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Chapter 13: The Beast

(A Commentary on Revelation Chapter 13)

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Introduction

Chapter 13: The Beast, Commentary, Revelation, Chapter 13, seven heads, war, saints, Napoleon, dragon, worship, 144,000, 666, lamb, miracles, image, mark, number, Six hundred threescore and six, Patmos Planet, patmosplanet.netThis is a commentary on the 13th Chapter of the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. Revelation is not only a prophecy of the future but is a revelation of the past and of the very present times we live in. If you want to know the events of the past - read the book of Revelation.  If you want to know the events of the future - read the book of Revelation. If you want to know the events of the present - read the book of Revelation. This is one reason John the apostle stated, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 1:3)  It is all relevant for the here and now. It is all happening now.

If there is anything good contained within this commentary, I give all the glory to the Lord Jesus Christ, who saved my soul from the pit of hell and the lake of fire. Alleluia!

Revelation 13:1

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.”

A beast is a beast and not a man and all antichrists are brute beasts.  This is a fact, for they mind only the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. And though they may look like you and me, they are in reality, just animals.

The chief beast rises up and materializes out of the sea. Spiritually speaking, the sea is the sea of iniquity, which is also the Sea of Tiberias (Galilee), and is the one which our Lord Jesus walked upon in the middle of a storm. It represents the world in rebellious opposition to God's kingdom, and in this sea of humanity are many beasts that live and lurk in the depths. Sometimes the sea can be very calm and tranquil on the surface, but beneath are the constant battles in which only the fittest survive. The sea represents this adulterous and sinful generation today, yesterday, and tomorrow.

The beast ascends to preeminence and is a political leader like a Caesar, a king, a prime minister, a president, or a secretary general. And like all of his predecessors, he must master the seaways for communication, control, commerce, and food. And because he rises out of the sea, he may be well acquainted with its ways. We may remember that ancient Rome mastered the Mediterranean Sea as the original world superpower and in modern times, France, Spain, Portugal, and Britain fought it out for hundreds of years to master the helm. Finally, England out-gunned the others for a season, but the United States is filling that superpower position now and in the Far East, China is vying for maritime authority, and for the whole planet. Interestingly, the East is where the kings of the earth shall invade from for the final battle against God. (Revelation 16:12) Perhaps all around the globe are secret spiritual troops being deployed to take economic, cultural, and political ground.

The political beast has seven heads. Of course, the number seven can point to things of or belong to God: the seven Spirits (the Spirit of God), the seven golden candlesticks (the church of God), and here, the seven heads of the dragon (the adversary of God).  What is more, this antichrist is the spitting image of his father Satan, the dragon and when you see the beast, you are seeing Satan in the flesh so to speak. And because the beast has seven heads, it can be no coincidence at the time of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ, there were seven worldly leaders listed in scripture:

“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.” (Luke 3:1-2)

Within those two verses are a Caesar (world ruler), a governor (regional ruler), three tetrarchs over four domains (kingdom rulers), and two high priests (religious rulers).  Take a hint. As there are seven heads on the dragon (Revelation 12:3) and seven heads on this beast, there are seven heads in this world today in some form or another. Of course, these heads can have other prestigious titles other than what they had long ago, and in many cases, those names have been changed to protect the guilty. For example, we do not see any Caesars running around today, or Pharisees, Sadducees, or Herodians, but they are here, nevertheless. A beast is a beast, and a beast by any other name still smells as foul.

Take another hint. John was killed by the seven-headed beast as well as our Lord Jesus Christ, and that ought to give you some insight on how this world treats the servants of the true and living God. My friend, this world is not on your side, and so the scripture states:

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7)

What a contrast John the Baptist is to the beast with seven heads.  The beast's power is in deception, might, intimidation, and out of the end of a gun barrel, as he parades around in his fine clothes, accompanied by an armed entourage that proudly displays his flags and insignias. The beast also delights and dines on dainties while residing in mansions and palaces. John, on the other hand, had no power other than every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God. Also, John did not dress in fashionable finery, but in a coarse camel's hair coat, with a strip of leather around his loins. He did not live in a palace like a high priest, or even in a simple parsonage, nor did he fare sumptuously, but ate bugs and whatever else the wilderness put on his plate.  May the question be asked, “Are things so different today that the supposed preachers of God hobnob with presidents, kings, and other potentates, and live in extravagance while seeking Caesar's fellowship and stamp of approval?”  (Or is that mark of approval?)

The seven headed beast has seven distinct personalities and plays them award-winningly well. This reminds me of the woman who told me about the denominational college president which was her estranged husband. His first wife had died in a car accident, and some time later he married her.  Well, over the course of time, she realized that he had a mistress that he rendezvoused with before and after they were married. I think she said it had been going on for 27 years. She also said, nobody would believe her if she told them the truth, and hadn't divorced him for that reason. (She figured she would be made out to be the scoundrel, and was concerned about her reputation.) This fellow had a doctorate, was an author, a preacher, and highly esteemed. I knew him personally and thought of him as a good ol' boy for a bigwig.  As a matter of fact, one could feel comfortable calling him by his initials for a nickname.

However, his wife knew the other sides of him. She thought, after his first wife died and he toured the orient before he had married her, he learned to compartmentalize his life. In other words, to your wife you are one person, to your girlfriend you are another person, to the church you are another person, and to the boys down at the bar, you are still another. Some people can do this, and can keep each character well defined and compartmentalized, with heavy on the “mental.” She, in his marriage compartment, was his public wife and prop, tending to his everyday domestic needs, and was who he went to church meetings and dinner parties with but he really loved his girlfriend. This is hard to imagine, but this fellow was up in his 90's at the time. She was about 75, and he was trying to write her out of his will and give her part of the marital assets to his children.  As a matter of fact, his children moved him out of state to be with them, as he was pretty much incapacitated by that time. And, of course, she was tremendously embarrassed and humiliated being divorced at that ripe old age.

As we continue to read Chapter 13, we see the beast has ten horns and ten crowns, which is his political system, and he uses it to create a world without God.  In his scheme, his subordinates are the ten horns (powers) the fingers of his hands, and they hold leadership positions (crowns), ruling as he “deceiveth the whole world.” (Revelation 12:9) Simply put, the beast and his followers are the enemies of God.

Upon the heads of the beast is the name of blasphemy. Adolf Hitler's prominent name of blasphemy was “The Fuhrer.” This meant he was The Leader. However, the name Leader is one of God's holy names which no man ought to use. There are other names the men of this world use for their names, and ought not: King, Lord, Commander in Chief, and Prime Minister. You may understand, one may be a king whose name is George, but one's personal name is not King or King George. The 1611 Bible bears this out, and one of the several examples is found in I Chronicles 17:16. Also, in the same sense, one may be a pastor, whose name is Schicklgruber, but one's personal name is not Pastor or Pastor Schicklgruber.  And what is more, it ought to be obvious to the believers that the names Father, Holy Father, and Pope (Papa) are the names of God alone. (Matthew 23:5-12, John 17:11)

 

Revelation 13:2

“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”

The beast is described as three carnivorous killers, which gives us some insights into his character.

 The first characteristic of the beast is the leopard. The leopard is said to be the most aggressive of the predators and is reported to kill, not only for food and defense but just for the sake of killing.  These ferocious felines are distributed in much of Asia and Africa, while their relatives, the Jaguar, occupy North and South America. He is well camouflaged with spots, is a good tree climber, enabling him to hunt monkeys, and to eat, rest, and observes his domain from a safe perch.  He, like his cousin the domestic cat, lounges in the sun to preen and purr, and snuggle and play with his young, but these tabbies have an unpredictable killer nature. I suspect that the seven heads noted in verse 1 are seven leopard heads, and represent the world leader and government without God.

The second characteristic of the beast is the feet of the bear. The bear is powerful, agile, has an acute sense of sound and sight, and devours all kinds of fauna and flora. He has a voracious appetite and spends much of his time prowling for food.  And though a bear's feet are not as fast as a leopard's, they propel him with powerful surefootedness. His claws are the largest of the carnivores, but do not retract like a cat, and he uses these for weapons, digging, and to mark his turf. Moreover, if the satanic leopard has to have feet as big as a bear, he must be a very large leopard indeed, and, perhaps, his enormous paws help stabilize his seven heads held up so high. The bear reminds us that the beast may be dormant in winter if not disturbed, but come the spring, when kings go out to battle, he is out commanding his troops.

