By Dan Luehrs
"And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six" (Revelation 13:16-18).
To evangelical Christians these verses above are probably the most familiar verses in the whole book of Revelation. Because so much has been taught on 666, and many people think that the "mark" is a computer chip under the skin. Many teach that this mark is literally in the forehead or hand. But as I see it, since "6" is the number of man and man was created on the 6th day, 666 is the maturity or completeness of sin in fallen man (there are three sixes and the number three means completeness). The seed of sin that was sown into man has completely matured in the people of the earth into the likeness of Satan. The mark prophetically means that their minds think and their hands act out only the ways of the world, with God far from their thoughts. We must remember that the book of Revelation is a book of symbols and types. In fact, the first verse in chapter one declares this to be: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John" (Revelation 1:1 KJV). The word "signified" means, "to make known through a sign or symbol." Most, if not all, the book of Revelation is a book of symbols.
Satan symbolically has his people marked just as God has His people marked on their foreheads., "… But only the men who do not have the seal (mark) of God on their foreheads" (Revelation 9:4 NAS). This mark is a sign in the spirit of His people, not literally on the physical body. This mark is a sign of what is going on in the heart of man and shows a spiritual mark of ownership in the heart. If our minds are always on the ways of the world and not on God, we may already have been marked and don't even know it! Also at this time Satan has a people marked with his likeness because they have become one with him, in the spirit of disobedience, and having become identified fully with his ways. "In which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working "in" the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2 NAS). All they can think about is the worldly beast system of how to get rich and enjoy the passing pleasures and goods of the world.
“And I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name (likeness) and the name of His Father written on their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1).
Compare the mark of the beast with the mark of God on the 144,000 (God's elect); they are marked on the forehead also. The forehead represents the place where the mind is and they are marked because their minds are fully renewed and on God's will. Because they desire nothing but to be holy and pleasing unto Him, God rewards them with His name. God’s name is His attributes, character, and likeness; His name is all that He is. Man was created in the likeness of God and now His likeness is being restored to His elect in the earth that have come through great fires of tribulation and have died to self. Each one of us is to have the characteristics and likeness of Jesus; there is no higher calling in all of God's creation. Our mind and self-will must be dead so that our spirit and mind can be totally one with the Head, Jesus. Then there will be no conflict of interest when we rule and reign with Him.
A BEAST ARISES
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy" (Revelation 13:1 KJV).
The question has always been over the years, "Who or what person is the beast?" "People continue to speculate, is it the Pope, Mikhail Gorbachev, or Henry Kissinger?" It is none of these! People are always looking back into the history of the Old Testament to know the beast, rather than looking for the beast in the New Testament mystery. We must not look in the history, but in the mystery! There are spiritual answers if we will have our spiritual eyes opened by the Spirit of God. "And upon her forehead a name was written, a mystery, "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Revelation 17:5 NAS).
The beast is a New Testament mystery. Notice how the beast rises up out of the sea in Revelation 13:1. When The Book of Revelation speaks about the "sea," it is speaking about the sea of humanity. "And he said to me, "The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues" (Revelation 17:15 NAS). This beast is the mother of harlots and she lives inside of you and me! She is called by other names also, such as the flesh, the carnal man, the man of sin, and the anti-Christ. "For the mystery of lawlessness (sin) is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way" (2 Thessalonians 2:7 NAS). This mystery of sin is at work in all of us to bring down the person of Jesus Christ within us so that He does not come to full maturity in us.
In 1647 Joseph Salmon saw this beast for what it really is and wrote a little book called, Antichrist in Man. Below I have quoted several paragraphs from his book. If you desire to read the whole book please go to my website and copy it.
