NOTE: (Nov. 2018) Considerable detail is given in this Chapter of the first and second 'Beasts' emergence, the Satanic marking of those on Earth who will 'worship the Beast', (some say Israel only but that is doubtful), and also clues re. the name of the Anti-Christ.
Mystery still surrounds much of what Scripture says here, but, if the current 'Arab Spring', and turmoil in Syria and Iraq and Yemen etc. are linked to these events, we may be seeing the emergence of the 'First Beast'!
The Nations involved currently are of Scripture listing, so at the very least these events may be the 'beginning of birth pangs' as mentioned by Jesus in Matt. 24:8 etc.
If the above premise is right, then the current turmoil in the region may be the beginning of the first "Beast" emerging; eventually, morphing into the second Beast of verses 3 & 4; or, is the false equivalent to the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus after his Resurrection.
The second is "religious", as opposed to the first which is "political". It must be said here that there is much division of opinion on what is actually happening at present in this Mediterranean area. This means that the above thoughts are speculative; but the area is clearly critically unsettled!
The very least that knowledgeable, keen and curious Christians should do, who are interested in what is going to happen from Bible Prophecy, is to prayerfully watch events, as at the very least a formation is taking place at present!
The recent ISIS action in Syria and Iraq (Old Babylonia) with now the involvement of Russia, USA, and Europe to some degree would seem to be of powerful significance! The eventual near term outcome is unpredictable.
Sept. 2018 see link; Gog and Magog.
Special note; March 2017; and March 2018
Recent actions in Syria and Iraq, (Old Babylonia) by ISIS; which have arisen because of the “Arab Spring”, and subsequent to the invasion of Sadam Hussain’s Iraq; has raised the subject of “Militant Islam” in the minds and discussions of many thinking people. This was naturally the result of various acts of terrorism by ISIS in Europe, and other countries of the world.
It has even been quoted that Islam is linked to, or is the Beast of Chapter 13 of Revelation, and that Islam was initiated in the year AD 666!
However, history shows that although there was much “stirring” of religious politics from approx. AD 630 to AD 710, in Arabia, Mesopotamia, Persia, Levant, Egypt, Maghreb, Al-Andalus, Transoxiana and Hindustan, it was not until approx. AD 750 under the Abbasid Caliphate that consolidation of all the Islamic elements started; but infighting and rivalry continues to the present. The two main divisions are Sunni and Shia, with many subdivisions.
As regards Israel, the countries which are in Scripture regarding the “End Times”; are given in Ezk. 32, 38, and Psalm 83. These Nations are Islamic, and relate to (see: Ten Toes of Daniel 2:42).
Because of the differences that Islam teaches; there would have to be a unifying force within their elites, to allow joint effort; and that would be made possible by a “figurehead” such as the “Mahdi”; or “Hidden Imam”, (see: Rev Chapter 2, verse 12(a)) & (see: "New Age" Religion:) & (see: Euphrates: Rev. 9:14-16).
Special Note Nov. 2018
Late in 2017, President Trump declared his support for Jerusalem to become the Capital of Israel; and that the American Embassy would be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, to be opened on the 14th May 2018. This date is also the 70th Anniversary of the State of Israel, declared by the U.N. in 1948! This has angered the Palestinians and the many terror groups operating against Israel, and has reached the stage in early 2018 of a ‘declaration of impending war’ against Israel, by Erdogan of Turkey. He has also stated that Turkey should revert to an “Islamic State; which ceased in 1918 when the Ottomans were defeated at the end of the 1914-1918 world war! Erdogan has reportedly drawn up plans for the ‘war’, and is in active negotiations with the States surrounding Israel, and also reportedly, with Russian support! This threat, if it proceeds will accelerate all the prophecies in the Bible regarding the “end times” of this Age!
V.1 And (a)he (Satan i.e. “the Dragon”) stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a (b)wild Beast coming up out of the sea, having (c)ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads (d)names of blasphemy.
V.2 And the Beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet as the feet of a bear its mouth as a lion’s mouth, and the (e)Dragon gave it this power, also its throne, and great authority.
(a) "He"; this is translated in AV as "I". However, as this verse in the original undivided text follows V.17 of Chapter 12, the reference is certainly to Satan. (Chapters and verses have only been inserted into the Bible since the 13th Century, Chapters in the 13th Century; verses in the 16th Century). Therefore Satan oversees (as the god of this world) as he stands on the edge of the sea the rising of the Beast. Sea is often used in Scripture as a metaphor for peoples / Nations (Isa. 57:20); so here "he" (the Dragon), watches the rising of a particular grouping of peoples, or personage, or both! Satan oversees this birth; whereas Almighty God oversaw the birth of Christ from Israel (Chapter 12:1-5).
(The reference in Isa. 57:20, alludes to the “sea”, throwing up “mire and dirt”; which fits the descriptions of the “Beast”!)
(b) "Wild Beast"; this is the first reference in Scripture to such since Daniel (B.C. 495). In his day, the Nation of Israel was in exile in Babylon from his youth for 70 years, and he was a man (Prophet) much loved by God (Dan. 9:23), and (Dan. 10:19). Daniel was given the ability to interpret dreams, in the Power and Permit of Almighty God, to which fact he always paid homage and witness to God’s power; and did so on a number of occasions in his early captivity. One of those dreams much troubled Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2) and concerned the image of a man. Daniel, after witnessing to the source of the dream (Dan. 2:28) gave its meaning (Dan. 2:29-45). The man's image represented 4 Kingdoms.
