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. 2 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. 3 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. 4 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?” 5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 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. 8 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. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 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. 11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and caused the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 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. 15 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. 16 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, 17 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. 18 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.
What detailed information God is giving us here in chapter 13 of an end time monstrous regime which will rule over all nations. And of the beasts that will head it up.
The second beast points all to the first beast, often called the Antichrist, or the lawless one, or man of sin (who is also the little horn of Daniel 7 & 8, and the vile or contemptible person in Daniel 11) who will be given power to rule for 42 months.
And authority was given unto him to continue for forty-two months. That is exactly 3 ½ years!
This fiendish animal and his godless one world regime will be at the core of the troubles and distress and wars of the last days. A beastly dictator. But remember…the dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.
So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority (or power) to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
By mid 1939 Germanys aggressive foreign policy had already annexed Austria and the Czech lands. Next was Poland. But Hitler’s expansion plans were frustrated when Britain and France guaranteed their allegiance to Poland if invaded.
At the mountain retreat in Berghof the atmosphere was very tense. The crisis over what to do about Poland became an issue over Russia. Hitler had stated that it was German destiny to rule Russia. Yet an alliance with Stalin would free up that front, plus gain a powerful ally. But it would also be a declaration of war; it would set the stage for WWII.
At the very time von Ribbentrop, the German foreign minister was signing the non-aggression pact in Moscow, eyewitness reports have it that the skies over the Bavarian retreat turned terrifying. With colors of blood red, green, sulfur gray, black as night. Everyone watched with stunned silence at the horrid spectacle. Finally a Hungarian woman in the anturage looking at the sky turned to Hitler to speak, “My Fuhrer, this augers nothing good. It means blood, blood and again blood. Destruction and terrible suffering. Blood and again blood.”
Thus it will be when the dragon empowers the beast, destruction and terrible suffering! Blood and again blood!
And it says
It was granted to him (the beast) to make war with the saints and to overcome them.
Here is the same persecution of believers we saw in the previous chapter. However, in chapter 12 it was the dragon who was pursuing and persecuting the woman. Here in chapter 13 we see that it is actually the devil bestowing his power and anointing on the beast to do his devilish deeds, and make war with the woman—called here the saints.
And authority (power) was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. World domination! Here is the one world government the world has been clamoring for (and its end results).
5 times it was said that something was given to or granted to the beast:
(and) the dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority
so they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast
and he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies
and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months
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.
Yes the devil empowers the beast and gives him his seat of authority. But it goes deeper then that. These times have been divinely ordained. In the final analysis, like it or not, if God is God: these times will take place because God allows it. If God isn’t in ultimate control He’s not God Almighty! The Bible says of the 10 horns on the beast
The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. Rev. 17:12-13,17
But how could God allow this antichrist to rule? To carry out such inhumanities? And martyr and kill and overcome his people? And even openly blaspheme his name? If he is God why can’t he put an end to this monster? He can, and He will…after 3 ½ years!
Three times in this chapter the deadly wound is mentioned. In verse 14 referring to the first beast it says
Who was wounded by the sword and did live
Verse 3 said
And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded and his deadly wound was healed.
It’s not apparent at this time what exactly the deadly wound is. Even the heads on the beast have a dual meaning. But it is clear that the Antichrist will be a man of war, perhaps to the point of worship. There is an intriguing passage in Daniel 11 (vers.37-38) where it says the vile person, contemptible person (Antichrist) will have no interest in the religion or god of his fathers for he will exalt himself. Then it turns around to say he does have one god—the god of fortresses (the King James says the god of forces). What kind of god is this? But this is the only god the AC will bow down to and honor.
He comes on the scene in conquest and battle. And will he at this time receive a mortal wound? It says after the deadly wound was healed that all the world marveled and followed the beast.
Another Bible translation puts it
The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.
The whole earth went after the beast in amazement and admiration.
How easily are the multitudes moved. It seems it just took this one
miracle to propel the beast into stardom. And then you have the second beast (also called the false prophet) with all the power of the first, who is able to perform great signs and wonders—so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on earth in the sight of men. Thus deceiving those who dwell on the earth.
