Revelation 13 – Will You Endure Faithfully?

John sees two beasts. These beasts remind us of the beasts we see in the book of Daniel.

The first beast has the power of war. The second beast has the power of economic security. A nation becomes like a beast when it demands allegiance from its people. When people idolize power and money, they are marked on the forehead and the wrist with the mark of the beast.

The Hebrew Scriptures mention having the Shema on the forehead and on the wrist. The Shema states: “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one. And as for you, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Some Jewish folks took this literally and wore phylacteries on their forehead and on their wrist with the Shema written on it.

Ultimately, God wants faithful followers to memorize the Shema (“written on your forehead”) and live out the Shema (“on your hands”). Those who have allegiance to God are committed to Him and His ways regardless of the persecution they may face while living in Babylon.

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