The false prophet and the ‘mark’

Scripture reading for December 20th: Revelation 13

Key Scriptures: Revelation 13:11-15 “Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of the people, 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. 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.”

John was given vision of the first beast, one that arose from the sea. (Revelation 13:1) This beast was empowered by the dragon, Satan, and was given authority by God for forty-two months. It was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. Those not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb would worship this beast. Then John saw a second beast arising from the earth. This beast had the appearance of a lamb, but when it spoke it sounded like the dragon! This beast was a ‘wolf’ in sheep’s clothes! He promoted idolatry on earth and the worship of the first beast. His deception would entice those dwelling on earth to receive the mark of the beast on their right hand or forehead. Anyone refusing the mark would not be able to buy and sell in the economy of the beast. There was need for wisdom to understand these beasts and their insidious mark. God was not worshiped, but man empowered by Satan.

Revelation 13:16-17 “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.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, I thank You for wisdom and understanding and the gift of dwelling now in heaven with You in Jesus Christ, Your Son. Protect me today from deception. Let me discern the voices that are speaking in our time and culture. Use my voice to prophetically warn those on earth of Your soon return and the judgments prepared for those who have not received grace through Jesus Christ.

Revelation 13:18 “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.”

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