Things to Come, Lesson 31, The Seven Personages of Revelation, The Beast of the Sea, Chapter 13, Part VI
We have studied five of the seven personages of the book of Revelation.
Those personages represented the nation Israel, our Lord Jesus Christ, Satan the Devil, Michael the Archangel and the Jewish remnant of the Tribulation.
The last two of the seven are creatures that are called beasts but it is clear that the word "beasts" describe men.
God chooses to call these men beasts, which in the Greek means dangerous animal, a venomous wild beast.
The word conveys a brutal, wild and uncontrolled character, of course resembling their father, the devil.
It conveys an inhumanity, the total lack of care for life.
God tells us from where these two men come for he adds to the word Beast "of the Sea", and of the Earth.
Today we will begin a study of the first beast, the Beast of the Sea, by reading Revelation 13:1-10:
1And 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. 2And 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. 3And 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. 4And 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? 5And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. 6And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7And 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. 8And 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. 9If any man have an ear, let him hear. 10He 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.
Now remember where we are in the Tribulation period.
Satan has been banished from the heavenlies and has been cast to the earth and because of this all his power and influence will be directed toward Godís people, both Jew and saved Gentile.
Not being seen by mortal eyes, Satan will choose to project his power and authority through two men, two ministers of his evil during the short time he knows he has left.
He will give them that power to do on Earth that which he did in the heavenlies for they will be evil personified.
Satan is the ultimate copy cat for in this duo of beasts we will see his version of the Son and the Holy Spirit for along with Satan we will see the emergence of an Unholy Trinity.
For his trinity will be the counterfeit of Godís Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
His Unholy Trinity is himself Satan, the Beast of the Sea, counterfeit of Christ, and the Beast of the Earth, the counterfeit of the Holy Spirit.
We of course are blessed to obey God, the Son and the Holy Spirit who bring light into the world.
However Satanís goal is to bring total darkness and his goal is to do that through himself and his two beast-men.
In our study of these two men we will find that each has duties that will fulfill Satanís program.
The Beast out of the Sea will concern himself with civil and military power while the Beast out of the Earth will represent religious power.
Now every word of scripture is important to its understanding especially in this prophetic book.
John tells us he stood on the sand of the sea and he saw a Beast rise of out of the sea.
Genesis, which is the book of firsts, used the term to describe the offspring of Abraham and Jacob.
Abraham in Genesis 22:17, That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore;
And Jacob in Genesis 32:12, And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
So from this knowledge we can conclude that God is telling us that John figuratively stood upon the multitudes of humanity and from that came forth one of the multitude which God describes as a Beast.
Now from the passage in Revelation 13 God reveals to us many things about this first Beast.
He is said to have power, a throne, and authority.
He has authority over tribes, tongues and nations.
He will be a political world dictator.
He is in character, a beast, wild, and rules in terror for forty-two months.
He is the worldís master blasphemer.
1828 Websterís Dictionary ~ Blasphemy is an injury offered to God, by denying that which is due and belonging to him, or attributing to him that which is not agreeable to his nature.
Isaiah 42:8, I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
John is given to see this Beastís character and rule by seeing the Beast with seven heads upon which was the name of blasphemy, and ten horns and on his horns were ten crowns.
In Johnís vision it is clear that God intended for him to see both the man and his kingdom.
Verses 1 and 2 provide a picture of his kingdom, verse 3 reveals the man and his kingdom.
Verses 4 through 10 open up to us details about this satanically controlled ruler.
So John, when he sees the Beast of the Sea is seeing not only the man but the kingdom of the man.
In our Daniel study we met this man who was described as the ruler of the fourth kingdom, a kingdom diverse from all kingdoms, a kingdom yet to be.
Daniel uses the word beast to describe the four kingdoms.
They represent the four Gentile powers, Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece and Rome.
Daniel also describes these kingdoms in the form of a great statue, the head being Babylon, the chest and arms being Media Persia, the stomach and hips being Greece, the legs being iron.
And from that iron came the feet made of clay and iron, with of course ten toes.
Again in our passage we meet 10 horns and 10 crowns which is a vision of 10 nations, the ten toes, loosely aligned, from which arises the first Beast, the Beast of the Sea.
This arising it easily seen in Daniel 7:23-25:
Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25And 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.
God gives us in this last verse a tie to the times of the Tribulation period.
