10/06/18 Revelation 13:11-18 “The false prophet and the image of the beast”
Revelation 13:11 – And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
Not the same beast (brutal, bestial man) but a different brutal, bestial one. A second beast. Some suggest, quite logically, that while the 1st beast is satan’s equivalent of God, this 2nd beast is satan’s equivalent of the Lamb of God. However, while this 2nd beast might appear like a lamb, he still speaks the speech of satan the dragon, that is, he is far from being meek and mild!
This 2nd beast ascends from the earth, not the sea. Earthly wisdom is far from heavenly wisdom ….
John 3:31 – He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
And while the Lamb of God speaks only the truth, the lamb of satan speaks lies …..
John 8:44 – Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
This 2nd beast ascends from the earth, not the sea. Later on he is identified as the false prophet. The following is sometimes referred to as the unholy trinity: satan, and the beast, and the false prophet (where satan and the 1st beast act as one in the same body for the 2nd half of the tribulation).
Revelation 16:13-14 – 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [come] out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, [which] go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Revelation 13:12 – And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Last week we saw that it was one of the heads (rulers) under the antichrist who suffered a mortal wound and was healed again.
And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: (Revelation 13:3)
In Vs 12 it seems to read that it was the 1st beast, the satan-filled antichrist who was healed of this mortal wound. I do not think it logical to assume that there were actually 2 deadly wounds healed in 2 different people, so these must refer to the same person. But is it the antichrist or one of his rulers (one of his 7 heads)? The beast of Revelation 13:1 is pictured as having 10 horns (signifying power and strength); each horn has a crown (diadema – signifying ruling authority – the head or ruler of a country or nation). Daniel 7:7-8 says that 3 of these horns are removed, leaving 7. This is discussing the same event as Revelation 13:1-3; thus the 7 heads of Revelation 13:1 can only mean those 7 remaining world leaders who have decided to give their support to the antichrist. In Daniel 7 the 4th beast (= the beast of Revelation 13:1) has 10 horns, 3 of which are removed by the small horn that grows in their midst. Daniel, like Revelation’s equivalent, therefore would describe the 7 remaining rulers as part of the 4th beast, of which the antichrist is also a part. So, the antichrist and the 7 ruling heads are all part of that beast, and therefore one of the ruling heads may have a deadly wound and still be part of the beast. While this beast may be equated with the antichrist, it may also be equated with the government of the antichrist. Thus I see no problem with continuing to assume that it is one of those 7 remaining heads of country that has the mortal wound which is healed.
exercises; causeth – both from the same Greek word poieo (to make; author; cause; make ready; prepare; make one do something; carry out; execute; cause to happen)
The false prophet beast exercises all the power of the first beast; that is, he is able to do all that which the 1st beast is able to do by the power of satan the dragon. He is also able to cause the world (but not those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life) to worship the first beast, the satan-indwelt antichrist. It is probable that the healing of that deadly wound is a key factor in this worship. Just as Christ was able to bring people back from the dead (even being resurrected Himself), the 1st beast (or the revived Roman empire) will be portrayed as one who comes back from the dead, with the false prophet being the one who is able to make this happen. The antichrist will therefore be portrayed as their Christ, their Messiah, proving such by the appearance (not necessarily real) of miraculous healing from death. People will have been conditioned to recognise such a Christ, a Messiah by such miracles as this and those following in this passage.
Revelation 13:13 – And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
And the false prophet does great (mega) wonders (signs), including making fire come down from heaven to earth such that people will see it; they won’t be permitted to ignore it! Elijah (on Mt Carmel) brought down fire from heaven to prove that his God was the real God (1 Kings 18:24 – And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.) Fire from heaven proved God then; the false prophet will use the same to convince (wrongly) the world that his god is the real God. Also note Elijah’s authority by fire in the following:
2 Kings 1:10 – And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I [be] a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
If it’s good enough for the prophet Elijah, then it’s good enough for the false prophet!
Revelation 13:14 – And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
deceiveth – cause to stray from the right way; lead from the truth; lead into error.
And the false prophet will deceive (lead astray) the inhabitants of earth through the use of those signs (same word as “wonders” in Vs 13) which he was able (or permitted) to do in the presence of the 1st beast, telling those inhabitants that because of this power they should make an image (likeness) of that beast which had been wounded by a small sword (or large knife, or a sacrificial knife), yet continued to live.