The third characteristic of the beast is the mouth of the lion. The lion is thought of as the king of beasts and boasts his supremacy with an intimidating roar.  But more terrible than the roars of the lion are his large canines that grab, pierce, and kill with scissor-like molars which slice flesh and scrape bones clean.  This bone scraping business may remind you of Alexander the Great, who scraped the city of Tyre down to bedrock, and used the refuse to build a land bridge to its defenders island refuge. Also of General Titus who leveled Jerusalem in 70 AD, and later became the Emperor of Rome. In modern times, this tactic has been practiced as well: General William Tecumseh Sherman and his devastating “march to the sea” during the American Civil War, the World War II firebombings of Dresden and Tokyo, the German's “scorched-earth policy” while in retreat from the Soviet Union, and the atomic bombs that obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Combine the three above animal characteristics with the other information provided in the verse in review, and you come up with a spiritual picture of him that manifests in this physical world today:

The beast is a voracious and bloodthirsty killer in full submission to Satan.  He lives to steal, and to kill, and to destroy, which is his lust and opiate. Remember, also, the devil, who is the spiritual father of the beast, was the first one to ever start a war. His rebellion began in heaven when he was the anointed cherub Lucifer, and he is still practicing war on earth today. Furthermore, it is in the spiritual genes of the devil's children to do likewise, and anything they can do in opposition to the will of God is, in effect, making war against the Lord. My friend, do not be ignorant of his devices, for he entices believers not to conform to the will of God - a little bit or a lot.

Here is more insight on the beast that is helpful which is not noted in this particular verse. He is red in color as the dragon is red:

“And there appeared another wonder in heaven and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.” (Revelation 12:3)

“So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” (Revelation 17:3)

May it be more than a little suggested that the beast is red or scarlet because he revels in spilling the blood of his victims. There are also reasons to believe this is in more than a symbolic sense.  He and his bunch may literally drink the blood of their victims for the nutrition, hormones produced under duress such as adrenaline, and the intoxicating effect on the brain it gives:

“And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”(Revelation 17:6)

The beast's red color may also indicate he is a white man, a Caucasian. Interestingly, some black Africans refer to white men as “pink people.” As you may have noticed, there are many Northern Europeans, who are not only pale in color compared to the black and yellow races, but are pink or ruddy, because the blood capillaries near the skin show through better. White people also blush red from various emotions and situations. And as history shows, many evil dictators and religious leaders have been white.

There is a colon after the word “lion” in Revelation 13:2. It is plainly stated that this superpower beast receives his political position from the devil himself, even if he apparently is elected or appointed. This may remind you of Satan's tempting wilderness proposal which he submitted to the Lord Jesus:

“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”  (Matthew 4:8-9)

Think about it. What highly esteemed positions of this world does Satan offer to people now if they will bow down and worship him? King, President, Prime Minister, Pope, Prophet, Evangelist, Movie Star, Rock Star, Sports Star, Commander in Chief, Indian Chief, Chief Executive, Senator, Governor, Mayor, King of the Mountain, King of the Hill, or King of the Block? (Luke 16:15) However, one may safely assume Satan's offer is drawn up by a pathological liar. Once they submit, they will do whatever he has really planned behind the scenes. But do not lose heart about those who have been offered the positions of this world and do the bidding of the wilderness tempter: for there is nothing taking place, or person placed upon a throne, or given the reins of power, or handed the baton, which does not come under the ultimate power and the plan of the Lord.  Remember, the Almighty King of the Universe has created vessels for honor and dishonor. And at some point, the dishonorable vessels will be tossed away like an old menstruous cloth, while the honorable vessels shall be saved, and refurbished, and preserved in glory for ever and ever.  Amen. How great and wonderful are the ways of God, whose ways are above our ways, and whose thoughts are above our thoughts.

 

Revelation 13:3

“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.”

There is a quality or characteristic in the beast rebounding back though he apparently dies or suffers total defeat.  In other words, the beast and his beastly governments keep on showing up in one form or another throughout time. You see, the devil cannot die as men die, but the men he uses for a season do and are replaced again and again.  It is the same way with governments: they come and go, and change their methods, but it is still his same nation or kingdom century after century.

Let us consider the character of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the beast “wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed”

Rising through the ranks of the French military, Napoleon became the emperor of France and conquered most of Europe.  This 19th Century Caesar instigated a government with a modern bureaucracy for his European union of nations, and much of that bureaucracy still remains. However, he suffered a decapitating blow in 1814 when he met his, and the original, Waterloo. Defeated, he surrendered and was imprisoned, and it was thought to be all over for him but he arose from that “death blow,” escaped and marched back to Paris to take control once more. I think this is very interesting as well: on the way back to Paris he won over the soldiers who were ordered to arrest him, and gained support from his old associates for his “resurrection.” This man, politically wounded to death and healed, was the darling of France, and the predecessor of Hitler. Nineteen years after his death, France had his remains imported back to Paris and interned with great pomp. To one country he was the savior, and to another, he was the beast and is still held in high esteem by many politicians and generals today.

Let us also consider Adolph Hitler and his Nazi government.

During the 1930's and 40's, many people thought Hitler was the beast and Revelation prophecies were being fulfilled right before their eyes.  Truly it must have been a very exciting time for the Bible believers. Yet, the end of this world did not come with Hitler's death and corpse being burned in a little lake of fire outside his Fuhrerbunker.  (Revelation 19:20)  For, you see, there were to be other beasts rising out of the sea of iniquity with the same ambitions of global unification, and other governments to replace Hitler's, but with different names.

In light of that, I would submit to the reader that the firstborn man, Cain, Abel's older twin, was the original beastly being. He was also the first false prophet and false priest that could not conform to God's will. As you may recall, he did not offer a sacrifice that was acceptable to God, because it was not in his nature to do so. He, instead, discarded God's way, and exercised his own way, neither did he repent after the Lord confronted him about it. Angered by the Lord's rebuke, Cain went on to become the first murderer, and for that, God put a mark on him lest any righteous man finding him should kill him in revenge. During the remainder of Cain's life, he went on to become the ruler or king of the first city, which he pridefully named “Enoch” after his son. (Psalm 49:11) Enoch City (Babylon in the womb) became “the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” (Revelation 18:2) In Cain's rebellious society without God, the second murdering took place, polygamy, the manufacturing of weapons, and other activities in conflict with the kingdom of heaven activities. And like the beast that comes back after being wounded to death, there was someone there to take Cain's place as ruler and priest after he died.

Make a note that the sons of God were not living in cities for some time. They lived out in the country, and the city slickers might have considered God's people were wilderness bumpkins. But the real wilderness, the spiritual wilderness (as in wild and wilder) was where the sons of men lived in Enoch. There, the devils were corralled and congregated in their spiritual zoo: dragons, serpents, leopards, lions, bears, and various vile birds.

In regards to the centuries of government turnovers, we see the continuity of regimes being passed on to someone else after the leader dies or is expelled. In monarchies like Great Britain, for example, when the king dies, the subjects proclaim, “The king is dead. Long live the king!” So, how can the king live long if he is dead as a doornail? Because there is someone there to take his place! In other words, the king's position is still there, but only the person sitting on the throne is changed. This is also true of presidents, prime ministers, and dictators, for there is always someone waiting in the wings to fill their vacancies.  Sometimes hopeful wannabes instigate the change themselves because there is no honor among thieves.

The word “wonder” in verse 3 depicts ignorant observations people make without the knowledge of God. They think that ancient Babylon was a wonder of the world, as well as the civilizations of Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, and superpower nations of today. They marvel at their power, their influence, and the wonderful works of the hands of men. But these wonderers have not been born again of the Spirit of God, and cannot receive an inkling of the eternal glories of the kingdom of heaven for comparison.  Someday the great God of the Universe, who does not think much of them, will incinerate their wonders:

“The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.” (Revelation 18:12-13)

Ogle and awe all you want at worldly wonders, but tomorrow they will be ashes and dust. It is like the restaurant owner dejectedly noted about his tasty gourmet food: “In a couple of days, it will all be manure.”

 

Revelation 13:4

“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast?  who is able to make war with him?”

In regards to the word “worship,” there are several appropriate definitions. Worship can mean to treat somebody or something as divine, to take part in a religious service, to love, respect, adore greatly somebody or something inordinately, to idolize. For Christians, one thing it means is to do what the Lord Jesus says to do.

In this particular verse, the specific reason people worship the beast is indicated after the colon (:) which is separating the two phrases. Many times you may think of the colon as an equal sign (=): the one side explaining the other side: or the one side is enumerating the other side.  Sometimes I say to myself when I read a colon, “In other words….” In other words, the unsaved of this world worship the beast by the simple confession of their mouth: “Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” So, they may not like the beast, and they may even hate the beast, but they will, out of fear for their lives, worship the beast. The beast will be treated as divine, acknowledged in worship services, and his image will be reverenced.  This is done even today if you haven't noticed.  My friends, you will serve and worship who you fear; and in worshiping the beast, people are actually worshipping Satan himself, for the beast is his image.

However, after you get some understanding on Satan and his bunch, you will be astonished to find out how frail they all are, though they be like “gods.”  About Lucifer it is written: “They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof that opened not the house of his prisoners?”  (Isaiah 14:16-17)

Yes, look closely at those heads of states and religious leaders who have already ruled and reigned, and see where they are now. For example, the Egyptian god/king Khufu had his remains pilfered after internment and strewn hither and thither for animals and bugs to gnaw on.  And the lesser Egyptian god, King Tut (Tutankhamen), found his repose in the tomb jostled by archeologists. His curators have also had him displayed and scientifically prodded, and the curious public finds his leathery countenance and bobbles a worthy sideshow.

