The Beast Who Comes Out of the Sea
1The dragon stood on the seashore. I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads. There were ten crowns on its horns. On each head was an evil name that brought shame to God. 2The beast I saw looked like a leopard. But it had feet like a bear and a mouth like a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power, his throne, and great authority. 3One of the beast’s heads seemed to have had a deadly wound. But the wound had been healed. The whole world was amazed and followed the beast. 4People worshiped the dragon, because he had given authority to the beast. They also worshiped the beast. They asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against it?”
5The beast was given a mouth to brag and speak evil things against God. The beast was allowed to use its authority for 42 months. 6The beast opened its mouth to speak evil things against God. It told lies about God and about the place where God lives. And it told lies about those who live in heaven with him. 7The beast was allowed to make war against God’s holy people and to overcome them. It was given authority over every tribe, people and nation, no matter what language they spoke. 8Many people who live on the earth will worship the beast. They are the ones whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life. The Lamb is the one whose death was planned before the world was created.
9Whoever has ears should listen.
10“Everyone who is supposed to be captured
will be captured.
Everyone who is supposed to be killed by a sword
will be killed by a sword.” (Jeremiah 15:2)
So God’s people must be patient and faithful.
The Beast Who Comes Out of the Earth
11Then I saw a second beast. This one came out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb. But it spoke like a dragon. 12This beast had all the authority of the first beast. It did what the first beast wanted. It made the earth and all who live on it worship the first beast. The first beast was the one whose deadly wound had been healed. 13The second beast performed great signs. It even made fire come from heaven to the earth. And the fire was seen by everyone. 14The first beast had given the second beast the power to perform these signs. By these signs, the second beast tricked those who live on the earth. The second beast ordered people to set up a statue to honor the first beast. The first beast was the one who had been wounded by a sword and still lived. 15The second beast was allowed to give breath to this statue so it could speak. The statue could kill all who refused to worship it. 16It also forced everyone to receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. People great or small, rich or poor, free or slave had to receive the mark. 17They could not buy or sell anything unless they had the mark. The mark is the name of the beast or the number of its name.
18This problem requires wisdom. Anyone who is wise should figure out what the beast’s number means. It is the number of a man. And that number is 666.