The Rise of Antichrist. 13:1-10.
The career of Satan has been a long and infamous one. But from the very moment he lifted his head in pride against God, his goal has always been the same.
Lucifer wants to be God. He was not happy with being a beautiful angel. His jealousy of God turned ambition into rebellion.
He said, “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: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isa. 14:13-14).
Since Satan’s ambition to be God is impossible, he attempts the next best thing. Satan imitates God and by doing so deceives people into believing he is God. This is what he did through the Pharaoh’s magicians. This is what he is doing today in leading so many unsuspecting people into satanic cults and the worship of demons.
But it is during the dark days of the Tribulation that Satan will be most successful in imitating God. In fact, during this period of judgment upon the earth Satan will produce a counterfeit trinity.
This evil trinity will be composed of Satan, the Antichrist and the False Prophet.
Satan is the opposite of God the Father and occupies His position in the evil trinity. Revelation 12:9 reveals that Satan is a great fiery monster, brilliant, formidable, a great dragon (Ezk 28:12).
He is that old serpent who introduced sin into the world (Gen. 3:1). He is a deceiver, slanderer, accuser of the brethren. He is the devil (Rev. 12:9). He is Satan, the adversary of God and His people (Zech. 3:1).
And by feigning the Trinity of the Most Hold God, Satan deceives the whole world, being a liar right from the beginning and the father of the lie (Jn. 8:44). Through deception, trickery and just plain lying, Satan makes himself out to be God the Father.
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.
In Revelation 13 the other two members of this false trinity are introduced. As Satan is the false-Father, verse 1 depicts the rise of the false Son, the false Christ. This beast is a man (who very well could be alive today), for he is expressly called a man in verse 18 of this chapter and is treated as a man in other Scriptures (Dan 7:8; 2 Thess. 2:3-4; Rev. 19:19-20).
He is said to arise out of the sea, an expression which signifies the Gentile nations.
This false Christ or Antichrist is described as a king (17:10-11). However, the Beast is more than a man, more than a king. He is also a kingdom. The seven heads and ten horns with ten crowns speak of a kingdom.
The ten horns are identified as ten kings in 17:12; yet they are united in one beast. In other words, the Antichrist represents a confederation of ten kingdoms or countries.
Since a similar description is given in Daniel 7:7-8, this beast’s kingdom must be the revived Roman Empire. Ancient Rome was built on seven hills, represented by the seven heads.
There is no better way to signify an empire than with the symbol of its king (Dan. 7:7, 17, 23).
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.
Further confirmation that the Antichrist’s kingdom is the revival of the Roman Empire is seen in verse 2. The description of the false Christ as like unto a leapoard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion is very meaningful.
In Daniel chapter 2, and again in the vision of Daniel chapter 7, the prophet Daniel saw four great successive world empires: the lion, referring to Babylon; the bear referring to Medo-Persia; the leopard, referring to the Grecian Empire; and the last great empire, which took the dominant elements and characteristics of the first three and combined them in itself. The qualities of strength, brutality, and swiftness were all present in the final empire, the Roman Empire.
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.
So closely identified are the ruler and his kingdom that verse 3 speaks of one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
The meaning could be twofold. In order to deceive the world into believing that he is Christ, the Antichrist may receive a deathblow. Since it is questionable whether Satan can actually raise a person from the dead, the Antichrist probably only pretends to be dead and then rises again, deceiving people into believing that he is an authentic savior.
But the primary meaning here is that of the kingdom, not the king. This verse signifies that the Roman Empire, although apparently dead, will be revived in order to provide the Antichrist with a base of operations, a kingdom, a throne, and great authority.
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?
At this eventful point in history, Satan will receive something he has always wanted. Through his man, the Antichrist, whom he makes the ruler of the world, Satan will receive worship and praise. Satan takes credit for the miraculous phenomena which take place during the Tribulation. Unable to explain them, the people of the earth believe Satan’s lie, given to the world through the Antichrist, and fall down and worship them both.
They cry, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?
The unique character of the Beast and his might make the people stare in awe. These same individuals were confronted with the unique character of Jesus Chirst and His might before the Rapture and yet they did not believe. Now they believe without reservation in Satan and Antichrist.
Not everyone, however, will worship the imposter Christ. Verse 8 indicates the saved of this period will stand true to God the Father and God the Son even though it means death for many of them.
THE BLASPHEMY OF THE BEAST. 13:5-6.
