THE PICTURE OF TWO BEASTS REVELATION 13:1-18

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1 1 THE PICTURE OF TWO BEASTS REVELATION 13:1-18

2 2 Text: Revelation 13:1-18, THE PICTURE OF TWO BEASTS 1. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, and on its horns were ten diadem crowns, and on its heads a blasphemous name. 2. Now the beast that I saw was like a leopard, but its feet were like a bear s, and its mouth was like a lion s mouth. The dragon gave the beast his power, his throne, and great authority to rule. 3. One of the beast s heads appeared to have been killed, but the lethal wound had been healed. And the whole world followed the beast in amazement; 4. they worshiped the dragon because he had given ruling authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast too, saying: Who is like the beast? and Who is able to make war against him? 5. The beast was given a mouth speaking proud words and blasphemies, and he was permitted to exercise ruling authority for forty-two months. 6. So the beast opened his mouth to blaspheme against God to blaspheme both his name and his dwelling place, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7. The beast was permitted to go to war against the saints and conquer them. He was given ruling authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation, 8. and all those who live on the earth will worship the beast, everyone whose name has not been written since

3 3 the foundation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb who was killed. 9. If anyone has an ear, he had better listen! 10. If anyone is meant for captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed by the sword, then by the sword he must be killed. This requires steadfast endurance and faith from the saints. 11. Then I saw another beast coming up from the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but was speaking like a dragon. 12. He exercised all the ruling authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and those who inhabit it worship the first beast, the one whose lethal wound had been healed. 13. He performed momentous signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people 14. and, by the signs he was permitted to perform on behalf of the beast, he deceived those who live on the earth. He told those who live on the earth to make an image to the beast who had been wounded by the sword, but still lived. 15. The second beast was empowered to give life to the image of the first beast so that it could speak, and could cause all those who did not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16. He also caused everyone (small and great, rich and poor, free and slave) to obtain a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. 17. Thus no one was allowed to buy or sell things unless he bore the mark of the beast that is, his name or his number.

4 This calls for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the beast s number, for it is man s number, and his number is 666. (NET) Introduction: We have already seen a war in heaven. Satan lost in the battle with those fighting for the child that brought redemption. Nothing Satan did could prevent the church from being established and salvation being made available to mankind. In fact, the early church grew rapidly as many became Christians. Having failed in destroying the church as a whole, Satan now turns his attention to the seed of the woman or to individual Christians. Revelation 13 looks at what the Devil is doing to hinder Christianity and what God is doing to insure victory for His faithful people. In this section of Scripture we see that the Devil used the evil powers of Rome against the cause of Christ. Likewise he used false worship as many were forced to worship the Roman Emperor. The Devil had been given a great sword with which he could persecute the people of God. (Revelation 6:3-4, Then when the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, Come! And another horse, fiery red, came out, and the one who rode it was granted permission to take peace from the earth, so that people would butcher one another, and he was given a huge sword. (NET) Now the Devil has the civil persecuting power of Rome and Emperor worship as allies in his battle against the righteous. What the Devil and all that follow him must learn is

5 5 that he can never win because God also has two even more powerful forces on His side. Who could stand against the Blood of the Lamb (Revelation 12:11, But they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. (NET)), and the final judgment of the Almighty? (Revelation 14:7, He declared in a loud voice: Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has arrived, and worship the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water! (NET) The battle may be difficult but victory belongs to the people of God. Commentary: THE BEAST OUT OF THE SEA Revelation 13:1-5, Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, and on its horns were ten diadem crowns, and on its heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast that I saw was like a leopard, but its feet were like a bear s, and its mouth was like a lion s mouth. The dragon gave the beast his power, his throne, and great authority to rule. One of the beast s heads appeared to have been killed, but the lethal wound had been healed. And the whole world followed the beast in amazement; they worshiped the dragon because he had given ruling authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast too, saying: Who is like the beast? and Who is able to make war against him? The beast was given a mouth speaking proud words and blasphemies, and he was permitted to exercise ruling authority for forty-two months. (NET)

6 6 John pictures a beast coming up out of the sea. 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. Revelation 13:1) This sea beast represents the civil persecuting power of Rome. In Isaiah 17:12 nations are pictured as rising from the sea. Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The beast from the sea is pictured as a dangerous animal, a venomous and wild beast. The sea beast had ten horns. Horn represents power and ten horns represent complete power. And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the LORD, With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou have consumed them. (1 Kings 22:11) The seven heads represent perfect authority. This one has power and authority only as had been given unto him. The sea beast had ten crowns or diadems. These symbolize rule or power. The power of the wicked Roman Empire was to blaspheme God and His children. This terrible beast was much like that described in Daniel 7:1-8, In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream filled with visions while he was lying on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream in summary fashion. Daniel explained: I was watching in my vision during the night as the four winds of the sky were stirring up the great sea. Then four large beasts came up from the sea; they were different from one

7 7 another. The first one was like a lion with eagles wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off and it was lifted up from the ground. It was made to stand on two feet like a human being, and a human mind was given to it. Then a second beast appeared, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and there were three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, Get up and devour much flesh! After these things, as I was watching, another beast like a leopard appeared, with four bird-like wings on its back. This beast had four heads, and ruling authority was given to it. After these things, as I was watching in the night visions a fourth beast appeared one dreadful, terrible, and very strong. It had two large rows of iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and anything that was left it trampled with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that came before it, and it had ten horns. As I was contemplating the horns, another horn a small one came up between them, and three of the former horns were torn out by the roots to make room for it. This horn had eyes resembling human eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant things. (NET) The fourth beast of Daniel 7 was exact in description of the sea beast. The message in Daniel was that the saints of God would be victorious. God wanted his people to know that Rome will be destroyed. In this beast the persecuting power of Satan becomes visible. Many evil, worldly governments have directed this poisonous venom against God s people, but the saints of God always win. THE POWER OF THE SEA BEAST Revelation 13:6-10, So the beast opened his mouth to blaspheme against God to blaspheme both his name and

