HIS FALSE PROPHET
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Then [NU changes I to he] stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast, which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority…
THE BEAST WHO ARISES OUT OF THE SEA
We are still in the third interlude here in chapters 12 and 13. Chapter 13 is a new vision, but the scene is still down on the earth. I must admit that NU’s correction of the text threw me a bit of a curve at first. I had always assumed that it was John who was standing on the seashore when he saw this vision but the better reading here is not I but he, referring back to Satan in chapter 12. So, the last verse in chapter 12, combined with the first verse of chapter 13, reads,
And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. Then he stood on the sand of the sea… Revelation 12:17-13:1a
So, it was Satan who John saw standing on the seashore. Then, as John watched, slowly, ten horns with ten crowns upon them began to rise up from the sea. Eventually, seven grotesque heads were exposed from which the ten horns protruded. Furthermore, each dripping head was emblazoned with its own blasphemous name. Finally, the entire beast came wading out to Satan like a great frankensteinian monster coming home to its master. In appearance, its body was like a leopard, its feet like a bear, and its mouth was like a lion. If you are a student of the prophet Daniel, you will sense that there is something quite familiar about this beast because each of the animals that make up its body, are also found in Daniel 7. There, using the imagery of four different beasts, God revealed to Daniel that, in the future, four great world dominating empires would arise upon the Earth. Daniel described them as follows:
The first was like a lion. It was explained to Daniel that the lion represented the Babylonian Empire under which he was living at the time having been taken there as a captive by Nebuchadnezzar.
The second was like a bear. It represented the Medo-Persian Empire that followed Babylon. Daniel lived during the reign of that empire as well.
The third was like a leopard. In retrospect, we know that it symbolized the next empire to step out on the stage of world history. That would be the Grecian Empire.
The fourth beast, Daniel said, was dreadful and terrible. It symbolized the fourth empire that would come … the Roman Empire … in both of its future stages. The first stage began a couple hundred years before, and then continued well past, Jesus' day. But, Daniel’s vision of that beast included its second stage as well … when it will be resurrected again during the last days of the Tribulation. In Daniel’s vision, this second stage was symbolized by the beast’s ten horns along with its little horn that Daniel saw. So, the prophecy of Daniel 7, not only foretold the rise of the Roman Empire but it also prophesied that it would reappear on Earth in the last days. This second stage of the Roman Empire is very important to our study here in Revelation.
The beast that John saw rise up out of the sea and come to Satan … is a composite of all four of the beasts in Daniel’s vision. The significance of its composite nature is that this last world-dominating kingdom will contain elements of all four of the great and dominating Gentile empires that preceded it. As such, it will be the epitome of Gentile reign on Earth. This is the political/governmental side of the beast symbol here in Revelation 13. However, we will discover that it represents even more than that. It also represents a person. This second meaning of the symbol is its personality/dictator side. Let’s break it down. The beast John saw:
… came out of the Mediterranean sea. This is an indicator that Antichrist and his ten-king federation will arise out of the European Theater of the old Roman Empire.
… had ten horns and ten crowns. We learn from Daniel 7, that, in the second stage of the Roman Empire (when it manifests itself afresh during the days of the Tribulation), it will arise out of a ten king confederation. We also learn from Daniel 7, that seven of those kings will come on board with Antichrist ... voluntarily, but three others will have been uprooted by him and be replaced by other kings. After those initial adjustments, the ten kings will rule with and under Antichrist during this last phase of the revived Roman Empire. The beast's ten horns here in Revelation 13, represent those same kings as found in Daniel's vision. They are also found in Revelation 17. For comparison, here is a look at these kings in the Daniel 7, and Revelation 17, passages:
The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time. Daniel 7:24-25
The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. Revelation 17:12
So the Bible prophesies, both in Daniel and also here in Revelation, that Antichrist's kingdom will consist of a ten king confederation that will arise out of the ancient Roman Empire. Dr. McGee observes that the Roman Empire was never really destroyed or conquered but, rather, simply disintegrated and elements of it still survive today in the laws, customs and peoples of Europe. The Bible predicts that, in the last days, out of those peoples … it will rise again in the form of a ten king confederation headed up by Antichrist.