A time and times and the dividing of time which describes the Great Tribulation.
The Beast of the Sea is a man who comes forth from ten horns which are ten kingdoms.
John is being shown here a ruler of a kingdom which is a composite of all the empires throughout human history who have opposed God and his people.
He is in one man every form of blasphemy and is known to us as the Antichrist.
The ten kingdoms from which he comes are also described in Psalm 83 as kingdoms which surround the Holy Land.
They are kingdoms from the seed of Abraham, but not from Isaac the son of promise, but from the seed of Ishmael, the son of the bond woman.
It is easy to see the stirring of Ishmaelís seed today.
Daniel speaks of four beasts in this order: a lion, a bear, a leopard, and then a beast dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly.
But John describes, not four beasts, but one beast, and he uses the same animals of Daniel which describe four beasts, to describe this one beast.
He is described as a leopard, an animal of catlike vigilance, a bear, an animal of crushing power, and a lion, an animal always thought of as the king of beasts, an ferocious animal of authority over all others.
John describes the animals in reverse order to that of Daniel for Daniel saw the vision from the perspective of the future and John saw the vision from the perspective of the past.
So this one beast of Revelation has the characteristics of all four beasts of Daniel.
He is like unto a leopard, a bear, a lion and the beast dreadful and terrible and strong exceedingly.
This Beast is Satanís masterpiece of men which he intends to present to the world as its Saviour from God.
And from verse two we learn that the Beast was endued with power.
and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
So as Jesus said of his authority he could do nothing of himself this man of Satan can only do that which he is empowered to do by his Father, the Devil.
As God the Father expressed his will though His Son, so Satan the perfect counterfeiter will do though his son, the beast, this man, this Antichrist who is filled with the spirit of Satan.
There are two references in Revelation 11:7 and 17:8, that refer to the beast coming out of the bottomless pit.
This could indicate that this is a man who is possessed by one brought up from the pit, or it could indicate one who is possessed by Satan himself.
But one thing we know this man is like no other man this earth has ever known for he will be perfectly like his Father, the Devil.
Revelation 13:3, 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.
God sent forth his son to die for the sins of the world.
But the grave could not hold him.
The world rejects that truth but the world will not reject what Satan presents to it by the death of his son, the Antichrist.
For Satanís messiah rises and the whole world is amazed and will form a religion to worship him and there will be one who comes who will point to him as God.
John is given to see the death and resurrection of this evil one.
In some way this man will be wounded to death.
In verse 14 we are told he was wounded by a sword.
In verse 12 it says his deadly wound was healed.
This sounds like an assassination with the use of a deadly knife or sword but this assassination is unique in that this man is healed.
For this is a head wound, a mortal wound, not a superficial injury for all the world wondered after the Beast.
It must have been obvious that the man was dead, as it was obvious that Jesus was dead on the cross.
Perhaps there will even be some extended time between the death and the resurrection as there was concerning Jesus.
But in any case Satan uses this event as a way in which Antichristís fame and authority will become worldwide.
Revelation 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?
In Exodus 15 the song of Moses is recorded and a part of that song asks this question in verse 11, Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
And now we know that that same question will be asked of this man of sin for the world will bow the knee to this man of wonders, this man who came to life after suffering the deadly wound.
He becomes a man idolized as God.
He will be lifted up as God by the second beast, the Beast of the Earth, who will cause the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast.
Now in the worship of this man, the devil also receives worship, for everything behind this man is of Satan and all the glory goes to him even though the world may not know who is behind this evil one.
Satan glories in worship that is displayed when men refuse the outstretched arm of God.
When men reject the grace offered in the shed blood of our Lord, Satan knows and feels worship even though men may not believe Satan exists.
Satan, in fact, promotes his non-existence for that promotes the non-existence of anything beyond what man can know by his senses.
So worship of Satanís perfectly evil man is worship of Satan.
Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
Daniel tells us in Daniel 9:27 that this beast, this man of sin will make a peace covenant with many for a period of seven years,
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Could this come about because of the question, Who is able to make war with him?
It sounds like Satan so empowers this man that nothing can be raised against him and all knees bow to his presence and his power.
He will be thought of as so mighty that he cannot be overcome or conquered and therefore he is able to bring together all warring factions.
Considering the hatred directed against Israel today by its surrounding nations, bringing peace in this environment would certainly be considered a miracle in itself.