STUDY: PART 42

REVELATION

CHAPTER 13

V. 1, 2- I’m going to rattle some preconceived notions right now.  In verse 1, where it says, “I,” change that pronoun to “he.” It’s the devil who called the beast forth from out of the sea and it’s he who was watching and saw the beast rise up out of the sea.   What sea is that?  The sea of Gentile humanity! (Satan can’t pick from the Jewish or Christian population because they would bring God into things.) The nations will be in unrest. The devil will select a personage from one of those troubled nations to reunite the Roman Empire and to. He will be the beast placed in charge of the world systems, but will be totally under satan’s control. The beast, the antichrist, will think he’s doing his own thing, but he’ll be serving the devil. 

One description I came across for the attributes of the beast is pretty scary.  It reads, “But the personal pronouns indicate a king more than a kingdom.  That means that the charisma of Alexander, the cunning of Cyrus, and the cruelty of Nebuchadnezzar are all present in this king.” Or we can say it this way, He will captivate the world population by his beauty and charm, ensnare the nations with his effective wiles, and torment and torture all those who have no mark of the beast to protect them. This beast resembling a man will be seated on satan’s throne and will rule with all his authority (iron teeth, Daniel 7:2).

At this time in John’s vision, Israel has been taken to her safe place where the Lord is protecting her (Revelation 12:6).  Now the antichrist will turn his beastly attention to those saved out of the Tribulation. As soon as his religion is established as the head of the world, he will begin to wipe out all the Tribulation saints, or try to.  He will make it impossible for them to work, to buy or sell, or to live in any sort of comfort. He can’t kill them in mass as they have scattered all over the world, but he can make it difficult for them to survive. Remember, the antichrist will know the Bible.  He will know about Job and how satan tempted God to allow him to destroy all Job had.  This beast will try these tactics with the Tribulation saints, but they are under the guard of the Holy Spirit and will not be completely destroyed. The beast will jail them, confiscate their Bibles, and torture many making martyrs of thousands, but he will not prevail against the Lord to kill them all.

In about 550 BC, Daniel had a dream.  In that dream was revealed the beast. “Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea; After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns” (Daniel 7:2,7).

The beast is described by John as having seven heads, ten horns, and ten crowns. What this signifies to us is the beast will have supernatural wisdom (seven heads), all power over all things (ten horns), and will be in control of the entire world (ten crowns). Sadly, he will gain this power and control because the unsaved will be so deviant they won’t care who rules as long as they can continue in their perverted, drugged-up lifestyles. Let’s see what John 5:43 has to say now. “I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” Jesus came in love and compassion, healing the sick and raising the dead, and they didn’t accept Him.  But this despicable beast they will embrace and follow. 

Look now at this explanation I found for the blasphemy written on the seven heads:

The (single) blasphemous name on the seven heads, “name of blasphemy”, is the seven letter Greek word  (i.e., “Christ”) written distributively on the seven heads, blasphemously and falsely asserting antichrist’s status as Messiah.  Its presence on the seven heads shows their full complicity in accepting and propagating the beast’s false claim to be “the Christ”.

Matthew 24:23, says, “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.” Trouble is, the Gentiles of that day will chase after this beast believing he is the Messiah, the Savior, when he’s only satan’s henchman. 

V. 3 – Now we will shake up some other things. When you read the beginning of verse 3, don’t quickly pass over the tiny word “if”.  “And I saw one of the heads AS IF it had been mortally wounded.”  This belies many of the things we hear about the resurrection of the beast.  He was NOT mortally wounded; satan will only make it look that way.  Why?  So they will be able to claim satan raises the dead as Jesus does.  The “deadly wound” is used to mimic the death of Jesus. This is more blasphemy. First of all, no one can be raised from the dead as Jesus was.  God called Jesus forth. Jesus raised the dead by the power of God in Him.  People now raise the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit of God in them.  But satan was never given the power to raise the dead. He is a lying deceiver and will never be able to duplicate what Jesus accomplished.  But because he will appear to be resurrected, the people will call him christ.  He will be christ, but the christ of the devil, not Christ the Messiah whom we love.  Our Christ will one day judge the beast, the world, and the dragon. 

