Morning Prayer: 18 Oct – Revelation 13:16-18 ~ the mark of the beast

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences

Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to secure me: against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

Revelation 13:16-18 (ESV) – to be read aloud

62245-barcode-666

Also 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, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

Reflection

THE SECOND VISION – THE SEVEN TRUMPETS (8:2-14:20)

Interlude (12:1-14:20)

The mark of the beast (13:16-18)

The second beast requires all people to receive the mark of the first beast on their right hand or forehead.

Its significance in the present passage is to parody the sealing of the servants of God in chapter 7. As the elect are sealed upon their foreheads to escape the destruction about to fall upon the earth, so the followers of the beast are to escape his wrath against the church by bearing his mark…. In the final days of Antichrist it will represent the ultimate test of religious loyalty. Only those who would rather die than compromise their faith will resist the mark of the beast. (Mounce, p.259-60)

The mark of the beast served both a religious and economic purpose…. John expects the beast, aided by the false prophet, to achieve a totalitarian rule in which he has complete control over politics, religion, and economics with the purpose of compelling the worship of all men. (Ladd, p.185-6)

The number of the beast (13:18)

No verse in Revelation has received more attention than this one with its cryptic reference to the number of the beast…. The history of interpretation demonstrates that no consensus has been reached on whom or what John had in mind. (Mounce, p.261)

The most we can say is that the number of the beast is a prophecy of a future situation, no one has yet solved the meaning of the number, but its meaning will be plain when the time comes. (Ladd, p.187)

In summary (chapters 12 & 13)

Chapter 12 introduced us to the great dragon, the primary adversary of God. In chapter 13 we met the two great forces used by Satan to accomplish his nefarious plans. The stage is set for the final encounter. What is crucial at this point is to recognize the true nature of the struggle. While the Lamb was victorious on the cross, the full and public acknowledgment of that victory awaits a final moment. Believers live in the already/not yet tension of a battle won but not quite over. While the victory as been achieved, the defeated enemy must still be permanently removed from the field of battle. That will take place when the conquering Messiah returns to establish his eternal rule. (Mounce, p.263)

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__________

Canticle

Christ, as a light – illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield – overshadow me.
Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you.
May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you.
May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
_____________________________________

Peanut Gallery: In September, we will begin reading through the Book of Revelation (ESV). Our purpose will be devotional, i.e. to discover the word of blessing that God has for us in these troubled times… to find hope and help for our daily lives.

This will not be a Bible Study per se: we will not attempt to unravel the “mysteries” of Revelation… that is far beyond our abilities and is not our interest here. However, so as not to get too far afield, we will rely on three study resources: primary – A Commentary on the Revelation of John (George Elton Ladd); supplemental Revelation (Leon Morris) and  The Book of Revelation (Robert H. Mounce).

The general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) On Sundays, we’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world. Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.

Morning Prayer: 17 Oct – Revelation 13:11-15 ~ the beast from the earth

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences

Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to secure me: against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

Revelation 13:11-15 (ESV) – to be read aloud

image
The Beast out of the Earth by Shinji2821

Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.

It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.

Reflection

THE SECOND VISION – THE SEVEN TRUMPETS (8:2-14:20)

Interlude (12:1-14:20)

The beast from the earth (13:11-15)

The second beast is the servant (henchman) of the first. He has the sole objective of compelling men to worship the first beast…. In its eschatological form, the second beast suggests the capture of organized religion to help promote the civil and political aims of the first beast.

The first beast represents civil power, satanically inspired; the second beast represents religious power employed to support civil power…. His single objective is to capture the religious loyalties of men for the first. (Ladd, p.183-4)

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The second beast imitates the miracles of the true prophets to deceive people into worshiping the beast,,,, He is the Antichrist’s Minister of Propaganda,

In the last days there is to e a great division of the human race. Some will remain true to the faith even in the face of death; others will turn in worship to the Antichrist. It is this apostasy that is to precede the return of Christ. (Mounce, p.257-8)

__________

__________

Canticle

Christ, as a light – illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield – overshadow me.
Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you.
May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you.
May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
_____________________________________

Peanut Gallery: In September, we will begin reading through the Book of Revelation (ESV). Our purpose will be devotional, i.e. to discover the word of blessing that God has for us in these troubled times… to find hope and help for our daily lives.