8 8 his dwelling place, that is, those who dwell in heaven. The beast was permitted to go to war against the saints and conquer them. He was given ruling authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation, and all those who live on the earth will worship the beast, everyone whose name has not been written since the foundation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb who was killed. If anyone has an ear, he had better listen! If anyone is meant for captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed by the sword, then by the sword he must be killed. This requires steadfast endurance and faith from the saints. (NET) The sea beast was so powerful that he had caused many to worship Rome. However, faithful Christians would only worship the God of heaven. The nation of Rome blasphemed God, blasphemed God s name, and His tabernacle. (Revelation 13:6, So the beast opened his mouth to blaspheme against God to blaspheme both his name and his dwelling place, that is, those who dwell in heaven. (NET)) The Christians exalted God, even at the coast of their own lives. The sea beast was not all-powerful. The truth is that God is still the sovereign in His universe. The Devil will never be able to destroy God s faithful people. (Romans 8:31-39, What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Indeed, he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? Who will bring any charge against God s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is the one who will condemn? Christ is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right

9 9 hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NET)) He will, however, use many methods to destroy the saints. He will use murders, massacres, and bloody punishments of all sorts. Those not written in the book of life will worship him. It is through the sacrifice and the life of Christ that victory over Satan is possible. The expression, If any man have an ear, let him hear, is found several times in the book of Revelation. Here it has specific reference to recognizing God s enemy and the followers of this enemy, an avoiding them completely. The enemies of God must be avoided because they will certainly be overthrown. If they live by the sword, by the sword they will die. The essential thing is for God s people to simply hold fast regardless of the circumstances. THE BEAST OUT OF THE EARTH Revelation 13:11-14, Then I saw another beast coming up from the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but was speaking like a dragon. He exercised all the ruling authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the

10 10 earth and those who inhabit it worship the first beast, the one whose lethal wound had been healed. He performed momentous signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people and, by the signs he was permitted to perform on behalf of the beast, he deceived those who live on the earth. He told those who live on the earth to make an image to the beast who had been wounded by the sword, but still lived. (NET) The beast out of the earth was Emperor worship or false religion. This earth beast had two horns like to the Lamb. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God. This is a picture of one attempting to take Christ s place. The lamb being a picture of religious sacrifice, therefore the land beast had the outward appearance of religion. The problem was that it was false religion. This earth beast spoke as a dragon. His sound was the damning, horrible sound of Satan. The proud, arrogant tone of this beast gave the appearance of greatness, as from God. This beast has all the authority of the Roman government. The wicked power of Rome was poured forth in every possible way to attempt to turn Christians from true worship of the true God. The beast desired the worship that belonged only to God and attempted to achieve this by force. People were driven into a state religion and force to worship the emperor. The Devil also used false signs and wonders to deceive the righteous. 2 Thessalonians 2:9 says, The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders. The Devil used seemingly great, lying wonders to draw people to false worship. The Devil

11 11 even desired that they would make an image of the beast and worship it. THE MARK OF THE BEAST Revelation 13:15-18, The second beast was empowered to give life to the image of the first beast so that it could speak, and could cause all those who did not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He also caused everyone (small and great, rich and poor, free and slave) to obtain a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. Thus no one was allowed to buy or sell things unless he bore the mark of the beast that is, his name or his number. This calls for wisdom: Let the one who has insight calculate the beast s number, for it is man s number, and his number is 666. (NET) The mark of the beast takes us back to look at the problem of economic discrimination. The Devil desired to control the ability of man to make a living and to control his thought process. Thus the mark was on his right hand and his forehead. God had sealed His people and the Devil had marked his. God s number is seven. Six is a number that promises greatness but always falls short. The further man moves from God, the further he moves from perfection. Man has moved many steps from His maker. But thankfully the book of Revelation does not end with such a hopeless picture. Remember God s faithful people win in the end!

12 12 Conclusion: God s destructive power will come against those that do not obey the gospel and serve Him faithfully. Under any condition, we are always better off to serve God.

13 13 Questions on Revelation 13: We have already seen a in. lost in the with those for the that brought. 2. Having in the as a whole, now turns his to the of the or to. 3. looks at what the is doing to and what is doing to for His. 4. The was given a with which to the of. 5. What the and all who must learn is that he can because also has even more on His. 6. What are these two even more powerful forces?

14 A came up of the which represents the of. 8. The had. represents and represent. 9. The had or which symbolize or. 10. The of was exact in description of the. The in was that the of would be. wanted his to know that will be. 11. The was so that he had caused many to. However, would the of, often even at the of their own.

15 The was -. is still the in His universe. The will be able to. 13. The uses many to the. It is through the and the of that over is. 14. The is for to of the. 15. The out of the was or. This is a picture of one to take place. 16. The as a. The of was forth in every to to from of the even by. 17. The also used and to the. The even desired that people would make an

16 16 of the and it. 18. The of the references. The desired to the of to make a and to his. 19. is. is a that but. 20. Read on! in the!

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