Revelation 13: A Commentary
Many Christians today can be eschatologically myopic. This is particularly true for many of us who live comfortably in the West, working comfortable jobs and making enough money to enjoy a fairly comfortable living while Christians in other parts of the world, especially the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Asia where Islam is the dominant religion, live under the constant threat of persecution and even death simply because of the very fact that they are Christian. According to the World Evangelical Alliance, over 200 million Christians in at least 60 countries are denied fundamental human rights solely because of their faith. David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, and Peter F. Crossing in their 2009 report in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research (Vol. 33, No. 1: 32) estimate that approximately 176,000 Christians were martyred between mid-2008 to mid-2009. This, according to the authors, compares to 160,000 martyrs in mid-2000 and 34,400 at the beginning of the 20th century . And it’s getting worse.
I believe that we are in the last of the last days and are being plunged into a time that Christ described as “great tribulation” in Matthew 24. I do not believe, however, in a seven-year-tribulation nor do I believe that we, at any imminent moment, will be whisked away in a secret rapture to avoid any and all persecution that may be coming to our shores, as much as I would love for that to be the case (read here to find out where Paul and John place the rapture of the Church in Scripture, and here to find out what the Church is according to Jesus).
As the end of the age approaches, the picture of radical Islam and its role in the Last Days is becoming increasingly clear (cf. Daniel 12:4), and just as our Christian brothers and sisters on the other side of the world are today being persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, shot, blown up and beheaded for the faith of Jesus, I believe that we, too, will continue to witness all that is taking place. As such, I hereby present to you a commentary on Revelation 13 for your consideration that I believe reveals to us the time in which we are now living today, and the time that will soon be upon us.
Revelation 13:1-2, “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. 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.”
Israel/Jerusalem is the epicenter of Scripture and prophecy. It is not Rome, nor the United States, nor the European Union, nor anywhere else. In Revelation 13 there are two Beasts described, and the first Beast here with seven heads are all kingdoms or empires (cf. Revelation 17:9-10) that ruled Israel/the Middle East, including Jerusalem. The first six ‘heads’ are 1. The Egyptian Empire, 2. The Assyrian Empire, 3. The Babylonian Empire, 4. The Persian Empire, 5. The Greek Empire and 6. The Roman Empire. Now, the 7th is not a revival of the 6th – the Roman Empire — as some try to suggest in some prophecy circles, rather it is the empire of Antichrist that is a revival of the 7th. The 7th empire was The Islamic/Ottoman Empire which controlled Jerusalem beginning in the 7th century, and ending in 1924 with the abolition of the Caliphate.
Revelation 13:3-4, “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. 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 abolition of the Caliphate in 1924 is what appears to be the “mortal wound” that one of the heads receives. Today, however, the Islamic world is crying out for the restoration of the Caliphate, and a day is coming when they may see their wish fulfilled.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52xgUyR34ss – Caliphate – Call of the Hour
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRC7eyMVSZ0 – 100,000 Islamists Call for the Caliphate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdzd-RP6OAY – Muslim Youth in Britain Call for the Caliphate
“Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” This will be the immediate mind-set of the world-wide Islamic community, called the Ummah, when they bear witness to the rising power and influence of Islam as it once again rules the Muslim world and, they hope, Jerusalem. We are seeing this type of thinking even now. [Update: June 2014: According to a study released recently by the RAND Corporation, there has been a 58 percent increase in the number of jihadist groups since 2010. “Even more troubling, the number of jihadist fighters has doubled, and the number of worldwide attacks has tripled.”] And this will only continue to worsen.
It delights me and encourages me to see that religious fervor among the Ummah [the Muslim community] is rising. There is a uprising, a reprisal, in this dark conspiring world, of people who care about Islam, it’s sanctities, and survival, and are doing practical work, unlike many. I also firmly meet eye to eye with the view, that Islam is a complete code of life, and guides us in every walk, field of life. Life is a test, and we shall reap [in the hereafter] what we sow in this world. I’m also taking the liberty of adding that this present US and coalition led rampage is against Islam, as the US considers Islam and it’s political ideology a threat to it’s supremacy. It is dead set upon finishing Islam, but it’s ignorant nature makes it forget that Islam can never finish, it’s victory is inevitable, and is it’s destiny. It is here from the beginning, and shall remain till the end [Qiyamah]… When I shifted from the US, I was a typical ‘moderate’ ‘Muslim’. However, after coming across the modern Islamic literature, my mind changed. Moreover, after a comprehensive analysis of Islam, modern world, and the challenges it is facing, not a single doubt is in my mind regarding the political image of Islam. Islam is by no mean the difficult, fanatic, and extreme religion, that is portrayed by the Zionist influenced media. The West is and has always been displaying a vulgar, and profane image of Islam. This constant propaganda, is forcing many misconceptions regarding Islam. Not only the non-Muslims, but also the Muslims are misinterpreting the real Islam. On the contrary to all this, Islam is a peaceful religion, and teaches us equality and justice for and between all, without particularly referring to any certain sect. However, in Islam reprisal and retaliation are justified…
The new head of Britain’s armed forces, Gen Sir David Richards, has warned that the West cannot defeat al-Qaeda and militant Islam. He said defeating Islamist militancy was “unnecessary and would never be achieved”. However, he argued that it could be “contained” to allow Britons to lead secure lives. Gen Richards, 58, said the threat posed by “al-Qaeda and its affiliates” meant Britain’s national security would be at risk for at least 30 years…The general said: “In conventional war, defeat and victory is very clear cut and is symbolised by troops marching into another nation’s capital. First of all you have to ask: do we need to defeat it [Islamist militancy] in the sense of a clear cut victory? I would argue that it is unnecessary and would never be achieved…
The writer in the first quote above states that he was once a “moderate” Muslim but claims that his new and “enlightened” view of Islam — one that extols “reprisal and retaliation” — is in fact the “real” Islam and not “fanatical” or “extremist.” Islam’s victory, he says, is inevitable because Islam cannot be destroyed. This, of course, begs the question: What is so peaceful about the “Religion of Peace” if it must wage endless, violent jihad until all are forced to submit to its rule and its laws? Even the head of Britain’s armed forces believes that radical Islam will never be defeated.
Joel Richardson, author of The Islamic Antichrist, wrote an article not too long ago suggesting that there was the possibility that an actual Caliphate would be re-instituted per se, but rather that regional powers such as Turkey, Iran and others could form an Islamic coalition that would effectively imitate the might and influence that was once the Ottoman Empire. “The greatest danger in all of this is the emerging unity coalition that will emerge between Turkey, Iran and the new democratic-Islamist governments. While this coalition will not officially be called a caliphate, it will in fact be the closest thing the world has seen in over 80 years. For all practical purposes, we will see the rise of a Neo-Ottoman Caliphate. And with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, presently the most popular leader in the Arab world, leading the way, he will be the closest thing to a caliph the world has seen in over 80 years.” .
And the Arab word is now well on its way to seeing more and more Islamist governments “spring” up. Not only do we have Lebanon controlled by Hezbollah and Gaza ruled by Hamas, we now also have Egypt reeling from the fury of the Muslim Brotherhood, along with even more virulent Salafists. We have Libya now adopting an Islamist constitution post-Gaddafi and largely overrun by al-Qaida offshoots. We have Tunisia electing the Islamist Ennahda Party. Morocco has been infected. Yemen is on the verge of being overrun by al-Qaida as well. Even Syria is on its way to falling to Islamists, as well as Iraq after the power vacuum left behind by the Obama Administration’s hasty withdrawal.
Revelation 13:5, “And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.”
A revived Caliphate, in whatever form it ultimately takes, will be in power for at least 3.5 “prophetic years” or 1260 days, or 42 months. At this time I consider these periods to be actual time frames for this eschatonic Beast, which will reiterate what Islam already proclaims today — that Jesus is not the Son of God, that Jesus is not the Savior and that Christians are committing a great and unforgivable sin by associating Jesus with God and worshiping Him. If the Caliphate is headed by a Caliph — one single individual who is deemed by the Muslim world to be the spiritual leader of Islam — it is possible that this could in fact be the Mahdi, one whom the Islamic world believes to be the Savior, not only for Muslims, but for all of humanity (see here and here) that must convert to Islam. If the Mahdi proclaims himself to be — or is proclaimed by the Muslim world to be — the “true savior” of mankind that the whole earth must follow, this would fly directly in the face of God who says in Isaiah 43:11 that “I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior.” According to Scripture, anyone who would proclaim himself to be or is proclaimed by others to be the Savior of the world would therefore be claiming to be God and would be worshiped as God by being attributed a position that only God can hold. Read more here.