1) The head of gold represented Babylonian Empire, symbol LION B.C. 626 -539.
2) The chest and arms of silver, Medo - Persia, BEAR B.C. 539 - 330.
3) Belly and thighs of bronze, Greek Empire, LEOPARD B.C. 330 - 63.
4) Legs of iron, Roman Empire, Eagle? (Terrifying Beast) B.C. 63 - to: (A.D. 70 as regards Israel)!
* Note: The feet are discussed in verse 8 notes.
The important principle in the above for the purpose of the Almighty, and the record made by the Holy Spirit in the Bible, is not the Kingdoms as such, but the fact that they impinge on ISRAEL when the history of Israel is current (defined as "Ammi", My people) as opposed to the history of mankind generally. Such is the present success of Satan, that mankind is blinded to the importance of the Divine Clock regarding Israel. Israel is special to God, and are called such on many occasions in Scripture, because God chose Abraham, because He knew his heart, and that he would be prepared to stand against the Satanic idolatry around him, Abraham responded in faith, and all the promises of God in the Old Testament relate to Abraham, and subsequently Israel; (not the Christian Church, as is so often taught)! (See: Replacement Theology (Spiritual Israel)?).
Because of this fact, only events affecting Israel in human history, and the purposes of God are the subject of Prophecy and record in the Bible. For example; in item 4) above, the Roman Empire ceased to be important in the Divine Plan at A.D. 70, BECAUSE ISRAEL HAD BECOME "LO-AMMI", (NOT MY PEOPLE) (HOSEA 1:9), and that was as a consequence of the rejection of Christ as their Messiah!
At some stage in the future, Jewish history as defined above will re-commence. There is however only a short time left in the Divine prophetic time scale, as laid out to Daniel in Dan. 9:27; which gives only 7 more years of that Prophecy to run. In between Dan. 9:26 and V.27, already approximately 1,930 years have elapsed. These however are not Jewish years of 360 days, but a mixture of Julian and Gregorian, which gives variation on the Jewish calculations of 360 day year; and the Gentile Calendar. In short it is probably not possible to know the exact Jewish year which we are now in, although some claim to know (i.e. on the 1/10/00, the Jewish new year of 5,761 begins according to Jewish "Rabbinical wisdom").
Even if it was known, it is irrelevant, as only God the Father knows the time when the Jewish Nation will become "AMMI" (MY PEOPLE), again, (Hos. 2:23), (Zech. 13:9), (Rom. 9:26) and (1Peter 2:10).
In Dan. 9:27 the statement of "a Covenant", gives the clue as to the commencement of the final 7 years of the Prophecy, as that "Covenant", will be for peace for Israel. When they think they have "peace and safety"; Satan in the guise of the Beast in V.2 will strike (Ezk. 38:14), and (1Thess. 5:3), for the last time against Israel, (prior to the Millennial Reign); "in the midst of the week”, i.e. half way through the 7 year period described above; which leaves 3½ years in which the “Beast” will inflict on Israel much persecution and suffering.
However, turning now to the Beast described in V.1 and V.2; put into its context in Chapter 13 of Revelation, and bearing in mind the above, a few comments can be made with some certainty.
1) The symbols of Empires, Leopard, Lion, Bear, are repeated from earlier Empires, affecting Israel as a Nation. I.e. there have been other Empires in that area since, but Israel was not a Nation in their land, under Jehovah; when their prophetic progress is current! So the “Beast out of the Sea”, is clearly an amalgam of Babylonia (Syria and Iraq); Medo – Persia (Iran); Greece (Part of Turkey and Caucuses); [See: Dan. 7:1-8]; and other of the Roman Empire surrounding Israel.
The fact of the “feet of clay and iron”, of Dan. 2:41-42; which is the “Kingdom” in question; drawn from all the previous, and its instability Dan. 2:43-44; is emphasised due to its short tenure as a powerful entity; as it will be destroyed, with all the influences of the previous Empires in that whole region by Christ Jesus Himself as He rescues the “remnant” of His people Israel; who are part of “Jeshuran” (Dan. 7:9-14 and Dan. 2:44-45); at the end of the last 7 years!
2) Since 1948 Israel has officially been recognised as a Nation (by the then League of Nations, now the U.N.). That was the first time since A.D. 70, and the Jews kept their unique identity wherever they were scattered, although very few know their tribe of origin, but their Jehovah God does!
In 2018 Israel will have been a Nation again for 70 years! The fact of the number 70 augers an event regarding their Nation’s stability and for recognition!
3) The fact that they are now a Nation in the eyes of the world, probably augers the re-commencement of their Divine History, i.e. the last 7 years of Dan. 9: 27, in the near future.
4) The identities of the Leopard, Lion and Bear are known from Dan. 2, and this last "beast" is certainly in the Prophetic Geographical Area, and in characteristics shows an amalgam of these and the previous Roman Empire. These Empires covered and overlapped each other, and in the crossroads to Asia, Africa and Europe in what was known as Palestine, Israel is central. The yet future Empire (Beast) (described as "feet and toes") in Dan 2, has Israel at its focal point, and is further described in Dan. 2:41-44.
5) The specific Nations involved are given in Ezk. 32, 38, and Psm 83, all of which fit the above criterion, and are in the "Prophetic Area", i.e. the known world of Old Testament Prophecy, and directly affecting the chosen people, Israel.
