“Then I stood on the sand of the sea. I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads. On his horns were ten crowns, and on his heads, blasphemous names. The beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority…”
“… It was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. Authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been killed. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, he will go into captivity. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, he must be killed. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints.”
Revelation 12:1-2 and 7-10
The beast is the final symbol of the Antichrist. John is standing on the beach looking out to sea. He sees the beast rise out of the sea, a great sea-faring military power, which has the authority signified by the seven heads. It has ten horns, ten kings that rise up with him and he has control over them. His purpose is purely blasphemous, and to oppress the saints of God. He is fast and cruel like a leopard after his prey; he is aggressive and mets out death like the paws of a bear and his mouth spews out intimidation over the people of God. Satan gives him his authority, his evil, royal demeanour and power to destroy.
The people of earth worship him because they are intimidated by him and they worship Satan, and desire and practice all that is evil. They are in thrall to the beast. The beast has a fatal wound on one of bits heads. The wound is healed miraculously, by Satan’s power, a false miracle that falsely vindicates the falsely acclaimed divine power of the beast and is a counterfeit to the ways of the Lord. It is wholly blasphemous. His words spew out false claims and his deeds are fake and false.
There is much that would hurt and deprave the church of Jesus Christ today. So much falsehood is poured into the minds of people and leads them away from the true God, as revealed in the Scripture. The Beast is rampant and takes to himself the hearts and minds of the unwary. He takes in all who do not truly love the Lord and are willing to subdue themselves under his power and seeming authority. The whole edifice is blasphemous and is a counterfeit gospel that hoodwinks those who are not secure in the faith and the doctrine of Scripture.
He is allowed to make war with the saints of God and he overcomes them. He has authority over the whole earth and wrecks havoc on the Church of Christ. Everyone succumbs to his power, authority and lie, except those who’s names are chosen by God, before the world was created- the elect and glorious people of God. They will die deaths for Christ’s sake, but God is in complete control of it all. All His purposes are being worked out, even in such dreadful circumstances. If God’s people are to be captives or if they die by the sword, God is always in the final place of authority. It is only part of Satan’s little while.
“Therefore rejoice, heavens, and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil has gone down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time.”
This is the endurance of the saints. All who follow Christ with true hearts will overcome the oppression of their faith and remain faithful to their Master and Captain to the very end.
“At that time, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible. See, I have told you in advance.”
In these days we need to be more rigorous about what we let into our minds and psyche. We need to be on our guard, lest we fall away and our faith is vain. We should not be so trusting of governments and leaders, who will easily lead us away from following Christ and trap us with evil laws and dictates. We must be prepared to follow our Lord and God to the very end and obey what He says, not the prevailing secular culture or church culture. We must immerse ourselves in the truth of God and be sure of what we are believing in and where our hope is founded.
“Therefore, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, which are based on human tradition and the spiritual forces of the world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form. And you have been made complete in Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”