In today’s Bible reading, we see the Beast. Actually, we see two Beasts. One thing that was striking as I read this was the language used of the Dragon and the Beasts. Things like:
It was allowed to exercise authority (v. 5)
It was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them (v. 7)
It was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation (v. 7)
It was permitted to give breath to the image of the beast (v. 15)
As I stated before, instead of being distracted by the picturesque language and trying to figure out things, look at what the passage says about God. The Beasts and the Dragon are allowed and permitted to do things. They were given authority.
What this says is that they have no authority in and of themselves; it is given to them. They are passive recipients of these things.
God is the Sovereign One! He is the One in control! Never was there a contest of who would win: God or Satan. Satan is no match for the King of kings and the Lord of lords!
Another thing to note in this chapter: the Beast performs great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in front of the people. it deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs that it is permitted to perform in the presence of the beast. (vv. 13-14)
This reminds us to not be enamored by signs and wonders. Yes, they may be spectacular. Yes, they may be convincing. And yes, they may be counterfeits of the real deal. Just because someone has miraculous gifts doesn’t mean they are the real deal. Look closely at their character. Look at the content of their teachings. If their character and teachings don’t line up with God’s Word, don’t listen to them. Flee from them. And don’t look back! (Matthew 7:15–23)