6) The animal symbols given show characteristics of this Beast, again referring to Daniel 2:29-45. The "Leopard"; speed, Alexander's Empire from Macedonia to the Indus river, was conquered and formed in 8 years! (It must be remembered that approx. half of present day Turkey (western half), was Greece in the past).
The "Bear"; Medo-Persia, present day Persia (Iran), Iraq, Caucuses peoples, and half of Turkey.
The Lion", the Babylonian Empire, with the, now defunct Ancient city of Babylon at the centre, is present day Iraq/Syria, of recent infamous history, (these Countries are the “Prophetic Area” of the Old Testament”).
- To summarise; this Beast will form very quickly, "Leopard". It will also consist of part of Ancient and modern Greece, part now Turkey, (the area of the 7 Churches (Ekklesia) see above notes, (the area of the 7 Churches, "Ekklesia").
(c) "Ten horns and seven heads"; these are well described in Dan. 7:7-8, and Dan. 7:19-28. This end time Empire Confederation (Beast) will be of the Nations described above, (who are all at the moment mainly Islamic). The horns are ten kings (Dan. 7:24), three will be replaced by one who is more powerful (V.20). They are located in 7 Countries (or areas) of the above mix.
(d) "Names of blasphemy"; this fact underlines him whose power reigns in this Empire; Satan. His throne (power base) will be in Pergamum (Ancient Greece) (Rev. 2:13), (i.e. in present day Turkey), and his whole effort will be to attempt to annihilate Israel with all the power available to him. The "names of blasphemy", will show in part in his attempt to persuade the people of Israel and the world that he is God, and he will show much power and wonders to that end, his is the unforgivable sin (Matt. 12:31) and those that follow him appear to suffer the same fate. See note 14:1(c).
(e) Satanic beyond all previous, with Satan's power and authority beyond description. As we know from Rev. 12:12 Satan knows his time is short, and he will condense the evil and terror.
V.3 And one (a)head slain; and its (b)death stroke was healed: and all the (c)world (Earth) marvelled and followed after the Beast (Empire), (person).
(a) "Head slain"; this "head", (Nation or geographical area or individual), "slain", is certainly one member of the Empire vanquished by "the little horn," (Dan. 8:9), which may be equated to civil war in the Confederation, and / or its leader slain.
(b) "Death stroke healed"; whatever the actual event or detail, the Nation and or individual is revived in such a way as to cause great admiration and wonder in the world, and raises the status and standing of the "little horn". It is notable that this supernatural event which is surely counterfeit of Our Lord's work, draws such awe, praise and worship to the individual responsible, whereas the miracles of our Lord were and are virtually ignored.
(c) These events cause the world to adhere to and follow the Empire's Confederation's leader.
V.4 And they (a)worshipped the Dragon because he gave (b)power to the Beast (leader of the Confederacy): and they (a)worshipped the Beast saying, (c)Who is like the Beast? and who is able to make war with (d)it?
(a) The stage of " worship", is now reached which means the Political Union has morphed into the Religious, which has been and is Satan's purpose throughout his existence, since his rebellion against his Creator. (See Isa. 14:12-15 & Ezk. 28) (see: Satan's Motivation: ).
(b) The world's peoples see and know the Beast (Confederation) has huge power both natural and supernatural. They have seen death defeated by him (apparently), and as is the case now, are more easily disposed to the acknowledgement of anything but the One True God. Such is the lying skill of Satan (Dan. 8:23-24), that even usually Godly and true people will be led astray (Matt. 24:24), because they will not know Scripture, have been taught wrongly by present day leaders and shepherds! But we do know that at that time some do see and hear, Christ directly, see 1:20(a)(b). As has been shown in the early Chapters, this is the new description of people of the Almighty, (for that time of events of the 7 years especially the last 3½; "Overcomers").
(c) The people know that at that moment in time the Beast and its backer (Satan) have no equal on Earth, as the “Holy Spirit” the “Restrainer” had been taken away previously at the “Rapture”!
This removal allows Satan to come to prominence (2Thess. 2:7-9); and that no other power on Earth can vanquish it, but they underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit given to Overcomers (Rev. 1:20), which is to “Overcomers” only; and the actions of God after the Seals release; and the “stone” (Dan. 2:45) that will destroy Satan’s Kingdom!
(d) Interlinear and J.N. Darby translate "it"; instead of “him”, as per KJV.
V.5 And there was given to him a mouth speaking (a)great things and (a)blasphemy; and power was given to him to continue (b)forty two months.
(a) See Daniel 7:25, and 14:1(c).
(b) See Daniel 7:25, forty two months, 3½ years, this is the second half of the 7 years mentioned above (Dan. 9:27), it is also the time of the worst ever tribulation for Israel and the world’s Nations; and the time that the two Witnesses of Jehovah are active in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:3-12).
V.6 And he opened his mouth in (a)blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and those that dwell in Heaven.
(a) (Dan.7:25). The anger of the Beast/Satan at his defeat and expulsion from Heaven, his knowledge that his time is short on Earth if he cannot annihilate Israel, leads him to slander God Almighty (the unforgivable sin, Matt. 12:31, and 14:1c). See: Knowing What The Unforgivable Sin Is, And Why It Is Important. His Name (all that God is) and His dwelling place, and all that dwell with Him. Satan covets all that God is, has, and will achieve at the end of their conflict. Satan is/seems convinced that many people will come to him, as happened with Heavenly Creation, but he is already seeing that both in Heaven and Earth the Father's Love is winning in Christ. In his now desperate and furious state, he turns to attempt final victory on Earth, the only theatre of action now left to him, which if he can destroy Israel utterly, he voids the promises of God to Abraham/Israel.
