- The Two Witnesses (Rev 11:1-14)
- The Seventh Trumpet Reveals the Third Terror (Rev 11:15-19)
- The Woman, Dragon, and Son (Rev 12:1-6)
- Michael vs. Dragon (Rev 12:7-12)
- The Dragon and His Pursuit (Rev 12:13-18)
- The Beast of the Sea (Rev 13:1-10)
B. Text of Rev 13:11-18
11Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth: He had two horns like a Lamb, but was speaking like a dragon.
12And with all of the authority of the first beast, the beast of the earth worked on behalf of the beast of the sea. That beast of the earth made the earth and those who live in it in order that they would worship the first beast which had been healed of the plague of death. 13He was doing great signs, even so that he made fire come down from heaven to earth before the people. 14He deceived the people living on the earth by the signs which were given to him to do in the presence of the beast. He told the people living on the earth to make a statue of the beast who had a wound of the sword, but lived. 15The beast of the earth was given power to breathe life into the image of the beast of the sea. This was done so the statue of the beast would speak and make whoever refused to worship the statue of the beast to be killed.
16The beast of the earth made everyone—the young, the elderly, the rich, the poor, the free, and the slaves—be given a stamp on their right hand and on their forehead. 17This made it so that no one was able to buy or sell anything, except for the people who have the mark of the beast or his number. 18Wisdom is needed here. The one who has understanding must interpret the number of the beast, for it is the number of humankind and his number is 666. (Rev 13:11-18)[ref[Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own based on the NA28 text.[/ref]
Photo Credit: Bamberg Apocalypse
C. General Remarks about Rev 13:11-18
One of the first experiences that I remember of the number “666” was when I was in college at California State University, Stanislaus. There was a newspaper selling box near our mailbox and I remember walking buy and purchasing a copy. When opening it the feature on the front cover above the fold was the chronology of a bunch of different couples that wanted to get married on that day: June 6, 2006. In effect, it was 666 (06/06/2006). In my mind, the day was far from the number, 666, but it did highlight people’s infatuation with the number that started with this passage in Revelation 13: the mark of the beast of the earth which is the mark of mankind.
“Who is the satanic beast, symbolized by the number 666? Over the centuries a very great deal of ingenuity has been expended in attempting to answer this question.” Bruce Metzger, Breaking the Code, 76
“Chapter 13 is one of the great prophetic chapters of Scripture and is the only passage that presents in any detail the two principal evil characters of the end of the age who form with Satan an unholy trinity.” John Walvoord, Revelation, 215
“Using stunning miracles, signs, and wonders, the false prophet will convince the world that the Antichrist is the leader they’ve been looking for—the man with a plan—the man who can solve the world’s problems.” (Hitchcock, The End, 269)
QUESTION: WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN OR HEARD ABOUT THIS BEAST OF THE EARTH? WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN OR HEARD ABOUT THIS NUMBER, 666?
QUESTION: AS WE HAVE READ THROUGH THIS SECTION OF REVELATION 13, WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE BEAST OF THE SEA AND THE FALSE PROPHET? IN WHAT ARENAS DOES THEIR WORK OCCUR?
II. THE APPEARANCE OF THE BEAST OF THE EARTH (Rev 13:11)
Καὶ εἶδον ἄλλο θηρίον ἀναβαῖνον ἐκ τῆς γῆς, καὶ εἶχεν κέρατα δύο ὅμοια ἀρνίῳ καὶ ἐλάλει ὡς δράκων.
“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth: He had two horns like a Lamb, but was speaking like a dragon.” (Rev 13:11)
The Greek word, αλλος, is used here. It can mean, “other, another, different.” The idea conveyed here is that this is another beast that is distinct from the first beast, but it can also be similar in appearance or form. However, some scholars say not to make too much of the distinction between αλλος and ἑτερος because “it is very difficult to make a clear distinction” (Buchsel, “ἄλλος” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 1, 264).
The true “Lamb” described in Rev 5:6 refers to Jesus and that Lamb has seven horns. The counterfeit lamb here in Rev 13:11 only has two horns, which I believe refers to its limited power and authority (Thomas, Revelation 8-22, 173)
The dragon here is the same dragon described in Rev 12; 13:2.
