Again we are faced with a chapter filled with imagery that, at first glance, does not make a lot of sense. And people often will not stay with something if it is not easy to understand; they move on to whatever else catches their fancy. Several times throughout this chapter are challenges to the reader:
Do you have ears to hear?
As one of God’s holy people, do you have endurance and confidence to face this??
Even in the face of prison?
Even in the face of being killed by the sword??
Do you possess the wisdom to figure out the number of the beast??
I encourage you to grab your bible or use one of the online versions with cross-references turned on to reread this chapter. Each time you come to one of those cross-references, take that minute or two to go read wherever it is pointing you to. When we do this, a lot of the imagery suddenly becomes illuminated when we drill down into previous prophetic books.
The word "ALLOWED" is used several times in describing each beast. I wonder what the LORD is telling us her? What does it means that each was allowed to do each of these?? To grasp who was allowing these Beasts to do what each sentence says, it may be helpful to spend a minute or two reading over Job 1 and Job 2. Now answer the question: Who is doing the allowing?
From where does Beast #1 get his power, kingdom, and far-reaching authority?
What about Beast #2?
Did you notice that the second beast has two horns along with then this description: "like a lamb." Does this tell you anything about what this beast's role might be in whatever the serpent is bringing together?
How long will Beast #1 be given authority to act? How many years does that equate?
Did you notice that in this chapter, there is a party of three: serpent, beast 1, and beast 2? How does this trio compare and contrast to the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Spirit?
What are your thoughts about the beast’s number is 666?
Continue to press in here … the LORD is going to bring it together for you personally. Remember it is the Holy Spirit that is our teacher and, we can TRUST Him.
Be sure to take a look at the notes from the first tour through this chapter in this thread.