V.7 And it was given to him to make (a)war with the (b)saints, and to (c)overcome them: (d)and power was given him over all kindred’s, and tongues and Nations.
(a) "War"; the Greek word used means "special attack". This word emphasises the murderous venom which the Beast/Satan now brings to bear on "the saints".
(b) "The saints"; the Roman Church and its misuse and abuse of this word clouds the understanding. The Greek "HAGIOS", means "separated ones", or "holy and separated ones". With this definition, it could apply to whichever group or person the Holy Spirit desires. In this case, it in context undoubtedly refers to the Jews, especially those Jews who are to receive protection in the 42 months mentioned. However, there will certainly be Jews and non-Jews who are the focus of Satan/Beast attacks, fitting the "Overcomers", category. Some groups of Christians feel it applies to themselves, but there are many clues in Scripture which would preclude that, one of which is in the next verse. The most compelling is 2Thess. 2:7-9; which describes the withdrawal of “the restraining Spirit”; which also indwells all Christians of the Body! Also; these events are subsequent to Rev. 1:10; “The Day of Jehovah”!
(c) "Overcome them"; Satan/Beast will be allowed to oppress the Jewish Nation to a degree never before experienced, which with the record of the 1939-45 war, is ominous.
(d) The Beast/Satan also has power given to him to pursue and persecute all the Nations of the world. (See note at the beginning of Chapter 9).
V.8 And all that dwell upon the Earth shall (a)worship him every one whose name is not written in the (b)book of the life of the Lamb slain, from the foundation/overthrow of the world.
(a) Here is reached probably the highest point on Earth (as opposed to Heaven) for the Beast/Satan who now has many of the Earth's population openly worshipping him direct, and via his false messiah and false prophet, some believing that he is the true God.
It is quite possible that the charade of Satan is so convincing that the established religions will accept him as Messiah (in the case of the Jews), the risen Christ (in the case of Christendom [but not the True Body of Christ]), the hidden Imam (in the case of Islam), the 5th Buddha (in the case of Buddhists), and the Maitreya (in the case of the New Agers). This especially so as the Beast will "hate the whore", (Rev. 17:16) and appear to destroy her, which is clearly false righteousness for the effect of drawing their large groups together. Such is the lack of true teaching in all religions; especially the Christian; that people worldwide will easily be fooled into Satan’s charade!
The question arises, who is this entity described as "the Beast"? Chapter 2 of Daniel describes the figure in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. When the legs are reached they are described as iron (V.33), and from history are clearly military and religious Rome. The ending of the military phase of Rome started in the 4th century A.D. under Constantine. He and his very influential mother Helena, began the conversion of the Empire into a military and religious body, for many reasons, including the main one, effective control of the Empire and people. Constantine set up his own capital at Byzantium/Stambul (Istambul) which he re-named Constantinople. This alienated Rome, which by the 11th century A.D., split completely into the East and West of the original "Holy Roman Empire". Since then the two have established separate orthodoxies, i.e. Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Church, (two legs, left and right).
The feet of the dream (Dan. 2:41) and the toes, 5 from the left leg, and 5 from the right leg; (V.42) are the subject of our present study. Verse 1 describes it as having 7 heads and 10 horns (the horns are assumed to be the toes of the "image" Dan. 2:41). Other references to it are in Dan. 7:7 "ten horns", and 7:20 "ten horns". In 7:20 and 7:24 another horn rises and subdues 3 of them, and becomes very powerful. It is that horn in its power base that "makes war with the saints (Israel)", 7:21 & 7:25. In Rev. 13, the Beast has 7 heads. In Dan. 7:20 the ten horns are on one head, implying that the 7 Nations have become one power (Confederation), under the most powerful horn 7:21.
The identity of the little horn is the next concern. In Dan. 8:23 we are shown that he arrives out of the divided Kingdom of Alexander the Great, (8:21-22), which divided between his four Generals at the death of Alexander. We also have many Scripture references to him. I.e; in Dan. 8:23 the correct Hebrew shows that "the transgression", (against Israel) are to reach a peak, before "he", "shall stand up". This clearly points to the Tribulation imposed on the Jews by him (Satan) in the background, and almost certainly his full exposure ("standing up”) will correspond with the breaking of "the Covenant", (Dan. 9:27). His highest representative on Earth is commonly called “Antichrist”.
Through the Ages he has had various roles on Earth i.e. (Isa. 14:4), (Isa. 14:12), (Isa. 14:25), (Dan. 7:8), (Dan. 8:23), (Dan. 9:26), (Dan. 11:36), (Mic. 5:5), (2Thess. 2:3), (2Thess. 2:8), (Rev. 13:1), and (Rev.13:18). Some of the above apply to his future role as Antichrist.
