3/06/18 Revelation 13:1-10 “The first beast, the antichrist, satan’s man”
Revelation 13:1 – And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
saw – saw; perceived with eyes or any of the senses; experienced; to have knowledge of.
beast – wild animal; wild beast; brutal, bestial man; savage; ferocious
horns – horn (of animals); symbol of strength and courage; mighty and valiant helper; a horn-shaped projecting extremity (such as on an altar)
crowns – diadema (a diadem; kingly ornament for the head; symbol of rulership; crown) Symbolises the authority of these “horns” over countries or nations etc where the stephanos crown symbolised the victory of the ruler.
blasphemy – blasphemia (slander; injurious speech (to another’s good name); impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty) These seven “heads” (earthly rulers) will be known for their blasphemies against the God of heaven. That is, they wear the label of “blasphemer”. Also note Daniel 7:25 which we will look at further in Vs 4 below.
And John (in his vision) stood upon the sandy beach next to the sea where he was easily able to see a brutal, bestial, wild, animal-like creature rise out of the sea next to the beach. The sea could represent the sea of humanity, as per
Revelation 17:15 – And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
In Daniel the 4 beasts rise up from the sea; the 4th beast of Daniel 7:7 is the beast of today’s passage.
Daniel 7:2-3; 7-8 – 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
7 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. 8 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 (such as vain-glory and blasphemy).
This beast is the antichrist, the embodiment of satan in the body of a man. Out of 10 earthly rulers that come under his authority; 3 are removed, apparently because they wouldn’t be controlled, leaving 7 blasphemous rulers under the antichrist.
Note that Revelation 17:13 appears to have the same beast, yet this time the 7 heads refer to the 7 mountains upon which the woman (Babylon) sits, and then to 7 kings, 6 of whom would now be in the past. It is likely that these beasts are the same beast, and that the 7 heads still refers to the 7 remaining rulers in Daniel 7:8, but also refers to the 7 mountains and 7 kings of Revelation 17.
Note the similarity to Revelation 12:3 – And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
Revelation 13:2 – And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
Daniel’s 4 beasts were, in order: a lion with eagle’s wings (Nebuchadnezzar); a bear (Medes & Persians); a leopard with 4 wings and 4 heads (Greek empire); and a terrible beast with iron teeth (Roman empire).
It seems as if the Roman empire beast of Daniel 7:7 becomes the revived Roman empire (of Daniel 7:8) led by the antichrist (indwelt by satan). This revived Roman empire (with the qualities of that empire) under the antichrist in Vs 2 above also embodies all the qualities of the previous empires: the speed of the Greek empire (the leopard); the power and might of the Medes & Persians (the bear); the awesome ability of the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar to hunt and catch its prey (the lion). Added to this, this revived Roman empire has been given by the dragon (satan) extra power (dynamis), seat (thronos – ability to rule) and great (megas) authority (exousia – the power of rule, government, the power of him whose will must be obeyed). This revived Roman empire will be far greater than any empire ever before it. Previous earthly empires have ruled by authority of satan; this empire will be ruled by satan himself acting directly through this beast (who is the antichrist).
Revelation 13:3 – And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
If the heads refer to those of Vs 1, then this would have to mean that one of those 7 earthly rulers was mortally wounded yet healed before death in what would appear like a miraculous healing. And, because it’s likely that this refers to a head of government or nation, then the healing may even represent the miraculous reinstalling back into power of a leader doomed to fail, though I believe it probably means a physical healing. Some commentaries suggest that this refers to the death of Nero who would later be healed, or reappear as the antichrist, or similar. Pulpit suggests that What that is we are not plainly told; but it seems reasonable to refer it to the blow dealt to the power of Satan by the death and resurrection of Christ. …. But the power of the world was not yet destroyed; it continued to exist in spite of the seemingly fatal wound.
Once again, though, a literal interpretation is most likely, that one of the antichrist’s rulers under him will be given a mortal wound (either physically or politically) yet will recover (be healed) seemingly by the power and authority of the beast (the antichrist), such that the whole world will wonder at (marvel at, admire) the beast (the antichrist). The idea is of a world-wide worshipping of the beast as per next verse.
Revelation 13:4 – 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?
And they (the world – Vs 3) worshipped satan (the devil) who, according to them, was the real power (exousia) behind the power and authority of the beast (the antichrist). While many world leaders today might serve satan for his enabling in their lives, it is uncommon for any to actually declare the real source of his/her power. But in these final days (the last 3˝ years before the lead-up to Armageddon and the 2nd coming), the antichrist will make no secret of who is controlling and manipulating him. Therefore, in worshipping the antichrist, the people of the world will be also openly worshipping the satan who is embodied in the antichrist whom they worship. That is, both satan and his antichrist will be worshipped together.
