The Beast Rising:
Revelation Chapter Thirteen
Part One - Verses One through Ten
The Beast Rising
We open the wondrous book of Revelation and we observe the Apostle John on the island of Patmos. Pages turn and we begin to follow him on his supernatural journey to heaven, then back to earth again where we see him as a representative of the church being commissioned to preach the Gospel in Chapter Ten. In Chapter Eleven he is in Jerusalem, and then in Chapter Thirteen, his journey has come full circle and we find him once again on his prison island where he receives the final visions that chronicle the period of time that directly precedes the second coming of the Lord Jesus.
The Roman Empire was firmly established when the Apostle John witnessed the emergence of another horrific empire.
And I stood upon the sand of the sea… (13:1).
John is beholding this vision, not from his previous vantage
point in heaven (Rev. 4 -9), but is now standing on a beach; most likely on his prison island of Patmos. Because John is a similitude of the bride of Christ, this indicates that what John is seeing, the future church will witness as well, at least in its initial stages – the beast rising.
…and saw a beast rise up out of the sea…
The rising suggests a process, something that will develop over a period of time. Daniel also witnessed the emergence of four distinct world empires rise out of the sea (Daniel 7:3) representing the empire he was in, and three others that had not yet arrived. The time span represented by those empires yet to be was approximately one thousand years. Likewise, the empire John is being shown also requires many years before its final emergence upon the world's stage.
The sea represents the world, waters, which are peoples, nations and tongues (17:18). This suggests that the last empire develops from a co-operative effort of many nations that are united.
…having seven heads and ten horns, (these horns are symbols of power and authority) and upon his horns, ten crowns (kings), and upon his heads the name of blasphemy (13:1).
This beast makes its first appearance in Rev. 12:3, "the great red dragon," where it is depicted as the devil. We noted in that chapter he has crowns on his heads, but not the horns, signifying a change that has transpired from the time of Jesus’ birth and ascension, to the future manifestation of this creature in John’s vision. Crowns are now seen on the horns; symbolizing that his control over the kingdoms and authorities that have submitted to his power and influence over the centuries has expanded, as we shall see.
And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his seat and great authority (13:2).
When Jesus was being tempted by the devil in the wilderness, the Lord was shown all the kingdoms of the world. The devil said, “All these things will I give you, if you fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9).
Therefore Satan worship is apparently the root of this emerging empire; thus the intelligences behind this system, the “heads” are marked with the name of “blasphemy.”
John is also informed by the angel in Revelation 17:8, that this beast or empire "shall arise out of the bottomless pit." This system is totally demonic in origin and it "shall" arise, in other words, this is not a reference to the Rome of John's day; the horrific empire that John is seeing is a future event.
In order to understand what John is being shown, we must return to the prophecies contained in the book of Daniel.
The Old Testament chronicles the many years God had been pleading with His people to separate from the practices of the heathen nations and return to Him. They continually refused to heed His warnings, and the prophet Jeremiah told them they would be brought into captivity by Babylon and that captivity would last for seventy years.
Jerusalem was captured by Nebuchadnezzar and Solomon’s grand temple was destroyed, thus beginning the “Times of the Gentiles” which would continue until the second coming of Christ.
Among the captives taken to Babylon were Daniel and his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, who maintained their separation to God throughout their captivity. This gave them supernatural protection from the Lord, and they are symbols of the remnant that God protects during tribulation in every generation.
King Nebuchadnezzar had a disturbing dream of an image that he could not remember. God gave the hidden details of the dream to Daniel which he related to the king and gave him and us the interpretation.
The image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass; his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
You watched until you saw that a stone (the Messiah) was cut without hands (a work of God) which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke it to pieces.
Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver and the gold, broken in pieces together, and became like chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth (Daniel. 2:32-35).
The image represents four world kingdoms (Daniel 2:37-44) which correlates to Daniel’s vision of the same kingdoms which he received many years later during the reign of Belshazzar in Daniel 7: 1-14.
The first kingdom, the “head of gold” is Babylon – Daniel 2:37, 38 – “the winged lion” of Daniel 7:4.
The second “inferior” kingdom that followed Babylon as history attests is Medo-Persia, “like to a bear”- Daniel 7:5, and is also seen as a ram (Daniel 8:3, 4).
The third kingdom, the “belly and thighs of brass” that would “rule over all the earth” (Daniel 2:39) was Greece represented by a four headed leopard (Daniel 7:6), and a he-goat (Daniel 8:5). The he-goat is Alexander the Great, whose great horn (power) was eventually broken and his kingdom was divided between his four generals (Daniel 8:8). It was from the Syrian portion of the Greek kingdom that the foreshadow of the antichrist, Antiochus Epiphanes would arise (Daniel 8:9-14).
The fourth kingdom, the legs of iron, was the Roman Empire of John’s day that “subdues all things.” It had iron teeth and ten horns (Daniel 7:7).
This kingdom was divided and dissipated, but we see in Daniel seven that this kingdom will also be in existence when the Lord returns; Until the Ancient of Days came (Daniel 7: 19, 22), and is the beast that is cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20).
Yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him, (Daniel 11:45).This is the fulfillment of the vision of the stone cut without hands hitting the “feet” of Nebuchadnezzar’s image, which includes the reign of the antichrist who is destroyed with the beast (Rev. 19:20).
There is a definite distinction made between the “legs of iron,” the Roman Empire of John’s day that dissipated, and the iron/clay feet – the “toes” of the image that experiences a violent end when the Lord returns.
Daniel interprets the feet for us. –
And whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potter’s clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided… (2:41).
The Roman Empire was divided into two kingdoms, Western and Eastern in 395 AD.
…but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay.
And as the toes of the feet were part of iron and part of clay so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken (2:42).
And whereas you saw iron mixed with miry clay “they” shall mingle themselves with the seed of men but shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay (2:43).
This suggests a demonic influence on the leadership; “iron” mingling with clay, the seed of men.
While part of this prophecy is referring to the division and dissipation of the first Roman Empire, Daniel makes a distinction between the time of the legs (46 BC - 476 AD) and the “toes” of the feet (Daniel 2:42).
And in the days of these kings (the toes of the feet) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed (Daniel 2:44) – the great mountain that fills the whole earth, (Daniel 2:35).
These ten toes/kings correlate to the ten crowns on the horns of the beast that John sees rising out of the sea. John is told by the angel in Rev. 17:12 that these kings “have received no kingdom as yet.” Thus what John is beholding is the emergence of the “feet,” the kingdom that will be destroyed violently at the Lord’s return. This kingdom is referred to by some as, “the Revived Roman Empire.” (The antichrist emerges from these "horns" in Daniel 7:20 and is reigning until the Lord returns, Daniel 7:22).
