Rev 13:4-10              Antichrist’s Power Over the Earth                     2/12/2006      ßà   

  • The Beast Out of the Sea (Rev 13:1-10)

 

 

 

 

 

#1.       The Power of the Beast (Rev 13:4, 2Cor 11:13-15)

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Spiritual Character of the Beast (Rev 13:5-6, 11:2, Matt 6:24)

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       War Between the Saints and the Beast (Rev 13:7-8, 11:7, Dan 7:21,25, 8:10-12,23-25, 11:33)

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Ultimate End of the Beast (Rev 13:10, Heb 4:12, John 12:48, 2Thes 1:8)

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       If Any Man Have an Ear, Let Him Hear (Rev 13:8-9)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 13:1 (2X). We started in this chapter last week, but we covered only three verses. First we need to understand precisely who this beast represents. And we have seen that this beast in Rev 13:1 is a combination of four beasts that came up out of the sea, in Dan 7:3-7. All four of these beasts were embodiments of Satan, or we can say that they were all four representing Antichrists, for Antichrist already existed in the OT time. But when we have arrived at Rev 13:1 these four beasts have now merged into one beast. It means that when we have arrived at the FTP near the end of time the dominion of Satan, through his Antichrists, has now reached a worldwide dimension. This beast represents a powerful Antichrist during the FTP. Satan was bound when he was cast out of heaven, but now Satan has been loosed for a little season, for that is an integral part of God’s plan for this world. And now, in Rev 13, we see that Antichrist rules the world. But do not think that one person, or one nation, will dominate the rest of the world, for we have seen in the war in Korea, or in the war in Vietnam, or in the war in Iraq, that this is impossible. It will be much more likely that we will see a worldwide government that is a confederation of all kindreds, and tongues, and nations, where the nations of the world have agreed to create a heaven on earth, without the God of the Bible. O, they will tolerate some of the other gods, as long as it is not the God of the Bible. Satan does not mind other gods, since they are all in his hand. This then is:

  • The Beast Out of the Sea (Rev 13:1-10)

Re 13:1 ¶  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.

Re 13:2-3  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.           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.

Re 13:4  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?

Re 13:5-6  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.          And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

Re 13:7  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.

Re 13:8-9  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. If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Re 13:10  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.

  And even though verse 4 speaks of worshipping the dragon and worshipping the beast, and verse

8 speaks about worshipping the beast, we want to keep in mind that this first beast that comes up out of the sea is not to be confused with the second beast that comes up out of the earth in verses 11 and following. This beast of Rev 13:1 that comes up out of the sea represents a confederation of nations for the sake of worldwide government, and its control. The beast of Rev 13:11 represents a confederation of religions to ensure worldwide tolerance of one another by religious leaders. But here in the 1st part of chapter 13, when we look at this beast that comes up out of the sea of mankind, we are amazed of the power of the beast. Therefore the title of this sermon is, Antichrist’s Power Over the Earth (2X).

#1.       The Power of the Beast (Rev 13:4, 2Cor 11:13-15)

Re 13:4  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?

They worshipped the dragon. How should we understand this? Except for a tiny fraction of idiots who call themselves Satanists, no one will say of themselves that they are worshippers of Satan. No one will deliberately rank themselves on the side of Satan, since no one will deliberately cast themselves into Hell. Even atheists do not do that. And actually Satan himself does not want so much publicity to his name. Please turn in your Bibles to the 2nd Epistle to the Cor, 2Cor 11:13 (2X). We see in Rev 13 this monster with 7 heads and 10 horns crawl out of the sea, but actually Satan does not want people to see him as he is. Satan likes to operate behind the scenes and stay invisible. Satan prefers to tempt people into sin by softly whispering into their ears, or to work by subtle deceit. We read

2Co 11:13-14  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.       And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

