1 Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God. 2 This beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority. 3 I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery - but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. 4 They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast. “Who is as great as the beast?” they exclaimed. “Who is able to fight against him?”
Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months.
And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling - that is, those who dwell in heaven. 1
And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation.
And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made - the Book that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered. 2
Anyone with ears to hear
should listen and understand.
Anyone who is destined for prison
will be taken to prison.
Anyone destined to die by the sword
will die by the sword.
This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful.