Revelation
1-4 The Beast Coming Up Out Of the Sea 5-10 Mouth and Deeds of the Beast Out Of the Sea 11-18 The Beast Coming Up Out Of the Earth
The Beast Coming Up Out Of the Sea

1And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns [were] ten diadems, and on his heads [were] blasphemous names. 2And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like [those] of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. 3[I saw] one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed [and followed] after the beast; 4they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”

The two beasts that are described in this chapter represent the two human and at the same time monstrous instruments, which will be used by satan in the end time. The first beast will come up out of the sea, the well-known image of the nations (Rev 17:1515And he *said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.; Isa 17:1212Alas, the uproar of many peoples
Who roar like the roaring of the seas,
And the rumbling of nations
Who rush on like the rumbling of mighty waters!
; cf. Dan 7:2-32Daniel said, “I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.3And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.). This beast is therefore also a pagan ruler over a pagan kingdom. The second beast comes up out of the earth. The earth represents Israel. The second beast is the antichrist who will reign over the apostate Israel. In these two beasts both characteristics of satan – violence and lie – are exposed (Jn 8:4444You are of [your] father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own [nature], for he is a liar and the father of lies.). The first beast is more characterized by violence, the second by lies.

V11And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns [were] ten diadems, and on his heads [were] blasphemous names.. Because of his plan to make war against the rest of her offspring, the dragon stands on the sand of the sea. Then “a beast coming up out of the sea” is described. Before the eyes of John – and through his description before your eyes too – it rises up from the sea. He sees a ruler rising up, right from the middle of the turbulent and unmanageable nations, out of that great mass of people. It is the same person like the person that rose up from the bottomless pit (Rev 11:77When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them.; 17:88“The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.). His rising up from the bottomless pit indicates his demonic origin. This is no one else than the dictator of the restored Roman empire, the United Western Europe.

That it is him we are talking about, will become clear from what you see further. ‘Horns’ are a picture of power. The form of that power is to be derived from the ‘crowns’ that he wears on his horns. That indicates that this beast has authority over royal rulers. In relation to the horns and crowns the number ‘ten’ is mentioned. By that you know that it is about ten kings (Rev 17:1212The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.; Dan 7:2424As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.). They are subjected to the government of the beast.

John also mentions that this monster has “seven heads”. Of these heads it is said in chapter 17: “The seven heads are seven mountains” (Rev 17:99Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,). The question now is what the mountains represent. It is a historical fact that in the ancient days the city of Rome was known as ‘the city with the seven hills’. This makes clear that Rome is the political center of this monstrous ruler.

The seven heads, however, are not only an indication of the location where the power is seated. They also represent seven kings (Rev 17:1010and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.). That is an indication of seven forms of government by which the Roman empire has been ruled consecutively. Verse 33[I saw] one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed [and followed] after the beast; expands further on that. What John also sees, is that this political power is against God and resists Him. He sees “a blasphemous name” on his heads. The beast adorns himself with blasphemous names, probably names that are only to be ascribed to God.

V22And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like [those] of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.. The description of the beast is not yet finished. John has more to tell. In this beast he recognizes characteristics of three different animals. He mentions “a leopard”, “a bear” and “a lion”. If you put Daniel 7:4-6 (Dan 7:4-64The first [was] like a lion and had [the] wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it.5And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs [were] in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, ‘Arise, devour much meat!’6After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.) next to it for a moment, then you read that Daniel sees the same animals. Only, he sees them in reverse order. Daniel sees a lion first, then a bear and thirdly he sees a panther or leopard. That’s because Daniel looks ahead, while John looks back.

These animals represent empires. Daniel lived in the time of the Babylonian empire, represented by a lion. That empire was destroyed because the Medes and the Persians conquered the empire. Due to the brutality with which they operated, that empire is represented by a bear. But also their government came to an end. Greece, under the leadership of Alexander the Great, conquered the empire of the Medes and Persians with a stunning speed. Therefore the leopard is a suitable symbol for it.

