Revelation 11-13

Sunday Evening Bible Study

June 10, 2001

Revelation 11

:14  The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

There have been seven trumpets that have been blown by seven angels.  The last three trumpets were called “woes”.

(Rev 8:13 KJV)  And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

We are now ready for the last of the seven trumpets.

:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

soundedsalpizo – to sound a trumpet

kingdomsbasileia – royal power, kingship, dominion, rule; a kingdom, the territory subject to the rule of a king

he shall reignbasileuo – to be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign

This is one of the lines that Handel put into his famous work, “The Hallelujah Chorus”.

:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,

worshippedproskuneo – to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence; among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence; in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication


True leadership comes from humility.

These are the “elders” of the whole earth, the leadership of all of God’s people through the ages.
And they have one thing that they do over and over and over again.  They fall off their thrones and fall on their faces before God.
True leadership is all about “falling off your throne”.

:17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

we give … thankseucharisteo – to be grateful, feel thankful; give thanks

which art, and wast, and art to come – or, “Who is being, who was being, and who is coming

hast takenlambano – to take; perfect tense, something happened in the past with effects continuing into the present.

hast reignedbasileuo – to be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign; aorist tense, a point of time in the past.

:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

the nationsethnos – a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together; a multitude of individuals of the same nature or genus; a tribe, nation, people group; in the OT, foreign nations not worshipping the true God, pagans, Gentiles

were angryorgizo – to provoke, to arouse to anger; to be provoked to anger, be angry, be wroth

The elders seem to be quoting from:

(Psa 2:1-2 KJV)  Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? {2} The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,

is comeerchomai – to come; aorist tense.

wrathorge – anger, the natural disposition, temper, character; anger, wrath, indignation

This all speaks of a time of judgment, a time of final judgment.

Some have taken this to mean that this is the exact moment of the time of the Second Coming, and so they will connect this with the seventh bowl and say that they are the same.

I don’t think the language here means that this is the exact “moment” that Jesus comes back, but that the whole process is going on and the inhabitants in heaven are rejoicing to see it all come about.

The voices and the elders are stating this in the sense of a conquering army landing on the beach and claiming the land for their king.

Even though they still have many battles up ahead, much fighting to do.

destroy … destroydiaphtheiro – to change for the worse, to corrupt; to destroy, ruin; to consume; to destroy, to kill


Christians should care for the earth too.

It’s tough when most of the ecology movement is led by humanistic Darwinists.  But the truth is, God wants man to take care of this place!

:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

templenaos – used of the temple at Jerusalem, but only of the sacred edifice (or sanctuary) itself, consisting of the Holy place and the Holy of Holies

in heaven – John mentions this to distinguish it from the temple on earth that he has already measured back at the beginning of the chapter.  This is the “real” temple, the one on earth is merely a copy of the heavenly temple.

arkkibotos – a wooden chest or box; in the NT the ark of the covenant, in the temple at Jerusalem; of Noah’s vessel built in the form of an ark

testamentdiatheke – a disposition, arrangement, of any sort, which one wishes to be valid, the last disposition which one makes of his earthly possessions after his death, a testament or will; a compact, a covenant, a testament

Moses built an “ark of the covenant” (remember Raiders of the Lost Ark?) that was a gold covered box that was built to contain the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments.  The box is the “ark” and the tablets of the commandments are the “covenant” or “testament”.

lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail – these all apparently take place in heaven.

Revelation 12 – The Woman and the Dragon

:1  And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

wondersemeion – a sign, mark, token.  John is telling us here that the things he is going to describe have “symbolic” significance.  I think that it is wrong to take the entire book of Revelation symbolically, but here we are told that we need to look at these events of the next couple of chapters as symbolic.

in heaven – the things that John is going to describe are “heavenly” things.  John is going to give us a panorama of history, hopping, skipping and jumping over time to cover certain events.

womangune – a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow; a wife

crownstephanos – a crown; a mark of royal or (in general) exalted rank

Who is this woman?

The Christian Scientists believe this is Mary Baker Eddy.  I don’t think so.

