People often look at Revelation as a book shrouded in mystery, or a book locked away by God. That could not be further from the truth. Revelation is a letter from Jesus to the saints. Revelation is an open book to the saints. Revelation is locked by people who choose to ignore the obvious messages Jesus included in His letter.
This section on Revelation looks at Revelation as a letter from Christ. This concept is not unique, but a view of Revelation many authors shared over 150 years ago. The Book of Revelation follows a unique sequence. The events this world has endured and will face in the future are recorded in the proper sequence in Revelation. The problem people face is the fact they miss the obvious timeline Revelation contains. John was shown the proper timeline. John was shown a future he could not possibly understand. After each vision an angel stood next to John to explain the visions and symbols. The angel would back up to John’s time and then explain how events lead to the visions he witnessed. When we understand those timelines, we begin to understand the future John was shown. Studies in this section explain those timelines and why they were shown to John in the sequence recorded.
I felt I had to take a break from Revelation to add in a sort of educational chapter. After reading and writing about Revelation chapter 4, I asked a number of people if it was still possible to approach God’s throne. For the most part, people didn’t want to answer, or didn’t know the answer. But a few did.
Approaching God’s throne is a personal matter. Each person has their own unique way of approaching God’s throne. Some people skip God’s throne while still meeting personally with Jesus while others grasp onto the theme in Hebrews chapter 4 telling us to, “boldly stand before God’s throne.” Let’s face it, personally talking with God and Jesus have been a rather obscure subject to say the least. Either people will agree or disagree. Few people will look at the subject of approaching God’s throne and a learning opportunity. There are a few, but that is a minority of people. An even smaller minority are those who want to share their moments at God’s throne. Those people are few and far between.
When it comes to direct communication with God, doubters go as far back as Moses. No one heard God’s voice for about 400 years. Then one day this well known figure, who could have, and should have done something about slavery in Egypt when he was next to Pharaoh’s throne shows up dressed like a common shepherd. What happened Moses? You were a prince then disappeared. Now your back here telling us God is going to free us from slavery. Why didn’t you do something about it when you were a prince?
It seems God placed Moses in a tight spot. Moses could have taken action when he was next to Pharaoh’s throne. In a sense, Moses did take action by killing a single Egyptian. That didn’t solve anything. Moses had no idea about the big picture. Maybe God had a plan to use Moses when he was in Pharaoh’s court. We have no way of knowing if Moses altered God’s plan to a certain degree. That will be interesting to find out when we get to Heaven. In the long run, God had a plan that worked. In hindsight, Moses placed himself in a tight spot.
No Israelite in Egypt heard God’s voice for over 400 years. Of course they prayed. If you were a slave, you would be praying to. But God didn’t answer. So when Moses showed up and said he talked with God, people doubted. We are still plagued with that mentality. Try sharing something new with someone who thinks they have a direct line with God. Some people have the attitude, “if God didn’t go through them with a message, that message must have come from the other side.” I’ve run into that mentality many times. I ask them how they communicate with God, and they normally shot back with a few verses about false prophets, which has nothing to do with the subject at hand. But those verses about false prophets is their man made defense mechanism they use for every circumstance they don’t agree with.
It took a few choice miracles or plagues, depending on their point of view to convince people, Moses was meeting with God and delivering messages from God. And then there was Pharaoh. The guy who knew each and every one of those Egyptian gods were fake. He thought he was in control and that God Moses talked about was as fake as the gods Pharaoh and his family made up. Pharaoh was a tough nut to crack. In his world everything outside his control was fake. People still have that mentality today.
Eventually God got Israel out of Egypt and into an environment they could mellow out and think. One day God decided to show Himself to Israel so they could believe He was real and could talk to them. Of course every Israelite that left Egypt with Moses saw all those plagues. They saw Egyptian crops being ruined as their crops flourished. They saw Egyptian cattle dying when not one of their cows or sheep showed any signs of being sick. They saw water turn to blood, hail from from the sky, frogs, locusts, and other bugs controlled by God. They should have had a firm belief in God. Something went wrong. After spending their entire lives learning how to fear every god from A to Z, that fear clung onto Israel like the chains that kept them as slaves. Since they were used to someone telling them what the gods demanded, they asked Moses to play that part as a go between themselves and God.
God offered the priesthood to every Israelite that came out of Egypt. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. (Exodus 19:6 KJV). They turned down that offer.
We see the same pattern repeated when Jesus began His ministry. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way, (Luke 4:28-30 KJV).
