“Therefore I have become to them like a lion; like a leopard I will lurk by the way [to Assyria] and watch them” (Hosea 13:7)
Hosea Chapter 13 – The Key to Understanding Revelation Chapter 13
Hosea 13:1 WHEN EPHRAIM spoke with trembling, he exalted himself in Israel; but when he offended and became guilty in Baal worship, he died [spiritually, and then outward ruin came also, sealing Israel’s doom as a nation].
In this church, people relied on their own understanding and intelligence. This brought on PRIDE (“he exalted himself“). And PRIDE brought on “Baal worship” (worship of self). And “Baal worship” brought on spiritual death.
Hosea 13:2 And now they sin more and more and have made for themselves molten images of their silver, even idols according to their own understanding [as it pleased them], all of them the work of the craftsmen. To these [very works of their hands] they speak or pray who sacrifice to them; they kiss and show homage to the calves [as if they were alive]!
Now this church is found in a condition of spiritual death. This church worships their own creation (“idols according to their own understanding [as it pleased them]“. They are now comfortable in a church pew and think they do not need anything.
The clergy has formulated this church doctrine and faith (“all of them the work of the craftsmen“). And the common people and laity blindly follow them (“they speak or pray who sacrifice to them; they kiss and show homage“).
Hosea 13:3 Therefore they shall be like the morning mist or like the dew that passes early away, like the chaff that swirls with the whirlwind from the threshing floor and as the smoke out of the chimney or through the window.
This church has no eternal weight in glory (“like the dew that passes early away“). They are contributing nothing to heaven or to the earth.
“Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day. For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!], Since we consider and look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are visible are temporal (brief and fleeting), but the things that are invisible are deathless and everlasting” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 AMPC)
Hosea 13:4 Yet I am the Lord your God from [the time you became a nation in] the land of Egypt, and you shall know or recognize no God but Me, for there is no Savior besides Me.
Come out of this dead church my people. I AM the WAY, the TRUTH, the LIFE.
Hosea 13:5 I knew (recognized, understood, and had regard for) you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.
My LOVE and MERCY for you is unrelenting (“recognized, understood, and had regard for“).
Hosea 13:6 According to their pasture, so were they filled [when they fed, they grew full], and their heart was lifted up; therefore have they forgotten Me.
According to the false teachings they have been given by the clergy (“According to their pasture“). The church thought of themselves a little too highly (“their heart was lifted up“).
Key Verse – Hosea 13:7-8. The heart of Revelation Chapter 13
Hosea 13:7 Therefore I have become to them like a lion; like a leopard I will lurk by the way [to Assyria] and watch them.
This church has turned to the dark side of hell, and they do not even know or recognize it! Anything that challenges their faith, authority, and intelligence they view as a threat. In their delusion and crazy mindset, the true God to them has become an enemy. Therefore God says “I have become to them like a lion; like a leopard“. In other words, He appears to their eyes as a murderous, treacherous “lion” and “leopard” because His ways disagree with their ways!.
Hosea 13:8 I will meet them like a bear that is robbed of her cubs, and I will rend the covering of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lioness, as a wild beast would tear them.
When I appear in the midst of them (this church), I will appear to them like a monstrous threat (“like a bear that is robbed of her cubs“). My Holiness will uncover and reveal their true condition and they will rage in anger thinking they are being challenged (“devour them like a lioness, as a wild beast would tear them“).
Hosea 13:9 It is your destruction, O Israel, that you have been against Me, for in Me is your help.
This church does not seem to realize who they are fighting against.
“And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice in the Hebrew tongue saying to me, Saul, Saul, why do you continue to persecute Me [to harass and trouble and molest Me]? It is dangerous and turns out badly for you to keep kicking against the goads [to keep offering vain and perilous resistance]” (Acts 26:14 AMPC)
God wants to help them, not to harm them (“for in Me is your help“).
Hosea 13:10 Where now is your king that he may save you in all your cities? And your judges of whom you said, Give me a king and princes?
What is all this nonsense you have dreamed up in your dreams?.
“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes! Cease to do evil, Learn to do right! Seek justice, relieve the oppressed, and correct the oppressor. Defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;” (Isaiah 1:16-19 AMPC)
God is saying to this church, repent of your ways. Turn around and go the other direction.
