The wild animal from the sea
1 Then I saw a wild animal that was coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and there was a crown on each horn. The animal also had seven heads. On each head there was a bad name that insulted God. 2 The wild animal that I saw was like a leopard. But its feet were like a bear's feet and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. The dragon gave his own power and great authority to the wild animal so that it could rule as king.
13:1The wild animal from the sea seems to be a false Jesus Christ. People killed Jesus, but God caused him to become alive again. This wild animal makes people believe that it also became alive again after death. But it is the Devil (the dragon or great snake) who gives the wild animal authority.
3 Someone had hurt one of the wild animal's heads with a bad wound. It seemed that it would soon die. But the wound in the animal's head had become well again. This surprised all the people who were living on the earth. As a result, they were ready to obey what the wild animal said. 4 People worshipped the dragon because he had given his authority to the wild animal. They also worshipped the wild animal. They said, ‘Nobody is like this animal! Nobody is strong enough to fight against him!’
5 The wild animal received authority to rule people for 42 months. It could speak proud words and insult God. 6 So it started to speak against God. It insulted God's name and the place where he lives, as well as the people who live there in heaven. 7 It received power to fight a war against God's own people and to win against them. It received authority to rule over people from every nation, people from every tribe and people from every language. 8 Nearly all the people who live on the earth will worship the wild animal. But those people whose names are in the Lamb's book of life will not worship it. The Lamb wrote the names of these believers in his book from the beginning of the world. He is the Lamb that people killed as a sacrifice.
9 Everyone who can understand should listen carefully to these words:
10 ‘If it is right for someone's enemy to catch him, that is what will happen.
If it is right for someone's enemy to kill him with a sword, that is what will happen.’
This means that God's people must be patient and strong. They must continue to trust God.
13:10God's people must believe that God knows what will happen. Sometimes this is difficult for us to understand. But we should continue to trust God. He has all authority and he knows what is right for everyone.
The wild animal from the land
11 Then I saw a second wild animal. This one was coming up out of the ground. It had two horns like a lamb's horns. But it spoke like a dragon. 12 It worked for the first wild animal and it used the authority of the first wild animal. It made all the people on earth worship the first wild animal. That first animal was the one that someone had hurt very much. It seemed that it would soon die but it had become well again.
13:11The wild animal from the ground seems to be a false prophet or a false Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit causes people to worship Jesus. This second wild animal causes people to worship the first wild animal.
13 The second wild animal did great miracles. It even caused fire to come down from heaven to the earth, while people watched. 14 It used the authority of the first wild animal to do many miracles. In that way, it deceived the people who lived on the earth. It told them to make an image of the first wild animal. This was the animal that was still alive after a sword had given it a bad wound. 15 The second wild animal received power to give life to the image of the first wild animal. As a result, the image could speak. It said, ‘Anyone who refuses to worship me must die!’
16 The second wild animal also caused everyone to receive a mark. Everyone received a mark on their right hand or on the front of their head. This included important people and ordinary people, rich people and poor people, free people and slaves. 17 Nobody could buy anything unless they had this mark on them. Nor could they sell anything. This mark shows the wild animal's name or the number of its name.
18 You must think carefully so that you can understand this number. Anyone who is wise should try to understand what the wild animal's number means. It is a human number. The number is 666.