Revelation

Chapter 13

It is easier to understand this chapter if one would read verse 18 first and understands that the number 666 represents all of mankind.  It is man himself; in general, that is the beast spoken of in this chapter.  It is mankind, controlled by Satan, which makes up the politics and religions of this world.


 

Revelation now takes us into the organization of Satan's forces. There are two beasts, spoken of in this chapter, that represent Satan's forces, one political, and one religious. The first is the political representation.

 


 

Rev 13:1

And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.

Now we know from Revelation 12:9 that the dragon spoken of above is Satan.

Rev 12:9

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (KJV)

We also know the shore of the sea is not referring to a beach somewhere but to the fact that Satan, symbolized in this chapter as a dragon, controls the world and its governments from the sidelines.  Satan is referred to in the Bible as the prince of this world nine times in the New Testament such as in:

John 12:31

Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. (KJV)

Since the world is made up of people, this general populace is referred to in Revelation as the sea.  Out of this huge sea of people, that Satan, standing on the sidelines manipulates, come world powers, kingdoms and empires, symbolized by a beast with ten horns on seven heads. That the heads have crowns verifies they are acting as kings over the sea of people they have under their power. That each head has a blasphemous name means they are not powers representing God or his Kingdom.  They are, in fact, governments that represent anti-Christs in both actions and purpose.

In the Book of Revelation, two beasts are described in detail: the beast from the sea, a composite of the four beasts of Daniel <Rev. 13:1-10>, and the beast from the land <Rev. 13:11-18>. Apparently, these two beasts symbolize political and religious power respectively. (From Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)

Nelson is above speaking of chapter seven in Daniel, but Daniel relates all the world powers in their order in the first dream of Nebuchadnezzar in chapter two concerning a statue the king dreamed about.  These world powers are declared clear down to our day.  Not only did God interpret this dream for Daniel, but the dream itself was related as well, for the king could not recall the details of the dream.

Now the question arises as to who gave these powers or governments their authority, and that is answered in the next verse.

Rev 13:2

The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. (NIV)

 

We see it was Satan who gave these kingdoms their right to rule because the verse above is clearly telling us that, "The dragon gave the beast his power…" Who then, gave Satan the right to give that power to others? This must be answered, and without digressing to far from Chapter 13, and putting the explanation in a nutshell, God allowed this authority to Satan.  The reason Jehovah did this was because Satan challenged God, claiming he could have all men worship him just as if he were God.

Isaiah 14:12-14

12    How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (KJV)

Because of this challenge, which was presented to God, The Almighty in effect said, OK, you are allotted just so much time to attempt to prove that.  At the end of that time I will destroy you and everything you have built and return things to what I have planned from the beginning.  It should be noted here this is not a contest.  God has simply decreed a period of time for Satan to do what he wished.  When that time is up Satan will pay the piper.  Now Satan and his demons, or angels that followed him, know this very well, and in fact said so to Christ.

Matt 8:29

And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time? (KJV)

It is clear from the above scripture that Satan, and the demons he leads, know God has set a limit on the time they have to run amok.

Many have asked, why didn't God just destroy Satan when he put forth this challenge to the authority of God?   The answer to this is, God could have done just that.  However, that would not have answered the question of whether Satan could have succeeded or not.  The question would have remained, "Could Satan have succeeded had God given him the chance to prove what he claimed?"  Therefore God gave Satan the time needed to try this and the results have been disastrous to both man and angel.  Nonetheless, the cure for it all is, and always has been, in the plans of God. We know that cure as the Kingdom of God. In fact, the rest of this chapter will bear out what has just been said about the authority given, by God to Satan, to allow him time to attempt to prove his foolish claim.

Now that we know that it suits God's purpose for Him to have given Satan his authority, it is easier to understand what is being said in the rest of this chapter.