In Daniel seven we see the fourth beast, the Roman Empire, “the legs of iron” devouring and breaking with its iron teeth, but stamps the residue (what remains - the last generation) with its feet (Daniel 7:19); the Revived Roman Empire, the feet that the Stone (Jesus) smashes at His coming.
And the Lord’s kingdom -
shall not be left to other people, but it shall consume all these kingdoms (the toes/horns) and it shall stand forever- Daniel 2:44.
As we continue to contemplate with John the emergence of this latter day empire, we recognize that the animals that comprise this creature’s body are the same animals that represented the ancient kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. While at one time these were entire kingdoms each having their own turn at world conquest for a specific season, here they are operating simultaneously as one.
The leopard body with its counterpart to ancient Greece tells us that the beast rules “over all the earth” (Daniel 2:39).
The bear of Medo-Persia that is counseled to “devour much flesh” (Daniel 7:5), and swallowed the empires of Egypt, the Chaldeans and the Lydian kingdom (the three ribs in its mouth, Daniel 7:5), had an insatiable appetite for casualties. As the feet of this revived Roman Empire, the bear “tramples the residue” mimicking the brutality of the previous Roman Empire that slaughtered thousands and sold multitudes into slavery.
The lion’s mouth of Babylon that was famous for its resplendent, decadent city tells us that this system may also have a similar representative city; and is symbolic of the pagan influence upon the apostate church.
Today we have three major world powers, the United States of America, the lion (from the English coat of arms, its country of origin), Russia, the bear and the Asian leopard China. If this interpretation applies, then all three of these nations are co-operating with the development of the one world beast economic empire.
We continue to behold this monster in John’s vision, and we see one beast, plural in its construction, being directed by seven heads representing an elite group of intelligences, both human and demonic that have made league with the devil. They are a perfect union of minds with one purpose; the domination of the planet with the ruthlessness and brutality of all the previous world kingdoms combined. It is a multi-level corporation of evil; iron demons mingled with clay, the seed of men to tread the residue with its feet – one revived Roman Empire.
The Rome of John’s day divides and dissipates, the Revived Roman Empire of the last days before Jesus returns is destroyed violently and all the powers of the previous and present kingdoms that this beast represents, the lion, the leopard and the bear, the fourth kingdom and its toes/crowns of demon worshipping kings of this alliance of nations united against God and His people, are disintegrated “like chaff of the summer threshing floors, and the wind carried them away.”
Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundation of the earth? It is He that sits upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in: That brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth as vanity. Yes, they shall not be sown: yes, their stock shall not take root in the earth and He shall blow upon them, and they shall wither, and the whirlwind shall take them away as stubble (Isaiah 40:21-24).
As we continue to study the structure of this emerging beast, we recognize that the horns of the beast, which represent power and authority, are coming from the seven heads/minds or strongholds, and these horns have crowns representing the government leaderships that are operating under the authority and influence of these seven. These are not literal numbers but symbolic, as there have been many that have been involved in the formation of this government through the years as the beast is rising.
While the heads obviously represent human and/or demonic intelligences, John is told by the angel in Revelation 17:10 that these heads represent “mountains,” which are symbols of power, authority, and can represent kingdoms (Rev. 17:9). When Jesus comes again His Mountain fills the whole earth (Daniel 2:35).
These mountains are seen in existence prior to the Lord’s return carrying the “whore,” the apostate church in Rev. 17:3, 9. -
So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of the names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
And here is the mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits.
Some have interpreted this to mean that the seven mountains represent the seven hills that surround Rome, so the apostate church must be the Catholic Church. But there are also seven hills around Jerusalem – and Worcester, Massachusetts!
The mountains have a much broader interpretation than just literal mountains. Mountains have existed for thousands of years, likewise, these mountains in Revelation represent the ancient demonic strongholds that are seen carrying, or moving the apostate Christian church no matter what denomination she represents. This church is not led by the Spirit of Jesus, but the Spirit of the world, and this would also apply to those Jews who have rejected the Messiah Jesus.
These mountains also represent the powers behind all the previous world empires.
The angel continues to inform John and us that there are seven “kings,” (Rev. 17:10) five of which are fallen. There were five previous world empires; Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia and Greece. “One is,” which is a reference to the Rome of John’s day, and “the other has not yet come.” The one yet to come is the final world empire. The kings are symbolic of the many individual leaderships of these empires and are the same demonically influenced type of leaderships that spawned the previous world empires through an insatiable lust for power and control.
The beast that “was, and is not, and yet is” (a reference to its demonic origins (Rev. 17:8) its formation in secret and its relationship to the first Roman Empire that dissolved and will be revived in some form in the future) is the eighth and is of (or "belongs to" as some translations read) the seven (Rev. 17:11). This beast is not referred to as a king in most translations. It is the beast of Revelation thirteen, which is seen carrying the whore (Rev. 17:3) and is symbolic of the entire seven empires. It is not an eighth king, or empire. When we carefully examine all the prophecies contained in Daniel, we can see no precedent for an eighth empire, or "king". We are shown only seven kings representing seven world empires. The seventh “king” or empire would continue a short space. This last empire would not endure as long as any of the previous world empires. Because it is the last and most deceptively evil of all the previous world empires, its time would be shortened for the sake of the elect (Matthew 24:22).
The beast that is the “eighth of the seven” is telling us that this beast is the seventh empire and most likely represents the culmination of all the previous world empires in spirit. This relates back to the vision of the image in Daniel, where we see all the previous world empires being destroyed at the same time when the Lord returns, even though the six empires are no longer in existence literally. We are being shown that in the beast, the powers those empires represent, the "mountains," demonic strongholds, and the intelligences they represent, are still operating. Thus these powers are destroyed once and for all when the beast is cast into the lake of fire when Jesus returns and smashes the toes of the feet of image. There will never be another demonic empire allowed to exist on the Lord’s earth. Children, let us rejoice in advance!
The angel continues to show us that the ten horns on the beast represent ten kings/governments that have no kingdom as yet, but will at some time in the future reign with the beast (17:12); And as we have seen, these are the ten kings that are the ten toes in Daniel's vision (Daniel 2:44), and are the kings who are unified with the beast when Jesus returns (Rev. 19:19). So we recognize that even though the heads/mountains represent the intelligences behind the previous world kingdoms, that same influence will be controlling the “ten” who are operating simultaneously “one hour” with the beast (Revelation 17:12).
