Persecuted for preaching the gospel, around A.D. 95, John was exiled to Patmos, an island on the Aegean Sea where he received a revelation from an angel of Christ.
Previously, Christ spoke to John through a vision that included seven candlesticks which represent the seven churches in Asia; the Loveless Church at Ephesus, the Persecuted Church at Smyrna, the Compromising Church at Pergamos, the Corrupt Church at Thyatira, the Dead Church at Sardis, the Faithful Church at Philadelphia and the Lukewarm Church at Laodicea.
Then, in the vision, Jesus revealed to John the Throne Room of Heaven as well as a scroll, sealed with seven seals which only the Lamb of God was worthy to loosen. Before He open the scroll, the Lamb was praised by all the creatures on the earth and in Heaven, as well as countless angels.
When the first seal was loosen, John saw the anti-christ riding a white horse. Next, the second seal was opened and revealed a rider armed with a sword on a fiery red horse, which meant worldwide bloodshed and inhalation of epic magnitude. When the third seal was loosened, John saw a black horse holding a pair of scales that would bring scarcity on the whole earth. After the fourth seal was loosened, Jesus showed John devastating death that would inflict a quarter or the earth’s population. Then, when the fifth seal was opened, John saw and heard the souls of the Christian martyrs cry for deliverance as each one was sleeping until judgment day. The sixth seal revealed cosmic disturbances and devastation on the earth, as well as the number the children of Israel who would be spared by God to one hundred and forty four thousand. When the seventh seal was loosened, John saw seven angels of God standing before God, each one holding a trumpet. The apostle also witnessed another angel who covered the whole earth with the judgment of God, inflicting pain and suffering throughout the world.
When the first angel sounded his trumpet, hail and fire covered the world, where one third of the trees were burned up, indicating massive destruction through a form of judgments over the whole earth. Then, along with the second trumpet came great devastation as one third of the sea became blood, and one third of the creatures of the sea were killed. Also, a third of the ships in the sea were destroyed. When the third angel sounded his trumpet, God’s judgment came in the way of a star that fell upon the earth where it caused a third of the fresh water on the planet to be ruined. The fourth trumpet caused a third of the sun, followed by a third of the moon then a third of the stars to go dark. The fifth trumpet unleashed smoke and locusts from the bottomless pit, causing pain and suffering throughout the whole earth. When another angel sounded the sixth trumpet, four angels were released from the Euphrates to kill one third of mankind. Then, John saw a mighty angel come down from Heaven holding a open little book, but its content would remain secret as the apostle was commanded to eat the small scroll, which was the word of God. After this, John is called to measure the temple court, or the church, as those not counted as part of the family of Christ as well as two witnesses of God are sent on a 1260 year march around the New Jerusalem. After they concluded their mission, the two witnesses were killed and their dead bodies were left on display in a city that dwelled in sin and bondage. When three and a half years had passed, Yahweh brought His witnesses back to life which overcame many with fear and reverence. Following this miracle, John had a vision of the the Seventh Trumpet as the Kingdom of God is proclaimed. Next, the expansion of church of Christ is threatened by the enemy as fallen angels abandon the peace and joy found in Heaven, for war, pain and suffering among the army of Satan, who is cast from Heaven along with his soldiers. To avenge his exile from Heaven, Satan then focused his attacks on the church of Christ which survived the offensive as it found itself divinely protected from harm at the hands of evil. Net came the beast from the sea, a satanic, dragon like warrior appointed by Satan to seek and destroy those in Christ.
“11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.” (Revelation 13:11)
John’s vision continues as a second beast comes out from the earth, another demon sent out by Satan to fulfill his plan to destroy Christianity. This one, in the image of the Christ was sent out to deceive those remaining on the earth.
“12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.” (Revelation 13:12-14)
Just as the first beast who sprung from the sea, this pseudo lamb was given authority over the earth and the creatures therein, on a mission to glorify the first beast, the one who overcame death, the one who performs signs of wonder to gain the trust of those who marvel at, and seek the likeness of the first beast by making an idol of the beast.
“15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.” (Revelation 13:15)
Next, John sees the beast from the earth breathe life into the idol of the first beast so to spread fear among those on the earth, and death upon those who denied the power of the beast of the sea.
“16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.” (Revelation 13:16-18)
On his path to destruction, the beast of the sea continues its domination on earth by imposing a law, that only those with his branding could thrive, or survive, identified by a mark or symbol representing the beast, or his name, or the number of his name which is 666. Considering John did not speak English, nor did the Arab characters for the number 666 exist at the time the apostle wrote his letter, we can safely assume the number of the beast to be a Greek number identifying the name of the beast. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant John,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through your revelation delivered by your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre