Previous verse Next verse1And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea.
Symbolically, the seven heads may be seven demonic realms. Each country has its own culture where the country is known for some social value (or lack thereof). There is a list of evil realms in Revelation 21:8 which may define these demonic realms. Contrast this SEA BEAST (counterpart of Christ) to what Christ is:
|Sea Beast (Antichrist)||Christ|
|"cowardly and unbelieving" - faithless||believe - John 3:16-21; Matthew 21:18-22|
|"abominable" - things not right from a priestly standpoint.||perfect High Priest - Hebrews 5:1-10|
|"murderers" - purveyors of death at all levels (fetus through old age)||Life - John 11:25-26; John 6:48-58|
|"immoral persons" - sexual impurity||No sin though tempted - Hebrews 4:14-16|
|"sorcerers" - use of power gained by divination from evil spirits||Authority or power derived from God the Father - John 10:7-18|
|"idolaters" - worshiping something or honoring someone other than God||Honored the Father - John 8:48-59|
|"all liars" - the inability to say the truth.||Jesus is the Truth - John 14:1-11|
Note that the devil has a thing for NAMES. If you are looking for a build up of your pride, someone has to know your name to brag about you. Apparently it is very irritating to the devil that OVERCOMERS (Revelation 2:17) have a name which no one knows, the 144,000 have a name on their foreheads (Revelation 14:1) known to Jesus and the Father, and the Book of Life contains the names of people the devil cannot get to (Revelation 3:5).
Previous verse Next verse2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.
Likewise, these attributes have been equated to great empires: leopard (Greek), bear (Medo-Persian), and lion (Babylonian). This is not a real satisfying equivalence because the BEAST, in fact, as a whole entity comes up out of the Abyss to try to defeat "the Lamb" one more time (Revelation 17:8,14).
If the SEA BEAST is a counterfeit of Christ, as put forth in the previous verse, then the leopard is spotted or blemished (sin - Jeremiah 13:23) versus Christ the spotless One (1 Peter 1:19); the bear is a lumbering destroyer (mocking God's anointed prophet destroyed 42 lads by two bears - 2 Kings 2:23-25) versus Christ the restorer (Mark 1:21-28); and lion's mouth (roaring to strike fear into people turning them into cowards - Revelation 21:8) versus Christ's words so different, so life giving (John 7:37-52).
If you want to look at directional equivalents:
The SEA BEAST will look to Israel as the long awaited Messiah, and
will follow the BEAST because of these three attributes. Oh, that we
pray for our Jewish brothers that they may see it is a GREAT DECEPTION!
Previous verse Next verse3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.
There are several candidates for this apparent fatally wounded head:
Previous verse Next verse4 Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?"
This is a continuation of the previous verse.
Apparently, he has discovered (or bought) the ultimate weapon
the atomic bomb or some other doomsday weapon) so powerful that no one
wants to wage war with him. Interestingly, a similar expression is used
about God (Exodus
15:8-11-18 and Micah
WHO IS LIKE GOD?
Previous verse Next verse5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months.
This verse begins the fourfold purpose of the "sea" beast. It is to
Check out the influence that his word will have (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).
Watchman Nee points out in his book "Come, Lord Jesus" that 42 is 7
times 6. Seven is the perfect number (creation completed, etc.), while
six is the Satanic one (verse 18). Hence 42 as a
between these two numbers results in wandering (during the Exodus,
passed 42 stations as written in Numbers) and judgment (42 lads killed
Kings 2:23-25)). This 42 month
period during the tribulation is no different.....people deceived (wandering,
verse 14), and if not deceived, killed (judgment,
Previous verse Next verse6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.
Jesus indicated that even blasphemy can be forgiven except for blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:28-30). Since the Holy Spirit is part of the triune God, to BLASPHEME GOD seals the "sea beast's" doom.to SLANDER
Previous verse Next verse7He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.
The SAINTS referred to in this verse are those people after the rapture event who realize who Christ is and the price Christ paid for their sins. These SAINTS make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ. Perhaps they heard the two witnesses (Revelation 11) or someone from the 144,000 sealed Jews talked to them (Revelation 7) or they dug out and read their Bible or they may have pulled up this web site. Some way or other, they make a commitment to Jesus Christ.
While the "Sea Beast" is GIVEN the great power to make war (not necessarily military but perhaps economic, health, or legally with euthanasia laws (Daniel 7:25)) to overcome the SAINTS (Job 1:6-12) and kill them, the SAINTS do "win" in the end as Revelation 7:9,14 points out.
The devil tried to get AUTHORITY over all the nations before in Luke 4:5-8. He didn't succeed then, but this time he accomplishes it because he is permitted to have this authority (for a short time).
This will be the last attempt to establish a devil-controlled world
empire. The first attempt by Nimrod (Genesis
in the "languages" referred to in this verse. But, as this verse points
even the diversity of spoken languages will be overcome by the "Sea
Previous verse Next verse8All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast -- all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.