Daniel also speaks about a fourth beast. He says of it that it is a “dreadful and terrible and extremely strong” beast (Dan 7:7-87After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.8While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great [boasts].). Historically this beast represents the Roman empire that conquered the empire of the Greeks. Prophetically we see this empire back in the beast that John is seeing here. The beast is both the restored Roman empire and the head of that empire. This empire and this head possess all cruel characteristics of the fourth animal, in which John sees all cruel characteristics of the three animals mentioned.

Can you imagine? The beast rises up from the sea, which means that the dictator floats to the surface. The ten kings, the rulers of different countries that together form the Western Roman empire, are inseparably connected to him. This dictator has power over them, which he exercises from Rome as his center of power. He manifests himself blasphemously and with a cruelty that is represented metaphorically by the three tearing animals, which are described.

And who is hiding behind this, who makes sure that he becomes that mighty? The dragon, which is the devil (Rev 12:99And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.). Here the devil grants direct authority to someone who indeed takes this out of his hand. Of course these things can only happen, because God allows them to. And He allows them to happen because they fit into His plan. But the point is that the dragon is the inspirer of the beast. The beast has power, he reigns and has great authority because the devil has given this to him.

Here you see a huge contrast between the beast and the Lord Jesus. Once satan offered the Lord Jesus all kingdoms to take them out of his hand (Mt 4:8-98Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;9and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”). But the Lord refused it. He did not want to run ahead of God’s time to become King. He wanted to receive the kingdom and the power out of God’s hand (Dan 7:13-1413“I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
14“And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations and [men of every] language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.
; Psa 2:88‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
And the [very] ends of the earth as Your possession.
). That implied for Him humiliation and the death on the cross. It is important for you too not to seek any favor in the world. Satan loves to give that to you. In that way you can escape suffering. When satan approaches you with such seductions, you are to respond like the Lord Jesus did (Mt 4:1010Then Jesus *said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”).

V33[I saw] one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed [and followed] after the beast;. Then John sees that one of the heads of the beast was as it had been slain. This is to indicate that the Roman empire has perished and disappeared. From history we know that in the year 476 the Western Roman empire at that time was inflicted with a fatal blow. Rome was then conquered by the Teutons. What John saw at the moment he was watching (he saw it around the end of the first century) was still to come to pass. It was going to happen after some centuries.

But to God the future has no secrets. He informs us about things happening in the future as far as He considers them to be important for us to know. He does not do that to satisfy our curiosity, but that we may live accordingly (2Pet 3:11-1211Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,12looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!). Therefore God shows to John (and to you) what more is going to happen.

Then John sees that the fatal wound was healed. To John that did not lie in the nearby future, but in the far future. It’s what we see to be happening in our days! To us that is the nearby future. A restoration of the Western Roman empire is taking place before our eyes. But watch carefully: this happens by the power of satan! This restoration does not happen through a new conquest with violence, but through diabolic inspiration and deliberation. John sees how this restoration stirs up admiration and adoration from the world.

V44they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”. The people will be very aware that the dragon, which is satan, has given his power to this empire. They hate God that much, they have been alienated from Him in such a way that they worship the dragon as their god in an open, general and limitless admiration. They will also worship the beast. They provoke and blaspheme God by crying out statements about the beast that apply to God alone (cf. Exo 15:1111“Who is like You among the gods, O LORD?
Who is like You, majestic in holiness,
Awesome in praises, working wonders?
; Mic 7:1818Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity
And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?
He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in unchanging love.
). To them the beast is not to be compared to anyone else and nobody can compete with him to defeat him. That will be the result when Europe becomes one whole.

In case you may be excited about that one Europe, then I hope, due to what God’s Word is saying here, that will turn into a shivering going down your spine. You will now be very well aware that satan is the origin of it and that it ends up in worshiping satan! That with the referendum about the European constitution on 1 June 2005 many Christians in the Netherlands have voted ‘against’, does not necessarily reflect their opinion of Europe. The argument that mattered most to vote ‘against’ was that in that constitution no reference to God and the Jewish Christian roots of the European Union had been written down. In case that had happened, then the Christians probably would have plainly voted ‘for’! That is staggering.

