Written by Paul J. Bucknell on May, 29, 2021
Antichrist Revealed in Revelation 13
Know seven facts about Antichrist from Revelation 13 before he appears!
This exposition of Revelation 13 provides the third part to this miniseries on Antichrist. In part 1, Antichrist and the Bible we learned what the Bible says about the Antichrist and how John differentiated antichrists from Antichrist. Today’s church faces the lesser antichrists who are less challenging, oppressive, and regional—though still a foe to be aware of. In part 2, The Signs of Antichrist, we relate Antichrist’s world operation, something bigger and more powerful than the four world empires described in Daniel 7. The increasing deception and oppression will ensnare many. The recent development of centrally controlled digital currencies and the growing overreach of governments into peoples’ personal lives could well be part of the veiled scheme. Everything appears to be cleverly being prepared under cover of the pandemic—suggesting a coordinated timing of Antichrist’s appearance.
So why spend time on Revelation 13, in part 3? We have, after all, referred to Revelation 13 in part 2, yet we touched on a few aspects very briefly, neglecting any reference to the broader context of Revelation. Nor did we pinpoint the connection between Revelation 13 and Daniel as we do here in part 3, Antichrist Revealed in Revelation 13.
However, the most prominent reason to exposit this chapter is its vivid description of Antichrist’s person and mission before he comes. His thick layer of deception will fool and sway the world’s people. God gave us Revelation 13 to sharpen our minds, and spiritual senses, warning believers before the curtains of deception are pulled fully closed. If I am right, 2021 stands as a time for Antichrist’s early preparations.
Revelation 13’s seven signs, not including the False Prophet, warn us of Antichrist’s true identity and tactics. Be warned. Stay alert. We wonder why we would need to be warned if it is so obvious—but that is just it; he will lull us into deception. John alerts us,
“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near” (Rev 1:3).
Though we might be surprised at these seven facts on Antichrist, the Lord knows we need them to help us identify the beast and refuse loyalty to him. (Who would devote themselves to a beast, right?) Before his coming, however, the signs embolden us to identify our allegiance to the true Lord and remain faithful to Him no matter what we face.
Here are the seven facts that mark out the beast:
- Sign 1: World Domination (Revelation 13:1)
- Sign 2: Great Authority (Revelation 13:2)
- Sign 3: An Amazing Healing (Revelation 13:3)
- Sign 4: Sign of Satan Worship (Revelation 13:4)
- Sign 5: Sign of Extreme Arrogance and Blasphemy (Revelation 13:5)
- Sign 6: Sign of Opposition to God, Jesus, and Angels (Revelation 13:6)
- Sign 7: Persecution of Believers (Revelation 13:7-10)
Before discussing each sign, we will provide a brief theological introduction to satan’s power and the context for Revelation 13 within the Book of Revelation.
A Brief Theology of Satan’s Dark Dominion
It’s critical not to underestimate the evil one’s power. His entry into the world (Genesis 3), his wielding of great influence in heaven and on earth (Book of Job), and God’s provision for spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6) all warn us Satan’s clever strategy.
Satan stole the kingdom from Adam, but lost it through the power of Jesus Christ, the Second Adam. Jesus not only died to redeem His people for Himself but relegated Satan’s temporary region of control to the earth. In a great tremendous effort, involving much planning Satan, the dragon of old will, through Antichrist, display his horrid, deathly power.
Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 provide symbolic teaching on how Satan, due to his pride from being God’s most extraordinary creature was cast out of God’s presence. The evil one swayed others to follow him, “And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode” (Jude 6). These angels are often called demons or evil spirits.
Paul stated that his mission was “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18). People without Christ live, mostly unaware, under the dominion of the evil one. The Christian is loosened from indentured service to Satan and death by the pardon of the cross, freeing the believer to live for Christ and His kingdom.
“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col 1:13-14).
“And He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Rev 1:6).
The general populace is unaware how the evil one’s dark chains control them because they remain loose, but when Antichrist comes, the chains will tighten and become burdensome to the point that people will want to escape, but it will be too late for most.