The Catholic Church says that this is the Virgin Mary.  They say this because she will give birth to Jesus.

It is the nation of Israel, which also gave birth to Jesus.

We see the same symbolism used to describe the nation of Israel.
(Gen 37:5-11 KJV)  And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. {6} And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: {7} For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. {8} And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. {9} And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. {10} And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? {11} And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying.

Joseph has two visions.  The first vision of the sheaves bowing down to him was fulfilled when Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt for food, and Joseph had been promoted to the second highest office in Egypt.

But the second vision really doesn’t seem to have any correlation elsewhere.  Yet Jacob (Israel) himself interprets the sun, moon, and eleven stars as Joseph’s father, mother, and his eleven brothers.

Here, the idea of the sun, moon, and twelve stars is a picture of the entire nation, including Joseph himself. 
In addition, the events that will take place in this vision will fit much better with the nation of Israel than it will with the Virgin Mary.

:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

being with childgaster – the belly; the womb

travailing in birthodino – to feel the pains of child birth, to travail

painedbasanizo – to test (metals) by the touchstone; to question by applying torture; to torture; to vex with grievous pains (of body or mind), to torment

to be deliveredtikto – to bring forth, bear, produce (fruit from the seed); of a woman giving birth

:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

wondersemeion – a sign, mark, token

dragondrakon – a dragon, a great serpent, a name for Satan

redpurrhos – having the colour of fire, red

crownsdiadema – a diadem.  Whereas stephanos (vs.1) is a crown of royalty, diadema is more the crown of a victor, a winner of the games.

:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

tailoura – a tail

drewsuro – to draw, drag; of one before the judge, to prison, to punishment

stars – probably angels; angels are often called stars (Rev. 1:20; Job 38:7)

third part of the stars – we believe that this indicates that Satan in his rebellion against God took with him 1/3 of the angels in heaven.  We call these rebellious angels “demons”.

This is referring to Satan’s fall into sin, which would probably have taken place before creation (because the serpent was already wicked when he was in the garden with Eve)

devourkatesthio – to consume by eating, to eat up, devour

This is probably a reference to how Jesus was almost destroyed at his birth.  Herod the Great found out about the birth of Jesus from the Wiseman, and plotted to have the child put to death.

:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

to rule poimaino – to feed, to tend a flock, keep sheep; to rule, govern

caught upharpazo – to seize, carry off by force; to snatch out or away.  This is the same word that is used to describe the “rapture” (1Th. 4:17).

Jesus was “caught up” to God when He ascended into heaven after His resurrection.

:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

fledpheugo – to flee away, seek safety by flight

wildernesseremos – solitary, lonely, desolate, uninhabited; a desert, wilderness

We believe that Israel will flee into the land of Jordan.  Isaiah had a prophecy that may apply here:

(Isa 16:1 KJV)  Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion.
It is thought that this is talking about God’s people being in the land called “Sela”, also known as the “Rock City of Petra”.  In the movie Indian Jones and the Last Crusade, the exterior scenes at the sacred temple were shot at the city of Petra.  Some feel that this is one of the places the Jews will flee to, a place “prepared” for them.

they should feedtrepho – to nourish, support; feed; to give suck, to fatten; to bring up, nurture

a thousand two hundred and threescore days – 1260 days.  Sound familiar?  It’s equivalent to 3 ½ years, that same last half of the tribulation.

This is another telling of the event that we’ve seen Jesus describe several times:

(Mat 24:15-16 KJV)  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) {16} Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
We’ve seen before that Jesus is specifically talking to Jews because He warns them that they better hope that this doesn’t happen on a Sabbath day, when Jews aren’t supposed to travel very far.

:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

warpolemos – a war; a fight, a battle; a dispute, strife, quarrel

MichaelMichael = “who is like God”; the first of the chief princes or archangels who is supposed to be the guardian angel of the Israelites; Michael is known as an archangel, or “head” angel. (Jude 9)

Daniel describes a little of Michael’s activities during the tribulation:

(Dan 12:1 KJV)  And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

We believe that Satan, also known as “Lucifer” was also once an “archangel”.  Satan is not the opposite of God, Satan is the opposite of an angel like Michael.

:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

prevailedischuo – to be strong; to have power.  Satan was not “strong” enough.

We believe this “war” will take place in the middle of the Tribulation.  Before Jesus’ birth, Satan had already led his rebellion, but continued to have access to heaven.  It’s at this point that Satan will be kicked out of heaven for good.

:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

worldoikoumene – the inhabited earth; the universe, the world

Just to be clear, in case you were left guessing who this “dragon” is, it is Satan.

:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ:

 I wonder if this doesn’t tie in with the things that are declared at the seventh trumpet.

(Rev 11:15-17 KJV)  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. {16} And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, {17} Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

:10  for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

the accuserkategoros – an accuser; a name given to the devil by the rabbis

which accusedkategoreo – to accuse; before a judge: to make an accusation

Until the midway point in the Tribulation, the devil has a job in heaven.  He is heaven’s chief prosecutor, working to accuse us before God.  This District Attorney’s office is opened twenty-four hours a day.

Whereas Satan is a “prosecuting attorney”, Jesus is our “defense attorney”

I John 2:1-2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.

We have to stand on what God says to us:

Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:33-34  Who will bring a charge against God's elect?  God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns?  Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

overcamenikao – to conquer; to carry off the victory, come off victorious

wordlogos – a word

testimonymarturia – a testifying; what one testifies, testimony, i.e. before a judge

lovedagapao – to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly; to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing

livespsuche – breath; life; the soul

untoachri – until, unto, etc.

deaththanatos – the death of the body

Who is the “they” that overcome Satan?  It would seem in the context that it would be applying to Michael and his angels, but these are human oriented “weapons”.

The “they” here refers to the “brethren” of verse 10, not to Michael and company. 

The victory on earth of the tribulation saints was reflected in heaven with Michael's victory.


Victory by the blood of the Lamb

As we've seen, one of Satan's major works is that of accusing or condemning.  With it, he alienates us from God and makes us ineffective.
It’s the blood that cleanses us and frees us from all condemnation.
I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When you are under condemnation, confess your sins, receive God's cleansing, then you can say, "I've been washed in the blood".


Victory from the Word

God’s Word is meant here, the “word” of our “testimony”.
And God’s Word is a powerful weapon.
It’s the “Sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17)
It’s sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12)
It’s the very thing that Jesus used to fight temptation from Satan with (Mat. 4).


Victory from correct priorities (not loving your life)

What can you do to people who are willing to die for the Lord?
In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego had the right attitude when Nebuchadnezzar threatened to throw them into the fiery furnace for not bowing to his idol:
(Dan 3:17-18 KJV)  If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. {18} But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

rejoiceeuphraino – to gladden, make joyful; to be glad, to be merry, to rejoice; to rejoice in, be delighted with a thing

dwellskenoo – to fix one’s tabernacle, have one’s tabernacle, abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent), tabernacle; to dwell

wraththumos – passion, angry, heat, anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again; glow, ardour, the wine of passion, inflaming wine (which either drives the drinker mad or kills him with its strength)

:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

persecuteddioko – to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away; to persecute

:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

wingspterux – a wing: of birds

eagleaetos – an eagle: since eagles do not usually go in quest of carrion, this may to a vulture that resembles an eagle; an eagle as a standard (Roman Military)

Some have suggested that this is some type of “air lift” led by the U.S. military, since the symbol of the air force is the eagle.  It may simply be a way of saying that God is going to provide a way of escape, similar to how God delivered the Israelites from Egypt:

(Exo 19:4 KJV)  Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.

wilderness – again, probably in Jordan

time, times, and half a time – 3 ½ years, the last half of the Tribulation.

The nation of Israel will be protected from Satan during the last half of the Tribulation.

:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

waterhudor – water; fig. used of many peoples

floodpotamos – a stream, a river; a torrent; floods

carried away of the floodpotamophoretos – carried away by a stream (i.e. overwhelmed, drowned in the waters)

This may be some kind of actual water phenomena, but keep in mind that John is describing a “sign”, and is using symbolic language.