2Co 11:15  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

This is how Satan prefers to come, “as an angel of light”, looking like an apostle of Christ, and claiming the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of his sins. The human beings who work for him are deceitful workers, also pretending to be apostles of Christ and ministers of righteousness. They will preach from pulpits and quote your favorite Scriptures. And they will be very successful. And so, when we read in Rev 13:4 that they worshipped the dragon, we should understand this to mean that people are not aware that they are worshipping Satan, but they do. The great power of the beast is obtained by stealth. Therefore, when we read in the Bible about the terrible conditions during the FTP, or we read about the terrifying activities of Antichrist during the FTP, do not interpret these things as if there will be physical persecutions or physical bloodletting on a worldwide scale. Satan will not expose himself in such a crude manner. Instead, there will be peace on a worldwide scale. Satan comes very subtil, not letting anyone know that he is already here and he rejoices in the large number of souls that he has already won, for Satan’s objective is not our bodies but our souls. Let us now return to Rev 13:4 and recognize the power of this beast that represents the Antichristian rule on a worldwide scale. We read in Rev 13:2, “and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” We need to understand that the Devil’s power is limited by God’s own sovereign decree. The Devil is not permitted to snatch away those who have already been saved. But the fact remains that the dragon is permitted to give his power and authority and throne to the beast. He has now realized what he failed to establish when he made the offer to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Devil is a spirit, and thus the Devil needs a human agent or agents who will execute his plans upon this world. That is why he offered the position to Christ. But now he has found a large number of human beings who will do just what he wants. To them he gives his power, and his authority, and his throne. He permits these human beings to receive the adulation and the honor which actually belongs to his throne, for it is the Devil who works through them “both to will and to do of his good pleasure”. Secondly, verse 4 tells us that this Antichrist will do great things. This Antichristian worldwide government will be attractive and inspiring. The whole world will love his regime. It will be a time of peace. It will be a time of wonderful accomplishments in arts and in sciences and in engineering. There shall be no poor, and no miserable from a worldly point of view. This Antichristian reign will not put a heavy yoke on groaning subjects, but rather a most beautiful world with peace and splendor and riches and plenty and harmony and great developments. And the whole world will wonder after the beast. And they will say, “Who is like unto this great government, and who is able to go to war against us?” And all the inhabitants of the world will be falling over themselves in gratitude for what their government can do for them, and they will gladly place their schools and their universities and their churches under this government’s jurisdiction. “And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him”, refers to all that dwell on the earth shall glorify the existing state of things, for they have never before been so prosperous. And through it all they shall worship the dragon. But what is:

  • The Spiritual Character of the Beast? (Rev 13:5-6, 11:2, Matt 6:24)

The answer to this question is that he is anti-God, and anti-Christ, and anti-kingdom of God, and anti-saints. That this is so can be concluded from the fact that this beast received his power from the dragon. The Devil has but one principle and one aim, and that is to thrust the Almighty from His throne, deprive Him of His sovereignty, and to be god in His place. That this is so can be seen in the text of:

Re 13:5-6  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.          And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

