A DRAMA – ACT 3 THE EARTH BEAST
Well friends, up to this point, we have met all the characters in our drama except the last one. We will meet him today. But before we look at him closely, let's take another look at the first beast and what motivates the beast known as Antichrist whom we have just been talking about.
Adrian Rogers, in his legacy Bible, has written this about the Beast known as Antichrist:
”Standing in the shadows of history is a man known as the Antichrist, a man with many aliases. In the Bible he’s called the Beast, the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition, and the Little Horn. In spite of this multiplicity of names, he has but one heart and one motive. there are five things I want you to know about the Beast.
Number one: The social agitation that delivers the Beast. In Revelation 17:5, the waters represent peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues. The sea is seething. There is social agitation., The peoples of this world are in turmoil like the troubled sea. And in Revelation 13:1, the Beast rises out of this agitation.
Number two: The satanic attributes that describe the Beast. His father is the Dragon, the devil (Rev. 12:3 and 13:1). His family heritage is the collective evil of the world’s empires (Rev, 13:2; Dan. 7) His fortune is the power, throne, and authority of Satan (Rev. 13:2). The Beast is Satan’s superman, a false messiah, a Man of Sin who is diabolically wicked.
Number three: The seductive appeal that disguises the beast. Although the character of the Beast is hideous, his appearance will have worldwide appeal. He will be clever and greatly Intelligent, a global charmer. And when the beast is healed of a deadly head wound, the whole world will wonder after him (rev. 13:3,4). They will worship this fraud, this angel of light, this evil counterfeit of God.
Number four: The sinister ambitions that drive the Beast. His goals are well known. The Beast wants to deify Satan (rev. 13:4) He is coming to defy the Savior (v. 5). He's coming to destroy saints by every means possible. (v. 7). The Beast wants to dominate society with global control (v. 7). And he wants to delude sinners, all whose names are not already written in the Book of life (vv 8-10) The Bible tells us that the beast is the man who “opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (see 2 Thess. 2:4). Remember this: the devil doesn’t want casualties he wants converts. He wants people to worship him.
Number five: The supporting agent who declares the beast. The Beast will have someone who will make him popular and known to the world, a propaganda agent. This second beast comes out of the earth. He is the Anti-spirit who controls the world through deceiving wonders. (Rev. 13:13, 14) enforced worship (v. 14), and controlled wealth (vv16-18)
Friends, you have a choice. You can choose to love and follow the Lamb of God, or you will follow the Beast who will come out of the writhing sea of humanity. He could even be waiting in the wings right now, ready to step onto the world stage at any moment. So, choose today - the Beast or the Lamb? To me, the choice is clear!
Adrian Rogers Legacy Bible, 2009 by Love Worth Finding Ministries, Inc. page 1424-1425, footnotes, The Biography of the Beast.
This next guy, called the false prophet, has now taken over the management of many thousands of those whose lives are in his hands. He has become the point man for Antichrist and now has the power to say who lives and who dies at this point. The Antichrist will somehow be wounded so severely he will seem to have died but will miraculously “return to life”. I suspect that the False prophet will have something to do with that “resurrection” because people will begin to flock to him in droves because of the miracles he seems to perform. He will be able to make fire fall from heaven (v. 13).
Verse 11 describes this second beast. First, he comes from the earth. That means that he is a person, a human being. Then, he has two horns, like a lamb. This indicates that he appears innocent and friendly, even harmless, but you better not cross him, or he will become like a dragon. I would interpret him to be someone who wants you to think he is a priest but is just the opposite. As a priest, he would point people to the Messiah, or to God. In reality, he is a false priest, or prophet, whose purpose is to lead the people to worship the first beast, Antichrist.
15 He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.
16. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead. 17. So that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.
At this point in time, he will encourage everyone to make an image of Antichrist, after which he will be able to make that statue to speak. All those who refuse to worship the image of the beast will be killed. If that were no bad enough, he demands that everyone, no matter how great or wealthy they may be, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads. Branded, just like cattle.
The word used in verse 15 for breath, is the Greek word pneuma. Isaiah and all the prophets mention the fact that idols cannot speak. Paul also mentions it. But here is an idol that will speak. This is something that will cause the whole world to turn and worship the beast. This is the beginning of a union of religion and business.
What do you suppose the purpose of the brand is? How much easier it would be if everyone was assigned a single, all-purpose number, tattooed across the forehead or back of the hand so we wouldn’t have to carry those credit cards. No one could steal our identity either. Sounds like a good idea, don’t you think? It is for the purpose of identification just like your driver’s license, or passport is. They could not conduct business without the mark of identification, indicating that you belong to Antichrist. Well, we can’t very well conduct business without and I.D. either, can we? But hold on, not so fast. There must be a catch somewhere.
Just what is the mark? It will be either a name or a number. YOUR name, or HIS number. This is the big mystery of Revelation. What is the “number of his name?”
Verse 18 tells us we must think wisely! 18. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666. Here is wisdom. What is the mark of the beast? People have argued over this for centuries. But it is not really so mysterious when you think about it. Let me give you a little lesson in Bible numerology. That is where each number stands for something and is used throughout the bible this way.
Number 1 is for God (there is one God and one Lord overall.)
Number 2 is for witness (the disciples were sent out by 2’s; “where 2 or more are gathered together, there I will be in the midst of them”,etc...
Number 3 is for the Trinity (God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)
Number 4 is for creation (4 corners of the world, 4 points on a compass, N.E.S.W., 4 seasons, etc.) Number 5 is for grace (that’s creation + God = grace; it is also witness + trinity, it is God adding blessings to His creation. Number 6 is for man. One number short of perfection and completion. Which is Number 7.
Number 7 stands for perfection and completion. So you have perfection minus God = man (man without God)
Add man and God, you have 6 + 1= 7 Man strives for perfection but can never reach it without God. Man’s number drops from 7 to 6 because he leaves God out.
The number for God the father (7), Son(7), and Holy Spirit(7) is 777.
Man trying to imitate God would be 666 because none of his attributes would ever reach perfection. Satan (6), antichrist 6, and the false prophet (6) become 666. With this number, Satan simulates the Holy Trinity and tries to become like it. Yet every phase falls short. If he were successful his number would be 777. Or if any one phase of him was successful his number could be 676 or 677. You see how it works?
v. 18 also tells us it is the number of a man, not just any man but A man, a particular man, Antichrist, and it is HIS number. The unholy trinity, again is, Satan, impersonating God, Antichrist, impersonating Jesus Christ, and the False Prophet, who will be a Jew, possibly from Israel, by the way. He is identified by the 2 horns, remember the number 2 is for witness. The uncrowned horns represent religious power. A converted Jew once said that the Jews will be deceived because they are looking to the Rabbi to tell them when the messiah has come. The Rabbi will point him out to the people. ( WOW think about that for a moment. That is exactly what the false prophet will do!) Some think that this Jew MUST be born in the Middle East, preferably Israel. However, I see nothing here to indicate it. He could be from the United States even. But he must be a Jew and highly likely to be a Rabbi, or at least have credentials of a Rabbi. He is a false prophet so he could also be a false Rabbi.
Matthew 14:33 tells us this “When you see these things began to happen, you can know that My return is near, even at the door.”
Why waste your time trying to identify numbers. We won’t be here to worry about it. Our plan is to be with Jesus, not because of who we are or what we have done, but because of who He is and what He has done. Jesus Christ died for us on the cross, and by His grace we will go into His presence.
Chapter 14 next time, Dear Friends. (if we are all still here! If the Rapture occurs before then, no need to look for any further lessons. I won’t be here!!!)
Praise the Lord. love y’all Maggie