Now let’s turn to our study on Revelation 13, beginning with an overview of how this chapter fits into the whole book of Revelation.
The Context of Revelation 13
The Lord placed Revelation 13 nearly in the center of the Book (22 chapters), which follows the seven churches (2-3), seven seals (5-8) and seven trumpets (8-11) but before the seven bowls or vials of wrath (16) are poured out in earth’s final moments and suffer the true Lord’s furious judgment. The Book of Revelation reveals the heavenly viewpoint of earthly events. From earth’s perspective, whether at our church board meeting or gospel meeting, we typically can’t see Satan’s subtle ways of hindering the gospel.
John’s vision, however, quickly brings us to the heavenly realm to observe the glorious and reigning Lord, Christ Jesus the King, along with His assessment of the local seven churches in modern-day Turkey (Rev 2-3). In a flash, we gain a global, spiritual viewpoint of the church and later of the earth—whether in the seals, trumpets, or vials. They are seven in number and are sequential, if not also causative to the next one.
We find great comfort and security from the beginning to the end of Revelation that the Lord is fully in control even in a very spiritually and physically hostile climate. Even though the murderous works of the evil one caustically spill over the earth, killing many millions, the Lord remains in control. Antichrist’s time is limited. (Remember that the Lord needfully judges the rebellious, but Satan hates mankind and kills them.)
The Lord places a seal upon His righteous ones to differentiate them from the mark of the beast. The whole book, as a prophecy, depicts the Lord’s full control during the very dark days where Antichrist is set loose. Even the martyrs are under the careful eye and protection of the Lord (Rev 6:9-11, ch. 7) and are taught to remember that God’s care extends into the inviting scenes from the new, unending heavens and earth (Rev 21:1-4).
Antichrist is appointed once Satan is released.
2 “And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time” (Rev 20:2-3).
By showing the desperate extent of Satan’s diabolical schemes, the righteous get to rally for a righteous judgment and more deeply appreciate God’s redemption of their souls. The world now only sees grey, no light and darkness, but that will radically change. Do we not often hear how some teachers claim that all beliefs are the same; we worship the same God and will equally get to heaven?
Revelation 13, then, reveals Satan as the source of the first and second beasts, fully complying with his disastrous desires. Chapter 12 reveals the red dragon’s true nature, Satan himself, when in hot pursuit after God’s messenger and His people, Israel, and the church. (We will skip questions on this point of interpretation.) Interestingly, John tells us:
7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, 8 and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” (Rev 12:7-9)
This scene serves as the backdrop for chapter 13, depicting the schemes the evil one comes up with to deceive the “whole world.” His accompanying angels are understood to be demons—spirit creatures likewise cast out from God’s presence (cf. Jude). Chapter 12 ends as a prelude for chapter 13.
“So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (Rev 12:17).
This dragon that God cast down to earth in chapter 12 is the same that inflames the world with his fiery breath. In case there is any confusion, John informs us that the dragon cast down is the same serpent in the Garden of Eden and otherwise named as the devil and Satan. “And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan” (Rev 12:9). Any debate on Satan’s reality is ill-founded due to clear biblical statements and serves as part of his grand deception.
Antichrist deceives the whole world and intends on harming God’s people, both Israel and the church. Chapter 13 finds the same dragon on earth carrying out his big lie by appointing his two generals. Please note that the Lord sits on His throne (Rev 1,5); Satan can only attempt to steal the Lord’s rightful glory and praise. Up to this point, we only see antichrists carrying out some of these plans in local and limited ways. When the dragon gets his chance and is fully released, he will deceive the whole world through the Antichrist. This rulership over mankind was his intention from the beginning and now allowed, for a brief ruinous moment, to display his real treacherous colors.
In chapter 13, Satan unfolds two main strategies to fulfill his diabolical plan: creating the first (13:1-10) and second beasts (11-18). Chapter 13 is quite brief and wholly consists of revealing Satan’s plot through the two beasts. Although our topic is Antichrist, we will discuss both Antichrist and the False Prophet, the two beasts who are complicit in joining themselves to carry out the dragon’s agenda.