This will not be a Bible Study per se: we will not attempt to unravel the “mysteries” of Revelation… that is far beyond our abilities and is not our interest here. However, so as not to get too far afield, we will rely on three study resources: primary – A Commentary on the Revelation of John (George Elton Ladd); supplemental Revelation (Leon Morris) and  The Book of Revelation (Robert H. Mounce).

The general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) On Sundays, we’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world. Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.

Morning Prayer: 16 Oct – Revelation 13:5-10 ~ call for endurance and faith

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences

Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to secure me: against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

Revelation 13:1-10 (ESV) – to be read aloud

carte-syrie-irak_EN

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain.

Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

Reflection

THE SECOND VISION – THE SEVEN TRUMPETS (8:2-14:20)

Interlude (12:1-14:20)

The beast from the sea (13:1-10)

Overview Although martyrdom is impending, the final triumph of the saints is assured, because Satan is already a defeated foe. Defeated though he is, he will be allowed at the end time to wage one final convulsive warfare against the saints through the agency of the beast. (Ladd, p.176)
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War on the saints (13:5-7)

Blasphemy here means to do or say anything that desecrates God’s name or violates his glory and deity…. It is the exaltation of a human claim over the claim of God upon man’s loyalty and worship. (Ladd, p.180)

Mosul: ISIS has been going door to door, marking houses occupied by Christians, and setting conditions: Either convert to Islam, leave the country, pay tax for being none-Muslim, or die. (July, 2014)
Mosul: ISIS has been going door to door, marking houses occupied by Christians, and setting conditions: Either convert to Islam, leave the country, pay tax for being non-Muslim, or die.
(July, 2014)

The primary purpose of the beast is to turn men away from Christ, which he attempts by fierce persecution. That he conquers them does not mean in this context that he succeeds in perverting their loyalty from Christ to the beast – i.e., in apostatizing them, but he does succeed in waging terrible persecution…. Their very martyrdom was their victory; they stood steadfast in their loyalty to Christ and refused to worship the beast or the dragon…. John looks far beyond his own horizon to a time when an anti-Christian ruler will be allowed to exercise a worldwide sovereignty. (Ladd, p.180-1)

The Lamb’s book of life (13:8)

In this last day no one will be exempt except Christians, who will pay for their loyalty to Christ with their lives…. The Lamb’s book of life (Rev 3:5)… is the register of those who have been saved by faith in the crucified Lamb of God. That their names were written before the foundation of the world carries the assurance that even though they seem to be powerless before the attacks of the beast, they are really in the keeping providence of God and have been since the foundation of the world. (Ladd, p.181)

Endurance and faith (13:9-10)

There is a certain grim reality that lies ahead for believers. They will be taken into captivity, and many will be put to death by the sword. As their Master met death at the hands of a hostile secular power, so also they will meet the same fate…. (Mounce, p.253)

When the impending persecution breaks upon the church, believers will need to meet it with steadfast endurance and an unwavering faith…. The view that God will remove his people from the suffering of those days creates a faulty expectation that will work against their need for patient endurance and faithfulness. (Mounce, p.254)
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__________

Canticle

Christ, as a light – illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield – overshadow me.
Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you.
May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you.
May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
_____________________________________

Peanut Gallery: In September, we will begin reading through the Book of Revelation (ESV). Our purpose will be devotional, i.e. to discover the word of blessing that God has for us in these troubled times… to find hope and help for our daily lives.

This will not be a Bible Study per se: we will not attempt to unravel the “mysteries” of Revelation… that is far beyond our abilities and is not our interest here. However, so as not to get too far afield, we will rely on three study resources: primary – A Commentary on the Revelation of John (George Elton Ladd); supplemental Revelation (Leon Morris) and  The Book of Revelation (Robert H. Mounce).

The general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) On Sundays, we’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world. Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.

