Revelation is the only book that says we are blessed to read, hear and keep the things that are written, for the time is near. Hence, let us not be like hypocrites without discerning times and seasons. Here we will look into Revelation 13 and understand what it says.
(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.
(Luke 12:56) “Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how [is it] you do not discern this time?
(Rev 13:1-10) Then I 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. 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 worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who [is] like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 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, 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.
(Dan 7:5-6) “And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and [had] three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’ After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.
(2Tim 4:17-18) But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
Several empires rose after the Roman Empire in and around the region – Byzantine Empire (better known as Eastern Roman Empire), Holy Roman Empire and Caliphates,
Byzantine Empire is always considered as a continuation of Roman Empire by it’s own citizens and others. It never rapidly increased it’s borders nor spoke blasphemy against God. So, we can safely exclude Eastern Roman Empire.
Holy Roman Empire is very interesting. There is nothing holy about this empire and has nothing to do with the Roman Empire too. It did not rapidly expanded its territories either. Nor spoke blasphemy against God. So, we can safely exclude Holy Roman Empire.
The Caliphates following Mohammed on the other hand conquered rapidly like a leopard. It took roughly the same short time as Alexander, for the followers of Mohammed to conquer land as equal as Alexander’s, exactly matching the characteristics of leopard.
The people served the dragon which is Rome. Rome gave its authority to this new beast from the sea, where sea refers to multitudes of people. In other words, much of Roman Empire’s territories were captured by this beast. It is also important to note that these are always in context with Israel. Earlier, Israel was under the rule of the Roman Empire. After that, Israel was under the Caliphates.
As the mouth of lion and feet of the bear, it crushed everyone on it’s way.
1John 2:22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
1John 2:23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
(Rev 13:11-12) 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.
This future beast will force all to worship the first beast (i.e., Islam?). As we saw earlier, the two horns are kings without kingdoms (Shia and Sunni leaders?). It will speak like a dragon who is Satan and will exercise all authority of the first beast (a future Caliphate?).
(Rev 13:13-15) 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.
(Rev 13:16-18) 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 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.
There are three that will be required under the rule of this beast for buying and selling:
- Mark on right hand or forehead
- Have the name of the beast
- Having the number of the name of the beast (666)
Mark of a nation is it’s national symbol. E.g., Ashoka Pillar for India, Commonwealth Coat of Arms for Australia,Great Seal of the United States. How can someone count the number of a name? If I ask myself what is the number of India or Australia, it doesn’t make any sense unless it is in the list of something. However a similar phrase ‘number of names’ is in the Bible refers to count of names.
(Num 1:2) “Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number of names, every male individually,
The number of ‘the name’ may mean number of people belonging to that beast. E.g, number of ‘Australians’. If the number of ‘the name’ represents population, then a tabulation can be put with existing nations as shown below.
|Number of ‘the name’
Commonwealth of Australia
Number of Australians = 23.13 million
Republic of India
Number of Indians = 1.252 billion
United States of America
Number of Americans = 318.9 million
Number of Beast-ians (or false prophets?) = 666
Please note that that 666 is not the mark of the beast instead it is just one of the three that is required to buy and sell. The number may be 666th nation of ‘something’ or the number of false prophets/priests in the Beast or some count which we will surely know it when the beast rises. This is neither a chip implanted nor something that is secretly done without our knowledge.
Mark of the beast, the name of the beast or the number of the name of the beast will clearly be something that we will know what it means and we will know it will be against God by doing so.