Thus everyone has been "saved" or "written" in the Lamb's Book of Life because Christ died for all. Then by a person's own CHOICE, their own name is removed from the Book (Revelation 3:5).This is not a new concept: Moses understood it (Exodus 32:30-32-35) and Daniel understood it (Daniel 12:1-3). The question becomes What is your CHOICE? Don't wait until the tribulation to choose NOT to worship the AntiChrist!
Previous verse Next verse9 He who has an ear, let him hear.
An interesting sidelight in the description of the current Jesus, Revelation 1:12-16, the facial features are given spiritual equivalents. But the ears are not discussed, perhaps because they are covered by white hair. Consider that Christ doesn't need the ears, as such, because He goes right to the thoughts, which do not make any sounds (Luke 11:14-17-26).
Previous verse Next verse10If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.
Previous verse Next verse11 Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon.
John the Baptist in discussing Christ makes an interesting statement about what "comes from the earth" (John 3:25-36).
Note the "other Lamb" in Revelation 5:6 has seven horns (complete authority over seven realms not fully known to mankind?).
Lambs were considered unblemished and spotless as fit for sacrifice (1 Peter 1:13-21). However, this one as a lamb ....
Previous verse Next verse12He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.
What we see here is the apparent swapping of roles. Remember the "spirit" nature of the sea beast (verse 1)? Here the earth beast receives all the spiritual qualities of the first beast.
Furthermore, things of this earth are usually tied to money. Watchman Nee points out that "the son of perdition" is used twice in the New Testament. In John 17:12, "the son of perdition" refers to Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples and also the money manager for the group. The second reference in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 points at the antichrist. Thus an argument can be made that the economic and religious systems of the world will combine to totally overwhelm all peoples of the earth except for those whose names are in 'the book' (verse 8).
Note also that this pair may be the devil's way to counterfeit the two witnesses (Revelation 11:3).
The lure of wealth will cause many people to lose their faith (1 Timothy 6:10). Or rather, the fear of losing their earthly means of accumulating wealth may cause people to take the mark (verse 16). Either the lure or fear will cause the WORSHIPPING of the beasts to occur.
Much has been written about the "fatal wound". It is not clear when or how....perhaps it occurred in the war in the heavenlies (Revelation 12:7-9). If this is true, we, humans, probably wouldn't recognize the "fatal wound" because it is spiritual in nature (Revelation 21:8).Incidentally, a religious and economic consortium knows no geopolitical boundaries. The WORSHIP is not unlike that demanded by Herod in Acts 12:21-23 until the Lord steps in.
Previous verse Next verse13And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men.
These are no mere tricks; these are supernatural such that humans, individually or collectively, would have a difficult time devising them. Their purpose is to LEAD ASTRAY even the elect (next verse, Matthew 24:24).
Interestingly, when it was demanded of Jesus to show a SIGN (Matthew 12:38-45), he didn't do it but rather pointed the requester to Jonah and the Old Testament prophets. When a person is living an "unbelieving" life, they will constantly ask for SIGNS. That is what keeps fortunetellers and the like busy. The true believer, on the other hand, is trying to please God through FAITH (Hebrews 11:6).
Now this FIRE must be permitted by God. It is not unlike that described in Job 1:16 at least as it was perceived to be. That the earth beast can do this shows the kind of AUTHORITY he has received (previous verse).
This kind of FIRE is well understood by Jewish people. They have heard how Elijah called it down (1 Kings 18:30-40, 2 Kings 1:9-16). They have had, most recently, two witnesses who breathed fire out of their mouths in self defense (Revelation 11:5). So fire has been used as a SIGN and defense before.
But the ultimate use of FIRE is in judgment, and, in particular, judgment associated with authority. The disciples, James and John, after receiving their "authority", wanted to call down fire on a Samaritan village (Luke 9:51-56). Incidentally, the village didn't get burned.
The final judgment for the sea beast and the earth beast (false
as you recall, will be FIRE, Revelation 20:9-10.
Previous verse Next verse14Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.
If the people in Christ's day didn't accept Him after he performed various miracles, then it follows the earth beast must perform as great or greater SIGNS to deceive the earth-dwellers. As believers, how do we tell the SIGNS apart? 1 John 4:1-6 tells us how.
E. W. Bullinger in "Commentary on Revelation" writes, "Christ's miracles, as miracles, were no evidence of His Divine mission. The real evidence was that the miracles which He wrought were the very miracles which the Prophetic Word had declared He should work, and which were on that account the sign and seal of His ministry, and formed His credentials from on high. This is clear from Matthew 11:1-6." One wonders what 'prophetic word' will the earth beast use? But, on the other hand, if this is a deception, and it is, then the earth beast won't need any 'prophetic word'. He only needs the beast standing by.
It isn't clear if this image is a likeness of the beast or, more likely, one like Nebuchadnezzar put up in Daniel 3. The critical point is that 'earth-dwellers' have this need to belong and to pay homage to 'a hero'. This image will do the trick, literally. However, after God's commandment in Exodus 20:3-5, you know this is going to bring judgment. In fact this is the 'abomination that causes desolation' Jesus referred to in Matthew 24:15-28.
Now those who refuse to participate in the image worship will be killed by this very image (next verse). Contrast this with Christ's purpose to come to this earth as He explains in John 3:16-21.
