Revelation Chapter Thirteen

The Unholy Trinity

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In our study of Revelation chapter thirteen, we look at Satan's efforts to set up a kingdom to replace the kingdom of God. We look at how Satan tries to duplicate everything about God even the trinity.

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Revelation 13:1

Then the dragon stood on the seashore; and I saw a beast come up out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads. On its horns were ten royal crowns and on its heads blasphemous names.

The sea represents instability and a beast represents a kingdom that will arise out of the instability that is happening on the earth. This beast is a person that is to be the political head of this kingdom that Satan is trying to set up. Once again, we see that the beast has seven heads which represent seven empires with the last empire being composed of ten kingdoms within the empire.

Revelation 13:2

The beast which I saw was like a leopard, but with feet like those of a bear and a mouth like the mouth of a lion. To it the dragon gave its power, its throne and great authority.

Now, John describes the beast and it is very similar to the beasts that Daniel saw in Daniel 7. The body was like a leopard and was a symbol of the Greco-Macedonian empire and its outward culture. The feet were like that of a bear which was a sign of the Media-Persian empire which was known for its pagan wealth and splendor. The mouth was like a lion which was a symbol of the Babylonian empire which was known for its dictatorial authority. When you put them all together you end up with a man that is refined and cultured, is wealthy and rules with dictatorial authority where any opposition is dealt with quickly. We see that this man is given all of his power and authority by Satan himself.

Revelation 13:3

One of the heads of the beast appeared to have received a fatal wound, but its fatal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed after the beast in amazement.

This verse tells us of a huge lie that Satan and the beast get people to believe. People believe that the beast has been raised from the dead by Satan but, in fact, Satan does not have the power to do that. It is crazy that the people won't accept the resurrection of Yeshua Messiah but they will accept this fake.

Revelation 13:4

They worshipped the dragon, because he had given his authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who can fight against it?"

So the dragon has set himself up to replace God and this first beast has been set up to take the place of Yeshua. The people were deceived by the big lie and worshiped them. They thought that, if the beast could not be killed then there was nobody that was powerful enough to stand against them and so they must be a god.

Revelation 13:5

It was given a mouth speaking arrogant blasphemies; and it was given authority to act for forty-two months.

This first beast will brag about himself and his power but his time to exercise that power is limited to forty-two months. That is the period of time that we typically call the great tribulation. Blasphemy has two meanings in the Bible but here it is talking about showing contempt for the name of God. In Leviticus 24:10-16, God defined this type of blasphemy and prescribed the penalty for this sin as being death.

Revelation 13:6

So it opened its mouth in blasphemies against God to insult his name and his Sh'khinah, and those living in heaven;

This beast not only disrespects God but also heaven and those that live there as well.

Revelation 13:7

it was allowed to make war on God's holy people and to defeat them; and it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.

This may seem confusing to us at it says that the beast will conquer the saints but these saints are the people that accept Christ after the rapture of the church. It may seem like Satan is winning but, when the saints are conquered, they will be killed and go to be with the rest of the saints and Yeshua. The rest of the earth is controlled by the beast for a period of time.

Revelation 13:8

Everyone living on earth will worship it except those whose names are written in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb slaughtered before the world was founded.

There are only two options at this point. Those that are children of God will be killed and go to join him. Those whose names are not written in the book of life will worship the beast and be eternally condemned. It seems that today many are standing in the middle ground between good and evil but really, if your name is not in the book, then you are really serving Satan; there is no middle ground.

Revelation 13:9 & 10

Those who have ears, let them hear! "If anyone is meant for captivity, into captivity he goes! If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he is to be killed!" This is when God's holy people must persevere and trust!

The ability to hear comes from God and it is only by his call that we accept Yeshua Messiah and escape the captivity of sin and Satan. At this time, the beast will hunt the people that accept Christ and when they are caught they will have their heads chopped off by a sword. Many say that this cannot happen but if you look at what is already happening in many countries it is easy to see that it is almost here. In these countries today, Christians are hunted and killed by having their heads chopped off with a sword.

Revelation 13:11 & 12

Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. It had two horns like those of a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence; and it makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, the one whose fatal wound had been healed.

Now, we are introduced to the third part of this unholy trinity. This second beast is the religious leader of the world. There is going to be a new world religion that will worship the beast. All those left on the earth will be forced to worship the first beast (the political leader).

Revelation 13:13

It performs great miracles, even causing fire to come down from heaven onto the earth as people watch.

This anti-christ is going to perform signs that will cause the people to be deceived. Just as God rained fire down on Sodom and Gomorrah, this beast is going to do the same thing. This is similar to what happened with the magicians when Moses performed signs before the Pharaoh (see Exodus chapters 7 - 11).

Revelation 13:14

It deceives the people living on earth by the miracles it is allowed to perform in the presence of the beast, and it tells them to make an image honoring the beast that was struck by the sword but came alive again.

Once they are deceived, the beast will order them to commit idolatry (set up an image to worship).

Revelation 13:15

It was allowed to put breath into the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could even speak; and it was allowed to cause anyone who would not worship the image of the beast to be put to death.

The second beast (religious leader) is going to cause the image that was set up to speak. Those that do not worship this false god will be killed.

Revelation 13:16 & 17

Also it forces everyone - great and small, rich and poor, free and slave - to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead preventing anyone from buying or selling unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.

How do you get someone to do something that they know is wrong? The simple answer is demonstrated here in that they are not given any other option. At this point, you are either identified with the beast and can participate in the world system or you are identified with Christ and killed. If you choose neither, then you will starve to death because you cannot buy food. There is much effort given to trying to figure out exactly what the mark is but, as Christians, we do not have to worry because we will not be here. It is not going to be some type of secret mark that is put on you without you knowing it.

Revelation 13:18

This is where wisdom is needed; those who understand should count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person, and its number is 666.

A simple number but with a big meaning. Throughout God's word, the number six represents man's works and their imperfection. The number three represents divine perfection and the establishment of God's will and purpose. In this we see that, the beast is a man that is claiming to be divine (God) but God's purpose will be done.

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