Rev 13:3

One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. (NIV)

What was that apparent fatal wound to this beast?  In fact, whom does this beast represent?  Well we don't have to guess at what kingdom or power this was, for we were told who it would be through Daniel.  And we were told this long before it became a power controlled by Satan. God through Daniel named all the political powers Satan would establish, right up to this present day. That is one of the reasons Christ refers us to Daniel in connection to time and events when He said:

Matt 24:15

"Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), (NKJ)

The abomination of desolation mentioned above refers to King Nebuchadnezzar removing the Ark of the Covenant from its Holy Place in the temple of God, set up for the house of Israel. It is because of this that Jesus is referring us to Daniel, for this gives us a starting point to calculate the Biblical stream of time.  It is the reason that Daniel, who had been carried off as a captive by the forces of Nebuchadnezzar, was used to relate the order and times of these political powers Satan would establish.  Jesus, by adding, "Whoever reads, let him understand" is telling us that he knows this to be a fact regardless of what men say.  Christ knows this to be true because He was there at the time, for it is Christ:

Colossians 1:15-16

15    Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

16    For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (KJV)

By the way in verse 15 above the word "Image" is translated from Strong's Greek dictionary as:

1504  eikon (i-kone'); from 1503; a likeness, i.e. (literally) statue, profile, or (figuratively) representation, resemblance: KJV-- image.

Therefore those two scriptures, Colossians 1:15 and 16 are confirming John 3:16 that Christ was born as "The only begotten Son" of God before the universe was begun and that it was by the direction of The Father, and with the power or Holy Spirit of the Father, that the Son created the universe.

Now, the question is, how does all this relate to the fatal wound of one of the beasts set up by Satan, (Revelation 13:3) which (appeared) to all to be healed?  This is easy to see when we determine whom that world power or beast was, as explained to King Nebuchadnezzar, in chapter two of Daniel.  The head of the statue dreamed of by king Nebuchadnezzar in chapter two of Daniel was of gold…BABYLON.  The breast and arms of silver was MEDO PERSIA, The belly and thighs of brass was GREECE and the power that both history and the Bible clearly point to as the beast that appeared fatally wounded is the legs of iron…THE ROMAN EMPIRE.  And the apparent fatal wound that the Roman Empire received was THE HUMAN BIRTH OF CHRIST!  

The first horseman of the apocalypse is Christ and we know that from the sixth chapter:

Rev 6:2

And I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer. (NAS)

"Conquering, and to conquer" is not a redundant statement, but exactly what was told to us in:

Dan 2:44-45

44    And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

45    Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure. (KJV)

 Notice: "The great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter:"

The fatal wound slashed into Satan's beast, or world domination, was the Salvation from the penalty of death brought on to mankind, through Adam.  The Almighty, true to His word, sent the form of "His only begotten Son", (John 3:16) that salvation for man from death. When Christ appeared on earth and was killed he conquered death for all men.  He, in His next appearance, will conquer all the nations of the world with truth.  Hence the term in Revelation 6:2 "…Conquering, and to conquer".

Genesis 3:15

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (KJV)

Let us look again at Revelation 13:3

One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. (NIV)

Notice that Rev 13:3 is not saying that wound was fatal; it is saying it seemed as though it were fatal. It is also saying that wound to this beast was healed.  Now we know that the Kingdom of God IS fatal to Satan and his system of governments known in the Bible as beasts. We know that salvation for mankind from death is also fatal to all that Satan stands for and that salvation was a permanent act by Christ.  Now this would seem to be a contradiction in terms if it were not for our old friend TIME.  The reason it only seemed fatal at the time was because it was not yet the time for the completion of God's kingdom.  In fact, it was only the beginning of the rule of Christ sitting at God’s right hand.   That rule of Christ began with him reigning in heaven, which had already been described to us in chapter 12 of Revelation.  It was also the beginning of the first resurrection, which Matthew tells us occurred right after the resurrection of Christ.

Matt 27:52-53

52    And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53    And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. (KJV)

Nonetheless, it was not yet time for the world to be taken over by Christ, for on earth the time of the gentiles, allotted by God to Satan, was still running its course.  Now during this time of the gentiles the two witnesses were noted by God and presented as evidence to indict the world.  Man may have disobeyed the covenant but God would not do so, and according to the law two witnesses were needed to condemn. The moment Christ was resurrected, the Kingdom of heaven began with Christ taking control of that spiritual abode.  The moment the time of the gentiles ran out… Satan was evicted from heaven and cast down to the earth. (Rev Chapter 12)  Notice, everything occurs exactly at the time prescribed by Jehovah.  As has been calculated from Daniel, in chapter one of The Bible Probe’s verse-by-verse explanation of the symbolism used in Revelation, the time of the gentiles ended in 1914.