This beast has names of blasphemy written upon his seven heads, and he opened his mouth in blasphemy to blaspheme the Name of God, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. What is God’s tabernacle? God’s tabernacle is God’s dwelling place here on earth, in the souls of those who have become saved. That is why verse 6 lists separately His tabernacle here on earth, and those that dwell in heaven. How can we define his blasphemy? To blaspheme the name of God is to deny His Name, His sovereignty, His power, and all His virtues. Nebuchadnezzar was blaspheming when he said in the pride of his heart that he himself was the author of mighty Babylon. Likewise this beast and its head will deny that God and His Christ have anything to do with this world-kingdom that the Devil thinks he has created by his own strength. He will try to expel the very Name and authority of the Almighty. This is blasphemy. Likewise the beast and its head will deny that there is such a thing as the life hereafter. He will refuse to speak of the destiny of the souls in heaven or in Hell. He will banish their very remembrance. And have you noticed that many preachers today do not speak any more about the destiny of the soul? They become moralizing preachers who only speak of applying the Bible to our wellbeing here on earth, our comfort in the here and now. They have become blasphemers, according to Rev 13:6. Whenever a person comes with a theory or a philosophy that denies the existence of God or challenges the Word of God, he is speaking blasphemies. When Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden, “Ye shall not surely die”, he was speaking blasphemies. And ever since that time Satan has been saying that to the human race. And thus, when people adhere to the theory of evolution, they are blaspheming God, since the theory of evolution claims that there is no creator, only random probability. But even though the theory of evolution is an unproven concept, it is widely accepted in academic and scientific establishments as the absolute truth. The Bible flatly declares that God created this universe in 6 days. He spoke and it came into being. But the world insists on teaching evolution, so much so that even present day theologians have found it necessary to work around the first 11 chapters of Gen. This shows you how the world is creeping into the church; and this is only the beginning. When people assign something to “mother nature” they are in fact blaspheming God, who holds the world in His hands. And the “great things” of which we read in verse 5 is just another form of blasphemy. People who deny the sovereignty of God in salvation are also committing a form of blasphemy, for in this they claim that God does not have all things under His control, and they are denying that God has stated His sovereignty in the Bible, which is His inerrant Word. Until recently, Satan has also used atheistic communism extensively to fool people into believing that there is no God. And among the tools Satan is still presently using are atheistic humanism, and the New Age Movement, which in essence declares that every person is a god. How long will this deception go on? God says in verse 5 that He has given Satan power to continue forty and two months. Does that ring a bell? Where have we seen these symbolic 42 months, which is a symbolic 3½ years? Where have we seen this time span with sinister connotations? We have seen it in Rev 11:2 (2X), where we read, “But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” This court outside the temple represents the “show-church”. This court represents the people who go to church, but remain unsaved. That is why this court is trodden under foot by the unsaved Gentiles. And during the FTP these are the people who will be instrumental in bringing down the church as a church that no longer worships God, but that worships Satan. It is true that these 42 months, representing 3½ years, are symbolic of the entire NT time period, for during the entire past 2000 years the show church was always present. But toward the end of time this activity of the Gentiles shall be more pronounced, and this deception by Satan shall be more intensified. That is why I call the symbol of these 42 months a sinister time span, during which the power of the beast that comes out of the sea will have come to full fruition. But within this crazy world that follows after the beast, there is still a small remnant that does not follow him. When the Lord Jesus said in Matt 6:24, “No man can serve two masters”, He was indicating that there are only two masters people can follow. Either you follow Christ, or you will be a follower of Satan. Only the followers of Christ shall receive eternal life in heaven, for the Lord Jesus said, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” Every one else who thinks that they are following their own god are actually following Satan, and end up in Hell. By God’s grace, our church belongs to the small fraction that does not follow after the beast, for we see in our church the evidence that we are not following the big masses that are led to the slaughter. When people make fun of us and ridicule us for being a cult of some sort, they are blaspheming God, for they are ridiculing His tabernacle. This ridicule from the world and from the false church is going to intensify as we approach the end of time. And this leads me to speak about the war of the saints and the beast.

#2.       War Between the Saints and the Beast (Rev 13:7-8, 11:7, Dan 7:21,25, 8:10-12,23-25, 11:33)

Re 13:7 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. 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.

These are frightening words. But the Word of God says that even unto the Last Day there are still saints living on this earth, and they shall be His witnesses. They shall refuse to submit to the power of Antichrist. They shall refuse to worship the beast, and they shall uphold the sovereignty of the Almighty and of His Christ. They shall refuse to change their religion and their worship and their testimony. Four times do we read in the Bible that Jesus said, “Ye shall be hated of all men for My Name’s sake.” Antichrist shall make war against us and will overcome us. We do not know to what extent our own church will be devastated, but the Word of God is very clear that it will come to pass. Please turn to the prophecy of Daniel, Dan 7:10 (2X). God gave us these warnings to let us be prepared for the sorrow that is coming, and that shall come for sure. Let us again remind ourselves of the words in Rev 11:7,

Re 11:7  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Essentially this killing means that our church will be silenced. Both Rev 11:5 and verse 7 speak about the same killing of people. And the context makes it clear that not physical killing, but silencing is in view. Then when we turn to the prophecy of Daniel, we read of a little horn, representing Antichrist:

Da 7:21  I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

Here again, the true believers are going to bite the dust. They will be silenced. Drop down to V 25,