And the world will say (speak; affirm; teach; exhort; command), “Who is like the beast? Who is capable of declaring war upon him?”
Note Exodus 15:11 – Who [is] like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who [is] like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful [in] praises, doing wonders?
Or Revelation 15:4 – Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
This is like hero worship where the hero (sporting, army etc) is seen as absolutely superior to all other contenders. In a way it typifies the hero-worship of such as MacArthur who, to his besotted followers, can never ever be wrong! “Who is like MacArthur? Who is able to defeat his “miraculous” abilities to twist meanings?”
All the world loves a winner, and the antichrist, with the authority of satan indwelling him, is going to look like the biggest and best winner of all time. Everyone’s money will be on this horse! And all based upon a single event, it seems, where a world ruler is seemingly miraculously healed of a mortal wound.
Revelation 13:5 – And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months.
And there was given (probably by satan) to the antichrist a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. (And is this the Mark of an extreme “Potty-Mouth”!) Daniel said of that same antichrist that he had “a mouth speaking great things” (Daniel 7:8) and “he shall speak [great] words against the most High” (Daniel 7:25). It is interesting to note that Daniel’s prophecy was for the same period of time: 3˝ years = 42 months.
Daniel 7:25 – 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 (= 3˝ years).
This is clearly the same period of time that the woman (Israel) is kept in the wilderness (1260 days – Revelation 12:6, or 3˝ years – Revelation 12:14), the treading of Jerusalem by the Gentiles (42 months – Revelation 11:2) the 2 witnesses are in the streets of Jerusalem (1260 days – Revelation 11:3). All of these times are the same length and are clearly concurrent with each other. They represent the 2nd 3˝ years of the 7-year tribulation.
This verse adds information to what we have already learned: that the abomination is set up in the holy place and Jerusalem is given over to the Gentiles for that same time. Now we are told that the antichrist will use this time of empowerment by satan to speak blasphemies against God, while the 2 witnesses are continuing to establish God’s presence in His city, while also God’s people, Israel, have “disappeared” from sight! It is likely that these blasphemies against God are related to what happens in Revelation 12:17 – And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. But power to do what?? Satan, in the form of the antichrist, is literally fuming because he has come to Jerusalem to settle the problem of Israel, and they just aren’t there to settle with! Note Matthew 24:16 – Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains; they just aren’t in Jerusalem now!
Revelation 13:6 – And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
And satan, through his antichrist, will open his mouth in order to blaspheme against God. Not only will he blaspheme God, he will also blaspheme His name. Note that there is a separate commandment (the 3rd) that specifically forbids the unauthorised use of God’s name. (Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain)
And blaspheme against the dwelling place (the tabernacle) of God, and against them that dwell (tabernacle) in heaven. When the enemy cannot win by fair means, he’ll resort to foul means! If he cannot defeat you by logical argument, he’ll accuse you of anything that could somehow make your argument become less potent. If he cannot win an argument against God and His people, satan and his servants will resort to blaspheming God and His people by making irrelevant accusations. Name-calling is the last (or only) resort of impotent and weak people!
Revelation 12:11 – And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Satan is clearly frustrated at not being able to achieve the victory he wants so much, so he vents his frustrations against those whom he just cannot seem to win against simply because God’s people are more than conquerors.
Romans 8:37 – Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
How do you defeat those who cannot be defeated?!! So, you lose your cool and throw a temper tantrum, just like satan spitting the dummy in this passage today!
Revelation 13:7 – And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
And satan, through his antichrist, will be permitted to make war with the saints of God, and to overcome them physically (Matthew 10:28 – And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.) but he cannot kill the soul! And many will indeed be martyred, as revealed in a number of passages of Revelation. (Eg Revelation 6:11)
This power (to kill the body but not the soul) will be permitted over all kindreds (phule – all people descended from a common ancestor, tribe) and tongues (glossa – tongues, languages), and nations (ethnos – ethnic groups). The one missing here is people (laos – community, society, all those of the same stock and language) which is present in Revelation 7:9 & 11:9. The meaning is still that there is no particular group which will miss out; if they offend the antichrist, then he will deal with them (if he can catch them, that is). God’s people are an offence to satan, no matter what nation or ethnic group they belong to.
Revelation 13:8 – And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
And all those that dwell upon the earth (except those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life, that is, the saved, the holy ones of God, His saints) will worship satan (through his antichrist). Satan and his antichrist are as one during this time.
Here it is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, yet further on in Revelation 17:8 we are told that the book of life is also written from the foundation of the world.