In Summary: the "little horn", Antichrist emerges from the 4th beast (Confederacy) as its leader. Initially magnanimous to Israel, there is a 3½ year period of peace for them. After the first 3½ years, he breaks the agreement with Israel and they enter persecution (Jer. 30:7), known in Prophecy as "Jacob's Trouble", for 3½ years. However, this is the stage of the dramatic re-entry of the Christ of Jehovah onto the world stage for the first time in Power (Dan. 2:34-35, 44 and 45), (Isa., (Zech.) & (Ezk.) etc. Simultaneously or partly simultaneously (apparently) much is happening to the Nations of the world, which is not of Satan, but the "wrath of God" (Rev. 16:1).
(b) Book of life of the Lamb slain, from the foundation if the world. The word "foundation" in Greek is "Katabole", which means "overthrow". This seems to have occurred at some stage between Gen. 1:1, and Gen. 1:2, see: The Age of the Earth Controversy: and The Genesis 1:1 Enigma.
No information is given as to the reason, but is implicit in Almighty God's Plan of Redemption in Christ, as the Lamb's Book of Life started after that event! Some clarity is given by Paul and Peter regarding this juncture point. It is clear from Eph. 1:4, and 1Peter 1:20 that some are "known", before the "overthrow", some after. Only Christ and His Body as shown in Eph. 1:4 and 1Peter 1 :20 are "known" before the overthrow (foundation). Those after are the Jew, and other groups, i.e. perhaps Christendom (religious but not of the Body of Christ), Overcomers of Revelation, and all who must eventually stand before the Great White Throne for Judgement. Here those after are referred to. Those before are probably, in the opinion of the writers, no longer on Earth as mentioned earlier, (see Chp. 8:1(a), last para.). Some opinions are that The Lamb's Book of Life started before the overthrow/foundation, which however is not the writers view, as that does not concur with Scripture's statements, (see ref. Rev. 3:5(c)). What is clear is that The Lamb's Blood is retrospective from the overthrow/foundation, and that there are two groupings, those known before and those after.
V.9 (a)If any person have an ear, let them hear.
(a) This form of words only ever used by Our Lord alone (Matt. 7:29). In Revelation the first usage was 2:7, this is the 8th and last in Revelation. The fact of its 8th position, indicates a new commencement, or new beginning (App. 10 Comp.) in the following Chapters much detail is given on what has already been covered briefly. The pronouncement (or warning) to understand, clearly stands on the edge of the wrath of God, (Rev. 16:1). Our Lord's use of the phrase 7 times in His Earthly walk, was always used to draw special attention to what He was saying, and to emphasise its crucial and eternal nature. The 7 occasions are; (Matt. 11:15), (Matt. 13:9), (Matt. 13:43), (Mark 4:23), (Mark 7:16), (Luke 8:8) & (Luke 14:35). The fact of the number 7, puts the mark of the Holy Spirit onto the Lord's words, 7 denoting spiritual perfection, (App. 10 Comp.).
V.10 (a)He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patient endurance and the faith of the saints.
(a) These are known as "Hebraisms", (or Hebrew idioms), (sayings), which when the Holy Spirit uses them in Scripture, have the meaning of inescapable inevitability. In this case meaning the Beast who inflicts suffering on the Jews etc.; will be so inflicted himself by God Almighty, but that patient endurance will see the demise of the Beast!, as he is the one being led into captivity eventually for 1000 years; prior to his final demise!
V.11 And I saw (a)another (b)Beast coming up out of the Earth; and he had (c)two horns like a lamb, and he was (d)speaking as a Dragon.
(a) "Another"; the Greek word (allos), means "another of the same kind", (Comp. App. 124-1).
(b) "Beast"; (i.e. "wild Beast", but distinguished from that of V.1).
(c) The fact of similarity to a "lamb", shows inescapable similarity to the "Lamb of God", and is intended as such. The two horns speak of testimony (App. 10) or difference. When two testimonies agree, it is conclusive. Horns in Scripture always speak of kingships, or power (relative to Earth). So here two horns agree, (testimony), conveyed by "a lamb", (spiritual or religious figure).
(d) "Speaking as a Dragon"; in Scripture, only Satan. So, after the first Beast (political), arises and is established, this second "Beast", (religious) arises which is empowered by Satan, and whose task is to bring about worship from the people (V.15), and therefore remove worship and allegiance from the "One True God", Jehovah Zebaoth! This Beast is led by the false prophet of Chp. 16:13, 19:20 and 20:10; some opinion is that it is the “false prophet”; the counterfeit Holy Spirit!
V.12 And he exercised all the (a)power of the first Beast before him, and caused the Earth and them that dwell therein to (b)worship the first Beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
(a) Here the 2nd "Beast", shows itself to be similar to the first (V.11), with the same power, but with a different emphasis.
(b) The emphasis is "worship"! The politics of the first Beast brought about the attention and focus of the peoples, which is now to be turned further into "worship", (vicariously of Satan) which as stated previously is the motive force and objective of Satan from earlier Ages; and started at his own rebellion against God; (see: Satan's Origins;).
V.13 And he doeth (a)great wonders including making (a)fire descend from Heaven onto the Earth in the sight of men,
V.14 And (b)deceived them dwelling on the Earth by means of those wonders, which it was given him to do in the sight of the Beast; saying to them that dwell on the Earth, that they should make an (c)image to the Beast, which had the wound of a sword, and did live.
(a) "Great wonders"; nothing impresses mankind more than demonstrations of power, especially when they lean to the mystery and charisma that only Satan can generate (i.e. towards darkness).
When Elijah contended with the priests of Baal, (1Kings 18), bringing fire down from Heaven in the contest, defeating the Baal priests, slaying them and winning the day for, and by Jehovah, he was not a popular man (1Kings 19).
