The Revelation of Jesus Christ “Beasts Arising”” Revelation 13
I. PROLOGUE 1:1-20 (Things you have seen)
II. Messages to the Seven churches 2-3 (Things with are)
III. Last Days 4-22 (Things which are about to take place)
A. Heavenly worship around the throne 4-5
B. The Seven seals 6:1-8:1
C. The Seven Trumpets 8-11
D. Interlude 12-14
1. The Pregnant Woman and the Great Red Dragon 12:1-6
2. Great War In Heaven (Battle royal) 12:7-17
After banishment from heaven, defeat of his army by Michael and his army of angels, a thwarted attack on Israel, Satan concentrates his efforts on control over the remaining earthly inhabitants and confrontation of the remaining followers of Jesus who refuse to take his mark.
And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was* nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 12:13-17
The song of the angelic choir announcing the fact that the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ incites Satan to make his final move.
Just as God empowered two witnesses through the final days of the tribulation, Satan now empowers two witnesses of his own. This may also be viewed as the “Unholy trinity.” Their relationship bears similarities to the Holy Trinity. The dragon or Satan. The beast or the Antichrist who receives power from and serves the dragon. The False Prophet or second beast that performs wonders and promotes worship of the beast.
3. Two Beasts Rising 13:1-18
The two beasts described by John introduce satanically driven and empowered human powers. They reflect a coalition of kingdoms and leaders intent on world domination. They represent both specific individuals and nations or kingdoms they dominate. The designation “beast” is probably symbolic of their evil nature and intent.
a. The Beast out of the sea 13:1-10
1 And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems
John saw the first beast coming up out of the sea. Some interpret this as the rise of some world power out of the “sea of humanity.” This does not seem to carry over to the image of the beast coming up out of “the earth”. It is unclear whether this is a geographical reference.
The term “sea” is sometimes associated with the “sea of evil.”
This beast has similar characteristics as the dragon; the real power behind the beast.
• Seven heads
• Ten horns with 10 crowns
These are consistent with the idea of a consortium of nations ruled by one evil leader empowered by Satan. Crowns represent governmental authority. Some think that they are on the horns, not the head because it is a militarily imposed rule. If the beast symbolizes a governmental power, the question arises whether it is a new power or an old power that will come into prominence at the end times. Later in revelation (17), we’re told that the seven heads represent seven mountains or hills or governments. Revelation 17 indicates that five of the world powers have fallen, one was in power at the time of the writing and one was not yet on the scene. In relation to the dragon, we suggested that perhaps his heads were fellow demonic powers or princes controlling godless world governments. Perhaps the seven heads of this beast represent the human component of these political powers.
The 10 horns may represent political power or rulers who will reign under the direction of the Antichrist in the last days. This would harmonize with Daniel’s vision of the image with the ten toes of clay and iron thought to be a reemergence of the Roman Empire. The multiple heads seem to indicate that the beast represents more than a specific individual. It seems to be more complex. The beast represents devil-driven and empowered anti-God and anti-Christ political power. This would line up with many of the world powers that we mentioned before beginning with Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. These were not only anti-God and antichrist but also very anti-semantic.
Another name for this beast is the antichrist. The focus of the last days of The Antichrist will be attack on Christ and His followers.
Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 1 John 2:18
22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 1 John 2:22-23
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 1:7
Antichrist is not only anti-Christ but a instead of-Christ figure.
My best guess is that the beast represents godless political power directed and empowered by Satan that has existed through history but converge in the last days and eventually merge under one individual called the Antichrist.
Blasphemous names on his head and on his heads were blasphemous names. Revelation 13:1
These kingdoms will represent evil godlessness to their core. They will be anti-God and anti-Christ. They will operate from a humanistic philosophy. (Man is the center of all things).
The powerful nature of his rule
John uses animal references to describe something of the character of this political phenomenon.
And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. Revelation 13:2
This beast may rise to power with the great speed of a leopard, exercise his dominion with the brute strength of a bear, and conquer with the ravenous appetite of a lion. Daniel’s vision revealed these same animals in opposite order. These characteristics have also been associated with past world dominating powers.
Derives power and authority from Satan.