So how can the Lamb be slain from the foundation of the world many thousands of years before He was crucified? Because while the physical act was bound by time, the actual effect of that sacrifice was eternal, that is, not bound by time in any way. When something is eternal, then it cannot ever change over time, no matter how long that time is. Eternal things are independent of time; when they happen is irrelevant. So quite logically the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world, just as logically as when Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I AM!” (John 8:58) Most people have a problem getting their minds around the fact that God, being eternal, is outside time; He exists at all places at every point in time all at once. God doesn’t travel in time; He exists in all time at all times!
In this way the Old Testament sacrifices were acceptable to God, even though the cross hadn’t yet been made known to them.
All those who were written in that book of life will therefore become a target for the vengeance of the antichrist, as per Revelation 13:7.
Revelation 13:9-10 – 9 If any man have an ear, let him hear. 10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
leadeth – synago (gather together; collect; bring together; assemble) It has the idea of gathering all the fish into the one net.
If any man has ears, he should listen to this. He who gathers together people into captivity, then he himself shall go into captivity. He who kills others with the sword must himself be killed with the sword.
That is, he who sows captivity must reap captivity. He who sows death must reap death. This is the general rule that what you plant will produce fruit of its kind.
Galations 6:7 – Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
And that golden rule which is more of a promise than just a nice homily.
Matthew 7:12 – Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
This is a test or trial of the patience and the faith of the saints. This will test or demonstrate the quality of the patience and faith of God’s people. It is why this period of time is termed the great tribulation. Note that good Christians will suffer tribulation; the more tribulation you suffer therefore could better demonstrate your patience and faith as God’s people.
2 Timothy 3:12 – Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
There are many so-called Christians today who, when faced with having to defend their beliefs, fall back upon getting nasty toward any who dare question their views. Christians should use the Bible as the basis for their beliefs, and therefore logically should also use the Bible to defend or explain those beliefs. If there is any inconsistency between Bible and belief, then the Bible is always right.
However, all too many will defend their views by firstly assuming that they are right and therefore the other is wrong. If any dare oppose their views, then they go into battle to defend by any means, foul or fair, their particular religious standpoint. This is actually not much different from satan’s behaviour in today’s passage: if he cannot have what he wants (and he assumes he is always right), then he’ll attack them personally. If he cannot get God’s people to back down on the word of their testimony, then he’ll throw much trouble their way in an effort to get them to back down in order to avoid trouble.
I often notice online when people steadfastly stick to what the Bible says, their opponents (who more often than not don’t attempt to use Biblical answers in reply) are prone to denigrate them personally in some way. For instance, if they are seemingly unable to refute a Biblical standpoint, then they accuse such Biblical people of being unspiritual, or of not having read enough of the textbooks written about such doctrines, or that perhaps they aren’t saved at all. They refuse to answer the Bible with the Bible, but often choose to refute with their own experts: the JWs use their Watchtower Society; the Mormons use the Book of Mormon; the SDAs use the writings of Ellen White; and the calvinists use the writings of Calvin or one of their calvinist heroes of the faith (such as Whitefield who by the way campaigned to have slavery reintroduced into Georgia – America – and then left 50 slaves in his will to the Countess of Huntingdon). Or many others who, when their doctrines are assessed for consistency with the Bible, fail dismally to convince any people who are able to think for themselves.
We are told that today we can dismiss many old-fashioned Biblical doctrines because we live in a more enlightened age. We can add many doctrines because the Spirit (but which Spirit, I wonder) has caused it to happen. We can have loud rock music because it attracts all those sinners to their establishments, so why not add drugs and alcohol to the attractions – it would get even more in, no doubt! All of this is really from satan’s world. Satan has great incentive in watering down Biblical doctrines and adding more worldly ones instead. Satan also has great incentive to introduce his “music” to churches; after all, it allows his demons ready access to all those allegedly seeking spiritual guidance. Of course, satan is more than happy to oblige with as much spiritual guidance as he is able to force into you!
Years ago (1970s, I think), a new method of sex education was introduced, under the title “Make it happy”, that is, “If it makes you happy, do it”. In fact, everything in the world today has now come under that very same ethos: if it makes you happy, then do it. But what if it makes someone else unhappy? But they are not encouraged to think about such things. Satan’s ethos is always going to be Me! Me! Me! I want what I want, and if you get in my way, then I run over you or otherwise deal with you.
And that is what today’s passage is all about: satan wants something and he’ll do everything he can to get what he wants. His ethos is “Make it (that is, satan) happy!” and if you get in his way, you won’t be happy. Satan knows his time is short and he has an agenda to rule the world. If he can’t achieve this, he won’t be happy, because he has failed. Time is short, and satan’s fuse is also burning short. He will do what he has to (if permitted) to achieve his goal of world domination. But he will fail, while God’s people will remain eternally more than conquerors through Him who loved them. And satan just cannot win that contest!