Don’t you think it strange that this godless, god-hating, devil-worshiping duo would be involved with miracles, signs and wonders? And at this precise time? And then using them to mislead the masses, and win them over to do their bidding?
When they see the signs and wonders the multitudes will be easily misled. They will say, Look! It’s supernatural! The god’s are among us! Maitreya—The Deliverer—The long-expected Mahdi—The Messiah has finally appeared to save us!
But once deceived, the deceptions lead into the gateway to the paths of destruction. Once won over what are those who dwell on earth caused to do?
· To bow down and worship the first beast
· To make an image to the first beast that could both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. (This can be easily done if the image or statue is computerized. And programmed to know who is a worshipper and has the registered trade mark of the regime or not.)
· To receive a mark on their right hand or forehead proving their loyalty and allegiance. Without which, no one will be able to buy or sell, or participate in the one world, beast worshiping, 666 economic system.
First it was the miraculous and supernatural beguiling those who dwell on earth. Then once lead astray you became entrapped, then enslaved by the
dragon and the beast to their devilish system: which will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition. (Rev. 17:8)
Beware! Not all miracles, signs, and wonders are from above! Johanna Michaelsen’s book, “The Beautiful Side of Evil” shows how healings and miracles are also being done by evil spirits. It’s not so uncommon for shamans and witchdoctors in Africa, and places like Haiti to conjure up spirits from the dark realm which can even cause weather phenomenon.
When Satan was able to get God to take down his hedge around Job he was able to send down fire from heaven, and bring a whirlwind from the desert. (read Job chapter 1)
In Revelation 16:13-14 it says
And I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs. ( NIV)
And in Deuteronomy we are warned
If there arise among you a (false) prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and that sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying,’ let us go after other gods–which you have not known– and let us serve them.’ You shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. Deut. 13:1-4
Paul writes in Second Thessalonians chapter 2 about the same end-time leader that is characterized in Revelation 13, but in this passage is called the lawless one. And that his coming will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are
perishing. They perish because thy refuse to love the truth and so be saved. In verse 13 it continues…But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the spirit and through belief in the truth…so then brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings.
In this passage not only do we get a conformation of the satanic display of miracles, signs, and wonders; but a perspective on those being lead astray, and those not, and why. There are those who are deceived by the lawless one and perish, because they love not the truth; and there are those who believe and hold to the truth and are saved.
The whole issue of worship comes to center stage in chapter 13 of Revelations. 5 times worship or worshiped is mentioned. The mandate for the last day’s government is clear
And he (the second beast) caused the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast…and to make an image to 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. (You have the Book of Life of the Lamb; and then you have the image’s computer list of death.)
Verse 10 can be interpreted in a couple of ways.
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.
It can mean you reap what you sow. Imprison others and you imprison yourself. Kill and be killed. Or it can be interpreted as the NIV translates it
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.
Some who believe at this time will be called to suffer in captivity. And others, to die for their faith, rather than bow down to the beast. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
Truth is the God given duty of every child of God. And when it comes to worship and serves it is obvious.
You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve. Mt.4:10
You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them, For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…Ex. 20:3-5
It’s interesting that the serpent and this beastly duo would make one of the central tenants of their regime—worship (that is to themselves, not God). But then since the beginning the serpent has challenged God, His word, and sovereignty to Him…hath God said?
And from the beginning of the church age the dragon was there, waging war, marshalling his forces against those who believe. The first Christian believers suffered indescribable tortures, imprisonments, and death for their faith under Roman rule. Through ten general persecutions, spanning over 200 years. The last said to be the worst, as Diocletian was incited to wipe the Christian church off the face of the earth. They suffered martyrdom: by the cross, by fire, scourgings; they were beheaded, stoned, devoured by hungry lions, thrust through by the gladiators sword. They endured the torments of Nero’s madness. Thousands withstood cruelties that made the onlookers shudder: crushed in presses, stretched on the racks, broiled on the gridiron.
Before Domitian’s council no Christian was exempt from punishment without renouncing his religion. If one swore allegiance they were set free. Those who refused were put to death. Edicts were given to perform sacrifices to the idols and Roman gods. Many chose rather the sacrifice of Christ and its reward.