No one seemed to hear God’s voice for a few hundred years between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament. Once again God was silent for a time, and people just thought that pattern would continue. Or they invented new ways to make people think, God spoke to a select few in some mysterious way. So don’t ask for details, just follow their lead.
After the apostles, the same thing happened. No one seemed to hear God’s voice. It seemed the contact with the Holy Spirit Jesus promised was meant for a few choice people, and when they died, this world was left to figure things out on their own. The world grew dark and it seemed it needed a new religious leader. So a group of people got together and selected the most likely candidates God would eventually speak to. One after another was set in solitude to see if they heard God’s voice. After a number of attempts, one man came out of the room and told the committee, he heard God’s voice. That was good enough for that pious committee. They made that man their new leader and created a new religion based on the belief that God talks to one man here in earth, and the rest of the world has to follow dictates from that single man for God to bless this earth. That concept has stuck with this world ever since, and people who don’t fall in line are looked upon as outcasts or part of a cult. The devil won. He convinced the majority of this world that concept of one man between themselves and God was the only choice this world had. For some reason people read the Bible, and instead of taking God’s Word, and following God’s instructions, they decided to take the word of slaves. They decided that the choice that group of slaves made was the only choice. Scholars sipped right over God’s offer to be a nation of priests and clung onto the decision that Israel made. They convinced themselves and much of this world that Israel’s decision was somehow inspired. Reading that story the way it was written shows how Israel rebelled against God. But Satan took out the few words he needed to form a new religion, and had his agents spread it all over the world. Satan thought he had his prison door shut and locked. But God has always been at His best when it came to reaching people in prison.
Today it is rare to find people who approach God’s throne. It is rare to find people who know anything about approaching God’s throne. Or are open minded enough to learn anything about approaching God’s throne. Why is that? We just covered a few of the concepts the devil found to be effective. There are more. Take out a few choice lines in the Old Testament, add in a long speech about how God chose a few choice prophets to talk to, and you have a theology that forges the same chains that one man concept created. In the long run, the devil doesn’t want anyone to approach God’s throne, talk to Jesus, work with the Holy Spirit, or read scripture. Those are a few things the devil fears the most.
As soon as you enter God’s presence, you are in a place the devil can’t touch you. His influence is gone, and you are opening yourself to total, untainted truth. The thing is, you have to learn to put away so many thing this world has taught you. But when you approach God’s throne, you take the first step to separating truth from fiction.
I’ve talked to a number of people over the past week to get their view points on approaching God’s throne. It’s good to know God still has a number of people who will talk to Him. It may seem rather strange to think of God as feeling lonely or rejected. After all, God has billions or requests to deal with from billions of people everyday. God hears their prayers. People ask for favors, blessings, and ask God to deal with countless situations every second of every day. God knows how to deal with each of those situations. If you ever approached God’s throne, you know how God will tell you how to deal with your situation. God will give you step by step instructions you can’t argue with. If you follow those instructions, the problem is solved. The problem is, the devil is watching, and launches a hundred more attacks.
At times God will take you back a few steps to remind you how you got yourself into that mess. God is also a Teacher and Father who never wants you to repeat your mistakes. Correction from God may be a little difficult for some people to accept. That is one reason some people avoid God’s throne. You just have to learn to get over your pride.
I have may own way of approaching God’s throne. It may not be right for you, but at least you have something to think about. I look at Jesus as a way to God’s throne. To me it makes sense to cleanse myself, to make myself pure enough to approach God’s throne. After all, Aaron the high priest had to wash himself and dress in the proper way to enter the Tabernacle and to offer a sacrifice. I ask Jesus to be forgiven for my sins and to be cleansed. Then I find myself in God’s presence. Not so much to make requests, but to listen and learn. I may ask one question, then another. I may go through three or four questions before I hear a response. When I do hear a response, I know it is God’s voice. I could never second guess or argue with any of the answers God offers. They make total sense. God backs them up with stories from scripture. God’s answers are often verified by real life events that confirm His answers and messages.
There are of course as many ways to approach God’s throne as there are people. We all have our own unique personalities. One person may see God’s throne as this, another as that. When we approach God’s throne, we have respect for other people and their stories about being at God’s throne. There is no doubt about that.
The thing about books like Revelation is, people tend to get caught up with trying to figure out the future. That’s something the devil has planted in our brains. The devil wants people to believe, if they can figure out the future, that somehow draws them closer to God. That could not be further from the truth. Common sense tells us, God knows everything about the future. So why would anyone think, God wants us to figure out the future, then tell God what the future holds? That is reverse thinking. It is actually insane. All God wants is people to go to Him for answers. But this world has been trained to go to every other source but God. People have been convinced, God doesn’t talk to this world. But David tells us different story.