Bishop Fulton Sheen said, “The antichrist will come disguised as the great humanitarian. He will talk peace, prosperity, and plenty, not as a means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves. He will explain guilt away psychologically, make men shrink in shame if their fellowmen say they are not broad-minded and liberal. He will spread the lie that men will never be better until they make society better.”

V. 4 – The one thing satan wants more than anything is worship.  He tempted Jesus to bow down and worship him using the lure that he would transfer to Jesus the kingdom of the world which he had stolen from Adam. “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me (Matthew 4:8, 9). The response Jesus gave should be our response when we are tempted to give our worship to anything or anybody, “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve (Matthew 4:10). 

J. Vernon McGee wrote, “This is a supreme moment for satan. He wants to be worshipped, and the whole world is going to worship him during this period. My friend, if the Spirit of God took His hand off this world today and off you and me, I am afraid that many of us would be in the position of backsliders: and if antichrist appeared, we would follow him like a little faithful dog follows his master.” 

The world will shout a parody (poor imitation) to what we find in the Bible about God. Exodus 15:11, reads, “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” And Isaiah 46:5, “To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?”  The world will shout, in Revelation13:4, “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him”?

From verse 4 we see that the world is now worshipping both the dragon and the beast. The worship they will give the dragon and the beast is the depth of worship we owe our God, Father, Son, and Spirit.  He doesn’t get much of it.  Let’s work at worshipping God with more power.


STUDY: PART 43

REVELATION

CHAPTER 13

V. 5 – “And he (the beast) was given a mouth to speak great things…” Daniel has things to say about the voice of the beast.  Let’s read in Daniel 7:8,11,20,25, “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things; I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows; And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Now Daniel 11:36, “And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.”

What things are these which the beast will speak?  Peace, prosperity, long life, all the promises of God but with a twist; the message of the beast will drag the people to hell!  It will be totally opposite of all God’s Spirit has ever taught. We must remember this; the beast will have a lying tongue like the devil because he will have all the attributes of the devil. As the devil persuaded Adam and Eve, and many since them, so will this beast be able to sway people to the dark side of the world. 

This beast will appear so perfect. By his suave presentation, his boldness, his strength he will take over the world without firing a shot.  He won’t require an army. He will win over Israel by rebuilding the temple. But then he will take it over, set himself up as lord, and he will rule with an iron hand.

You know, this really makes me stop and think about what we’re being fed via all forms of media about the promises of God by the different preachers and teachers. Are the things we’re hearing provable in Scripture? Can we take the premise of a message and find its basis in fact in the Bible?  Can we preach this same message to ourselves using the perfect Word of God?  If not, we should stop listening to that source of false information. 

There have been antichrists since the Garden of Eden. Jesus wasn’t known by name in the Old Testament, but He’s always been. We can find Him from the creation to the lowering of the New Jerusalem. Heresy and apostasy have been tools of the enemy since he took over reign of this world. 

Heresy says that there is no God, no Savior, and no Holy Spirit. Some people claim salvation in Christ, yet they deny His power and strength and they deny the works of the Spirit. Many heretics are in the church today to divide and conquer for satan.  They are doing a good job.  As long as we are in dispute in the body, it cannot function as God designed. 

Apostasy causes people to renounce their allegiance to God and take up idol worship. We can see that many times over in the Old Testament when the kings and the people would turn from God to molech and those other idols. They even built high place to many gods where they danced naked before them, slashed themselves, and performed perverted sexual acts before them. The people even sacrificed their own children in horrible ways to those idols.

V. 6 – This verse is full of meaning.  We know that blasphemy is disrespectful speech against God in His three personalities, Father, Son, Spirit, and His Word.  It’s also calling what is evil good. The beast (who is a human) will blaspheme God by sitting on a throne, calling himself good, pretending to be king of kings, able to forgive sin. He will have the people who are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life calling him lord and bowing down before him in worship. He will cause them to believe that he can never make a mistake and that what he does and says is all true and good. He will cause the people once again to worship the idols of gold, silver, wood, and bronze. 

