Summary: The sermon compares the Gospel's provisions with the ravaging of evil by asking the question, "What Does Evil Look Like?".


REV. 12:17 – 14:5

Sermon Objective: Satan’s intention is to deceive and savage the inhabitants of the earth; his rule is grotesque and depleting whereas the rule of Christ (Kingdom of God) brings life and wholeness.

Supporting Scripture: Genesis 3; Proverbs 14:34; John 8:44; John 10:10; Romans 12:21; 1 John 4:19; Revelation 1:6, Revelation 5:10;

>>Begin with a “Resurrection Story Video” from<<

In order to understand chapter 13 you must understand chapter 12 which exposes the strategy and motivation of the evil one; Satan. You will notice there is no break between chapter 12 and 13 … just a new paragraph that progresses the story of the dragon.

READ THE TEXT: REV. 12:17 – 14:5


I have a dear friend named Ron who was a youth pastor in the same community where I served another church. I remember the time a teen from the community was talking to Ron about the hardship in his life. He truly did have a hard life and he was wondering why God was doing all this to him. Ron stopped the youth as he questioned God and he said “x” let me tell you one thing very quickly that you NEVER want to forget. Ron proceeded to give the youth a short and quick piece of advice that has stuck with me to this day and deserves to be repeated and applied.

Ron said four words: “Devil Bad. God Good.”

Can you say that with me? “DEVIL BAD. GOD GOOD.”


Disney’s movie “The Lion King” features a young lion named Simba who is destined to rule the jungle but finds himself “on the outs.” As the story opens, his father takes him to “Pride Rock” (the equivalent of a throne) and shows him his inheritance … he would rule as far as his eyes could see; everywhere the sun placed its light.

Soon afterward an evil plot is set afoot and Simba’s father is murdered. Simba flees. He runs from his destiny due to guilt and fear. In his absence the evil Hyenas take “Pride Rock.

When the hyenas seize the throne the world changes. Their evil alters everything. The land becomes desolate and grey and life erodes into desperation.

Rafiki, the monkey, is the wise sage of the land. Rafiki seeks out Simba and helps Simba overcome his guilt and fear and aids him in understanding his destiny and person. You see, Simba did not fully grasp who he was or what power and authority he possessed.

Once Simba realized who he was, what he possessed, and his role in the society of the Savannah he returned, drove the hyenas Pride Rock, took His place as king, and restored peace and beauty to the land.

The story of pride rock serves as a very powerful parable illustrating chapters 12-14. When evil rules, the land and its inhabitants are devastated; but when the righteousness rules …

Simba is a good illustration of Jesus’ church. Often we, like the young Lion King, fail to recognize our position and inheritance. We fail to grasp that we are “A Kingdom of priests”; destined, and given a duty that brings peace and restoration.

Rev. 1:6 says, “And has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.”

Rev. 5:10 says, “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

When the evil Hyena rules … things are bad. When God rules … things prosper.

Proverbs 14:34 says: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”

Would you say it with me again? “DEVIL BAD. GOD GOOD.”

Chapter 12 – 14 validate Ron’s short proverb.

In chapter 13 we get a glimpse of the havoc that is wreaked whenever evil reigns. Please notice that the evil, whether it be secular (the beast of the sea) or religious (the beast of the earth), has its origin in the dragon … the devil. The three make an “unholy trinity” hell-bent on bringing as much ruin and heart ache as possible. It is as an act of hatred towards Jesus and His Church (chapter 12).

In coming weeks we will look at this chapter a bit more closely but today I want you to leave with an overview of the consequences of evil’s rule … and I want you, like Simba, to see what happens when Jesus’ church realizes the power that the resurrection living within us has to bring healing, justice, and peace to our world.


In the spirit of Ron’s advice to the youth, I want to give you brief quick bullet points of what evil’s reign looks like. I want you to see how it ravages “Pride Rock;” the land we are supposed to possess and influence in Jesus’ name with Jesus’ character.

You will notice some overlap in each of these points.



• I have started compiling a sermon outline titled “Satan and His Counterfeit Faith” … before I finish this book I will preach it for you. But for today, suffice it to say …

• Everything Satan is not … God is. Everything God is … Satan tries to counterfeit.

• The devil has no good thing to offer. As opposed to the Gospel which offers life that is meaningful and real.

• In chapter 13 the counterfeit measures of evil are highlighted. The “beast of the earth”, a.k.a. “the false prophet” (Rev. 16:13, 19:20, and 20:10) points to the “Beast of the sea” and compels people to worship Satan (dragon) through him. You cannot help but notice that he is a caricature of the Holy Spirit.

• He will have the “character” of a lamb but the voice of the dragon.

• The markings he offers are “knock-offs” of the life-giving seal of God that he places on His followers’ foreheads. Compare “the mark of the beast to the signs on the foreheads of God’s people in Rev. 7:3; 9:4; and 14:1.