Then there is the communist god Vladimir Lenin, whose corpse has been removed from pubic display, as scientists try in vain to abate its decomposition. And where are the Alexander the Greats, the Julius Caesars, and the Napoleon Bonapartes, and what has become of their kingdoms and carcasses?  And where are those notable monarchs and statesmen that grew old upon the throne of prestige, and were stricken with insanity or senility, as King George III of Great Britain, Mao Zedong, and Winston Churchill? And where are the others, who maintain their mental faculties but their decrepit bodies became incapable of lifting their once mighty finger?  Are these the men that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms, who thought they were gods, and convinced others to worship and serve them until they returned to dust?

May the question be asked and answered again.  Why do people worship the beast who is the devil's image? It is because of his power: “Who can make war with him?” The historic superpower of the beast has been his cane that fought against the fist, his sword that fought against the cane, his musket that fought against the sword, his cannon that fought against the musket, his bomber that fought against the cannon, and his missile that fought against the bomber. Truly, truly, the deceived of this world will kowtow to the beast out of fear, because of his superior killing abilities which he demonstrates from time to time. Sadly, they fear the beast more than they fear God, and that attests to their foolishness…

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)

But for those that know the truth, “Be not afraid of them that kill the body and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” (Luke 12:4-5)

 

Revelation 13:5

“And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.”

There is given to the beast a great mouth, which is really the dragon's mouth. If you think about it, the devil is probably a very intelligent being, and at one time had great responsibilities in heaven. His original name is thought to be Lucifer and is only one of three angels who have their names mentioned in scripture.  And ever since Lucifer was ejected from glory, he has been busy creating his own kingdom here on earth in opposition to the kingdom of God. Unlike we humans, he and his cohorts are not in need of rest or sleep. Day after day, and century after century, they are afoot, managing, manipulating, instigating, and performing all manner of evil. When the chief architect of rebellion exercises the mouth of the political beast, it is with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength. The beast is the conduit for Lucifer, the dragon we now know as Satan.

The beast speaks great things of pride, and may be amazed, as well as others, at the ease in which he can expound in private and in public. Of course, it is not he that speaks, but the dragon speaking through him. Even in modern times, we hear of political rulers and other orators that can pontificate and extemporize hour after hour. In every sense of the word “great”, the beast speaks great things.  He is a loquacious, demonstrative, appealing, spellbinding, talented, artistic, and skilled spokesman and perhaps, he could be considered the Shakespeare of politicians. However, the beast's verbiage is blasphemy against God.

Now, blasphemy is an interesting term, for one may outrightly blaspheme God by speaking disrespectfully to him or about him. Also, one may blaspheme God by speaking that which is true, but in the case of an antichrist speaking, it is blasphemy. For an example, Jesus would not let unclean spirits publicize that he was the Christ, the Son of God (Luke 4:41) nor did Paul allow his ministry be advertised by a woman with a spirit of divination. (Acts 16:16-19) In the same way, a false preacher could preach the gospel, and people could get saved by acting on the information. However, it would be blasphemous for that preacher to speak those things. The Lord Jesus Christ said: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”(Matthew 7:21-23)

Also, we need to remember the third of the Ten Commandments in regards to blasphemy: “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7) It is, therefore, a blasphemous sin to speak of the Lord in a vain or empty way or to speak the truth of God and not believe a word you say. Of course, the beast and other of his ilk speak blasphemy for political and religious advantage. I am sure, if you read the biographies of presidents, senators and congressmen, you won't find many atheists, for they all conveniently claim some religion, or denomination but I have never heard one simply claim only to be a Christian.

Most people may figure the forty-two months, in Revelation 13:5, is half of a seven year period or it represents the first or second half of a seven thousand year period. But of a surety, seven indicates things that are or belong to God already mentioned in Revelation 13:1.  Seven years, therefore, can mean seven literal years, or God's years in numbers not defined, or simply, time that God has created.

Perhaps it is fitting to make note that many a devilish regime has accomplished its most ruthless acts during the last half of their reign, for it was then that they had absolute powers. And as time draws to the end here on earth, the devil is gaining absolute power, having worked diligently to that end for thousands of years. He is, so to speak, approaching the peak of his career and as judgment approaches, his power and rebellion increases the more.

 

Revelation 13:6

“And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.”

This statement is a continuous thought from the previous verse. The beast's blasphemy is directed, not only to God, but to his tabernacle, the church on earth, and them that dwell in heaven. Understand, there is only one true church on earth, and it is not registered with anyone's government in order to conduct religious activities according to the laws of man. How ludicrous to think that God must apply for a permit to operate his church by federal, state, or local governments in order to congregate or carry out his will. As a matter of fact, some governments today give special privileges to religions that kowtow to them. And as you may know, in some countries the head of state is also the head of the state church, as it is in the United Kingdom. The Lord's church, on the other hand, is not headed by a country's ruler, and God's church members are made up of only those who have been born again of his Spirit. Do you think you can be a member of God's church and the state church at the same time? Do you think you can be a member of God's church and the Roman Catholic Church at the same time? Or do you think you can be a member of God's church and the Methodist's Church, the Baptist's Church, or any denomination's church at the same time? If you think so, you may think a woman can have two husbands at the same time. (Matthew 6:24) How would a husband respond to his wife who had another husband? With jealousy, I should think. That situation is called adultery and in the same sense, being a member of two churches at the same time is spiritual adultery against God. By the way, some of you may think jealousy is not a healthy or positive emotion, but you can read in scripture about our righteous Jealous God: “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God....” (Exodus 34:14)

In America, as you know, there are tax breaks for contributions to non-profit organizations such as churches, and other religious associations and ministries and there are tax exemptions for the property which the organizations own. There are, also, special tax benefits for clergyman that most people are not aware of.  Today, it is very much like ancient Egypt where Joseph lived thousands of years ago. Then, only Egyptian false religions had tax exemptions but the Hebrews, entrusted with the true faith and the word of God, were taxed, enslaved, and murdered.  What is also interesting, Pharaoh freely fed his false priests during the seven-year famine, because they supported him and his claim to deity.  They were on his payroll, so to speak. Everyone else had to sell all they had, including themselves, to get their own food already stored in the government's granary. This type of stocking away for the future was the social security of the day and had been collected for the prophesied lean years.  How ironic, the Egyptians had to sell themselves into slavery to get their own Social Security Insurance payments out in order to eat. Pharaoh's plan was to enslave his people while his tax-exempt religions contributed to that process and the spiritual mind control of his people.  Those false religious ministers were his good little pets and didn't bite the hand that fed them. This happened and happens today, even though the pets sometimes pretend and play Pharaoh's adversaries: like a dog feigning growls for his master's amusement.

Blaspheming against God (Jesus Christ), and against his tabernacle (the church on earth), and against them that dwell in heaven (the church in heaven), can be any statements that put God and his church in the same league with other religions. It is blasphemous, also, to restrict the practice of God's church, for there is nothing evil in the practice of it. And it is blasphemy to assert, or imply, that other religions are true religions when they are not. The Roman Catholic Church, for example, claims to be the true church of Jesus Christ, but its pope is not “The Father,” let alone “The Holy Father.” As you should recognize, “Holy Father” is one of the names of God as the Lord Jesus points out in John Chapter 17. By the Roman pontiffs receiving and using that name and title, as well as other names of God, they are claiming to be God. The joke, however, is on their ignorant church members.

Another blasphemy against God, his name, his tabernacle, and those that dwell in heaven is to call a country a “Christian nation” when it is not. America is often called a Christian nation by many of its so-called I, but this is not so, as one can easily determine by reading the U. S. Constitution.  If you have not done so lately, it is most revealing in what it does not reveal: specifically, the God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ. Is it a nation under God? Which God? Does the nation trust in God? Which God? A nation that uses the word God in such nebulous ways means a god that anyone chooses to be a god. This very loose concept has all been well thought out and is intentionally inserted into the public's conscience and tradition.

Another blasphemy against God, and his name, and his tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven is the deification of the so-called “Saints.”  As we all can plainly read in scripture, all the believers are saints or sanctified ones.  Thus, the pagan practice of petitioning special dead saints is blasphemous. (See “necromancer” in Deuteronomy 18:9-14) So, also, is the bowing down to and/or worshipping of political and religious leaders, statues, pictures, flags, and other objects. Those that pay homage and worship them are like them - they cannot see or hear the truth.  (Psalm 115:4-8) This is just a fact and is symptomatic of a person and a people living a lie. (You may have to get out a dictionary to appreciate the meaning of many words in the Bible such as “worship.” Newly published editions of “Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language” are very useful with the Authorized Version.)

 

Revelation 13:7

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

Satan gives the beast the assignment, the power, and the responsibility to make war with the saints. This war is not a new war and has been waged throughout history. It is the conflict seen in Cain warring against his brother Able Pharaoh warring against the Hebrews in Egypt the Philistines warring against the Israelites Herodias warring against John the Baptist the chief priests, the king, and the governor warring against Jesus Christ and a group of Jews warring against the apostle Paul, to name a few. And the beast is warring against all of the saints today.