Hosea 13:11 I have given you a king in My anger, and I have taken him away in My wrath.
God tells them they are not thinking straight. He has allowed them to go down the wrong path because they are stubborn, proud and will not listen to Him.
Hosea 13:12 The iniquity of Ephraim [not fully punished yet] is bound up [as in a bag]; his sin is laid up in store [for judgment and destruction].
Your church principles and kingdom ideas (“Ephraim“) are leading you to a sad ending (“sin is laid up in store [for judgment and destruction]“).
Hosea 13:13 The pains of a woman in childbirth are coming on for him [to be born]; but he is an unwise son, for now when it is time [to be born], he comes not to the place where [unborn] children break forth [he needs new birth but makes no effort to acquire it].
The people of your church now embrace silly ideas of Me and my kingdom (“an unwise son“). By now your church should be mature and wise but it is not.
“Concerning this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your [spiritual] hearing and sluggish [even slothful in achieving spiritual insight]. For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food. For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]! But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law” (Hebrews 5:11-14 AMPC)
The True Definition of “sin”
Hosea 13:14 “Should I ransom them from the power of Sheol (the place of the dead)? Should I redeem them from death? O death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your destruction? Relenting and compassion are hidden from My eyes” [1Corinthians 15:55]
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
Now sin is the sting of death, and sin exercises its power [upon the soul] through [the abuse of] the Law” (1 Corinthians 15:55-56 AMPC)
So we can plainly see from Bible Scripture SIN IS FROM “THE ABUSE OF THE LAW“. When the church ignores the TEN COMMANDMENTS, we find ourselves in the same predicament and circumstances as the church of Israel!. This same predicament and circumstances are repeated in the church found in Revelation Chapter 13.
The modern-day church principle that Jesus came and died on the cross to save people from the wrath of the Father upon our sins is simply not true!. It plainly says here in 1 Corinthians 15:56 (NEW TESTAMENT) that “sin exercises its power [upon the soul] through [the abuse of] the Law”.
Jesus Christ came to fulfill the law and not to abolish it!
“Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until the sky and earth pass away and perish, not one smallest letter nor one little hook [identifying certain Hebrew letters] will pass from the Law until all things [it foreshadows] are accomplished” (Matthew 5:17-18 AMPC).
These churches had foolish reasoning and stupid speculations
“Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]” (Romans 1:21-22 AMPC)
Hosea 13:15 For though among his brethren [his fellow tribes] he may be fruitful, an east wind [Assyria] will come, the breath of the Lord rising from the desert; and Ephraim’s spring shall become dry and his fountain be dried up. [Assyria] shall plunder his treasury of every precious vessel.
Your church has not done well. You have refused my longing for you. You will not listen to me and you have hardened your heart (“become dry and his fountain be dried up“).
Hosea 13:16 Samaria shall bear her guilt and become desolate, for she rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword, their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women shall be ripped up.
For this church, their fate is unfortunately sealed (“shall bear her guilt and become desolate, for she rebelled against her God“).
The Lord Jesus Christ spoke to His disciples about this very condition of the Christian church
“And He replied to them, To you it has been given to know the secrets and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has [spiritual knowledge], to him will more be given and he will be furnished richly so that he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is the reason that I speak to them in parables: because having the power of seeing, they do not see; and having the power of hearing, they do not hear, nor do they grasp and understand. In them indeed is the process of fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, which says: You shall indeed hear and hear but never grasp and understand; and you shall indeed look and look but never see and perceive. For this nation’s heart has grown gross (fat and dull), and their ears heavy and difficult of hearing, and their eyes they have tightly closed, lest they see and perceive with their eyes, and hear and comprehend the sense with their ears, and grasp and understand with their heart, and turn and I should heal them. But blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are your eyes because they do see, and your ears because they do hear. Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous men [men who were upright and in right standing with God] yearned to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it“. (Matthew 13:11-17 AMPC) [Isa_6:9-10]
“So take the talent away from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will be furnished richly so that he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have will be taken away. And throw the good-for-nothing servant into the outer darkness; there will be weeping and grinding of teeth” (Matthew 25:28-30 AMPC).