts, but I will guarantee you one thing - Satan has never had any doubts! For some six thousand years mankind held a theistic world-view. Mankind believed in God, a god, or many gods. Then came the humanist movement of the Twentieth Century, fully equipped with the gospel of evolution, denying the existence of God. Humanism (the first beast) said, “There is no God!” We were shocked, most people did not buy into that. Then, Satan sent out the second beast (false prophets) to announce, “That is ridiculous, sure there is a god. In fact, there are many gods. I have my god and you have your god. If you are happy with your god and I am happy with my god, they we should both be happy for each other.” Around 1990 the polls began showing that more people professed to believe in God. Christians were elated. They thought we were winning America. However, the same polls showed that their belief in God was not having an impact on them morally. They had bought into New Age religious philosophies. Today, there are so-called preachers - false prophets - who are preaching Jesus Christ is not the only way to go to heaven. There are, they say, various roads to God. The worst sin, they say, is to be exclusive or to deny someone else’s god. To do so is to be too narrow, to be a religious bigot.

The first beast declares that there is no God. The second beast shows people how they can have it both ways. You can believe in God or a god - and maintain the moral high ground by not offending anyone. That is called compromise. Whether you listen to the first beast or the second one, Satan has you if he can back you away from the God of the Bible.

2) Satan tells the world that it is safe to consume alcoholic beverages. Billboards, movies, TV shows, magazines, and novels push alcohol. Many are not deceived by the first beast, but then the second beast steps up and says, “Enjoy your tailgate party, just be sure you have a designated driver.” What kind of person wants to spend hours watching people get drunk and then have to drive them home and try to get them out of the car and into their home?

The first beast says, you need to get drunk once in a while to unwind. We think, “No, that is dangerous. Who wants to risk a DWI, let alone an accident.” The second beast says, just drink a little wine or a beer of two. He calls to mind all those sophisticated names for alcoholic beverages and reminds you that the “in-people” drink socially, but they know when to quit or how to handle it. Both voices are from the devil. Once you compromise, he has you. Sadly, more and more Baptists who are horrified at the approach of the first beast are perfectly comfortable with the second beast. “After all,” they argue, “Jesus drank wine.” Yes, Jesus drank wine - probably three parts water to one part wine. Someone said that you would have to drink 22 eight ounce glasses of the wine as Jesus drank it to get as much alcohol as one might get in a single mixed drink today. Yet, the second beast continues to whisper that objection into the ears of those who are not totally committed to the Lord.

You may find it interesting that Rocky Marciano was scheduled to appear on a popular radio program, but when he learned that one of the sponsors was some beer company he canceled the interview. Marciano said, “Children may listen to that program and hear that beer commercial and be influenced by it.” He understood that he was a role model to children and young people.

3) The first beast tells young people they must use tobacco to fit in with the crowd. We remember all the warnings. Satan trots the second beast out to whisper in our ear, “Go ahead. You don’t have to inhale. Be a part of the crowd. You can always quit later.” And many do compromise. I might add, smoking will not cause you to go to hell; but it will make you smell like you have been there!

4) The first beast tempts people to commit adultery. Many resist until the second beast comes along and says, “Everybody is doing it. Don’t you ever watch the soaps? Go to the movies. Your favorite movie stars are having sex outside marriage, and they still give to charities, donate time and money to protect the environment, and the are very successful.” It is called compromise. And that is the way Satan works.

5) The first beast advocates same-sex marriage. Michelle Cottle, an editor with The New Republic magazine, appeared on the O’Reiley Show to try to convince him that the church is moving toward approval of same-sex marriage. She reflects an attitude no one would have believed a generation ago. Robert Kennedy, Jr. appeared on the same program to defend homosexuals, condemning modern Christians for condemning homosexuals just like their grandfathers condemned interracial marriage. He ranted and raved about old time southern preachers whose stand on mixed marriages two hundred years ago disqualifies modern day pastors from speaking out on homosexuality.

This man uses all the traditional arguments to try to defend homosexuals. They were born homosexuals just like black people are born black. While boating of his faithfulness to the Roman Catholic Church, he openly and arrogantly advocates the most unbiblical behavior. Kennedy illustrates what happens when Satan scores a knockout!