"But now comes the serpent, which is the most subtle beast in man's worldly heart, namely, self and flesh; and that dispenses its wisdom into the heart of the creatures, and that bids them eat, and then their eyes should be opened, and they should be as gods, knowing good and evil. Now man desiring (by the report of fleshly wisdom) to have his eyes opened, and to be as God, and to be no more a subject, but a King, no longer governed, but a Governor, runs away from God, departs from his first Lover, and commits adultery with his own fleshly wisdom. And as Adam in the History, so all in the Mystery commit daily fornication with the whore, our fleshly wisdom, by eating of the forbidden tree. For this forbidden tree is in us, and we taste of it continually, and hourly suffer death for the same. This Garden of Eden in the Mystery, O Man! Is in you, in whom God has placed the manifestation of Himself, and has brought forth the buddings of His glory. And any of these you may eat, but there is a tree in the midst of this garden of which you may not eat, which is your heart, O man!
First then, consider that your heart is that temple of God, where this great whore sits. Therefore mind the apostle, 1 Cor. 3:16, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God," also chap. 6:19. Now you being this temple of God, your fleshly wisdom is that Antichrist, that whore that sits in your heart. You are that beast that this whore rides upon, Rev. 17:3. For the Psalmist says in Psalm 49:12 that man being in honor abideth not, but is like the beast that perisheth. Here you may see, O man! The Pride of the wisdom of the flesh that no place will serve her, but God's temple the heart of man, that God has set apart for the praise of his glory, does this whore make her beast, by bringing it to be subject to her dominion; this temple of God to be that den of thievery, which God has made for his own honor and dignity.
Secondly, the exalting nature of the whore is seen, not only by her climbing up into God's Temple, and so becomes that Lucifer, that fell down to hell. But also by her behavior in God's Temple, she exalts herself above all that is called God, and she sits as God in God's Temple, in a place where she has no right to rule and govern.
Behold here, O Christian! Another proper emblem of the flesh in you. How this whore, this mystical Babylon, does exalt herself above every appearance of God in you: inasmuch as her tail draws a third of the stars of heaven, and casts them down to the earth, which is in me? That reason, will, affections and judgement, which are as the civil powers and lights of the soul, all these are drawn after this beast; so that indeed, she now is the Lady of the Kingdom (Isa. 47:7) nay vs. 8 "I am and there is none else beside me." This wisdom of the flesh is that which will not allow the child Jesus any room in the Inn of your heart, but thrusts him into the manger, which is, under the meanest thoughts, poorest respects, and lowest love of your soul. But in the mean time this whore herself takes the largest rooms, and highest chambers, that is, she is most supreme in your affections; with the greatest honor and respect that may be. Thus does this whore, the wisdom of the flesh, exalt herself as God; yea and that in God's Temple, where she has no right to rule and govern. For the Apostle tells us that we are not our own, but we are bought with a price. That is, we are to own no Lord, but He that has bought us; to render no obedience or servitude to any, but to that God who in our flesh has redeemed us according to the commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." But self, flesh, and creature, would be God in God's Kingdom, which causes God to take up a complaint against his people of old. "Have I been a barren wilderness to thee, or a land of darkness, wherefore then say my people, we are lords, and we will come no more after thee." (Jer. 2:31)
Finally, this spiritual man has the same discovery of this whorish wisdom, as John had, Rev. 17, vs. 3-7. John saw the woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast. Truly when God carries you away in the Spirit, you will behold yourself to be the beast, that this mystical whore, the wisdom of the flesh, does thus enslave man in his fallen condition from God; as it were Satan's pack horse to act all his designs of wickedness.
This beast had seven heads and ten horns. These seven heads and ten horns are seven mountains and ten kings, the scripture says; which in me are nothing but those powers of man which God has endued him with all; as reason, will, affection, understanding and the like; and all these (vs. 13) do with one consent give and ascribe their power to the beast, or poor bestialized man. And this beast man employs all these with their power to make war against the Lamb Christ Jesus, vs. 14. And so here is a discovery of poor misled man, fighting the battle of the whore, his fleshly wisdom. All this does the Christian understand is in himself, when the Lord carries him away in the Spirit of His glory.