The one thing I ask of the LORD– the thing I seek most– is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the LORD with music. Hear me as I pray, O LORD. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.” (Psalms 27:4-8 NLTse).
If David could enter God’s Sanctuary, why not us? If God protected David, why not us? God does not play favorites. God can’t love one person more than another. So why does the world teach us, God favors some people over others? That doesn’t make sense when we take the Bible as a whole. It’s time to make a decision. Is your view of God based on what the world wants you to think, what the devil wants you to believe, or direct contact and communication with God? What is our source of information?
The collection of New Testament Books is of course all the New Testament books following the four Gospels. This includes Paul’s books, Hebrews, James, Peter, John, Jude, and of course Revelation. I’ve written a book on Romans which turned out to be a guide or manual telling us the step by step process to becoming an apostle of Christ. But based on the almost non-existent sales of that book, I’m not inspired to write too much more on Paul’s books. Or other books about the Bible. Who wants to read a manual straight out of a book in the Bible when they can pick and choose a set of compromises until they find one that agrees with their particular life style?
I’ve also written a book on Revelation. That is also not a best seller. Although it looks at Revelation from a completely new and interesting view. My book on Revelation looks at John’s book exactly how it was written. It is a verse by verse look at Revelation not based on the wisdom of the world, or views the world has already placed upon it. My version looks a Revelation, its stories, symbols, and visions based on a view from Heaven. How do you get a view from Heaven? John showed us when he wrote Revelation. John explained how and where he received each of those visions. Then John explained exactly how he was given the definition of each of those symbols. Each and every vision and symbol was explained by someone in Heaven. No one in Heaven had any trouble knowing what those visions revealed, and what those symbols pointed to. Heaven never had to guess. And no one in Heaven ever got any of those symbols wrong. John explained all of that and more when he wrote his book. All we need to do is take the book in its entirety, and look at it as a whole. After all, it is one book. John’s book does cover a major portion of earth’s history. And that past history was explained by a Heavenly being who watched every event unfold. There was no guess work. Every tangible event was included. Why not take John’s book the way it was written and study that book using the facts John was instructed to record? When we do that, we remove all doubt. We also remove all the guess work and fabricated interpretations we’ve been spoon fed over the past few generations.
Taking a fresh look at the New Testament based on what is recorded in the New Testament is not a popular subject. Nor does it seem to be a popular way to study the New or Old Testament. People like to see facts from archaeologists and other scientists mixed with scripture to draw upon a conclusion. People like to see news reports interpret future prophecies. People prefer to have the world establish Bible Study methods, predictions, and interpretations to provide answers. People have been trained to doubt the Bible. We see people questioning the Bible everyday. We see people arguing about what one line or another verse means. We’ve grown use to accepting conflicts and questions about the Bible. Each of those has establish a network of doubt surrounding the Bible like a wall. People have been trained to accept institutions as the ultimate authority on the Bible and accept interpretations without questions. Churches have been training people to defend those interpretations, but failing to train people how to study the Bible, take each book as a whole, look at each story, and allow the stories to explain themselves. We live in a society where pride out weighs truth and common sense is defined by personal choice.
Hundreds of churches tell people what they believe to be truthful. Then they tell people to test what they’ve been told. But not one of those churches are able or willing to teach people how to test what they’ve been told by using the Bible and only the Bible. In some cases a few churches have taught people how to look up what is referred to as proof text. A series of text that agree with one statement. But are those proof text used within context? Context is defined as the words and statements around a word, phrase, or sentence. The well accepted study method of proof text ignores context. Proof text was invented by Satan for his own greedy desires. When Satan tempted Jesus, he used proof test. A single statement taken out of context.
Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.'” (Luke 4:9-11 NLTse).
The devil quoted one little part of scripture, but ignored the context. We learn what the context is when we read a few additional verses.
For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” (Psalms 91:11-16 NLTse).
When we learn exactly what context is and where is originated, we would never use proof text study method again. Some people may claim Jesus used proof text. That is not true at all. An inspired writer will always quote scripture to send people back to the original story where more facts are included. If you looked up the first verse Jesus quoted, you would find out that chapter told about every move Satan would make before he made it. That proved that Satan does not understand scripture or context.