Da 7:25    And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the

Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Here again Satan, through the hands and mouth of Antichrist, is going to make war with the saints and “he shall wear out the saints of the Most High”. Even more frightening is it when we read that “they shall be given into his hand”. Does this mean that Satan will have total control over the churches and congregations where believers normally assemble, or does it mean that Satan will have control over the times and laws? I do not know for sure, but both possibilities are equally terrifying. The times and laws that Satan intends to change refer to times and laws in the Bible. For example, according to the Bible the time of Christ’s return coincides with the resurrection of both the saved and the unsaved people of the world, and coincides with the rapture of the saints to be with Christ forever. But Satan has changed all this to a resurrection and a rapture of the saints first, simultaneously with the 2nd coming of Christ, and 1000 years later a resurrection of the unsaved together with a 3rd coming of Christ. And so, no one fears the 2nd coming of Christ any more, since we get a second chance to be saved during the millennium. And Satan has worked overtime to change the laws of the Bible. In today’s churches pictures of Jesus on the walls or in the windows are not the forbidden graven images. In today’s churches the third commandment involves only the name of Christ, which we may not take in our mouth in vain. In today’s churches the Sunday Sabbath has gone the way of the oil-lamp. No one takes it seriously any more. In today’s churches father and mother are not honored, since father or mother have not instructed their children to honor their heavenly Father. In today’s churches abortion is no longer killing. Just watch how more than 50% of this Christian nation votes for candidates who are in favor of abortion. In today’s churches fornication is no longer in view when God said, “Thou shalt not commit adultery”. Just watch the proliferation of singles clubs throughout the churches. In today’s churches stealing from God is no longer a sin. In today’s churches lying is so commonplace that people are not even aware when they lie. In today’s churches do they desire their neighbor’s wife? Just watch how divorce and remarriage has multiplied through the nation, and it has multiplied in the churches as well. All these things are involved in the war of the beast against the saints. Please drop down to Daniel chapter 8, Dan 8:10 (2X). God speaks about the little horn, Antichrist. He says in:

Da 8:10-11 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them.  Yea, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host, and by him the daily (sacrifice) was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.

Da 8:12  And an host was given him against the daily (sacrifice) by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered.

The place of the sanctuary of the Prince of the host was cast down”. In plain English this means that the church will be cast down. It does not mean that the church building will be flattened, for that will only strengthen the members’ resolve, and they will put up a new church building in no time. But when the church has gone apostate, then it is no longer the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, and this is far more devastating than just destruction of the church building. Moreover we read in verse 12 that an host, meaning an army, was given to Antichrist, for the purpose of casting down the truth to the ground. Can you see how the proliferation of Bible versions in the past century has manifested this activity of Antichrist? And he prospered in all that he did. That is indeed what we see taking place in these last days. We can see that Satan, through his Antichrist, is winning the war. Please drop down to verse 23,

Da 8:23  And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.

Da 8:24  And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.

Da 8:25  And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

Who is the king understanding dark sentences? It is Antichrist, or the beast of Rev 13. And he ”shall destroy the mighty and the holy people”, which means that he shall win the war against the saints. And how shall he succeed to win the war? Verse 25 explains: “By peace he shall destroy many” which means that he shall deceive many by his peaceful means. Satan is a clever spirit, far more intelligent than any human being can imagine. It is not his objective to rule the world like a tyrant. That brings him no real gain, and that does not really win him any souls. But to rule the world in such a way that all people love him, so that he can win the souls of all men, that really is his goal. This is how Satan will win the war against the saints. Please turn to Dan 11:33 (2X).

Da 11:33  And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.

They that understand” is a technical term that refers to the saints. Only the saints understand the things concerning salvation, for only the saints have received the wisdom that comes from above. Does this verse then indicate that there will be physical persecution during the FTP? Yes indeed. On a smaller fraction of mankind Antichrist will unleash physical persecution and killing by war, primarily in the underdeveloped nations of the world. One of the first signs the Lord Jesus provided was wars and rumors of wars. A little searching reveals that fighting in Sudan has taken the lives of some 180,000 people in just the last 18 month period. And the sound of warfare has also been heard in the Congo, in Columbia, in Somalia, in Indonesia, in Uzbekistan, in Nepal, and in Russia. So, let us not be surprised that Satan will still resort to this kind of killing, although for his purposes it is a less desirable option. Please return to Rev 13:10 (2X). We now understand that Satan will win the war, the saints will be overcome by the activities of the worldwide Antichrist, but what then do we read about:

  • The Ultimate End of the Beast? (Rev 13:10, Heb 4:12, John 12:48, 2Thes 1:8)

Re 13:10  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.