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.
In the Trinity of God, Jesus Christ came to earth and spoke the words of God, revealing the thoughts and mind of God. So too the second person of this evil trinity will be the spokesman for Satan.
Antichrist’s message is not his own but rather that of Satan. Unlike the true Christ, who spoke in praise of God the Father and provided the basis for peace with God by shedding His own blood, the activities of the false Christ will be greatly blasphemous, and he will engage in war.
6. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
Notice what Antichrist will blaspheme. His main target is God but he also pours out venomous blasphemy against the house of God and the children of God. We won’t even be safe from slander when we get to heaven. However, these satanic blasphemies against us can’t harm us, safe in the arms of Jesus.
THE POWER OF THE BEAST. 13:7-8.
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.
Satan continues to use Antichrist by giving him the power of civil authority to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. Those who stand true for the faith during the Great Tribulation will have no civil liberties and will be viciously attacked by the Antichrist and killed in the name of the empire.
During this period born-again believers will be persecuted and murdered much as they were in the second century under the original Roman Empire.
That Antichrist is a world ruler is evident from the fact that his power will be over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Undoubtedly he will be gathering power throughout the first half of the Tribulation but will not receive world rulership until he breaks the covenant of peace with Israel (Dan. 9:27). Then, acting as the tool of Satan, the Beast will wage all-out war against Israel and the saints of God throughout the entire globe and will overcome them (Dan. 7:25; 9:27; 12:10; Rev. 7:9-17).
In the will of the Father, many believers will perish as martyrs while others are preserved alive in spite of all the blasphemy and war of the impostor Christ.
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.
9. If any man have an ear, let him hear.
That will be the heyday of Satan. He will receive praise and worship. He will envision himself as God. The second person of this evil trinity will speak forcefully, for Satan and the majority of the world will fall in line against God and those who represent Him on earth.
The dream of world conquest by the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Grecian, and Roman Empires will now, for the first time, be realized completely under the reign of Satan and Antichrist.
A counterfeit millennium will be instituted. All of this is permitted by God in a final display of Satan’s evil.
10. He that leadeth into 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.
The picture is dark indeed, but if we look a little farther down the road John writes…Read Rev. 15:2.
God will permit Satan to force his counterfeit trinity on this earth for a while, but He won’t permit it forever. As always in history, God’s children are promised and assured of ultimate victory.
THE RISE OF THE FALSE PROPHET. 13:11-18.
The last half of Rev. 13 records John’s vision of the third member of the trinity of evil. The dragon (Satan) is the antitheses of God the Father. The first beast, the Beast out of the Sea (Antichrist), is the antitheses of God the Son.
Now another beast arises (False Prophet) and is the antithesis of God the Spirit. As the heavenly Trinity is made up of three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, this counterfeit, hellish trinity is made up of three persons: Satan, Antichrist, and False Prophet.
The appearance of the second beast out of the earth is far less pretentious than the first. Instead of seven heads and ten horns with ten crowns, this beast has only two horns. There are a number of ways in which this impostor poses as the counterpart of the Spirit of God.
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.
First, note that this beast appears on the scene like a lamb.
He is not a lamb, but appears like a lamb. If he were a lamb, we would think him an impostor of Jesus Christ. But since he appears like a lamb, he imitates the Spirit of Christ.
As the Holy Spirit produces Christlikeness in us, this False Prophet will produce Antichristlikeness in the lives of those who worship the Beast.
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.
Second, note that he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him.
You will recall our Lord’s command, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Lk 24:49).
That promised power came in the person of the Holy Spirit.
“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” Acts 1:8.
Whenever the Spirit of God is mentioned in Scripture, He is always associated with power. During the Great Tribulation the False Prophet imitates the Holy Spirit by exerting the power of Antichrist.
Third, verse 12 continues. The aim of the second beast is to promote of the second beast is to promote the worship of Antichrist. At no time in his career does he promote himself.
This is true with the Holy Spirit. He causes men and women to worship Jesus Christ. He does not attract attention to Himself, but always points to Christ.
Those who place an overemphasis on the baptism and work of the Spirit of God defeat His own purpose.
Jesus Christ came to give life; the Holy Spirit is come to teach, comfort, and point men to Christ. Likewise, the False Prophet does not seek attention but seeks to divert attention to the Antichrist.
13. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
Fourth, we learn from verse 13 that the second beast is associated with great wonders and fire. Again and again the Holy Spirit is associated with fire. When the Spirit came upon the church at Pentecost, “there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them” (Acts 2:2-3).
