The Beast of the Apocalypse can conjure up many popular images. But the reality is much more serious than any heavy metal lyrics. In Revelation, John allows us to see things as they really are – and it’s beastly. But we can recognize and resist the beastly nature of our world, and respond to God’s call to endurance and faith.

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Reality has always had too many heads…

Bob Dylan, Cold Irons Bound

 

 

And what this beast is, though it requires a more careful investigation, yet it is not inconsistent with the true faith to understand it of the ungodly city itself, and the community of unbelievers set in opposition to the faithful people and the city of God.

St Augustine (354-430 AD), City of God

 

 

Do you find your hopes dashed by trends in government? Do you fix your dreams on the state to restore order and righteousness to a society spinning out of control? To be sure, government is God’s servant, charged by Him to uphold justice, and any semblance of order and uprightness in human courts of power is a blessing far better than our fallen race deserves. But Revelation reminds us of the ugly underbelly of even the best merely human institutions, and its visions call Christ’s servants to heed the psalmist’s wise counsel: “Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.” Ps 146:3

Denis Johnson, Triumph of the Lamb

 

 

One day America – and all its presidents – will be a footnote in history, but the kingdom of Jesus will never end.

John Piper, tweet from 24th of August, 2016

 

 

CHRISTUS VINCIT (Christ is conquering)

CHRISTUS REGNAT (Christ is reigning)

CHRISTUS IMPERAT (Christ rules over all)

inscription at Nero’s Circus Maximus