Who is “he that leadeth into captivity”? The context of the previous 9 verses has to do with spiritual warfare. If we must remain faithful to the context, we understand that this refers to the persons who lead people into captivity to Sin and Satan. If Satan uses preachers and teachers of the Bible to lead people into a false gospel, then they have led people into captivity. They have then been functioning as Satan’s Antichrist. God’s promise to them is that they too shall go into captivity. They too shall end up in Hell. Why does the sword now suddenly enter the picture, and what has this to do with patience and faith of the saints? If we must remain faithful to the context, then we realize that the sword, spoken of here in Rev 13:10, refers to the Sword of the Spirit. God says in Heb 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” And thus we realize that “He that killeth with the sword” refers to the false preachers and teachers of the Bible who are using verses from the Bible to proclaim a false gospel. They are killing people spiritually with words from the Bible, and making people believe that they are saved, when in fact they believe in a gospel concocted in the mind of Satan. But these false preachers and teachers shall themselves be judged by that Word that they have used to drag people into Hell. The Lord Jesus said in John 12:48, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” In other words, on the last day Christ will use the Bible, the Law of God as the Sword of the Spirit, to show all the unsaved that they deserve to go to Hell. Here then is where the patience and faith of the saints come into the picture. We must be patient, for God says “Judgment is mine”. We must patiently wait for the day that Christ comes to judge the living and the dead. But we only will be patient if we have the faith that Christ shall indeed come, and He will come “in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2Thes 1:8).

#3.       If Any Man Have an Ear, Let Him Hear (Rev 13:8-9)

Whenever the Lord says something important, that needs to be understood very well, but that requires some searching in the Bible, He uses the words of Rev 13:9,

Re 13:9, If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Quite often the Lord uses these words when He has just told something important that has to be understood in the spiritual sense, rather than in the literal sense. And thus we feel confident that we have interpreted the first 7 verses of this chapter correctly in the spiritual sense. But what about verse 8? Should that verse also be interpreted spiritually? There we read:

Re 13:8  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.

Was Christ crucified twice? No! “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” must be taken spiritually, and it means that the benefit of Christ crucified for the sins of all the OT saints was effective from the foundation of the world. And thus, when righteous Abel was killed by his brother Cain, his soul went into heaven immediately, since Christ has paid for his sins also. Moreover, this verse implies that not all that dwell upon the earth, but only all the unsaved upon the earth shall worship the beast, and thus indirectly they worship Satan. Moreover this verse implies that there is a “Book of life of the Lamb” containing the names of those whom God intends to save, but the names of all those who worship the beast and the dragon are not found in that Book. Is that so? Yes, in principle that is so. Before the foundation of the world God was aware of all people who would be born into this world. And God divided them into two groups: Those whose names were written in the Book of Life of the Lamb, and those whose names were not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb. Those whose names were written in the Book of Life of the Lamb are in the Bible called “the elect”, because they have been elected unto salvation, and God shall give them the faith to believe that. They shall believe God’s words on election and predestination. But this fully implies that God was also aware of all the other people who would be born and God decided not to save them; God decided to give them no faith. This is a hard saying. But once we accept that this is he meaning of Rev 13:8, we find many more verses in the Bible that actually convey the same message. Before the foundation of the world God chose the elect, and God left all the other people in their sins. God, in His wisdom, chose to do it this way. We cannot question God’s actions, for they are all righteous. We do not understand all His actions, but we can read about them in the Bible, and it leads us to fear Almighty God. We tremble when we think that He could have passed us by. We tremble when we think of the penalty that is awaiting many whom we love, for Hell is a terrible place. But let us now turn to that “Book of Life of the Lamb”. Is there such a Book? No! Before the foundation of the world there was no paper, no ink, and so there was no Book as such. Come to think of it, does God need a Book to remember the names of those He intends to save? Absolutely not! All those names were embedded in God’s mind. That is where the Book of Life of the Lamb really is. And is it not a great comfort to know that our names were written in the mind of God from eternity past, and that God guided our steps throughout this life in such a way that we ended up safely in His hands, and no one can pluck us out of His hands, not Satan, or the beast, or any calamities of war.

AMEN.

Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.