When our Lord did the required miracles (signs) (Isa. 29:18), (Isa. 35:5-6), (Matt. 11:4-5) and (Rom. 15:8), they were derided by the Pharisees and priesthood, and rejected by them, because they adhered to the 'Wisdom Writings' of their teachers, instead of the 'Biblical Torah', given by Jehovah to Moses! This was derided by John the Baptist, Jesus and Apostle Paul! Here this Beast (false prophet), (2Thess. 2:9) and (Rev. 16:13) does "great wonders", and is accepted, instantly.
(b) Deceit is Satan's main method (Rev. 20:3), and (Rev. 20:8), and with humans it started in the Garden of Eden with Eve. (See: Eve and Adam).
(c) "Image"; Almighty God expressly forbade Israel to make any image for worship (Lev. 26:1), in that command, God states that He is their God (Jehovah). In John's Gospel (4:23-24), the mind of the Father is revealed, requiring only "worship in spirit and in truth". Stating clearly that He is "Spirit", and requiring only sincere from the heart worship, as opposed to ritual and ceremony.
The Enemy therefore, through the second Beast requires the opposite, i.e. image, ritual and ceremony, (reminiscent of the Roman Church), so as to maximise idolatry and worship of Satan.
V.15 And (a)it was given to him to give (b)life unto the image of the Beast, in order that the image of the Beast should (b)speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the Beast be (b)killed.
(a) "It was given him"; this phrase occurs also in Vs. 5 and 7. The Greek (didomo) for "given", (Str. no. 1325), has a wide definition, among which are; "to give, bestow, to bring forth, to deliver up, to grant, to minister, to have power, etc." The A.V. renders it, "he had power"; the Interlinear, "it was given to it"; the Companion Bible corrects the A.V. text to, "it was given him"; J.N. Darby "it was given to it"; the Revised Standard, "it was allowed". The obvious question is who is giving this power to the 2nd Beast (like a lamb), which of course can only be answered, by the great Enemy Satan (2Thess. 2:9-10). He has at present these Dispensations from God, as part of the “rules of engagement”, in their titanic warfare, (see below).
However, we know from God's Word that all life is of Him (Job 1:21), (Job 33:4), (Ecc. 12:7), (Isa. 37:16), (Isa. 40:13), (Isa. 44:6), (Jer. 10:12) and (Heb. 3:4), so that the ultimate source of all power is Almighty God, as He allows Satan to do his worst for a very specific reason, shown in Rev. 20:11-12. Part of Jehovah's reasons are discussed in Chapter 12:V4, V.5 and V12, and elsewhere. (See: Satan's Contest with God).
(b) This religious figure is "given", the power to put "life" into the image, causing it to speak, and be worshipped. The degree of power that will then reside with this 2nd Beast is expressed in the ultimate Earthly sanction; physical death. For that to be possible, a very high level of physical and mental control will be established on Earth (see note at the beginning of Chapter 9); over the population.
V.16 And he caused all, small and great, rich and poor, free and bond servant, to be (a)marked on the right hand, or on the forehead:
V.17 So that no one may (b)buy or sell, except those with the (c)mark, or the (c)name of the Beast, or the (c)number representing his name.
(a) At the time the Holy Spirit penned these words via. John on Patmos, the world (then known) was a much smaller place than now. However, with modern communications and travel speeds some would say that in fact it is smaller in the sense of actions etc. Many commentators on Scripture cannot agree on who is marked, and many prefer to say Israel only is involved. It is true that the meaning can seem ambiguous, but it is the opinion of the writers that possibly all peoples of the world are involved, where Jews of the Diaspora are living, but that the Jews are the primary target. There are a number of compelling reasons for this conclusion. The debate hinges for some on the simple Greek translation of the word for "Earth", (Ge) as in V.8 and in many places. The definition for (Str. 1093), is wider than the Comp (App. 129:4), but both generally agree. Verse 7 in this case supports the view of world-wide application, i.e. "over all kindreds, and tongues, and Nations"; which is the writers view!
The fact is that there are many more Jews still dispersed throughout the world than in Israel, its present borders could not hold them! The present population of Israel is probably far less than that of the USA alone! All the Jews outside the focal point (Israel) of these future events will be affected and involved, because Antichrist will be seeking them out. That is the reason that our Lord is so emphatic in His statement regarding "His brethren", in Matt. 25:40 (see Matt. 25: 31-46), and our Lord's comments and actions are internationally focused as is clear from His words in Matt. 25. This fact augers for the same emphasis in V 17 statement.
God has sealed people in the forehead, prior to great trouble in the past, (Ezk. 9:4) and (Rev. 7:3). This marking by Satan is the anti-thesis, and is his promise of protection to his people.
Summary: One of the possibilities of the "marking", of the Jews of Israel in and around Jerusalem, and also of the Diaspora spread around the world, is that in this case both "land" and "world" are intended. The focus in Revelation is "overcoming" (Satan and all his powers), but also the witness and fidelity to Christ as Messiah and Saviour. Not many Jews will refuse the "Mark" because of Christ, but because of their "Orthodox (Pharisaic) beliefs", and because the Beast is demanding worship,V.15. There will be the ones who "look on Him who they pierced" (Zech. 12:10), if they are of the "Preserved Remnant". The fact of our Lord's emphasis on the judgement of the Gentile Nations on "how did you treat My brethren"? (Matt. 25:32-46), obviously implicates the Gentiles who are sympathetic or not to the Jews world-wide during "Jacob's Trouble" period, and it is quite certain that Satan's tyranny (although focused on the Jews of Israel), will extend to those who support the Jews.