III. THE MINISTRY OF THE BEAST OF THE EARTH (Rev 13:12-15)
A. Authoritarian Authority Giver (v. 12)
καὶ τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ πρώτου θηρίου πᾶσαν ποιεῖ ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ, καὶ ποιεῖ τὴν γῆν καὶ τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ κατοικοῦντας ἵνα προσκυνήσουσιν τὸ θηρίον τὸ πρῶτον, οὗ ἐθεραπεύθη ἡ πληγὴ τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ.
“And with all of the authority of the first beast, the beast of the earth worked on behalf of the beast of the sea. That beast of the earth made the earth and those who live in it in order that they would worship the first beast which had been healed of the plague of death.” (Rev 13:12)
1. Earth Dwellers
In Rev 13 “those who live on the earth” refers to the people who are rebellious to God and refuse to worship him. The phrase is used again in Rev 13:14.
2. Worship of Satan
For a brief time, Satan will experience the worship he has always wanted.
B. Miracle Worker (v. 13)
καὶ ποιεῖ σημεῖα μεγάλα, ἵνα καὶ πῦρ ποιῇ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καταβαίνειν εἰς τὴν γῆν ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀνθρώπων,
“He was doing great signs, even so that he made fire come down from heaven to earth before the people.” (Rev 13:13)
In John’s gospel he regularly describes the miracles of Christ using ποιέω σημεῖον (“I do a sign”). Those same two words are used here to describe the miracles that this false prophet does. Yet, these miracles are what the New Testament has already predicted would be a sign of the future false Christs:
- “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.” (Matthew 7:15, NLT)
- “For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. See, I have warned you about this ahead of time.” (Matthew 24:24–25, NLT)
- “For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.” (Mark 13:22, NLT)
- “This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9, NLT)
These activities are designed to counterfeit God and his previous revelation in Scripture. Examples are fire coming down at Pentecost (Acts 2:3), Elijah’s miracles (2 Kings 1:10-12), and the ministry of the two witnesses (Rev 11:5).
This beast—the false prophet—will deceive the people of the earth and turn them away from God.
C. World Deceiver (v. 14)
καὶ πλανᾷ τοὺς κατοικοῦντας ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς διὰ τὰ σημεῖα ἃ ἐδόθη αὐτῷ ποιῆσαι ἐνώπιον τοῦ θηρίου, λέγων τοῖς κατοικοῦσιν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ποιῆσαι εἰκόνα τῷ θηρίῳ, ὃς ἔχει τὴν πληγὴν τῆς μαχαίρης καὶ ἔζησεν.
“He deceived the people living on the earth by the signs which were given to him to do in the presence of the beast. He told the people living on the earth to make a statue of the beast who had a wound of the sword, but lived.” (Rev 13:14)
This beast is cunning and deceitful. In my interpretation, this is not just a one-time act, but instead it will be a regular action were the beast regularly deceives people and draws them toward false worship and religion. This is seen in the “dramatic present” tense used for πλανᾶ at the beginning of the verse (Thomas, Revelation 8-22, 176).
2. Counterfeit Continues
The verb, ἐζησεν, is the same word used here in 13:14 as is used to describe Jesus’s resurrection in 2:8.
3. Greek Signs of a “Real Person”
In this verse the verb, λεγω, “I speak, say” is used. More than likely, only real people speak and say things. Also, the masculine relative pronoun is used, ὅς. As I have shared in our lesson on the beast of the sea (Rev 13:1-10), the gender of the beast, θηριον, is neuter. So, one would expect to see a neuter relative pronoun used to agree with the gender of the beast, but instead a masculine pronoun is used.
D. Life Giver (v. 15)
Καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτῷ δοῦναι πνεῦμα τῇ εἰκόνι τοῦ θηρίου, ἵνα καὶ λαλήσῃ ἡ εἰκὼν τοῦ θηρίου καὶ ποιήσῃ [ἵνα] ὅσοι ἐὰν μὴ προσκυνήσωσιν τῇ εἰκόνι τοῦ θηρίου ἀποκτανθῶσιν.
