Summary: An easy-to-read and easy-to understand study on Revelation 13.
Through studying the bible, we know that there were several rulers named Caesar. Starting with the first Caesar, and continuing to the last Caesar, the Israelites were made to worship them. This was more of a way to stir up feelings of patriotism to Caesar number 1 rather than really worship him as a god.
But towards the end of the first century, Caesar Nero actually believed he was the God and made it mandatory that every Israelite go to the temple once a year to bow down before a priest to confess that Caesar Nero was Lord.
It may have been a nuisance, but everyone complied - except for the believers in Jesus. This was just something they could not do! And that was the start of all the problems between them and Caesar. There were ten different times (or waves) of persecution against the believers, and most historians believe that a total of around 6 million believers were killed in those waves of persecution.
Isn’t it rather odd that the number of Jews killed by Hitler when he persecuted them was also around 6 million?
“And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads. On his horns were 10 diadems (crowns), and on his heads were blasphemous names.”
The beast John is writing about is the Antichrist. Elsewhere in the bible, John writes about many antichrists, and those are people who say things that purposely try to take the focus off of Christ. The name “antichrist” literally means, “in place of Christ.” But the one John is writing about here is THE Antichrist.
John saw him coming out of the sea. In the bible, the reference to the “sea” is always referring to the Gentile nations. And when the bible references the “land”, it is talking about Israel. So, John saw the Antichrist coming out of the Gentile nations.
We will study it in 4 weeks, but in chapter 17, it even goes to say that the beast will not only come from the Gentile nations, but from the Gentile nations that stem from the old Roman Empire, which makes up the last world empire. This doesn’t mean the Antichrist cannot be a Jew, though. He might be a European Jew, or one that is considered a “secular” Jew, by blood only. This would also describe some of today’s Jews, too, like Henry Kissinger, George Soros, and even Barbara Walters. They are all Jewish by blood, but do not believe in God.
The beast had 10 horns and seven heads. REVELATION 17 identifies the seven heads as the seven mountains surrounding the city of Rome. The Antichrist’s government will initially be based out of Rome.
He had 10 horns, but there were only seven crowns. The “crowns” represented the rulers of these ten different areas, or kingdoms. The reason there are only seven rulers (crowns) is that when the Antichrist first comes to power, he will overtake three of these kingdoms and rule them himself.
On the beast’s heads were written blasphemous names. He has those names on his head because he has rebellion and disobedience in his mind. The picture of a 7-headed beast with 10 horns is meant to scare. It is meant to show something monstrous and hideous! And such will be the nature of the Antichrist who will serve Satan and not God.
“The beast I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like a bear’s feet, and his mouth was like a lion’s mouth. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.”
Daniel 2 gives a description of the different empires that would rule the world. They were shown as a statue of a man. It was a beautiful statue because that is the way mankind sees their worldly leaders. In Daniel 7, the same empires are described as hideous monsters. That is because they are being described by God’s point of view and how He views those leaders.
Here in this verse, John is describing the same empires as were described in Daniel 7, but in reverse order. Why did John put them backwards? Because Daniel was looking into the future while John was looking into the past.
The empires described are: The leopard was Alexander the Great’s ability to pounce and attack; the bear symbolizes the Medes & the Persians because they were large, strong, and vicious; and he lion represents Babylon who was considered the most vicious of all (king of the jungle so to speak.).
“One of his heads appeared to be fatally wounded, but his fatal wound was healed. The whole earth was amazed and then followed the beast.”
At this point of time in the Tribulation, the Antichrist will suffer a wound to the head. He will die and come back to life. When he is brought back to life, the whole world will be amazed and begin to think that only a god could come back to life and they will follow him as God. The original Greek transcripts can be interpreted either as “he was wounded unto death” or “he was wounded and seemed to be dead.”