His power will be such at that time, that he will not be stopped by the rulers in individual countries from persecuting Gentile sympathisers, as the rulers of each Nation will be in sympathy with his anti-Jewish actions, and will chime with the world-wide anti-Semitic atmosphere.
This tentative comment is supported by the reference in Revelation 7:9-17, where the great multitude of people of all Nations are shown to have come out of "the great Tribulation", and have washed their robes in the "blood of the Lamb". This latter comment also, supports the Scriptures that show the Lord's Body has been taken by that time!
(b) So the worshippers of this future Antichrist figure, are also marked to allow permit to "buy and sell", (trade etc.), which will be strictly controlled, making life for those outside the favour of this Satanic system very hard if not impossible. It has to be remembered that this state of affairs is only 3½ years in duration, however many people will not know this, and they will be controlled to such an extent that such information the Bible holds will not be easily available and in any case will not be understood, hence the special Holy Spirit upholding of the groups mentioned in the early Chapters.
The example given by God’s protection and sustaining of Israel after their release from Egypt, clearly shows that God’s world-wide power and reach will be shown again at that time, to sustain His “remnant” of Israel (Isa. 10:20).
(c) "Mark, name, or number"; these terrible symbols, will denote more than just permit, (to trade etc.), but will also denote ownership! Satan will own these individuals in the same way, and to the same degree as the Heavenly beings that are his.
Regarding the angels of Heaven that followed and belong to Satan, according to Rev. 5:11, the original Hebrew words mean "countless numbers", this means that as one third of Heaven's angels that followed Satan cannot be numbered (by humans), but the number almost certainly will be much larger than the human population that are marked. In the year 2018, the population of Earth reached 7,500,000,000 (7·5 billion), this number given by the U.N. If current projections are correct, by 2020 approx. 10 billion people may inhabit the planet (projections vary).
Numbers of people will be large, but compared with Heaven's population the numbers are probably small. It is worth reiterating here the reason Satan will work so hard against Israel; his purpose is to annihilate Israel. If he were to succeed, the promises to Abraham by Jehovah would be null and void, as Jehovah has promised that Israel will never cease to be a Nation (Jer. 31:35-37) and Satan would become ruler of the Earth and will have successfully challenged Almighty God!
He will use all natural and supernatural means at his disposal, including the Earth's population, of which he needs as many as he can get, as the human race is the main target after his success in Heaven! Therefore his methods are subtly tailored to try to entrap as many of the unwary as possible, to augment his success in Heaven! As seen above, Satan has under his control countless angels, and also humans who are marked and who worship him openly, to be able to live and trade during his total power period on Earth! Satan's people however have been converting to him since the flood of Noah, and prior to that since Eden.
His methods are varied, some easy to see such as open pagan worship in its multitude of forms. However, in these times, the methods blend into the credible, so that many so-called "christian" groups say they have the "truth", but in reality are a perverted form of "christianity". The many variations of these make listing impossible, but what they have in common is dominant leadership, which after a "honeymoon" period, demands that the individual's mind, will, actions, and often substance, come under their control! Their teachings they demand, are the ONLY ones which are true! They will not allow open questioning of their teaching, or their interpretation of the Bible, (sometimes their own version), their activities or their leadership, etc.! They demand mindless obedience.
The Jehovah's Witnesses are an obvious fit to the above, but also some Charismatics, Pentecostals, Roman Church, The New Age Movement, and some parts of the Ecumenical Movement, etc. In these groups and their ilk, many humans are being trapped, and they will not question their controllers for fear of loss of favour and group! If they do not, they are in danger of not having the Truth, and being deceived.
The most precious organ the Almighty gives us is our brain, it should be abdicated to nobody and it should be well programmed with good teaching! Bible revering Christian groups will never demand these things, and the best will post their list of Bible beliefs in a prominent position, so that a person knows what they are subscribing to before they join! They are also Christ centred in Truth, and are not deceived by the many different "christs" that our Lord warned about (Matt. 24:24 and Mark 13:22).
V.18 Here is (a)wisdom. Let him that hath (a)understanding count the number of the Beast: for it is the number of a (b)man; and his number is (b)Six hundred threescore and six.
(a) Not surprisingly this verse is the most widely known verse of Revelation, by many types of groups worldwide including those of the Enemy. "Wisdom, understanding"; the Greek (Sunesis = wisdom) renders; insight, understanding, capacity to comprehend, use of thought. These qualities are prerequisite to the task.
(b) Here the Beast equated to a "man", and his "number", 666. Much has been written on this subject, and will continue to be so. It is almost certain that the identity of the man will not be known until the time of the events.
However, the principle of the calculation are already well understood. In Ancient times letters of the alphabet served as numbers, and many and various devices ensued, i.e. riddles etc. Various attempts at naming 666 in the early Church were attempted including Nero Caesar, by Gematria substitution of numbers by letters of Hebrew alphabet. In this process the 22 symbols of the Hebrew alphabet are numbered. The first ten, from 1-10. The next 8, from 20 - 90 in intervals of ten. The final 4 are 100, 200, 300 & 400. If any language can lay claim to valid use by Gematria, it is the original Hebrew. This is because the language in its original form was given by Almighty God to His people. Many will cry against that statement, but they are the same people who cannot understand the Holy Scriptures. The Bible cannot be understood unless a person:
1) Reveres God, and sincerely studies His Word, (Isa. 29:11-13).
