Sermon Text: Revelation 13:11–18 (ESV)
11 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.
Goal of all biblical interpretation: Worship
- Consider genre/place in storyline
- Think about original audience and author’s intent
- Apply rules of genre
- Take it to Christ
Genre #7 Revelation
- Genre/Place: Apocalyptic
- Original audience: Early church
- Find how it fits in the larger drama.
- Find links between the imagery and the rest of the book/Bible.
- Discern the intended response of such imagery.
- Take it to Christ.
Example: Revelation 13:11-18
Until we’re led to worship, we haven’t interpreted Revelation rightly.
Remember: proper interpretation acknowledges that Revelation was written to 1st century churches.
Other texts referring to marks on hands and foreheads:
- Revelation 14:1, 7:3
- Exodus 13:3-10
- Deuteronomy 6:4-9
- Ezekiel 9:4
Mark on forehead and hand = thoughts and actions
The mark of the beast will not sneak up on you and steal your salvation. Your greatest danger is not a microchip or an energy drink, it is being associated with the world when Jesus comes back.
For the Christian: Your doubts, your insecurities, your anxieties come from a beast who refuses to acknowledge that you’ve already been sealed.
For the unbelieving, ask yourself this question:
In the end, who will claim you and who will hunt you?