The Two Beasts
|John Goh||012 207 email@example.com|
|Dr Lee Fook Sin||019 230 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Moh Ee Lin||019 273 email@example.com|
|Ng Cho Hoo||012 878 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Susanah Ng||012 email@example.com|
GAMMA FACILITATDISCUSSION QUESTIONS – STUDY 12
Please look at the questions and discuss the answers. The case histories are designed to let you apply what theoretical knowledge you have gleaned from the study. There are intentionally many more questions and case histories than you can manage in one session but this is designed to cover the many and varied needs of the individuals in the church hence please pick and choose which ones to discuss as long as it gets people sharing and applying the Word to real life situations. Never feel obligated to finish all the questions The answers will be posted on the web the next day.
In Daniel’s prophecy the imagery used to depict evil kingdoms and kings was in the form of predatory animals used to tearing and destroying their prey. John uses the imagery in the same way in that the beast has feature of “leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth” Hence in Daniel this was the description of Babylon, Persia and Greece and now this beast in revelations 13 has features of power and cruelty of each one of these kingdoms in the past.
If there was no Daniel prophecy then we would be free to let our imaginations run wild and speculate as to the nature of the beast.
The beast has 10 horns and 7 heads and 10 diadems.
Horns represent power and diadems represent authority as diadems are crowns and 7 heads is the number for completion so the beast’s power is complete.
The charge of blasphemy was committed by the beast as emphasised 3 times in vv 5-6. Blasphemy is equating oneself to the status of God. Hence this person cultivated worship of himself and assumed the status of God. The Roman emperors like Augustus took the title of Son of God and Domitian used titles like our Master and our God. These are blasphemous as mere humans assume the title and privileges of God. The irony is that they use the very mouths given by God to them to blaspheme God in return which was the ultimate act of treachery.
The dragon, beast and false prophet is an attempt of the devil to parody the Trinity. Just like Jesus received a mortal wound in that he was crucified but rose from the dead. The beast parodies that in his own re-emergence from near death.
The most likely meaning is that the re-emergence of successive dictators or empires with the ultimate anti-christ showing up as a world power in the end. The other possibility refers to Genesis 3:15 of the prophecy where the off spring of the woman will crush or defeat Satan but he will bruise his heal. Hence this is the defeated foe the beast who is already defeated being dealt a mortal blow and is on borrowed time.
The role of the second beast is to convince the people to worship and pay attention to the first beast. He works deceptively like the dragon as he has the voice of the dragon and looks like a lamb with two horns which means he uses religious means or casts himself as a religious person. He works subtly. He is not loud and in your face like the first beast.
He uses signs and wonders to convince people of his authenticity and by some means manages to convince people of the first beasts powers by making his image speak. He causes persecution for the people of God.
The verse tells us that God has the future and fate of each believer firmly in His hand. If someone is determined by God to be captured he will not be able to avoid it he will be captured. If his fate is death by the sword and it is decreed by God then he will not be captured but he killed. God does not promise his saints immunity from troubles. The seal on the saints foreheads is the mark of ownership by God and indicates that He will be with them through the tribulations, that He has a predetermined plan and even their fates are sealed in His hand so they need not worry when they are persecuted. They have not been abandoned. God is not powerless He sees the onslaught of trouble and each man’s fate is in His hands. This gives comfort to the saints and boldness to witness for him and to endure till the end.
We are told by Paul that we are to obey governmental authorities as they are installed by God to preserve order and ensure peace. We are to pray for our leaders However when these authorities become corrupt we are to hold them accountable in justice. We are to participate in elections in our country and in the governmental process to ensure peace and justice. If it persecuted the believers , we are to endure faithfully and not compromise our faith and entrust ourselves to God who will deliver us.
Jason was very worried about receiving a particular brand of Covid 19 vaccine because each vial had a bar code and this consistent of a serial number which he thought constituted the 666 number. He would not take the vaccine. Jeremy was offered a bargain to buy a property at Damansara Heights but he found out the address was 666 Jalan Termeloh. He had to go to great expense to get the land department to change the number to 665A.
A. Do either of these brothers have the right understanding of the mark of the beast?
B. What does the mark mean?
C. Is it a physical mark?
D. What does the mark do?
A and B. The mark of the beast is the mark of a persons worship of the beast. One cannot just become a worshipper of the beast by accidentally wearing the mark of living in a house with the number 666. The number of mark is the outward sign of an inward reality. The mark by itself does not make you a worshipper of the beast condemn you. The mark is the outward manifestation of an inward reality. It only shows you out to be a worshipper of the beast.
C. Since the mark of the Lamb on the foreheads of saints is not physical but spiritual we suspect the mark of the beast be in the same way consistently spiritual and not physical. The same was as the book of life. Those who have the mark of the beast do not have their names in the book of life so those who have the seal of God will have their names in the book of life. Is there a real book of life or is it a symbol? Who uses books nowadays, it is in God’s Hard drive or Google drive or USB?
D. The mark is a symbol for the economic exclusion of believers from the main stream of economy as a form of persecution.