Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14 and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. 16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
The beast described in this passage can be called the False Prophet. This prophet promotes the worship of the Anti-Christ by great signs. The supernatural signs deceive the unbelieving population of the earth. Moses and the Apostle Paul warned God’s people of following those doing great signs, yet speaking against the truth of the Word of God (Deuteronomy 13:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12).
During the time of the Anti-Christ and False Prophet people will be physically forced to worship the Anti-Christ and Satan. Those who don’t will be physically killed. All people will need to get a mark that shows allegiance to the Anti-Christ in order to participate in the world’s economic system. God will give believers the wisdom they need at that time so they will not get the mark that shows allegiance to the Anti-Christ.
We, as believers, need to prepare for living during this time by trusting in God alone for all our material needs. We may receive money from an employer or government agency, but we must never think man is the one supplying our material needs. God may supply our needs through the agency of people or government, but it all comes from Him.
How can we know if we are trusting God for our provision? If we compromise our godly standards to get material provision, then we are trusting man. Daniel and his three godly friends would never go against God to gain man’s provision (Read the book of Daniel).
Trusting God alone means that we obey God rather than man when man commands us to do what God says not to do or when man says we are not to do what God says to do.
Three key questions to ask as we prayerfully read the scriptures:
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