The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast: Part 2

Error message

  • Deprecated function: unserialize(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($data) of type string is deprecated in css_injector_init() (line 53 of /home/krwester/
  • Deprecated function: unserialize(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($data) of type string is deprecated in css_injector_init() (line 53 of /home/krwester/
(2 Thessalonians 2, Revelation 17)
Lesson Number: 


Copr. 2023, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

Introduction: Last week we learned that the choice for humans is to either rely on God or rely on human theories and works. The issue is not a superficial matter. Many Christians in some way depend on human works and theories to shape their Christian walk. On the one side are Christians who believe their Godly works qualify them for heaven. On the other side are Christians who believe that modern culture can veto the plainest teachings of the Bible. Then there are the unbelievers who totally reject the Christian God. All of these approaches demonstrate a reliance on human theory and not God. This week we take a deeper look at the anti-Christ, pro-human philosophy.

  1. Rebellion
    1. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Two weeks ago we learned that this is Satan’s fake Second Coming of Jesus. What attitude does this deception reflect? (Rebellion against God.)
      1. What is the nature of that rebellion? (Lawlessness. Satan opposes the law of God.)
      2. What is the ultimate result of the rebellion? (Destruction.)
    2. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:4. What is the claim of the rebellion? (Superiority over every object of worship, and every god, including the true God.)
      1. Notice the claim is not just superiority, but the lawless man opposes all other worship. How do you expect that will happen? What will be part of that effort? (This is not just live and let live. This is active opposition to all other worship, including the worship of the true God.)
      2. Is there a movement today that seems to oppose all traditional religions?
    3. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:5. What does this request to those who were originally given the warning suggest to us today? (We need to carefully consider or reconsider this warning.)
      1. Let’s do that. What do you think is the rebellion? (It is a rejection of past Christian norms. Satan fakes the Second Coming of Jesus and he wants to reject past allegiance to the true God.)
        1. Is change wrong? (Many new things are an improvement over the old. The issue is whether it is God’s law that is being changed. We know this because the next description is “lawlessness.”)
        2. What is one way that we can judge whether a proposed change is wrong? (Is destruction the result?)
          1. Consider the number of new ideas that advocate violence to bring about change. Does that give us a reliable clue as to whether the idea is part of the overall rebellion?
  2. Old Ten Horn
    1. Read Revelation 12:3-5 and Revelation 12:9. The Bible identifies this “great red dragon” as Satan. Why is he described as “red?”(Red may well represent blood. This is consistent with the destruction we just discussed.)
      1. Why is Satan described as having seven heads and ten horns? (Protestants, as we will see below, have historically tied Ten Horn to the Roman Empire. Since the Roman Empire was not part of the battle in heaven, we need to conclude that Ten Horn has a greater, deeper, and broader meaning. Seven is the number of completeness in the Bible. That might mean that Satan is completely evil.)
      2. Why would the heads be wearing crowns if they symbolize complete evil? (This must mean that ten rulers are involved in this complete evil. Satan has agents.)
      3. What do you think the horns represent? (Horns on an animal represent weapons. Again, this accords with the idea of destruction.)
    2. Read Revelation 17:7. What are we promised? (The mystery of Old Ten Horn will be resolved! We will not have to speculate.)
    3. Read Revelation 17:8-9. Did that solve the mystery for you? (Not exactly. Note that Ten Horn arises from the bottomless pit.)
    4. Read Revelation 9:11. Who is the king of the bottomless pit? (The Hebrew name Abaddon means destruction. This is further proof we are talking about Satan. It seems that the Abyss is hell. In Revelation 20 we will learn that Satan is bound in the Abyss.)
    5. Let’s get back to Revelation 17:8. What do you think it means that Ten Horn “was and is not and is to come?” Does it mean that Satan is defeated and then makes a comeback?
    6. Read Revelation 13:1-2. Is this Ten Horn Satan? (It cannot be for it says that the dragon (Satan) gives power and authority to this Ten Horn.)
      1. How can we have more than one Ten Horn? (The logical conclusion is that Satan has agents who carry his authority.)
    7. Let’s get back to Revelation 17. Read Revelation 17:9-13. Now that we have seen there are more than one Ten Horn, is this a third? (In Lesson 9 we discussed the historic protestant understanding of the "seven hills" or “seven mountains.” Rome is built on seven hills, which supports the idea that Ten Horn arises from the Roman Empire and is Papal Rome. Although the NIV (and other versions) translate Revelation 17:9 as "hills," it seems more appropriate to translate it as "mountains." Could "mountain" refers to an area of influence in the world? For example mountains could be law, entertainment, business, and government, to name some. Thus, this might mean that satanic influence covers many important and influential areas of life.)
    8. Let’s focus a minute on Revelation 17:12. What does this suggest is the nature of the ten horns? (Part of the revelation of the mystery is that the horns at this point represent kings who are allied against God’s people. There are many explanations for these kings and kingdoms. However, we have been discussing that the Ten Horn not only represents Satan, but is also symbolic of religious and secular powers which fight God and His followers.)
    9. In the introduction I wrote that we would take a deeper dive into the anti-Christ, pro-human philosophy. What has this deeper dive revealed? (Old Ten Horn Satan has his agents on earth. They have great power and are in a war against those Christians who rely on God and not human power. Today I think a clear sign of those who rely on God are those who accept the Genesis origins account and all of the issues which arise out of that - the Sabbath, family, and the place of humans in the creation.)
  1. Victory
    1. Read Revelation 17:14. Who wins in the battle with Ten Horn? (Our God! Our side!)
    2. Read Revelation 17:16-18. What other victory do we see? (There is conflict among the opponents of God. Ten Horn and his agents and allies have a falling out.)
    3. Friend, the time to be ready is now! Become a serious student of the Bible so that you will not be deceived by old Ten Horn and his allies!
  2. Next week: Ablaze with God’s Glory.