Revelation 13:6-7, “Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 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.”
Like the Islamists of today, a revived Caliphate will — either individually or collectively — blaspheme the God of Israel, the Church, and all believers in the Promise of the Messiah both past and present and will seek to force as many Jews and Christians as possible into submission, particularly those who still remain in Islamic nations. This eschatonic Antichrist, however, will not be the leader of any sort of global government. Though it is the desire of the Ummah to see the world and everyone therein under submission of the ideology and religion of Islam, this desire will be in vain and will be unattainable. To understand why, I recommend reading through this article here.
Although the Caliphate’s authority will be relegated primarily to the Islamic world, its influence will be felt virtually worldwide due to the fact that there are literally millions upon millions of Muslims living in Western nations all throughout the world. Many of these Muslims in the West will begin pledging their allegiance to this new and, in their view, foretold power rising up within the Islamic world. Most would continue to be peaceful (one would hope), but with an estimated 5-7 million Muslims living in the United States alone, dare we begin to imagine the havoc to be wrought if even 10% of the Islamic community were to engage in or support terrorist activities at a pivotal time in Islamic “eschatology”? The fact that 19 terrorists changed the world forever on 9/11 would pale in comparison to what a few hundred thousands Islamists could do, believing that their Islamic “Judgment Day” is at hand and the only way to guarantee themselves entry into Paradise is by waging Jihad and dying for the cause of Allah. Expect to see a sharp increase in Islamic savagery and terrorism on a global scale leading up to this time.
Revelation 13:8, “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.”
At first glance Revelation 13:8 may seem to be saying that literally everyone on the planet will worship the Beast, but John then states that it is those “whose names are not written in the Book of Life”. John here directs us to an understanding that it will not be literally all that dwell upon the earth that will worship the Beast, but rather, a certain group only. This should also be quite obvious to us when considering the undeniable fact that a great multitude “which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” will come out of the Great Tribulation (Rev 7:9,14). If they come out of the Great Tribulation, they had to be in it, and while they were in it they did not worship the Beast.
Revelation 17:8 says the same thing as well, “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world …”. So, again, it will not be everyone on the earth that worships the Beast, but rather only those whose names are not written in the Book of Life. Why are their names not written in the Book of Life when John sees them marvel at or worship the Beast? We’ll have to go and take a look at what the Book of Life itself is a bit more closely.
It is my opinion that the Lamb’s Book of Life has itself existed since the world was spoken into existence, and that in God’s foreknowledge the names of all humanity that would be born after Adam & Eve until the last natural born individual had been placed in the Book of Life since the foundations of the world. Therefore, when someone is born, their name is already in the Book of Life, and they are what we would call “saved” from the Second Death. Thus, if a child dies, we can know in our heart of hearts that they are in the loving presence of the Father, and not separated from Him for all eternity.
Revelation 20:15 shows us in no uncertain terms, however, that “whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” If we are saved from the judgment of God at birth and our names are in the Book of Life, how is it that names have been removed according to Revelation 20:15? I believe that the answer is simple, and the individuals who are having their names removed are those who have willfully and continually resisted the Spirit of God (Matt 12:31) which convicts them of sin and draws them to Christ (John 16:8-11). It is those who have refused to have a relationship with YHWH the One True God of Israel through Messiah Yeshua. This is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, what is called the “unpardonable sin”.
We never read anywhere in Scripture about names being added to the Book of Life. We only read about names being removed from the Book of Life completely. Christ has promised us in His Word that all those “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 3:5). If this verse is true — which it is — then the inverse is also true: He who does not overcome will have his name blotted out of the Book of Life, and Christ will not confess their name before the Father and before His angels. I believe that a name will remain in the Book of Life up until death, and it is at the time of death that the determination is made as to whether the name remains, or is blotted out. (The thief on the cross next to Jesus barely made it! He died before Pentecost and before Christ’s resurrection, but was with Jesus in Paradise that very same day – cf. Luke 23:43).