It’s possible that the “flood” is a picture of the nations that Satan will stir up to destroy the Jews. 

God referred to the Assyrian army rising up to judge Israel as a flood (KJV)
(Isa 28:2 KJV)  Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.
The same wording was used by Daniel to describe the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 by the Romans:
(Dan 9:26 KJV)  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

The flood that destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70 was an army, not water.

:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

helpedboetheo – to help, succour, bring aid

swallowed upkatapino – to drink down, swallow down; to devour; to swallow up, destroy

What’s happening?  Somehow the Jews will be protected from this “flood”.

:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

was wrothorgizo – to provoke, to arouse to anger; to be provoked to anger, be angry, be wroth

the remnantloipoy – remaining, the rest

Satan will go to war with the rest of the Jews that are in the group that have gone to Jordan.  Specifically, Satan will be looking for Jews who have come to trust in Jesus.

Could it be that Satan will go after the 144,000?  Perhaps God has determined that their time is up and they are allowed to die.  We next see them at the beginning of Revelation 14, and they are found in heaven with Jesus.

Revelation 13 – The antichrist

:1  And 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.

a beasttherion – an animal; a wild animal, wild beast, beast; metaph. a brutal, bestial man, savage, ferocious; this is a different word than that used of the cherubim in Revelation 4 (zo-on – “living being”).

What is confusing about this passage is that it is very possible that this word “beast” is being used in two different ways.

It is used to describe a political empire, the world dominating empire of the antichrist.
It is used at times to talk about an individual, the antichrist himself.

out of the sea – some have suggested that this is a picture of a beast coming out of many nations.  I wonder if it isn’t the idea of this beast coming from around the area of the Mediterranean Sea.

crownsdiadema – a diadem

blasphemyblasphemia – slander, detraction, speech injurious, to another’s good name; impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty

seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns – This “beast” looks very similar to the “dragon” of chapter 12 –

(Rev 12:3 KJV)  And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

We know the dragon of chapter 12 is Satan.  With the dragon, the crowns are upon the heads.  With the beast of chapter 13, the crowns are on the horns.

There is another VERY similar beast found in Revelation 17, and John actually gives some interpretation to the heads and horns:

(Rev 17:7-12 KJV)  And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. {8} The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. {9} And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. {10} And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. {11} And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. {12} And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
The seven “heads” have two different meanings to them.  They are a picture of seven “mountains” and they are a picture of seven “kings”.

I think the seven “mountains” may refer to the “seven hills of Rome”.  The ancient city of Rome was built on seven hills.

There is a tie between the antichrist’s kingdom and the ancient kingdom of Rome.

The seven “heads have a second meaning and represent seven kings.

When we’ve peeked into the book of Daniel, we’ve seen Daniel focus on four world empires, one of which seems to pass away and reappear at the end of time.

Those empires were:  Babylon, Medo-Persian, Greece, and Rome, with the Roman Empire re-emerging at the end of time.

But Daniel doesn’t deal with the other two great, world dominating empires already mentioned in the Bible, which are Egypt and Assyria.

If you put them all together, it works like this:

The five fallen empires include Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persian, and Greece.

The empire that “is”, is the Roman Empire.

The empire that’s to come is a form of the revived Roman Empire.

The ten “horns” represent ten “kings” that will rule with the beast.

These ten kings are ten horns that are on the last of the seven heads.

They are going to be some kind of confederacy, which will form to create the last world empire, and they will give the beast his kingdom.  I think this is highly likely to come from the European Union.

:2 And 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.

leopard … bear … lion – Daniel also saw a similar vision that overlaps somewhat with what John is seeing.

(Dan 7:1-7 KJV)  In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. {2} Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. {3} And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. {4} The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it. {5} And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. {6} After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. {7} After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

In Daniel’s vision, the first beast like a lion was Babylon, the second beast like a bear was Medo-Persia, and the third beast like a leopard was Greece.  The fourth beast, a weird one, was Rome.