Revelation 13:1-10 The Beast from the Sea
Verses 1-10 provide seven signs to alert us to the Antichrist and his schemes.
Sign 1: World dominion (Revelation 13:1)
“1 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names” (Revelation 13:1).
We have already introduced the dragon masterminding out his takeover plot. Now limited to earth, he manifests himself as the first beast. The first beast came from the sea which licks the shores around the world, describing well the first beast’s full sights.
While the “ten horns and seven heads” can be described in many ways with various interpretations, we simply note that they represent control of the entire world, and if not the whole world, he controls all the governments that have any sway or power (cf. Rev 12:3).
The words and phrases are traced back to Daniel 7.
“It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts” (Daniel 7:7-8).
Daniel 7:7 states the beast had ten horns while verse 8 specifies how “another horn, a little one” pulled out the roots of three, leaving seven just as our verse (13:1) states, “a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads…”
This beast, displacing three rulers, acts as a dictator over the whole earth. Again, this doesn’t happen in a day, but the plan is enacted and finally revealed when we see him holding control over the earth. In case we wonder if this first beast acts on behalf of God, John reveals the many blasphemous names on his heads. He has no resemblance to the true Lord of Lords that we earlier saw in Revelation, and though not labeled as the Antichrist, he carries authority over the earth.
These references between Revelation 13 to Daniel 7 have not concluded!
Sign 2: Great Authority (Revelation 13:2)
“2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority” (Revelation 13:2).
Verse two descriptively outlines Antichrist’s worldwide authority and power. The word ‘Antichrist’ is not used here or in Revelation, but only in John. However, his character and purpose are so evident from Daniel and Paul’s description in 2 Thess. 2:1-5 that we can use the title Antichrist for this first beast. Chapter 13 names him the nameless “first beast” because he acts as his pawn. Although he has great authority and power, he serves another, which we will later elaborate on. Later in Revelation 20, we see how the appearance of the “beast” and the “false prophet” are linked with Satan’s release before God casts them into the lake of everlasting fire.
Verse 2 describes the beast which John saw, possessing great familiarity with the description from Daniel 7 where Daniel spoke of four different world kingdoms (and the prophecy of Antichrist coming from the fourth). Antichrist amasses all of this power in one person.
Daniel saw the powers stirring up the great sea (Dan 7:2), which is similar to Rev 13:1.
“Daniel said, “I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea”” (Daniel 7:2).
Daniel saw four beasts, each depicted by a powerful animal. This beast in Revelation 13:2 has the power of the beasts in himself, “And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion.”
“3 And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another. 4 The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle….5 And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. …6 After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard…7 After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It … had ten horns” (Daniel 7:3-7).
This beast coming from the sea in Revelation is greater than all of them, which can be seen through the way he “pulled out the roots before it.”
“8 While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts” (Daniel 7:8).
This is the arrogant, bragging, self-worshiping Antichrist—the little horn which becomes all-powerful. At the end of verse 2, we see an explanation of the shore scene in verse 1. “And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority” (Rev 13:2).
Satan transferred his power, throne, and authority to this singular person—the beast. Having understood the Son of God and the incarnation of God, we are to perceive how Satan makes the beast (i.e., Antichrist) an incarnation of himself. This is part of the replication of the trinity, God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The other aspect of the vile trinity is the False Prophet, introduced later as the second beast.
Sign 3: An Amazing Healing (Revelation 13:3)
“I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast” (Revelation 13:3).
John uses Revelation 13 to identify the beast and warn us. A sense of amazement and wonder surrounds this sign, which convinces all (“the whole earth”) to follow the beast. The meaning of the healing is not clear, though the result is—deception.
The meaning indicates one head, king or dictator, has fallen from power, or physically died from a mortal wound, but he or his power revived. People typically don’t get excited over the return of a dictator to power—though we must not rule it out. People tend to get much more excited at an amazing physical healing.