If we visualize the seven heads mimicking the oval of a human head on the shoulders of the beast, then we can picture them forming a circle above its roaring lion-like mouth. We have been shown that these heads are “mountains,” demonic strongholds representing the intelligences behind the previous world empires. These heads also represent the hidden demonically controlled “inner circle” of people “kings,” that have worked in previous years and are currently working behind the scenes to bring about this one world government. These are the same type of people who through the ages have taken the devil up on his offer to worship him in exchange for a brief fling with wealth and power. Again; the horns, representing power and authority, are coming from the “heads” influencing the ten kings; government representatives under the control of the “heads.”
There are demonic ruling “princes” over these governments that are part of this system. Daniel is told that the angel must go and fight the “prince” of Persia, referring to the fallen angel which had control over the previous world kingdom that would follow the reign of Babylon (Daniel 10:20). Likewise there is a demonic “prince” operating to influence and control each head and king related to the beast.
The angel that was sent to respond to Daniel’s prayer was hindered one hundred and twenty days, until another angel, Michael, was sent to help him (Daniel 10:13). We are shown here that demon princes of the kingdoms/strongholds operate to hinder the prayers of God’s people, and instigate persecution.
In Jesus every believer has been given authority over the devil and his cohorts. This is illustrated for us throughout the gospels; the disciples had power through Christ to cast out demons in individuals; but demonic strongholds, kingdoms, “mountains” must be dealt with in a different way. These are the demon ruled governments that have been given permission to operate through the people who have submitted to the devil’s authority. He is the prince of this world. He has been given this position through the will of man by their disobedience to God; thus, these strongholds must be dealt with by God Himself. - The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly (Romans 16:20).
The beast kingdom is removed by Jesus at His return (Rev. 19:20), the feet are smashed and the Lord’s mountain or kingdom fills the whole earth (Daniel 2:35).
While the strongholds must be dealt with by God, we can by prayer, stop or hinder the demonic hindrances to us personally. We can pray for God to send angels to chase and persecute our enemies, those demonic forces that are working to hinder us and our work for the Lord. David prayed this example. –
Let them be like chaff before the wind, and let the angel of the Lord chase them. Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the Lord pursue them (Psalm 35: 5, 6).
Those enemies are the demons that are trying to harm you through others and hinder your prayers. We can pray to the Lord following David’s example and release that extra angelic help, just as Michael was sent to aid the angel that was coming to answer Daniel’s prayer. Now through the revelation in the Scriptures we have been shown what is operating in the unseen realm. We can pray through the authority that has been given to us in Jesus to hinder the devil from operating against us and through individuals he sends to persecute us, when we target our prayers against those demonic influences operating in the people - making sure that when we do this there is no unrepented sin in our lives for these prayers to be effective and to avoid demonic retaliation.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that -
We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).
We wrestle, endure, and God gives us the victory through the mighty name of Jesus.
The Wounded Head
As John’s vision of the beast rising continues to unfold, he relates to us what he sees. –
And I saw one of his heads as it was wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast (13:3).
There has been much speculation as to what this event John has witnessed actually means. As we have been shown, heads can represent kingdoms. The wounding of the head or kingdom could apply to the first Roman Empire which was nearly destroyed in the third century by a combination of economic depression, plague, civil unrest and invasions. It was restored partly through the leadership of Diocletian (AD 284-305) who instigated a vicious persecution against the Christians. Thus the wounding and restoration of the first Roman Empire in the third century, symbolically represents what is to come; the eventual revival into the latter day Revised Roman Empire, with an ensuing persecution against uncompromised Biblical Christianity.
Therefore the wounding on the beast empire could be a duplication in modern times of the same events that led to the almost destruction of the Roman Empire in the third century. An economic worldwide near financial collapse, or a major war, could trigger the final formation of a one world government as an attempt to save multiple financial systems by merging into one. Plans for a one world economy have been discussed by many current world leaders. Russia has come out in favor of establishing a new world bank, and there is a corresponding move to establish a one world currency which would correlate to the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:16, 17). Thus the wounding of the economy and its subsequent restoration through the beast system would have the entire world’s admiration and “worship” (Rev. 13:4).
Another interpretation held by many is that the wounding is a future assassination and resuscitation of the antichrist who emerges from this system; but the wounding is upon one of the heads of this devil worshipping empire, and as we are shown in Daniel 7:24, the antichrist is a “horn” that arises from one of the kingdoms or demonic strongholds represented by the heads. We also note that the antichrist in verse twelve directs worship to the "first beast whose deadly wound was healed," which tells us that the wounding applies to the system or a kingdom "head" within the empire and not the second beast. The second beast is the antichrist who is represented by a horn in the prophecy; and as it is a common occurrence in Bible prophecy, the wounding of the beast could be symbolic.
We are told that the wound is by “a sword” (verse 14). This suggests a possible war, or physical attack upon one head/mountain kingdom within the system, that temporarily hinders or negatively affects the development of the entire empire. Here we need to stop and consider another application of the word “sword.”
The Word of God is referred to as a sword in the Scriptures and is the weapon of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). This leads us to entertain the possibility that the wounding could be the result of a revival among the remnant of God’s people and the resulting evangelism would inhibit the beast from taking full control for a time, enabling a final harvest before the prophesized great tribulation; the “time of trouble” that would come upon the whole world.
We see in Chapter Ten that John, who is a symbol of the church, is being told to prophesize before many peoples, nations and tongues (verse 11). In this vision we are shown that the angel is standing with one foot on the sea and one foot on the land. The beast system emerges from the sea and the antichrist comes from the earth (13:11). Thus the image of the angel suggests a temporary “capping” of the emergence of the beast and the false prophet until the time of this final harvest is completed – the end of which could be portrayed for us symbolically by the beast system overcoming the two witnesses(candlesticks/churches, 11:4) in Revelation 11:7.
This symbolic wounding could also apply to Russia, who at one time was an authoritarian communist country and the only country that has made an attempt to organize a world empire since Rome. The “wound” could represent its failure in 1991. Russia has celebrated the anniversary of its origins as a Christian nation, with the former head of the KGB, the nation’s president leading the celebration.26 Russia could very easily revert back to its previous state and become the “bear” of the beast that controls and tramples the residue with the feet of a revived Soviet empire.
As of this writing, Russia is currently attempting to form a union of former Soviet states and other allies. This “Eurasian Union” as it’s being called, is modeling itself after the European Union. If the Russian attempt is successful, then Russia could eventually be in a position to be the head of a world bank and be the controlling influence upon the world’s economy.
Russia plays a significant role in Biblical prophecy and is linked with the land of Magog and its ruler Gog.
The prophet Ezekiel reports -
And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, set your face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him. And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal (Ezekiel 38:1,2).