… had seven heads. We learn from Revelation chapter 17, the seven heads of this beast represent yet another set of kings. They represent seven, long dead and ancient rulers of the original Roman Empire. They were men whose personalities and lives were pictures or types of the yet future Antichrist who was yet to come. As you have it there in Revelation 17,
There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. Revelation 17:10-11
So, to sum up, the beast's ten horns represent a last-days confederation of ten kings who will rule with Antichrist, but its seven heads represent seven ancient Roman Caesars that once ruled over the ancient Roman Empire who were types (or pictures) of the coming Antichrist. Their twisted characters and blasphemous actions, you see, epitomized and remind us of him. We will discuss the identity of these seven Caesars when we get to chapter 17. This is all part of the political/governmental side of this beast symbol that John saw.
Now, let's look at the other side of this symbol because, remember, the beast also represents a person. This is the personality/dictator side of the symbol. Notice that the beast becomes personalized in the last phrase of verse two where the text says, The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. The personal pronouns here tell us this is also speaking about a person and that Satan will grant him great supernatural powers. In Matthew 24, Jesus predicted that the days of the Great Tribulation will be days when there will be incredible displays of supernatural power. I might add, that will be both from God's side of the equation as well as Satan's. Our text here says that Satan will give his power to Antichrist. The implication of that is no small matter. Satan has great supernatural powers. He wiped out Job’s servants, his house and his children using fire from heaven and a tornado (Job 1:16-19). What would such supernatural weapons do to any human military, even that of the United States? Later in this chapter, we will read that the False Prophet will be able to call down fire from heaven. What could such a weapon do to an aircraft carrier, a tank or ground troops? Make no mistake about it, when this day comes ... when Satan has given his power over to Antichrist ... the military might of any nation will not stand a chance against him. No wonder the people of Earth will say, Who is able to make war with him ? (13:4b)Now, both in the Old and New Testaments, the Bible predicts that one day a man will come who will be the near embodiment of Satan himself. If Satan could become incarnate and make himself into a human being, I believe that he would. He’s that anxious to be like the Most High. But since he can’t, he plans to copycat, as near as possible, what God has done. So, Satan too will have his man! One of the names of Satan’s man in the Bible is Antichrist. As you have it in First John 2:18,
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
Antichrist is the personality/dictator side of this ferocious beast symbol that John saw. He will step out on the stage of human history to rule the world during the dark days of the Great Tribulation. Daniel prophesied,
And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; he shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive; he shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes (Jesus); but he shall be broken without human means. Daniel 8:23-28
Dr. Criswell says of him, All the glories of the kingdoms of earth will reside in Antichrist reign. He will be like a Nebuchadnezzar, a Tiglath-Pilizer, a Shalmanezer, a Julius Caesar, an Alexander the Great, a Napoleon, a Frederick the Great, and a Charlemagne all wrapped into one. He is Satan’s masterpiece.
So, to conclude, it is very important to remember that the symbol of this beast from the sea is a complex one. That is, there is more than one thing that it symbolizes. It is a symbol of both Antichrist’s political kingdom as well as Antichrist himself.
And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshipped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’
Because of the personal pronouns used here, we know that these verses are continuing to give us information about the personality/dictator side of the beast symbol … Antichrist, himself. John says that one of his heads was mortally wounded. John saw that the beast had received a death blow to one of its heads … which should have killed it … but, he says, the deadly wound was healed. Because of this miraculous recovery, the world marveled and followed after the beast and they worshipped both the dragon who gave authority to the beast and the beast. Second Thessalonians 2:3-8, also speaks of the Antichrist worship that will come about in that future day.
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming.