But secondly, in this last day or sun rising of Christ in a Christian, it is the work of Christ to destroy, as well as to discover this whore in us, as it is the property of light to destroy darkness, so it is the property of Christ to destroy Antichrist in the day of His appearance. It will be the work of Christ by His coming in you, to root out that spirit of Antichrist, head and tail, root and branch, insomuch that there shall not be left one hoof of the beast in you. When John saw the angel come down from heaven endued with great power, Rev. 18, who enlightened the earth with his glory, immediately he heard this voice, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird," all which teaches me this much: that when that angel of the everlasting covenant, Christ Jesus, is by the Father sent down into the hearts of His saints, who comes by the power of His Spirit, and enlightens the earth or earthly man with His glory; when the earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord; when the glory of the sun comes to enlighten and beautify our earthly hearts, this is the time of Babylon's downfall. Now is the season of the whore's destruction. Now is the saint's time of Hallelujah." -- (End of quote).
ONE WOUNDED HEAD
For years I have wondered why the Lord was giving me understanding in the book of Revelation. Even when I would be reading other parts of the Bible, God would give me revelation about this book. Then one day it dawned on me that God was answering my prayer that, "I might receive a full revelation of Jesus Christ.” Because the book of Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ! Through this book Jesus Christ is revealing and unveiling Himself in us through our tribulations. "But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened (given revelation), you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly, by being made a public spectacle through reproaches (rejection) and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated" (Hebrews 10:32-33 NASB). The book of Revelation is also a book about the revelation of the "beast" (the man of sin) that lives within us and of his/its final destruction in us!
The scriptures teach us that God has seven Spirits before the throne (see Rev. 1:4). Seven is the number of God's perfection and completion. These seven Spirits are found in Isaiah 11:2 and are the different attributes of God. They are 1) The Spirit of the LORD 2) The Spirit of wisdom 3) The Spirit of understanding 4) The Spirit of counsel 5) The Spirit of strength 6) The Spirit of knowledge 7) The fear of the LORD. Satan likewise has seven different attributes about him as he is always trying to copy and pervert the character of God.
"And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems." -- "And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him" -- "… The accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night." (Revelation 12:3, 9, 10b NASB).
These are the seven attributes or characteristics of the seven-headed dragon (Satan). These names explain who and what he is and does. 1) "Great red dragon" stands for the fiery trials that he brings into our life. 2) "Serpent," depicts his deceptive nature. 3) "Devil," represents him as the epitome of evil. 4) "Satan" is "our adversary or the one who stands against us." 5) The "accuser" "charges us with sin and condemnation." 6) The "beast" shows us his untamable nature. 7) "Mystery Babylon" represents the confusion that he brings upon mankind.
Satan is the master deceiver of the ages and, if possible, he will always try to deceive us in different ways. Yet one of his most effective and deadly deceptions is not outward sin, but inward accusations! There is a reason why he is called "The accuser of the brethren… who accuses them before our God day and night." The man of sin works within us ceaselessly to hinder us from coming into the likeness of Jesus. The accuser within us says, "You're not good enough for God; you have sinned too much; God can't forgive you; give up; you’re a failure at the Christian life; you don't pray enough; you're no good; nobody likes you; you're ugly; God cannot love you." His accusations within us go on daily as he tries to defeat us within our own heart! These vain arguments and evil imaginations must stop! We must overcome our accuser within ourselves and cast him out! If God is revealing the accuser to us at this time, it is so that we will recognize and overcome him. For there will be a people in these end-times that will cast him down and out of themselves. These are the overcomers! "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death" (Revelation 12:11 NASB). To overcome our accuser we must use these three methods to defeat him. 1) Salvation (deliverance) through the blood of Jesus. 2) Our testimony (the word of God). 3) Dying daily to self-life.
“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:6-7 KJV). The word "enmity" here means, "to be as an enemy and adversary like Satan!" When we are living by our own fleshly reasoning, we are agreeing with our "accuser" and are living out of our carnal nature rather than living in the truth of God's word. We are to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea (people), having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy" -- "And I saw one of his heads (the accuser) as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast" (Revelation 13:1, 3 KJV).
