he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast
Revelation 13 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
The Beast from the Sea
And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.
Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. 3 I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 4 they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” 5 There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.
7 It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.
The Beast from the Earth
11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. 12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.
Throughout history, since the Revelation was given to and recorded by John, people have tried to determine who and what might represent the beast. Nearly every world leader associated with evil by someone has been mentioned as the beast or the antichrist. People have also speculated about the mark of the beast, what it might be and how to avoid it. It has been though to be anythign from a tatoo to a microchip. In today’s text it says: …he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast… One of the greatest deceptions that influence people regarding the beast and the mark of the beast is believing that the best way to avoid it is to be diligent to watch for it. The one who comes to deceive is not going to come dressed in red with a pitch fork in hand. The one who deceives will perform great signs. In Matthew 24:4-5;24 Jesus says: “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many… false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” The only way to be certain not to be deceived by false Christs is to know and remain close to the true Christ. We should not be as concerned with the mark of the beast as we are with not worshipping the beast. James 4:4 says: You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. In Luke 16:13 Jesus says: “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” If we love, serve and worship the things of the world, we will easily become deceived and worship and take the mark of the beast. If we remain in Christ there is nothing that we should fear. We have the seal of the Holy Spirit to protect and sustain us.
The text says: … he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. If we have the Holy Spirit, we will be sealed against the mark of the beast. If we have God, we don’t need to worry about being able to buy or sell because God will supply our needs. In Matthew 6:31-33 Jesus says: “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Surely the beast and the antichrist will come, but we should not worry or watch for their coming. Instead we should see, know and watch for the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, the I Am. Because of what You did when You came, I can walk in Your power, protection and provision. I need not fear or worry about the false things that will come because I am protected by the knowledge of what is true. Every day and in every way I will seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness, Because of what You did, I will rest in who You are until I see You come again. Amen.