This message convicted and comforted me. I pray it is a help to you!
13 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.
Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. 3 I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 4 they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” 5 There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.
7 It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.
11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. 12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either 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 the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.
In fact, the preoccupation with identifying just who it is, exactly, to whom this number refers creates an unfortunate tendency to downplay (or even ignore) the theological significance of this number. What the number 666 represents is at least as significant as the beast’s human identity. When John tells us that this is “man’s number,” he may even mean that this number does not refer to a specific individual such as Nero, but to a series of individuals who behave as Nero did.
As Beale points out, “The omission of the article in 13:18 indicates the general idea of humanity, not some special individual who can be discerned only through an esoteric method of calculation. Therefore, in both verses anthropou [man] is a descriptive or qualitative genitive, so that the phrase here should be rendered ‘a human number’ (so RSV) or ‘a number of humanity.’ It is a number common to fallen humanity.” (Beale, Revelation, 724)
In light of the beast’s attempt to parody the redemptive work of Christ so as to receive the worship of the nations, the idea that this number is to be understood as the number of fallen humanity makes a great deal of sense. If seven is the number of perfection, the number six comes close, but never reaches the goal.
Have you had your paczki(s) for Fat Tuesday? Mmm!
Are you now fasting? No Chicken in a Biskit for awhile? No🐔🐓 only fish 🐟 and 🍟?
But really, there is life after paczkis! You don’t have to fast from meat to please the Lord. This is not meant to mock but help you. . .
Watch a whacky video about the important subject of Lent! Fast, yes –the Lord said we would – but not necessarily now. . .
Here is the text that Dr. Sproul referenced in this video interview with his son. It is the YLT version.
“The Bible text designated YLT is from the 1898 Young’s Literal Translation by Robert Young. . . This is an extremely literal translation that attempts to preserve the tense and word usage as found in the original Greek and Hebrew writings.” ~ Biblegateway.com
9 Truth I say in Christ, I lie not, my conscience bearing testimony with me in the Holy Spirit,
2 that I have great grief and unceasing pain in my heart —
3 for I was wishing, I myself, to be anathema from the Christ — for my brethren, my kindred, according to the flesh,
4 who are Israelites, whose [is] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the lawgiving, and the service, and the promises,
5 whose [are] the fathers, and of whom [is] the Christ, according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed to the ages. Amen.
6 And it is not possible that the word of God hath failed; for not all who [are] of Israel are these Israel;
7 nor because they are seed of Abraham [are] all children, but — ‘in Isaac shall a seed be called to thee;’
8 that is, the children of the flesh — these [are] not children of God; but the children of the promise are reckoned for seed;
9 for the word of promise [is] this; ‘According to this time I will come, and there shall be to Sarah a son.’
10 And not only [so], but also Rebecca, having conceived by one — Isaac our father —
11 (for they being not yet born, neither having done anything good or evil, that the purpose of God, according to choice, might remain; not of works, but of Him who is calling,) it was said to her —
12 ‘The greater shall serve the less;’
13 according as it hath been written, ‘Jacob I did love, and Esau I did hate.’
14 What, then, shall we say? unrighteousness [is] with God? let it not be!
15 for to Moses He saith, ‘I will do kindness to whom I do kindness, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion;’
16 so, then — not of him who is willing, nor of him who is running, but of God who is doing kindness:
17 for the Writing saith to Pharaoh — ‘For this very thing I did raise thee up, that I might shew in thee My power, and that My name might be declared in all the land;’
18 so, then, to whom He willeth, He doth kindness, and to whom He willeth, He doth harden.
19 Thou wilt say, then, to me, ‘Why yet doth He find fault? for His counsel who hath resisted?’
20 nay, but, O man, who art thou that art answering again to God? shall the thing formed say to Him who did form [it], Why me didst thou make thus?
21 hath not the potter authority over the clay, out of the same lump to make the one vessel to honour, and the one to dishonour?
22 And if God, willing to shew the wrath and to make known His power, did endure, in much long suffering, vessels of wrath fitted for destruction,
23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on vessels of kindness, that He before prepared for glory, whom also He did call — us —
24 not only out of Jews, but also out of nations,
25 as also in Hosea He saith, ‘I will call what [is] not My people — My people; and her not beloved — Beloved,
26 and it shall be — in the place where it was said to them, Ye [are] not My people; there they shall be called sons of the living God.’
27 And Isaiah doth cry concerning Israel, ‘If the number of the sons of Israel may be as the sand of the sea, the remnant shall be saved;
28 for a matter He is finishing, and is cutting short in righteousness, because a matter cut short will the Lord do upon the land.
29 and according as Isaiah saith before, ‘Except the Lord of Sabaoth did leave to us a seed, as Sodom we had become, and as Gomorrah we had been made like.’
30 What, then, shall we say? that nations who are not pursuing righteousness did attain to righteousness, and righteousness that [is] of faith,
31 and Israel, pursuing a law of righteousness, at a law of righteousness did not arrive;
32 wherefore? because — not by faith, but as by works of law; for they did stumble at the stone of stumbling,
33 according as it hath been written, ‘Lo, I place in Sion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence; and every one who is believing thereon shall not be ashamed.’
6 But this thou hast that thou hatest the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
15 Even so hast thou them that maintain the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
§ 120. Schools of Gnosticism.
The arbitrary and unbalanced subjectivity of the Gnostic speculation naturally produced a multitude of schools. These Gnostic schools have been variously classified.
Geographically they may be reduced to two great families, the Egyptian or Alexandrian, and the Syrian, which are also intrinsically different. In the former (Basilides, Valentine, the Ophites), Platonism and the emanation theory prevail, in the latter (Saturninus, Bardesanes, Tatian), Parsism and dualism. Then, distinct in many respects from both these is the more practical school of Marcion, who sprang neither from Egypt nor from Syria, but from Asia Minor, where St. Paul had left the strong imprint of his free gospel in opposition to Jewish legalism and bondage. [Nicolaitans]
Examined further, with reference to its doctrinal character, Gnosticism appears in three forms, distinguished by the preponderance of the heathen, the Jewish, and the Christian elements respectively in its syncretism. The Simonians, Nicolaitans, Ophites, Carpocratians, Prodicians, Antitactes, and Manichaeans belong to a paganizing class; Cerinthus, Basilides, Valentine, and Justin (as also the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, though these are more properly Ebionitic), to a Judaizing; Saturninus, Marcion, Tatian, and the Encratites, to a Christianizing division. But it must be remembered here that this distinction is only relative; all the Gnostic systems being, in fact, predominantly heathen in their character, and essentially opposed alike to the pure Judaism of the Old Testament and to the Christianity of the New. The Judaism of the so-called Judaizing Gnostics is only of an apocryphal sort, whether of the Alexandrian or the Cabalistic tinge.
The ethical point of view, from which the division might as well be made, would give likewise three main branches: the speculative or theosophic Gnostics (Basilides, Valentine), the practical and ascetic (Marcion, Saturninus, Tatian), and the antinomian and libertine (Simonians, Nicolaitans, Ophites, Carpocratians, Antitactes).
Having thus presented the general character of Gnosticism, and pointed out its main branches, we shall follow chiefly the chronological order in describing the several schools, beginning with those which date from the age of the apostles. . .