I decided to set up this website to accept comments. You can post your ideas on a subject., share what you’ve learned, or just say thanks. Also remember to share. Not a dime is spent to advertise this site. Although I have every website developer in the world calling me along with every person trying to make a living selling advertising for Google and the other search engines. I don’t believe in those. I do believe God’s Spirit can and will guide people to this site when they are ready to learn how to study the Bible. This site has a collection of studies showing how information was collected, and why it was collected. My books also offer a collection of studies, and each one is explained in detail. Most of the posts on this site are chapters from my books with links to those books in both eBook and print formats.
Revelation 13:1-4 MKJV And I stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns. And on its horns were ten crowns, and on its heads was the name of blasphemy. (2) And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and its feet like those of a bear, and its mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him its power and its seat and great authority. (3) And I saw one of its heads as having been slain to death, and its deadly wound was healed. And all the earth marveled after the beast. (4) And 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 it?
In the previous chapter we saw the dragon, the devil standing on the shore of the sea. Now we see a beast rising up from the sea. This shows us how chapter 13 is a continuation of chapter 12. It also shows the beast is directly related to the dragon. When we look at the scene from Heaven’s eyes, we are reminded, Jesus was seen standing on the land and sea with one foot on each. Satan can’t do that. He has some form of restriction. The devil is limited to some extent. So the devil waited until something in his likeness came up out of the sea. They formed an unholy alliance.
Some people look the sea and jump ahead in Revelation to pull out an interpretation for the symbol. Then the angel said to me, “And he says to me, The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues, (Revelation 17:15 MKJV). But wait. Is this correct? We would have to compare the two chapters to see if they are referring to the same event, or the same beasts using different symbols. At this point previous chapters have shown the land and sea has a relationship to authority. Jesus has authority over all of this world. Satan has restricted authority and is looking for a way around it. When we jump ahead to try to solve riddles, we miss the main lesson the author has been building up to. We have to respect the author and the order He had these visions recorded.
Satan is not a physical dragon, and there is no physical beast that crawled up out of the water to invade the earth. All of those are symbols, and we want to know why God used those symbols to show all the angels in Heaven what was going to happen.
What does the symbol of a beast show angels in Heaven? For one thing, it reinforced the fact, Satan wants to rule everything. He lost Heaven, now he wants total control over everything in the world he was restricted to.
When we see a beast coming out of the water, what on earth can we relate that to? When God created this planet, He gave humans, animals, birds, fish, insects, and even plants the power to reproduce. Satan never had that power, and that was one of the things that upset him in Heaven. He thought God was holding something back. So when Satan makes it appear something came out of the sea, Satan is trying to hide his deficiencies from this world. Satan wants to appear as the great leader and king he established in his own mind. Where does the theory of evolution begin? In the sea. If Satan can’t be a creator, he has to remove that role from God.
That beast had some distinct features. It looked like a leopard. A leopard can lay in the shadows and no one will know he is there until he moves. A leopard is a master of camouflage that relies on shadows. A good description of what that beast represents. That beast is taking attention off Satan so he can work in the shadows while attention is focused on the beast.
The beast had seven heads, ten crowns, and ten horns. The same number of heads, crowns, and horns the dragon had. A clear connection between the dragon and the beast. Satan is creating a beast in his image. Notice another fact the beast points to. The beast is smaller in scale to a dragon. Satan is restricting the beast and its power. In other words, doing the same thing to the beast that God did to Satan.
And four great beasts came up from the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagle’s wings. I watched until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on its feet like a man. And a man’s heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like a bear. And it raised itself up on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said this to it: Arise, eat up much flesh. After this I saw, and lo, another, like a leopard, which had four wings of a bird on its back. The beast also had four heads; and rulership was given to it. After this I looked in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, frightening and terrifying, and very strong. And it had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the rest with its feet. And it was different from all the beasts before it; and it had ten horns. (Daniel 7:3-7 MKJV).
Daniel identified the first beast or world power as Babylon. The second as Persia, and the third as Greece, the exact order of world powers from Babylon to Rome, the forth world power described was an awesome and different type of beast.
The combination of those beasts found in a single beast Satan called out of the sea is another indication showing how Satan wants to control the entire world. Satan gave his beast authority to rule his world. That left Satan free to work in the back ground and use this prophecy and others as smoke screens to cover up his real intent. He was already found guilty in Heaven, somehow he had to hide that from the world.
One of the beasts heads was wounded, then healed. Satan doesn’t have the healing power God and Jesus have, but he has to show the world, he can somehow pull it off. What does every government in this world do? They all claim to have the ability to correct every problem that pops up. Every government in this world plays God to one extent or another. That is one phase of Satan’s plan.