“The beast of the earth was given power to breathe life into the image of the beast of the sea. This was done so the statue of the beast would speak and make whoever refused to worship the statue of the beast to be killed.” (Rev 13:15)
1. Divine Permission
Again there is “divine permission” granted to the beast of the earth (just as the beast of the sea). God, in his sovereignty and power, appears to allow the beast of the earth to gain his power and “breathe” life into a statue (Thomas, Revelation 8-22, 177-178).
When this verse describes a “statute” it is unclear what this will be. It could the picture of an emperor on a coin (like Caesar in Christ’s time as in Matt 22:20). It could be a statue that people had to bow down in front of as in Daniel 3. It does not appear clear here, but a real statue is probably the best conclusion (Thomas, Revelation 8-22, 177).
E. The Abomination of Desolation
These verses in Rev 13 describe what is known as the abomination of desolation that is described in Daniel as well as in Matt 24:15.
IV. THE MARK OF THE BEAST OF THE EARTH (Rev 13:16-18)
A. Everyone Receives the Mark (v. 16)
καὶ ποιεῖ πάντας, τοὺς μικροὺς καὶ τοὺς μεγάλους, καὶ τοὺς πλουσίους καὶ τοὺς πτωχούς, καὶ τοὺς ἐλευθέρους καὶ τοὺς δούλους, ἵνα δῶσιν αὐτοῖς χάραγμα ἐπὶ τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῶν τῆς δεξιᾶς ἢ ἐπὶ τὸ μέτωπον αὐτῶν
“The beast of the earth made everyone—the young, the elderly, the rich, the poor, the free, and the slaves—be given a stamp on their right hand and on their forehead.” (Rev 13:16)
1. On the Forehead
The forehead, in the Jewish view, was the seat of all consciousness and thought: it revealed a person’s relationship with God. For example, in the Old Testament Jews were told to have their lives shaped by God’s covenants and Law (Exod 13:9; 16; Deut 6:8; 11:18). The high priest of the Old Testament wore a signet, “Holy to the Lord” on his forehead (Exod 28:36-38). Other examples of the forehead referring to someone’s spiritual condition can be seen in 2 Chron 26:19; Isa 48:4; Jer 3:3; Ezek 3:7-9) (Mulholland, Revelation, , 524).
2. On the Hand
The hand, in the Jewish view, was seen as the body part that controlled the behavior of a person. While the right hand can be a cause of sin (Matt 5:30), God’s hand does great things (Exod 15:6; Pss 20:6; 98:1). To have the mark of the beast on the right hand will mean that a person is controlled by the beast.
B. Requirement for the Mark (v. 17)
καὶ ἵνα μή τις δύνηται ἀγοράσαι ἢ πωλῆσαι εἰ μὴ ὁ ἔχων τὸ χάραγμα τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θηρίου ἢ τὸν ἀριθμὸν τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ.
“This made it so that no one was able to buy or sell anything, except for the people who have the mark of the beast or his number.” (Rev 13:17)
1. Alternate Translation
The last section of this verse can also be translated, “the name of the beast or the number of his name” (Thomas, Revelation, 182). Or, “his name or the number of his name” (NET Bible Translation Notes)
2. Marked, not Sealed
There is an important distinction in New Testament studies that believers need to make. Most translations use “seal” throughout the book of Revelation to designate two different Greek words. However, I believe it is important to distinguish these two Greek words which are σφραγίζω (σφραγίς is the noun form) and χάραγμα. σφραγίζω is a verb that can mean, “seal, seal up, mark, attest, certify, acknowledge.” Its most popular uses are in Ephesians (also see 2 Cor 1:22):
- “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,” (Ephesians 1:13, ESV, emphasis mine)
- “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30, ESV, emphasis mine)
The “seal” that is described in Eph 1:13; 4:30; 2 Cor 1:22 is also used in the book of Revelation to describe the 144,000 that are sealed and protected by God (Rev 7:3, 4, 5, 8). In the noun form we see a similar use of this word as well (even in the same passage in Rev 7). The Greek noun, σφραγίς comes from the same root as the verb above. It is used to designate those people who have been sealed by God specifically in the book of Revelation, “They were told not to harm the grass or plants or trees, but only the people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.” (Revelation 9:4, NLT, emphasis mine)
Yet, the Greek word, χάραγμα, is used in Rev 13 to describe the “mark” that is placed on the right hand or forehead of everyone seeking to buy or sell goods in the Tribulation. These are separate “seals” and “marks” that are distinguished by both the context of the passages as well as the words uses in the text of the Greek New Testament.
