Chapter 13 is a continuation in the broad story line of chapter 12. Without directly saying it, chapter 13 is referencing the time of the Abomination of Desolation. This chapter zooms in on a more specific time frame that is yet to come and is revealing the nature and character of the beast energized by Satan.
Verse 5 makes a reference to the final 3.5 years when mentioning 42 months. This chapter is giving us specific information about the time of the abomination of desolation. It is important to remember Revelation chapters 12,13 and 14 are a parenthetical section. The angel giving John the vision pauses the story line to catch John up with details that contain future and historic knowledge.
“Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.”
The sea is the sea of nations or a gentile people. In Revelation 17 we see imagery of the Harlot sitting on many waters. The angel goes on to tell John that the many waters represent “peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.”
- The seven heads as mentioned in Revelation 12:3 represent 7 historical demonically inspired empires that persecuted Israel. Revelation 17:9 clearly tells us that its 7 mountains or hills. Mountains consistently represent kingdoms and empires in the Bible.
- Psalm 30:7; Psalm68:15-16; Isaiah 2:2; Isaiah 41:15; Jeremiah 51:25; Daniel 2:35; Habakkuk 3:6; Habakkuk 3:10; Zechariah 4:17
When Jesus says we can move mountains with the faith of a mustard seed in Matthew 17, Does he mean real mountains or corrupt kingdoms?
- Egypt Exodus 1
- Assyria 2Kings 18:9
- Persia Daniel 2; Daniel 7
- Greece Daniel 2; Daniel 7
- Rome Daniel 2; Daniel 7
- Final beast empire Revelation 13
- The ten horns are symbolic of ten nations(kings) in the end times who will work with the beast. Revelation 17:12 clearly tells us that it is ten kings
“Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.”
- The dragon is Satan. The dragon is described in Revelation 12 using 4 descriptions that clearly identify the dragon as the devil. Satan will give the beast power.
- The beast described in verse 2 uses the same imagery as Daniel 7 when it describes the first 3 beasts. The same ferocious animals are used to describe the empires and the final beast. Revelation is literally telling us to go read Daniel. A Jew familiar with the old testament would immediately understand the imagery and its implications.
- The fourth beast of Daniel 7 is similar to the Dragon of Revelation 12.
READ DANIEL 7
“And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast”
- A dramatic event takes place that seemingly kills the first beast and his empire but both will be resurrected.
“So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
- Once the beast is resurrected he will appear as to be all powerful. Being raised from the dead many will be seduced into his power. This lays an even larger canvas for him to openly mock Jesus and the Father, as he will be resurrected in the same way that Jesus was.
- The antichrist will most likely make claims that Jesus is still in the grave and point to himself as the source of life. The Boastful words of Daniel 7:8 will contain some of the most unthinkable blasphemies, however, they will seem like wisdom to the world. In this time the social pressures on Christianity will be at their highest. This all takes place after the Abomination of Desolation.
- To Study the Abomination of the desolation, refer to these verses. All of these verses together give a clear timeline of the Abomination of desolation. This is meant to provide clarity for believers.
2Thess 2:4; Antichrist sits as god in temple (Reveals himself)
“And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.”
- The “forty-two months” is a key that helps us lock in on a time frame and understand all the details scripture provides regarding this time frame.
- The Bible repeats many of the same events in different ways giving us new details each time. If we are not aware of this we will read them as separate events and it will throw us off from the information that is actually pretty simple. Verses that play together, stay together.
“It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.”
- A common misconception about the book of Revelation is that the saints are Judged by God while on the earth. Seals, Trumpets, Bowls. However, this is not the full testimony of scripture. However, satan and the antichrist will rage against the saints like never before and persecute them in many ways. It is important for us even now to remain unoffended and make the determination to remain faithful regardless of any opposition on our lives.
- Loving your neighbor is of the utmost importance. This is what Jesus calls us to, every day. Our hearts must be tender toward him and other people. We are called to love and pray for those who persecute us. Right now we are hardly persecuted. In America, reproach is the harshest form of persecution, however, this can not offend us as we must learn to bear much more than this. This type of love is expressed through the first commandment Matthew 22:37-38
- If we prepare our hearts for the worst, every other instance of opposition in our life is much easier to overcome. We do not want to be shocked or unprepared for the levels that satan will go to, in order to offend the human heart.
“All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
- The word “all” used in this verse is meant to help us understand the weight and the momentum of the antichrists political power. He will be popular and famous, however, the Bible clearly states that not “All” people who dwell upon the earth that are unsaved will worship him.
- Unsaved resistors on the earth during the time of tribulation. They do not receive Jesus, but they do not bow down to the Antichrists will.
If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
“If anyone has an ear let him hear” is recorded 8 times in the Gospel. It is a serious call to listen to, and meditate on what the Lord is saying in these verses. Those who fight pressure with pressure will receive the result with which they fight with. If they their primary mode of battle is human idiologies then their solutions will be human solutions. You die with what you live by. If you are committed to humanistic answers and solutions you will fall vitctim with the consequeses of humanistic solutions. The practice and patience of the saints will be humility and mercy. It will be our inheritance to posture ourselves in the meekness Jesus describes in Matthew 5. The saints today and in the last days cannot combat the injustices of the world with rage and anger. The saints will take a Matthew 5 approach to political and social conflicts.
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
- The false prophet will present his authority. Horns regularly represent governing authority in the Bible. He will present himself as a gentle harmless lamb, but he is a cruel beast just like the antichrist. He will seduce many to embrace Satans agenda.
And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
- The false prophet will use demonically inspired speeches to unite the world in worshiping the antichrist.
- It’s noteworthy that the antichrist will have a cheerleader much like Jesus did with John the Baptist in his first coming.
He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
- These signs mimic the miracles of Exodus. This will be astonishing to Jews, especially those devout to the word of God.
And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
- Much like the arrogant and boastful Nebuchadnezzar, the false prophet will have a statue made of the antichrist. He will demand that all bow and worship the image by the threat of death. For more understanding read Daniel 3. It’s the same story playing out again but on a larger scale.
- This will be the worship movement that the bible refers to as the Abomination of Desolation.
Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4
He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.
- Because of social-economic pressure, many will give in to the demands of the antichrist. Some out of ignorance and some because they have fully given their life to him in worship. The number of a man will be a sign or symbol representing each individual’s choice to join the worship movement.
- This symbol will be a sign that you are either for the Antichrist or against him, there will be no neutral ground. It will require many to make open declarations of where their allegiance lies. I believe the Lord will use this as a catalyst for boldness in believers to be more aggressive about their declarations in the name of Jesus.