The beast is actually bigger than any world nation. Nations remain as separate governments, but the beast is looked at as being more powerful than any nation. Add that to the art of camouflage, creation, and some type of healing power and what does that all point to? A religious power? We are still fighting a war of words. One of the horns in Daniel’s vision was given the ability to speak. And that horn made a name for itself by misrepresenting God. Why else would Satan create a beast all his own?
Revelation 13:5Revelation 13:5-10 MKJV (5) And a mouth speaking great things was given to it, and blasphemies. And authority was given to it to continue forty-two months. (6) And it opened its mouth in blasphemy toward God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and those dwelling in Heaven. (7) And it was given to it to war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given to it over every tribe and tongue and nation. (8) And all dwelling on the earth will worship it, those whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain, from the foundation of the world. (9) If anyone has an ear, let him hear. (10) He who leads into captivity will go into captivity. If anyone will kill with the sword, he must be killed by a sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
Again we see another reference to that forty-two months, or 1260 years. This shows that chapter 13 is adding information and details to previous chapters in Revelation. Now we can see how this beast will assist Satan in his pursuit of the woman, trampling the holy city, and killing God’s two witnesses.
When we take another look at the witnesses, we can see that God needed witnesses in Heaven when Satan was on trial. There is one part of the story, what Satan did wrong, and another part of the story, what Jesus did to fix this world. The witnesses here in this world were sent here to tell this world what happened in Heaven, and why Satan was cast down to this planet. Information Satan doesn’t want this world to know. So Satan enlists all the help he can get to hide the truth.
We can see how Satan created a propaganda machine. It is a war and propaganda is an important weapon. Satan had to hide the truth from this world, so he recruited a beast made up of all the previous world powers to pump out lie after lie. Satan hired a beast with a lot of previous experience in war and propaganda. Not to mention the experience those nations had in creating and controlling religions of all types. When we read those stories and focus on how kings interacted with religions, we see a strange parallel to they way governments interact with religions today.
How did that look to angels in Heaven. Here was this beast on earth who has never been to Heaven, never seen Heaven, wants no contact with Heaven, telling people all about Heaven. How would you like someone you never met spreading vicious rumors about you? God had to show the angels what was going to happen so they were prepared for it when it did happen. God wanted His angels informed and involved.
This is the beast that makes war with God’s people. Other of Satan’s factions join in on the conflict, but this beast takes center stage and carries the blunt of the blame. All the nations follow this beast. Hence that is why the description included attributes of all the world powers. That was Satan’s plan, to control all the world’s powers. He thought he had control over the world and offered all the power, glory, and riches to Jesus. But Jesus knew better, turned down the offer, and showed Satan where he actually stood. To Jesus the powers and riches of this world are nothing. It was the people who mattered.
The Book of Revelation has already shown us how to gather all the information on a subject before scripture will begin to explain scripture. Now we are getting into another phase of study, looking back to other books. When the Bible directs us back to other books, the story in scripture tells us exactly where to look. Using sets of key words, the Bible is written much like a road map of words. Go north on highway 21 until you pass a red barn. After the barn you’ll see a gas station. Turn east at the gas station and continue for three miles. People express directions in words, and so did God in the Bible. Those directions are commonly known as key words. Key words give us direction, and are most often repeated. Key words are words that are the same, similar, or related. At the beginning of Revelation chapter 13 we see a set of related words. Beast is repeated. Beast and dragon are related. Leopard, bear, and lion are all related to beast. In this example those key words point us back to the Book of Daniel. Because this prophecy is so deep, we have to refer to more than one chapter in Daniel to find out where Daniel linked those beasts to kingdoms.
Since so many studies have been written and presented on this very popular subject, I am not going to repeat that process. Most Christians have heard a number of explanations on Revelation 13 and its relationship with Daniel. But I am going to show you how those chapters are related and how God confirms their relationship. The Bible has what I term as parallel chapters. One chapter has a prophecy and somewhere its fulfillment is recorded in the Bible. People like to guess at things in the Bible, especially visions, prophecies, and the all time favorite, symbols. Symbols are identified within the story by the same author. But like Revelation, it is one long story and people don’t have the patients to read the entire story and give the Bible time to reveal the answers. In a way Revelation 13 is a prophecy showing how people will study scripture as the time for this world draws to a close.
