The beasts of Revelation 13 . . . are you expecting the Antichrist? Are we about to see some totalitarian despot arise to global power and set out to kill believers? Unlikely. More likely this will be much more discreet.
Despite popular belief based upon the Dispensational Futurist viewpoint, the Bible actually doesn’t say anything about an Antichrist (capital A). Folks expecting such a person read it into phrases such as “the Assyrian,” “the man of lawlessness,” and “the man of perdition.” Yet, those phrases are generic and could also mean plural people, much like the “the man of God” could represent any number of believers. What the Bible does mention is “the spirit of antichrist” (little A). This is rampant in the world today.
In the Middle East, believers consider this being fulfilled by Islam, which certainly fits the bill. Just look around. U.S. public schools have been forced to drop anything considered Christian but are encouraged to teach our children about the Koran/Quran. However, in a broader sense, humanism is the real antichrist, in whatever form it takes.
So, if we’re not to expect a global tyrant, what should we expect? Let’s look at the description of the beasts in Rev 13. First, here’s the beast from the sea:
1 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. 2 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. 3 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. 4 And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” 5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear: 10 If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints. [Rev 13:1-10 ESV]
What is this beast? Well, two aspects of its description give it away. First, the horns, heads, and diadems, as well as the number ten, all point to government while the number seven points to global government, as in the seven continents and seven seas. The seven heads also tell us there is no one individual leader, as in an Antichrist. The second aspect are the images of a leopard, bear, and lion. We’ve seen those before in the ancient empires of the past. Daniel 7 tells us of four great beasts arising from the sea and these animal images are used there for the first time in scripture. The final beast is also described as having ten horns. Simply put, the beast from the sea is a global government made up of several parts. Today, many would call it the Deep State.
As for the mortal wound that is healed, I puzzled over that. Then, as I began to write this post, a thought hit me. I know, I know, another one of those thoughts. Bear me out. Among the global, elitest government, the U.S. is quite likely to be one of those seven heads. The globalists were giddy with excitement at the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming president in 2016. Her gaining control would raise the curtain on their big show. She was a shoo-in, until she wasn’t. The election of Trump “wounded” the progress toward their totalitarian state, but the “election” of Biden healed that wound. I previously stated in both of my study guides that the Trump administration was likely a reprieve before judgment on the U.S. escalated, but I hadn’t really connected his election as being the near-fatal wound mentioned in Rev 13:3. Now, it makes sense. It also appears I was correct about Trump’s role in giving us a reprieve. Look at how judgment, as well as Christian persecution, across the globe has intensified since Biden usurped the presidency. (The globalists weren’t about to give Trump another term. They still aren’t.)
What about the second beast, the one that arises from the land. Here’s Rev 13 again:
11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14 and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. [Rev 13:11-15 ESV]
Here we see two horns, the mainstream media (MSM) and the corporate world. When the government was legally unable to mandate COVID “vaccines,” who did it for them? The large international corporations, the universities, and others, all pushed along by the MSM. Who filters the news for the masses and spins events to make the government look good or, well, not as bad in most cases? The MSM. Who is debanking conservative groups and individuals, denying them access to the markets and their funds? The large international banks. Who is controlling food resources? Large international agribusinesses. Who produces an image of the beast and enables that image to talk? The MSM. The examples go on, but these groups function as cheerleaders—the false prophets—for the global government.
The beasts are given 42 months to reign. Unlike the two witnesses giving testimony for 1,260 days, John specifically uses 42 months, which we can assume to be in the lunar calendar of his day and ours.
Let’s assume that the beasts secured their positions after Biden was sworn into office in 2021 and have 42 months. That takes us into late summer or fall in 2024. If I’m correct that the Lord will return on Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashanah), what would precede that 2024 festival by 42 months? Is there anything that happened in the spring of 2021 that might have significance? Yom Teruah in 2024 is from the evening of October 3rd to the evening of October 5th, with October 4th being the first full day by our Gregorian calendar. Looking back precisely 42 months takes us to April 4th, 2021, the last day of Passover as well as Easter that year.
At no point within this decade does Yom Teruah correspond with the end of Passover or Easter by 42 months, much less both of them. In fact, because of the way Easter is determined to be the first Sunday after the first full moon following March 21st (the Paschal full moon), it infrequently coincides with Passover week (Passover plus the Feast of Unleavened Bread) at all, which I always thought strange since our Lord was crucified at Passover. Yet, we see these two separated by exactly 42 months now.
Wow. Could we really be only a year away from His return? Maranatha.
Continuing into Rev 13, we read:
16 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, 17 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. [Rev 13:16-17 ESV]
Unlike being sealed by Christ, a spiritual seal, this mark has to be physical. It will be used to buy and sell, so there must be some method by which that can take place. For years, folks speculated that this would be some form of electronic chip implant. Possible, more so for the back of the right hand than the forehead. However, with the talk of vaccine passports, I expected that to take center stage as this mark, until I read some articles on the digital IDs that are coming. And coming soon.
