Adrian Rogers - Beware the Beast
Find the Book of the Revelation, last chapter in the Bible, and turn to chapter 13. Now we are in a series on prophecy. I want to say one thing with great emphasis. Only God can prophesy! Only God, and of course those whom God inspires, but it's really God doing the prophecy. In 1870 a bishop named Milton Wright heard a person prophesy and at least talk about the fact that one day men may fly like birds. The educator said that, he said, "In 50 years," that's from 1870, "men may fly like birds". Well, when this bishop heard that, he said, "That's preposterous". He said, "Flight is reserved for the angels and I beg you not to repeat your statement lest you be guilty of blasphemy".
Now that's what Bishop Milton Wright said. Well, 33 years later Wilbur and Orville Wright, the boys, the sons of this bishop, made their wonderful flight at Kitty Hawk. So, the bishop was wrong when he prophesied. Thomas Watson, who was the chairman of IBM, said in 1943, "I think that there's a world market for maybe 5 computers". That was his prophecy. And then in 1977 Ken Olsen, who's the president and chairman and founder of Digital Equipment said, "There's no reason anyone would want a computer in their home". All of these are just prophecies and we see how foolish men are when they try to look into the future. For the Bible says in Isaiah chapter 46 verses 9 and 10, "Remember the former things of old, for I am God and there is none else. I am God, there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying My counsel shall stand fast and I shall do all My pleasure".
Well, the reason I said that is this: that we have the Bible, the one book, ladies and gentlemen, that tells us the future. And as I looked at this Scripture again in Revelation 13, I thought how ominous this is and I compared this with other Scriptures that come, that speak of an individual, a malevolent dictator who is yet to come. And remember that I told you last week, this criminal; this arch-criminal has many aliases. He's known not only as the beast, he's known as the antichrist. He is known as the son of perdition. He is known as the man of sin. He's known as the little horn. Many, many aliases, but he has one heart and one mind, as we're going to see.
In the passage that we have today he is called the beast. Look in Revelation chapter 13. The apostle John said in verses 1 through 12, "And I stood upon the sand of the sea and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns and upon his horns ten crowns and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard and his feet were as the feet of the bear and his mouth as the mouth of a lion, and the dragon gave him his power and his seat," and the word seat means throne, "and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the beast and they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast and they worshipped the beast, saying, 'Who is like unto the beast, and who is able to make war with him?' And it was given unto him," that is to the beast, "a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth and blasphemy against God, that blasphemed His name and His tabernacle and them that dwell in Heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them and power was given him over all kindreds and tongues and nations, and all that dwell upon the Earth shall worship him whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear".
Are you listening? "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity and he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the Earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and he spake as a dragon and he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him and causeth the Earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed". And I'm going to stop our reading there and pick it up in a moment, but there are five things I want to say to you this morning as we study together, "Beware the Beast". The very first thing I want you to see is the social agitation that delivers the beast. Now the Bible says here in Revelation 13 verse 1 that, "The beast comes up out of the sea". Well what does the sea represent? The sea represents society in turmoil. Society in agitation. Society in distress.
You see, the Bible teaches that the wicked people of this world are like the troubled sea. Put in your margin Isaiah chapter 57 verses 20 and 21, "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt". Not only that, but they're going to belch out of their depths a beast. This beast of a man is going to come. Now, the waters again represent society. Go back to Revelation chapter 17 verse 15, "The waters which thou sawest are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues".
That is, there is a seething sea of distress and agitation and that's going to deliver to this world a beast. And you think about what is happening in the world today. Think of the former Soviet empire. Think of Russia. Think of all the nuclear warheads that are still there and that Russian bear today is wounded and hungry and sniffing out morsels to devour, especially in the Middle East, and many of the former Soviet Republics now have been overtaken by Islamic fundamentalists who have a burning hatred of Israel. And then compound that by what is happening in China, and the red dragon of China is now blowing her fiery breath and armed now with nuclear missiles and they tell us now that the Red China has an army of 200 million, exactly what is prophesied there in the Book of the Revelation.
And then compound that by what is happening today in Europe, with the European Union, quickly becoming a dominant factor and force in the world, and with a common currency and becoming the united states of Europe, and the Bible prophesies that out of the united states of Europe, the re-federated, reconstituted Roman empire, this beast is going to arise. And then on top of all of that, the Lion of Judah is sharpening her claws and it is a matter of common knowledge that Israel has the bomb and she is preparing to use it if she must do that. And then mix into all of that the rise of the occult and earthquakes and world-wide famine and natural disasters and political intrigue and out of this, out of this mix, out of this seething sea, this beast is going to come.
