Revelation 13:3-10

Sunday Morning Bible Study

March 11, 2012


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

The apostle John found himself caught up into heaven before the throne of God.

He saw Jesus take a scroll from the hand of God that had been sealed with seven seals.

As Jesus broke each seal and unrolled the scroll a little further, events begin to take place on the earth and the time that we call the Tribulation begins to unfold.

The Tribulation is a time when God’s wrath is poured out on an unbelieving world and God begins to make right all the things that have been so wrong.

We’ve now begun a chapter that looks at one of the key figures of the Tribulation period – the “antichrist”, which we saw last week pictured as a beast with seven heads.

The word “antichrist” doesn’t mean “opposite of Christ”, it means “in place of Christ”.  The antichrist will come onto the world scene to take the place of Christ, to take the role of the Messiah in place of Jesus.

Last week we looked at some of the ancient prophecies in Daniel 2,7 which speak of the same things as this chapter.

We saw that the antichrist’s kingdom will be some form of the Roman Empire.

Revelation 13 began with a strange beast coming out of the sea, the beast being a picture of the antichrist and his kingdom.

The beast had seven heads and ten horns.
I believe the seven heads seem to be a reference to seven great Mediterranean based world empires:

Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the one yet to come that looks like Rome. (We will see it clearer in Rev. 17).

The ten horns were a kind of confederacy of ten nations that will form the antichrist’s latter day kingdom.

(Re 13:1–2 NKJV) —1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. 2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.

13:3-10 The Beast

:3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.

:3 woundedsphazo – to slay, slaughter, butcher

Literally, “slain unto death”

:3 woundplege – a blow, stripe, a wound

Literally, “wound of death”

:3 healedtherapeuo – to heal, cure, restore to health

:3 marveledthaumazo – wonder at, marvel

:3 followedopiso – back, behind, after, afterwards

The whole world “marveled after” the beast.

:3 mortally wounded

Literally, “slain unto death”

We have some details of what this “wound” might entail.

(Re 13:14 NKJV) …the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
The “sword” might be a reference to a weapon of some kind, or it might be a reference to war.
Some suggest that a prophecy in Zechariah might be connected to this:
(Zec 11:17 NKJV) “Woe to the worthless shepherd, Who leaves the flock! A sword shall be against his arm And against his right eye; His arm shall completely wither, And his right eye shall be totally blinded.”

Sounds to me like a pirate

:3 his deadly wound was healed

It was one of the beast’s “heads” that was wounded and healed.  Last week we talked about what the “heads” could be all about.

This could mean:

An Empire restored
The Roman Empire declined in stages, the Western Empire ending in 476, the Eastern Empire ending in 1453.

The crumbling Western Roman Empire ended in 476 when Romulus Augustus was forced to abdicate to the Germanic warlord Odoacer.

The Eastern Roman Empire (or, Byzantine Empire) ended in 1453 with the death of Constantine XI and the capture of Constantinople to Mehmed II, leader of the Ottoman Turks.

There have been two succeeding empires claiming the name of the Roman Empire.

The Holy Roman Empire (962-1806) (Heiliges Römisches Reich - HRR) centered mainly on Germany and covered areas of France, Switzerland, Italy, and Poland.

When Hitler rose to power in Germany (1933-1945), The German Empire was also known as the “Third Reich” (Romans were “first”, Holy Roman was “second”, Hitler’s Germany was “third”).

We’ve already talked about the antichrist’s kingdom being a form or the Roman Empire.
A nation rebuilt
The “heads” of the beast could be seen as nations.
Perhaps the current rise of Germany itself might be an example of what this could be.

Hitler’s Germany was known as the “Third Reich”, a claim to be the third incarnation of the Roman Empire.  Germany has certainly been a nation destroyed by war.  I’m not making a claim, I’m giving an example.

Germany is considered the leader in the European Union.  Germany is the one stable, growing economy that the other nations are looking to in order to get them through the recession.

The current Chancellor of Germany, Andrea Merkel, has expressed some concern about Germany being the lead nation in Europe, because of Germany’s history.

A man resurrected
If this is a reference to the man known as the antichrist, there might be something that reminds people of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Wild idea:  What if they were able to clone Adolph Hitler?  Sounds like a movie plot.

The antichrist’s reign will be accompanied with all kinds of miracles.  He will not be an ordinary political leader.

(2 Th 2:9 NKJV) The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,

:3 all the world marveled

Whatever it is that happens, the whole world will be amazed at the event (that probably rules out an Adolph Hitler clone – that would be scary, not amazing).

The antichrist isn’t going to be a fellow who comes off initially as totally evil.

He’s going to be something like a rock star when he steps onto the world stage.

:4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”

:4 worshipedproskuneo – to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence

We’ve talked about the temptation of Jesus to “worship” Satan in exchange for the kingdoms of the world (Mat. 4:8-10)

(Mt 4:8–10 NKJV) —8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”

Last week we hinted that while Jesus passed this test, the antichrist will fail the test.  The antichrist will not only worship Satan, but he will bring the world to worship Satan as well.