The first blasphemy from the beast will be his destruction of the Bible. He will override all the truths of the Word and set in place his own agenda which people will follow like little puppies.  Oh, if only we now would follow the Word of Truth so diligently!  We would see many saved. 

To blaspheme God’s name means he will begin to call himself by the names of God.  We recognize some of the names of God as: Jehovah-Jireh, your Provider: Jehovah-Shalom, the Lord your Peace: Jehovah-Rohi, the Lord is your Shepherd, to name a few. 

These are the attributes of God the beast will claim. 

The tabernacle the beast will blaspheme is Jesus. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:14). The word dwelt means tabernacle, or tent.  Jesus is the tabernacle where God lives (Colossians 2:9) and he is spread over the church.  We know the devil hates Jesus and calls Him all sorts of names.  That’s why people use the Lord’s name as epithets. Larry’s favorite tract says, “God’s last name is not damn.” And nowhere in the Bible have I seen a middle name ascribed to Jesus, so where does that H come from? The pit of hell!

V. 7 – Daniel 7:21, “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them…” 

Revelation 11:7, “…And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.”

The beast will have the right to fight the Christians of that time. It’s been given to him by God.

V. 8 – Everyone who doesn’t belong to God and whose name is not recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life will worship the beast. They will have the mark of the beast.

V. 9, 10 – Anyone who has ears should listen to what’s written in this entire Bible, not just Revelation.  One book builds upon another, one revelation in each book upon another. People choose not to hear because it costs to follow Jesus.  We need to take up our cross and follow Him.  We need to be ready to face persecution and ridicule for his name’s sake. People would rather continue vainly than to suffer for the Lord. The Bible is our spiritual hearing aid.  If we don’t “wear” it, we don’t get to heaven. It’s that simple.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:15 and 13:9; and John in Revelation 2:7 “He who has an ear, let him hear.” It must be something important to us because we see it repeated in several books. 

The one who leads people captive and the one who kills people by the sword, meaning cause an unnatural early death, will be killed by the sword.  Isaiah said it well.  “Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee” (Isaiah 33:1). The saints of that time will have to patiently endure all the beast throws at them. At the beginning of Christianity, the saints were martyred.  So will it be during this time of tribulation for the saints.  But those who persevere will be given the crown of life. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him (James 1:12); “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life (Revelation 2:10).


STUDY: PART 44

REVELATION

CHAPTER 13

V. 11, 12 – The first beast, an ugly thing with all sorts of heads and horns that resembled a leopard, bear, and lion came from the out of the sea when the dragon called him forth. This beast was a political beast. He was wounded severely in one of his heads, but was “resurrected” from the mortal wound to continue in his wicked leadership and persecution of the Christians. He is the antichrist, or the one who opposes Christ.

Note: The word Christian is from the Greek word Christianos, meaning Christ-follower. Those who walk in the truth of the salvation of Jesus the Christ are His followers, therefore are Christians. You cannot be a Christian if you walk with and follow any other personage, especially not a man. 

The second beast out of the earth will be a spiritual leader. This beast is less scary looking. He will be from Israel. I can say that unequivocally because the Jews will be following him as messiah, and they will only follow someone from their own country. Remember also, they have been waiting a very long time for Messiah to come, so they will grasp on to this man as their savior. But, this beast is later identified as the false prophet. Revelation 16:13, “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.”; 19:20, “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” And 20:10, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

This earthly beast will imitate Christ. He will have two horns like a lamb. He is really, however, the wolf in sheep’s clothing we read about in Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”  He will initially be soft spoken and speak of love and restoration. But he will be serving the dragon and the first beast.  He actually will lead people to follow the first beast. He will not take away the sins of the world as Jesus did, John 1:29, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” This false prophet will add to the burden of sin in people’s lives. 

