13:1-18 The Two Beasts
Memory Verse: Revelation 13:10
12:1-17, 12:18/13:1, 11 The Red Dragon: Satan
- 12:1-17 Satan fought against Michael and his angels in heaven. They lost and were cast down to earth where they launched attacks against believing Israel and believers. God promised to supernaturally protected a remnant of Israel and believers claimed victory through persecution because of their faith, witness and martyrdom in Jesus name.
- 12:18/13:1a This is an interesting phrase. It refers to John standing on the sand of the sea or it refers to Satan standing on the sand of the sea. Either way the sand of the sea represent the nations.
- 12:3, 13:1b, 11 In the last chapter and in the coming chapter we are introduced to three evil characters which make up the satanic trinity: Satan, the Antichrist, and the False prophet. This satanic trinity is Satan’s attempt to become like God. Satan himself tries to be God the father. The Antichrist tries to be God the Son. The False prophet tries to be God the spirit. Their blasphemy will utterly fail and be destroyed after a short-time.
13:1-10 The First Beast: The Antichrist
- 13:1 John saw a beast rise up out of the sea. He goes on to describe the beast, which represent the Antichrist, as follows: (1) Having seven heads—just like the dragon, these represent the seven successive world empires Satan was working through, but here the seven heads are without crowns. (2) Ten horns wearing ten crowns—just like the dragon, as well, these represent Satan’s final empire made up of a ten-nation confederacy, but they are now wearing crowns meaning he is setting up this empire now. (3) Upon his heads the name of blasphemy—each of the seven successive world empires which ruled blasphemed God, their rulers often choosing to be called God.
Daniel 7:25; 8:24–25; 11:36–45; 1 John 2:18
- 13:2 The Antichrist was like unto a leopard—represents the Greek empire (third beast). His feet were as the feet of a bear—represents the Medo-Persian empire (second beast). His mouth as the mouth of a lion—represents the Babylonian empire (first beast). The empire of the Antichrist (fourth beast) will represent characteristics of each of these past empires at one time, meaning that it is going to be greater and worse than each one individually. Satan (the dragon) gave the Antichrist the power, seat and authority needed to establish and rule such a terrible empire.
- 13:3 Somehow one of the beast’s heads seemed as it were wounded to death, but then his deadly wound was healed. This caused all the world to wonder after the beast, meaning they started thinking he is like God. This is a lying wonder caused to deceive people. He tries to imitate the death and resurrection of the true Christ.
- 13:4 All the world worshipped Satan (the dragon) because he gave power unto the Antichrist (the beast). They also worshipped the Antichrist, thinking that there is no one like him and no one is able to make war with him. They obviously have an inflated view of the Antichrist and have already been deceived by his lying wonders.
- 13:5-6 But God will allow the Antichrist to have power for forty-two months (3.5 years) to speak great and blasphemous things. He will blasphemy against God, God’s name, God’s tabernacle and them that dwell in heaven. He may seem all-powerful to the unbelieving world but can go no farther than the one true sovereign God permits.
Daniel 7:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:4
- 13:7a, 8b The Antichrist was also allowed to make war with the saints and to overcome them. Believers will refuse to worship Him and this will be reason for their persecution. Believers are those whose names are written in the in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. This is comforting for believers because: (1) Our names are in a book and will never be erased. (2) This was secured before the foundation of the world. (3) We are redeemed with the incorruptible blood of Christ, the Lamb slain.
Revelation 3:5; 11:7; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:27; 1 Peter 1:18–21
- 13:7b-8 The Antichrist was given power over all kindreds, tongues and nations. He will rule the unbelieving world—those whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world—and they will worship him.
- 13:9-10 Then attention is called to an important proverb, which means that believers will at this time have to endure with patience and faith, not with their own strength or method.
13:11-18 The Second Beast: The False prophet
- 13:11 Next, John sees another beast coming up out of the earth. He described it as having two horns like a lamb—it seems to be harmless, but it is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing because it speaks like a dragon—meaning it will speak the lies, blasphemies, and deceptions of Satan. It is the False prophet.
Matthew 7:15; Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10
- 13:12-14 The False prophet will (1) exercise all the power of the Antichrist; (2) cause the world to worship the Antichrist; (3) do great wonders—make fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men—imitating the two great witnesses; (4) deceive the world by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; (5) tell the world to make an image to the beast, that one who claims “death and resurrection.” He mocks the role of the Holy Spirit and leads people to worship the false-christ.
- 13:15 The False prophet was permitted to have power to give life unto the image of the Antichrist, so that (1) the image should speak, and (2) those who don’t worship the image should be killed. This is another lying wonder to deceive and kill.
- 13:16-18 Finally, the False prophet caused all (small, great, rich, poor, free, bond) to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. You could only buy or sell if you had this mark, which is the name of the Antichrist (beast) or the number of his name: 666 (six hundred threescore and six). We know this number and those who live at the time need to be wise and know not to take the mark of this number.
- Who is the first beast?
- What miracle did the first beast try to copy?
- Who is the second beast?
- The second beast tries to mock the role of who?
- What is the number of the beast?