Magog is first mentioned in Genesis 10:2, and was a son of Japheth and grandson of Noah. Magog’s brothers were inhabitants of the nations to the north, “who come out of the north parts” (Ezekiel 38: 15, 39:2).
Meshech and Tubal developed into an evil people who caused terror in the land of the living (Ezekiel 32:26).
The descendants of these two brothers were known as Scythians. They poured out from their domain in the north and invaded southwest Asia around the time that Ezekiel was born. This invasion preceded the Babylonian invasion, weakened the Assyrian empire and made Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of the region a bit easier.
While some view Turkey (Gomer) as being the nation to the north that eventually invades Israel, Turkey will not be alone. We still need to consider the fact that the ancient Scythians, Japheth’s evil descendants inhabited the region above the North Sea which is currently part of the Russian Federation. Ezekiel’s prophecy is designed to remind the Jews in his time of the previous Scythian invasion through his reference to Meshech and Tubal, and a future invasion where Gog (the antichrist of Daniel 11:43) is seen linked to the lineage of the Scythians as “the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.” Gog is shown to be the future invader of the land of Israel. -
And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that My fury shall come up in My face (Ezekiel 38:18). You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you, and all your bands, and the people that is with you: I will give you to the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured (Ezekiel 39:4) And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the Isles: (This event will affect other nations) and they shall know that I am the LORD (Ezekiel 39:6).
This event has a possible counterpart to the progressive judgments against the beast system beginning from Revelation fourteen cumulating to the Lord's return in Chapter Nineteen.
Gog and the land of Magog that he controls, are unified with three nations that have Islamic populations; Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, and Libya (Ezekiel 38:5, Daniel 11:43). These are “the people that are with you” including Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (a son of Gomer and grandson of Japheth) of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with you (Ezekiel 38:6). Russia is currently an ally of Iran and is the controlling influence upon the government of Ethiopia.
“The many people with you” also could be a prophecy of Russia’s Eurasian union, which may ultimately include China a nation known for its many people.
According to some news stories I have read, Russia and China have already had meetings to discuss how they can become a greater world power, they have practiced military maneuvers together, and are co-operating economically.
If Russia is appointed as head of a world bank and is also in alliance with a union of Islamic nations, then this scenario matches the description of the modern day antichrist as prophesied in Daniel 11:43 describing him as having power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps – the people that are with you -Ezekiel 39:4.
Islam also has had events in its history that could link it to the “wounded head.” Islam wiped out Christianity in Northern Africa and southwest Asia overcoming Arabia, Syria, Jerusalem, Egypt and Persia. It continued its quest for world domination into Europe and conquered Spain, but was dealt its death blow in France by Charles Martel in AD 732.
A second attempt at conquering Europe was instigated by the Turks who were defeated by John Sobieski in Vienna in AD 1683.29
The “deadly wound” has since been healed in Islam and it is spreading rapidly into Europe, this time by aggressive evangelism.
Many Muslims today are a God-fearing people trying to live holy lives. As we begin to see the beast rising, it is in the best interest of the Muslim to recognize the warning signs and refuse to align with this one world governing system that God has condemned.
While the most likely interpretation of what the wounded head actually means seems to relate us back to the fall of the Roman Empire and it’s eventual resurgence in some form in modern history, let’s consider its possible future counterpart.
Nazi Germany was a virulent flame that ignited the world into a major conflagration. The fall of Hitler’s regime could be symbolic of a head that was wounded and could someday rise again to encompass the whole world. According to a former programmer who escaped from an organization known as the “Illuminati,” the prospect of the rise of another version of Hitler’s Germany is a real possibility.
There are many similarities between the upper level leadership of the illuminati and the leadership of Germany during Hitler’s regime. He and his top men are said to have been members of the illuminati who are also reported to be Satan worshippers.
It has also been disclosed by this former illuminati member (who goes by the pseudonym “Svali”) that they have divided the world into ten regions, each related to a crowned head of Europe. This matches the description of the beast’s ten crowned horns very well. The movers and shakers of the illuminati are said to be the major bankers of the world, who operate secretly behind intermediaries.
Svali’s testimony is backed up by “The Red Symphony,” which is the documentation of the interrogation of one of the founders of the Communist International, Christian G. Rakovsky, who was arrested in a plot to assassinate Stalin. He confirmed to his interrogator that he was working for “them” and he disclosed that they were the bankers who hid their identities by operating through intermediaries. He tells his shocked communist interrogator, “Don’t you think that they want power the same way we do?”
He also affirms that the Christians are the problem and they must be eliminated. This explains in part why the attacks on Christians and their values are becoming more and more a target for persecution.
According to Svali’s testimony, the illuminati has gained much control by operating through Freemasonry. Masons were used to help bring the communists into power in Russia, and after that power was gained, then the communists turned on the Masons and killed them. This pattern will most likely be repeated, because if the Masonic lodge is powerful enough to help put the communist illuminati in control, then it can also be a force that could help to eliminate them when they finally realize they have been duped into helping develop a monster.
Likewise, Muslims are used to help destroy Christians, and when they are no longer useful, they too will be eliminated for the same reason. Muslims believe in God and the illuminati are Satanists.
As we look back across history’s tortured landscape, we can see the possibility of Hitler’s Germany rising again as a carefully engineered prototype designed to dominate the entire world. The antichrist will be Hitler’s counterpart operating as an intermediary for the rich elite.
We can continue to speculate about what the wounded head actually means, but because much of what is contained in Revelation’s pages has not yet been fulfilled, even though we are possibly beginning to witness the beast’s emergence, we can only know one thing for a certainty – this scarlet red beast thing is really ugly.
The God Substitute
Revelation 13:4 -
And they worshipped the dragon which gave power to the beast…
If you are not worshipping the one true God of Israel, then you are worshipping the dragon, whether you realize it or not.
…and they worshipped the beast…
Obviously the beast is a conglomerate representing the world of man’s creation, a demonically engineered substitute for the God who created the wonders of heaven and earth, thus this system is worshipped. While Satanism is the religion of choice for those who are the motivators behind this empire, the public can be seduced into following a subtler form of demonic religion that is attached to the beast and the name of that religion is humanism.
Humanism basically is the replacing of the worship of God with the worship of man, and/or his works. A prominent humanist has said - "Humanism may be the only philosophy likely to be adopted by our species as a whole" - the religion of the one world - the deification of man, the worship of self.
Humanism has several forms. –
Secular Humanism; – which is embraced by many atheists because it is not theistic, and rejects “supernatural views of reality,” is considered by some to be “atheist fundamentalism.”