“The dungeon is to me a palace”, said Perpetua, a young Christian who suffered under the fifth Roman persecution. She was offered freedom if she would but sacrifice to the idols. “I will not sacrifice. I am a Christian.” Her sentence was to be killed by wild beasts in the arena on the next pagan holiday.
Under Emperor Valerian persecution raged in Africa. In Utica, just northwest of Carthage the provincial governor ordered 300 Christians to be placed around a burning lime pit and told to sacrifice to the god Jupiter or be thrown into the pit. None worshiped Jupiter. Choosing rather to suffocate and burn in the flames.
When the guards came to take Polycarp, a disciple of the apostle John, he offered them a meal. Before the governor he was offered his freedom if he would reproach Christ. “Eighty-six years I have served him, and he never once wronged me. How then shall I blaspheme my king who has saved me?” He was burnt at the stake in the public market place.
Worship is the issue! Will we bow down to Gods goodness, love, and holiness, or will we rebel?
The end-time regime will be the ultimate in blasphemy and mockery; an in-your-face rebellion and contempt against the Sovereign God and Lord, Creator and Ruler of the Universe. Satan and friends pinnacle of pride and insubordination. But in the end all shall bow down before Him.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil. 2:9-11
And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” Rev. 5:13
If we can fast forward for a moment to a scene in Revelation 15 where the 3 ½ years has already elapsed into history. The evil end-time Empire is no more. But we see a vision of those who were victorious in those times. Those who did not bow the knee to the beast or his image or receive the mark. And they are standing on a sea of glass; and they were singing a victory song. And it goes like this
Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints!
Who shall not fear You, O Lord,
And glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy.
For all nations shall come and
Worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested.
We will look at the post-years in Daniel 7: what happens to the saints, what becomes of the beast and his empire, to the dragon, etc., after the 3 ½ years has ended. In chapter 13 there is no “rest of the story”, only details of a satanic inspired anti-Christ regime, and its 42 month reign of terror.
In the opening verse of chapter 13 we see the 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. In chapter 17 we see the same seven-headed, ten-horned beast but in an entirely different role. We see it there, more as a beast of burden. Carrying on its back a harlot whose name is “Babylon the Great”. What does it all mean? What is the
significance of the seven heads and ten horns? Does it have anything to do with the last-days?
The apostle John was astonished when he saw the vision of the woman and the beast in chapter 17. But an angel said to John, Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. The angel said of the beast that he was, and is not, and yet is.
Before the beast of chapter 13 is to come, and its 10 horns are to be crowned; the beast of Revelation 17 is, and already was. That is to say: it was of the past, it is of the present, and it will be of the future.
The beast has to do with kings and kingdoms; not only of the end times but throughout time. The rule of man over man and by man, his governments, beastly and blasphemous. With its 7 heads, its great crowning moments; its great world dominating empires of the past, and the one yet to come. The angel went on to say
Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.
The seven mountains are not the seven hills of Rome. Nor are the kings seven Roman Emperors. The beast is far more vast, and wide, and extensive then mere Rome. The seven heads on the beast are the glory of man’s rule; his seven great empires. Five had already fallen in John’s day, one was—the Roman Empire—and one is yet to come: the last days one world government, eventually headed up by the antichrist.
Look at ancient history, and see, and count them. The first great world power was Egypt. Next Assyria. Then came the Babylonians and their invincible city, the envy of the ancient world. With its massive outer walls
(said to be over 80 feet thick). Encircled by a deep moat replenished by the waters of the Euphrates; which ran though double levered gates into the city dividing it into two halves. If the outer wall could possible be penetrated, an invading army would then have to contend with caldrons of hot oil, and the archer’s arrows from yet a second, inner wall.
When Cyrus the Great and his army encamped against the golden city he was mocked. When he seemed to withdraw the Babylonians partied. Babylon’s weakest link was its own pride. Under the cover of darkness Cyrus diverted the tributary leading to the city, redirecting it from its normal flow. Thus his army was able to enter the city and took it virtually without a fight.
