Wednesday, October 10, 2012

another beast

Good evening friends,
Maggie and I spent last night camping in the Alaska mountains next to a glacier. It was an amazing reminder of the glory of God's creation and how small we are. What a blessing. Today's reading takes us back to John's vision. We talked yesterday about the beast that represented Rome. Today we learn about a second beast that supports Roman power. We also learn that the power of Rome forced everyone to show a sign of allegiance to participate in the economic life of the nation. There are many places in the world where the church is persecuted. And even when the church isn't persecuted, there are always other powers that want our allegiance. Anything that tries to take God's place at the center of our lives is dangerous. We are called to be faithful to God, no matter what.

God bless,

Revelation 13:11-18
11Then I saw another beast that rose out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12It exercises all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and it makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound had been healed. 13It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in the sight of all; 14and by the signs that it is allowed to perform on behalf of the beast, it deceives the inhabitants of earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that had been wounded by the sword and yet lived; 15and it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast so that the image of the beast could even speak and cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 

16Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17so that no one can buy or sell who does not have the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18This calls for wisdom: let anyone with understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person. Its number is six hundred sixty-six.

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