Much to the disappointment of many believers, we find out that there is not going to be a Christian utopia by taking to the ballot box, or by boycotting certain products or businesses. The truth is, the Body of Christ, which is his church, is to be overcome by the beast and murdered.  How can it be otherwise? When the physical Body of Christ was here the first time, the powers of the world conspired behind the scenes to hunt him down, try him at a sham trial, and execute him in the name of religion and national security:

“And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.”  (Mark 14:56-58)

“And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” (John 11:49-50)

These antichrists accused Jesus of being a terrorist. And in the same way, the present members of the Body of Christ are conspired against, hunted down, tried, and finally executed by the beasts. This is done one way or another, and from one degree to another. The last beast will do this on a global scale, because he will have been given the power to do so by the dragon and this may be done through an instrument like the United Nations, if not the United Nations itself. Listen. It is a fact that the U. N. is another kingdom, and a kingdom in opposition to the kingdom of God, and always has been in opposition to the kingdom of God. Perhaps you should read the history of its government, who instigated it, and its bill of rights, and realize that they are very different than the Bill of Rights of the United States' Constitution. In other words, if you accept the United Nations Bill of Rights (which the U.S. has already done in theory) you give up the rights you have now. If you compare, you will be lacking some of the old ones, and are promised new ear-tickling bait instead.

There are two good illustrations of war against God's church, which are found in Revelation 6:9-10 and 11:3-15. You may, also, perceive in the latter scripture, the roots of the pagan celebration of Christmas. Without going into it extensively now, let it suffice to say that Christmas is made up of two words: Christ and Mass. This was, and is, a satanic holiday and its greeting, “Merry Christmas” was begun by the devils who murdered Christ in the first place.  Christmas is the merry celebrating of the killing of Jesus Christ over and over again in the Roman Catholic Mass. The joke is on you. He that has ears to hear, let him hear.

Some will point out that most Christians are not hunted down and killed by antichrists today. Oh, you think not, do you? Let me pose a challenging thought. If we believers have been forgiven of our sins (past, present, and future), how is it that any of us can become ill? And how can any of us be overcome by the beast and killed? And how can any of us die? It seems to me that we are exempt from the fallout of sin if we have been forgiven of our sins. However, the devil, in his rebellion against God's will, is “illegally” attacking the righteous sons of God until he is thrown into the lake of fire. Of course, he does this because it is his nature to do so. But, he especially enjoys stealing, killing, and destroying the believers, because we are the offspring of his Judge, jury, and executioner. And, what is more interesting, God may let the devil's boys take a whack at us from time to time before being taken to glory, for the purpose of chastisement, as he did with his Son. “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (Hebrews 2:10) We, too, can be made perfect by our sufferings, and eventually, I think, the devil is allowed to kill us off altogether. After all, we leave this world through death, and then take up permanent residence with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a dirty job (the killing of the saints) but somebody has to do it. Oh, the wonderful mind of God, whose ways are higher than our ways, who even uses vessels of dishonor for his own purposes.  (II Timothy 2:21-21) Remember, “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Proverbs 16:4)

So, do not be surprised, my friend, if the times change radically, and you are called to be an obvious martyr for the Lord Jesus Christ, and not just “raptured” away. Think about it. Every Christian up to this time has not been raptured and avoided the undertaker's services. And really, what difference does it make when or how we leave this world, for when we do, we will be with our Saviour for ever and ever, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. However, we hear a lot of smooth words out there, especially spoken to older ears, whose days on this planet are clearly coming to a conclusion. Many a hoary head do not relish the thought of going through death to get to glory, but it is a matter of how you look at your departure that counts.

The Lord Jesus spoke on this subject in two different ways contained in one sentence

“I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”  (John 11:25-26)

You can understand, if you have saving faith in Jesus Christ, only your body will die, and your spiritual man contained in that body will be resurrected in an eternal one. The other way to look at it is: the spiritual man contained within your body can never die because you “liveth and believeth” in Christ always and eternally. Thus, when your body dies, the spiritual man will just carry on with the Lord, for death has been swallowed up in victory. “Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”  (II Corinthians 5:6-8)  One day, you will take your last breath here and the next breath with Jesus Christ and say, “Praise the Lord!  I am here in the twinkling of an eye!”  (I Corinthians 15:51-52)

This reminds me of a little surgery I had. As I lay there on the gurney and talking with the nurse before going to the operating room, the next thing I knew I was walking up. But even before I opened my eyes, I knew the surgery was over and I was in the recovery room. Surely I went through this experience to get a glimpse of how it will be when we go to be with the Lord. We will, in a blink, be with our Saviour, no matter if we were sick, or well, or on the job, or driving down the highway. We will just be there, and know where we are because we were expecting to be there in the first place. Alleluia!

And so, it is given to the beast to make war against the saints and it is all in the plan of God, and it will happen. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

 

Revelation 13:8

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

This is quite a statement, isn't it? All, everyone past, present, and future, who is not saved from their sins, SHALL worship the beast.  This is a spiritual law that is applicable from the beginning of this world to the end of this world. There are no exceptions: one either worships the Son of God, Jesus Christ, or one worships the son of Satan, the beast. In this verse, we also find there is a “book of life” with the believer's names written in it. I'd like to think it means our names are personally written in the eternal word of God (Jesus Christ) and we safely abide there. Also, we should remember we have a Kingdom of Heaven passport, so to speak, as the name of new Jerusalem is spiritually written on us as well as our Father's name:

“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”  (Revelation 3:12-13)  “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.  (Revelation 14:1)

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face and his name shall be in their foreheads.  And there shall be no night there and they need no candle, neither light of the sun for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:1-5)

For those who are focused on only 144,000 having God's name in their foreheads, they need to consider the other verses cited above. No doubt, if there are 144,000 believers in a literal sense, the 144,000 also represents the whole Body of Christ in a spiritual sense. Nevertheless, be assured if you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, his ownership is written all over you. No wonder the world hates us. In the spiritual realm, we obviously belong to Christ, and the glory of the Holy Ghost fire rests upon us. By the way, if you think at Pentecost the believers had a little flickering flame atop their heads like a cigarette lighter, think again. The scripture says the fire sat upon them. Their entire beings were immersed (baptized) in the Holy Ghost fire of the Almighty God, and they became the light of the whole world!

The word “worship” in Revelation 13:8 has already been discussed in verse 4. If one will worship a statue, a picture, or a flag, one will have no hesitations about worshiping the beast, or his image, or his name, or his number. Remember, all the inordinate attention placed upon people and/or things is worship, plain and simple. In the Old Testament, we read of the abomination of men carving images out of a tree. Of course, they might make many things out of a tree, such as a chair, cooking utensils, a cradle, a coffin, or a toilet seat but the images they made out of the same tree, they adorned, worshiped, and called them their gods. (Isaiah 44:13-20) In a similar way, a bolt of cloth can be cut and used to make many things. Some pieces can be sewn into shirts and pants and dresses, and some can be made into diapers. Some pieces can also be decorated with symbols or designs that men will pledge their allegiance to. This is all idolatry and this is spiritual fornication. By the way, spiritual fornication and physical fornication are like two peas in a pod: where one is found the other is cuddling close by.

Now about the word “shall” as in “shall worship him” in verse 8. Shall is different than the word “will.” Will usually means that something customarily happens, or is expected to happen. Shall, on the other hand, means, it is going to happen because it is obligatory to do so, or it is a spiritual law.  For example, Mark 16:16 states: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved but he that believeth not shall be damned.” In other words, he that believes with eternal everlasting belief must be saved because it is a spiritual law. And he that does not believe with eternal everlasting belief must be damned because this is also a spiritual law. You will find these great distinctions in the 1611 Authorized Version of the Bible, which was translated when English was in its highest form. Also, in the same way, the 1611 uses colons semicolons and commas to make sentences clearer, but not more complex. And don't be convinced, my friend, because it uses: thee, thou, and ye, ye cannot read it. The answer to the mystery is: thee and thou means you, as an individual and, ye means, you all, as in more than one person. (If you live in Texas, ye means, ya'll) All other words not known to you can be looked up in a dictionary. Problem solved.

 

Revelation 13:9

“If any man have an ear, let him hear.”

At this midway point of the chapter, the Lord commands us to hear with understanding, and who would want to fight against that commandment? It is, therefore, hard to believe that someone who is a child of God is not interested in these mysteries, since their Father is the author them, and he has provided them a copy of the scripture. Did our heavenly Father give his book to tease and not tell? I think not. It is like the situation of the woman at the well when she heard Jesus' statement, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” (John 4:10) She found his saying peculiar, but it did not offend her, nor did it put her off. It was, rather, a curious comment which she pursued, and led to her salvation. Did you ever have your natural father keep you guessing about something he was going to give you as a gift? You assumed it must be a good gift, and he probably gave you hints about it to peak your interest. You, in turn, may have made several guesses, and none of them right. But after it was all said and done, you happily received the gift from your father who loved you so much. God, your heavenly Father, desires to give you an understanding of this book. Do you desire to receive the gift?