In this case, might is right. The one with the most power wins the argument (or removes those who defy him).
This is clearly the abomination spoken of in Daniel 9:27, and again by Jesus in Matthew 24:15.
Revelation 13:15 – And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
It is clear that this image of the beast was not set up in order that the 1st beast be worshipped, but that the image itself should be worshipped. Of course, the worship of the image would have to be associated with the 1st beast, but it is the image itself here that is actually worshipped.
The false prophet had the power (he was able; he was permitted) to give life (pneuma – breath or spirit) to the image (that is, he was able to make the image breathe or otherwise come alive). The meaning seems to be that this image will appear to be alive and not just a false god made from wood or metal of some kind.
This image would have some power to speak (to utter a voice or emit a sound), which suggests that it could be some ability to “breathe” that the false prophet gives to the image. (Or perhaps computer-generated speech?) Those who do not worship the image of the beast will be executed by order of the false prophet.
It is not clear just how “real” this image is, whether it actually resembles a person or is merely a likeness of the 1st beast that can probably breathe and talk. Clearly, though, this will involve aspects that people will associate with God; the false prophet will deceive the world into thinking that this is their god, or an image of their god. It will be meant to be beyond their comprehension.
Revelation 13:16 – And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
This verse follows on from the previous verse where the false prophet will require that the world should worship the image of the beast. The context is clear: the taking of the mark of the beast is associated with the worship of the image of the beast.
mark – stamp; imprinted mark; mark branded on horses (as a sign of ownership); sculpture; graven work (as of idolatrous images) Used 9 times in the New Testament, 8 times in Revelation where it always refers to the mark of the beast. In Acts 17:29 this word is translated “graven”, and means “graven” or “sculptured”.
In the following it is clearly associated with the worship of the beast and his image.
Revelation 14:9-10 – 9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
MacArthur is wrong when he says Now, the question is, if you're living in the Tribulation period, and you take this mark, in other words, you identify with the beast's empire, will you still be able to be redeemed? And I think the answer to that is yes. ()
It’s going to be a bit difficult, though, to explain how one of the redeemed could be permitted to be tormented with fire and brimstone! And how can the following apply to those redeemed?
Revelation 16:2 – And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and [upon] them which worshipped his image.
Thus MacArthur is clearly demonstrated to be a false teacher.
All the world (that is, except those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life) from the least of them to the greatest, from the richest down to the poorest, whether they are free or whether they are slaves, that is, all people without exception, will be caused (be made; be forced) to receive a mark in their right hand or on their forehead. Compare with the following where God’s people have His name written on their foreheads.
Revelation 14:1 – And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty [and] four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
The Hebrews were to bind God’s words upon hand and forehead.
Deuteronomy 6:6; 8 – 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.
It seems that these two places are the most often exposed to sight and therefore the most likely place to portray ownership or any covenant information. It does appear that this mark of the beast is a type of covenant or agreement seal that binds them to the one they worship.
Revelation 13:17 – And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
It is said that satan cannot invent nor create anything of his own, but is doomed to always be limited by the creativity built into him by the Creator of the universe. Tozer suggests that man’s creativity is limited to the adaptation of the creativity that God has placed in man. That is, we can only reorganise the thinking that we already have, not develop new creative thinking. Only God can create. Thus whatever satan comes up with has to be in some way a copy of what God has already created. When satan attempts to be like God, he can only copy those things which God has already demonstrated. If God can send fire from heaven upon the earth, then in order for satan to show that he is God, he must also do the same; if God can do it, then satan has to do it also to prove that he is God! Satan is not creative; God is the only Creator.
In this way satan desires that man seek him and his unrighteousness first as per:
Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
If satan’s people can look upon him (satan) as the one who can act as God, then that means that only those who seek satan and his unrighteousness may be provided with the necessities of life (as satan sees it). If you seek satan as your god, then he will give you your daily food and basic living needs. In this way satan might feel that he is god to those poor miserable people of the world!
Just like many people have pets so that they can enjoy the feeling of having something dependent upon them (thus allowing them some sense of power and dominion), satan also looks upon mankind as just so many cattle who must appreciate his (satan’s) provision of their daily food and shelter. It is in this way that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion pronounce mankind as goyim (cattle) who must be subject to the requirements of their Jewish overlords. (Of course, the Jews deny that this is a valid document.)