After the dual rule of the Medo-Persian Empire then came Greece and Alexander the Great. Who conquered the known world of his day in just ten years. And after Greece of course came the Roman Empire. Five have fallen: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. One is (in John’s day) the Roman Empire. And one has not yet come: the last one world government of the last days.
As Rome declined, the nations and the peoples of the earth continued to grow and multiply. Spreading broad and wide across the globe. Great leaders would arise and rule over dominions—Charlemagne, Genghis Khan, Napoleon —but one world rule now seemed more of an impossibility.
Many felt the end was near, that the antichrist had come, when Hitler rose to power. Much can be learned from the Nazi regime. Many of its methods and madness will be imitated by the end time regime, but on an even grander scale. But Hitler also fell short. The seventh and last head of the beast will rise in its time, in God’s time. The mystery of iniquity doth already work: how much of man, and his sin and rebellion, will God allow before he puts and end to it all?
The angel continues
(And) the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
Please don’t get confused. As we will see in Daniel 7 the one world government seems to already be in place when the AC, the little horn, rises up to take it over. Is the eighth, but is of the seven. The Antichrist it seems rises up out of the last world government to rule it, but really, it’s all the same: the seven heads, the ten horns, the eighth, it is all the beast.
You may have realized that the beast is also a panorama of man’s rule: all the kingdoms of man in a snapshot, with its lifespan of seven heads. And once the 7th head rises it must continue a short time…and is going to perdition (destruction). The beast will then cease to be, never to raise its ugly heads on earth again.
And you also may have noticed that the beast and the dragon share many of the same characteristics. Each have seven heads and ten horns. It is actually the dragon who has been allotted seven heads of time to do his evil deeds on earth, and wreak his havoc among the nations. In the 40 days of temptation in the wilderness, in the beginning of his ministry on earth, the devil took Jesus up a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. The devil said to Jesus,” all this authority I will give you, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if you worship before me, all will be yours.” (Luke 4:5-8) In chapter 12 we saw that the seven heads on the dragon had seven diadems or crowns. The significance of crowns on the heads of that serpent of old called the devil is not that all the kingdoms of man are ruling, rather, it is that the dragon rules over them!
But history is closing in on the dragon and the beast’s dominion, with only one more head of time left. After the seventh mountain has risen—the soon coming end-time one world government, controlled eventually by the
personified beast of chapter 13—and allowed to continue for a short time, time will have run out. There will be no more heads of time left. But the ending of beastly and devilish rule will initiate a new beginning; and out of the rubble and ashes of the old will arise a new mountain which will fill the earth. For the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Dan. 2:44
Of the ten horns the angel tells John
The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.
These will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
10 could be a symbolic number, a rounded-off number, or there could literally be ten kings who will serve alongside the personified beast of Revelation 13. Their sole purpose will be to give their kingdom and power and authority to the end-time leader. In chapter 17 there is no mention of crowns being on the heads or horns of the beast. But in chapter 13 we see that the 10 horns are crowned. Showing that they rule with the future end-time beast of Revelation 13. This is their time, their hour, their purpose.
These will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
Dramatic metaphor! I wouldn’t want to be the harlot when the ten kings get a hold of her. For the Antichrist regime to be established the old order of things must first be done away. The harlot “Babylon the Great” in simple terms is that order. To get a simple, brief explanation of who Babylon the Great of Revelation is we can go back to the first Babel Builders in Genesis chapter 11. After the flood man journeyed from the east and found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they said one to another, come let us make brick. And they said come let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven. And let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. Man’s work was to do his own thing, not seeking after God. God’s work was to confound their language, and to give them what they feared…scattering them over the face of the whole earth. But the Babel Builders brought their ways with them. They proceeded to build, set up, institute, establish, create as before. Their language was changed but not their hearts. The Babel Builders represent—The children of disobedience. And the works of their hands symbolize their pagan city—Babylon the Great. But under the AC there will be a whole new system of politics, religion, economics, etc., nonetheless, even more whorish and diabolical.
These (the ten kings) will make war with the Lamb (Jesus) and the lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings.
There is going to be a showdown between the King of kings and the resistant, insubordinate, usurping kings of the earth and their end-time leader. Which we will get into next in Daniel 7.