The phrase, “This calls for wisdom” falls in the middle of verses 16 – 18. I think understanding most of the Revelation calls for wisdom, but this section happens to be one the hardest to comprehend. If you have followed my posts at omharris.com then you know that our introduction to the beast, is really an introduction to a succession of violent empires or governing bodies. Our next introduction is to the spokesman for the beast, we also know him as the Antichrist, but he too gains the title of beast, and he is a man (No, we do not know who this guy is as yet). There is a third usage of the designation, beast, and “It” happens to be the second beast, also a human.
Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of everyone. Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. (Revelation 13:11-14 TNIV)
“Then I saw a second beast”
In some ways God is making no distinctions between the two beasts for they are both evil, possessed by evil, and serving the same intent – taking God’s people to destruction. Odd, but only if you caught it, I said God’s people, but what is so odd about that. The “rapture” has already come, possibly three and half years earlier, and yet as you study scripture you begin to see a common thread that runs through all time; up to the day of judgment they are all God’s saints. I hope this begins to give you a new perspective on how you look at those around you, especially those you pass judgment upon.
“but it spoke like a dragon” Revelation 13:11
Plain and simple, the dragon is Satan, and the deceiver. If this character speaks like a dragon, then he is speaking like Satan, fully representing him. Now how would we know what that would be like? Take a look at Luke 4:6. Here Satan is tempting Jesus by offering him all the wealth of the world.
Luke 4:6 NIV And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.
Apparently Satan, with ease, offers up what looks good upon initial inspection, but scripture tells us that the world, and all that is in it, runs contrary to God. I find myself thinking about a show on television called “Holmes on Homes”. In it this man goes through homes that have been previously inspected and deemed good. On the outside they look fine, but serious problems begin to show up; quickly the man – whom is a skilled and meticulous craftsman – points out the real problem. Isn’t that the way things seem to happen when we play with the world?
Since God made the world perfect to begin with, then something had to have corrupted it. We know that as the fall of man. Man gave up his right to the earth when Adam committed treason, in the garden. Satan through deception became the owner / the one who now had dominion over it, and he immediately gained the right to disperse it however, and to whomever he chooses. Therefore Satan is not presenting himself as gloomy and poor, but glamorous and wealthy. Jesus, if you noticed, did not argue the point.
Scripture gives us some clues about who this second beast is; “It had two horns like a lamb”.
Who do we, in the Christian community understand the lamb to be? Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the lamb of God slain for the sins of the world.
Satan tries to mimic God’s plan of salvation by using characters that have some similar characteristics.
The first thing Jesus says, in response to the disciples question, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” is: “see to it that no one deceives you!” Why? “For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” Consider Jesus statement for a moment. I understand from scriptures that Jesus will only touch down on this earth one more time. At that time, scripture tells us that he is coming on the clouds and every eye will see him (he is not sneaking up on anyone). He will be bathed in light and fire; He will have a sword coming out of his mouth, and He will land on the Mount of Olives splitting it in two. The Messiah will not show up standing in some farmers field, in the middle of a crop circle, admonishing people to follow him, while demonstrating that he is “the lamb” through powerful signs.
Now with that in mind, all the cracked pots that claimed to be Jesus or his mouth piece, have only been just that, cracked pots. Think about that analogy. No one buys a pot that is cracked on purpose, that is just stupid, but over time the pot that was once useful, and served a purpose lost it’s
ability to hold anything properly. It is possible that you did not discover the crack until it spilled its contents where you did not want it.
Here in Southern California, we have a radio program called The Jesus show. That seems safe enough, but the man is skillful with his words; he knows scripture, and he speaks with authority. The problem is that he speak as if he were Jesus, and he gets people to call him Jesus.
Is it that the cracks in men are not as obvious? What if, because we are not paying attention or we choose not to see the cracks, we do not notice or care when they spill their contents all over us. Often, by the time that happens it is too late, and that is why we see good people follow these leaders to a tragic death. As I reread this the thought races through my head, many will not believe this conclusion. Allow me then to apply it to my life. Prior to my first marriage I had prayed hard to get accepted into bible school. Surprisingly, they accepted me. I say surprisingly because I had undiagnosed learning disabilities back then and was not a very good student. When I met her I knew I was supposed to keep on moving but she was cute, blond, and I liked her smile. Those attributes prompted me to ignore good sense because I wanted what I saw. Following her wrecked my life for the next nine years, and ended with her cheating on me twice, depression and divorce. Now, do you think I chose not to see the cracks in the pot; Absolutely.
