“The Beast from the Sea” Pt. I – Revelation 13:1-4
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Chapter thirteen continues the interlude between the sounding of the seven trumpets and the outpouring of the seven bowl judgments of God's wrath on unrepentant mankind.
In chapter fourteen John's vision will show us the time of the end, where God pours out His divine judgment on rebellious civilization ("Babylon"), and the final persecution of Christ's Church.
Chapter thirteen describes the appearance and attributes of the ("Beast"); Antichrist (Vs. 10) and his persecution of the Church aided by the "second beast" (false prophet) (Vs. 11-18).
In chapter twelve, the Apostle John had prepared his readers (us) for this final time of persecution, and how we can remain faithful.
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
The final persecution of the Church is nothing new, but rather the norm for the Church throughout history.
Although Christian martyrdom in the final days is inevitable, our final triumph is assured because Satan was defeated at Calvary.
When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
Again, keep in mind that John uses symbolic Old Testament language to describe his vision.
With that in mind, and the understanding that many scholars over many years, have come to different interpretations and understandings of these passages, we need to study them for ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to the Truth.
There is no substitute for serious, in depth, personal Bible study.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of Truth.
(2 Tim. 2:15)
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Tim. 3:16-17)
And let us further understand that Bible prophecy will not be fully understood until it takes place.
I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, “My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?” He replied, “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end.......“As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”
The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.
"The dragon stood on the shore of the sea."
* The "dragon" - Satan - (Vs. 12:9) having been frustrated in his desire to destroy "the heavenly woman" (Israel) as well as her offspring, the "male Child," the Messiah (Vs. 12:4) now turns his full wrath upon Messiah's Church.
As he stands on the shore, he calls forth "the beast" from the sea, his primary weapon in the last persecution of Christ's people.
"...a beast coming out of the sea."
* "Beast" - Therion (Gk.) - A wild venomous beast, a fierce animal, filled with hatred.
* "...out of the sea." - The sea is symbolic of unregenerate humanity.
But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
An angel later defines the "waters" and "sea" for us:
Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.
* The prophet Daniel saw much the same (Dan. 7:2).
"...ten horns and seven heads..."
* "Ten horns" - Both the beast (Antichrist) and the dragon (Satan) have ten horns and seven heads (Rev. 12:3), this defines their relationship.
Father and son, the beast is a man (Vs. 13:18), but he is empowered by hell itself, for he has come out of the pit of hell (Vs. 11:7, 17:8).
Just as Jesus Christ is God in human flesh, so "the beast" (Antichrist) will be Satan in human form. Satan always seeks to emulate God and steal His glory.
* Seven in Scripture always denotes completion.
* The early churches eschatology expected the appearance of the Antichrist at the end of the age, when time is completed.
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
(1 Jn. 2:18 NKJV)
This may also symbolize the "completeness of evil." All of the wickedness of Satan throughout history will culminate in "the beast," Satan's greatest masterpiece, himself in flesh.
"...a blasphemous name."
* "The beast" will claim divine power and prerogatives, in essence that he is God Almighty. He "shall speak words against the Most High" (Dan. 7:25).
The antichrist will stand in God's temple claiming to be God:
He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
(2 Thess. 2:4)
The Lord Jesus warned us that this would happen:
So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—
And what to do about it:
"The beast" commits the greatest blasphemy - self-deification, claiming to be God and to be worshiped by man in place of God. Has any man done the same?
"The deification of the state and its ruler is not a phenomenon limited to the last days and the Antichrist; we have witnessed essentially the same phenomenon in all totalitarian states."
George Eldon Ladd
- Egypt and Pharaoh
- Rome and Caesar
- Nazi Germany and Hitler
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.
"...resembled a leopard...a bear...a lion."
* John sees much the same as Daniel in his vision. (Dan. 7:2-6)
"The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority."
* Again, as Daniel prophesied:
"...and it was given authority to rule." (Dan 7:6)
* Again, Satan and Antichrist copy God and Christ.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form...
The beast, "the man of lawlessness" is not simply the concentration of political and military power, but also the embodiment of all satanic evil deriving his power and authority from Satan, even doing “signs and wonders that serve the lie” (2 Thess. 2:9).
He simply will use the government to impose his will.
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 filled with wonder and followed the beast.
"One of the heads of the beast seemed to have a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed."
The beast's “seeming” return from death is a parody of the Lord Jesus' resurrection from the dead (Matt. 28:1-6).
The word "anti" in Greek has two meanings - Against and to replace.
Antichrist is against Christ, as well as a replacement of Christ.
The Antichrist will be Satan's great "masterpiece," a counterfeit of Christ, empowered to do all Satan's bidding!
"The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast."
* Is it any "wonder"? (Rev. 17:8)
Can you imagine Abe Lincoln or JFK returning to life after their head wounds? Would the world "wonder" and "follow" them as gods?
Worship always follows "wonder."
Except in the case of our Lord:
People 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 wage war against it?”
"People worship the dragon because he had given authority to the beast (Antichrist) and they also worshiped the beast..."
Again, Satan's counterfeit of God:
God has given Christ "all authority in heaven and on earth" (Matt. 28:18) and "the Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation."
Believers worship the Father and Christ as God. In the last days, unbelievers will worship "the dragon" (Satan) and "the beast" (Antichrist) in the same manner. Worship is what Satan has always desired (Matt. 4:8-10), and he will receive it through "the beast”:
"Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?"
The obvious answer to the second part:
The answer to the first part (Who is like the beast?):
No one is like the beast for complete wickedness and evil, he will endeavor to steal the souls of men from God, and the world believes resistance is futile:
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason, God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
(2 Thess. 2:9-12)
The answer to the second part (Who can wage war against it?):
Thank God there is only one Antichrist, and he will be defeated by Christ:
And then the lawless one (Antichrist) will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendor of His coming.
(2 Thess. 2:8)
To be continued.
Introduction to Part II Chapter thirteen continues the interlude between the sounding of the seven trumpets and the outpouring of the seven bowl judgments of God's wrath on unrepentant mankind. In chapter fourteen John's vision will show us the time of the end, where...
Gary Branham, Jr. teaches from the book of Matthew. There are no message notes.