Revelation 13

In the midst of the Tribulation period there shall rise up two great world leaders, one a political leader inspired by Satan himself, the other a religious leader to deceive the people with strong delusions and either lead them or force them to worship the anti-christ as the long expected world-ruler. These two Satanic deceivers shall prevail upon all except those who risk all to boldly acknowledge their belief in the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.

1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.

10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

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.

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.

13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

Revelation 13:1-18 – ​The Beast and His Worshipers

   The horns symbolize power; the heads, intelligence; and the beast, an earthly kingdom. The dragon must stand for Satan, who has wrought his greatest achievements through earthly potentates and systems. It is through the world-power that the spleen and hatred of hell have been vented on the saints. What a comfort to know that the duration of such power is limited to 42 symbolic months, that is, 1,260 days (or years). If you are enduring hatred and persecution, be of good cheer, for your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life, Revelation 13:8. This may well compensate us amid the most violent opposition.
   The beast arising from the earth, Revelation 13:11-18, may represent the persecutions of papal Rome as contrasted with those of pagan Rome in the previous verses. Or this symbol may represent some of those modern devices by which men’s hearts are turned from God, such as the new semi-religious schools of thought that strive for the empire of men’s minds, or the customs of modern trade, Revelation 13:17. Be these as they may, the one outstanding lesson for us all is that the child of God is always in collision with the spirit of His age. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Revelation 13:17—That no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark.

​   From many hints dropped from time to time by business men it would seem as though the time described in these words is already being inaugurated. Christian men are finding it increasingly difficult to carry on their businesses without adopting a lower standard than that of the sanctuary. Tradespeople are strongly tempted to adopt two prices, adulterate, or sell beneath their samples. Workmen are hardly put to it when association with their fellows threatens to involve them in movements from which in their secret souls they revolt. How much business is done over the glass of wine or in the public-house!
   Under these circumstances, Christians must resolve:
   First, that they will not trifle with their conscience, but will dare in all respects to obey the law of Christ.—For every one there is an inevitable choice to be made and maintained, whether a clear conscience or a fortune is to hold the first place in their business career. At many a subsequent crisis the decision may be tested; but the peril of reversing is will become always less.
   Second, men must be content to bear poverty as part of the cross of Christ.—We admire and canonize the martyrs, but are strangely unwilling to face the disgrace of poverty, the dens and caves of the earth, which they endured for principle. Our religion will cost us something, or we may fairly question its vitality and worth. What a man will not suffer for he does not value.
   Third, Christian people should teach their children the nobility of frugality, simplicity, and contentment.—There would be fewer hearts broken by prodigals if we lived as though Christian life did not consist in our possessions, but in God. —Our Daily Homily