In Revelation 13, John saw more great signs: two beasts working in tandem. One comes up from the sea, and the other from the earth.
In the previous chapter, Revelation 12, great signs appeared in the sky. Next thing, Satan was thrown out of heaven, and the scene moved down to earth.
You are about to meet the “unholy Trinity.” Revelation 13 deals with the first two members, the “Beast from the Land” and the “Beast from the Sea.”
The word “anti” in the Greek can mean “the opposite of” or “instead of.”
It is essential because “instead of” points to someone who is not repulsive but charming, successful, and likeable. The Antichrist is a scammer who appeared as an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:14: “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”
John wrote about the Antichrist and many Antichrists.” See 1 John 2:18. A spirit of the Antichrist led up to the end times and the manifestation of the Antichrist.
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.”
John was standing on the seashore, and he looked at the sea. To a Jew, the sea represented instability and a restless mass of people. And then, out of this instability and multitude rose a voracious beast.
Remember the dragon John saw up in the sky in the previous chapter? Now, John is looking at something similar but different and calls it a beast. It is part of the “unholy Trinity”; it is the Antichrist.
A creature with seven heads would be hard to kill. You take one head off, and the rest remain. A bull with two horns is destructive, and a creature with ten horns is as evil as it gets.
The dragon (Satan) had seven crowns on his seven heads and ten horns. See Revelation 12:3. The Beast of the Sea (Antichrist) had ten crowns on his ten horns and seven heads.
Both are part of the same satanic power, and the dragon gave his power to the Beast of the Sea.
The Greek word used to describe the “crowns” here is “diadems.” Precisely the type of crown that a ruler would wear. In contrast, a “stefanos” as a crown would be what one would receive as an award.
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.
The Holy Spirit used the images of these four creatures to connect John and us to the same images from Daniel 7 to identify this beast’s nature and character.
It lines up the course of human governments on earth until Jesus returns to reign. The last of these four empires is a beast of a system, the One World Order. It had the authority of the lion, crushed what was in its way like a bear, and went about it catlike and swift, like a leopard.
This beast of an empire will have a beast of a ruler, the Antichrist. Satan gave him his power.
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.”
Some scholars see this “wounded head” as the historical point of reference to Genesis 3:15. But the most natural way to understand John’s words in Revelation 13 is him speaking of a man who will be mortally wounded and healed, the Antichrist.
This pseudo-Christ even imitates Jesus in His death and resurrection, and it added to his fame and power.
The prophet Zechariah wrote a prophecy about this “idol shepherd.” In Greek, “idol” refers to idolatry and those who follow this idol.
Zechariah 11:17: “Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.”
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?”
Satan has always been a deceiver, and for a while, he gets the worship that he always wanted.
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.”
God allowed the beast to speak and continue unrestrained for 42 months. It is the equivalent of 3.5 years or half of seven years.
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.
The Antichrist spoke against God. And against the Christians who were caught up in the Rapture, and who were living and dwelling with the Lord in Heaven. See more here The Rapture.
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.
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.”
For a short time, the beast brought prosperity and security to Earth, and he allowed religious freedom on Earth until one day, when he forced the world to worship him alone.
“The saints” were those who came to faith in Christ after the Rapture and refused to worship the beast. They were persecuted and killed.
Revelation 13:9: “If any man have an ear, let him hear.
10 He that leadth in to 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.”
Now, a solemn warning to those who work for the beast and lead others into captivity, for God will measure unto you what you have measured to others.
Revelation 13:11: “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.”
John saw in his vision another beast, like the first one, but they differed in:
ORIGIN: One comes out of the sea, and this one comes out of the earth.
RANK: The Beast of the Land is subordinate to the Beast of the Sea. See Revelation 13:12: “He causes the earth…. to worship the first beast.”
APPEARANCE: The Beast of the Sea is terrifying, but the Beast of the Land has a mild, “lamb-like” appearance.
This Beast of the Land, looking like a lamb, has two horns. It pretended to be mean, but it was not. And, it “spoke like a dragon”, because it is an agent for Satan, it is part of the “Unholy Trinity.”
This Beast of the Land is called the “False Prophet” in later chapters. See Revelation 16:13, 19:20 and 20:10.
Revelation 13:12: “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.”
The Beast of the Land is like a pseudo “John the Baptist.” It prepares and leads the world into worshipping the first beast, the Antichrist.
Revelation 13:13: “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.”
The Beast of the Land is doing the signs and wonders to back up his false teaching.
Both Jesus and Paul warned about this.
Matthew 24:24 “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive if possible, even the elect.”
2 Thessalonians 2:9 “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.”
Revelation 13:15: “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”
Satan always envied God, he always wanted the worship that belongs only to God. Now, his time is running out. He demanded worship, and those who refused were killed.
Revelation 13:16: “And he causeth all, both small and great rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their forehead. 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
The mark is a literal mark that will be placed upon the right hand or forehead of people. Without it, you cannot engage in commerce and have no lifeline to buy food, etc.
Revelation 13:18: “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”
In Hebrew letters are numbers, and numbers are letters. It is known as “gematria” and God ordained it. When the scribes copied Scripture, they would count at the end of every page and it had to add up or they had to start all over.
In the Bible, the number 7 is used for completeness. The number 6 is minus one and deficient, it is the number of Man. The number 666, the number of the beast, is three times falling short.
John’s writing implies that the understanding of this name and number is attainable. It will be revealed at the right time.
SOURCES FROM THE WEB:
Missler, Chuck at koinonahouse.org
Korman, Baruch at loveisrael.org
Barnett, John at dtbm.org
Ice, Thomas at pre-trib.org
Breaker, Robert at thecloudchurch.org
De Young, Jimmy at sermonaudio.com
Johnson, Ken. Ancient Church Fathers.
Missler, Chuck. Daniel’s 70 Week’s: Profiles in Prophecy.
Hitchcock, Mark. 101 Answers to Questions About the Book of Revelation.
I’m Louise Krüger, an introvert who enjoys getting lost in deep things, and my go-to place for this is the Word of God. Am I a theologian? By no means, but I love to study and unearth truths with the help of the Holy Spirit and scholars who know more than me. And then to serve them in bite-size pieces for those who cannot study for hours. Faith in God is not blind; it is evidence-based. Dear online friend, I would love to inspire, encourage, and walk with you on this journey.