"And he doeth
great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the
sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means
of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to
them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which
had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life
unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and
cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be
The Lord, after his death,
burial, and resurrection, but prior to his ascension into heaven gave the
apostles gifts in which to manifest their work and authority. Mk. 16:17 "And
these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out
devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up
serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall
lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." Similarly, Christ himself
performed multitudes of miracles and wonders during the three and a half years
that he walked in his ministry on earth. Satan is an imitator. Both the image
of the beast and the false prophet were established so as to deceive people into
believing that they are/were performing miracles and wonders.
We will now look at the
image of the beast. Remember that whatever is the image of the beast is also
the image of the dragon. When anyone worships Jesus Christ who is the image of
the invisible God, he is worshipping God. Likewise, when anyone worships the
image of the beast, he is worshipping Satan. He may not believe that he is
worshipping Satan and may even think he is worshipping Christ, but he is
actually worshipping Satan. It is said of Satan that he transformed himself
into an angel of light. 2 Cor. 11:14 "And no marvel; for Satan himself is
transformed into an angel of light." Obviously Satan is anything but an
angel of light, but he deceives others into believing that he is an angel of
The image of the beast is
the antichrist spoken of in 1 John. 1 John 2:18 "Little children, it is the
last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there
many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time." The word,
antichrist, implies opposition to Christ. It also means "one in the place of
Christ." Thus, antichrist is a false Christ made to appear as thou he is
Christ. The scriptures give us the only true image of Christ, which is a word
description. The scriptures describe the attributes, work, and covenant purpose
of Christ. To create an antichrist one would only have to change the
attributes, work and purpose of Christ.
John said that there were
already many antichrists in his day. People today are told to look for some
future antichrist, but that is a deception to hide the fact that many antichrist
already exist in the world today. A comparison between the true Christ and a
typical antichrist will illustrate the deception and manifest the image of the
1. The true
Christ has all power in heaven and earth. The false Christ or antichrist has
done all he can do, and now he is dependant upon the creature to finish the work
2. The true
Christ chose his people before the foundation of the world. The false Christ
has left the designation of his people up to the free will of man.
3. The true
Christ saves his people by grace. The false Christ provides an offer of
salvation based on the will and actions of man.
4. The true
Christ died for all the sins of all the elect. The false Christ died for some
of the sins of all mankind, but not for the sin of unbelief.
5. The true
Christ is the one head of his church. The false Christ has organized his
churches after the Nicolaitane pattern.
Hundreds of other examples
of differences could be given, but these suffice to show how people can be
deceived to worshipping a false image and a false Christ or antichrist.
"And he doeth great
wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight
of men." Fire coming down on earth in the sight of men is a sign of
judgment. The following verses show this correlation:
1. 2 Kings 1:10
"And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God,
then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there
came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty."
2. 2 Chr.7:1
"Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven,
and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD
filled the house."
3. Rev. 20:9
"And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the
saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven,
and devoured them."
The proposition is set forth
that if a person doesn't hear the gospel and believe the gospel and accept the
Lord as their personal Savior, and be baptized then the judgment of God will
consume them and they will be eternally lost and hell will be their eternal
abode. Thus the fire (judgment of God) comes down in the sight of men through
"And deceiveth them that
dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in
the sight of the beast." The false ministry or false prophet says that they
have the keys to whether a person can go to hell or go to heaven. They also say
that they have the formula for eternal salvation and can give it to whomsoever
will accept it. They additionally set forth that if a person will receive their
gospel then they can get born of the Spirit and obtain eternal life. To save
from hell, to save from sin, to give eternal life, and to cause the spiritual
birth are all miraculous things. The problem for the false prophet is that only
God can do those things. Therefore, the false prophet must deceive people into
believing that they can do those things. What the false prophet does is
deceptive miracles and not real miracles.
"Saying to them that
dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the
wound by a sword, and did live." The whole doctrine of the death, burial,
and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is turned around to fit the antichrist
image that the false prophet has set up. The scriptures say that "For the
time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own
lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they
shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables"
(2 Tim. 4:3).