Revelation Chapter 13 is not only a picture of the great and final antichrist who will rule the whole world, but it is a picture of all antichrists: all men with an unchecked sinful nature who do not repent of their sins, rich or poor, free or bond. Of course, the specific beast depicted here is the evilest beast there is. And what is also true, every lowly unrepentant person has his beastly characteristics to one degree or another.

Another important note about the beast is his name: the beast. He is an apparent human, with no thoughts higher than the carnal appetite of the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, and how to satisfy these lusts. And if any man has no ambition above these mundane pursuits, he is truly a beast, and no different than a swine, or a dog except, maybe, a higher I.Q. Judas Iscariot looked human, but the Lord Jesus said about him: “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.” (John 6:70-71) How many out there are beastly devils, a pack of wolves in sheep's clothing, and we live in the midst of them? (Matthew 10:16)

Therefore, if any men have an ear to hear, let him hear, and be forewarned of things present and of things to come. How many Christians are going through life now not caring to be forewarned? Most, I fear, are still carried away by the deceitfulness of riches, the cares of this life, and other things entering in, to know the gravity of this life. It is truly an ugly world out there according to the word of God, even if one is seemingly going along, and getting along just fine. This common saying is true, “Ignorance is bliss.” But this ignorance can only be for a season. If you could talk to the rich man in hell, he would testify to that fact. (Luke 16:19-31) And like the preacher said at the funeral of one whose salvation he personally but silently questioned: “Today, they know for sure that there really is a Jesus Christ.” (From one perspective or another.)

 

Revelation 13:10

“He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”

Why would the saints of God find patience in knowing this? The patience is in knowing that the Almighty Judge will attend to all wrongs done to the saints. You see, it is not a part of our godly character to judge and condemn the breakers of society's laws, or of God's Commandments: to arrest the offenders to condemn them by a judge, or a tribunal, or a jury to hold them captive in a prison as punishment or to execute them. Our patience is in the Lord who will carry out justice, and we believe and practice that by faith. In regards to this patience and faith of the saints, patience is plainly defined in the next chapter: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12)

There are spiritual laws involved in verse 10: First, “all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”  (Matthew 7:12) And second, “Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.” (Hebrews 10:30) In other words, God will sort out all things in his perfect way, by and by, and here in lies the patience of the saints. Aren't you glad your sins have been forgiven and forgotten, and you do not have to be judged by God? Don't you wish the same for everyone else?

What if the early Christians had contrived a plot against their formidable enemy, Saul of Tarsus, by judging and eliminating him some way? Perhaps they might have justified assassination, or preemptively starting a holy war against him and his radical group called the Pharisees. Evidently the saints were patient, however, and did not take up judging into their own hands. Saul, who later became Paul the apostle, was, in fact, their wayward brother who had been victimized by the deceptions of this world. It was a great surprise to the church that Saul the persecutor had been saved, and many were very suspicious about him for a season. But God knew his heart the whole time.

Furthermore, it does not seem that there is a lack of people who are already carrying out judgment from the bench and jury boxes who are sending people to jail and death, and are guilty of the same.  Be patient, and let God be the judge, for this is a godly characteristic of the true Christian. I speak that to myself as well.

Some may point out; however, that there is a need to have people put away in prisons for the safety of society.  That very well may be, but what type of person is willing to, or is desirous to lock them up? Those who are righteous in their own eyes? And on the subject of crime and punishment: powerful states and nations seem to get more and more powerful the more they incarcerate and kill, don't they? The big players on the world stage are the ones who participate in the biggest wars, killings, and imprisonments. Who fights the biggest wars? Who kills the most? Who imprisons the many?

 

Revelation 13:11

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.'

As we remember, the first beast materializes out of the sea but here, the second beast comes up out of the earth. Of course, this is a mystery to be understood. May it be submitted to the reader that there are two beasts because there are two domains or kingdoms to control: the kingdom of the sea and the kingdom of the land. The sea is used by the beast to unite his one world government by communication, transportation, and commerce. And the land is used by the beast to unite his universal anti-Christ religion. Understand that the devil, being a finite being with limited powers, is not capable of administering his kingdom by himself, and utilizes the two systems, government, and religion, to do so. This is the system that permeates every aspect of one's life, or tries to and this satanic attempt has been going on since the days of Babel.

John saw Revelation Chapter 13 from his spiritual advantage while standing on the sand of the sea, where both the sea and land kingdoms meet. This may bring to your remembrance Revelation 10, when the angel, the Lord Jesus Christ, stands with one foot on the sea, and the other on the earth. There he claims his sovereignty over both sea and land, for he holds the title deed to both of them.

As you can read, the second beast is described very differently from the first beast, because “he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” Contrastingly, the beast from the sea was described in fearsome terms: part leopard, bear, and lion, with seven heads, ten horns and ten crowns upon the horns. And later, we learn that the beast from the sea is also scarlet in color, or covered in the blood of his victims. (Revelation 17:3) The beast from the earth, however, has two horns like a lamb and is the false Lamb of God. Therefore, he does not appear to be of the same nature as the first beast, does he? However, both are the agents of Satan, and like Satan, their true nature is to steal, kill, and destroy. They do this by various methods and means they deem appropriate and pleasant. Interestingly, the scripture does not say the second beast speaks as a lamb, but “as a dragon.” He is a false spiritual leader, a wolf in sheep's clothing: a little lamb with little horns, whose fleece is white as snow, and everywhere the false Mary went, this beast was sure to go. But to those who have spiritual discernment, he speaks like a devil, that old serpent found in the Garden of Eden who “was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.” (Genesis 3:1) The false prophet's words are crafted, indirect, not obvious, ingenious, pleasantly delicate, and understated. He is the head of this world's religions, is a total fraud, and taken in as a holy man.

My friend, this beast is far from what he would have you believe. He is the head of what we might call, “The Judas Religion.” This religion kisses you on the mouth while stabbing you in the back at the same time. And while the false prophet kills, he is costumed in a virgin's bridal gown. Did you ever think of how ludicrous many of the world religious leaders are in their ostentatious vestments? Who in their right mind would wear such things, unless it was just for show, as in show business?  Can you picture them stopping off at the convenience store to pick up a few things dressed in their cumbersome clothing? Truly they are elaborate costumes required to play elaborate and deceptive roles. But listen. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

This reminds me of the Baptist pastor who was preaching on a hot summer day. The air conditioning had gone out, and even though it was still morning, it was stifling in the sanctuary. Probably most of the men who had worn a coat to church laid them aside, but not this pastor. He came up to the pulpit with his usual wide grin, and explained to the congregation why he still had his coat on. (I guess he thought he should give an explanation, seeing they might question his sanity.) The pastor, jokingly and not so jokingly, reminisced it was in his seminary days that they were told the only person that could preach in the pulpit without a coat was Billy Sunday. It was not long after, he became faint from the oppressive heat and stage lights, and had to sit down. Also, I attended another service at a Salvation Army church on a hot morning, and the uniformed preacher explained why his coat was off. Luckily for him, his preaching rules allowed to remove the coat on very hot days, but never the tie around the neck. (Like a dog with his dog tags, I suppose.) Another man I knew, who went to the African mission field in 1920, said they always wore a tie in the bush as a mark of authority. Hopefully, it was wash-n-wear, but I don't think so.

The two horns of the beast represent his religious power that is invested in two institutions and/or individuals. For example, when the Lord Jesus was here the first time, the Jew's religion had two primary horns, or powers, made up of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Also, their religious council was administered by the two powerful priests Annas and Caiaphas. And today there is the false Christianity with its two horns of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. You know, many Protestant denominations claim their spiritual roots go back to the Roman Catholic Church. As a matter of fact, you may have heard one popular TV minister who pines away, and wonders how the Protestants can come back to their mother church again - the one in Rome.

One might want to dismiss these observations of the two horns of religious power mentioned above, except for the fact that those religions, churches, and denominations are not the church of the living God. It is always important to remember, in God's church, the membership is only approved by the Lord Jesus Christ.

So, you can dress in the most elaborate religious-wear in the world, and with every kind of shaped cross, cast in gold or silver or plastic, and garnish your robe and sanctuary with impressive symbols, but “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6) Are you a member God's church? Do you think you can be a member of God's church, and be a member of the one with two horns? I think not.

 

Revelation 13:12

“And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.”

This second beast exercises the power of the first beast's political power. Of course, the power of both comes from the dragon, and this reveals that Satan's plan is doubly deceiving. It is like a marriage between two people, where one member is combative, domineering, and inflexible, while the other is passive, subservient, and yielding: but each person makes up that one marital team. The beasts are, in fact, acting in concert with each other, and it is an Academy Award winning performance with purpose. Every scene and act has been pre-planned, scripted, rehearsed, and tried and tested over time. Truly this is an ancient conspiracy, and they are hypocrites, play actors, that enjoy every minute of their production. I wouldn't put it past them that behind the scenes they boast about their evil dramatic talents.

Without a doubt, the false prophet is worshiped as the spiritual leader of the world and all religions fall under his dominion - all except the true one that is. He is referred to by the names of God, and his devotees bow their knee to him. They kiss his hand like a faithful dog, and are awed by his pageantry, his ornate palace, and his movie star charisma, but it is all a show. As a matter of fact, I have seen young women swoon in the presence of one Roman pope as they would do with their favorite film or music idol.