This verse shows his power and what he uses to deceive men. Demons can cause sickness, even death. Demons can heal and speak in tongues. They can throw their voices as Satan did in the Garden of Eden when the snake talked.
Snakes, healing and demons have always been connected in some way. Aesuhapius is the god of healing and also the god of snakes. The Egyptian word for demons and snakes is exactly the same word. They have always been connected and tongue speaking is either psychological or demon possession.
Jesus never spoke in an unknown tongue.
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.
This verse describes how they are going to put that statue up in the temple of Jerusalem.
The beast here is the dictator of the revived Roman empire.
“Saying to them that dwell…” speaks of the making of a statue of the dictator of the revived Roman empire and placing it in the temple in Jerusalem.
“Which had the wound by a sword” speaks of the fall of the old Roman empire in 476 when the Germans came in and captured their emperor Romulus Augustus and caused the empire to crumble. Notice the empire was not dead, just wounded.
“And did live” – speaks of the revival of the old Roman empire. The wound was healed.
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.
The final way in which the False Prophet imitates the Holy Spirit is found in verse 15. As Satan’s religious leader during the Tribulation, the False Prophet will issue an ecclesiastical edict commanding that an image of the Beast be made. This will become the focal point of their false system of worship.
The dictator of Palestine had the power from Satan to cause the statue of the dictator of the revived Roman empire to speak. He caused life to come into the statue.
Those who do not bow down and worship the statue will be killed.
This is the religion of the Tribulation.
Religion is man trying to reach God in his own strength. Christianity is God reaching man.
Those who don’t worship the image will be killed, and only people who will not be deceived are believers and they will be killed.
This statue will speak and this frightens the people. The devil has always tried to use scare tactics, he tries to make people think he is God.
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 foreheads:
Here we study the “mark of the beast”. This is religion at its worst. Here is the loss of freedom. This is what happens when church and state unite.
The mark of the beast is in the right hand or on the forehead. It may be an invisible mark, similar to the stamp they use today to enter many theme parks. The mark is invisible to the naked eye, but when placed under a certain type of light, it becomes visible.
Also similar to food, shoe, tire, and gas stamps used in America during World War II. It is like a ration card.
This shows how the anti-Christ will control the people and he will control them. Many believers will starve to death and that is exactly what religion does. We have seen in India for years what religion will do to people, worshiping the cow and monkey.
This mark will be received by those who fall down and worship the statue.
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.
This means starvation everywhere. Those who don’t receive the mark cannot buy or sell food. No food business men unless they receive the mark.
“Or the name of the beast” – may be some type of visible card that must be carried.
“Or the number of his name” – the number of this dictator is 666. It is given in verse 18.
Six is short of seven, short of God. Six can never be seven.
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.
Here we have the number of the beast.
The mark is some sort of identification card or stamp.
Where did this come from? It was originally an identification card for a Roman soldier. After he had completed his intense basic training, he received a brand on his hand. The word mark was used and placed on him, and he would wear it the rest of his life. It was a mark of pride and denoted great sacrifice. This was a graduation certificate which they proudly wore, showing they had passed through basic training.
The word mark came to mean any system of identification.
In the Tribulation, the mark was used to show who was in the system and who was not. The mark became some sort of I.D. card in order to have social survival. It was a ration system.
Without the mark in the Tribulation, you cannot buy food, engage in business, be elected to public office or be accepted socially.
Those who do not possess this mark of identification, will starve to death or be killed.
To receive the mark, you must fall down and worship the beast in the temple of Jerusalem.
The devil has always wanted to be worshiped (Matt. 4:1-11).
No one can have shelter, own property, buy food or have any of the necessities of life without receiving the mark of the beast.
There were three ways to qualify:
1. Have the mark.
2. Have the name of the beast.
3. Have the number of the beast.
If you are not a Christian, let me encourage you to be saved today. Don’t take a chance on living until tomorrow. Christ may come tonight, tomorrow may begin the terrible days of the Tribulation.
Just remember that the saved of our age will be with Christ during the Tribulation period. The Tribulation period will be a terrible and ruthless time in human history.
Clark, Neal. Survey of the Book of Revelation. Pensacola, Florida: Thee WFBI Press, 1999. Print.
Falwell, Jerry. Liberty Commentary on the New Testament. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty Press, 1978. Print.