The Apocalypse – Chapter 13
We are continuing our study into the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse. Understanding the role and limits of the enemy and the power of the God of heaven brings a blessing. For as in Rev 1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it. For the time is near. The Beast from the Earth
The Devil’s Death Bell Praise is the devil’s death knell Surrender, acceptance of My will; Obedience to it and praise has the power To vanquish evil. The joyful heart is the best weapon against all evil Oh! pray and praise! You are learning your lesson, you are being led Out into a large place, these last days. Go with songs of rejoicing. Evermore rejoice! Happy indeed if each day has its thrill of joy; Happy too if you hear My voice. Talk to Me during the day. Look up into My Face. A look of love, a feeling of security That nothing or no one can replace. A thrill of Joy at the sense Of that awareness of the One who cares; The beautiful Presence indwelling In these your sincerest of prayers. Let these smooth the day’s work Then fear will vanish with its distress; For fear is the grim figure That turns aside success. By the late Andrew Feakin [passed away 16th March 2019]
Keys – The Beast from the Earth
- Know that a great impostor is coming, who under a pretense of religion, shall deceive the souls of men.
- Beware that there shall be lying wonders and miracles to condition men to worship the beast.
- It shall require an open profession of their subjection and obedience to this beast.
- But God has numbered the days of His enemies, and they shall be finished. But His own kingdom shall endure forever.
We are now finalising Chapter 13 of the book of Revelation. In this chapter is a further description of the enemies of the church. They are represented as two beasts. The first (Rev. 13:1-10) and the second Rev. 13:11-18.
The Beast from the Earth
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. 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. He 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.
No one may buy or sell except one who has the mark
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. 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. That no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name 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.
Henry says – Those who think the first beast signifies pagan Rome, by this second beast would understand papal Rome. A system which promotes idolatry and tyranny, but in a more soft and lamb-like manner. It acts under the disguise of religion and charity to the souls of men.
A mouth that spoke like the dragon
He had two horns like a lamb, but a mouth that spoke like the dragon. All agree that this must be some great impostor, who under a pretense of religion, shall deceive the souls of men. The pope pretends to be the vicar of Christ upon earth vested with his power and authority but his speech betrays him. For he gives false doctrines and cruel decrees which show him to belong to the dragon, and not to the Lamb.
He had all the power of the former beast (Rev. 13:12) and promotes the same interest which is, to draw men away from worshipping the true God. His goal is to cause the worship of those who are no gods, and so subject the souls and consciences of men. This in opposition to the will of God. This design is promoted by the popery as well as by paganism and secularism, both serving the interests of the devil, though in a different manner.
Unwary persons may be deluded
The methods he deployed include lying wonders, miracles of pretense, by which they should be deceived. They were conditioned to worship the former beast in this new image or shape that was now made for him. They would pretend to bring down fire from heaven. Sometimes God permits this, as he did the magicians of Egypt. That they might do things that seem very wonderful, and by which unwary persons may be deluded. It is well known that the papal kingdom has been long supported by pretended miracles. These include apparitions of ‘Mary’, unexplained phenomena associated with saints and mystics.
The worship of this beast is made a qualification for buying and selling. They must have the mark of the beast in their forehead and in their right hand. They also have the name of the beast and the number of his name. It is probable that the mark, the name, and the number of the beast, may all signify the same thing.
His own kingdom shall endure for ever
But the fact is that they must make an open profession of their subjection and obedience to this beast. This involves receiving the mark in their forehead. They must oblige themselves to use all their endeavour, to promote this authority.
The number of the beast was given to show the infinite wisdom of God, and will sufficiently exercise all the wisdom and accuracy of men. For 666 is the number of a man. There is much interpretation as to what this may mean. But it seems to be one of those seasons which God has reserved in His own power. Only this we know He has numbered the days of His enemies, and they shall be finished, but His own kingdom shall endure for ever.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
Prayer for the Day
Prayer: Father, I come to You. We declare that we worship You, and You alone. May we be kept from the great deception that is coming upon the world. Help us identify when there are lying wonders and miracles of pretense that we will not be led to worship the beast. We ask for confidence to resist all evil in our day and not ever to make ourselves subjugated to the enemy or his ways. Thank You that Your Word assures us that You have numbered the days of the enemy. But Your own kingdom shall endure for ever. In Jesus name. Amen.
The Beast from the Earth
Gallery – Old City of Jerusalem – click here