This is what the antichrist will crave, adoration and worship.

(2 Th 2:3–4 NKJV) —3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

:4 authorityexousia – power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege); authority over mankind

:4 is abledunamai – to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favorable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom; to be capable, strong and powerful

:4 to make warpolemeo – to war, carry on war

:4 Who is able to make war with him?

The antichrist will be very shrewd when it comes to warfare. We even have some future battles that he’ll fight outlined for us by Daniel the prophet.

Daniel 11:36-45 speaks of battles that will take place during the first part of the Tribulation, before the antichrist is revealed as pure evil.  Israel is attacked by Egypt and Syria, and because of a treaty between Israel and the antichrist, the antichrist will move his armies across Europe to defend Israel.  It’s at this point that he will make Israel the head of his global empire.

(Da 11:36–45 NKJV) —36 “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.

We’ll see more of this back in Revelation.

37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.

Some have suggested that the antichrist might be Jewish, yet not a practicing Jew.
Some have suggested that the antichrist might be a homosexual, though some consider the true Messiah (Jesus) is the ultimate “desire of women”.  Every Jewish woman longed to be the one to give birth to the Messiah.

38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things.

It is thought that this “god of fortresses” might be his military might, which the antichrist will honor with lots of money, building a large military (“who is able to make war with him?”)

39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.

The “strange god” might be Satan.
Dividing the land for gain has been thought to deal with dividing up Israel for the money.
Daniel then goes on to detail specific battle the antichrist will have with the nations of Syria and Egypt.

40 “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.

You have to follow the flow of Daniel 11 to understand these kings, but the king of the south is Egypt, the king of the north is Syria.
They will attack Israel, which will have a treaty with the antichrist’s restored Roman Empire.
In response to the attack on Israel, the antichrist will move his armies across Europe to rescue Israel.

41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon.

Though the antichrist will control Israel, some neighboring countries will remain out of his control, namely modern Jordan (Edom …).
I think this has to do with where the Jews have fled for refuge, according to Rev. 12, Is. 14, Is. 63, Mat. 24:15, etc.

42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.

The antichrist will conquer Egypt and take its wealth, and Ethiopia and Libya will also be taken over by him as well.

44 But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.

It is thought that these “tiding out of the east” might include the huge army mentioned in Rev. 9:14-16; 16:12-16, possibly an army from China.

45 And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him.

The idea is that he’ll set up his global headquarters in Israel, probably Jerusalem, which is between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
He will one day meet his end, when Jesus returns.

:5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.

:5 given a mouth

We saw in Daniel 7:

(Da 7:8 NKJV) …And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.
(Da 7:25 NKJV) He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.

:5 great thingsmegas – great; used of intensity and its degrees: with great effort, of the affections and emotions of the mind, of natural events powerfully affecting the senses: violent, mighty, strong; things esteemed highly for their importance: of great moment, of great weight, importance

:5 speaking great things

It seems that the antichrist will be a great orator.

This was one of the things that Hitler learned to use – the power of speech to influence people.
He might be a person who is known for giving great speeches, perhaps even the idea of having “great things” to say, powerful ideas, or influential ideas.

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

:5 authorityexousia – power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege); authority over mankind

:5 for forty-two months

Our new favorite time period:  Three and a half years.  This is the last three and a half years of the Tribulation, when the antichrist’s authority increases.

:6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.

:6 tabernacleskene – tent, tabernacle, (made of green boughs, or skins or other materials)

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

:6 His name, His tabernacle, and … heaven

:6 he opened his mouth in blasphemy

Hare Krishna

The Bible tells us some of what Antichrist will be saying:

1.  Jesus is not the Christ.

(1 Jn 2:22 NKJV) Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
He might be saying that Jesus is “a” Christ.

One of the forms of this is to talk about the “Christ” that’s in all of us.  Play Oprah clip.  Oprah already has the message down.

2.  Jesus didn’t come in the flesh.

(1 Jn 4:3 NKJV) and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
Some people like to talk about the “Christ spirit” being everywhere.
The Bible says that He took on human flesh.

3.  I am God.

(2 Th 2:4 NKJV) who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
This may not even come across as abrupt as “I alone am God”, but might even be, “I am god, you are god, we all have god in us...”
That’s what’s at the heart of modern New Age teaching, that we are all “gods”.

:7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.

:7 the saintshagios – holy

We usually think of the “saints” being believers in general, but with this being the middle of the tribulation period, this is more specifically the Jewish people who have come to believe in Jesus after the Rapture.

:7 to make war with the saints

The antichrist will be killing those Jews who have come to trust in Jesus as their Messiah during the Tribulation period.

:7 authorityexousia – power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases; the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege); authority over mankind

:7 tribe, tongue, and nation

The antichrist will have authority that will span across the globe.

:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

:8 will worshipproskuneo – to kiss the hand to (towards) one; to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence

:8 who dwellkatoikeo – to dwell, settle

:8 the foundationkatabole – a throwing or laying down; a founding (laying down a foundation)

:8 written in the Book of Life

It’s those whose names are NOT in the Lamb’s book that are going to be deceived to worship the antichrist.


Good News

There is a way to know that your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
By accepting God’s gift of grace, the sacrifice of Jesus who died for our sins.

When Jesus died on the cross, He was paying the price for sins.  He paid a debt He didn’t owe because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay.

(Is 53:5 NKJV) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

When we choose to follow Jesus, to believe in Jesus, to believe that He is the One who has paid for our sins, we are saved from having to face the penalty for our sins – we are saved from having to spend eternity in hell.

(Jn 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Paul describes those who will be deceived during the Tribulation:
(2 Th 2:9–10 NKJV) —9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

The people that will be deceived by the antichrist are those who do not love the truth about Jesus.

Is that you?  Do you love the truth about Jesus?

Have you made up your mind about Jesus?

:8 from the foundation of the world

Translation of Greek texts into English is sometimes as much of an art as it is a science.  It’s not always an exact thing – and that’s why you can see differences in Bible translation.

Though some of your translations make it sound as if it’s the “names not written” that have been from the beginning of time, and there is truth to that (it’s in Rev. 17:8), here the passage is speaking of the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”

Depending on which Bible translation you read, you can come up with two different ideas of what it was that took place before the world was created.

Names not written

(Re 13:8 NLT) And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made—the Book that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered.
This view believes that John is saying that those who will be deceived by the antichrist were somehow predestined to do so before the world was created.
John will clearly say this in a later passage (Rev. 17:8), but I don’t think this is what our verse is talking about.
(Re 17:8 NKJV) —8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
There is truth to the idea that God has “predestined” things:
(Eph 1:4–5 NKJV) —4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

His choice has to do with us who follow Him.  It’s a good thing to know that God has chosen you.

2) the Lamb slain

Greek translation doesn’t always follow the order of the words in a sentence.  Sometimes Greek reads more like Yoda talking:  “Help you I will”.
But here, the order of the Greek text follows the order in the NKJV.  The thing that takes place “from the foundation of the world” is the “Lamb being slain”.

From God’s eternal perspective, Jesus has been slain since eternity past.

It had always been in God’s plan for Jesus to die for our sins.
(Is 53:5 NKJV) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
Isaiah wrote as if this was something that had already happened … 700 years before it did.

:9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.

We saw this phrase used seven times in chapters 2-3, but it looked a little different.  There is 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 who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

:10 captivity … into captivity

This is a hint as to the end of the antichrist.  He will be taking people captive, but he will one day be captured.  He will kill people, but one day his end will come.

:10 captivityaichmalosia (“spear” + “capture”) – captivity

:10 leadssunago – to gather together, to gather; to bring together, assemble, collect

:10 killsapokteino – to kill in any way whatever

:10 swordmachaira – a large knife, used for killing animals and cutting up flesh; a small sword, as distinguished from a large sword

:10 patiencehupomone (“under” + “remain”) – steadfastness, endurance; the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose by even the greatest trials and sufferings

:10 faithpistis – conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it



God’s going to work things out in the end.
The person who has been capturing people will be captured.
The one who has been killing people will be killed.
These will be the truths that the persecuted Jews of this time will hold on to.
This is what they are counting on, their “faith”.
This is what helps them to endure.
The Iranian pastor ...
We think that it takes superhuman people to endure some things.  It doesn’t.
In 1983, Australia hosted its ultramarathon, a 573.7 mile foot race from Sydney to Melbourne. This is a race that takes days to run, and professionals from all over the world came to participate. Shortly before the race began, a 61-year-old farmer named Cliff Young, wearing overalls and goulashes over his boots, walked up to the registration table and requested a number to enter the race. The people at the registration table thought it was a joke—that somebody was setting them up—so they laughed. But Cliff Young said, "No, I'd really like to run." So they gave him a number and pinned it on his old overalls.
Five days, 14 hours, and four minutes later, at 1:25 in the morning, Cliff Young shuffled across the finish line. He had won the race. And he didn't win by a matter of minutes or even an hour or two. The second place runner was nine hours and 56 minutes behind him. Cliff Young had set a new world record for the ultramarathon.
PlayCliff Young” clip.


Look to Jesus Christ

We have a way to endure our ultramarathon called life. Cliff Young became famous for his awkward “shuffle” way of running.  We run and look to Jesus.
Whenever we study these passages about the antichrist, it’s very common for people to start nominating various famous people to be the antichrist.

We’re not going to win any races looking for the antichrist.

We endure by looking to Jesus Christ.

Looking to Jesus is the key to our learning to “endure” life.
(Heb 12:1–3 NKJV) —1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
You need to look to Jesus.  Study His life.  Follow His example.
(1 Pe 2:21–23 NKJV) —21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;