Religious Humanism – integrates humanistic principles with religious ideals that centers upon human needs. Remove the cross from your theology and you get religious humanism which will have no problem assimilating itself into the beast’s new world order.
Inclusive humanism – “Includes” everybody without discriminating against anyone’s personal religious beliefs or ideology. It seeks to bring order and works to achieve a “perfect world” free of poverty, corruption, pollution, nationalism, militarism and sexism. It seeks to unify human government as a means of eradicating these issues.
As we shall see as we continue this study, the book of Revelation attests that these goals will never be achieved without the one true God because there cannot be a perfect world without Him as the center of worship.
One of the “religious” symbols of humanism is “Lady Liberty.” During the French Revolution in 1793, replicas of this goddess actually replaced statues of the Virgin Mary on many altars. Related to the Roman goddess of “libertas,” a deity of freed slaves, and borrowed by the Romans from the Babylonian goddess Ishtar (Asteroth, Baal’s wife from the Cannanites), this stature now adorns New York harbor with her name conveniently changed from “goddess” to “statue.”
We hear the people who are enamored of this system shouting praises to the beast and what it represents crying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to
make war with him? (13: 4).
What man has constructed, his arsenal of weaponry, chemical and nuclear, unified and under control of the beast – who can make war and defeat this one world war machine?
To answer this question, we drift back in time to another attempt at globalization on the plains of Shinar. Nimrod, in direct defiance of God’s command after the flood to spread out and colonize the planet (Genesis 9:1), decided to form his own kingdom and organized a rebellion against God and His word. The historian Josephus says that the infamous “tower of Babel” was an attempt to circumvent further judgments by God and the tower was meant to be used as an escape if there was another flood.
God saw that in their unity they could accomplish anything and thus the tower was demolished by an act of God, their language scrambled and Nimrod’s plan for dominating the entire human race came to an abrupt end. Likewise, man’s attempt to organize a one world government in defiance of God will eventually come to the same conclusion, no matter how many weapons he has managed to collect – mankind cannot shoot God.
Nimrod could also be considered a wounded head that recovered. He continued to build cities, most notably Babylon and Ninevah, and he ruled over the cities in his empire through the kings he controlled.
He was the first human being to be deified as a god. Archeologists have discovered a cameo made by King Nebuchadnezzar to honor his lord, Merodach,which was Nimrod’s god name. So the worship of man comes full circle to emerge in another form and the spirit of Nimrod is alive and well shouting blasphemies through yet another powerful, yet doomed to fail attempt at world domination.
And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies…(13:5).
With today’s technology and media that enables ideas to be transmitted around the world in an instant, it is easy to see that this “mouth” is the media. A characteristic of the antichrist spirit behind this system is to change times and laws (Daniel 7:25). God’s moral laws have certainly been "changed" as we continue to witness the moral breakdown and rebellion against God in the societies that are saturated by television and movies.
…and power was given to him to continue forty and two months (three and one half years).
The forty two months represents the period of time that the beast has gained full control. Israel is invaded during this time that correlates to the forty two months of Revelation 11:2.
And he opened his mouth (the media) in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle (church) and them that dwell in heaven (13:6).
This is the spirit of atheism that adores the humanistic religion it has created in defiance of God; it reviles Him, His tabernacle, the church, which is His people, and them that dwell in heaven; the concept of eternal life through the Messiah Jesus. Everything that relates to Christianity has and will be ridiculed, if not obviously then subtly.
Jesus said that there would come a time when Christians will be hated by all men. –
If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you. The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do to you for My name’s sake, because they know not Him that sent Me (John 14:18-21).
The current persecution of God’s people will intensify. -
And it was given to him to make war with the saints… (13:7) - those saints who will not compromise.
This is spiritual warfare and physical persecution of God’s people instigated by Satan and permitted by God, for a season, to accomplish His purposes.
All things work together for good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
It is given to the beast to persecute God’s people -
…and to overcome them…
In the eleventh chapter of Revelation, we see that the two witnesses are overcome before they are called up and “raptured” in total victory. The overcoming is the equivalent of Jesus being overcome by His crucifixion. It is a planned temporary defeat that precedes a glorious resurrection.
This persecution is prophesied in Daniel and the spirit of antichrist operating through this system is the instigator, just as it has instigated the persecution of the Christians in the first Roman Empire.
Some hold that this persecution applies only to the Jews who are in Jerusalem during the reign of the antichrist, but Christians have been grafted in and are also considered part of the Hebrew Olive Tree, “Abraham’s seed,” (Galatians 3:26, 28, 29, 3:7). The description of what befalls God’s people in the latter days, perfectly matches what is transpiring around the world today as the followers of Jesus “fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days” (Daniel 11:33).
There are more Christians being martyred today than at any other time in history. Estimates range from one hundred thousand to three hundred thousand followers of Jesus are martyred every year because they refuse to deny the Lord that sacrificed His life for them.
…and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations (13:7).
If you can control the world’s economy, you can control the whole world. One of the members of the world's most influential banking families, has stated, "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes its laws."
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 (13:8).
If your security is in Jesus, then you will not be among those who are found worshipping the beast. The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (I Timothy 6:10), and is the root of this evil system. The love of God draws the believer into His arms; the love of the world and the things of the world will draw the rest into the demonic embrace of this evil predatory system that promises a temporal material security in exchange for souls.
Here the prophetic narrative breaks. –
If any man has an ear to hear let him hear (13:9).
We have heard this phrase before and it is inserted here to refer us back to chapters two and three of Revelation. These are the chapters that are concerned with the spiritual condition of God’s church. The phrase is repeated seven times in these chapters, all linked with a reference to “overcoming.”
He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches; to him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God (2:7).
He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches: He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death (2:11).
He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it (2:17).
And he that overcomes, and keeps My works to the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father. And I will give him the morning star. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (2:26-29).
He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (3:5,6).
Him that overcomes 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 comes down out of heaven from My God: and I will write upon him My new name. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (3:12, 13).
To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (3:21,22).
These promises apply to those who refuse to compromise with the beast’s evil theology. We are being reminded by these verses that there is great reward in remaining faithful and obedient to our God through Jesus Christ. We overcome when we refuse to deny that Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6).
As we begin to witness the beast’s arrival, we hear God whisper to those who can hear, “Overcome.” And it is only through the strength of the One who has overcome that we can have the victory. We picture Jesus walking above the waters of this life as He tells us; -
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
We walk with our Lord and as we look below the surface of these waters at the turmoil beneath us we hear; -
He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed by the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints (Rev. 13:10).
