Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.
 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.
 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.
 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.
 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
 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 will 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.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
‘A beast’ makes its appearance in Chapter 13 of Revelation.
However, this beast doesn’t refer to an actual animal.
Instead, it is a symbolic reference.
This beast refers to the forces that hold the power over the world during the 7 Year Great Tribulation.
They are the forces that stand against God; that is, the force of the antichrist.
Now, these forces use an ultimate computer system as a means of controlling the world.
All of us know how far and how well the computer systems have been developed today.
People even created a robot which can ‘think’ by itself, and have been given the likeness of people.
In fact, the use of computer systems is virtually inescapable in everyday life, and today people can do almost nothing without them.
It’s not too much to say that they are controlling the lives of human beings.
During the 7 Year Great Tribulation, however, a much more capable and powerful computer system than computers of today will be created.
And the forces of the antichrist will use this computer system to control the world.
By using enormous amounts of information stored in the computer system, they will have the means at their fingertips to be able to control every corner of the world.
They will be able to monitor the everyday activities of people, and they will even be able to control and distribute electricity, water, and food as they please.
As its result, people have to follow the word of the beast, and they have to support their policies.
However, the God-believing people will try not to submit to the beast by all means because they know that following the beast is denying the Lord.
However, they then come to suffer severe persecution and affliction.
The beast hunts down those who stand against it, and gives serious disadvantages to those who don’t cooperate with it; the beast even threatens their lives.
Some will triumph over the persecution and die as martyrs, but others eventually succumb and surrender to the beast.
In this chaotic and horrific situation, another beast comes up out of the earth.
Revelation 13:11 says, “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.”
As I explained, the beast refers to the forces that control the world; they are the force standing against God.
They cuningly ally themselves with a certain religion to deceive people, and they also deceive God-Believing people.
The forces of the antichrist need this kind of supporting force to secure power.
In the beginning when the forces of the antichrist start to gain authority over the world, there are actually a restraining force.
They don’t gain authority in just a day.
Moreover, they are not completely united from within as they compete with each other for power.
Internally they have disruptions and conflicts, and they face challenges from the outside.
In the end, however, the beast – the forces of the antichrist – gradually secures its absolute position in every field such as politics, the economy, and military.
They happen to have internal conflicts for a while, but then they unite and together they show greater power and authority.
While observing these situations, people come to think that cooperating with the forces of the antichrist is the only way for survival.
And they try to become one with the forces of the antichrist.
In this situation, a different force appears on the stage – the other beast.
This beast is another force that supports the first beast – it actively cooperates with the antichrist.
This beast assists the first beast with the work that the first beast cannot manage on its own.
For example, the computer system that is used by the first beast to control the whole world can also be operated by this other beast.
Then, the world is more strictly controlled, and completely in the scope of the power of the antichrist.
Now, the scripture says that the other beast has two horns like a lamb and that it speaks as a dragon.
It means that what is claimed outwardly is different from what is in the inner heart.
Outwardly, they say they are out there for the safety and peace of the world, but they, too, are actually the forces of the dragon; the antichrist.
Therefore, when they are heard, their words are standing against God, and blaspheming God.
Just as the first beast uses a certain religious group to craftily adulterate the truth and to deceive people, another beast also proclaims justice outwardly, but it is full of unrighteousness and lawlessness inside.
Revelation 13:12 says, “He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.”
This is the scene where the true identity of the other beast is revealed.
The other beast also comes to have the power and authority of the first beast.
Of course, they share the same goal, but outwardly they appear to be two different forces.
In doing so, they can acquire recognition and support from people.
Let’s say, person A lends his support to person B.
However, suppose people don’t know that Person A and Person B are actually from the same team or party.
People will say that they support one side or the other because people will not trust both sides. Yet, they are both actually both from the same party.
However, when Person A actively supports Person B even though Person A has nothing to do with Person B, people come to have more trust in Person A.
It is even more so if Person A is a capable and great man.
Likewise, the other beast is also a force that has great power and authority.
And he supports the first beast and actively cooperates with the first beast.
But he doesn’t reveal that he and the first beast are from the same side.
Thus, when people hear what he says, they come to consider the first beast more highly.
They come to think, “Wow, what the first beast is doing is truly good and right.”
