And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. 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. 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 astonished and followed the beast. (Rev 13:1-3)There is much symbolism in that passage. Some we can only speculate about, but not all. Clearly, the identity of the dragon is the devil (Rev. 12:9). Also, the beast with ten horns and seven heads is the infamous antichrist. The antichrist gets his power and authority from the devil!
Men 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 make war against him?" (Rev 13:4)
The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. (Rev 13:5,6)Listed here are a few characteristics of the antichrist - proud and blasphemous. That verse also tells us how long the antichrist will rule. Since Jesus' return with the saints will terminate his reign of 42 months (Rev. 19) we know once he starts to rule when the Lord will come back to the Mt. Of Olives. The antichrist will also be a slanderer. Did you know the Greek word for devil also means slanderer? More characteristics of the antichrist (the lawless one) are found in 2 Thess. 2:3-12.
He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. (Rev 13:7)This is the most disturbing verse in the Bible regarding the end of this age. The antichrist will have worldwide power and that includes even conquering the saints! His political power will reign supreme on earth, but the saints personally can overcome the antichrist, as shown in Rev. 12:11:
They overcame 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. (Rev 12:11)Rev. 12:11 is a key passage and should be memorized!
But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. (Rev 19:20)The antichrist and false prophet, two individual men, will be the first two humans to go directly into the lake of fire and that will be without a prior judgment, as all others will get. Both will also be thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur with the same kind of body we now have, yet will not be annihilated 1,000 years later. They are still in torment today. Compare Rev. 19:20 to Rev. 20:10.
All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast - all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. He who has an ear, let him hear. (Rev 13:8,9)Again, the whole worldwide society will actually worship the antichrist. The Lord Jesus is described here as being slain from the creation of the world. That refers to God's foreknowledge of the future.
If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and on the part of the saints.(Rev 13:10)These are the two possible fates of the faithful - captivity or death during the reign of the antichrist. Both call for patient endurance and faithfulness.
Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. (Rev 13:11)This beast of v.11 is the false prophet who is also mentioned in Rev. 19:20. He looks like a lamb, but will speak like the devil! (Looks can be deceiving.) His mission is to promote the antichrist:
He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. (Rev 13:12)The false prophet will have equal authority to the antichrist, but will promote him to the point of having him worshiped, while he himself has a lesser role. The message of the false prophet, who is a man, is not now being preached in the modern churches, as some falsely claim. His message will point people to and promote the one individual (the antichrist) who gets his power and authority from the devil. He will receive worship from the deceived society of that day, and finally get thrown into the lake of fire 42 months after he starts to rule over the entire world. Though changing grace into a license for immorality is a HERESY, and is still deceiving multitudes into hell, the false prophet of Rev. 13 is spreading a different Satanic message. (The devil has various ways to snare a person and not just one.) That false prophet does not change grace into a license for immorality. Remember also grace was being changed into a license to sin in Jude's day (Jude 3,4), yet the coming of the antichrist was yet futuristic (1 John 2:18).
He performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. (Rev 13:13-15)The false prophet will also be a miracle performer. The difference between him and godly miracle performers such as Paul, Peter, Moses, Elisha, etc. is their message. True servants of God, who perform miracles from God, will also promote the message of the Bible, while the people who are of the devil will lead people away from the message of the Bible. It seems that the ungodly miracle performers especially disregard worshiping ONLY the true and living God of the Bible. See also Deut. 13:1-10. They will also teach contrary to the Biblical message of salvation. Remember this: Miracles are powerful attention-grabbers and can be (and have been) used even by the devil. Fatima is an example. Hence, do not just accept any and every message promoted by miracle performers or that which has happened at some shrine, etc. If the message being promoted doesn't parallel the Biblical message it cannot be from the same source which produced the Bible (God).
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (2 Th 2:9,10)The people who take the mark of the beast (which is the name of the antichrist) will be deceived by satanic miracles performed by the false prophet, as already stated. This also parallels what we read here:
But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. (Rev 19:20)(Rev. 19:20 would be a good passage to memorize.) Next is one of the most popular verses on the mark of the beast:
He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666. (Rev 13:16-18)For the false prophet to have the political power to force all people on a global scale to take the mark of the beast so the recipients can buy and/or sell shows indirectly the antichrist will, one day, be in charge of a global organization including the financial system. No one living then will escape his influence, including the saints.
Since the mark of the beast is needed to buy and/or sell and no such mark exists at this time, then the mark of the beast is not here now in 2012. Such a mark, when issued, will be easily identified on that basis. The mark of the beast will be received in the literal right hand or forehead by the ones who also worship the antichrist.
Rev. 13:16-18 is the infamous mark of the beast passage, known even by many of the unsaved. In society then, no one will be able to buy or sell without that special mark in the hand or forehead. Hence, it can not be out now, since we don't need such a special mark to buy or sell. Therefore, ALL teachings which would say the mark of the beast is out now are clearly wrong and potentially deadly.
But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. (Acts 4:14)
There he found a man named Aeneas, a paralytic who had been bedridden for eight years. (Acts 9:33)
But Peter made him get up. "Stand up," he said, "I am only a man myself. (Acts 10:26)NOTE: False teachers who say the mark of the beast is out now (in 2013) and/or the antichrist is not a person but mankind as a whole or some other similar thing has set up the ones who follow them to take the real mark of the beast for they will not recognize it to be what it is. One such false teacher who also says if you take the mark of the beast you can afterwards repent of it, is both confusing the issue and denying its spiritual danger. Clearly, all who take the real mark of the beast (the number of the name of the antichrist), will be damned (Rev. 14:9-12). That single act of disobedience will cause loss of salvation for the saints who receive it. It is possible to lose your salvation over one sin and that will happen to some during the reign of the antichrist!
In recent years because of artificial Intelligence (AI) some have contemplated the possibility that the antichrist will be such, but that too is refuted with God's word. How? Because the antichrist will be tormented in the fiery lake of burning sulfur (Rev. 19:20 cf. 20:10), which would not be possible if he was AI -- a machine.
Then I saw the beast (the antichrist) and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh (Rev 19:19-21).NOTE: The antichrist (the beast) conquers and excels with everything for 42 months, UNTIL HE MEETS JESUS! When the conflict becomes "the antichrist VS. THE CHRIST," it will be quickly and permanently over for the antichrist, as he gets captured and thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur to be tormented forever (Rev. 20:10)! THANK YOU PRECIOUS LORD JESUS.
The world's greatest military powers are all gathered there against Jesus. They might have laser beams, nuclear war heads on their high tech missiles and advanced weapons we never heard of yet, but singlehandedly the KING will easily conquer!
They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb WILL OVERCOME THEM BECAUSE HE IS LORD OF LORDS AND KING OF KINGS--and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers (Rev 17:14).
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority (or POWER) in heaven and on earth has been given to me" (Mat 28:18).The antichrist will never be a threat again at that point.
Other Topics:Text Sermons (Expository and Topical) by Dan Corner of Evangelical Outreach
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