The pursuit of the woman that was seen in chapter 12 as a vision and as covering all of time is seen in chapter 13 as the actual persecution of the last 3 1/2 years
This is the final attempt to make destroy the seed of the woman
The goal of this chapter is to get the whole world to worship the beast/dragon
Details of the first beast:
1) there is cooperation and an agreement between the first beast and the dragon (13:3-4)
2) there is universal success in deceiving the whole world into beast worship (13:3,4,8)
3) the saints do not buy into it and are killed because of their refusal to worship the beast (13:6-7)
To help deceive the believers (worshippers of Jesus) a second beast will arise beginning in 13:11. The dragon and the first beast will call on a third member to be on their team. This beast is a lamblike beast.
These are the character traits of the first beast we will see:
1) comes from the sea
2) looks like the dragon
3) has several animal features
4) the dragon empowers him
5) one of its heads is wounded but healed
6) blasphemes God, his temple, his people for 42 months
7) makes war with saints and kills them
8) gives his mark to those who worship him
Other references to the beast in Revelation:
11:7 says the beast rises from the Abyss
17 scarlet-colored beast
19:19 the beast forms a coalition with the “kings of the earth”
19:20 final destiny is the lake of fire
Two historical views of the beast:
1) A literal man
a) Epistle of Barnabas (70-100 AD) warns of imminent appearing of “the final stumbling-block” who was to be the “little horn” of Daniel 7:24
b) The Didache (110 AD) mentions a “world deceiver who will appear in the guise of God’s Son. He will work signs and wonders and the earth will fall into his hands and he will commit outrages such as have never occurred before.”
c) Justin Martyr (160 AD) looked for the appearance in his lifetime of the Antichrist of Daniel who would reign for 3 1/2 years.
d) Irenaeus (170-202) discusses the Antichrist as an unrighteous king from the tribe of Dan, the little horn of Daniel who reign’s for 3 1/2 years.
e) Hippolytus (d. 235), Tertullian (d 220) Victorinus (d 304) followed Irenaeus
2)A present threat of heresy based on 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7
a) Polycarp (d 155) sees the antichrist as the docetic heresies of his time.
b) Tertullian identifies the prophets of doceism as the antichrst, but sees them as the forerunners of the future AC
c) Luther, Calvin, and many reformers identified the beast with the papcacy
Also, many believed and feared that Nero would be resurrected or reincarnated.
The sand depicts the nations of the world.
20:8 says that Satan will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth and then it says, “In number they are like the sand on the seashore.”
The sea is the abyss where the beast comes from.
11:7 “the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them. . .”
17:8 “The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction.”
“Beast” is “therion” and refers NOT to a domesticated animal, but to a uncontrolled monster.
To understand the imagery the beast represents both and individual and the system (kingdom) he operates.
There are complex descriptions of the beast that go beyond an individual.
The beast is also a person because of the personal pronoun used
It appears that John may have actually saw the beast emerge from the sea as he saw first the ten horns and seven heads, then body of the leopard followed by the feet of a bear.
The anti-christ is a man who appears to be indwelt by a demon from the Abyss at the 3 1/2 year mark.
The AC will be a great speaker, a genius with a great personality that is able lead the entire world.
The ten horns are the same as in:
Daniel 7:7, 24
The AC will arise from one of these ten horns (or, ten leaders of nations)
With their support the AC will then rule the entire world
The 7 heads represent a sequence of world empires through time.
The 10 horns represent the ten nations who exist and rule at the same time (last 3 1/2 years)
Daniel 1:41-44 describes this final world empire.
This world empire will be in a sense a revived
The man and the empire will include all the
advantages of the previous empires of the leopard, the bear and the lion.
(Daniel 7:3-7 –
The dragon (Satan) gave the man AC:
1) His power
2) His throne
3) His authority
All these are from the collapsed kosmos system of the fallen prince of the power of the air.
All three are imitations of God’s power, God’s throne and God’s authority.
Because the world has seen 3 1/2 years of problems from the seals and the trumpets and