Summary: This chapter discusses the two terrible rulers that are to arise in the end time, the antichrist and his cohort, the world-wide religious leader who will help the antichrist gain and maintain control over the world. The Scripture refers to them as beasts
Chapter 13 is probably the key to the whole book of Revelation. It covers the antichrist. If a person understands this chapter, then he will understand the whole book of Revelation.
This chapter discusses the two terrible rulers that are to arise in the end time, the antichrist and his cohort, the world-wide religious leader who will help the antichrist gain and maintain control over the world. The Scripture refers to them as beasts.
We must realize that in the end time, during the great tribulation, the antichrist will bring the utter destruction of the world as we know it.
We have just been given a glimpse in chapter 12 of the spiritual world and the battle going on there. We have seen the constant struggle going on to try to turn man away from God. But in the end Satan is going to be cast down to earth. He knows now that his time is short. So he unleashes a wrath and fury beyond anything the world has ever known. So let’s get into chapter 13. PRAYER. Read v. 1.
The beast arises up out of the sea. This is further explained in chapter 17:15 where the waters are said to be the people, the multitudes, the nations. So the antichrist arises from among the people.
Remember that there will be an increase in violence, conflict, terrorist activities, wars and rumors of wars. There is going to be an increase in natural catastrophes such as famines, earthquakes, and diseases. The people left on earth are going to be clamoring for a leader to ease their pain. The antichrist will be the one they look to.
Let’s go ahead and read verse 2 and then we will discuss both 1 & 2 together. We see here the great political power of the antichrist (beast). Everything said about the antichrist is symbolic of the enormous political power that he will gain.
1. He will have seven heads meaning at least two things.
a. It could mean that he will be a genius. 7 means complete or full. He will be full of ability, a supernatural genius. This will enable him to think, to plan, act, respond and react quicker than any man has ever been able to. Think how far a person could go in the political circles and in gaining power if he had the perfect ability, full knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
b. The seven heads and ten horns also refer to the ten nations he will rule over. This can get very deep and for this study we aren’t going that deep. But for now know that in the beginning there will be ten nations, but the antichrist will take over or be given the power and rule of three which leaves seven. The heads of these seven will most likely surrender their governments to his rule. Therefore, the beast or antichrist has the power of seven heads, seven heads of state.
2. He will have ten horns, the same number of horns the dragon had. The horns mean power, power over ten nations. He will be the political head over ten nations.
3. He wears ten crowns upon his ten horns. Crowns mean authority and power. He will hold the reign of power and authority over the ten nations. These ten nations are so frightening that they are called the horns of beasts, horns that are able to rip and tear open the heart and bodies of other nations and people.
4. The antichrist will have ten blasphemous names on his seven heads. This means that his blasphemy against God and believers and against the people of the world will be complete.
- He will stand in the holy place of the temple in Jerusalem and blaspheme the name of God.
- He will be the man of lawlessness who opposes all religions, that is, everything that is called God and is worshipped.
- He will speak great and terrible words against the Most High.
- He will demand that everyone worship him and his state.
5. It says that he is like three animals—the leopard, the bear and the lion. The antichrist will combine three of the world’s most powerful empires. These three are the ones that conquered and controlled most of the known world of their day. Imagine the greatest empires to rule the known world and combine that lust for power in one leader and government. No nation will be spared from the fright and terror of such a drive and lust for power.
Who are these empires that will be wrapped up in the beast? We first note that the antichrist is said to look like a leopard, to have feet like a bear, and to have a mouth like a lion.