|Revelation 13:4 |
4 And they worshipped the dragon who gave power to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"1 [All the world worships the dragon, who is Satan, the god of this world who excuses sin for some religious act: a special prayer, special food, washings, meditation, a contribution, service to the poor, etc. — giving man the license to live however he chooses in his lusts and pride. The world thinks they are worshipping the one true God, but they have been deceived and so are worshipping Satan instead.]
1 The first beast is from the sea: from the peoples, nations, and tongues of the earth. The beast of the Book of Revelation is the beast of heathen religious authority, which power was severely curtailed [a wound to the head] by early Christianity, particularly in the Mediterranean region. But the wound healed. This religion received power from the devil. There was great power to be seen. It was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. The whole world followed these heathen religions and in the process,
all the world followed the beast in wonder and admiration, and they worshipped the dragon who gave power to the beast. The dragon is the devil. Just as this scripture prophesied, the whole world worships the devil today: imitation Christianity and the world's other religions all worship the devil, thinking they are worshiping God. Why and How? Because they worship a being that excuses them from the necessity of a sin-free life, a being that approves of their selfish, dishonest, covetous, angry, immoral, impure lifestyle, promising them an after-death escape from Hell, which promise shall be annulled.
Who is able to make war with him [the beast]? The beast is the spirit of fallen man, whose religion is hypocrisy: praise from his lips but with an evil, corrupt heart. Men say, "who can conquer human nature; we are all sinners and it is impossible to become sin free. Who can fight sin and win? No one is perfect except Jesus; why should we even try to become sin free?" These men deny the power of God to be sufficient to make them free from sin, to be able to fight the good fight to victory. They have a religion, but it is only a form [empty shell, imitation] of godliness that denies the power of God. 2 Tim 3:5.
This is the man of sin in each of us that stands in the temple of God, (your heart), and proclaims himself God; who must be revealed before the Lord comes and slays this residual spirit of Satan within you by the brightness of his coming, by his breath, and the splendor of his coming, by his crushing the head of Satan under your feet [heel]. The final judgment. The true baptism of the Holy Spirit: into the death of Christ. The baptism of death. The sharing of his death. Then Jesus is resurrected in you to be your true Lord as you rise with Him to be a new man. 2 Cor4:14,Col 2:11-12,3:1, Eph 2:6.
We are touched by God, and we immediately do great repentance in our first love. The beastly spirit within us is deeply curtailed, (wounded in the head). But then we relax our effort and go back into our former worldly pursuits, (the dog returns to its own vomit and the sow that was washed returns to her mire); and the wound to the head of the beast is healed. Edward Burrough wrote of this beastly spirit within himself:
for I saw myself to be in bondage to my own will and to my own lusts; and through the Word of the Lord spoken to me by him, began to see myself, (the witness being raised), where I was, and what I had been doing, and saw I had been making an image to the First Beast, which had the wound by the sword and did live, whose deadly wound was healed, and was full of airy notions and imaginations, and was worshiping the image that I had made; and then I saw myself to be a child of wrath, and that the son of the bond-woman lived, and harlots had been my companions, and I was not worthy to be called a son.