How this will happen is not known at this time. That technology is doing amazing things with genetics is brought to us on television and the Internet everyday. This will be very believable to the 'earth-dwellers'. Be aware that the beast has to remove any doubts of his coming to life from earth-dweller's minds or he won't convince any. However even among Jesus' followers, Thomas has to be shown the nail prints in Jesus' hands before he would believe (John 20:19-25).A final thought -- the expression 'inhabitants of the earth' is used in this verse. The image of the beast will be restricted to this earth. It will not go into heaven or any other part of the universe. Only the Creator controls all; the devil and his beasts are earthbound as the devil himself explains in Luke 4:1-13.
Previous verse Next verse15He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.
Who this refers to, sea beast or Satan himself, is not clear. Whomever did have the power to do this; thus, most likely this was Satan himself.
Now this is not an idol in the scriptural sense because Psalms 135:15-18 and Jeremiah 10:1-5 indicate that idols cannot speak. So this is a supernatural image. Some Bible scholars believe this is symbolic of a political entity 'reborn'. Others believe this is another human being especially 'gifted' by Satan not unlike how Judas Iscariot was 'gifted' to betray Christ (John 13:27).
Others say it could be advanced technology in its finest hour. Even as I put this onto the web site, the multimedia capabilities of this personal computer along with all the other similar personal computers interlinked by Internet could see and hear this image. Yet even this is not sufficient because much of the world doesn't have these personal computers, and they, too, will understand that BREATH was given to an image.
Now the image apparently doesn't do the killing but convinces everyone whose name is not written in the Book of Life (verse 8) to kill on its behalf.How will they know who is to be killed? See verses 16 and 17. If you haven't accepted Christ as your personal Savior and end up in the tribulation period and still wish to have your name written in the Book of Life, you will give your own life to attain heaven. Wouldn't it be better to accept Christ today (and keep your name in the Book)?
Previous verse Next verse16 He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead,
There is no exclusion, and once the MARK is taken, that person's eternal destiny is determined (Revelation 14:9-11).
According to Hebrews 8:11, ALL shall know Me (Jesus), from the least to the greatest of them. This is Satan's counterfeit of that passage of Scripture.
This is both materially and spiritually (Luke 16:19-31).
This is unknown in Christ's world (Galatians 3:28), so this must be a worldly distinction.
Much has been written about this MARK. There is speculation from ultraviolet tatoos to implantable ID chips to universal credit card, but that doesn't explain primitive peoples in the ALL part of this verse. Thus one should consider this as a symbolic commitment to worshiip the IMAGE (like a gang symbol) or a food voucher program (see next verse).
Moses indicated that it was a reminder of belonging to a special
those who exited from Egypt, and was to be taught continually (Exodus
Previous verse Next verse17 so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
The MARK will be necessary to do trade. Consider that at this time, the world may have very little food. Previously there was drought (Revelation 11:3,6), famine (Revelation 6:5-6), and total disruption of food production (Revelation 6:12). NO SUN, NO FOOD!
So it is likely that the official economies of the world have broken down (see lament in Revelation 18:11), and the only thing left is the "underground market" controlled by the "earth beast". How appropriate that he should come "out of the earth" (verse 11).
Probably the "godfathers" of the Black Market are privileged to carry the "name" of the BEAST.
The rest of the population will just get THE NUMBER of his NAME.
Don't think it is unusal that the population will so readily accept the MARK. When one is hungry, you will do almost anything. Taking the MARK is a matter of survival.
Remember what was said of the tribulation saints, "They shall HUNGER
no more," (Revelation 7:16).
Previous verse Next verse18 This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.
This is WISDOM for the reader, and its source is clear (Proverbs 2:1-6). It is not from the beast or the devil.
This expression is used after Daniel's writings (Daniel 12:10) and again by John in discussing the beast's seven heads and the great harlot (Revelation 17:9). Ironically, the WISDOM in this verse has caused more discussion and speculation than perhaps any other verse in the Revelation. Sad to say, the world (and probably most believers) know very little about the Revelation but almost all have heard about 666.
This is not a parable but more like a puzzle. It will be revealed when necessary just like Jesus explained why he spoke in parables (Matthew 13:11).
The number six, itself, is interesting in that man was created on the 6th day (Genesis 1:24-31); the archenemy of Israel, Goliath, was 6 cubits and a span, and had a spear head weighing 600 shekels, and wore 6 pieces of armour (1 Samuel 17:4); and lastly, the foulness of the devil is demonstrated in the 6th bowl (Revelation 16:12-16). Perhaps this is what Daniel saw in Daniel 11:21-28 as directly impacting the world leaders.
Finally, if the 666 were some sort of ID chip to be inserted under
skin, Old Testament law forbids the Jewish people from cutting the skin
'for the sake of evil' or to have markings (tattoos). Yet those whose
are not written in the Book (verse 8), will accept
|* Leviticus 19:28||Lifestyle|
|* Leviticus 21:5||Priest's standards|
|* Deuteronomy 14:1-2||Not for sake of dead (idols, images?)|