V. 13 – Now, watch this.  Here is another reason I say he will be a religious leader. He will “perform great signs.” One of his signs will be calling down fire from the heavens on to the earth in the site of men.  The moral deficit at the time Revelation speaks of will mean that most people will not know the contents of the Bible, but religious leaders will, and the Jews of Israel will.  They will recall the stories of Elijah who called down fire to consume the 51 men (the captain and his 50) twice (II Kings 1:10-12, “And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly. And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.”). They would also recall that, although they tried for hours, the 450 prophets of Baal could not call down fire from heaven to consume their sacrifice, but the prophet of God (Elijah) spoke a prayer, and down came the fire to consume everything: The altar, everything on the altar, the water, and even the dust of the ground (I Kings 18:1-40). This second antichrist who is imitating things of Jesus will use an historical Bible account to prove his standing as messiah for the Jews and all who watch him. 

So now, let’s look at the information we have. Jesus came from woman; the first beast came from out of the sea of humanity (human born).  Jesus was mortally wounded, was buried, and was resurrected. The beast was mortally wounded, or so it appeared, and resurrected. Jesus was the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world. The second beast has the appearance of a gentle lamb, but roars and rules like a dragon and increases sin. Jesus performed miraculous signs and wonders during His earthly ministry as a way to demonstrate the power of God and to bring God glory. The second beast will use signs and wonders to bring glory to the dragon and the first beast, as well as to himself. (Mark 13:22, “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.” II Thessalonians 2:9, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders…”) Jesus warned of the wolf in sheep’s clothing about to come.  The second beast is the wolf. 

What I want you to notice is that satan has raised up two beasts to try and reproduce the works of Christ. One beast will not be able to do it all.  Two beasts will not be able to do it all. If he raised up a dozen beasts, they could not accomplish all that Jesus did. The ministry of Jesus was to cleanse, redeem, free and, save. The works of the dragon and his two beasts self-gratification, evil, and to drag as many as possible to hell with them. Their false trinity will seem to succeed, but will be short-lived.

V. 14 – The false prophet will seduce the people of the world as the Jews seduced Aaron to make a statue of an animal to worship and bow down to. Aaron made a calf; the people will build an image of the first beast in all its ugliness including the scar of his healed wound. Let’s read Deuteronomy 13:1-3, “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” The false prophet will meet these criteria. He will delight the hearts of men with his lying tongue and he will call them to idol worship of the first beast’s statue. The elect, or Christ-followers, of that time will recognize the works of the beast as being heretical and blasphemous and will not follow him, but those with the mark of the beast will celebrate. 

Both the first and second beast revel in the works of the dragon who give them their power. The main work for the second beast is to bring people to worship him and the first beast. 

V. 15 – Once again we see the false prophet will mimic an event of the Bible to promote his truth.  This time he will perform what God once did. We are told that God made us in “Their” (Father, Son, Spirit) image and likeness and that the Spirit of God breathed life into Adam. The false prophet will have the statue of the antichrist erected then will be given the ability to breathe life into it so that it will be able to talk.  Scientists will check out the statue and declare it a miracle event which will cause the people to worship the statue.  Those who don’t worship it, the statue will the statue will bring about their death. 

I believe that this breathing, talking image of antichrist is the abomination of desolation Jesus spoke of Matthew 24:15, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand…); and Mark 13:14 reiterated, “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains…” It will be placed in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. 

This large statue reminds me of the story of Nebuchadnezzar and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. (Daniel 3:1; 4-6). Nebuchadnezzar built an almost 100 foot statue of himself and said that anyone who did not bow down and worship the statue and Neb’s gods would be thrown into the fiery furnace to die. This “image and likeness” of the beast will require the same type of worship as Nebuchadnezzar and have the same power to send people to their death who refuse to bow down. (Read Daniel chapter 3 for the story.) Old Testament characters thought their life was in their idols.  That’s why Laban pursued Jacob and his entourage when he discovered his idols had been stolen (Genesis31).

V. 16-18 – Sadly, all the Tribulation saints will suffer because they will recognize the mark of the beast and will refuse it.  The number, 666, is only a representation of what the mark might be.  We will not know what that mark is for sure unto the time of the Tribulation.  We can speculate and play with Jewish numbers to make anyone on earth the beast, but we cannot say for certain who he will be or what his mark will be. It will take wisdom to understand the mark of the beast is the one-way ticket to hell for eternity. 

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