~ Click here to read today's Scripture on Bible Gateway ~
~ Listen to today's Scripture with The ESV Bible ~
Today we read about the beast that comes out of the sea and the beast that comes out of the earth. This is a pretty intense chapter that ends in the infamous number of the beast, 666. One thing I learned from reading Tyndale's One Year Bible Companion book today is that the 3 sixes could represent the unholy trinity of Satan - which is comprised of Satan, the first beast, and the false prophet coming up in Revelation chapter 13. Also, the number 666 was probably applied to the emperor Nero, whose Greek letters in his name represent numbers that total 666, by John's 1st century readers. The other way to look at this number is that each of the numbers fall short of the holy numbering of 777 - which represents complete perfection. Below is artist Pat Marvenko Smith's take on "The Three Beasts and 666":
To order prints visit her "Revelation Illustrated" site.
In verse 1 we read: "And written on each head were names that blasphemed God." Back in the Roman empire many emperors assumed titles of deity and require worship of them, which would obviously be blasphemous to God. An example was the emperor Domitian (AD 51-96) required people to address him as Dominus et Deus, which means "our lord and our god". Below is an ancient bust of Domitian:
Verses 13 - 15 should be warning to us to not fall for false signs and wonders that do not come from God... as we read about the beast from the earth - "He did astounding miracles, such as making fire flash down to earth from heaven while everyone was watching. And with all the miracles he was allowed to perform on behalf of the first beast, he deceived all the people who belong to this world. He ordered the people of the world to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. He was permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die." The danger of these above verses can best be demonstrated by Deuteronomy chapter 13 verses 1 through 4 - "If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known) "and let us worship them," you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him." How do these 2 sets of verses - from Revelation and Deuteronomy - speak to you? Are there possibly even false signs and wonders and false idols in our world today which draw our attention away from loving God with all of our heart and soul? Will you hold fast to God?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Revelation chapter 13 titled "The Beast and The False Prophet" is at this link.
Worship Video: Today’s readings remind me of "Silent Night" sung here by Matt Maher:
Do you know the peace of God's Silent Night? Click here for heavenly peace!
Comments from you: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for this Bible Blog ministry today! Please also consider partnering with us by financially supporting this ministry. Thank you!