Now read Revelation 13:1-4 again.

Reflection: What is astonishing about the beast?


Mouth and Deeds of the Beast Out Of the Sea

5There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 6And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, [that is,] those who dwell in heaven. 7It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 8All who dwell on the earth will worship him, [everyone] whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. 9If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10If anyone [is destined] for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

V55There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.. Like satan has given ‘his power and his throne and great power’ (verse 2b2And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like [those] of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.) to the beast, he also gives him “a mouth”. He, so to speak, makes the beast to be his voice. Therefore what the beast has to say is only bragging and blasphemous language. His bragging language has no limit. He brags about himself to the people and prides himself that all improvement is because of him. To God he clenches his fists and scolds and curses Him.

But a limit is imposed to the performance of the beast. He is given “forty-two months”. That is the period that you have already come across earlier (Rev 11:22Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.) and that you have learnt to know as the period of the great tribulation of three and a half years. In that time he will uncontrollably rage (cf. Dan 8:2424“His power will be mighty, but not by his [own] power,
And he will destroy to an extraordinary degree
And prosper and perform [his will];
He will destroy mighty men and the holy people.
) against God and those who dwell in heaven and to the saints on earth as well.

V66And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, [that is,] those who dwell in heaven.. It is not only that the beast lacks the appropriate reverence to God. Whenever the beast opens his mouth against God, he does that to rage against Him and to express his disregard towards Him. He can only insult and sneer about the Name of God. He despises God to the deepest of his being. The words he uses are not mentioned. I think that the words you sometimes hear around you and which fill you with disgust will pale to nothing, compared to what the beast will spit out.

And not only God and the Name of God are the target of his blasphemous language. He addresses his evil mudslinging against “His tabernacle” too. The church is meant by this, wherein God as in a tabernacle will dwell among people on earth forever (Rev 21:2-32And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.3And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,).

Finally he addresses his slander against the rest of the citizens of heaven. Thereby you could think of all believers who do not belong to the church.

And don’t assume that the beast speaks out this blasphemous dialog in a backroom. His blasphemous expressions which he slings at God and the citizens of heaven will happen publicly and serve as an entertainment. The people will watch his performance and his audacious language with great pleasure on television and on the internet. Everything he says and does is to propagandize his program. The purpose of this program is nothing more than setting people against God, in order to punch God from His throne. Time will tell that his propaganda will succeed, and that his program will have a dramatic end.

V77It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.. The beast, inspired by satan, can do nothing but to open his mouth in order to vomit his hatred against everyone who dwells in heaven. But there are still some “saints” on earth. He is allowed to unleash his diabolical lust on them to murder after he has aired all his bottled-up feelings of hatred by slinging them out to heaven. He is given the opportunity to wage war against those who out of faithfulness towards God did not participate as in a carnival parade with the apostate mass.

The saints are not only saints by name, but also in practice. Holy means set apart for God. That there is mention of ‘making war’, means that he takes this fight very seriously, as if the faithful saints are the most dangerous enemies of the nation that have great power. He uses everything that he has at his disposal, because he wants to eliminate them root and branch, to the last man. And he seems to be successful. He conquers over them. This victory grants him international authority. Countries outside the restored Roman empire, i.e. the united Europe, will open themselves for his ideas and advices.

In his blind madness he does not know that this victory regards only the body. The saints were strengthened by the words of the Lord Jesus concerning that. He told them that they did not need to fear (for the beast), for only the body can be killed (Mt 10:2828Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.). In chapter 20 you see them back. They sit on thrones and reign with Christ for a thousand years (Rev 20:44Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I [saw] the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.). In that way you will certainly be encouraged by the words of the Lord Jesus and by what you will share in the future, in order to endure the suffering that you experience sometimes.

V88All who dwell on the earth will worship him, [everyone] whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.. Due to all his achievements all who dwell on the earth will worship him. The admiration for the beast will have no limits. The expression “who dwell on the earth”, indicates that it regards people who consciously have disconnected themselves from heaven. Their lives have, like the lives of animals and the beast, no broader horizon than the earth and is totally and exclusively connected to the earth.