3. Ideas for this Mark
QUESTION: WHAT IS THE PREPOSITION USED TO DESCRIBE WHERE THIS MARK IS PLACED?
Various ideas for the look and description of this mark have been provided. These areas range roman official stamp, the Greek letter Χ, an invisible mark, or a branding imprint. The most likely conclusion is that whatever mark this is, it must be something that is seen by others (contrary to Metzger, Breaking the Code, p. 76 who says that the mark is only figurative). Otherwise, it would not have been placed on the hand or forehead if it did not need to be seen by others. Therefore, it must be some type of branding that is similar to what is given to soldiers, slaves, etc. (Thomas, Revelation 8-22, 180-181).
C. The Beast’s Number is 666 (v. 18)
Ὧδε ἡ σοφία ἐστίν. ὁ ἔχων νοῦν ψηφισάτω τὸν ἀριθμὸν τοῦ θηρίου, ἀριθμὸς γὰρ ἀνθρώπου ἐστίν, καὶ ὁ ἀριθμὸς αὐτοῦ ἑξακόσιοι ἑξήκοντα ἕξ.
“Wisdom is needed here. The one who has understanding must interpret the number of the beast, for it is the number of humankind and his number is 666.” (Rev 13:18)
1. The Most Well Known Number
The number 666 is one of the most well known numbers of the Bible among believers and unbelievers. One of the preachers I like to listen to and read said that when his church was building a new building on a vacant street the city planners told him that he could church the street address for his church from 500 to 699. Being the student of the book of Revelation he really wanted to choose the address, 666. One thing I would love to do if I could race a race car would to be have the number on the side, 666. Yet, the preacher mentioned above did not chose 666 for their address and my wife told me that it would not be a good idea to have a race car numbered 666.
2. Man versus Humankind
In his lengthy book, Greek Grammar: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament, Dan Wallace writes that “the number ‘666’ is the number that represents humankind. Of course, an individual is in view, but his number may be the number representing all of humankind. Thus the Seer [John] might be suggesting here that the antichrist, who is the best representative of humanity without Christ (and the best counterfeit of a perfect man that his master, the old serpent, could muster), is still less than perfection (which would have been represented by the number seven)” (Wallace, Greek Grammar, 254). Therefore, because the Greek text has ἀριθμὸς — “number” and ἀνθρώπου – “man” or “humankind both without an article, they both need to be taken as indefinite.
V. VIEWS ON 666
“The number 666, the so-called mark of the Beast, may be one of the most intriguing issues in all of Bible prophecy. There has probably been more speculation, sensationalism, and silliness about this topic than any other in Bible prophecy. As time goes on, the true meaning of the mark seems to have almost been lost” (Hitchcock, The End, 331).
A. A Note on the Textual Variant of Rev 13:18
“Although certain as to the number of the name of antichrist, yet we should come to no rash conclusions as to the name itself, because this number is capable of being fitted to many names. reasons for this point being reserved by the holy spirit. antichrist’s reign and death” (Irenaeus of Lyons, “Irenæus against Heresies,” in The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, 558).
1. An Introduction to the Textual Evidence
The text of the Nestle-Aland 28th (NA28) Greek New Testament reads: ἑξακόσιοι ἑξήκοντα ἕξ – “666.” However, a textual variant is listed in NA28 which reads: εξακοσιαι δεκα εξ – “616.” Some scholars believe this was an intentional change while others say it was unintentional. An examination of each position follows.
2. Intentional Scribal Change
One view is that the change was an intentional change by a scribe because the Latin form of Nero Caesar is equivalent to 616 in Greek (Metzger, Breaking the Code, 676).
3. Unintentional Scribal Error
However, this variant is likely an unintentional error that arose from confusion of the Greek letter ι for ξ which would change the sum in Rev 13:18 from 666 to 616 (Hitchcock, “Domitianic Date of Revelation,” 143; Hitchcock, “A Critique of the Preterist View of Revelation 13 and Nero,” Bibliotheca Sacra 164 [July-September 2007]: 347).