There is only one thing that will keep you from following a counterfeit Christ (by the way, that word Christ means messiah) and that is by knowing the real thing. How would you do that? Study the scriptures, for in them you will find life.
(CEV) It worked for the beast whose fatal wound had been healed.
Get something clear, you are not looking for a man to take a head wound, because taking out a national leader does not end an empire as others will rise in his place. Allow me to refresh your memory:
And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. (Revelation 13:1-3 ESV)
A common body with multiple heads that looks like ravaging animals. Does that sound like a man? No, they are empires. They are the same empires that Daniel saw on multiple occasions, and the first was identified as the Babylonian empire. We know very clearly who the next two are: The Medo-Persian, and the Grecian. The fourth is not defined, although many think it is.
This second beast is working on behalf of a violent, dominant, global entity. “It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.” I just showed you from scripture what the first beast is. Out of that beast comes a mouth piece and we call him the Antichrist. Now we are dealing with the false prophet. But this false prophet exercises all the authority of the “entity.” Since it is less than easy to define what is the common thread? We have to do some research to find the answer, and I can guarantee you that few will do that.
Here is my short synopsis:
Since we know that the Babylonian empire was the first. What begins this common thread? Violence against God’s people; the taking captive, and possibly the religion or ideology. The Babylonian empire definitely fulfilled two of those.
The next one we saw was the Medo-Persian empire. Daniel served under Darius the Mede. What we also know about them is that they were Assyrians. They continued to hold Israel captive (although that was part of God’s plan), we know of their ideology, but the level of violence against God’s people can only be presumed.
The Grecian empire under Alexander. Ideology or religion is the worship of gods. Well, that fits right in with the path Israel had chosen. Alexander was known as a man who would crush nations, so again we are left with a presumption of violence. It is also fairly clear that Israel had returned to Jerusalem by this time. What is dramatically different about the Alexandrian empire comes about after his death. The result is that two of his former Generals, now controlled what Alexander controlled. Seleucid to the north, and Ptolemy to the south. While the Seleucid empire was primarily Assyrian population – the same Assyrians that Jonah despised, they all, north and south, have become the dominant Islamic world. Their level of hatred for God’s people, the violence they perform, and the commonality of their ideology Islam, makes them my choice for that common thread of the beast.
“whose fatal wound had been healed”
The only global entity that fits this description is the Ottoman empire and they were forcibly disbanded in 1924. Since 1924, there has been no degree of an accepted claim as Caliph. With that, the world thought it had peace, that is until 1979, when the Islamic empire or revolution sprang to life and the American embassy was taken hostage for over a year. No one has rested since.
This man corresponds with the false prophet.
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. (Revelation 16:13 KJV)
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Revelation 19:20 KJV)
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:10 KJV)
Islam has its own prophecies
Were you aware that Islam has its own prophecies about end times and they closely parallel our biblical scriptures, but with a perverted twist:The Muslim version of Jesus will be a subordinate of the Mahdi. According to Islam’s sacred traditions, Jesus’ return is usually described as taking place just outside of Damascus. At the time he descends it will be to meet the Mahdi and his army as it is preparing for battle. It will be just before the time of prayer. Islamic scholars seem to be in agreement that the Mahdi will ask Jesus to lead the prayers. Jesus will then refuse this request and will defer instead to the Mahdi to lead the prayer. The important thing here is that Isa’ deference to the Mahdi is seen as a direct statement about his inferior rank to the Mahdi.
The Islamic Jesus will be a faithful Muslim. In keeping with his identity as a Muslim he will do the ritual pilgrimage to Mecca called the hajj.
The false Jesus will institute global Islamic law (Sharia). Tradition indicates that his primary purpose will be to oversee the institution and enforcement of sharia law all over the world. Within sharia men have the rights over women, even to the point of death. Sharia demands worship of only one god Allah, and Jesus will enforce that. Beheading is the method of choice.
Islamic tradition teaches that because Jesus declares himself to be a Muslim, he will lead many to convert to Islam. Regarding those who do not convert, Jesus will testify against them on the day of judgment.
Sura 4:159 There is not one of the People of the Scripture but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.