My, how the peoples of the world will fall in line when they see the miraculous healing of Antichrist's mortal wound! There is a very important principle here that I would like to address … so, let's step aside for a moment. Beloved, there is great danger in building one’s theology on experience rather than on the Word of God. It is very dangerous to build what one believes on what one sees and/or experiences ... rather than on what one reads in the objective Word of God. Satan is a liar, a deceiver and a counterfeit. The world is full of his tricksters and deceivers. Sadly, many people, and even some of the saints of God, readily receive and believe what they see and experience over what they read in their Bibles. Second Corinthians11:13-15, warns,
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
Our text here says that the world will worship both Satan and his puppet, Antichrist, because of what they see. They will all fall in line because of Antichrist's miracle over death, his amazing power and his military prowess. Daniel noted this militaristic relationship of Antichrist saying,
He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. Daniel 11:37-38
I have been thinking on the above prophecy in light of recent world events. ot long ago, I listened to a Moslem convert to Christianity who was interviewed on Fox News. He grew up in the Muslim religion and was taught from infancy that he was to hate his enemies. He went on to say that Islam teaches that their enemies are the infidels, especially Jews and Christians. He also said that the Moslem religion is a religion of domination and that Allah, its god, is a god of might and valor. Since the bombing of the World Trade Centers, and subsequent other attacks by Islamic extremists, it is becoming more and more clear how Antichrist might very much be attracted to such a religion and its warlike god and, hence, may initially bee a Moslem. This would further explain why, when he suddenly ascends to power at the beginning of the Tribulation, he will be in a position to make a treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27). All around the world, the ancient conflict between Islam and Israel continues to rage as Islamists continue their ceaseless attacks on Israel. They are bound and determined to annihilate it from the face of the earth. What amazing times we live in. The prophecies of the Bible are becoming more and more relevant and understandable every day.
And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. [three and a half years] Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, his tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, [NU adds and people, tongue, and nation]. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
We continue here with the personality/dictator side of the beast symbol (the description of Antichrist himself):
First, John says, And he was given a mouth speaking great things. Antichrist will be a mesmerizing orator. It is said that Hitler was a formidable speaker and that he could sway an audience to believe just about anything. I believe that was because he himself had the spirit of Antichrist. But the world has yet to see anything like the oratory skills that the beast will possess. He will be a Winston Churchill, a Disraeli and an Adolph Hitler all rolled into one. Daniel 7:8, also alludes to Antichrist’s oratory prowess,
I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.
Second, John says he will speak blasphemies. Daniel 7:25, agrees,
He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time [three and a half years].
Third, John says, It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. This too is in agreement with Daniel 7:25, quoted above. From these scriptures we understand how difficult it will be to be a believer during the Great Tribulation. In that day, to follow Christ will be a virtual death sentence. You will remember from chapter 12, after Satan was ejected from Heaven, he came down to Earth in great wrath. No longer able to accuse the saints in Heaven, he will energize his Antichrist to launch a campaign to eradicate them from off the earth. My, how Satan hates God's children! When his man reigns supreme, he will ride roughshod over them and they will be given into his hand. Jesus spoke of this as well,
You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls. Luke 21:16-19
Fourth, he says, All who are living on the earth will worship him. The vast majority of the peoples of the world will one day worship Antichrist. However, we also see from our text that there will be those who will refuse to do so, namely, those whose names are found written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. This is Romans 8, and Ephesians 1, territory. The names that are written in the Lamb's Book of Life are his chosen, called and elect ones. It is a book that records all that have responded to Christ by faith and received God’s great offer of salvation in his Son. Are you aware that your name is written there, dear saint? Jesus told his disciples,
Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven. Luke 10:20
It is also mention in Revelation 17:8; 20:12, 15 and 21:27. The Apostle Paul also spoke of it,
And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. Philippians 4:3