• He will beguile the people through magic tricks that he falsely calls miracles.

• What a deceiver he will be—how much more counterfeit can you get?!

• Listen my friends. Evil will come disguised as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) and will offer things that appear to be substantial and valuable. But it is all dust … it is all a mirage … a pipe dream! It is a counterfeit way of meeting a legitimate need within you but once you have eaten from it you will it still be left thirsty.

What does evil look like?

 Evil is Counterfeit & Superficial (3, 13-15


• By fear I am particularly talking about threatening / paralyzing fear.

• God cannot work with fear. It has to be cast out and replaced with trusting love! Look how many times God tells His people “do not fear” in the Bible.

• God does not motivate us with fear. As John says in another book he wrote (1 John 4:18, KJV), “there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

• The Bible says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

• The Bible says, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)

• Fear evokes superstition not faith.

• Fear makes us do things in hopes of affecting / coercing a certain outcome. That’s not faith. Faith walks in trust.

• Trust and fear do not go together. Perfect love casts out fear!

• If your religion is fueled by fear … if you do things for God out of fear … if you live your faith from a platform of fear … YOU DO NOT FULLY KNOW THE GOD OF THE BIBLE … YOUR KNOWLEDGE IS INCOMPLETE AND NEEDS TO BE MATURED.

Like the young lion king Simba, the church will choose the wrong course of action when it works from fear. It will become reactive rather than proactive.

A perfect example is Family Radio networks recent delusion. They are crossing the states (why not the globe?) telling people that Jesus is coming back on May 21 of this year! They are manipulating people through fear! In fact, they are literally telling Christians that if they disagree they will be counted with the unbelievers and be under God’s judgment … His wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3). Don’t take my word for this, look it up on their website. Their whole premise is based upon a poor interpretation of the Bible. They have played fast and loose with hermeneutical principles and the result … people are being stirred by fear not sound judgment.

When Christians hear people make claims like family radio has most have two simultaneous responses: [1] They roll their eyes in embarrassment because Jesus’ Church is being stupid again and [2] they wonder … “What if they are right?”

Listen. They are not right … this is wrong. If they are right I will look everyone you up in heaven and gladly acknowledge that I was wrong. But if I am right then I will preach a sermon on Sunday, April 22 on the dangers of poor hermeneutics and the damage it causes the body and the world!

Either way mark your calendars. I wouldn’t want you to miss this important appointment with God.

What does evil look like?

 Evil is counterfeit & superficial (3, 13-15

 Evil relies on fear (v. 4)


Like the young lion king Simba, the church will choose the wrong course of action when it is deceived.

• It has no other means of gaining followers. From Satan’s first victim (Genesis 3) to his last he will have to deceive people into following him.

• In another book John wrote (The Gospel of John 8:44) he quotes Jesus describing the devil and his followers: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it”




What does evil look like?

 Evil is counterfeit & superficial (3, 13-15

 Evil relies on fear (v. 4)

 Evil manipulates and deceives (v. 4, 13-14)

Well, that’s as far we are going to get today. I will finish this next week.

Say it with me again: “DEVIL BAD. GOD GOOD.”

Again, John quotes Jesus in His Gospel (John 10:10) as saying: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.


You can see it in our world on a personal and global scale.

Evil is alive and well on planet earth.

• Just this week Jaycee Lee Dugard faced her evil oppressors in court. The ones who kidnapped her at the age of 11 and held her captive for 18 years; even fathering children from her. Evil is alive and well on planet earth.

• The drug cartel violence on our southern border has now come home to roost; a man in Phoenix, Arizona was found beheaded. Evil is alive and well on planet earth.

• A revolt in Libya is now underway and the tyrannical regime of Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi is being overthrown. Evil is alive and well on planet earth.

• And we could speak of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, and the list goes on. Evil is alive and well on planet earth.

These are evil days ... In the U.S.A. and across the globe … BUT STAND FAST … THAT MEANS GOD IS GOING TO BRING JUSTICE AND JUDGMENT!

Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Everything Satan is not … God is. Everything God is … Satan tries to counterfeit.

When Simba realized who he was (and what he was destined to do) he courageously restored the land to fullness and wholeness.

Satan dreads nothing more than for Christ’s church to realize its destiny, authority, inheritance, and power. He knows it will change the way we live and serve.

When Jesus’ church realizes that our lives are the ongoing evidence of the resurrection and that by living out that resurrection we bring fullness and wholeness to our world it will begin to see redemption, justice, healing, reclaiming of peace, and reconciliation.

It will happen in individual lives

It will happen in Churches

It will happen in empires across the globe as well!


This sermon is provided by Dr. Kenneth Pell

Potsdam Church of the Nazarene, Potsdam, New York