You see, perilous times will produce the beast. A great historian was named Arnold Toynbee. If you studied history, you know the name of Arnold Toynbee. I quote him because he said something very significant. Listen to it carefully, "By forcing on mankind more and more lethal weapons, and at the same time making the world more and more inter-dependent economically, technology has brought mankind to such a degree of distress that we are ripe for the deifying of any new Caesar who might succeed in giving the world unity and peace". He said, "When you take distress, economic problems, technology, we are ripe to produce a new Caesar". That's just another way of saying the antichrist.
And so, that's the first thing I want you to see of these five factors. The social agitation that delivers the beast. That's verse 1. And then I want you to see the satanic attributes that describe the beast. How is he described? Well look if you will in Revelation 13 verses 1 and 2, "He has seven heads and ten horns and upon his horns ten crowns and upon his heads the names of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard and his feet were as the feet of a bear and his mouth as the mouth of a lion and the dragon gave him his power and his seat," or throne, "and great authority". Now who is the father of the beast? Well, like father, like son, because the beast is described very much like the devil himself. If there was ever a man whose father was the devil, it is the beast.
Notice how the devil is described in chapter 12. You're in chapter 13, look in chapter 12 verse 3, "And there appeared another wonder in Heaven and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns upon his head". Now the beast in chapter 13 is described the same way. Now this dragon, there's no doubt about that, this dragon is the devil. Look in chapter 12 verse 9, "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world". And so, here's the devil and now he spawns this beast of a man. That's the reason, as we studied last week, the Bible says in Second Thessalonians the second chapter and verse 9, "Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders".
Remember what I told you last week? That Jesus in John 14:9, who was God in flesh, could say, "He that hath seen Me hath seen My Father". The beast, who will be Satan in the flesh, will be able to say, "He that hath seen me hath seen my father". The beast will be the visible expression of the invisible devil. And he is going to be a composite of all of the dictators and the great regimes of the past. For example, Revelation 13 verse 2 tells us that he is like a, "Leopard and he has the feet of a bear and he has the mouth of a lion". Well, the lion is Babylon, like the ungodly rulers of Babylon; he will have the regal bearing of a lion, but the ravenous mouth of a lion. The bear is Medo-Persia, and that was an ancient empire. He's going to have the strength of a bear whose claws grasp and shred.
And then the leopard is Greece, and that represents the Grecian empire under Alexander the Great, to spread with rapidity. I believe what this passage is saying is that he's going to inherit all the beastly characteristics of all of these former kingdoms. He is going to be this one, he's going to be a composite of the Nebuchadnezzars, the Caesars, the Napoleons, the Hitlers, the Stalins, all melded into one. He's going to be a beastly creature and the world will receive him. Jesus said, "I've come in My Father's name, Me you will not receive; but if another will come in his own name, him you will receive". John 5 verse 43.
And so they're going to reject the Lamb, they're going to embrace the beast who is like a lion, they're going to embrace the beast who is like a bear, they're going to embrace the beast who is like a leopard. Now, here's the third thing I want you to see. I want you to see the seductive appeal that disguises the beast. You would think if he's a beast everybody'd be afraid of him. No, they're not going to be afraid of him because he's going to be disguised. When the Bible speaks of his beastly characteristics, it's talking about his nature, not his appearance. Satan himself often is transformed as an angel of light. This man is going to be very appealing in the eyes of the world. Look if you will in Revelation 13 verses 3 and 4, "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death and his deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the beast".
Now that literally means they followed after him with admiration. Look in verse 4, "And they worshipped the dragon, which gave power to the beast, and they worshipped the beast, saying, 'Who is like unto the beast and who is able to make war against him?'" He's going to be a very appealing man. Don't think of him as hideous. No doubt he'll be handsome, charming, clever, greatly intelligent. He'll be a global charmer. One of the reasons for his popularity is going to be his resuscitation, for somehow he will be wounded and will appear to come back to life. It will be Satan's imitation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. I sometimes wonder if he'll not be the first human being that's cloned. I don't know, but it will be a master stroke of a false miracle and the world will fall at the feet of this false messiah.
As Jesus said in John 5:43, "I've come in My Father's name; you wouldn't receive Me, but if another will come in his own name, him ye will receive". The whole world will marvel after this man who disguises himself as a man of peace. And the Bible says in Daniel 8 verse 25, "With peace he'll destroy many". Now here's the fourth thing I want you to see. I want you to see the sinister ambitions that drive this beast. Now why did Jesus come? Well Jesus came, "To seek and to save that which is lost". What is the beast going to do? What are his ambitions? Well, we don't have to wonder about it, it's right here. First of all, to deify Satan. Look in Revelation 13 verse 4, "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast and they worshipped the beast".
Now, what is this? Satan has always had this burning ambition to be worshipped. He wants to be deified and so he wants to cause all of the world to worship him, and I think that the closer we get to antichrist, the more we're going to see of devil worship in the world today and we're seeing a lot of Satanism in the world today, more than ever before, open, blatant Satanism. So purpose number one is to deify Satan. Purpose number two is to defy the Savior. Notice Revelation 13 verse 5 and 6, "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemy and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months," that's three and a half years, "and he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle and them that dwell in Heaven".