I believe John is telling us that this empire of the antichrist will have similarities of the first three empires.  It will be like a leopard, swift in it’s conquest like Greece.  It will have feet like a bear, able to crush it’s enemies like Persia.  It will have the mouth of a lion, either to make a lot of noise, or to have some type of tie to Babylon.

the dragon gave him his power – this empire will have its power and authority directly from Satan.

seatthronos – a throne seat

: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.

woundedsphazo – to slay, slaughter, butcher; to put to death by violence; mortally wounded

Some have suggested that this means that the antichrist will be killed or wounded, but then be raised from the dead, similar to Jesus.

But if this is talking about an empire rather than an individual, then perhaps it could mean that a country that was considered dead and lifeless will gain great power.  As if Germany or Italy were to gain great power and status once again.

: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?

worshippedproskuneo – to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence; among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence; in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication

This person or empire will cause the world to worship Satan.

:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

I think this “mouth” is the antichrist.

great things – people will be mesmerized by what this “mouth” will say.

This may not just be great in the sense that he speaks of himself arrogantly, but also in the sense that he’s going to be a great orator.  One of Hitler’s tools that led to his rise was his speaking ability.  He knew that if he could be a great speaker, he could command a following.  Hitler would mesmerize his crowds.

blasphemiesblasphemia – slander, detraction, speech injurious, to another’s good name; impious and reproachful speech injurious to divine majesty

We’ll see what the blasphemies will be about in verse 6.

forty and two months – or, 3 ½ years, the last part of the Tribulation.

:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

tabernacleskene – tent, tabernacle, (made of green boughs, or skins or other materials); of that well known movable temple of God after the pattern of which the temple at Jerusalem was built

them that dwellskenoo – to fix one’s tabernacle, have one’s tabernacle, abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent), tabernacle; to dwell

The antichrist will say horrible things about God.

:7 And 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.

The antichrist will bring about a great persecution against Christians.

The antichrist’s power will extend to the entire earth.

:8 And 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.

Those whose names are not in the Lamb’s book of life will worship the antichrist.

Jesus is the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”.

It has always been in God’s plan for Jesus to die for the sins of the world.

:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.

It’s interesting to note that when we saw this phrase in chapters 2,3, it added the phrase, “what the Spirit says to the churches”.  Here it’s missing.  Maybe because by this time, the church has been long gone?

:10 He 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.

captivityaichmalosia – captivity

patiencehupomone – steadfastness, constancy, endurance

The idea is this – there will be Christians alive on the planet during this time, people who have come to the Lord after the Rapture, and who have not yet been killed by the antichrist.  They will hold on to the promise that the antichrist who takes people captive will one day become a captive himself.  They will hold on to the promise that the antichrist who has killed many will one day be taken care of.


Don’t take your own revenge – hold on.

This is our “perseverance”, what we can hold on to.  God will make it all right in the end. 
This is an exhortation to believers not to take revenge or seek to retaliate, God will make it right.
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

likehomoios – like, similar, resembling

like a lamb – I think the intent is that this person will have a resemblance to Jesus Christ.

This “beast” is known as the “false prophet”.

(Rev 19:20 KJV)  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.  (Also, Rev. 16:13; 20:10)

Whereas the antichrist is primarily a political figure, this person is a religious leader.

spake as a dragon – though this person will have an appearance like Jesus, he will speak like Satan.

:12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

This second beast will be like a spiritual “cheerleader” or “worship leader” causing the world to worship the antichrist.

:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

wonderssemeion – a sign, mark, token.  Though this word was used in Revelation 12 to talk about the symbolic nature of the passage, here the word is used similarly to how it is used in the gospel of John, where Jesus performed “signs” to show that He was the Messiah.  The false prophet will do the same as Jesus.

(John 20:30-31 KJV)  And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: {31} But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

fire come down from heaven – this has always been a sign of God

Perhaps this might be going on at the same time that the two witnesses are also calling down fire from heaven.

:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

miraclessemeion – a sign, mark, token

an imageeikon – an image, figure, likeness; perhaps some kind of idol, but could be all kinds of things, pictures, holograms, animatronics, computer graphics, etc.


