Revelation 13, 666, the mark of the beast.
V 1, 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.
The beast speaks of the anti-christ. John saw the anti-christ, coming out from the sea. In biblical typology, sea speaks Gentiles nations and land speaks of Israel. The anti-christ will most probably a political leader from a Gentile nation, Europe, although he may still be a Jew. 7 heads speaks of the 7 nations that occupied Israel in history, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medes, Persia, Greece and Rome, and the 7 hills of Rome. 10 crowns speak of the 10 nations controlled by the anti-christ, the 10 toes of iron and clay of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Daniel 2:31-34, “You, O king, were watching; and behold a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly, and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay”.
The Roman Empire officially ended in 476 AD but was revived in 1950 AD through the Treaty of Rome resulting in the formation of the European Union or EU. Today EU has 27 member countries. However, the composition of EU can still be reduced to 10 by the time the 7-year tribulation starts.
Throughout history, many political leaders of the world had been suggested as the anti-christ eg Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger, Ronald Reagan, the Pope, and so on, but the anti-christ will only show up during the 7-year tribulation and we are not there yet.
VV 2-4, 2 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. 3 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. 4 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?”
The anti-christ was like a leopard, a bear, and a lion. In Daniel 7:1-7, Daniel saw in a vision of a beast coming out from the sea which looked like a lion, a bear, and a leopard. Daniel’s vision was similar to John’s vision but in a reversed order. Lion speaks of Babylon, bear speaks of Medes and Persia, and leopard speaks of Greece.
Satan gave power to the anti-christ. The anti-christ will be assassinated (killed) but miraculously resuscitated to life. Seeing this, the world will go crazy and worshiped satan (dragon) and the anti-christ (beast).
VV 5-8, 5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 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. 8 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.
The anti-christ will be a great orator who blasphemed against God, His name, and His tabernacle for the second 3 1/2 years of the tribulation. He waged war against the tribulation saints, those who believed in Christ during the tribulation. Those who worship the anti-christ will not be saved and their names will not be in the Book of life. Rev. 3:5, ‘’He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels’’.
Rev. 20:12, “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books”.
VV 9-10, 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 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.
Can you feel the emotion of John? Whoever enslaves us now will be enslaved in the end. Whoever kills us now will be killed in the second death. Do not throw in the towel. Be patient and faithful knowing that the Lord will be coming back. You may be under persecution, fighting with illness, facing financial reversal, but it will all be solved eventually. We know how the story will end. We will be going to heaven, things will be wonderful, and sufferings will be gone. Life is short, time flies and we will be out of here in no time.
VV 11-14, 11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 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. 13 He performs great signs so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 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.
Another beast coming out of the earth (land) is the false prophet. In biblical typology, land speak of Israel, the Holy land. The false prophet is a religious leader, gentle as a lamb in appearance with 2 horns, but spoke like satan (dragon). He is as powerful as the anti-christ, can perform signs and wonders, can call fire from heaven, able to deceived the people to make an image of the beast. This is the unholy, counterfeit trinity, satan, (dragon), anti-christ, (beast), and false prophet, (second beast).
VV 15-18, 15 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. 16 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, 17 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. 18 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.
The false prophet will set up an image of the beast in the third temple, which will be rebuilt during the 7-year tribulation. This image may be a computer-generated image like a hologram. This image could talk and demand to be worshiped. Those who refused to worship this image will be killed. The false prophet will compel everyone to receive the mark of the beast on the right hand or forehead. Those who did not have this mark will not be able to buy and sell. The mark of the beast may be a subdermal implantable RFID computer microchip implanted into the right hand or forehead, containing a unique ID, personal details and barcode that can be scanned. This technology is already in use for animals. 6 is the number of man. 666 is the number of the anti-christ (beast).
Today, some people claimed that taking the Covid 19 vaccine is taking the mark of the beast. This is not true because the mark of the beast will only be available during the 7-year tribulation and we are not there yet.