May I tell you a little story about life and death and the importance of being written in the Lamb's book of life? The morning that I was writing the first draft of this chapter (in fact, right here at this very point in the middle of this sentence), my phone rang. I was pastoring at the time and I was called away to a youth camp out at Elephant Butte Lake near our church. I was told that a terrible tragedy had occurred and I needed to come right away. As it turned out, two of the young campers who were on a trip with their youth group from Ohio, had just received word that both their parents, who were themselves on vacation in Hawaii, had been killed in a helicopter crash. When I arrived at the camp, their youth leader told me that the parents of these two young people had been wonderful dedicated Christians and had done a marvelous job of raising these two teenagers. Tragic as this was, there was comfort for these young people because they knew for sure that their godly and beloved mom and dad had gone to be with the Lord. Their names had been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, you see. None of us, Christian or non-Christian, know the hour of our departure from this Earth. Are you ready? Is your name written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world? This is such an important issue that the Lord himself interjects, If anyone has an ear, let him hear…
Finally, here in verse 10, we have a word that is written specifically to our brothers and sisters who will actually live under the intense persecution of Antichrist. The Holy Spirit speaks words of comfort and assurance to them here saying, He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity, and he who kills with the sword shall be killed with the sword. He is saying, Rest assured, Antichrist and his minions will be dealt with. They will be paid in their own coin! Many of the Lord’s Tribulation Saints will be led away captive in that day to be killed with the sword. The Scripture says, however, Antichrist and all who are his will suffer the same fate. When Peter drew his sword against the mob in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said to him,
Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Matthew 26:52
That is the idea here. Those who have been killing with the sword will themselves soon face the sword. We learn in chapter 19, the sword they will face, however, is the sword of the Lord’s mouth. Our text continues, Herein is the patience and the faith of the saints. These qualities will be two essentials for a believer in those dark days, patience and faith, as they wait for the Deliverer to come, knowing for certain that when he appears he will turn the tables on Satan and his darling, Antichrist.
THE BEAST WHO ARISES OUT OF THE EARTH
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
We are introduced here to the second important personality who will play a crucial role in Antichrist's kingdom and worship. He too is symbolized by a beast. However, in contrast to the first beast, who came up out of the sea ... this beast comes up out of the earth. In 16:13; 19:20 and 20:10, this second beast is called the false prophet. This is a personality that is entirely new to the pages of Scripture. Nowhere else in the Bible has there been so much as a hint about this fellow. He rises up here for the first time in the pages of holy writ. We are given a good deal of information about him. John says:
…I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. The False Prophet will be earthy. All man-oriented false religions are earthy. Carl Marx, the founder of communism said, Religion is the opiate of the masses. I agree. One time, I was sharing Christ with a fellow who tried to sidetrack me by saying, There are millions of Moslems in India. They have a great religion. I countered, Religion is man’s effort to work his way to Heaven, but the only true way to God is through faith in his Son, Jesus Christ. I went on to explain, Christ is not one of man's religions, he is a Person, the Son of the only true and living God. Through Christ, God reached down to man and has provided us with a Savior. The fellow didn't take to that very well. He chose to remain impressed with the many other religions of the world. One day the beast from out of the earth, Antichrist's false prophet, will head up a new worldwide religion during the days of the Great Tribulation. It will be the religion of Antichrist worship. It will be the epitome of all the false religions that have preceded it … earthy … deceptive … Satanic … filled with man’s ideas, not God’s.
…he had two horns like a lamb. The False Prophet will be lamb-like. I interpret this to mean that the False Prophet will be a counterfeit Christ and his worldwide religion will likely be a twisted perversion of Christianity. There is much of that, already, in the world today. The following scriptures warn of it:And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect…
And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect… Matthew 24:22-24
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition… Second Thessalonians 2:3
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despises of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! Second Timothy 3:15
…he spoke like a dragon. When the False Prophet speaks, he will sound like a dragon. What comes out of one’s mouth is who one truly is, beloved. The False Prophet will present himself to the world as a man of God but what comes out of his mouth will prove him to be a man of Satan. As Jesus put it to the Pharisees in his day,
Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil thing… Matthew 12:34-35
God’s people will know the truth about the false prophet by his words.