As the satanic plot thickens, the false prophet directs his devotees to worship the political beast whose deadly wound was healed. However, one of the shortcomings of interpreting prophecy is interpreting it in a physical sense only. In regards to the beast's deadly wound, to some this only means a physical coming back to life after he is killed. Is there a deeper and parallel meaning to this description?

We might interpret this as Satan being cast out of heaven and revived anew in earth with his evil aspirations. We might think of the murderer Cain and his spiritual genes emerging in his son Enoch. We might think of kings of this world who die, and are replaced by the new kings. We might think of the Roman popes that breathe their last and another is enthroned. We might think of the expired terms of presidents and another takes the reins. We might think of dictators killed in coups, whose spirit manifests somewhere else. And we might think of others who have died and another took their place: Alexander, Caesar, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Peron, Batista, Trujillo, Noriega, Kim IL Sung, and Saddam Hussein. In this world's system, the chief villains may die or fade away, but not for long.

When the beast recovers from his deadly wound, the false prophet capitalizes on this event to promote the beast's divine or providential authority. One such case was in regards to Adolph Hitler in World War II. An attempt was made by some in his military to kill him at a meeting with explosives in a briefcase. Fortunately for him, a substantial wooden partition that held up the conference table shielded the blast and though his pants were shredded, and he received a few minor injuries, he survived. “Providence,” his propaganda machine pronounced, had protected their Fuhrer.

There is a simplistic answer for how the false prophet “causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” Besides being worshiped, because of his “divine attributes,” he is worshiped because he rules by fear: for “who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:4) And what he does to instill fear is exercised by the false prophet. Oh, what a crafty serpent Satan is, who has his little lamb mount the beast, like one mounts a horse, and puts him through the course. (Revelation 17:3) You know, Satan exercises all of his servants this way. Some in his stable easily yield to his will, his regulations, and his whims. Some, on the other hand, may require a piercing stare, or a stern command to be kept on the course. And still others may need the spur, the whip, or the rod to carry him whithersoever he would. However, the people of God do not yield to the will of the beast, but rather to the will of God and sing, “The LORD is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid?”  (Psalm 27:1)

For the political beast to instill fear, one need not look long or hard to find examples of his intimidations: unequal justice based on race, rank and privilege compulsory services under threat of imprisonment prisons which torture inmates from one degree to another secret courts, secret prisons, secret police, and secret and unwarranted investigations, etc. And, as it has been said, once you become afraid of your government in a free society, you are no longer free. The worst terrorists are the ones who take away your rights incrementally and “legally.” But the cost of keeping those rights is eternal vigilance and submission to the will of God. (John 8:31-32)

The political beast also instills reverential fear into his slaves by making himself the prime dispenser of social benefits and security. The beast provides for their food, their jobs, and for their welfare in the stead of God, or so he would have them think. And his subjects are like dogs that learn not to bite the hand that feeds them.

 

Revelation 13:13-14

“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”

The beast does great wonders and miracles, but these are not the supernatural wonders and miracles that God does. As you know, there are figures of speech we use, and say something is a “wonder” or a “miracle” but these are not in the supernatural sense.  The light bulb can be called a miracle, but it conforms to the strict laws of nature. The beast's wonders are of this genre.

The political beast brings down fire of his own creation. Thinking about man's history, probably the first fires he witnessed were from heaven - lightning. Perhaps this happened when God slew an animal for sacrifice in the garden, and a lightning bolt consumed it upon the altar. I should think this thunderous ignition instilled a bit of holy fear into Adam and Eve, don't you? What an awesome picture that paints, if it happened that way. Also, we can read of the Lord bringing down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifices Elijah had prepared in I Kings 18:38-40. And so, the devil has been trying to mimic that lightning from heaven as a tool of terror.

A side note about lightning:

Once, in the middle of a rainstorm, I thought I'd go sit under the patio's roof and watch the lightning. As I sat in the swinging chair, I was thinking how I was immune to a lightning strike because my Father was God. Well, in short order, a bolt struck very close by with a huge clap of violent thunder, and I scurried into the house for shelter. One can be too laid-back about the Almighty, and forget that he is not only to be wondered at, but feared as well.

Fire, like almost everything and every convenience of man, can be used for good or for evil. There was the first time fire, which heats the home and cooks the food, was used as a weapon of fear and destruction. Men would set ablaze their enemy's house, or barn, or field, or even their clothes. Then, after the bow and arrow came along, fiery darts were used as missiles to do the same, but from a greater and safer distance. And as knowledge and technology increased, there was the firing of gunpowder in a musket or cannon that propelled a lethal projectile to the firing of rifled artillery to the firing of present-day hydrogen bombs and missiles that can evaporate whole cities in a monstrous fireball. And if you think about it, many military terms are derived from the simple word fire: firearms, gunfire, firing squad, hold your fire, commence firing, cease firing, hang fire, fire in the hole, Fire, fireball, firebomb, firebrand, firefight, firing line, firepower, and firestorm, to name some.  Truly, this is the kind of fire the beast brings down from heaven. Therefore, the world in shock and awe shutters, “Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?”

In spite of all of the beast's bravado, intimidation, and fire, the Bible reveals this fact about him: “They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms That made the world as a wilderness and destroyed the cities thereof that opened not the house of his prisoners?”(Isaiah 14:6-17) He uses his terrorizing tactics to deceive the world into thinking he is the universal force to be reckoned with, to submit to, and worship instead of God.

Also, the false prophet promotes the making of the beast's image to worship, and this is idolatry. It has been said, there is a devil behind every idol, and that every devil is seeking to have someone bow the knee to him. One of Webster's 1828 dictionary definitions of an idol is “a devil.” And some modern dictionaries define an idol as “a false god.” How ironic that most so-called Christian churches have at least one idol standing in their sanctuary, which is the abomination that makes desolate. Who is promoting this idolatry in the churches? Who is promoting the worshipping of men and their images? You may refresh your recollection of the definition of “worship” in the beginning of the commentary at Revelation 13:4.

 

Revelation 13:15

“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”

With this verse, you will have to do some out-of-the-box thinking. For one thing, I have never heard anyone interpret it other than EVERYONE will hear and see the beast's image that speaks. I do not read that everyone is necessarily included. But I do know there are individuals who literally hear a spiritual voice from images. These spirits are directing their lives, and we are not talking about “crazy” people. As a matter of fact, the Lord Jesus, while in his wilderness temptation, heard directly from Satan, but he could discern and reject him. It is no difficult task for Satan to spiritually speak through an image though few may literally hear.

There are very public figures who say they privately talk with the dead, with images, and statues, and busts of famous people. They also receive directions to govern their lives, and even the lives of nations during these conversations. Some publicly admit talking to Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower, and they are not joking though most people think they are. By the way, these are elected officials, and that is a commentary of those who elect them. As we read, the false prophet in verse 15 is the moving force behind the people worshipping the image. I should think this false shepherd reports to his goats the conversations he has with the image, and this gives it “life.” Of course, this trick is nothing new. Many people have reported communicating with idols, with other spiritual beings, or with apparitions as three children did in 1917 at Fatima, Spain. These kids reported hearing from the Virgin Mary, much to the joy of the future tourist trade. (By the way, if Satan dressed up like a woman and told you he was the mother of Jesus, would you believe him?) And so, as men practice idolatry, they are well noted by Satan and his cohorts, for they, the devils, are being worshiped. Of course, the devils also note those who do not worship their images.

In regards to the modern practice of idolatry, while I was in the New York area for a while, I happened to go through St. Patrick's Cathedral several times. On the outside of the outer aisles are several kneeling stations which face idols. Here the ignorant and deceived worship. But for those tourists, who do not worship the idols, it must agitate those devils greatly.

Besides the false prophet being a mediator between the people and the image, we see that people can respond directly to the image's silent spiritual voice. Think about it. Why do the idol worshippers kneel to the idol? Because the idol is telling them to kneel.  Why do the idol worshippers speak to the idol? Because the idol is telling them to speak.  Why do the idol worshippers pledge their allegiance to the idol? Because the idol demands their pledge.  Of course, some are more willing than others to obey, but they all are obeying a spiritual voice, nevertheless. This was not so in the case of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Some of you will think this is all a fanciful interpretation, but here is a little imaginary situation to put yourself in to check it out:

If you were at church one day (like I was) and the congregation is told to stand up and face the image, and pledge their allegiance to it, would you do it? Most people would, because, not pledging one's allegiance is making a loud public statement against an idolatrous tradition. Listen. What can possibly be wrong or immoral or illegal about NOT pledging one's allegiance to an idol? Nothing! But to the devil's boys, it is taking a stand against the beast and his master. And so, those that will go the path of least resistance in this world will worship the idol. When the image of the beast says, “Stand,” they stand. And when the image of the beast says, “Remove your hat,” they remove their hat. And when the image of the beast says, “Place your right hand over your heart,” they place. And when the image of the beast says, “Salute,” they salute. And when the image of the beast says, “Pray to me,” they pledge. And when the image of the beast says, “Jump,” the beast's boys say, “How high?”