However, there seems to be one exception to this rule, because there is one specific group that Scripture identifies as alive on the earth in the Last Days, whose names are not written in the Book of Life. It is during the time in which John sees them marvel at and worship the Beast, and I believe that this is likely because they have received the “Mark of the Beast”. Like Antichrist, the consequence is that they are now also doomed to destruction and to suffer the second death because to receive the Mark of the Beast “is a clear indication of complete rejection of Jesus Christ; it demonstrates that the possessor of the mark has reached such a place or condition of hardness that it precludes repentance or faith in Christ. Receiving the mark of the beast, then, terminates one’s chance to receive Jesus Christ. It is equivalent to death for Tribulation people. It is proof they will never receive Jesus Christ, and God knows this absolutely.” .
Evidence of this is brought to light when we understand that the trumpet/bowl judgments of Revelation (which are cause and effect – the same events, different perspectives being two sides of the same coin) are upon this very same group specifically (Rev 9:4 – those who “have not the seal of God”; 16:2 – “upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image”; 16:6 – those who have “shed the blood of saints and prophets”; 16:10 – “upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness”), yet despite these judgments all of them refuse to repent (Rev 9:20-21). I believe these are they who are spoken of in 2 Thess 2:9-12:
2 Thess 2:9-12, “The coming of the [lawless one] is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”
Rev 17:8, “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world …”
Revelation 13:9-10, “If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 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.”
Spiritual captivity. Spiritual death. Jesus Christ delivered all of those who have put their faith in Him, who believe in the gospel of grace, out of spiritual captivity, out of bondage, out of death and into life by the Word of God, to give sight to the blind that they might see Truth of God’s Word. Revelation 13:9-10 may be a hint of what is coming next in Isaiah’s prophecy in Isa 61:1-4. Notice the portion of the prophecy that was already fulfilled by Jesus, and the portion that Jesus left out because its fulfillment was still yet future:
Already Fulfilled: Luke 4:17-19, “And He [Jesus] was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.’ Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.'”
Yet To Be Fulfilled: Isaiah 61:1-3, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
The Beast deceives its followers, even itself being deceived, into the prison of spiritual desolation by which they are condemned (cf. 2 Thess 2:9-12). But here is the patience and the faith of the saints. The actions and behavior of Islamists is based upon what they believe to be the “word of Allah” (the Qur’an) and they allow the Qur’an and its “Sharia Law” to be the jurisprudence which speaks for them in justifying their immoral and sinful conduct. But their ultimate judgement will, in the end, come by the true Word of God, which Ephesians 6:17 calls the “sword of the Spirit.” Islam — a religion that twists and distorts the sword of the Spirit to its own destruction — will be unable to deceive the saints who endure in the faith of Jesus. The saints will not believe the lie that is perpetuated by the spirit of Antichrist. The elect will not be deceived by false christs, or by false prophets, or by lying wonders. But those who persecute and kill the saints of the Most High by their sword will in turn be brought down by the true sword of the Spirit on the “day of vengeance of our God” — the Day of the Lord — the great day of His wrath (cf. Rev 6:9-11,17; Rev 19:15,21).
Revelation 13:11-12, “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 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.”
This is not just a revived Islamic Empire. For the second Beast I see two possibilities. One, it may be referring to a reawakening as it were of fundamental Islamism and the Islamic terror that accompanies it, all rising up from within this new Islamic Empire with a massive upswing in their “membership numbers.” Since both the Shia and Sunni branches of Islam are actively seeking the implementation of the Caliphate or, essentially, an Islamic Empire with the power and influence of a Caliphate where Sharia is the law of the land, the two horns here could be representing the extremist organizations within both the Shia and Sunni branches of radical Islam such as the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida and all like-minded offshoots (Sunni in ideology) and Hezbollah and Iran’s Republican Guard (Shia in ideology). They could even, to some degree, be acting together as a unified front as it were on behalf of their Islamic “Savior” the Mahdi — hence like a lamb — or, at the very least, the expectation of the Mahdi’s arrival, yet with one voice they speak like a dragon by blaspheming the God of Israel, proclaiming the Mahdi as the “savior” instead Jesus Christ, and seek to convert or eliminate all Jews and Christians who refuse to submit to their ideology and religion. This will all be done under the rule/instruction/tacit or explicit approval of the revived Caliphate or neo-Ottoman Caliphate. Or two, another possibility is that the Mahdi will not himself be the Caliph but will instead rise up from within the Caliphate or neo-Ottoman Caliphate to then be accepted as both the Sunni-Shia Mahdi savior whose arrival will encourage and promote the forced conversion of all Jews and Christians to Islam and even bridge the Sunni-Shia divide for a time. Could this happen during the onset of some sort of campaign to recapture and liberate all or part of Jerusalem? (cf Zech 14:2). We will need to keep our eyes on developments in the Islamic world as they unfold. Some are even claiming that the Mahdi is already “present” today.
