1 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea …
3 … the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.
4 … and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”
6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God …
10 … Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.
11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth …
12 It … makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast …
13 It performs great signs …
14 … and … it deceives those who dwell on earth …
18 This calls for wisdom …
John is seeing multiple beasts now, one rising from the sea and one rising from the earth.
The first beast captures the attention of everyone, “the whole earth marvels”.
But even worse, it also capture the people’s allegiance, “they followed the beast”.
The beast will seem unsurmountable. Things will seem desperate, “Who can fight against it?”
The beast will then tell lies against the one true God.
The second beast conspires with the first beast to “make the earth worship the first beast”.
It does this with great signs and deception.
The world often seems like a desperate and even foolhardy place.
Our ability to see events around the world all at once now can exacerbate these thoughts.
Filtered memories can create nostalgic thoughts for “the good ol’ days”.
But the reality is, evil has always been here.
And John, in his vision, is saying there will be a time when it’s even worse than today.
It will be so bad that the “whole earth” will seemingly “marvel” and “follow” and “worship” what is evil.
How does evil do this? … Like it always has … LIES … uttering blasphemies against God.
When it seems as if the “whole earth” has gone astray and no one can “fight against it”, John gives me the answer to what I am to do.
I am “called” to “endurance” and “faith”.
I can not fight the beast. But I can have endurance and faith in the One who can.
We live in a time of increasingly amazing feats of man’s ability to do what seemed impossible not long ago.
There are “signs” and “wonders” that could easily distract and deceive me from the need for reliance on God.
When it seems as if the “whole earth” is “deceived” by “great signs”, John gives me the answer to what I am to do.
I am “called” to “wisdom”.
And wisdom, like faith, is not from me. It is from God.
John gives me two callings: “Enduring Faith” and “Wisdom”
May I have Faith in God to close my ears the lies of the beast.
May I have Wisdom from God to close my eyes to the great signs of the beast.
Thank you again God for your Word.
Help me recognize the Truth of it when contrasted to the lies of the world.
Help me to not be distracted by the deceptions of the world.
Help me Holy Spirit to be Wise and to have Enduring Faith.
In Jesus name,