Of these people some more detailed qualification is mentioned. Their names are not written “in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain”. The absence of their name in that book has dramatic consequences. The short time of them praising the beast will be followed by an everlasting weeping and gnashing of the teeth because of the pains caused by the flames of the eternal fire.

Remarkable though, is the expression “from the foundation of the world”. You may remember the expression “before the foundation of the world” (Eph 1:44just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love.). That expression is used for those who belong to the church. They were elected even before the creation of the world. Actually the church is of heavenly and eternal origin. But there are also believers who do not belong to the church. Those are the believers from Israel and the nations in the periods before and after the residence of the church on earth. They are in relation with the earth and in that way with God’s plans from creation (Mt 13:3535[This was] to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
“I WILL OPEN MY MOUTH IN PARABLES;
I WILL UTTER THINGS HIDDEN SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.”
; 25:3434“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.).

There is a great contrast between those who dwell on earth and the book of life. Those who live on earth are attached to the earth with heart and soul. The earth is their life. With them there isn’t any thought of God and heaven. That makes them dead while they are alive (Eph 2:1-21And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,2in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.). If they do not repent they will remain in the second death for ever (Rev 21:88But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part [will be] in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”).

The opposite is the book of life. That book is related to the Lamb That was slain, which indicates that the Lamb has been into death. The Lamb had entered into death in order to give life to all who believe in Him. The Lamb writes the name down of each who believes in Him in the book of life. The book is His, He keeps the records. The names of all worshipers of the Lamb are written in it, not one is missing. The names of all worshipers of the beast are missing, not one appears in the book.

V99If anyone has an ear, let him hear.. I hope that you have an ear to hear and that you allow yourself to be warned. Just now you saw together with John the beast rising up. You have heard his blasphemous language and seen his murderous occupations. The mass hysteria that will be caused by his appearance and performance among all people that will be dwelling on earth has been clearly presented to you. You have been a witness of the rise of the world government and the world religion. It is not about something that could possibly happen at a time in the far future, but about an event that is getting more and more recognizable. You wouldn’t say that this is something that is ‘far outside your scope’, would you? Indeed, it is extremely topical for you. Do not let yourself be deceived.

V1010If anyone [is destined] for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.. The description of this beast concludes with pointing at the principle of retribution (cf. 2Thes 1:6-76For after all it is [only] just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you,7and [to give] relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,). This should serve as a consolation for the saints and stimulate them to persevere. They may know that the one who throws them in prison will end up in the prison himself; and he who kills them with the sword will be killed by the sword also (Jer 15:22And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you are to tell them, ‘Thus says the LORD:
“Those [destined] for death, to death;
And those [destined] for the sword, to the sword;
And those [destined] for famine, to famine;
And those [destined] for captivity, to captivity.”‘
; 43:1111He will also come and strike the land of Egypt; those who are [meant] for death [will be given over] to death, and those for captivity to captivity, and those for the sword to the sword.). God will make sure that every crime that has been done to His saints will be repaid righteously. Up until that moment the saints must persevere in their faith. They can be sure that God, Who has not intervened visibly yet, will do that soon.

The faith sees the good end for itself and the retribution of the oppressors. They cannot respond violently to the brutal violence of the beast. By themselves they are defenseless and helpless. But they have a source of power that works totally differently. The source of their power is the faith in God that He will make an end to the power of the beast. In that awareness they persevere in their faithfulness to God, even if it may cost them their freedom or even more their life. Their life is not in the hand of the beast, but in the hand of the almighty and faithful God. That goes also for you when you face resistance in your witness to the Lord. When you have that trust you will not give up, but you will persevere.

Now read Revelation 13:5-10 again.

Reflection: What aspects of the beast do you recognize now already in society?


The Beast Coming Up Out Of the Earth

11Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. 12He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17and [he provides] that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, [either] the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.