The concept of parallel chapters, key words, and links between stories and chapters in the Bible has been around for a very long time. Martin Luther developed a basic method of study using key words. Others who followed Luther learned how to look deeper and deeper into scripture. Not long after the Bible was translated from Latin to more useful languages, the Spirit revealed how words link stories, and men worked long and hard hours developing the Concordance. Each Bible translation required its own Concordance. That is why the rule of key words tells us to look at words that are repeated, similar, and related. It didn’t matter what word translators used, when we look for similar or related words, the Spirit is able to place scripture back into the perfect order.
People went back to original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts to translate the Bible into a vast array of languages. It didn’t matter how they translated a Hebrew word, one Bible used one word, another used a similar word with the same meaning. Words may have turned up a little different, but the substance of the sentence was still there. God had all of this planned long before Moses sat down and began writing the first book in the Bible.
When we look at the example comparing Revelation 13 and Daniel, we can see another sign post God used. Compare the introduction of Revelation 13 to Daniel chapter 7.
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head on his bed. Then he wrote the dream and gave the sum of the matters. Daniel spoke and said, In my vision by night I was looking: and behold, the four winds of the heavens were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, different from one another. (Daniel 7:1-3 MKJV).
And I stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns. And on its horns were ten crowns, and on its heads was the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and its feet like those of a bear, and its mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him its power and its seat and great authority. (Revelation 13:1-2 MKJV).
Notice how all the beasts came out of the sea? The introduction to every chapter in the Bible explains the main theme in that chapter. When we find two chapters with the same, or similar introductions, we know those two chapters are covering the same theme. In this example it is easy to see how those two chapters add so many details to one another. We can see how those chapters were designed to be placed together, compared, and how one sheds extra light on the other.
People studied like that for hundreds of years. People used to be able to explain how the Bible and God’s Spirit revealed information and connections to them. But how often do we see people doing that? How often do we see people giving credit to God’s Spirit, and explaining how they were led through the scriptures? No one can explain a route they have never traveled.
Look at Revelation chapter 13. It is the only chapter in Revelation that begins on earth. It is also the choice for many people to begin teaching. When I see that happening, I know exactly where it is leading. That teacher received all his knowledge from the world, and they will use the world to present scripture. After reading a few verses out of Revelation chapter 13, they will jump right into history books, the news, or whatever they know. Where is the Spirit? Why can’t people explain how God wrote the Bible, why it is arranged the way it is written, and how the Spirit guides us through script?
Prophecy has become big business. Billions of dollars is spent on books about prophecy, seminars, and of course donations. People need to keep the money rolling in. So every week they need to come up with new exciting stories, a different slant on the same old verse. Today prophets face a lot of competition. The race is on to be the first to hit the airwaves with new interpretations. Does it take to long to explain how the Bible revealed the prophecy, or have those people forgotten how to study?
Speaking out against God is one of the main themes in Revelation chapter 13. John repeated it a number of times to draw our attention to it. Daniel confirmed that fact. Previous chapters in Revelation also lingered on that subject. Now we are faced with a dilemma. When we know this war is focused on a war of words, do we lean on Jesus in Heaven for the weapons we need, or do we look to the world? How can we ever hope to defend ourselves with worldly weapons? We can’t.
Of course this war goes beyond words. In some stories God sent angels to act. One angel killed an entire army in one night. Jesus could have called any number of angels to His side when He was arrested. Angels are always there to help us. But how can we call on an angel if we don’t know the language, or understand their role in this war?
Revelation 13:11-18 MKJV (11) And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. And it had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. (12) And it exercises all the authority of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and those dwelling in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. (13) And it does great wonders, so that it makes fire come down from the heaven onto the earth in the sight of men. (14) And it deceives those dwelling on the earth, because of the miracles which were given to it to do before the beast, saying to those dwelling on the earth that they should make an image to the beast who had the wound by a sword and lived. (15) And there was given to it to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might both speak, and might cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. (16) And it causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark on their right hand, or in their foreheads, (17) even that not any might buy or sell except those having the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name. (18) Here is the wisdom. Let him having reason count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. And its number is six hundred and sixty-six.
Here is where we see Satan using the people he controls to hide behind. Satan wants to sit in the shadows out of sight. One of his main deceptions is to convince a part of the this world, there is no God. If there is no God, how can there be a devil? Satan knows this, and knows he has to make it appear as if earth is in charge of its own destiny and people control every aspect of life on this planet. How was Satan going to accomplish that? Make people believe they evolved from a lower life form. Evolution came on the scene and millions of people flocked to the theory, praising it as their god. Satan made people believe they were in charge of their own life, their own destiny, and the world.
