"If Anyone Has An Ear, Let Him Hear" - "Here is Wisdom"
So John was "in the Spirit in the Lord's Day: John was in the Spirit in the Supreme, Sovereign, Imperial Day of the Lord; and in the Spirit he saw with the spiritual eye, and he heard with the spiritual ear. This was not a literal seeing and hearing with the natural senses; it was not what many think of as visions or dreams, but it was a spiritual perception, it was a revelation and comprehension, it was a perceiving and understanding "in the Spirit". And "in the Spirit", John saw and heard those who were companions with him in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ ... because of the Word of God and because of the testimony of Jesus. He saw "those souls" under the altar, he saw and heard "those souls" who had and would subject themselves to the way of the Cross (Revelation 6:9).
We also quoted another scripture, which speaks of those who were slain, who poured out their lives, because of the Word of God and because of the testimony of Jesus Christ; and that scripture is found in Revelation 20:4.
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given to them; and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness (the testimony) of Jesus, and for the Word of God,s and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."
Now it is not our purpose to try and interpret this scripture as to what we believe about the millennium, or about the great tribulation, etc.; for we believe that if we are allowing the work of the Cross in our lives, we will be prepared by the Holy Spirit to live and reign with Christ both now, and in the ages to come. And it is certainly evident that those spoken of in Revelation 20:4 had allowed the work of the Cross in their lives; for they could not have overcome the beast [which figuratively speaks of that which is antichrist], had not the Cross and its principle of self-denial been a reality in their lives. Revelation 20:4 makes it clear that those who are companions with John in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, are those who have overcome that which is antichrist. This leads us right to the Word that the Lord has given us, "If anyone has an ear, let him hear" (Revelation 13:9). Revelation 13:9 is the last time the Lord speaks this command to His people, and with it comes the gravest warning of all, for it warns of that which is antichrist.
In order to understand what is meant by the beast, and by all that is antichrist, we must look at the thirteenth chapter of Revelation, where we find the Lord giving two warnings, two commands, of the gravest importance.
"If anyone has an ear, let him hear" (Revelation 13:9).
"Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count (calculate) the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his (its) number is six hundred threescore and six (666)" (Revelation 13:18).
Revelation 13:9 is the last time the Lord gives this command, "If anyone has an ear, let him hear"; and He gives this command along with the solemn warning to "calculate at once" the number of the beast. The words "at once," which are used in the Wuest Translation of the New Testament, gives us the real sense of urgency that these commands are meant to convey. It is a grave mistake to place that which is antichrist, that which is against Christ, only in the period of time that many call the end-time, or to assume that the antichrist will be an individual man at the time of the end. This interpretation of Revelation 13:18 causes many Christians to become passive in spiritual warfare in their age and generation - they become unwatchful and unalert in the Spirit. A passive Christian cannot discern that which is antichrist; and the Holy Spirit warns in 1 John 2:18; "even now are there many antichrists." From the time that satan, the devil, had the first iniquitous thought in his heart against Christ (Isaiah 14:12-15), until he is finally cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10), his antichrist spirit will be against Christ.
(continued with # 29)