4. Summary of the Evidence
As I shared above, the NA28 Greek New Testament lists the 666 number as original with other variants that are possible. Among those possible variants is support for the number 616. Comfort says that both numbers signify Nero: “Caesar Nero” by “616” and “Caesar Neron” by “666” (Comfort, Commentary on the NT, 411).
I find Bruce Metzger’s comments encouraging here: “Irenaeus . . . says that 666 is found ‘in all good and ancient copies’ and is ‘attested by those who had themselves seens John face to face.’
B. Nero Caesar
What seems to be most popular is that the number 666 refers to Emperor Nero. The Greek form of his name is Νέρων Καίσαρ and the Hebrew form of his name is נרון קיסר. Supported and believed by Metzger, Breaking the Code, 76-77; Mulholland, Revelation (2011), 521; Osborne, Revelation, 521; Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 122.
- First, the history of Rev 13:18 supports Nero as the referent. Based on early manuscript evidence, most scholars agree that 666 was the original reading, but when scribes copied Revelation into Latin they changed the number to 616 because that is the number that equals Nero’s name in Latin (Mulholland, Revelation, , 521).
- Second, if this does refer to Nero is can still maintain a future fulfillment. Meaning, that the Roman Empire will be revived, and a new world ruler will emerge who is “Nero”-like. As Osborne comments, “the best option is ‘Nero Caesar,” but it is no more than a tantalizing possibility. It is important to note that if the identification with Nero were to be adopted, this does not mean John believed the Nero redivivus legend and expected Nero to return shortly. Rather, the coming Antichrist would be a Nero like figure who would be the anti-type of that evil anti-Christian” (Osborne, Revelation, 521).
There are many arguments that make 666 the gematria value of Nero incorrect.
- First, for 666 to fit the gematria of Nero, his name and his title must be used. This would be, “Nero Caesar.” There were many names and titles that could be used. For example, coins have been found with titles of Domitian that equal 666 as well as a coin issued in AD 72 that has a legend which equals 666.
- Second, the text says that 666 will be the number of his name. Nero Caesar was not his name. It was his name with a title added. This would be the same as adding “President” to the name of George W. Bush.
- Third, a gematria that fits Nero for 666 must be translated from Greek into Hebrew. The numerical value of Neron Kaiser in Greek is 1005. John, writing to a Greek-speaking audience is western Asia Minor would likely have used a Greek form, not Hebrew.
- Fourth, within the Hebrew gematria of Neron Kaiser, interpreters still have to decide whether the Hebrew letters י or ן be included? The gematria for Nero only equals 666 if י is omitted after the letter ק in Ceasar (קיסר).
- Fifth, to arrive at 666 for Nero the ן in Neron must be retained. In other words, to arrive at Nero as the gematria of 666 you would have to omit a letter and keep another, which is odd.
- Sixth, identification of Nero as the beast of 666 is not supported by the early church. Irenaus wrote extensively about the possible identity of this beast and named three options: Evanthas, Lateinos, and Teitan. Yet, Irenaeus never named Nero. Interestingly, this view did not arise until the 1830s by four German scholars (O. F. Fritsche, Ferdinand Benary, Ferdinand Hitzig, and Eduard Reuss).
- Seventh, there is no historical figure during Nero’s time that corresponds to the beast of the earth in Rev 13:11-13.
- Eighth, Nero did not fulfill the tasks of the beast of Rev 13 or his other descriptions in the book of Revelation. If someone is going to take a literal interpretation of 666 and a literal understanding of the forty-two months in Rev 13:5, then there needs to be a literal fulfillment of the duties of the beast (Hitchcock, “Domitianic Date of Revelation,” 139-142, 146-154; Hitchock, “A Critique of the Preterist View of Revelation 13,” 341-356).
A summary of the weaknesses of 666 equaling Nero Caesar is that the “neronic calculation requires using a Hebrew transliteration of the Greek form of a Latin name for a readership who knew no Hebrew. It also involves a defective spelling” (Thomas, Revelation 8-22, 184-185).