And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. Revelation 13:2
Ever since Adam relinquished his God-given authority to Satan, Satan has effectively exercised his brutal authority over the earth. Even Jesus called Satan the ruler of this world.
"Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. John 12:31
Paul called him the prince of the power the air; the Spirit working in the sons of disobedience.
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient. Ephesians 2:1-2
John affirmed in his letter that Satan presently exercises significant control over this world.
19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. 1 John 5:19
Satan chooses to empower and perhaps even indwell this end-time figure in order to bring about his objective of world domination.
One of the kingdoms will unexpectedly rise to world prominence.
I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast
This may be a reference to an individual or a world power. The wound was not necessarily fatal. It was as “IF” he had been slain and healed. Were it not for some sort of intervention, his wound would have been fatal. I have always assumed this to be a person but the passage indicates one of the heads. A consistent interpretation of the symbolism leads us to conclude that this head must refer to one of the kingdoms and not an individual. I lean toward seeing this as a reference to some kingdom that had previously suffered defeat or had gone into obscurity but rises again to prominence as a world power during the tribulation period.
This view allows for numerous applications.
A revived Roman Empire
If one believes the Antichrist is Assyrian, as some do, it could refer to a revived Iraq.
It could also refer to a current nation who suffers defeat that comes back into power.
This will be the final one world government that has been sought after for some time now.
We are on a course to unification under one worldwide ruling authority. It is the goal of the European Union established in 1957 comprised now of 27 member nations. The Lisbon Treaty, near ratification, will open the way for the EU to act as a world power in its own right with their own embassies and permanent president and authority to negotiate for the other member nations.
We now have a…
• The World Bank
• The World Health Organization
• The International Monetary Fund
• The Universal Postal Union
• The International Trade Organization
• The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trades (GATT)
? Rockefeller campaigned on a new world order in 1968.
? In 1976, 32 senators and 92 representatives signed a “Declaration of Interdependence” urging us to join others to “bring forth a new world order.”
? Hitler sought to establish a new world order.
? Kissinger (1974) urged an international order.
? George Bush Sr. spoke of a new world order more than 200 times in speeches.
? (1st mentioned September 11, 1991)
? Powerful One world organizations have been in existence for some time.
? Bilderbergers (a secret powerful group of influential people) since 1954
? Council on Foreign relations established after WWI
? The Trilateral Commission established by David Rockefeller (Japan, Germany, US)
? The Illuminati established 1776
"It is necessary to establish a universal regime and empire over the whole world."
It is their stated goal to eliminate…
Patriotism to national causes
Social order in families, sexual laws, and moral codes.
Religious disciplines based on faith in God as opposed to faith in Nature, Man, and Reason.
He will solicit and accept worship
And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 4 they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast,
It has always been Satan's desire to solicit worship and adoration of God's creatures. He will achieve worldwide adoration through the antichrist in the last days. This is mentioned again in verse eight.
8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. Revelation 13:8
The worship of the beast will be worldwide. The only ones who will not worship are those who been elected by God from the foundation of the world. Paul also wrote of his universal worship.
Don’t let anyone deceive you about this in any way. That day cannot come unless a revolt takes place first, and the man of sin, the man of destruction, is revealed. 4He opposes every so-called god or anything that is worshiped and places himself above them, sitting in God’s temple and claiming to be God. ...9The man of sin will come with the power of Satan. He will use every kind of power, including miraculous and wonderful signs. But they will be lies. 10 He will use everything that God disapproves of to deceive those who are dying, those who refused to love the truth that would save them. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 9-10)
This satanically orchestrated rise to prominence will generate worldwide wonder.
"Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" 13:3-4
He will appear as invincible. He will engender great admiration.
He will be a skilful orator
There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.
As an individual, he will be gifted with the ability to speak. Seems many world powers gained their power through skillful oration. The speech will be filled with language that demeans God, his name and what is holy to him and precious to him. There's a lot of that kind of speech going on even today. Christians, Christianity, the church, Jesus, Christian values and all that we hold dear are continually devalued in our culture.
36 Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done. 37 He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the desire of women, nor will he show regard for any other god; for he will magnify himself above them all. 38 But instead he will honor a god of fortresses, a god whom his fathers did not know; he will honor him with gold, silver, costly stones and treasures.
