FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
Today’s Reading: Revelation 13
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Key Verse: Revelation 13:8
All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Jim and Kathy Cantelon write today’s 100 Words segment (originally published in Crossroads’ Day Unto Day devotional series)…
Two “beasts” appear in this chapter. It is quite characteristic of apocalyptic visions for animals to symbolize human beings. In this instance, we see (in verse 18) that the beast is a man, for he has a “man’s number.”
For many readers, the book of Revelation is dominated by the number “666.” And all kinds of attempts have been made to “calculate the number of the beast” to discover his identity, but I think John wants it to remain an enigma. It is beyond the scope of this brief commentary to review some of the more creditable efforts to unravel the mystery.
The important thing to keep in mind is the expectation of a powerful, charismatic leader who will appear on the world stage and dominate it (or “exercise his authority” – verse 5) for “forty-two months.” For that period of time he has total control “over every tribe, people, language and nation” (verse 7). What is more, he has a side-kick who acts on his behalf with awesome signs and wonders (verses 13-15), who is so effective and intimidating that he is able to “deceive the inhabitants of the earth” (verse 14). Why, he can even make a statue of his boss talk! He also imposes a strict economic policy on the people of the world, so that only those who “receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead” are able to buy and sell (verses 16-17).
These two beasts have become known as the “Antichrist” and the “False Prophet.”
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, Your One and Only Son, Jesus, our Messiah, suffered the most excruciating death ever devised by man and by Satan. Dear Jesus, You took upon Yourself, because of Your infinite love, all the sin and wrong I’ve done and will ever do. I pray for a deeper understanding of the ways in which I can serve You with greater love and faithfulness than ever. In Your strong Name I pray. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
When I read the horror-filled words John used to try to describe what he saw, I cannot help but think that while there is disaster yet to come, Jesus has already won the eternal victory over sin, death, Satan, and Hell! Jesus shouted just before His death, “It is finished!!!” I remember that the event of the cross, while inside time, is not limited by time, but covers my past, present and future, as it does for the entire human race.
Jim and Kathy Cantelon, who lived for seven years in Jerusalem, have often walked the Via Dolorosa as I have done on visits to Israel. They will understand my story here. On one occasion in 1968, I stopped along the “Way of Suffering” at “Gabatha,” the “Pavement” stones which covered the courtyard of the Roman Governor where Jesus was beaten so severely. It’s located below the present road beneath a convent. The sister who took us down to the level of the street from Jesus’ time was very unemotional and matter of fact as she gave us the details of the place. The next time I visited, the same sister was totally different. With tears in her eyes she began to sing, “He is Lord. He is Lord. He is risen from the dead and He is Lord. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord!” I said to her, “Sister what has happened to you? You are so different now than the last time you took us here.” She answered, “O, I know Him now!” She had experienced the power of the Holy Spirit revealing Jesus at a local prayer meeting, and her life was transformed from one of religious activities into a vibrant living relationship with Jesus! This experience happened to me as a 16 year old. I’ve never been the same either.
Yours for moving from religion to relationship with the living resurrected Lord Jesus!!!,