Governments all over the world took bits and pieces of Satan’s lies and formed compromises. Look to your leaders to solve every problem in the world. All it takes is money. A meteor hits the earth. Develop a plan to shoot them out of the sky. All it takes is money. Rivers overflow and wipe out houses where they never belonged. Build walls and dikes to control the river. All it takes is money. Wars pop up, solve the problem with money one way or another. The planet is polluted, all it takes is money and new laws to solve that problem. Governments are designed to take God out of the picture and collect taxes. The hope governments can solve any problem is an illusion.
Satan hides behind one beast, then another, and another. That’s Satan’s plan. God showed that plan to all the angels in Heaven in a vision. John recorded that vision. God’s angels don’t hide behind anyone. Neither does God, Jesus, or the Spirit. They stand up, show themselves, and take full responsibility. Satan hides behind one image after another that he creates.
We can see how phrases about words and communication are once again repeated. The word worship is also introduced. Most Christians know, Satan has been introducing false forms of worship for some time.
After Cain killed Able, Cain was banished, much like Satan was. Cain asked for a mark, and God gave him one. When we look at Cain’s decedents, we see how they began to introduce their own forms of worship. That was Cain’s original mistake. He wanted to make a different form or worship.
Adam and Eve had other sons, Enoch was one of them. He sought after God one on one. His form or worship was acceptable to God. Enoch had a son and learned about the father and son relationship God wanted. It was simple. On the other hand, Cain’s decedents wanted to build huge structures, one of them used as a symbol making themselves as high and powerful as God. That one didn’t last.
We need to concentrate on the vision of Heaven God wants us to see. There is one Heaven and one love from Heaven. Enoch found it, and God took him to Heaven.
On the other hand, Satan made a million deceptions. Sad to say, people are trying to identify each and every single one of them. Or they are falling for one of Satan’s greatest deceptions, that there is only one deception to look out for.
Since John told us that Satan is involved in creating beasts tied to worship, we have to consider the form of worship angels in Heaven follow. People like to worship in churches. People like to depend on institutions and committees. Satan knows that and uses that to his advantage. Enoch didn’t need a church or a committee to show him the path to Heaven. All Enoch needed was God. That is where angels worship, in God’s presence.
Once we look through the entire chapter in Revelation 13, we can’t help but see Satan creates worship in different flavors to attract different people. But the core value is still the same. The beast that came out of the sea developed a form or religion designed to control people. Other beasts took that idea and used it in different forms. The control remained the same. It is a control lurking in the shadows. A control so camouflaged, people don’t even notice it. As a matter of fact, people worship the control imposed upon them. Satan made control an image, a pillar in his church. People not only worshiped that pillar, they claim it is their salvation.
When we trace back through the history of the church, we can see how Satan recreated the church into a group of people with rules they established as a new and easier path to salvation. A path Enoch never traveled. A path Jesus never walked or talked about. A path none of the apostles followed or wrote about, but a path the world has accepted as normal. Not only normal but mandatory. When people didn’t agree with one church or committee, Satan directed them develop a new church. It was okay with Satan, as long as the members carried the core values of the beast along with them. A few little changes to Satan’s original system of worship didn’t alarm him, as long as they stuck to his original plan of committees and man made rules for worship.
The new beast coming up out of the earth looked like a lamb. That had to remind Heaven about the image of the Lamb that was able to open the seals. And I looked, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, amidst the elders, a Lamb stood, as if it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him sitting on the throne. (Revelation 5:6-7 MKJV).
The main difference was, the Lamb that represented Christ appeared in front of God’s throne. Satan’s lamb came up from concepts Satan developed in this world. Of course Satan had to develop a new set of concepts that appeared to come from Christ, but in fact came from earlier concepts developed by this world. The fact Satan’s lamb had only two horns showed there was a little, but incomplete connection with Heaven. Jesus’ horns had a complete connection with Heaven.
There was no way Satan’s lamb could open or understand those seals, which began a series of visions John and Heaven were shown. So Satan had to develop his own form and methods of interpretation. Satan had no choice but to reply on the world for his information. Satan set out on a plan to create his own little sequence of events that appeared to fit into the prophecies John recorded, but like those two horns, each was incomplete. But the world ate them up faster than Satan could pump them out.
Let’s take a quick review. Satan is the dragon who watched a beast that looks like a leopard coming out of the sea. That beast has markings of all the world powers Daniel described. Another beast comes along, a lamb, a type of counterfeit to Christ, but that lamb came up out of the earth. That lamb made an image, pillar, or some object, more or less an idol of the first beast, and the world followed that image. That image somehow got the power to speak. Back to the war of words.