Now he can't touch the saints in Heaven, and so he's reduced to name calling. And out of the filthy recesses of his evil soul will belch forth blasphemies and with burning eloquence he's going to turn people away from God and they will believe his own lies. Remember, antichrist means against Christ and also instead of Christ. So, one of his ambitions is to deify Satan. Another of his ambitions is to defy the Savior. Another of his ambitions is to destroy the saints. Look if you will in Revelation 13 verse 7, "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and power was given to him over all kindreds and tongues and nations".
This beast will want every true believer in Jesus Christ destroyed and these tribulation saints, who will be on Earth after the church is taken out, they're going to face the guillotine, firing squad, gas chambers, concentration camps, torture and terror. And it will be the devil's last fling against the people of God and this ravenous beast will drink his fill of the blood of the martyrs. And then the next of his purposes and ambitions is to dominate society. Look in the last part of Revelation 13 verse 7. And the Bible says, "And power was given to him over all kindreds and tongues and nations". He will have global control. He's going to unify the people of this world. Now how will he do this? Well, he'll dazzle some with his miracles and he'll brow-beat the others. It'll be a regime of reward and intimidation, but all of the world is going to worship the beast. And last of all, he wants to delude sinners. He wants to keep them damned and doomed.
Look in Revelation 13 verses 8 through 10, "And all that dwell on the Earth shall worship him whose names are not written in the book of life of the lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear to hear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity and he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword". He wants to delude sinners. He is the devil's messiah. Now here is the fifth and final thing I want you to see and that is the supporting agent that declares the beast. He's going to have a sinister minister of propaganda who will declare him to the whole world, who will present him to the world. Begin now in Revelation 13 verse 11, "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the Earth and he had two horns like a lamb and he spake as a dragon".
Two horns like a lamb, he imitates Jesus, but he speaks as a dragon, he really is satanic in his motivation. He will be a propaganda agent for the first beast. He'll look like a lamb, he'll speak like a dragon, he has the voice of Satan. Remember that there is an unholy trinity. The devil always mimics God. The holy Trinity is what: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. What is the unholy Trinity? The dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. Now we're speaking here about the false prophet. The false prophet will be to the beast what the Holy Spirit is to Christ. What does the Holy Spirit do? He causes us to admire, to worship, and to glorify Jesus. The false prophet will cause the people of this world to admire, glorify, and to worship the beast and his father, the devil himself.
Now, how's he going to do this? How's this supporting agent, this minister of propaganda, how's he going to do this? He's going to have three major weapons in his arsenal. First of all, the fire. Look if you will in Revelation 13 verse 13, "And he doeth great wonders, so he maketh fire to come down from Heaven on the Earth in the sight of men". Now what this is, we don't know, but he's going to be able to set the heavens ablaze. Perhaps it will be a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere that will cause everybody to knuckle under. Perhaps it'll be some classic miracle. We don't know what it is, but he's going to be able to set the heavens ablaze. The fire; that's his first thing to cause the world to wonder after the beast.
Number two, not only the fire, but the image. Look if you will in Revelation 13 verses 14 and 15. And, "He deceiveth them that dwell on the Earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast, saying to them that dwell on the Earth that they should make an image to the beast which had a wound by a sword and did live and he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed".
Now what is this image of the beast now? It's an image that can speak. Well, your great grandfather would have wondered about that, but we don't wonder about speaking images today, do we? Television is a world-wide phenomenon. CNN, you go anywhere in the world today, you can see CNN and the entire world is hooked in and this image, whatever it will be, it will be the ultimate computer wedded, I believe, to television. And this global charmer will have this instrument that people have never had before. And it will be virtual reality, but not virtuous reality.
So first of all the fire. Then the image. And then finally the mark. Begin now in Revelation 13 verse 16 through 18, "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads, that no man might buy or sell, save he who had the mark or the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom, let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man and his number is six hundred, three-score, and six".
Now, if you're not sealed by the Spirit, you will be branded by the beast. Everybody will be forced to take a mark in order to do commerce. A cashless society is on its way, not just Bible preachers who are saying that. All of the people, the bankers, everybody else knows that a cashless society is coming because it's reasonable, it's efficient, it's simple, it is economical to have a cashless society. So everybody, rather than carrying a credit card or whatever, or getting a paycheck, he takes a mark, that's all it is. And it'll be fast, there'll be no cheating, no books to balance. But no seal, no sale.