…And he exercises all the authority of the first beast … and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast. The False Prophet will be the enforcer and promoter of mandatory Antichrist worship. In verses 14 and 15, we learn that he will order those who dwell on the earth to make an image of the first beast and will be granted the power to give breath to it and it will cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
Sound familiar? It should. Satan's murdering in the name of religion has been going on down here for millennia. It will also be the norm when Antichrist's False Prophet steps out upon the scene. However, the bloodshed will no doubt be more virulent than ever.…he… even makes fire to come down from heaven in the sight of men. Antichrist's False Prophet will be an amazing miracle worker. Verses 13 and 14, tell us that he will work his deceptions by means of signs. Heads up, child of God. Always remember that miracles and wonders are never the final word when it comes to verifying truth. They are never to be taken as undisputed proof that what one is seeing, or hearing, is from God. First John 4:13, says,
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
This scripture tells us how we believers can determine the veracity of an event, a spirit, or a person. Did you catch it? It is the sure fire way to test anyone, be they miracle worker or theologian. Namely, by simply finding out what they believe about the deity of Jesus Christ. It was God himself who came into our world and walked among us, some two thousand years ago (John 1:1, 14, 18). The question to put to heretics, false prophets, miracle workers and suspicious spirits then … is, Do you believe that Jesus was God in the flesh, the Everlasting Father, the Ancient of Days? If their answer is No, then you know that you are talking to a spirit of Antichrist.The second indispensable thing we can use to test someone is, of course, the Word of God itself. You might call it the Berean test. As we have it in Acts 17:10-11,
Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
A child of God must reject any event, occurrence, thought or teaching that will not hold up under the pure light of the Word of God. I cannot overemphasize the importance of this basic and fundamental principle. The question is, Do we judge the Word of God by our experiences or do we judge our experiences by the Word of God? If we have an experience, hear or see something, or are taught something that does not line up with the Bible ... we must be willing to lay it aside … no matter how dear it may seem to us and others. The False Prophet of Revelation 13, will be a very powerful miracle and sign-working phony. And, just as many are taken in by such charlatans today, the day will come in which the whole world will fall for the False Prophet's miracles and false teaching.
…he was given power to give breath to the image of the beast that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast that they should be killed. When the False Prophet animates the image of the beast, it will be Daniel 3, all over again. Do you remember the story there about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego? King Nebuchadnezzar built an image of himself and demanded that at an appointed time each day everyone fall down and worship it. Three Hebrew young men refused to do so. Consequently, they were condemned by the king and thrown alive into a superheated, red-hot furnace. Likewise, the False Prophet's image will be a replica of Antichrist and all mankind will be constrained to worship before it. Our text says that this fearsome thing will be able to speak and reason and will decree that all who will not worship before be killed! Amazing. How could that possibly be? Well, most likely, it will be demon animated. Antichrist worship will be formidable indeed in that day … for it will be Satan's greatest false religion ever.
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark, [NU omits or] the name, [NU omits of the beast] or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.
In order to do business during the Great Tribulation, people will have to have one of three things ... in one of two places ... on their person. They must have either the mark of the beast or his name or the number of his name … either on their right hand or on their forehead. No doubt, the “gung-ho” folks will opt for the forehead. You will remember that, back in chapter 7, the 144,000 received the seal of the name of their God on their foreheads. Antichrist and his false prophet will not be outdone. The mark, the name or the number of the beast will also be available on his followers’ foreheads, signifying that he is their god! The mark that the 144,000 bore, however, was to protect them from the judgments of God. The mark the beast’s followers will bear will be for the purpose of subjugating and controlling Earth's peoples, and also for uncovering all who are not in compliance with Antichrist's demands. Someone has said, Economic oppression is the greatest oppression. There is a great deal of truth in that. Antichrist and his false prophet will control the world one day in this way. I suspect his coded system will be so absolutely pervasive and popular that there will be little if any black market available to those who oppose him. This will make things very difficult for all who attempt to take a stand against him.
