The Beast out of the Sea!
Scripture reading for December 17th: Revelation 13
The spiritual conflict between the dragon who tried to devour the “male child” of the woman of Revelation 12 now spreads to the offspring of those who “obey God’s commands and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” John now saw the dragon standing on the shore of the sea.
“And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, and ten crowns on his horns, and on each head, a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.” (Revelation 13:1-3)
This beast was a mixture of the beasts seen by Daniel in Daniel 7. But this beast came out of the sea, which according to Revelation 17:15, are the peoples, nations and languages of the earth. Empowering this beast was the dragon, Satan, who deceived the nations into following the beast through a miraculous healing of the apparently fatal wound of one of the beast’s heads. Satan loves counterfeiting Jesus. The beast is given authority for forty-two months–three and a half years, and he blasphemes God and those who live in heaven and is allowed power over the saints and nations. (Revelation 13:6-7) “This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.” (Revelation 13:10) The saints will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony of faith in Jesus Christ! (Revelation 12:11) This time of the seventh trumpet is a time of testing for God’s people who are left on earth.