Other names they use for their Jesus are:
Isa al-Maseeh (the Messiah)
Hadrat Isa (Honorable Jesus)
Isa bin Maryam (Jesus son of Mary)
Nabi Isa (Prophet Jesus)
With that being said, here are last verses of Revelation 13.
Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. (Revelation 13:16-18 ESV)
This person, whether by the power of the Antichrist (you may know him as the Mahdi at this point), or under the authority of Satan – the dragon himself, causes all – both small and great, both rich and poor – to be marked.
Let’s hold up here for a minute. If this is Islam, and you have watched the not so mainstream news, then you know that ISIS is not taking the time (on an individual basis) to mark anyone. Christians in Islamic nations have attempted to blend in to some degree by covering their heads. Should you be unfortunate enough to live as an infidel (anyone outside of Islam, but especially the Christian and the Jew) and they choose not to kill you, then you are bullied into paying the Jizyah tax. I have heard it is as much as 90 percent of what ever you bring in. Here in America, we have or had the Mafia and they forced people to pay protection money. That merely meant that they won’t kill you.
Suppose you choose to sell your soul to the devil, because that is what you will be doing in God’s eyes if you convert.
Revelation 14:9-11 KJV And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, (10) The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: (11) And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name.
Converted, how do you prove your loyalty to Allah? Take a chip? I doubt it, but hey, we have these great little armbands and headbands that you can wear, and they are really cheap to produce. Don’t get me wrong, the NWO; Illuminati bunch will probably insist on marking you as well. Just know that if you take his mark and worship his name, you are toast.
Revelation 13:17 LITV even that not any could buy or sell, except the one having the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name. Pay close attention to that word “or.”
“This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his
number is 666.”
The Greek word for understanding is nous, and means the mind, comprising alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining.
Essentially a person willing to find out.
The word count means to calculate.
Revelation 13:18 CJB This is where wisdom is needed; those who understand should count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person, and its number is 666.
From the Jewish New Testament Commentary: “The number of its name. In both Hebrew and Greek each letter of the alphabet corresponds to a number-the first nine letters correspond to 1 through 9, the next nine to 10 through 90, and the last few letters to the hundreds. The number of a word or name is the sum of the numerical equivalents of its letters. In Jewish interpretation, gematria (the Hebrew word derives from the Greek word “geômetria,” which underlies English “geometry”) is a system of deducing the sod (“secret”; see Mat_2:15) of a text by positing a meaningful connection between words whose numbers are either identical or related by simple arithmetic. Example: in rabbinic literature, God is sometimes called the “Place” (“Makom“). Why this should be is not evident, so Gematria explains it in this way: the letters of “YHVH“-yud, heh, vav and heh-are equivalent to 10, 5, 6 and 5. The sum of the squares of these four numbers is 186, which is the same as the number of “Makom“-mem, kuf, vav, mem (40 + 100 + 6 + 40). Those who understand should count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person, and its number is 666. This has evoked even more speculation than the beast’s mark. Who is the beast? Certain forms of the name of the Roman Emperor Nero have that number; moreover, a first-century cult expected him to be resurrected after his death in 68 C.E. Napoleon and other historical figures have been suggested. Moreover, if one uses other languages and manipulates the numerical correspondences, then, as George E. Ladd writes, “Almost anything can be done with these numbers…. If A = 100, B = 101, C = 102, etc., the name Hitler totals 666.” Thus wisdom is needed, so that one will remain alert but not be misled. The number could be entirely symbolic. The name of Messiah in Greek, Iêsous, equals 888; 7 is regarded as the perfect number; and triple repetition symbolizes absolute ultimacy (as in Isa_6:3, “Holy, holy, holy is Adonai of Hosts.”). Therefore 888 means that Yeshua is absolutely and ultimately beyond perfection, while 666 means that the beast in every respect falls short of perfection and is therefore absolutely and ultimately imperfect and evil.”
Although Walid’s was the sanest explanation I had heard, I still had questions. In trying to figure this out I came across a website called usbibleprophecy.com. Here Michael D. Fortner debunks the Shoebat theory and lays out some clear evidence that tends to coincide with my way of thinking.
An aspect of his conclusion and one that I appreciate is: “I expect that we will yet discover more information on the number, name, and the mark of the beast as time goes by.” The story is yet unfolding exponentially. The real question is: will you go in the rapture, or do you have the stamina to endure what is coming?