Be careful about placing too much significance in miracles

There will be a day when Satan will perform great miracles to deceive many people.
God will allow His people to be tested through false miracles:
(Deu 13:1-5 KJV)  If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, {2} And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; {3} Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. {4} Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. {5} And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.

Miracles are only good if a person has the right “theology”.  If they are talking about the God of the Bible, then it’s God at work.  But if the person has a goofy idea about who God is, you are being tested.

:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

lifepneuma – spirit

I wonder if this could even be talking about cloning.  What if Adolph Hitler were cloned?

as many as would not worship … should be killed – If you don’t worship the antichrist, you die.

:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

a markcharagma – a stamp, an imprinted mark; the mark branded upon horses

There is a sense in which this is like a counterfeit.

The Jews were supposed to wear God's law in little boxes on their hands and foreheads as a reminder of what He had done for them.

Exodus 13:9  And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the LORD may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the LORD brought you out of Egypt.
Exodus 13:16  So it shall serve as a sign on your hand, and as phylacteries on your forehead, for with a powerful hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt.

:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

buy or sell – the taking of the mark will be tied to the economy.  You will not be able to buy or sell anything without this “mark”.

the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name – it’s not just about a “mark”, you will be able to get by with the “name” of the beast or the “number” of his name.

:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

understandingnous – the mind, comprising alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining

countpsephizo – to count with pebbles, to compute, calculate, reckon; to give one’s vote by casting a pebble into the urn; to decide by voting

the numberarithmos – a fixed and definite number; an indefinite number, a multitude

Back in verse 17, the number is tied to the “name”.

Six hundred threescore and sixcxv - threescore and sixthe 22d, 14th and an obsolete letter of the Greek alphabet (intermediate between the 5th and 6th), used as numbers

There have been a multitude of ideas over the centuries as to what this means.  Most tend to lean towards the notion that both the Hebrew and Greek alphabet letters doubled as numbers.  Because of this, there have been a multitude of ideas that have come by taking people’s names and running them through a codebook to come up to the number 666.

Here's some of the proposed antichrists:

1.  Caesar Nero - You need to take the Hebrew alphabet and its standard numerical equivalents (1-10, then 10-100 by tens, then 200, 300, 400).  If you spell it just write in Hebrew it comes to 666, but you might come up with 667 if you're not careful.

2.  Titan - a mythological character.  Here you take the Greek alphabet, similar numbering to the Hebrew, and voila, 666.

3.  Kissinger - using English alphabet, numbering 1-26, then multiplying each number by 6 (man's number).  My old Bible teacher in seminary has this lucky number too (Rosscup).

4.  Hitler - a favorite during WWII, using the English alphabet again, but starting at 100 and going up to 125.

5.     Another number game - six is the number of man, take six squared, or 36.  Add up all the numbers from 1-36, they equal 666.

6.     Lateinos – some of the old commentaries quote early church fathers, using this Greek word that means “Latin”.  The letters in Greek add up to 666, and the idea is that the antichrist is the “Latin” or, “Roman” church, the Roman Catholic Church.

The Solomon connection

I think it's interesting in chasing things like this down, to consider whether or not this number ever shows up anywhere else in Scripture.

It does, two other places, both about the same event:

1Ki 10:14  Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold,  (Also 2Ch 9:13)

In the past I've just thought that there was no connection between the two.

But what if there is a connection?

What if the antichrist is in some way similar to Solomon?
I wonder if it has anything to do with rebuilding the temple?
Maybe just as a great king who will restore in a way the kingdom of Israel to it's greatness.


Should I be worried about this number?

I don’t think we ought to get too superstitious about this number.
There will be supernatural warnings for people to now take this mark.
Re 14:9-12  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive [his] mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12  Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.   

This taking of the “mark” isn’t just about having a “credit card”, it’s all about worshipping the antichrist.

People who take this “mark” will know clearly what they are doing.  I don’t think people will be somehow tricked into doing something they didn’t know was wrong.