If you don’t appreciate satan, then he won’t give you anything to appreciate! This is satan’s counterfeit of God’s providing of our needs. If you don’t worship satan, then he, as your self-proclaimed god, won’t provide for you!
Revelation 13:18 – Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six.
Six hundred threescore (and) six – χξς chi xi stigma (the 22nd, 14th and an obsolete letter (4742 as a cross) of the Greek alphabet (intermediate between the 5th and 6th), used as numbers; number representation) Translated as six hundred and sixty-six, the meaning of which is the basis of much vain speculation.
Sometimes it is rendered as ἑξακόσιοι ἑξήκοντα ἕξ, hexakósioi hexēkonta héx, "six hundred and sixty-six"
Note Strongs 4742 – στίγμα stigma from a primary stizo (to "stick," i.e. prick) – a mark pricked in or branded upon the body. To ancient oriental usage, slaves and soldiers bore the name or the stamp of their master or commander branded or pricked (cut) into their bodies to indicate what master or general they belonged to, and there were even some devotees who stamped themselves in this way with the token of their gods. Translated as “marks” in the following:
Galatians 6:17 – From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
Note stigmata (singular of stigma) is a term used by members of the Catholic faith to describe body marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ, such as the hands, wrists, and feet. (Wikipedia)
it is the number of a man – It is the method of numbering that would be used or understood by man.
It is generally accepted by most commentaries that the number 666 is proposed by this, although some say 616 and others might suggest 6666. However, we’ll accept that 666 is a reasonable translation. But what does it mean? When electronic banking arrived in force (with such as Bankcard in Australia in 1974), many were quick to interpret the Bankcard symbol as 666 (each inside each other but actually b and not 6) and therefore a forerunner to the mark of the beast. There were some even then who proclaimed that it was conditioning people to accept the mark of the beast and many Christians were advised to avoid any such thing. Since then there have been a number of suggested meanings of 666, even including the value of the name of a person who would become antichrist. However, this verse could be saying that this is numbered in the way man numbers things, and perhaps not really to do with the numerical value of a man’s name.
What does seem clear is that while God is represented by 7 and the Trinity by 777, man is represented by 6 and the unholy trinity of Relevation as 666. That is, the beast they worship appears to be God to those who don’t think past what they are told to think, but really falls short of true God. Instead, the beast they worship is limited to the value of man; that is, satan in the form of a man and limited to that form = 666, the number understood to be still man, while Christ was genuinely still God even though in the form of a man.
But is this related to the mark of the beast? Is it the beast who is represented by 666, or is it the mark of the beast which is 666? Many have assumed that it relates to the mark of the beast, that which is on their foreheads or right hands, but this may not be the case, or else it may be only part of the story. I do not know exactly what I think about 666, but I would be careful to not assign a meaning to it until it was revealed, and that may not be until the tribulation has already commenced.
As an extra point, in his sermon No 52 (on Free Will – John 5:40) Spurgeon says
This brings us to the third point: that ETERNAL LIFE IS GIVEN TO ALL WHO COME FOR IT. There never was a man who came to Christ for eternal life, for legal life, for spiritual life, who had not already received it, in some sense, and it was manifested to him that he had received it soon after he came.
This is quite contradictory, in that Spurgeon teaches that eternal life is given to those who come to Christ, yet at the same time he teaches that all who come to Christ for eternal life already had eternal life before they came. Of course, calvinists have to teach that regeneration is the point at which the “dead” person gains new life (or else he would remain “dead”, wouldn’t he!). And because they teach that a person may do nothing until he is made alive by regeneration, then no-one can hear the gospel, let alone respond to it in belief until after he is regenerated. Thus, even though they might teach that all the elect will receive eternal life when they come to Christ, they are forced to admit that the elect actually receive eternal life at regeneration, before they are able to come to Christ for eternal life! Effectively, calvinism has removed the need to come to Christ for eternal life, for they (the calvinist elect) have been given that same eternal life at regeneration in order that they might be able to come to Christ for eternal life.
Now, if this sounds a bit confused, then hey! – welcome to the world of the calvinist, where confusion is the normal state of existence! In like manner, the calvinist may teach that being born again is not the same as being saved, and that the gospel of salvation in Christ is not applicable to the elect until after they have been born again. (Note also that the calvinist gospel is only applicable to the elect (the chosen ones) of God; if you are one of that vast majority who haven’t been selected by the calvinist God for heaven, then there is absolutely no gospel for you at all, ever.) Such are the laws of the calvinist God.