V1111Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.. Then before the eyes of John a second beast appears. It is not a twin brother of the first beast, but another beast. It looks different and it does different things. But you will see that these two beasts get along very well. They are hand in glove. This beast does not rise up from the sea, like the first one, but “coming up out of the earth”. With ‘the earth’ is meant, in contrast to the sea, a more or less ordered society. It seems to represent Israel.

That’s what I think, because it appears from the description of this beast that it is an imitator of the Lord Jesus. When John sees the horns he must think of a lamb. In Revelation the Lamb is all the time the Lord Jesus. And who is the great imitator of the Lord Jesus other than the antichrist? He it is of whom the Lord Jesus said to the unbelieving Jews that somebody would come in his own name and that they will accept him (Jn 5:4343I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.). That also means that the antichrist will be a Jew. Israel will never accept a stranger, a person who does not belong to the Jewish people, as their king. It could only be somebody from among their own people.

Because of his horns this false messiah makes you think of a lamb. But he speaks “as a dragon”. His language reveals him. Therefore the sheep that belong to the Lord Jesus will certainly not follow the antichrist. The sheep do not listen to the voice of the stranger (Jn 10:55A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”). They know the voice of the good Shepherd and therefore they will follow Him (Jn 10:44When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.). This is also a touchstone for you. When you hear a voice that you do not recognize as the voice of the Lord Jesus, you must not to listen to it.

V1212He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.. Therefore there is a great solidarity between both beasts. But that solidarity is not one of equivalence. Actually the second beast is kept on a leash by the first beast. When the second beast exercises his power the first beast is obviously present. The second beast, the antichrist, has control by the grace of the first beast. He is not able to operate on his own, but is dependent on the first beast. The first beast, the dictator of the restored Western Roman empire, the united Europe, determines and ensures the way in which the antichrist exercises his power. This is the result of the covenant that the apostate Israel under the leadership of the antichrist, the false messiah, will make with the first beast. Isaiah calls it ‘a covenant with death’ (Isa 28:1515Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death,
And with Sheol we have made a pact.
The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by,
For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception.”
; Dan 9:2727And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations [will come] one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”).

The second beast also has, just like all other citizens of the earth, a limitless admiration for the first beast. That admiration is so great that he makes every effort to ensure that everything and everyone on earth will worship the first beast. The cause of worship is the healing of the deadly wound of the first beast. In the description of the first beast you have learnt that this healing refers to the restoration of the Western Roman empire, that has become visible in the united Europe. With this coercion to worship the first, the second beast reveals himself as a spiritual leader of both the apostate Judaism and the apostate Christianity. It is his aim to make an end to any worship of the Father and the Son.

V1313He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.. His strategy is that of lie and deception, fraud and imitation. He performs all kinds of impressive signs. What you see is not to be denied. At least, that is what many people will believe. But mind you that images may be manipulated. Another deceptive factor is that you do not get to see the whole story. When two people have seen something and make a report of it, you may get two totally different reports in the end. The devil is the great manipulator and a master in telling half truths. Therefore do not let yourself be dragged by stories and movies of so called great signs that are ascribed to God.

It is a characteristic of the end time that spectacular things happen. The origin of that is not God, but the devil (2Thes 2:99[that is], the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,). Here you see that the beast even “makes fire come down out of heaven”. Everyone sees that it comes from heaven, from God … it seems. But it is a trick of the devil who tries to give the impression through this false prophet that a true prophet is at work here. His performance is an imitation of what Elijah did several times (1Kgs 18:3838Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.; 2Kgs 1:10,1210Elijah replied to the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.12Elijah replied to them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.). The word “even” indicates that it could possibly be his most deceptive craftiness. With him making an appeal to the Bible people would say that a person who could ‘even’ do that, must surely be the true Messiah.

V1414And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life.. You see how people who do not want to have anything to do with the Bible, who only live for the earth, are a prey of his supernatural manifestations. The religious feeling of man is a perfect work place for demons. People who live without God will link themselves to something that is beneficial for them, whether in a financial sense, or whether in the sense of a spiritual boost. They admire others for their own benefit. They are not aware of them delivering themselves directly to the instruments of satan. Satan gives the antichrist the ability to perform deceptive signs. Those signs happen in the presence of the (first) beast. They happen to his glory and honor.