In other words, those who are destroying lives by bringing them into spiritual or physical bondage and committing murder individually or through manipulated wars to achieve their evil goals are going to reap what they sow. –
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap (Galatians 6:7).
The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands (Psalm 9:16).
I will pour their wickedness upon them (Jeremiah 14:16).
Their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord (Ezekiel 22:31).
The principle of reaping what is sown applies to unbelievers as well as those who profess to know the Lord, but do lie through their actions. The understanding of this; that the deeds of the wicked will eventually be judged and His people avenged, is the patience and faith of the saints. We can have the faith and the patience to endure because we know that God’s word is true; He will bring justice to His faithful elect. The meek will inherit the earth, (Matthew 5:5), and the kingdom of heaven belongs to the persecuted, (Matthew 5:10).
When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed forever (Psalm 92:7).
The False Prophet
Revelation Chapter Thirteen Part Two - Verses Eleven - through Eighteen
Just when we thought the first beast was enough misery to contemplate, behold, there's more! John continues his narrative.
“And I beheld another beast rising up out of the earth…” (verse 11).
Like Adam? The first man also came from the earth indicating that this second beast may be a human being.
“And he had two horns like a lamb…” – Or a ram as it is rendered in some translations.
The imagery of the two horns jogs our thoughts back to Daniel 8:20 where we were shown Medo-Persia as a ram with two horns which represented an alliance of two kingdoms as one. One horn was higher than the other or more predominant (Daniel 8:3). Persia was predominate over the Medes as history attests - the bear with one side raised above the other in Daniel 7:5. Therefore the two-horned lamb of Revelation 13:11 indicates a union of two that are one. Just as God the Father is in Christ (II Corinthians 5:19) – “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30), so the false prophet, or messiah, otherwise known as the antichrist, will be a demonic parody of the holy union of God and His Son, the true Messiah. The false prophet will be the devil in union with a man, the devil being the predominant horn.
The symbolism of the two horns can also be symbolic of a union of two, one political and one religious. As we shall see in our study "Details from Daniel," the antichrist is a politician. The two horn symbolism can indicate a union of the antichrist with the apostate Christian church, the two operating as one to enslave the masses into an alliance with the first beast, the one world empire.
The antichrist makes his initial appearance as a lamb, which is symbolic of a Christian. The word lamb appears thirty-three times in the New Testament; the majority of the usage refers to Jesus as the Lamb and also is applied to His followers. The word sheep appears forty-one times with one reference in Acts 8:32, relating Jesus to Isaiah 53:7; the remainder applying to His people with eight references to literal animals, locations like the sheep market of John 5:2 KJV, and an object, the sheepskins that cloth God’s persecuted in Hebrews 11:37. The other outstanding reference using the word sheep that distinguishes it from the Lord and His people occurs in Matthew 7:15, where Jesus warns us about false prophets appearing as “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
Therefore the false prophet appears as a lamb, but he spoke as a dragon (verse 11) that is, he is lying. He will eventually begin to operate in opposition to the word of God while masquerading behind a Christian veneer.
Because of the prophesied apostasy, which involves a falling away from the truth of God’s word, many professed Christians will not be able to discern when they are being fed a lie. The deception will at first be very subtle that even God’s elect, if it were possible might be deceived (Matthew 24:24). Because the antichrist's facade is so highly deceptive initially, he will destroy many by "peace" (Daniel 8:25).
(Note: The word elect denotes those who are seriously following Jesus and not only Jewish believers as some teach. Please see Colossians 3:12, Titus 1:1, Hebrews 11:7 and I Peter 1:1,2).
We have to pause here a moment to contemplate this thought - is the antichrist merely a reflection of the spiritual condition of an apostate church that professes a belief in God, but does not live by the word of God? Is the antichrist a visible manifestation of the apostasy in the Christian church in the latter days? Is the spirit of antichrist operating in your church today?
It’s important to note one thing here, the false prophet is not a demonically possessed man, he is not possessed by a demon – he is inhabited by the devil himself. As we look ahead to Jesus’ coming, we see that the beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire at Jesus’ return (Rev. 19:20). The false prophet does not stand before God’s throne at the judgment with the rest of humanity (Rev. 20:12). The false prophet is pre-judged because the devil has been pre-judged and the antichrist and the devil are one. God does not recognize any distinction between the two. This also gives us another indication of the degree of evil that we are being shown manifesting in Revelation’s pages.
This spirit of the antichrist has been operating in the church to a lesser extent for many ages. The Apostle John tells us that even in his day, - “There are many antichrists.” –
Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time (I John 2:18).
“Antichrist shall come”… while the spirit of antichrist has been operating in the church from the beginning, there will be a final manifestation prior to the Lord’s return, the time period that many scholars see as the latter part of Daniel’s seventy week prophecy which we will explore in Chapter Eleven.
John’s description of the antichrist continues.
And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him…
From this statement we can conclude that the antichrist is the leader of this system, the spokesman, or the "CEO" who would then be the modern day counterpart of a Roman Caesar. His devotion and dedication is not to God, though he initially professes a belief in God, but his allegiance is to the demonically inspired man made empire that seeks to usurp God’s authority and rid any presence of true worship off the face of the earth, replacing that worship with the worship of man. The antichrist exercises all the power of the first beast, and that first beast “makes war with the saints,” (13:7) because a true saint of the Lord will never capitulate to this evil system and will not worship anything except the One True God of Israel through the Messiah Jesus.
…and causes the earth and them which dwell there to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed (Verse 12).
As Jesus directed worship to God the Father, so the antichrist directs worship away from God to the worship of men and ultimately the worship of the representative of this empire, the antichrist himself as God. Remember Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness? The devil sought to get Jesus to worship him (Matthew 4:9). This is the devil’s goal, to be worshipped in the place of God.
The Apostle Paul tells us that the antichrist will be revealed after a “falling away,” the last apostasy. Then he will present himself as God in God’s holy place.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the Lord’s return) shall not come, except that there comes a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (II Thessalonians 2:3,4).
In the original Greek, Paul does not use the word hieron which designates the temple building, but uses instead the word naos which refers to the holy place, the place within the inner court where God dwells. There may or may not be a literal temple re-built in Jerusalem, but the principle here is this; the devil, in the form of a man, is taking the place of God as the object of worship. This is the defilement and the desecration that Jesus refers to as a sign preceding His second coming and directs us back to the prophecies of Daniel and the “abomination that makes desolate” (Matthew 24:15, Daniel 9:27). We will explore this prophecy in Chapter Eleven, but for now we need to see how the antichrist deceives the people into worshipping the empire and its leader as God. We are told he achieves this goal through “miracles.”
