“Another Beast coming up out of the Land” v11, The insidious nature of this beast is in it’s lamb-like horns but speaking with a dragon’s voice, there is no other description of the Land Beast, it may have resembled more of a lamb than a lion, or it could have been a mix. The Land Beast motivates worldly people to worship the Sea Beast (Roman Empire) Which is best identified as the Beast that survived it’s mortal wound (v3 & 12) to one of it’s heads, (possibly) representing the year of the 4 Emperors (69AD), or Nero, who promoted a law for persecution of any one who didn’t praise Emperors to be gods, so the Sea Beast could represent the Imperial Emperor Worship as a religion. Nero acted like he thought he was a god, but he was never officially deified, however there is no evidence of the persecution of Christians by the Roman State prior to Nero, who according to the Roman historian & Senator Tacitus, Nero blamed Christians for the Great Fire of Rome which destroyed portions of the city and economically hurt the Roman population. Tacitus records (Annals 15.44) that Nero was rumored to have ordered the fire himself, and in order to dispel the accusations, he accused and punished the already-detested Christians. Tertullian mentions the “Institutum Neronianum” which describes anti-Christian activities. Later on under Domitian is the execution of Flavius Clemens, a Roman consul and cousin of Domitian, and the banishment of his wife, Flavia Domitilla, to the island of Pandateria, which is indicative of the power of the Empire’s Religion. Eusebius wrote that Flavia Domitilla was banished because she was a Christian. However, in Cassius Dio’s account (67.14.1-2), he only reports that she, along with many others, was guilty of sympathy for Judaism. When the provincial governor Pliny had written to the emperor Trajan in 112AD, he said he required suspected Christians to curse Christ, this was the first recorded time that Christians throughout the Empire had been forced by imperial edict to choose between their religion and their lives. You can see several “anti-Christs” arising through the decades against the Church in secular history, 1st John 2:18-19.
“666” v18, The number representing humanity purporting itself to be deity. “Arithmos Gar Anthropos” = “the number for man”. The mark, worldly people are given is the Beast’s identity or sign of loyalty shown as 666. From God’s perspective, whenever we put a person over and above our worship of Jesus, we identify ourself with the Enemy. Do you see the significance of being measured & sealed, with your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life? See Php. 4:3 & Eph. 1:13.
14:1, “Lamb Standing on The Mount”, He rules because he became “dead” and then triumphantly walks off with the gates of the city of Death! Martyrs get great strength following this kind of victor. They are “FOR” him on the Mount. Psalm 2:6 prophesies the King to be set on the holy hill of Zion and Paul applies this to the resurrected Jesus, Acts 13:32-37. “144000 has His Father’s Name”, ref. Rev. 3:12 Remember Peter writes that the Lord commands, “Be Holy for I am Holy”, 1st Pt. 1:16, This name holds enduring power, Acts 4:12 and everyone will eventually bow to this name, Php. 2:9-11. The exact name is what? Isaiah 9:6 describes it as he tells of the 7-fold explanation of the Lord’s Spirit in Isaiah 11:2, Lord, Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, Knowledge & Awe.
“Harpists playing…They sang” v2-3, This is a NEW song sung by the church for their secure deliverance. Prophesied in Isaiah 43:16-19 is a NEW creation coming, and his Praise is new as well, Isaiah 42:8-9. Heavenly Harps is a wonderful portrayal of eternal praise to envision for the future, but for here & now Christ desires the “Plucking” of our heart strings of graciousness and gratitude in song, Eph. 5:19 & Col. 3:16. Do we sing because the songwriter wrote it, or because it is well with our soul and understood with our mind?
“They That Are Not Defiled” v4, A God given goal for the church is purity, and Christ’s blood creates purity. Setting your sights in this vision of purity, will help motivate us to live pure lives. Research by curators in the British Museum proved an interesting fact that ANYONE who spent a full minute gazing at the Grecian Idol of Apollo, actually exited the exhibit walking more upright in posture than the usual slouch of a walk when entering the exhibit. We are affected by what we set our sights on. Do you believe this is a description of the 1st century church with all it’s faults? 2nd Cor. 11:2-3 & Php. 1:10.
“Fallen” v8, Even though Jews in 136AD still challenged Rome, it was as good as dead in God’s eyes. Remember the faith of Abraham & Paul, Romans 4:17, and so the Roman Empire would fall with the same certainty, eventually it’s demise was foretold and as good as done. “Blessed” v13, The 3rd Angel pronounces the 2nd of seven Beatitudes in Revelation, (1:3, 14:13, 16:15, 19:19, 20:6, 22:7 & 14) Happiness abounds in the heart of a Christian that believes every effort is rewarded and our labors follow us into Heaven!