Revelation 13:13, “He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.”
In Jeremiah 23:29, the Lord says, “‘[Is] not My word like a fire?’ says the LORD, ‘And like a hammer [that] breaks the rock in pieces?'” In Jeremiah 45:48 we read, “Those who fled stood under the shadow of Heshbon Because of exhaustion. But a fire shall come out of Heshbon, A flame from the midst of Sihon, And shall devour the brow of Moab, The crown of the head of the sons of tumult.” Fire often symbolizes judgment, and in Revelation 13:13 the “fire” that comes “down from heaven” is likely referring to “religious edicts”– what Islamic clerics refer to as “fatwas.” These edicts, issued by the one the Muslim world follows and believes to be speaking the direct “word of Allah”, will be heeded by all those who hear him. Even now, this is evidenced by the words of Islamic militants who openly declare that the teachings of their prophet, Mohammed, are “the fire with which we harvest the skulls of the Jews” and “move closer to Allah through blood, body parts, and martyrs.” He claims to speak for and/or claims to be led by Allah …
Revelation 13:14, “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.”
I believe that the image of the Beast refers to the Ummah (Islamic community or nation) and all things it considers “holy” in Islam wherein the “second Beast” will instruct everyone under its control to submit to and conform to Islam as it is portrayed in the Qur’an/Hadith. Consider the Papacy and Catholicism, for instance. The Papacy is to Catholicism what the Caliphate is to Islam. Would not an image unto the Papacy therefore not mean being conformed to the likeness of Catholicism? Likewise, making an image unto the Caliphate therefore means being conformed to the likeness of Islam.
As such, the “image” of the Beast therefore likely refers to everything from “Allah” to the “prophet” to the Qur’an and Hadiths to Sharia Law in addition to the Ummah and the Caliphate itself. They are completely associated with Islam and the words that they speak have the power to dictate beliefs and actions upon those who submit to its authority, either willingly or by force. Just as the Ekklesia of Yahweh is conformed to the image (eikōn) of Christ (Romans 8:29, Christianity), the Ummah of Allah – which is a counterfeit of the Ekklesia of Yahweh – is conformed to the image (eikōn) of Mohammedism (Qur’an Sura 4:171, Islam).
Revelation 13:15, “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 killed.”
Significantly, the word “Qur’an” means “The Recitation” — literally, to speak. According to Islam the Qur’an is the “word of Allah” as given to Mohammed by the “angel Gabriel.” As Revelation 13:15 says, the “image of the Beast” speaks and anyone who does not worship the image of the Beast should be killed. According to the “word of Allah” anyone who refuses Islam (and therefore its “prophet”) should be killed (eg. Surah 4:89-91; 5:33; 9:11). We’ve already witnessed many “fatwas” often issued against someone for speaking out against Islam or “Allah” or his “prophet” or for simply refusing to convert to Islam. These are decreed because of what the Qur’an says. For Islam’s religious authorities, and even for the jihadists who violently impose Islamic law, the “word of Allah” speaks. See here for instance where an Australian Imam named Feiz Muhammad issued a death fatwa calling for the beheading of Dutch politician Geert Wilders. Even “moderate Muslims” who speak out against radical Islam will risk death (see here and here for example). This is only a foretaste of what is coming.
To the world of Islamic fundamentalism, the Qur’an will “come to life” as it were. In their minds the revival of such a Caliphate or arrival of the Mahdi will be like a “miraculous fulfillment” of the “word of Allah” and Muslims all around the world will envision world conquest for the Ummah. Those who worship the Beast will be compelled to do what the Qur’an says against those who dare insult or mock Islam and Mohammed: put them to death.
Interestingly, the word for “worship” in Revelation 13:15 is “proskyneō” (G4352) and one of the definitions is “to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence.” This is precisely what the Qur’an commands Muslims to do 5 times each and every day.
Revelation 13:16-17, “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, 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.”
In other words, everyone must submit to Islam regardless of who you are. Only Muslims will be able to work, only Muslims will be able to buy and sell goods (Read the article here for a more in-depth examination of the Mark of the Beast). We are already beginning to see this happening today.