This series of images brings this world right back to the stone and wooden images talked about in other books. In Heaven’s eyes we appear just as primitive as ancient cultures. Our images may be more sophisticated, more detailed, more appealing, but they are even more deadly than those bought and sold in and around Jerusalem during her glory days.
What kind of statue appears to come to life and talk when viewed from Heaven? The statue is an image of the first beast, made up of all the symbols Daniel used to represent three world powers. But where is the forth represented in that beast? The forth world power was the the one who spoke out against God. Now we have a series of other beasts and images taking over that role. To Heaven it looks like people in this world are doing the same old thing, making the same mistakes, and thinking they are so wise. The fact of the matter is, their self proclaimed spiritual wisdom makes it easier for the devil to deceive them. Here is a beast people should know is bad news. So introduce a not so fierce looking beast people will trust. It says the same things the fierce looking beast said, but it looks harmless, and more acceptable. People get used to the appealing beast. After time, Satan brings back the first beast. Not the real beast but a model of it. People have been so misled, a second look at the first beast now appears appealing. Once again Satan succeeds, and no one knows what is happening.
To get his plan to succeed, Satan needed a smoke screen, a distraction to go along with the camouflage. What better way to distract people than give them a puzzle to solve. People have been wasting a lot of time and money trying to solve the riddle of the number given in Revelation chapter 13. More money has been spent and made on that number than any other number, word, or phrase in the Bible. Movies have been made, books written, and countless sermons preached. People think it has something to do with Roman numerals, an actual stamp on people, social security numbers, computer chips, and countless other things. All of that research has one thing in common, all of it is centered on the earth. People are trying to answer a question posed in the Bible with something from this world, and that is never going to work.
Imagine a religion centered on finding out, or proving who the devil is. Is that crazy or what? But that’s exactly what the world wants to learn. They go as far as calling that worship. If they stood back long enough to take a look at what they were doing, they’d see the transition of those three beasts, and their origin is from the devil. Problem solved. But not for those intent on focusing their attention on a single word, phrase, or number.
By rule, Revelation chapter 13 has an introduction and summation. The introduction tells us the main theme, and the summary sums up the main theme in the chapter. By rule, that number in the summary people are trying to identify is defined by the introduction.
Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666. Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God. This beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority.
The answer will not come from any worldly power or wisdom. No matter how much power, glory, and honor the devil promises, it will never come close to the wisdom from Heaven. That is what people have to realize.
The number of the beast is like a test. What does the number do? It repeats. It points to the simple rule of repetition God used to write the entire Bible. Over generations God used prophets from all walks of life from kings to shepherds to write books. They all followed the general rule of repetition to call the readers attention to certain words and phrases, the main theme in the story and lesson. Some people call those keys words. Those are words that are the same, similar, or related. The number 6 is repeated and used to close that chapter and portion of the vision. Whenever we have a question in scripture, we should look back in the chapter, and at the previous chapter for the answer.
The previous chapter told us about the dragon, and identified that dragon as the devil. Then John was shown two other beasts, plus an image of one of those beasts. The word image sets up a relationship with the first beast. We instantly know those beasts and that image are related, one of the criteria used in the rule of repetition. How are those 3 beasts related? They all follow the devil. When God tells us to follow the rule of repetition, tells us we need wisdom, is He telling us He already provided the answer? Or is God telling us to look past Him, to the world for the answer?
Where does the Bible talk about a mark? Cain had a mark. Cain asked for a mark. What did Cain do? He decided to make a few changes to one of God’s simple commands. That’s exactly what Eve did, and Adam followed. All Adam and Eve had to do was follow one simple rule, don’t touch that fruit. The devil had a different idea. The devil made promises he couldn’t fulfill. The devil is still working for the same goal, using the same techniques, and achieving the same results. It is all based on simple repetition. We keep doing the same things, making the same mistakes, and why in this world we would ever expect a different result is beyond me. We all do it. God is simply bringing that point to our attention by using repetition in its simplest form. But people take that clue, change the rules, insert a few standards of their own, and expect to see a successful result. They make the same mistake Adam and Eve made, the same mistake Cain made, and the same mistake we see in dozens of other stories in the Bible. None of those changes to God’s simple form of worship, and easy way of finding answers ever worked. That doesn’t stop people from trying to find short cuts through the path God made for us to reach Heaven.