The religious influence that the antichrist has gained by his signs has become that great in the meanwhile, that he considers it the time to establish an image of the first beast. Therefore he gives the order to make such an image. Here is mention of the establishment of “the abomination of desolation” (Mt 24:1515“Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),; Dan 9:2727And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations [will come] one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”; 12:1111From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, [there will be] 1,290 days.). It is referred again to his recovery after the fatal wound. That must be enormously impressive. That is something that you observe more and more now already, the more Europe becomes one empire.

V1515And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.. The deceitful power of the antichrist is so great that it seems as if he brings the image to life. Satan enables him to give breath to the image. But breath doesn’t mean life. God alone can give life. The impression that the image is alive, arises because it speaks. The voice is of course that of a demon that perfectly imitates a human voice. This speaking makes the deception complete.

The apostate Jews may think that they have to do with an image of the true God. They have always been taught that idols do not speak (Psa 115:3,5,73But our God is in the heavens;
He does whatever He pleases.
5They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
They have eyes, but they cannot see;
7They have hands, but they cannot feel;
They have feet, but they cannot walk;
They cannot make a sound with their throat.
; 135:1717They have ears, but they do not hear,
Nor is there any breath at all in their mouths.
). A speaking image therefore cannot, according to them, possibly be an idol. A mass of people will fall down on their knees to worship the beast. The worship of the beast is crucial for life or death. He who does not worship will be killed (cf. Dan 3:5-65that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up.6But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.”).

V1616And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead,. Although the people have been deceived, they have voluntarily bowed down for the beast. They have chosen for the beast. But with their choice for the beast they lose their freedom at the same time. They got caught up in a power that they cannot free themselves from. The beast empowers his control over the people and brings them to an absolute relation and subjection to himself. Nobody escapes from that. It does not make any difference whether you are a small citizen or a great minister, for he is the big chief. It also does not matter whether you are rich or poor, for you cannot buy it off. Nor does it matter whether you are a free man or a slave, for you have lost your freedom.

Everyone is forced to visibly express his loyalty to the beast. Therefore the beast makes them to apply a visible mark “on their right hand or on their forehead”. The ‘right hand’ stands for deeds. In that way the beast repossesses everything that each person does. Everything will contribute to the power and glory of the beast and his empire. The ‘forehead’ is the center of the thoughts. Through indoctrination everyone will serve the business of the beast with conviction.

Due to the advances in technology the application of the mark will (soon) be a simple act. We are on the threshold of the era that will be ruled by the beast! In case God’s Word and His revealed thoughts therein do not guide your hand and your thinking, then sin and finally the antichrist will do it. Allow yourself to become aware of this warning!

V1717and [he provides] that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, [either] the name of the beast or the number of his name.. By the means of this mark the beast will rule the whole economy. Whoever does not hand himself over to the beast completely will economically be a pariah, somebody who has been abandoned by society. To this test the faithful ones will be furiously exposed. Because they refuse to receive the name or the number of the beast to be applied on their body, they will not be able “to buy or to sell”. They run the risk of starvation.

V1818Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.. Due to the crafty and deceptive character of the beast, his proposals for the application of the mark will be presented very credible. The people who allow themselves to receive the mark, think that in that way they act wisely. But they act foolishly. The faithful, on the contrary, receives wisdom from God to unmask the beast. In order to do that he has to use his mind, which is the insight given by God. In that way he will be able to calculate the number of the beast.

A lot of attempts have made to calculate the number, but all of them have a different outcome. That proves that we are not able to calculate it today. That is not necessary yet, because that time has not come yet. The only time will be when the church has been raptured. In that time the wise men and those who have understanding will be able to calculate the number. It is anyway clear that six is the number of man. That is mentioned here in triple (666) as the number of the beast. Man has become equal to the beast here, the absolutely lowest point of the degeneration of man.

Now read Revelation 13:11-18 again.

Reflection: Mention the characteristics of the antichrist.


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