May 8, Friday
SCENE 4 – More Trouble on Earth
As soon as the dragon was cast out of Heaven, he began to chase down the woman who had given birth to the male Child. She was able to escape, however, with eagle’s wings to the desert where she remained for three and a half years, safe from the devil’s vengeance.
The serpent spewed out a river of water from his mouth, attempting to drown the woman; but the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the water. Unable to overcome the woman, the devil made war with the rest of her children — all who walk in God’s ways and openly confess their allegiance to Jesus.
As the dragon stood on the shore, I saw a strange beast come out of the water:
- It had seven heads and ten horns.
- There was a crown on each of the ten horns.
- Blasphemous names were tattooed on its heads.
- It looked like a leopard.
- Its feet were like those of a bear.
- Its mouth was that of a lion.
Then the dragon gave his throne, his authority, and his power to the beast:
- One of its seven heads appeared mortally wounded but then supernaturally healed.
- Everyone on earth was in awe of the creature and worshipped the dragon for giving him his powers.
- People everywhere called the beast “the Greatest ever” and dared any to stand up against his vast powers.
- The beast’s blasphemies and wonders went on for three and a half years.
- He blasphemed God, God’s Name, God’s Dwelling Place, and all who live in Heaven.
- He was able to defeat the saints in battle.
- His rule extended over every tribe and people and language and nation.
- Everyone on earth worshipped it. Everyone, that is, whose name was not written in the Book of Life before the world was made, which belongs to the Lamb who was slain.
Pay close attention, reader, because everyone who has imprisoned others will himself go into captivity. All who kill with the sword must themselves be killed with the sword. Through all of this, the steadfast faith of the saints is revealed.
Next, I saw another creature rising not out of the sea but out of the earth.
- It had two horns like a lamb.
- Its voice was like that of a dragon.
- It acts with the authority of the first beast.
- It forces everyone on earth to worship the first beast, the one with the mortal wound which had been healed.
- It performs signs and wonders to deceive the people.
- It commands the people to erect a statue in honor of the beast who had been killed by the sword and then revived.
- It was given authority to give breath to the statue, enabling it to speak and condemn to death all who refuse to worship the statue.
- It commands every person on earth — rich, poor, small, great, free, or slave — to receive a mark on their right hands or foreheads in order to buy or sell in the market. The number branded is the number of man: six hundred sixty-six.
SCENE 5 – The Lamb and The 144,000
Then I looked and saw that the Lamb was standing on Mt. Zion, accompanied by the 144,000:
- They have His Name and the Name of His Father written on their foreheads.
- They were singing before the throne and in the presence of the four living creatures and the elders.
- The song they were singing was a new song which no one could learn except for the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.
- They are all celibate, never having married and having kept themselves pure.
- They follow the Lamb everywhere He goes.
- They were the first of many to be redeemed.
- They are men of integrity, above reproach in every way.
I heard a voice thundering out of Heaven. It sounded like a huge waterfall or loud thunder at first and then like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.
Though I only knew him through this daily reading, he will be missed. May he rest now — a good and faithful servant.
And this is the day of Dan’s homecoming/homegoing. Yes, we are coming home – during this life we are pilgrims and strangers on this earth, ever mindful that this is not our home. We’re homegoing, leaving all of this behind, looking unto Jesus, because that is far better. That’s where Dan’s focus was; and with every chapter, every sentence, every word, he drew nearer, and then…he was home.