C. Papal Rome and The Pope
Some have tried to identify this beast of the earth as papal Rome (meaning this is the Roman Catholic Church). This view seems unlikely for two reasons. First, it does not make much sense as “false prophet.” Second, can an institution go into a “lake of fire” (Rev 19:20; 20:10)? One would think that only a person can go into a lake of fire, not a church.
H. A. Ironside provides several reasons that the Pope could not have been the Antichrist. First, the Antichrist must be a Jew. Second, the Antichrist will rise up in Palestine (not Italy). Third, the Antichrist is in a league with and subject to the civil power, but he does not dominate it. Fourth, a large number of Jews will follow the Antichrist as their leader. Fifth, the Antichrist is the patron of Israel (but the Roman church has always been Israel’s persecutor). Sixth, the Antichrist does not appear until the Holy Spirit is removed from the earth (H. A. Ironside, Lectures on the Book of Revelation, 249)
D. Religious Assistant and Henchman to the Beast of the Sea (my view)
This is the position that this will be a false prophet and religious right-hand man to the beast of the sea. This view is supported by Thomas, Revelation 8-22, 173; Hitchcock, The End, 276; Asimov, Asimov’s Guide to the Bible, vol. 2, 552. The view which is less popular than others and therefore gets less attention is the view that this is simply a man of the future that will be risen up. In this manner, he is not supposed to be identified as a specific man by computing his name according to “666.” Instead, the 666 only symbolizes him as a man who falls short of God’s perfection. In this way, he is the perfect imperfect man. Or, he is the most imperfect man.
There are three strong positions for this view.
- First, it has some historical interpretation support. It was the position of Irenaeus, Hippolytus, and Victorinus.
- Second, a false religious leader matches the Christian undertones of the passage with a wound being healed (13:12), doing miracles (13:14), giving life (13:15).
- Third, if there was no clear identification of this man in John’s time and there has been no clear connection now, then it must be some person in the future.
There are various weaknesses with this view.
- First, this view ignores the verse’s command to “count” the number.
- Second, it overlooks John’s expectation that someone with understanding can discern who the person is based on the number.
E. Apostate Church
This consists of the people who defected from the teachings of Jesus Christ and his early church. This view is held by Walvoord, Revelation, 212. Walvoord provides two arguments for his view.
- First, the beast of the earth is associated with the first beast. His miracles an activities cause people to worship the image of the first beast (Rev 13:13-17).
- Second, he shares prominence and leaders with the beast of the sea because both of these leaders are thrown into the fiery like of burning sulfur (Rev 19:20).
VII. CONCLUSION AND APPLICATION
A. Know our Bible.
This passage about the beast of the earth and the number, 666, reminds me of a story when I was working at the United Way in Modesto, CA. While there a woman who was not a Christian was telling me about the number, 666, and how that is the number of the devil. At that time I was a new Christian and was not familiar with why people always said that 666 was the Devil’s number. I was startled by her statement and said I had heard that before but was not sure where the number is in the Bible. She said, “Oh yeah. It is in the Bible. Let me find it.” She then did a quick Google search and found it immediately. That interaction with a non-Christian was a great opportunity for me to share with her about the Bible and tell about Jesus Christ. But, because I did not know my Bible I was not able to have a conversation with her and was not able to guide her into a deeper understanding of the Bible’s message nor about Jesus Christ’s death for her. Christians need to believe in God and know what they believe so that when non-Christians bring up topics relating to our faith we can have a discussion with them.
B. Sadly, the rich and poor still exist.
Everyone knows that millions and millions of people live in poverty today. Some nonprofits such as the One Campaign have even boldly say that their mission is to end world poverty. During the seven years of tribulation Rev 13:16 says that there are “rich and poor.” It is sad to say, but the poor will still exist in the seven years of Tribulation. Things of our world are going to get worse before they get better. And, the poverty that is on the earth now will probably get worse as the Tribulation period occurs.
C. Satan is the great deceiver.
Here we see further proof that Satan is the deceiver and liar. While he might not be a physical person on the earth, he uses human instruments to deceive people and draw those people into worship of him. This false prophet—the beast of the earth—is an instrument of his lies and deception.