Morning Prayer: 15 Oct – Revelation 13:1-10 ~ the beast from the sea

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences

Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to secure me: against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

Revelation 13:1-10 (ESV) – to be read aloud

The Beast of the Sea  (Apocalypse Tapestry,  1377–1382) Musée de la Tapisserie, Château d'Angers, Angers
The Beast of the Sea
(Apocalypse Tapestry, 1377–1382)
Musée de la Tapisserie, Château d’Angers, Angers

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth.

And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain.

Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

Reflection

THE SECOND VISION – THE SEVEN TRUMPETS (8:2-14:20)

Interlude (12:1-14:20)

The beast from the sea (13:1-10)

Overview: In chapter 13 we are introduced to the two agents through whom Satan carries out his war against believers… described as beasts.The first comes from the sea, a grotesque, seven-headed monster (one head mutilated by the slash of a sword) who combines characteristics of leopard, bear, and lion. The unbelieving world worships both the beast and the dragon who gave him authority. The beast is allowed to blaspheme God and exercise his authority for forty-two months. He is permitted to make war against saints and conquer them. Those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life worship the beast. (Mounce, p.243-4)
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The beast from the sea (13:1-4)

The beast is the eschatological Antichrist who was foreshadowed in certain aspects of Rome, and in other totalitarian states as well…. The beast is to claim divine prerogatives… so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

The deification of the state and its ruler is not a phenomenon limited to the last days of the Antichrist;we have witnessed manifestations essentially of the same phenomenon in modern totalitarian states.

The beast, like Paul’s man of lawlessness (II Thess 2:9), is not merely the concentration of political and military power; it is the embodiment of satanic evil, drawing its power and authority from the dragon.

The purpose of the beast… is capturing the loyalties of men and diverting then from the worship of God. To turn from God and submit to the beast is in reality to worship Satan. The time of the Antichrist is a struggle for the souls of men. The beast will manifest such mighty power that he will convince the world of the futility of resisting him (cf. II Thess 2:9-10). (Ladd, p.177-9)
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__________

Canticle

Christ, as a light – illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield – overshadow me.
Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me – on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you.
May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you.
May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
_____________________________________

Peanut Gallery: In September, we will begin reading through the Book of Revelation (ESV). Our purpose will be devotional, i.e. to discover the word of blessing that God has for us in these troubled times… to find hope and help for our daily lives.

This will not be a Bible Study per se: we will not attempt to unravel the “mysteries” of Revelation… that is far beyond our abilities and is not our interest here. However, so as not to get too far afield, we will rely on three study resources: primary – A Commentary on the Revelation of John (George Elton Ladd); supplemental Revelation (Leon Morris) and  The Book of Revelation (Robert H. Mounce).

The general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) On Sundays, we’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world. Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.

Morning Prayer, Friday, 10th Day of Christmas: 1 John 2:29-3:6; Psalm 98:1, 3-6; John 1:29-34 ~ eager expectation

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentence

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

You will find the Lord Your God if you seek Him with all your heart… all your soul… all your mind… and all your strength.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Morning readings

1 John 2:29-3:6 NLT:

lamb of God

Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.

Everyone who sins is breaking God’s law, for all sin is contrary to the law of God. And you know that Jesus came to take away our sins, and there is no sin in him. Anyone who continues to live in him will not sin. But anyone who keeps on sinning does not know him or understand who he is.

Psalm 98:1, 3-6 NLT:

Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful deeds. His right hand has won a mighty victory; his holy arm has shown his saving power!
__________

He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel. The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy! Sing your praise to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and melodious song, with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn. Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King!

John 1:29-34 NLT:

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”

Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”

Reflection/Prayer:

Lord Jesus – I arise today in eager expectation of all that You have for me today… Your mercy… Your joy… Your presence and power in and around me. Fill me with Your Spirit that I might boldly declare the wonders of Your love. Amen.

 

Canticle

Christ, as a light… illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield… overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

_____________________________________

Peanut Gallery: The Morning Prayer readings are from the USCCB Daily Readings and the format from the Daily Office of the Northumbrian Community as available online here… and in the book form, Celtic Daily Prayer available on Amazon.com. The website and prayer book are rich in prayer resources and I commend them to you.