       Just the same, men have always been expecting that judgment would happen overnight, and therefore when Christ was killed and this apparent fatal wound did not stop Satan and his system at that time, man assumed that the beast’s wound had been healed. Because of this: 

Rev 13:4

Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?"

Now mankind does not see this dragon for what he really is, for Satan always comes disguised as an angel of light. But Satan is the father of lies and has always been a deceiver.  This has been so from the very beginning with Adam and Eve.  He presented himself to them as a serpent.  When Eve told him that God had said that if they ate from the forbidden fruit, they would die, Satan replied:

Gen 3:4

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (KJV)

But, from the moment they bit into that fruit, death has been an indisputable fact here on earth. God told them it would be, and so it is. God cannot lie!  However, death was never meant to be a permanent punishment for man, which is one of the reasons Christ was sent to earth as a human being… to ransom all men from death.

1 Corinthians 15:22

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (KJV)

Romans 8:15

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (KJV)

Romans 8:23

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (KJV)

In regards to mankind being adopted into the family of God see also Romans 9:4, Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5.

Just the same, this chapter of Revelation is speaking of the time of the gentiles, which we learned of in chapter 11. 

Rev 11:2

But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. (KJV)

Notice God, has allotted this time, to the gentiles, "…For it is given unto the Gentiles…"

The holy city referred to in the scripture above is made up of the members of the family of God.  Or as they are referred to in the 21st chapter of Revelation, "The bride of Christ."

Rev 21:2

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (KJV)

We know that Revelation is symbolic and that the family of God is symbolized as a bride represents a perfect union for we also know there is no male or female in the spiritual family of God; they are all considered brothers of Christ.

Gal 3:26-29:

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. NIV

Now the time of the gentiles is a period or age that God has allowed Satan to run unrestricted. It is in fact during this time of the gentiles that God, as evidence under His law, produced the two witnesses to condemn the world of Satan to death in the coming destruction of that system of things.  Therefore while Satan gave the beast his authority, he also gave it something else.

Rev 13:5

The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. (NIV)

This mouth referred to above is a voice through world religions in which the Word of God is corrupted with false doctrines and lies.  And with this authority given to the beast:

Rev 13:6

He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.

Christ said: Love your neighbor!  Religions said, let’s go kill the Moslems in the name of Christ. So we had what our history calls the Crusades.  Christ said: Love your enemies!  Religion said, let’s go kill the heretics.  So we had what our history called the Inquisition. One could go on with this for pages, but the point is that what the world considers Christianity is in no manner, shape, or form Christian. It is in fact, just the opposite.  Recently there was a priest of the Roman Catholic Church that spent an hour on television trying to justify the Inquisition as not really so bad after all.  But no matter how you cut it, there is no possible justification for even one murder, let alone the mass slaughter perpetrated in the name of Christ in just the two events mentioned above; which went on for decades (or even centuries in the case of the Crusades). Has God said anything concerning this in His Word?  Yes indeed!

2 Timothy 3:2-5

2     For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3     Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4     Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5     Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (KJV)

God is telling us, "From such turn away" Turn away to what?  Turn to the Word of God, for God does not lie. Well, say most who claim to be Christian; I leave that to the theologians.  What does God’s word say about that?  It says they are:

2 Tim 3:7

Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (KJV)

But, of course, Satan was not content just to lead the sea from God, his real and hidden purpose was to attack those that would not follow this foolishness, relying instead on the truth to guide them during this era known as the time of the gentiles.

Rev 13:7

He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. (NIV)

The Roman Empire filled its stadiums with the sea to watch and cheer as Christians were fed to lions. The Romans were, after all, simply following what the Jews had been doing under the Pharisees. The apostle Paul had been part of this extreme persecution of the followers of Christ before the light of Christ fell around him.  There are religions organizations that teach that, once you have accepted Christ, Satan can no longer bother you.  History has proven this to be a lie- in fact, it is your acceptance of Christ that causes Satan to notice you and attack you- and God addresses this issue in verse 10 of this chapter.  In the meantime, a Christian should be aware that to this day, the forces of Satan surround him.

Rev 13:8

All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast-- all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. (NIV)

There are multiple ways in which Satan accomplishes this worship of the beast.  One worships the beast when they allow themselves to be deceived by religions. Enticed by greed. Tricked into idolatry in all its varied forms.  Lured into the race for power and self-aggrandizement to mention just a few.  Yet Satan has been successful with all this for centuries, for man in general is an easy mark for his forces.  Because of this "All the inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast" However, notice in verse 8 above that there is a big exception to this.  That exception is… all those "Belonging to the lamb." Why, because the members of God's family do not just mouth their faith, but prove it by their actions.