Regarding this situation, the scripture says, “…he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast.”
This is how the latter beast actively supports the first beast which are the forces of the antichrist.
He believes that this is the way for him to survive.
That’s because he believes that he can enjoy the absolute authority and power and control the world only when he unites with the first beast.
And he believes that it will bring benefit to him.
Like this, the first beast and other beast cooperate with each other and come to have greater power and authority.
Now, people come to be deceived by these two beasts; they support them, and they even love them.
People believe that only these two beasts can save them from the chaotic world.
That’s why they become worried, discouraged, and disappointed when problems occur to the two beasts.
And when the problems are solved and the two beast gain power, people come to support and follow then more than before.
The situation becomes more serious as the 7 Year Great Tribulation comes to an end.
People don’t depend on their own judgment or reason any more. They come into line with the forces of the antichrist for the immediate gains and survival.
By the way, this other beast performs great signs.
Revelation 13:13 says, “He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.”
Of course, ‘signs’ in this scripture is different from those that are the works of God.
It rather means that what he does seems truly amazing to the eyes of the people.
It means that he uses computer systems to do great things that ordinary people cannot imagine.
However, this verse contains two meanings that conflict with each other.
When the scripture says, ‘he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth,’ it refers first to the weapons falling down from the sky.
I explained that the forces of the antichrist have powerful military forces to control the world.
When there are forces that stand against them, they ruthlessly attack them and show their power.
They use highly developed weapons, and pour down enormous amounts of fire and bombs.
The cutting edge weapons precisely hunt down the targets and destroy them from the sky.
When people see this, they tremble in fear and horror; they come to submit to the beast all the more.
By the way, the beast doesn’t exercise its power only for this purpose.
The second meaning of ‘making fire come down out of heaven to the earth’ is the benefit of civilization.
I explained that the reason the forces of the antichrist get support from people is that they give benefit to the life of people.
The people of the earth, which is impoverished during the 7 Year Great Tribulation, desperately wait for a force that can bring peace and economic aid to them.
It is this time when the forces of the antichrist step up to the stage with mighty economic and military power and control their lives.
Then, in exchange, the people come to enjoy the stabilization in living and economic benefits.
Therefore, the forces of the antichrist try to continually show their power to the people and to win over their hearts.
They show that the people can enjoy all sorts of benefits and stability only when they follow their mighty power.
And the forces of the antichrist provide them with the benefits of civilization based on their highly developed technology.
They make what people have never imagined before in a given situation come true.
For example, by that time, it’s impossible for any individuals to use a computer.
Not only because everything is within the power of the antichrist, but also everything is impoverished, it’s impossible for an individual to enjoy such a benefit.
However, the forces of the antichrist make it possible to use computers like before.
It is a rather tremendously surprising occurrence regarding the given situation.
People consider it as a “sign” that can be comparable to making fire come down out of heaven.
However, the computers in this situation are not independent personal computers.
They are connected with the central computer system that the forces of the antichrist operate.
But they don’t tell the people.
And they observe all the activities of the personal computers.
People are just happy to be able to enjoy the benefits that are received, but they don’t realize that their lives are ever more strictly monitored.
Other than this, the forces of the antichrist do many things that people think difficult to do, and gain the support of the people.
Now, Revelation 13:14 says, “And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.”
As explained earlier, during the 7 Year Great Tribulation, the antichrist shows many things with its own power.
The people during the Tribulation are those who don’t believe in God, and also those who do unlawful things even though they know God.
No wonder most of them follow the forces of the antichrist!
However, even among them are a small minority of people who believe in God, and the beast tries to deceive even such people.
By presenting their highly developed science and ability, they deceive the people, saying, “Where in the world is God? It is only we that can save you. Trust us and follow me.”
And they continue to brainwash them.
They make even the God-believing people stand against God, leave the truth, and live in lawlessness.
Regarding this situation, the scripture says, “to make an image to the beast.”
‘Making an image’ doesn’t necessarily refer to making a certain image that is visible to eyes.
It is actually the same as causing people to beautify the forces of the antichrist that stand against God, support and follow them, and obey to what the antichrist proclaims.
The antichrist seems to make claims of pursuing world peace, for establishing stability, and for giving benefit to the lives of people. The antichrist reigns over the people with such appearances.