When I was in elementary school, the first thing the class did every day was to pledge their allegiance to the flag. Of course, we had to memorize the pledge in our head, and we practiced placing our right hand on our chest while we said it. [“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads...”  (Revelation 13:16)]  As for me and my house, we start with the Lord Jesus Christ in Bible reading, followed by pledging our allegiance to God in prayer.  How about you? Anyway, in elementary school, one student did not pledge his allegiance to the flag because of religious reasons, though he did stand up. We didn't think any ill of him, as I remember, but so many years later, I still can picture him clearly, and remember his name. By the way, his religious group was persecuted by the Nazis in World War II, and, evidently, several thousands of them were murdered, because they refused to pledge their allegiance to Hitler and his images. Can it happen here?

Well, here is a little reality situation to try out next time you attend a public school or other governmental function:

When they have you stand up to pledge your allegiance to the flag - don't. You will immediately sense the malevolent spirit of the beast rise up against you for not worshipping him. Isn't it interesting, the flag is not even an item or an issue in the Constitution, but only a tradition: like church traditions that make the commandments of God of none effect. (Matthew 15:6)

 

Revelation 13:16-17

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

Everyone in the beast's world is equal in one sense: they all receive a mark in their hand, or in their forehead. One may find the root of this mystery, as well as others, in the beginning of the books - Genesis.

In Genesis Chapter 4, we read that Cain was the first person to have a mark. He was also the first murderer, the victim being his brother Abel. Evidently, when God confronted him about the crime, he was neither remorseful nor repentant. He was, however, fearful if he were caught by revengeful relatives, they would murder him in retaliation. Cain was very symptomatic of the sinful nature: he was only sorry he got caught. However, God did not call a sheriff to arrest him or summons a jury or sit a judge to meet out justice nor did he build a prison to put him in. But “the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.” (Genesis 4:15) Perhaps Cain was proud of his mark and boasted about it, because it was a warning to others of vengeance to come if anyone killed him. I think this was a spiritual mark that signified Cain was a reprobate, eternally hopeless, and damned. The righteous folk sensed he was a “marked man,” and the Lord would judge him in due time, and by due process. Our example of patiently waiting for God's judgment is found in our Lord Jesus Christ, who let Judas Iscariot play out his evil role to the end. (John 6:70-71 17:12) God's people are not to take things into their own hands and meet out justice, for the Lord will meet out justice.

Ever since the mark of the beast was revealed to the church, there have been all sorts of speculations of what it will be, and how it will be implemented. Tattoos have been forefront in the discussion, and now computer chips, and transponders. But more important than the physical manifestation of the mark, is the spiritual mark of the beast that has been throughout history. (Of course, if you take that one, you are a goner for sure anyway.)

To understand “the mark” is the definition of the word itself. A mark is a sign, indication, impression, scratch, scar, stain, a target, a distinguishing trait or quality, a characteristic, and a cross made in the place of a signature. If we think about the spiritual quality or mark of the beast, let the obvious be stated first. The beast is a BEAST and cannot be a godly man. The dragon, who is the master of all his pets, including the beast, has trained his animals to perform in various ways and capacities. They are his slaves, and like Pavlovian dogs, are taught by trick, or treat, or by both, to do his will.

You see, Satan has taken men and twisted them into his own image, and they have a beastly quality about them. In other words, they are marked with his spiritual scent. We can read about their mark: “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” (Philippines 3:18:19)  “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not and shall utterly perish in their own corruption And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time.  Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness...” (2 Peter 2:12-15) The scriptural descriptions of them are not a few.

Both beasts described in this chapter are the two premier world leaders: the political leader and the religious leader. Let him that hath ears to hear, let him hear. This is why, when God became flesh to show us the way, he did not rise out of the world's royal family, or come out of the world's regal religion to sit upon a throne. Indeed, Jesus Christ declared to this world that rejected him, “Ye are from beneath I am from above: ye are of this world I am not of this world.” (John 8:23) We believers are from above as well, and can read how Satan's chief priests received our Lord Jesus Christ: with spit in the face, buffeting, and smiting with their palms, and hands, and reeds. And how Satan's king greeted him: with accusation and mockery. And how Satan's governor welcomed him: by stripping him naked, and nailing him to a cross offering him vinegar to drink, and placing a spear in the side. This, my friend, is how the Prince of Peace was treated, and he has warned us: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”  (John 15:18-19) And of course, you will find the many references to that fact in the lives of the apostles and Old Testament prophets as well

Also, you may note in scripture the lack of believers, after they were saved, enrolling in a seminary, a Bible school, or receiving a doctorate in theology. Paul, for one, had an institutional education in religion BEFORE salvation. And, as a matter of fact, the Lord Jesus said to Nicodemus, a master teacher of the Jews: “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” (John 3:12) He, Nicodemus, was not a believer at that point, and though highly educated, he could not understand spiritual truths. And furthermore, we have no real evidence that he ever did get saved. The last report on him was his helping to bury someone he thought came from God. Also, Nicodemus only called Jesus “Rabbi,” but he never called him Lord. That sounds like many preachers today in the pulpit: they like to be called Pastor, Reverend, Bishop, Doctor, Pope, etc., but they address the great God of the universe by his first name only, like they do with their little lackluster laity.  Even people who are in the habit of using Mister, Misses and Miss with strangers, or with friends, will call the Lord by his first name only but they will never call him, “Mister Jesus.” Now, that will sound a little strange to most of you at first, but think about it. If one met the President of the United States, one would address him as Mr. President, or at the very least, Mr. Lastname. But if one met up with God, the same person would just call him “Jesus,” right? The scripture teaches: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Who do you say he is?

Now, as we look on the other side of the colon of Revelation 13:16-17, we understand that the mark of the beast is found in his slave's right hand or forehead. Of course, that may mean in a literal sense, such as a tattoo, or microchip but the spiritual application is paramount.  Also, the mark is on the medium of exchange, money, which belongs to the beast. Didn't you notice that the money you earn and call yours doesn't have your mark, name, number, or image on it? This fact is no secret because it is revealed in Matthew 22:17-21. Yes, folks, the devil is using the monetary medium of exchange to manipulate, brainwash, and control the hearts and minds of men, to put his mark upon their souls.  Has the beast mastered you like a dog with his mammon, or have you mastered the beast's mammon by the power of the Holy Ghost? But those who are mastered by the beast have his marked characteristics because they are like him, and they belong to him and they have the opposite characteristics of the sons of God.

As you may have figured out, the beast's people do the deeds of the beast with their right hand, or their dominant hand or have given their thoughts over to the beast in their foreheads. By the way, the forefront of your brain is where your conscious thought is located.  Contrastingly, the sons of God have their Father's seal and name written in their foreheads, and their conscious thoughts have been given over to, and mastered by, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Revelation 7:3 14:1 22:4)

Here are some family characteristics of the serpent's beasts and prophets:

Political Beasts:

1. They are predators like the carnivores leopard, with powerful propelling paws of a bear, and an intimidating prideful roar of a lion.

2. They have seven heads with distinct personalities to play, depending on what performance is required.

3. They have ten horns, or the human power and intelligence to organize and carry out their evil agendas.

4. They have ten crowns upon the horns, which indicate their organizations have a system of hierarchy, from one person at the top, to the many below. This is often called the pyramid structure, or chain of command.

Religious Beasts:

5. They can masquerade as docile, peace seeking, pious religious potentates.

6. They do not wage wars themselves, but they exercise the political beasts to do so.

7. They promote the worship of the political beasts and their images and proclaim the beasts are God's vessels of righteousness.

8. They are the moving and shaking force of the political beasts and their agendas, whether they appear to be or not.

Other characteristics of the beasts and false prophets from Revelation Chapters 17 and 18:

9. They are the creators and glorifiers of the cities of the world, which are the devil's spiritual strongholds.

10. They are given over to fornication.

11. They are given over to idolatry.

12. They are given over to the use of sorcery, magic, and drugs, of which alcohol has been chief.

13. They are given over to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

14. They become euphoric by killing and are covered in the blood of their victims, especially the saints of God.

If you are not aware of the gravity of this life, and the devils masquerading around as men, you are still operating in ignorance. The Lord Jesus Christ pointed out the reality of the beastly bunch:

“Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.” (John 6:70-71)

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)

“O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?” (Acts 13:10)

“He that committeth sin is of the devil for the devil sinneth from the beginning.” (1 John 3:8)

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1 John 3:9-10)

Of course, the bottom line of describing those who have the mark of the beast is - they are a chip off the ol' block.

 

Revelation 13:18

“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”

Wisdom and knowledge are different. Wisdom is how to use knowledge in the best way. I would suggest that the Lord imparts knowledge about the beast for us to use at this time. Here the Lord states: “Let him....” In other words, we are allowed to count, or calculate, the number of the beast. Why?