Now this mark, 666, is the number of a man. Man was created on the sixth day. Seven is the number of perfection, man is not perfect, he's a six, he is not a seven, but there are three sixes. Three is the number for God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So with three sixes you have man making himself God. And how is this going to come to pass? What is the fire going to be? Well, we're not exactly certain. What is the image going to be? We're not exactly certain. What is the mark going to be? We're not exactly certain, but we have clues. And the microchip today is a very interesting thing. Many of you already are carrying smart cards. I preached on this subject one time and a young serviceman came up and he said, "I want to give you my card". He said, "This card has a computer chip in it". His name was on this card, it had all of the biometric data of this particular serviceman. He said, "I'm out now, I don't need this card anymore, but you can keep it for a souvenir".
Do you know what the name on the card was? MARC, M-A-R-C, not the man's name, the name of the card, this is the mark. Now, that card could tell all about that boy, his history and all of these other things. Now, it would be very simple to take the chip out of the card and actually place it in human flesh. Now this is already being done in animal flesh. People are taking little microchips about the size of a grain of rice and they're already now being implanted in the ears of pets so if the pet gets lost you can find the pet easily and it's also being done now to track prisoners, where prisoners, though the MARC is not put in their flesh, they're forced to wear a bracelet or whatever that will allow their whereabouts to be tracked anywhere on the face of the Earth. The computer is going to register everyone.
Even now in America our social security number is becoming a registration, so people will have an idea of where we are. PC Magazine has nothing to do with Christianity. PC Magazine, in June 22, 1999, had an article and the article, the main subject was Future Tech's, T-E-C-H'S, tech, like technology, Future Tech's Ten Trends that will Change the Way We Live and Work. And one article said, "Your identity will be digital". That is, it'll be numbers. You're going to receive a number.
And here let me just give just a little bit of what this article said. "The growing use of smart cards, especially outside the U.S., paves the way for their acceptance as standard security devices. A smart card, whether in conjunction with passwords or biometrics data, can help to protect your digital identity, by letting you carry that identity embedded in the chip on your own card, rather than having to store the identifying information in databases scattered across or linked via the internet. In the future, these chips will be embedded in our clothes and perhaps eventually in our bodies".
There it is. And then, in the Associated Press, here's an article. "Researchers have created a computer circuitry in a single molecule, a breakthrough that could open a brave new world of tiny computers, billions of times more powerful than current PC's and censors that could be injected into the blood stream". Hmm. Well, what's going to happen? Well, the world is going to become a vast concentration camp with all of the inmates numbered. Now let's just sum all of this up, because I'll admit, I've gone very fast. But, John saw a roiling sea, and out of that sea that represents the distress of nations, he sees a beast come. Now the evolutionists tell us that we came from the beast. We haven't come from the beast, friend, we're going to the beast. We're headed toward the beast. And out of this, out of the turmoil that we're seeing societies unraveling.
Out of that there's going to rise, as Toynbee says, "A Caesar," and he will be the devil's messiah. In Matthew chapter 6 verses 8 through 10, Satan said to Jesus, "I'll give You all the kingdoms of this world if You'll just bow down and worship me". And Jesus said, "I'm not going to worship anybody but God". But there's coming another who will accept this beast of a man. He will be appointed and anointed by Satan, who will give him great authority. He will want to cause the world to worship the devil. He will want to deify himself. He's going to sit, as we told you last week, in the temple of God showing himself that he is God. He will burn with hatred against the people of God and the things of God. And he will have a sinister minister of propaganda. The false prophet, who by causing fire in the heavens, who by causing some image that speaks and by causing control to the world's commerce, will bring the entire world to the feet of this beast.
Now folks, you think that may be somewhere way out. I may be talking about next week. I mean Jesus may come today. The trumpet may sound today and we'll be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Well you say, "Pastor, you may not have it all just right". I may not. I'll tell you one thing; Jesus is coming and you'd better be ready, you'd better be ready.
Let's bow our heads in prayer. Heads are bowed and eyes are closed. If you're not saved, why don't you right now, right this moment, open your heart, give your life to Jesus Christ. Trust Him as your personal Lord and Savior. Now the Bible says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved". Pray a prayer like this:
Dear God, I am a sinner. I've sinned against You, I've been selfish, prideful, I've lived life for myself. But now I repent of my sin, I turn from my sin, I turn to You, Lord Jesus, right now. I receive You as my Lord and Savior. Come into my life, forgive my sin, save me, Jesus". Pray that and mean it. "Save me, Lord Jesus.
Pray it from your heart and mean it. "Save me, Lord Jesus". Did you ask Him? Then pray this way:
Thank You for doing it, Jesus. I believe You paid for my sin with Your blood on the cross. I believe God raised You from the dead and You are now my Lord and my Savior. I will live for You the rest of my days and begin now to make me the person You want me to be. Not in order that I might be saved, but because I am saved. Lord, help me to live for You and to keep Your Word. Thank You Jesus, help me never to be ashamed of You. Amen.