And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men (verse 13).
“Fire coming down from heaven” mimics the miracle God did through Elijah to direct His people’s Jezebel inspired worship of Baal back to the One True God (I Kings 18:21-34). The devil’s counterfeit miracles are designed to draw men away from true worship to idolize the first beast, the works of men. –
…and deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast…
The Scriptures show us that the devil can counterfeit the miracles of God – to a point. We witness the confrontation between Moses and the magicians of Pharaoh’s court coming to life for us in the pages of the book of Exodus (Exodus 7:10, 11). The power of God overcame the devil’s magic and “swallowed up” the demonic manifestations. Likewise, the antichrist’s miracles will be limited. He will not be able to do what only God can do – give life. The devil is the minister of death; he will not be able to raise the dead and counterfeit Jesus, the Son of God’s ability to restore life to a corpse (John 11:1-44).
The Apostle Paul reiterates this contrast between the power of the antichrist and the power of the Messiah Jesus. –
And when that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders…(II Thessalonians 2:8,9).
The “fire from heaven” imagery we are introduced to in this chapter can also be superimposed upon the fiery cloud of an atomic or nuclear explosion, or the lying wonders of a television set and other technical “miracles” that the antichrist uses to propagate his agenda.
And he deceives them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth… (The power to speak to all who dwell on earth is possible through the media miracles of technology) …that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword and did live (verse 14).
“He deceives them” – the nations are duped into thinking that what they are doing is a good thing, so the construction of this image is a co-operative effort.
The reference to the beast’s or the empire’s wound is mentioned three times in Revelation thirteen, reminding us of a miraculous recovery that has captured the world’s attention and now is possibly the impetus for an unprecedented amount of co-operation among a deceived population.
As we have been shown near the beginning of this chapter, the first beast, the empire, is enamored by the people (verse 4) even before the emergence of the second beast, the false prophet, (verse 11) who then after his appearance on the scene begins to demand worship of the beast’s image. What begins as a voluntary and even desired submission in verse four, becomes a forced submission, and the consequences of non-compliance is death, or if figurative, an inability to function in this empire which now has gained full control. Because the people have chosen to worship their works and technical “miracles” over the true God, then their own works, the technology they worship will eventually enslave them.
The first beast world empire is designed by the devil to be a satanic parody of the One True Invisible God of Israel. As in all primitive pagan cultures images of their gods were constructed and worshipped; a practice that was strictly forbidden by God. –
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of them that hate Me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments (Exodus 20:3-6).
Note here that God does not show His mercy to millions, but thousands. The use of the smaller number denotes the remnant of the world’s population that has sought the Lord and been found of Him. While the number of this remnant is millions and more through the ages, it is still a very small amount in comparison to the multitudes that have rejected Him, and many of these ones are found bowing before the beast’s image.
We also note here that God is “jealous” meaning He is possessive of His people for their good; because there is no true safety or protection outside of His will and He “visits iniquity;” that is, He allows the wicked to reap what they sow, and the fruit of their sin is permitted to afflict subsequent generations. These are known as generational curses and they can be broken by submission to Jesus.
God wants us to know that there are consequences for rebelling against His word which He has established for the good of mankind. When we choose to sin, we cannot operate in opposition to God without hurting someone else, ourselves and our heavenly Father who loves us. This is what makes sin “sin” – it hurts others.
To summarize what we have seen so far we conclude that the rebellious act of worshipping an image is a further mockery of God instigated by the devil.
In contemplating what form this image is to take, we remember that John is beholding a vision of the future and he relates what he is seeing in terms he can understand. For example, if he is beholding a future invention that has no point of reference in his present culture, he must use the only words to describe it that are available. Therefore the word “image” could have a variety of applications today. Are the beast’s captives bowing before a talking statue – or a computer screen? – an image that has been animated or “given life” by the modern miracles of technology?
If the beast’s empire is economic, then a computer that is linked to its computer network could be required for people to function in the New World Order.
To confirm that what we are being shown here is economically related, we proceed to the following Scriptures.
And he caused 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, unless he had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of the beast, or the number of his name (verses 16,17).
In today’s world, with the computer being an essential part of business and banking, and with online banking becoming more and more popular, it’s easy to see how this growing usage could be transferred to a single computer, “the image” of the beast’s world bank. Everyone would have to be “marked” in some way to be able to use it, which means no one would be permitted to buy or sell without compliance with the system. As we have mentioned previously, Russia has come out in favor of a one world bank, a one world currency is in the works and I have heard that there are plans being made to implement this currency by 2018. If this currency is the only money acceptable to this banking system, then hypothetically the only ones that will be able to operate within this system without taking the mark would be people who do not use banks - street people and those who have learned how to survive in the wilderness, much like primitive Indians. We know that God provides for His people and Christians should face this challenge like those who followed Moses into the wilderness and witnessed God’s miraculous provisions.
We contemplate the picture painted for us in Hebrews eleven of the faithful who refused to compromise with evil and …wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth (Hebrews 11:38).
If this central computer or “image” is linked to the financial security of the people, a source of protection and provision, it’s easy to see how the beast’s image could become an object of worship; replacing dependence upon God and His worship. Allegiance to the system or any other “god” is strictly forbidden by the One True God of Israel. While at the moment, computers and technology can be used for good, and even help to greatly expedite the sharing of the Gospel, when it becomes linked to the system and the people are being forced to comply by being “marked” against their will and denied survival if they don’t, then God’s people can in no way comply with this wicked empire that has Satan worship as its root.
God makes the warning not to comply with the devil’s demand for worship through this evil system very clear in Chapter Fourteen.
And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture (undiluted) into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name (14:9-11).
God called His people to flee Egypt and Pharaoh’s bondage to follow the Lord into the wilderness where they would trust Him for their provision. They went from living in houses to tents. Likewise some of God’s people may be faced with a similar choice.
We find ourselves standing in the wilderness with Jesus, facing the opposition as the devil speaks through the image of the empire he has created – “Fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9). Our flesh is suffering, but our fear of falling down and away from God’s loving presence and our eternal inheritance is greater. We think of those who have gone before us, the persecuted ones who would rather suffer death than compromise. They are watching us now, this cloud of witnesses, cheering us on as we follow their example; these …others (who) had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yes, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented, (of whom the world was not worthy;) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth… (Hebrews 11:36-38).
They desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He has prepared for them a city (Hebrews 11:16).
We turn to look at our Jesus, the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) and He is assuring us with His smile as He says; -
Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not true I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:1-3).
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no one comes to the Father, but by Me (John 14:6).