This is to become an idol.
The forces that support the antichrist use every means available to make the antichrist look plausible in the eyes of people.
But then, why does the scripture say it is ‘the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life?”
Here the sword is a weapon for warfare; it means that it is used for evil.
Therefore, ‘the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life’ means that the highly developed science and knowledge are used for evil purposes.
The beast uses its power for evil purpose to persecute and kill those who stand against it.
Sometimes, the forces of the antichrist may face situations where they face challenges and crisis.
But, at each time, they brutally destroy the opposing forces and they become more powerful.
And the antichrist gains greater support and in the end it actually becomes an idol that people obey and worship.
Now, Revelation 13:15 says, “And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.”
The true identity of the idol is being revealed.
The antichrist that stands before people as an idol always proclaims something.
Making the proclamation, “The world is One.”
And it emphasizes solidarity and unity.
And it brings up many necessary ways to become one.
And it doesn’t end as merely words.
The antichrist has power and authority that can make it possible.
“Giving breath to the image of the beast’ means that such great power and authority is given to the forces of the antichrist.
Their words will take place right away, and they bring about actual benefits which are given to those who follow them.
That’s why more and more people come to follow them.
However, there are opposing forces that stand against what the antichrist proclaims.
There are some who stand against the antichrist just because it’s not beneficial to them, but mostly they are the God-believing people who stand against the antichrist.
Then, the forces of the antichrist use all sorts of mass media under their power to drive the forces in opposition to them into extremely difficult circumstances.
They say, “We seek for the peace and stability of the world. For the restoration of the environment, and for the more benefit of civilization, we’re doing our best. Standing against us is interrupting the efforts to make the world united. It is to stand against all the people of the world.”
They regard all the actions of the opposing force as threatening as terrorism.
However, what they insist actually works.
People do regard the opposing force that stands against the antichrist as a threatening force to world peace and stability.
Since the forces of the antichrist get such support, they can persecute and kill those who are opposing them.
They justify their conduct, and obtain the approval of the majority of the people.
It is this time when more severe persecution and martyrdom takes place.
By the way, in order to achieve their goal, the forces of the antichrist use such an elaborate plan.
It is the mark of 666.
Revelation 13:16-18 says, “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 will 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.”
Most Christians and other people may have heard of this mark of 666.
And there are many arguments regarding it.
Some people are crying out in the street about the 666 mark.
However, the fact is that the mark of 666 has already entered into our daily lives.
It doesn’t’ appear from nowhere; it slowly infiltrates. When people come to realize its existence, chances are that they cannot easily get out from under its influence.
Initially, it approaches you as if it had good intentions.
But, during the 7 Year Great Tribulation, people are driven into a situation where they cannot help receiving the mark.
Now, what is this mark of 666?
How deeply has this mark infiltrated into our lives, and how will this mark used during the 7 Year Great tribulation?
We will look into this in the next lecture.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
The scheme of the enemy devil and Satan is the same yesterday and today.
It is to deceive people so that they depart form the truth and fall into hell in the end.
Now, the enemy devil and Satan are spiritual beings, they know well of the heart of the fleshly people.
And they take advantage of their fleshly hearts.
They know how to approach people to make them open their heart without wariness.
They know where and how to attack individual’s vulnerabilities that they can easily collapse…
They know these very well.
In the guise of truth they also approach people who don’t know the truth and deceive them.
They craftily deceive people by change and adulterating the truth so that they accept it as if they were the truth.
Those who haven’t cast off the fleshly heart are easy to deceive with such temptation.
Since they have hearts that desire to pursue the flesh, they are deceived saying, “They said it is not sin. They said it’s OK to do so.”
Therefore, it is you who must understand the word of God correctly.
You must understand not only its literal meaning, but also the spiritual meaning.
And you must never cease to pray.
If you stop praying, you may fall into untruth even though you may know the truth.
That’s because you have no strength to protect yourself.
And at that time you cannot get the help of the Holy Spirit!
Therefore, please remember 1 Timothy 4:5, which reads, “for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.”
Always bear this verse in your mind, be awaken, and pray fervently.
In doing so, may you be blessed to always win victory in spiritual battle, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!