"And he had power to give
life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak,
and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be
killed." Nebuchadnezzar built an image and required worship of the image by
all his subordinates in the government. This was forced worship. Throughout
the last two thousand years multitudes have been slain because they refused to
worship the image of the beast. They refused to bow down to a false Christ.
Today in the United States we have the freedom of worship without fear of
government retribution. However, this is the exception and not the rule.
The image of the beast
speaks through the false ministry in the perverted gospel that they preach.
Paul said, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you
into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be
some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we,
or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we
have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now
again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received,
let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:6-9). Today multitudes of people accept the
false gospels as being the truth and are deceived into believing a lie. Their
image of Christ is perverted and become the image of antichrist. Instead of
hearing the true gospel they are hearing a perverted gospel. Instead of
worshipping Christ they are worshipping another Jesus (2 Cor. 1:4), or
antichrist or Satan.
causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a
mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might
buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number
of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number
of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred
threescore and six."
The right hand is used in
the scriptures to indicate a position of honor and power and is used to signify
labor or work. As this verse is used to indicate the right hand of man, it is
used to signify the labor or work of man.
The forehead is the place of
conscious thought. In Ezekiel God set a mark on those who sighed and cried
against the wickedness that was transpiring in Jerusalem. Ezek. 9:4 "And the
LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of
Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry
for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." This mark was
applied so as to exempt the ones marked from the judgment of God upon the city.
Ezek. 9:6 "Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and
women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my
sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house."
In the seventh chapter of
Revelation God sealed the servants of God in their foreheads. Rev. 7:3 "Saying,
Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the
servants of our God in their foreheads." This sealing identifies the true
worshippers or servants of God with God. This is a sealing of the Holy Spirit
as spoken of in the first chapter of Ephesians. Eph. 1:13 "In whom ye also
trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in
whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of
promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption
of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." Thus in the
conscience of these servants of God they have an assurance of God's salvation.
"And he causeth all, both
small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right
hand, or in their foreheads." The phrase "small and great, rich and poor,
free and bond" is used to indicate the universal nature of the mark that is
placed in the right hand and forehead. All, regardless of their station or
status, who worship the beast receive this mark. The mark is identification,
but it is not to be taken as a literal physical mark. It is used to identify
the worshippers of the beast by their works and by their thoughts. Thus those
who believe that they can work (right hand) their way to heaven and that believe
that their will (forehead) is ultimately the cause of their salvation from sin
and the cause of their new birth or eternal life have been marked in their right
hand and forehead. The mark is their works and their will. However, the word
of God says, "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth,
but of God that showeth mercy."
"And that no man might
buy or sell." Buying and selling are terms used to indicate merchandising.
Sometimes there are auctions or other merchandising arenas that require that the
participants have some type of identifying mark. Only those so marked can
participate in the merchandising. Later on in the book of Revelations Mystery
Babylon is described in much detail. The buying selling and merchandising will
be presented in much greater detail and clarity. Also the identity of Mystery
Babylon, which is the natural city of Jerusalem under Judaism will also become
Rev. 13:1 tells us the name
of the beast which is blasphemy.
"Let him that hath
understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and
his number is Six hundred threescore and six." The number 666 is found in
the Old Testament three times and arranged a fourth time (1 Ki. 10:14; 2 Chr.
9:13; Ezra 2:13; Dan. Chapter 3). In the New Testament the number is derived
from three Greek letters: chi xi stigma meaning six hundred, sixty, and six. 1
Ki. 10:14 and 2 Chr. 9:13 indicate a
money base associated with the number. Ezra 2:13 associates the number with the
children of Adonikam whose name means high Lord. The 3rd
Chapter of Daniel tells us about the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar setting up
an image that was 60 cubits high by 6 cubits wide and when six musical
instruments began to play all the people were to fall down and worship the image
that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. The gist of this is that the number 666 is
associated with man-made and man enforced worship. The penalty for
refusing to worship was death. This man-made and man enforced worship was
enforced by the ruler of the beast (Babylon).