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
Turning our backs on Satan’s opulent empire of darkness, we follow our Shepherd into the wilderness, not looking back.
In the Apostle John’s wilderness on his prison island of Patmos, he contemplates with us the persecutions and tortures of his fellow Christians who were suffering persecution under the Roman Empire, and those who would suffer for their faith in Jesus through the ages. As this chapter of his Revelation comes to a close, we survey all that we have been shown thus far as he speaks to us, gazing at us through the flames of his campfire. –
Here is wisdom, let him that has understanding count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred threescore and six (13:18) – 666.
The Hebrew and the Greek languages did not use symbols for numbers; instead, each letter has a numerical value and the distinction between a letter and number was made by a symbol above the letter. Some of the early Christians calculated the numerical value of Nero's name which happened to be the number 666, so it was concluded that Nero was the antichrist.
Nero was without a doubt operating under the spirit of the antichrist, but as we have been shown, the beast and false prophet that John is referring to is in the future; we are privileged to witness in Chapter Nineteen of Revelation’s pages, the beast empire and false prophet cast into a lake of fire and their evil reign destroyed at Jesus’ second coming.
Both the Apostles Paul and Peter were martyred by Nero, yet Paul did not recognize Nero as that “Wicked” he describes in II Thessalonians 2:3-9. That Wicked would be revealed after a time of the apostasy of the church, and the world’s rejection of the Messiah Jesus after the Gospel had been made known; therefore it is obvious that the emergence of this evil would occur after the falling away and just prior to the second coming of our Lord.
In Paul's day Caesar worship was an established fact of life; it was part of the state religion and required. One of the reasons the Christians were being persecuted was because they would not bow their knee to a false god. Paul describes the antichrist as taking his place as God in the Holy Place as an event in the future, so he was obviously not referring to Nero. Also, John’s Revelation was written approximately twenty-eight years after Nero's death in 68 AD, so in context, his reference to the beast's number is not identifying Nero specifically.
John was suffering under the reign of Domitian and there would be many others mimicking Nero’s brutal attempt to destroy the Christian church. After Nero, followed Galba, who only reigned one year, then came Vespasian followed by Titus, who destroyed Jerusalem. The next five Roman leaders also continued to follow Nero’s example through the height of Roman power, beginning with Domitian (AD 81-96) and ending with Marcus Aurelius (AD 138-161).
During the Empire’s decline from AD 180-476, the persecutions continued with some respites from rulers who were favorable to Christianity. Therefore the number 666, while it can refer us to Nero, it is being used in John's prophecy to merely designate him as an example of the brutal persecutors to come.
Some have also claimed that Revelation 13:18 is not referring to a number, but instead is a passage that contains references to Islam indicating that the antichrist is a Muslim. This assumption has arisen because the people promoting it are claiming that a document in the Codex Vaticanus, dating from the fourth century, contains Arabic writing that John apparently witnessed in his visions and recorded. However, the document in question is not contained in the Codex Vaticanus as people are being led to believe. The Codex Vaticanus does not contain the book of Revelation. The Arabic letters are found in the Codex 1957, which was added in the fourteenth century and could not have been written by the Apostle John.
The earliest most complete manuscript is the Codex Sinaiticus which includes Revelation and there are no Arabic letters in that version whatsoever.
There are others who relate the number 666 to the computer based bar code system, as each bar code incudes three sixes. While this system is currently very helpful in pricing products and assisting business owners keep track of their inventory, it is quite possible that someday the system may be converted to help the devil keep track of his inventory; the people who have submitted to his rule through the beast.
There are also Radio Frequency Identification chips (RFID) that are being used today to keep track of pets and livestock and can be implanted in humans for medical purposes.
In 2004 computer chips were approved for use in humans in America by the Food and drug Administration. An article that was published in Time magazine on March 3, 2002 introduced the first family that were “volunteer test subjects” to receive an implantable computer device for medical
identification purposes. They were affectionately nicknamed “The Chipsons.”
Today the use of RFID chips is expanding rapidly to included passports, bank cards and even clothing.
There were rumors that the American Obamacare medical plan required forced implantation because of the wording in the first bill that was never passed. That wording has been changed in the bill that eventually was passed, but, the wording has not been changed in the food, drug and cosmetic act. This act still includes “an unamended passage on rules for class II devices (RFID – Radio Frequency Identification), and data collection from them.”
Once a chip is implanted, information can very easily be changed from medical identification to financial, automatically linking a human to the beast’s control.
I was visiting a church in New England many years ago, when I was told about an experience one of their members had when he was in Arkansas. He was standing in line at a check-out when the man ahead of him was asked by the cashier how he would like to pay. The man replied, “With this.” Then he passed his hand across the scanner.
The bill does not require forced implantation, as yet; but as the possible benefits of implantation are promoted, voluntary submissions would be numerous, especially if the devices were embellished to provide services comparable to smart phones, etc.
We note again that submission to the beast is desired in verse four and forced when the antichrist is in full control in verse eleven.
Returning to our analysis of the beast’s number; the number six is traditionally the number of man, as he was created on the sixth day (Genesis 1:26). The beast’s version of man’s number is multiplied giving it more strength and matching it to the Three of the Bible; Father, Son and Holy Spirit; symbolically creating a demonic parody of the Trinity, with a mocking satanic version consisting of the beast empire, its messiah the false prophet and the devil’s unholy spirit.
The number 666 is the devil’s branding symbol and the number designates the devil’s attempt through man to replace God as the center of worship. Anyone who bears the devil’s branding number is rejecting the One True God of Israel who is defined by the Messiah Jesus, and accessed only by faith in the death and resurrection of the Messiah.
The number 666 is and has been, the symbol of the antichrist and devil worship through the ages. We can look again at Nero as one of many foreshadows of this evil that cumulates into one last organized attempt to eradicate Christianity from off the face of a planet that has been given over to Satan’s rule through the people’s rejection of the truth. It is wisdom to recognize that until the Lord returns and ends the devil’s present reign, this symbolic number will be recognized as the devil’s “barcode” and he has christened many with his brand over the centuries.
God uses foreshadows throughout His word to help prepare us for events in the future. Just as the book of Revelation is designed to prepare His church for persecution and to encourage her through it, so the book of Daniel was also given to us for the same purpose. The prophecies that Daniel received contain many foreshadows concerning the coming of the latter day antichrist. We have explored Revelation’s Chapter Thirteen and we have been shown a painting of the beast and the false prophet. It’s somewhat impressionistic, and in order to view this painting in more detail, we must return to those prophecies that were given to Daniel and explore the future by once again gazing into the past.
The False Prophet - Details from Daniel
copyright 2013 by H.D. Shively
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