According to the Greek text of Revelation 13:17-18 it isn’t just someone who hasn’t received the “Mark of the Beast” on the right hand or forehead that cannot buy or sell. In order to buy or sell they must have the mark of the Beast *or* the name of the Beast *or* the number of its name. In other words, those able to buy or sell are counted among the number of they who submit to the authority of the Beast empire or kingdom, not because they have been physically marked in the right hand or forehead for all to see, but because they are considered one of them ideologically/culturally/religiously in speech or practice. Consider these recent new stories, for instance:
- Egypt: Businesses Told Not To Sell To, Or Buy From, Christians
- Muslims Demand Christian Bookstores Stop Selling Christian Material
- Muslim Mobs Attacking Christian Businesses And Pharmacies In Egypt
- Iran Refusing Business License For Christians, ‘Do Not To Employ Them’
- Pakistan: Armed Muslims Attack Money-Making Christians In Sheikhupura
- Say The Islamic Statement Of Faith, Or You Cannot Buy From Muslim Stores
- Egypt: No Business, No Money, No Home: Christians Flee As Islamists Take Over
- Syrian Rebels To Christians: Comply With Islamic Law, Otherise It’s No Jobs, Death
- Egypt: ‘When I Apply To Any Job And They Know That I’m Christian, They Refuse Me’
- Iraq: Christian Businesses Destroyed: ‘If Anyone Decides To Reopen His Store, We’ll Kill Him’
- Iraq: Muslims Stop Christians From Selling Homes, Kill Real Estate Agents For Doing Business With Them
And these are only some of the incidents that have been reported.
Revelation 13:18, “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 word for “number” in Revelation 13:18 is “arithmos” and it does not simply mean number. It also means multitude. This is significant because it therefore means that the Greek text can also be translated as “the multitude of the beast: for it is the multitude of a man.” But what man would that be? There is nothing in the text telling us that the man referred to here must be the end-of-days Antichrist. In fact, consider the following — in order to convert to Islam one must recite the Islamic creed, called the Shahada, by declaring, “There is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is the messenger of Allah.” Because of this very fact it therefore stands to reason that the multitude of a man refers not to an eschatonic Antichrist, but rather to Mohammed, the founder and prophet of Islam. If you cannot acknowledge Mohammed, you cannot become a Muslim. Thus, the multitude of the Beast, which is the multitude of a man, are they who receive the mark of the Beast upon their foreheads and are destined for destruction. This is the direct antithesis or contradistinction to the great multitude, which is the multitude of the Lamb (Rev 7:17, 14:4) that receives the seal of God upon their foreheads (Rev 7:3, 14:1) and are therefore destined for redemption (cf Eph 4:30). One multitude is lost and separated from Christ forever (Rev 14:11), the other is saved and received unto Christ (Rev 7:15-17, 19:6-9, 22:2-5).
As a final thought, could there also be some sort of wordplay in effect here when it comes to the mark and image of the Beast? When we look in a mirror and see our reflection, we are looking at our image, but an image that is flipped horizontally. Did the Holy Spirit inspire John to describe what he saw this way, knowing that in the last days when knowledge would increase that students of Scripture, understanding the time in which they were living, would one day put the clues together? Consider the following video:
In closing, allow me to say this: Islamic “prophecy” is false. It is nothing more than Islamists taking true Biblical prophecy and then turning it on its head so that it is pro-Islam, and anti-Judeo/Christian. In doing so Islamists make themselves out to be the “good guys” who will enjoy an eternity of Paradise, and the Jews and Christians out to be the “bad guys” who are destined for hellfire. But despite the fact that the religion of Mohammed is false, we must not dismiss the river that is raging in the undercurrents of Islamic eschatology. Its banks are about to burst and what we must take into consideration is not the fact that Islamic “prophecy” is false and void of Divine inspiration, but rather the fact that Islamists BELIEVE that it is true and that their destiny is Divinely appointed. Because of this belief they will in turn interpret events on the world stage (and seek to self-fulfill them) in accordance to their Islamic way of thinking, as fulfillment and proof that the “prophecies” of Islam are true. They have done exactly that with the restoration of Israel in 1948 and will continue to do so, driven into action against the Judeo/Christian world they believe to be the “Dar al-harb” — House of War. As the analogy goes, the stage is now set. Indeed, the “props” are in position. The “characters” are in full costume. And the world is watching in attendance. All that remains now is for the Director to say “Action.”