SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:
In Revelation chapter 13, we looked at the two great earthly kingdoms used by Satan in his war against Christ and His people. These kingdoms are the political kingdoms of this world and the religious kingdoms of this world. Satan uses both of these to oppose the work of Christ by directly persecuting the people of God.
This chapter can be outlined as follows:
- The Beast of the Sea – The Political Kingdoms of This World (13:1-10)
- The Beast of the Earth – The False Religions of This World (13:11-15)
- The Mark of the Beast – The Number of Man (13:16-18)
SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:
- Revelation 13:1-10 – The Beast From The Sea (The Political Kingdoms of This World)
In this section of John’s vision, we see a Satanic, wild, dangerous beast arising from the sea (the unsettled mass of fallen humanity).
The beast’s seven heads symbolize the seven world empires that will control the world until Christ comes again (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo/Persia, Greece, Rome, Various World Powers). The physical description of its body, feet and mouth all refer to the previous empires that have existed in history. The names appearing on the beast’s heads (blasphemy) teach us one of the core roles of the political empires is to speak against God.
The ten horns on the seventh head picture the various countries that will attempt to control the world coming after the dividing of the Roman Empire.
The deadly wound received by the sixth head (the Roman Empire) represents Christ’s death on the cross which won the ultimate victory over this beast. The appearance of the healing of this wound, speaks of the timeframe following the crucifixion when the beast continues to be active. At the second coming of Christ, the true deadly nature of this wound is revealed with the beast being cast into the Lake of Fire for an eternity.
This beast receives its power and position from Satan, himself, under the Sovereign will of allowance of God. Finally in the last portion of this section we read the Lord’s assurance that Divine retribution will be sent against this beast for it’s great acts of rebellion, blasphemy and abuse against the Lord and His people.
- Revelation 13:11-15 – The Beast From The Earth (The Religious Kingdoms Of This World)
John is now introduced to the second beast, the beast that comes from the earth. This beast represents the religious kingdoms of this world (false religions, prophets, teachers and antichrists in the world).
This beast is said to resemble a lamb with two horns but speaking like a dragon. This reveals to us the deceitful nature of this beast that appears to be a gentle, humble, spiritual kingdom but is, in actually, the mouthpiece of Satan, himself. Although this beast look very different from the first beast, and possesses a different set of roles to fulfill, these beasts still share the same authority, message and leader. Throughout history the false religions of this world speak great words of comfort and hope while leading lost mankind down a path that leads to their ultimate destruction.
Along with possessing deceitful speech, this beast performs great miracles hoping to attract followers. These miracles are counterfeit divine miracles that are affective in misleading lost mankind to follow them unquestioningly.
This beast causes their followers to create an idolatrous image as a part of their service to the beast. This image is symbolic of the fruits of ministry that are born by these lost indivduals. By creating an image lost mankind is declaring through their works of false righteousness that they have turned their backs on the true God and now are accepting of false worship which is idolatry. Also they are declaring that they are adherents to a humanistic philosophy that states that men are able, in and of themselves, to create their own gods and worship them as if they were the true God over all.
By presenting these images to the political kingdoms in charge, they are proving beyond doubt that they have been misled by the religious powers of the world and are now followers of the doctrines of Satan himself. The image receives life in the sense that the outward ancient practices of the heathen are constantly being reintroduced to mankind in a new way appealing to their senses and deceiving them into making them lifestyle choices.
- Revelation 13: 16-18– The Mark Of The Beast
Finally, it is revealed to John that these beasts work in harmony to have their followers receive “the mark of the beast” which is also dewscribed as “666” and “the number of a man”. When these titles are examined closely we can see this mark is a symbolic way of saying that the followers of the beast have taken upon themselves the teachings of humanism, unsuccessful attempts to become perfect in God’s sight through their own works, and sinful rebellion against God.
This mark was to be placed upon their forehead and/or right hand. This was indicative of the mark of ownership and servitude placed upon slaves in the Roman Empire. This helps us to understand that anyone who takes part in the ministry of these two beasts are the property of Satan, serving him as a lifestyle.
WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:
In Revelation chapter 14, we will begin to look in greater detail at the second coming of Christ. This will mark the end of the activities of Satan and his political and religious kingdoms of this world. Not only do we see the end of the powers of the darkness of this world, but also the protection and safety of the people of God.
A short outline of chapter 14 includes:
1. The New Song Of The 144,000 (14:1-5)
2. The Three Angels (14:6-13)
3. The Reaping Of The Earth(14:14-20)
May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.
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