Revelation 13:11–18 (ESV)
The Second Beast
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.
In order to make his attacks against
God’s people even more devastating, Satan enlists the assistance of another beast, this one representing deceit and corruption from within the Church. Unfortunately, this kind of attack remains deadly and still succeeds in deceiving many believers today.
Were it not for God’s Spirit and the unshakeable foundation of Christ’s Word, even the elect would be led astray. Kept safely in Jesus’ hand, however, they remain secure.
I pray: Father, grant me steadfastness in all times of temptation, especially during these last days. You will never allow anyone or anything to wrench me from the security of Your grasp; therefore, You alone are worthy of my trust and praise.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2221.