Don’t be deceived part2
By: Ysrael De la Cruz
Last week, I started a series called “Don’t be deceived” as a response to the confusion created by many religious people every time there is a global event. These are people trying to fit events, war, economic crisis, pandemic, vaccines, etc. into the Bible to show that we are in the last days. This is why it is imperative that the church, God’s people go to the Bible and truly read and study what it says so that we do not be deceived or led astray by false teaching. Whether you go to church or have studied the Bible, you may have heard about the rapture of the church, the tribulation, the antichrist, the reign of Christ and so forth. We are studying Rev.13 which takes place during the tribulation time. John was shown by Jesus what would happen during the tribulation. We already saw the rise of the antichrist in verse 1. There are two beasts in chapter 13 and we studied the first one last week. John saw a second beast. This is the one associated with the mark of the beast.
The second beast (v.11-18)
John saw another beast, (v.11)This one rises out of the earth. (Scholars believe this one may be a Jewish leader) The first beast (v.1) came out of the sea, and it had seven heads and 10 horns. This beast has two horns
-Two horns (like a lamb) the horns are powerful rulers in the world. (Rev.17:12)
-Spoke like a dragon
-It exercises all the authority of the first beast. (v.12). We have seen the dragon, the first beast (known also as the antichrist and now this beast which has the same authority of the antichrist. This beast is also known as the False prophet. We see this evil trinity that will rise during the tribulation.
What is the role of this beast during this time? (v.12-17)
-It will make the inhabitants of the earth to worship the antichrist. (v.12)
-It will deceive the people by showing signs and miraculous power. (v.14)
It will deceive people in telling them to make an image for the beast (the antichrist) or first beast. He will have the power to give breath the image so that it would speak and make everyone on the earth worship the beast (the antichrist)
– Those who refuse to worship the image of the beast will be killed (v.15)
-It will cause people to be marked on the right hand or the forehead for buying or selling. (v.16) (mark, a stamp, imprint, engraving, sign) This mark is visible and symbolizes property of the beast. The mark denotes ownership and alliance to the beast. The 144,000 were sealed or marked on their forehead and are called the servants of our God. (Rev.7:3) The belong to God, they are property of God. Therefore, anyone who receives the mark of the beast becomes property of the beast and supporter of his rule. It will allow people to buy and sell but such mark is associated with the worship of the beast. Notice that the mark will contain the name of the beast or the number of his name. (v.17)
-The number of the name of the beast is 666, a number for man.(v.18) This has created so much debate among those who have tried to decipher this number. We have a number, but we cannot yet identify the name of the beast. We do know it will be a man, a political leader with great power.
Letters in Hebrew, Greek and Latin have numerical equivalents. We know 7 is the number of perfection; 6 is the number of a man. One deficient of seven. 666 is a trinity of 6.
We remain uncertain as to who this person will be; Many scholars agreed that this will be a Nero Caesar prototype person.
-Those who refuse the mark will be killed by the beast. (v.15)
-Those who receive the mark will experience God’s judgment. Rev.14:9-10 in other words, those with the mark end up in hell.
The problem with identifying anything today as the mark of the beast is to ignore Biblical chronology. Before the mark of the beast appears, the first beast or antichrist must be revealed. The antichrist is revealed during the tribulation. The church is not going through the tribulation, therefore any attempt to pinpoint anything as the mark of the beast is to believe that the tribulation has begun.
-The mark of the beast is also linked to the worship of the beast. Those who receive the mark will experience judgment (Rev.14:9)
When all this is taking place on the earth, God will send angels to proclaim the gospel. (Rev.14:6-7) God would give the world a final chance to choose to worship him and not the beast. Why angels are preaching, when it has always been the job of the church to preach the gospel in all creation? Why is the church not preaching the gospel during this time? Where is the church?
Here is evidence that the church is not here during the tribulation. There is not mention of it and if it she is here, why isn’t she preaching the gospel?
The message during these times will be very clear. God’s judgment time has come (v.7) Fear God and give him glory because the hour of his judgment has come. We still carry the same message for the world today before God’s judgments come. Fear God, worship him alone. Paul said, that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow down in heaven and on earth and even under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Phip.2:10
It is better to willingly choose to worship God now before it is too late.
In chapter 19 Jesus comes to earth to wage war against the beasts. Rev.19:19-21
Jesus will conquer the dominion of the beasts and show the world that he is truly the Lord of lords and King of kings.