A Broadman Press release, December 2, 2004, illustrates how Satan incrementally draws people, churches, and denominations away from the truth.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--A new TV advertisement promoting the United Church of Christ says that God is now affirming homosexuality, but R. Albert Mohler Jr., appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” said the commercial misrepresents biblical Christianity.

“It is a piece of masterful propaganda but it is a diabolical misrepresentation of Christianity,” said Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, on the national telecast Dec. 2.
“... Jesus Christ did indeed come to seek and to save the lost but as He said to the woman caught in adultery, ‘Go and sin no more,’” Mohler said. Jesus “did not invite persons to stay in sinful lifestyles. Rather, He came to save us from our sins and to make us what we otherwise could not be -- and that is victorious over all the sins that entrap us. Homosexuality is one of those.”

The 30-second spot began running on several cable channels on Dec. 1 and is part of the United Church of Christ’s two-year campaign toward an inclusion that affirms “all persons who feel rejected” by the church, said Robert Chase, UCC director of communications, who appeared with Mohler on Good Morning America.

The Episcopal church received a lot attention when it elected an openly homosexual priest as a bishop. There was an article in the Monroe, LA daily paper, December 2, 2004 about a Methodist pastor who is a lesbian. The same paper on December 3 announced that the lesbian pastor had been defrocked by the Methodist church. Thank God for those Methodists!

6) God says that the Bible is His word, but the first beast says, “No, it is not!” Millions of people who are not deceived by the first beast compromise when the second beast comes along and shows us how to paraphrase passages to soften the meaning. A deacon announced that he had been in touch with a denominational leader to ask about the qualifications for the office of deacon - he had not asked his pastor! He said that the denominational leader said, “ When it comes to the passage that says that a deacon must be the husband of one wife, there are some people today who believe that means one wife at a time.” It is called compromise, and that is how Satan moves into a church.

Some fifty years ago, Francis Shaeffer predicted that the Scripture would be the next great battlefield in Christianity. He had seen what liberalism had done to his denomination and warned others of what it would do to their denominations. Was he ever right! I have been a part of that battle, the Battle for the Bible, for four decades. I led a deacons retreat in another part of the state and, even though I knew there were a number of liberals in attendance, when I came to the part about deacons and sound doctrine, I said, “I believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God, the perfect Word of the perfect God. If God could not have produced a perfect Word why do we call Him God. And if He could do it and wouldn’t do it, what kind of God is He?”

When I was challenged by a group of pastors about how I came to be elected to serve on the executive board of our convention, I stated honestly, that I received a call from someone who asked if I would serve. I called our Director of Missions and told him that a number of people had been in the association longer than I and I had reservations about telling them I would served. He urged me to go ahead and serve and I did. When someone pressed the issue, I told them that I know there a lot of people who know that I hold an inerrant position on the Scripture. One man was highly offended, another stated that though he believes the Scripture is inerrant, “I just don’t want anyone to try to force me to say so.” Another pastor came to me as we were leaving and very quietly said the same thing. I thank the Lord for the evangelist who exclaimed, “Force you? I consider it an honor to say I believe in the inerrancy of the Word of God.”

7) Name the issue. Satan will trot out the first beast, some in your face anti-Christ, to boldly blaspheme God. Some will follow him, but many will be turned off or frightened off at first. Then, Satan will run out his second beast, some false prophet, to show masses how to compromise with the first beast. He never tells them that if they compromise they are worshiping the dragon, Satan, the devil, the same old serpent who deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden.


You will find examples of how Satan works to accomplish his purpose every day. This past week (December, 2004), we learned that in the city of Denver a pastor asked for a permit for church to have a float in the “holiday” parade. They asked him to tell them what they would have on the float and when the told them he would have a choir singing Christmas Carols, they told him that was unacceptable. Yet, they saw no problem in including a homosexual Indian group in their parade. The world is telling young people that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle - try telling that the father who read, and re-read the suicide note his daughter wrote before attempting suicide. What was her problem? She had gotten caught up in a homosexual ring in one of the girl’s dormitories - in a Christian college!

We could go on and on, but the question is, what can we do? The Lord knew you would ask:

“Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people! Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you” [James 4:7-10, HCSB].

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