Revelation 13

Revelation 13 has John giving us a picture of the two beasts with his primary focus on what happens on earth.  He spent most of the previous chapter focused on heaven, but now he gives attention to the beast “rising out of the sea” and it’s 42 month reign on the earth.  The beast is often equated to Satan and this likeness to Satan is just one of the things that identifies this beast with the one popularly known as the Antichrist. Guzik says ‘The Antichrist is the “opposite Jesus”; he is the “instead of” Jesus.  He will look wonderful, be charming and successful. He will be the ultimate winner, and appear as an angel of light. In this sense the Antichrist will be a satanic messiah, instead of the true Messiah Jesus Christ.’

The beast has much destruction and deceit to pour out upon the earth.  “It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven”.  “Blasphemer” may be a more accurate title than “Antichrist” for this end-times dictator. As much as anything, this beast is a man who speaks against God and everything God stands for.  Not only does he blaspheme God, but also he speaks against those who were taken in the rapture, and are therefore out of his reach.  His lips are filled with vile deceit and attacks.

But the beast is full of more than mere words.  “Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain”.  The beast is able to pour out persecution during the tribulation period. He can’t overcome the faith of the saints, but he can destroy their physical lives.

The tribulation will be a difficult time for those who experience it.  The beast will work to “deceive those who dwell on earth”.  This final world dictator will demand and receive worship from the whole earth from all who are not saved.  As John wraps the chapter, he gives us one ultimate piece of information about this second beast.  “This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666”.  There are dozens of opinions as to who this man is.  But instead of obsessing with fear and interest about the number of the Antichrist – how much more appropriate is it for Christians to be interested in the genuine and only Savior, Jesus Christ.

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.

    Reply

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