Luke 6:44-46

44    "For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush.

45    "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil {man} out of the evil {treasure} brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. (NAS)

And as if to punctuate the above statement by Christ he asked this simple question.

46    "And why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? (NAS)

Rev 13:9

He who has an ear, let him hear. (NIV)

And let those that believe that Satan cannot harm them because you run to a building on the corner once a week, hear what God is telling us in this next verse.

Rev 13:10

If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. (NIV)

"…Patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints." Why are the saints being called upon to endure patiently the murder and mayhem of this world and to maintain their faith during what, to us, seems like an endless reign of the prince of this world?   Well, Satan's reign is not endless.  In fact his time is rapidly running out… and he knows it.  God's promise is not only a righteous kingdom, but also guarantees eternal life in that wondrous future.  And now that the time of the gentiles is over and we are in the time of the end, that promise is near indeed.  It served the purpose of the creator, concerning the Kingdom He has ordained His Son to rule, to prove what should have been all too obvious to everyone from the very beginning; be they man or angel.  Our arms are far too short to box with God. 

Rev 13:11

Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. (NIV)

It is here that we move from pure political power to religious power that controls and manipulates political power.  This meek, lamb like beast, which imitates the Lamb of God, we know exercises control over the politics of the world, "… but he spoke like a dragon." It did so for its authority is still from the first beast whose wound the world saw as healed. And the fact that it spoke like a dragon betrayed it for what it really was.

Rev 13:12

He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. (NIV)

How did the dragon that controls all this from the sidelines get the world to worship the first beast? In the same manner he has done so from the beginning…with lies and deception all based around fear such as described in the next verse.

Rev 13:13

And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. (NIV)

In 1945 in the city of Hiroshima, Japan, a single B-29 from the United States dropped a bomb that killed 186,000 people, with fire, both physically and radioactively, in the blink of an eye.  Most everyone alive today has seen pictures of this explosion that destroyed a city and a nation in an instant. Two weeks later in Nagasaki, this horrendous explosion of fire from the sky was repeated, bringing an end to the Second World War. As has been said, it is mankind himself that is the beast spoken of in this chapter.

Rev 13:14

Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. (NIV)

How has he deceived the inhabitants of the earth?  He did this by establishing science as a god.  Yet the image of science that was set up as a god is not true science, but like the rest of Satan's deceits, merely masks itself as science and goes by the name of evolution.  Of course this is a relatively new religion compared to the deceptive gods Satan has presented to man, and this came about from the earliest of the time of the gentiles.

Rev 13:15

He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. (NIV)  

It was during the early days of the time of the gentiles that Satan brought about, through his religions, the Crusades and the Inquisition. 

Again we have to point out that Revelation is a symbolic book, and if we are looking for these scriptures to appear in literal form, then we will never see them.  The following verse is a perfect example of what is meant here.

Rev 13:16

He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, (NIV)

       Now, no one will suddenly find a mark such as a tattoo suddenly appearing on his hand or his forehead.  However, there are two sides arrayed.  One is the family of God; the other is Satan's world or beast.  There is no way to sit on a fence in between.  You are either on one side or the other.  If you are not in the family of God, then God has symbolically marked you as part of the beast.  Christ said His kingdom was not of this world, meaning that this world was at present controlled and ruled by the prince of this world, or Satan.  Governments, commerce, politics, etc. are of no concern to God, Christ, or his family, for they are destined by God to be destroyed.  But if you are marked as belonging to the beast, then you are part of that system which is the meaning of the following verse.

Rev 13:17

so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. (NIV)

Rev 13:18

This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666. (NIV)

Notice that this symbolic number in this verse is clearly defined as being the number representing mankind in general.  "…For it is man's number. His number is 666."

Man's number, plural!   It is not saying it is a man's number, but that it represents mankind in general. 

We have learned from this chapter that the beast is that huge portion of mankind that allows itself to be manipulated by Satan. Religions attempt to make this number some sort of mystery, but God is here telling us point blank, that beast referred to in this chapter, is men who are part of Satan's world.



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