May we step aside here for a moment? Technology exists today that, by means of a computer chip that can be implanted under the skin, one can track a person and pinpoint their exact location at all times. Furthermore, the chip can carry all of one's personal and medical information as well. Companies that have developed this technology suggest that it is going to be a great benefit to mankind. Amongst other things, they say it will be a great help to law enforcement in the apprehension of criminals (if everyone were required to have one, I might add). Until our modern day, such things were unknown and, in fact, inconceivable. But now, down here in the year of our Lord, 2013, for the first time in human history such technology is on the scene. It is coming about, just as the Bible predicted it would.
This last verse in chapter 13 is written to the believers who will actually be living during those final days of Earth's secular history. It gives them a substantial heads up for spotting the Antichrist. It says that the number of Antichrist’s name will be 666. This will be just the information that those last-day believers will need in order to pinpoint Antichrist’s arrival on the scene in their day. It says here that, at that time, those who have wisdom will be able to calculate this number. Webster's Dictionary defines calculate as, to determine by mathematical processes. Perhaps 666 will have to do with Antichrist's name in binary code as currently used by the Internet.
Some time back, I was discussing thiss number of the name of the Beast, 666, with my son-in-law while we were watching football. He is a computer systems expert. After a while he said, Herb, look at this. He then showed me a chart of the binary code by which all Internet signals are transmitted. Then, he pointed out that the number of single digits that make up the signal for the www that designate the world wide web adds up to 666! I take this as an indicator that the number of the beast, that has so long been such a mystery, is probably referring to his name in binary code. As it turns out, every time we punch a key on our computers, it sends out an eight digit electrical impulse, made up of negative and positive charges that can be recognized by any other computer anywhere in the world and translated back into the letter or number we originally hit. A typical binary code for one letter looks like this: 00101011. That really peeked my curiosity, so I copied the chart for the binary codes used for each letter of the alphabet. Each sequence of eight electronic impulses has a specific numeric value … namely: 128, 64, 32, 16, 8, 4, 2, and 1. For example, the code above, 00101011, has a numeric value of: 0, 0, 32, 0, 8, 0, 2 and 1 adding up to a total of 42. The upshot is … that anyone's name typed over the Internet will have a specific total numeric value when each letter is added together yielding an exact numeric value for that individual's name. The mysterious scripture above, referring to the number of his name, may well be referring to its binary code, a reality that has not even existed up until our recent modern day. Here is a sample of the number of the word Antichrist in binary code:
A 01000001 64+1=65
N 01101110 64+32+8+4+2=110
T 01110100 64+32+16+4=116
I 01101001 64+32+8+1=105
C 01100011 64+32+2+1=99
H 01101000 64+32+8=104
R 01110010 64+32+16+2=114
I 01101001 64+32+8+1=105
S 01110011 64+32+16+2+1=115
T 01110100 64+32+16+4=116 Total = 1049
Fascinating, is it not? Note, however, the binary code may have to be calculated in relation to some other language other than English ... say Arabic, Greek or Hebrew perhaps?
This brings us to the end of the third interlude in the book of Revelation. It began just after the blowing of the seventh Trumpet and takes up all of chapters 12 and 13. In these pages, we have been given a good deal of important information about the peoples, times, and conditions that will exist during the Great Tribulation. We have learned important information about:
… the woman, Israel, who gave birth to a male Child. She will be forced to flee into the wilderness from Satan’s Antichrist one day.
… the great red dragon, Satan, who will be evicted from Heaven at the beginning of the Great Tribulation and who, afterwards, will go forth on the earth seeking to exterminate all of the remaining Jews who believe in Christ.
… the beast out of the sea, Antichrist, and his ten king confederation.
… the beast out of the earth, the False Prophet, who will promote the worship of Antichrist in that day.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Proceed to the next chapter