2) Must want to know His Word, (Psm. 119:162), and rejoice in it.
3) Must labour (work at) the Word, as a task (which becomes joyful) (2Tim. 2:15).
The statement is made by the Holy Spirit in His Word that "it is perfect", (Psm. 12:6), "and purified 7 times". For such a statement to be made by Almighty God, means He is using the perfect language (Hebrew) to convey His message. It is a fact that Daniel 2:4 to 7:28 is written in Aramaic/Chaldee, that is to differentiate the Gentile historic section, and to compare it to the Jewish prophetic section (in Hebrew) regarding "the time of the end", (Comp. page 1178). The fact that the New Testament is in Greek, means the Holy Spirit has refined the use for His purpose, and that therefore the Greek possibly can be used also for Gematria.
However; when the "time of the end", is reached, Hebrew and Greek Gematria can be cross checked! There has been recently a translation from Ancient Aramaic of the "Pshitta", which is reputed to have been held by the "Eastern Church", unsullied by translation to "Western languages". This was/is being undertaken by an Ancient languages scholar in the USA, and makes interesting reading. It can be used for comparison; See: Ancient Aramaic Manuscripts, Pshitta O and A:
The argument is presented by some scholars, that there are many errors in Scripture. By others that many parts are written after Prophetic fulfilment.
These are inevitable attacks. Those who are sincere go on to study the Word with their minds and hearts stayed on Christ / Jehovah God, and come to realise that the so called errors are Satanically inspired and conspired over the centuries, by human and demonic interference.
Where the Bible uses numbers therefore it is extremely important, and careful note must be taken as to meaning.
It is noteworthy that SSS = 666 in this method, which forms the symbol of Isis, which derived from Egypt; which derived from Babylon; and which the Roman Church adopted; (Isis and Horus) (mother and child), so as not to anger the Roman pagans. This has led to the major error/perversion in the Roman Church of "Maryology", (worship of Mary), as intercessor for sinners to God, removing at a stroke the unique work of our Lord and Saviour on the cross. All of which together with the priestly confessional system totally undermines the truth of access to God through Christ our Lord (Acts 4:12).
SSS is also the secret symbol of the "Old Mysteries", all of which emanate from Ancient Babylon. They spread across the world, to China and the Far East via. India; to Europe via. Egypt, and Greece; to South America via. the mid. - Atlantic islands. These carriers are now known by genetic testing to be Iberian, the same tests show Siberian and Polynesian genetics in the north and south American Indians, which according to archaeological dating is many thousands of years before Columbus!
Also, in South America there is evidence of an African type "Civilisation", now apparently extinct, which flourished thousands of years ago. The remaining ruins show prolific African facial features!
Latterly to the so called "new world countries", by emigration. In the case of Europe, the Greek teachings of Plato, Socrates and others entered the Christendom teachings, and have led to many errors now taught in official theology. Satan heads up all of these false ideas and religions, and in his final attempt on Earth, will bring all of the above into play, as he captures the hearts and minds of people in each country.
666 was the secret symbol of the Ancient pagan mysteries connected with the worship of the Devil, and the number has some surprising meanings already known. For example, the Romans only used six of their letters as numbers i.e. D,C,L,X,V & I. As shown below they total 666!
D = 500)
C = 100) 600
L = 50)
X = 10) 60
V = 5)
I = 1) 6
When using the Greek language for Gematria, 666 becomes SSS, the Ancient mysteries symbol, as S = 6. A special form of S was used called "STIGMA", which means MARK, by branding!! This was used on cattle, slaves, soldiers etc., by those that owned them. Some remarkable historic facts are: (Numbers in Scripture: Dr. E.W. Bullinger).
1) The duration of the old Assyrian Empire, 666 years.
2) Jerusalem trodden down by Rome 666 years.
3) Goliath was 6 cubits tall, had 6 pieces of armour, his spear 600 shekels of iron (1 Sam. 17:4-7), (Goliath was considered Nephilim)!
4) Nebuchadnezzar's "image", 60 cubits tall, 6 cubits broad (Dan. 3:1), and was worshipped when music played on 6 specific instruments.
5) 666 talents of gold brought to Solomon in a year (1Kings 10:14).
The number of man in Scripture is 6, and where it is at its maximum concentration is 666! (As 3 in Scripture denotes completeness). Man has ruled the world disastrously since Adam. When the 666 is finished, God's rule on Earth begins, and lasts 1000 years, prior to the new Heaven and Earth (Rev. 21:1). The rule on Earth will have Christ Jesus at the focal point of power and rule (Jerusalem), (Zech.) etc. There is much that can be said about the number 888, but put simply it is the number of the name of Jesus in Greek Gematria. The Hebrew (SH'MONEH), from the root (SHAH'MEYN), "to make fat", "cover with fat", "to super abound", is the Hebrew number 8 by Gematria. It also represents in Scripture, "resurrection", "regeneration", "a new beginning or commencement"! Hence the perfect completeness (3) of 8 = 888 = Jesus Christ in Millennial. The number 8 permeates the whole of Scripture, which speaks of CHRIST!
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