Bible Readings: Revelation 13 and 14

Today, read Revelation chapters 13 and 14.

{13:1} And I saw a beast ascending from the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon its horns were ten diadems, and upon its heads were names of blasphemy.

The beast from the sea (a kingdom over a great sea of peoples) is the kingdom of the ten kings. The Antichrist, as one of the 10 kings, defeats three of the other kings, leaving the kingdom with only 7 heads (the Antichrist and 6 other kings), but 10 horns (the ten positions of leadership). The 10 diadems represent ten religious leaders, one for each kingdom, in the wicked false religion of the Antichrist.

{13:11} And I saw another beast ascending from the land. And she had two horns like the Lamb, but she was speaking like the dragon.

The false prophet who assists the Antichrist is a woman. She is the Jezebel of Revelation 2:20, and the harlot of Revelation 17:1. She becomes the leader of the false church established to worship the Antichrist. But at the same time, the true Church of Jesus Christ persists on earth, in the midst of very great suffering. The Antichrist and the false prophetess never claim to lead the Catholic Christian Church. They establish a different false Church, to compete against the true Church. They attempt to destroy the true Church.

{14:1} And I saw, and behold, the Lamb was standing above mount Zion, and with him were one hundred and forty-four thousand, having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.

These are a different (symbolic) set of 144,000 persons than in the earlier part of Revelation. The first set of 144,000 were sealed during the first part of the tribulation. The second set of 144,000 were sealed during the second part of the tribulation. The second set are holier than the first. For the first ones, sealed by God, do not sin at all after receiving the seal. But the second set do not commit any personal sins for their entire lives. They are like John the Baptist and Saint Joseph in holiness.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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