He will dominate for 3.5 years
Authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.
We have seen this number before.
He will rule the world and war against the followers of Christ
It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 13:7
Later, John will offer greater detail as to Antichrist’s attempted elimination of Christians.
The source of the martyrs that we heard earlier will become clear.
John ends this section with a grave warning.
If anyone has an ear, he should listen: If anyone is destined for captivity, into captivity he goes. If anyone is to be killed with a sword, with a sword he will be killed. This demands the perseverance and faith of the saints. 13:9-10
Perhaps what John basically is saying is don't fight it. Continue to trust God through this devastating time. The early martyrs were told to wait until the number of martyrs was completed. It seems to indicate that there are some that were destined to die for their faith.
There are times to follow Christ and submit willingly for the sake of Christ.
b. The Beast out of the earth 11-18
We will designate the second beast as the false prophet as he is designated in chapter 16, 19 and 20 so as to not get confused with the first beast.
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; 13:11a
This beast comes up out of the earth. Again, it is unclear the difference between out of the earth and out of the sea.
He will exercise delegated authority
he had two horns like a lamb, but he sounded like a dragon. 12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast on his behalf
Some see this beast using humanistic religion and philosophy rather than brute force. He appears peaceful but still brings the same devastation as the dragon. He will speak lies and deception like the dragon. He will oppose all that is godly like the dragon.
He will compel everyone to worship the first beast
and compels the earth and those who live on it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13:11-12
He will promote beast worship just as the Holy Spirit promotes worship of Jesus.
He will deceive through signs and wonders
He also performs great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in front of people. 14 He deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs that he is permitted to perform on behalf of the beast,
This isn’t the first time Satan has enabled his emissaries to imitate signs and wonders.
Pharaoh’s magicians mimicked Moses’ signs up to a point.
He will commission an image of the first beast to be fashioned telling those who live on the earth to make an image of the beast who had the sword wound and yet lived. 13:13-14
Leaders have used images to promote personal allegiance all through history.
He will animate the image of the first beast and compel worship
He was permitted to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 13:15
The Christians would have been familiar with this practice as they were continually compelled to swear allegiance to the Roman emperors. As in early Christianity, many will die during this time for their refusal to bow in allegiance.
He will enforce a mark of allegiance
And he requires everyone—small and great, rich and poor, free and slave—to be given a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark: the beast’s name or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom: The one who has understanding must calculate the number of the beast, because it is the number of a man. His number is 666. 13:16-18
The mark will be a sign of sworn allegiance to the beast. I believe it will be a conscious deliberate act rather than a covert one. One will be given a choice – swear allegiance or die.
There are some interesting parallels found here.
There is an obvious attempt to mimic God’s plan. Mention of the lamb, “resurrection” from death, ascension to power and authority, granting of authority to the beast, worship of the beast, protective mark, name engraved, speaking ability. Satan will use human people, governments and organizations to bring about his plan for world domination. The parallel with Nebuchadnezzar and his image is also striking.
Now concerning the number 666.
It is one of the most debated and studied aspects of the entire book. It is not really worth the effort. It could be as simple as looking at the number as three sixes the number of incompleteness falling short of God’s plan which is perfect 777. Six is the number of man.
Six also seems to be the number of judgment in Revelation i.e. 6th seal, 6th trumpet, 6th bowl.
Three sixes and you’re OUT!!!
Many have come up some very elaborate schemes to make the numbers work. I like how one commentator put it.
The interpretations of this number form a jungle from which escape is apparently hopeless.
The suggestions as to the meaning of 666 are endless. Since it is the number of the beast, everyone has twisted it to fit his own arch-enemy; and so 666 has been taken to mean the Pope, John Knox, Martin Luther, Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, Roman empire (Lateinos), Titus, Nero, John Kennedy, Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, the World Wide Web, and of course now Obama.
Major on the majors.
Focus on the main point of prophecy; be found blameless and faithful when He returns.
POINTS TO PONDER
Signs and wonders should always be analyzed with spiritual discernment. Be wary.
There is no guarantee that Christians will escape the wrath of men. Be ready.
Forget the counterfeit – embrace the real thing. Be steady.