Notice that only one of the seven dragon heads was wounded and healed. This head or attribute would be the "accuser" within us that has been wounded and defeated in the overcomers, but alive to harass those who did not overcome him. God told the serpent after the fall that Jesus would bruise his head, not destroy it. "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel" (Genesis 3:15 NASB). If Jesus is living within us, we have the power within ourselves to bruise the enemy's head! I truly believe that our accuser lives within us; it is the power of the flesh that is continually warring against Jesus. In these end-times Jesus will put all His enemies under His feet, including the power of our accuser. But for now, He has not destroyed this enemy, but has kept it alive for His own will and purpose. Currently most of the world has followed after the power of the flesh and "wondered" after it. The word "wondered" means to, "admire or to regard with pleasure, or approval or to have a high opinion of; esteem or respect." Most people esteem the ways of the flesh rather than the ways of God. In fact, God's ways are disregarded, ill esteemed, and looked upon as evil. "… For that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God" (Luke 16:15 NASB). God detests the ways of the world and the flesh within us.
We must also understand that our man of sin has ten kings living within us that are competing for power and control over us. For this is what our carnal nature desires to do; to defeat the King of kings (Jesus) in us! In his book The Harlot Church System Charles Newbold writes about these ten characteristics in man. "The rebellious carnal mind-immersed in 1) deception 2) pride 3) the exaltation of Self 4) confusion 5) imaginations 6) babble 7) the accumulation of knowledge 8) sectarianism 9) religion and its 10) religious systems is Babylon." These ten carnal traits are competing for control in us every day. Yes, the man of sin, the beast, the antichrist, and the harlot in us is opposing Christ; it is our fleshly nature. As Joseph Salmon said, "This beast had seven heads and ten horns. These seven heads and ten horns are seven mountains and ten kings, the scripture says; which in me are nothing but those powers of man which God has endued him with all; as reason, will, affection, understanding and the like; and all these do with one consent give and ascribe their power to the beast, or poor bestialized man."
THE OVERCOME SAINTS
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations" (Revelation 13:7 KJV).
The word "him" is not in the original Greek text; it could and should be translated, "it." In other words the beast does not have a gender, it is an "it." "It" is the mystery of sin living inside of every human being alive today evidenced by most people living a totally fleshly life without regard for God or His judgment. Either we overcome "it" or "it," the beast, overcomes us! The scripture says, "It was given unto him (it) to make war with the saints." God has allowed the beast/flesh to make war against us for His greater purpose: to make us strong in God. Fear not! Jesus said, "I have overcome the world." We are to overcome the spirit of the beast through the faith and power of Jesus Christ living in us. "You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4 NAS). -- "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith" (1 John 5:4 NAS).
Power has been given to the flesh/beast over all people as we can obviously see today in the masses of people as they just let it all hang out with no restraint whatsoever. The people in Revelation 13:4 ask a question, "Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" I have good news for them; the Lamb is able to make war against the flesh and overcome the beast in every person that calls out to Him! "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful" (Revelation 17:14 KJV).
THE SECOND BEAST COMES OUT OF THE EARTH
“And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon” (Revelation 13:11).
There are two different beasts or fleshly powers being released upon the earth in chapter 13. Verse 1 says that the first beast comes out of the sea; that is, it rises up out of the people. This would be the harlot, antichrist world system that most people are enslaved to, (including much of the church). But the next beast or power comes out of the earth to cause people to worship the flesh and be lovers of self, even as we are seeing people doing today. People will have no choice but to serve it because God has given them over to their sin and it will be too powerful for them… unless they repent.
"And with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness" (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 NAS).
I believe this second beast to be great demonic powers that are being released upon the earth to strengthen the flesh or beast within man as a form of judgment for those who do not repent; they will drink their fill of sin. Verse 12 says, "And he (it) exerciseth all the power of the first beast (flesh) before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed."
Now is the time for us to be cleansed from sin by the power of the Holy Spirit and for us to put on the likeness of Jesus so that the power of the beast/harlot might be broken in each one of us before this last beast is released. God will help us die to the flesh if we ask Him to do so. For who can make war with God? "So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me" (Hebrews 13:6 NIV)?