First, consider this about the Lord: “He telleth the number of the stars he calleth them all by their names.” (Psalm 147:4) If there are millions and billions of stars God has named, he has named all his angles as well. How wonderful the infinite personal capabilities of the Lord. On the other hand, the finite devil cannot do such things, and must resort to impersonal serial numbering, as one does for licensing dogs, prize pigs, and, of course, people. Most people, however, give little thought about the identification process. As a matter of fact, back in the earlier days, when one had to apply for a social security number, it was a happy occasion to be issued one from Uncle Sam. But listen. An uncle is not your uncle if he taxes you and gives you a number, right? He also gives rifles, one dollar bills, and convicts numbers too. Ironically, an army recruit looks forward to his G. I. “dog tags” to wear around his neck, much like his pooch wears back home at the behest of the rabies officer.

By the way, that reminds me of the guy that filled out the info for his dog tags in boot camp. On the form was a place for religion and he put “Christian.” Evidentially there wasn't such a religion in the military, and his dog tags were stamped, “No Pref.” for No Preference. However, if he had put Roman Catholic, Jew, Muslim, or Wiccan, he'd get that, I am sure. Hey, maybe it is a good thing they don't put Christian on dog tags because Christians are not dogs. I hear, also, in the Veterans Administration, when you fill out a questionnaire and put Christian as your religion, the best they will record you as is “Christian Scientist.” Wake up and smell the coffee. The devil's boys want all the Christians to be divided up in denominations, as it is easier to conquer them. How about you? Are you a Christian or are you a Roman Catholic? Are you a Christian or are you a Methodist? Are you a Christian or are you a Baptist? Well, again that reminds me of another story.

One time, down at the Laundromat early in the morning, I was the only one there. Some Watchtower magazines were lying around, so I cleaned up the place and tossed them into the trashcan. Shortly thereafter, a woman dressed in a suit was heading for the entry, and I perceived she was one them. Quickly I asked the Lord for advice if she were to engage me in conversation. You know, they like to meet together and figure out how to argue, especially with those they aren't going to persuade, and they're pretty good at it, too. Well, sure enough, she started it, and I was rather surprised at what came out of my mouth, and over and over again. I guess ol' fashion repetitious teaching was in order. I was loudly proclaiming something like this: “If Jesus Christ is the way, then the Roman Catholics are not the way. If Jesus Christ is the way, then the Methodists are not the way. If Jesus Christ is the way, then the Baptists are not the way. And if Jesus Christ is the way, then the Watchtower bunch is not the way!”  Of course, she tried to get me back on her ball field again to play by her rules, but the same proclamation kept coming out of my mouth. Shortly thereafter, she left in a huff. In regards to her particular group, I have never known any who have understood what “born again” means, nor the Mormon door-to-door salesmen. (John 3:1-12)

Back to verse 18 again:

We are not a number to God because he knows and cherishes us as individuals. The beast, on the other hand, does like astronomers do with stars, and gives people numbers in order to track them. And in his rebellion against God, he glories in his personal number. In fact, ol' 666 likes to flaunt his digits boldly or slightly veiled, or camouflaged extensively, depending on the situation but he cannot help expressing it.  His pride compels him to do so. You see, it is HIS number and the number of HIS name and He is important and the ruler of this world.  And his number, being his name, is like a math equation: Name O. Beast = 666: or, 666 = Name O. Beast. In the same way, a social security number is a person's name. Did you ever have an appointment and have to confirm your identify with a number? Perhaps the clerk, teller, or secretary asked, “What's your social?” or “What's your last four?” Or they wanted your driver's license number (not your name) for check approval? In these cases, your number is your name, because it is your number that counts in this world's scheme of things. It is also much easier to track your activities by your number than by your name, and they are counting on you to use it.

Now, if God is giving us knowledge about the beast's number, and letting us calculate it for wisdom's sake, we ought to do it, don't you think? It must be beneficial to us and the body of Christ. What could it be? One reason is to simply verify what the Lord says is true, and to help identify the works and tracks of the devil. Isn't the Lord good about encouraging our faith and developing it? Remember the time the Lord told Abraham that he was going to have more descendants than the sands of the sea and the stars of heaven? Well, Abraham didn't see it come about, but he believed it in his heart. Later, against all odds, he and Sarah had a child, which was also a promise, and part of the promise to come. In the same way, God encourages us about the truth along the way. You see, the beast and his boys are literally leaving tracks all around, and God wants us to see them. But, remember, God doesn't have a number for you, as he doesn't have a number for himself. He is the Word of God, and has authored the word of God, but he is not the Numeral of God.

In the Authorized Version of the Bible, the number of the beast is not only written in words, but it is written in a way that one has to do a little counting or calculating. Actually, you may have counted the number of the beast unknowingly, because it can be simple sometimes. For example, “three score” is three times a score, 3x20 = 60 and the beast's whole number calculated is: 600 + (20+20+20) +6 = 666.

In the Old Testament, the number of the beast is used twice, exactly the same as it is in Revelation: “Six hundred threescore and six.” They are found in I Kings 10:14, and II Chronicles 9:13, and are in regards to an incidence of taxing.  Another time in the Old Testament is found, but written differently, is in Ezra 2:13 about a census: “six hundred sixty and six.” However, some modern translations do not write out the beast's number in words, and you cannot make out the subtle differences mentioned above. The I Kings citation is an amount of tax money collected from kingdoms subject to Solomon, and the Ezra citation is about a census. How significant these two subjects are (taxing and census) in regards to the number of the beast. If we think of Caesars as being types of beasts, we must remember when the first world taxation and census occurred, it was when baby Jesus was in the womb of his mother. Caesar Augustus ordered it to demonstrate his supremacy: for those who must pay are the ones conquered, numbered, and inventoried as chattel.

Interestingly, Adolf Hitler had a veiled number of the beast you can read about. Even though he was the head of the Nazis (National Socialist Workers Party) he was not its founder, nor was he issued the first membership number. His number was 555, which is an occult number, and one of the favorites of the Freemasons. Some say it is a soft way of saying 666. Also, 5 is a peculiar number when multiplied by 12, because it expresses the number 6. For example: .05 x 12 = 6 5x12 = 60 55x12 = 660 55.5x12 = 666. Coincidently (not), if you type a shifted 555, you come up with %%%, or six in zeros and a shifted 666 comes up with ^^^, or Roman Numerals 555 upside down. It has been said, if the devil can only use one numeral, he will try to use a 6 or if two numerals, a 66, as in the famous Route 66. Here's a good one. The Apple I computer, for instance, was first offered to the public for $666.66 by the company's founder, Steven Jobs. Almost unbelievable, eh?  In any case, so the Nazi Party would not seem small when it was formed, the membership numbers started at 501. Hitler was its 54th member and became party member 555.

If one is interested, there are many resources about counting the number of the beast. Some of them are astonishing, and can be very simple to figure out, or very complex. I will just cite a few obvious ones that are easy to count:

The first six principle Roman numerals, used as a number, add up to 666 = DCLXVI.

D = 500

C = 100

L = 50

X = 10

V = 5

I = 1

1776 in Roman Numerals is MDCCLXXVI and has all the first six principle Roman numerals.

999 upside down = 666

The initials for the World Wide Web are www. The equivalent of “w” in the Hebrew alphabet also has a numerical value of 6: www = 666.

There are many logos that have 666 obviously and not so obviously displayed in them. The New International Bible uses 666 as a logo. And, as an added note of interest, it is in John 6:66 that Judas Iscariot is identified as “a devil.”

In conclusion:

The Lord Jesus Christ wrote this chapter, and all scripture, for our benefit in the here and now. If you are waiting for most of the events in Revelation to unfold at some time in the future, you will always be waiting, and they will never arrive. On the other hand, if you can receive it, the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is not only a prophecy of the future, but a history of the past, and the revelation of the good Videos of today. How wonderful is the love of God, that he would tell us the truth, and expose the deceptions of Satan, enabling us to operate more effectively in this world, until we take our last breath here and our next breath with him.

If you are not born again of God's Spirit, or are not sure you are and want to be, it is simply a matter of believing who the Bible says Jesus Christ is, and following him the rest of your life. I love him more than anything and anybody. When my life was totally destroyed, a man told me that God loved me and to read my Bible. Well, I was so desperate I took his advice and read the New Testament over and over again. After a while, I started to wonder if Jesus was really the Son of God, and if he was, maybe he could help me. But if he couldn't help me, I figured no one else could.

So, one day in the den of my folks' house, all alone and not in a church building, I decided to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God that he had personally died on the cross to pay the penalty for my personal sins that he came back to life after three days, and sits on the throne of God at this very moment. My friend, when I made that discussion, my life was changed forever, and I knew beyond a doubt that it was all true what the Bible says about him. I wouldn't want to go back to what I was for all the kingdoms and money in the world. Having the things of this world is nothing compared to knowing that I am one of God's children, and he loves me as much as he loves his only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for saving my soul! I hope you have this victory too.

Here are a few parting verses from the Book of Revelation you might consider:

“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.” (Revelation 15:2)

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face and his name shall be in their foreheads.  And there shall be no night there and they need no candle, neither light of the sun for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:1-5)

 

 Maranatha

 


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Amen