Fourteen states, mostly Red States BTW, are pushing for digital IDs to take the place of their drivers’ licenses. The powers-that-be (TPTB) with the G20 have just approved the joint rollout of digital IDs, not just for a driver’s license but also for banking, airport security, vaccines, and more. They’re promoting the idea for securing your identity against identity theft, streamlining travel, preventing voter fraud, and all of the best ideas for convenience and security. Sounds wonderful, until they turn off your account, effectively freezing your bank accounts and investments because you don’t agree with them, or you use the wrong pronouns, or declare that marriage is between a man and a woman. Oh, make that a biologic man and biologic woman.
The corporate world is going along with this. A recent store opening for Aldi in the Netherlands requires their app just to get into the store. Then you use the app to scan your items and finally to check out. In the U.S., Sam’s Club is pushing the same concept of using their app to scan items and then check out. Now, exchange the app with your digital ID, and they control your buying.
And how is this ID implemented? A scan of your right palm print or a retinal scan requiring you to put your forehead near or on the scanning device for an accurate read. I can see John envisioning this as a mark on the right hand or forehead.
Now we get to that famous number: 666.
18 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. [Rev 13:18 ESV]
A lot of people have spent a lot of time trying to figure out who this man might be. Again, this falls into the line of thinking that the man is the Antichrist (capital A). Irenaeus, a Greek bishop in southern France in the second century A.D., first proposed gematria as the means of determining this identity. Gematria is the use of numbers associated with letters to create a value for a word, or a name in this case. He never wrote of a specific person but suggested the Greek word for “titan” (spelled specifically as Τειτάν), an appropriate name for a king, or more specifically for a tyrant.
Since then, thousands of candidates have been proposed. The problem with gematria is its complication. How do you spell a person’s name? With a full middle name, just a middle initial, no initials, with or without a title, just the first name, just the last name? The possibilities are endless.
Others have suggested that the number is simply symbolic of man, and the Greek word anthrōpos can be used to refer to the nature of man. One option mentioned by Dr. Beale, whom I’ve mentioned in previous posts, was that it’s the number of humanity. Man’s number is 6, as in being created on the sixth day and being just below the perfection of Christ. The nature of man would therefore be body (6), soul (6), and spirit (6)—666.
However, I’ve come to believe in a different meaning to the number. The New Testament (NT) use of the word arithmos, ἀριθμός, used for ‘number’ in Revelation 13:18, always refers to the counting of people, as in a census. Why would it be different in Revelation? Also, the word psēphizō, ψηφίζω, used for the word ‘calculate’ in Rev 13:18, has only one other use in the NT. It’s in Luke 14:28 where Jesus asks if anyone would venture to build a tower without first counting or calculating its cost. John seems to be talking about counting people, as in a census.
What else could this refer to? Recall an earlier post where I mentioned Elijah sparing only one of the three companies of men sent to kill him. That meant two-thirds were consumed by fire from heaven. Zechariah 12-13 also mentions a third. Here is Zechariah 13:8:
8 In the whole land, declares the LORD, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive.
We also see this idea in Ezekiel 5:2, 12:
2 A third part you shall burn in the fire in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are completed. And a third part you shall take and strike with the sword all around the city. And a third part you shall scatter to the wind, and I will unsheathe the sword after them. … 12 A third part of you shall die of pestilence and be consumed with famine in your midst; a third part shall fall by the sword all around you; and a third part I will scatter to all the winds and will unsheathe the sword after them.
One-third gets scattered and emptied out but are still alive. Two-thirds die. How else do we write two-thirds? Maybe, like, you know, 66.6%. Perhaps John’s not trying to make us hunt down some unknown individual. Maybe he’s telling us that two-thirds of the people will take the mark of the beast. Curiously, while I don’t take any stock in Islam, it teaches that two-thirds of all people die shortly before the coming of their messiah, the Mahdi. Could it be that simple? Yes, it could be, and yet I’ve found this proposed solution to the ‘666’ conundrum nowhere else.
Let’s summarize where we are at this point. And again, this is my take on Revelation, my opinion. I’m not saying anything definitive about the Lord’s return and His timing, but what I’m seeing makes sense. The Seal Judgments have been with us for the past two millennia, while the escalation to the Trumpet Judgments is more recent. John’s visions showed him these judgments at different points in time as they unfolded and continued. Likewise, the beasts have been “rising”—plotting and setting the stage—for decades but only secured their goal recently, with the arrival of the Biden administration in the U.S. Based upon Revelation, that set into motion a timetable of forty-two months, of which 31 months have now passed. If that’s the same timeframe for the two witnesses, then clearly, we’re not talking about Elijah and Moses/Enoch coming back because they should have been here by now. That makes the church His witness. Also, timetables within the Bible are typically set by biblical events, not world or men’s events. The fact that Yom Teruah 2024 falls precisely 42 months after Passover 2021 is, to me, significant and VERY interesting. That timing becomes even more interesting when we note that Easter also coincided with that last day of Passover.
Should we really be expecting our Lord’s return next year? Hang on to your, um, Bibles. The three woes of the final Trumpet Judgments have already started. I have no “Thus saith the Lord” confirmation of any of this, but the idea prompts me to dig deeper into His word and cling more tightly to Him because the stuff’s about to hit the fan. That’s the bad news. The good news is that He’s coming back soon.
On to the Bowl Judgments next. We see a major escalation of judgment in these, but their timing is also interesting with respect to our Lord’s return.
For those of you in the U.S., I wish you a festive Thanksgiving holiday full of family and friends. See you next week.