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The number “666” stands in contrast to the perfection of the Lamb and the Spirit. Because this number is “the number of a person,” readers have tried to pin down the identity of this person throughout history. In John’s day, the name and title “Nero Caesar” was a likely candidate for the beast because Nero persecuted and executed believers, demanding obedience and even worship. Every era seems to have its Neros, those beastly characters who occupy seats of power and yet use their power to oppress God’s people. The speculation continues as to this person’s identity, but what has not changed is the message of hope in the midst of extreme persecution; that is the beauty proclaimed in this vision given to John.

14 The scene changed. I looked and saw the Lamb standing on top of Mount Zion, and with Him were the 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name inscribed on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven roaring like a waterfall and clapping like thunder. The voice I heard was like a symphony of harpists playing their instruments.

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The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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