Though this sign looks straightforward, the “as if it had been slain” leaves us curious that it was all planned and staged, surreptitiously convincing the people.
Sign 4: Sign of Satan Worship (Revelation 13:4)
“They worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”” (Rev 13:4)
The phrase “I don’t talk politics” comes to my mind here. So many people act disinterested in political affairs, but note how they genuinely get excited about this world leader. They find excitement in his worldwide power, ably wiping out all his opponents.
In the end, “They worshiped the dragon.” Do the people know they worship Satan? Maybe, but maybe not. The people’s focus is on the beast, but their worship of the beast makes them complicit in the worship of Satan. My first thought is that the people did not know the spiritual identity of the dragon operating from behind the scenes. Otherwise, the beast would step aside. Satan is spiritual and needs a human form, though he acts like a beast.
People direct their worship to the dragon who does not deserve worship. Jesus is king—not Satan, the beast, or the dragon. Muslims venerate the black rock (Kaaba) in Mecca. Those in Ephesus worshiped the rock that fell from heaven, around which they built the Temple of Diana. Although our age is secular and discourages worship, they will give their worship to the beast—a clear sign of Antichrist’s powerful presence.
Sign 5: Sign of Extreme Arrogance and Blasphemy (Revelation 13:5)
“There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him” (Revelation 13:5).
The beast is infatuated with himself and so displays it with arrogant words along with blasphemies, the latter an expression of disdain for the true God and King Jesus. We see the same in Daniel 7 and 11.
“8 While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts” (Daniel 7:8).
“25 He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time” (Daniel 7:25).
“32 By smooth words he will turn to godlessness those who act wickedly toward the covenant, but the people who know their God will display strength and take action” (Daniel 11:32).
“36 Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done” (Daniel 11:36).
Be careful of deception. Some liked President Trump, but he spoke arrogantly at times. I did not, however, see blasphemous words accompany his boasting. We need to start paying attention to all popular figures and analyze the way they speak, strengthening our discernment—whether they be from our party or not.
What if he, or another, spectacularly returned to office? Again, be careful of any who hold political office, especially if they speak arrogantly of their ways and steal glory from God. Satan’s trump card is his deception; do not disregard the possibility of any person to be the Antichrist (he doesn’t have to be American!). However, there will be just one; the time of many antichrists will give way to this self-worshiping beast, but fortunately, his time and power is limited.
Sign 6: Sign of Opposition to God, Jesus, and Angels (Revelation 13:6)
“And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven” (Revelation 13:6).
The blasphemies of verse 5 are expanded here in verse 6 against three targets: God, His Name, and His tabernacle. Most prominent is his unwillingness to recognize or respect God, the giver of life. Instead, he claims all such authority for himself. Blasphemies against God include wild ravings against God’s Name, and His tabernacle. John explains them as those who “dwell in heaven.” This probably does not refer to believers as they have no power, but of the angels, those that surround Him in glory.
Jude notes this open opposition to God and his angels through the false prophets. “Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties” (Jude 8).
Revelation refers to tabernacle (or tent) four times, including here.
“15 And He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them” (Rev 7:15).
“5 After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened, 6 and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple” (Rev 15:5-6).
We do not have time to contemplate the change from tabernacle to the temple in these verses, but again for our simple discussion, reflecting on the tabernacle as God’s residence, the place He reveals His glory. We will expect Antichrist to speak revolting words about God’s glorious throne and power. He might arrogantly proclaim himself to be greater than all others, including the Creator of the universe.
Sign 7: Persecution of Believers (Revelation 13:7-10)
“7 It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.
9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints” (Revelation 13:7-10).
In His hatred for anything holy, Antichrist will “make war with the saints.” This is open persecution. Up until now, we have seen regional places of persecution but expect an escalated disrespect towards God and oppression against anything that diverts devotion from himself. The term saints should not be confused with the Roman Catholic usage: certain holy Christians of the past, but means, like in Ephesians 1:1,15, living believers dedicated to God.
“Overcome them” is a powerful and explicit term, leaving no doubt that Antichrist will make every effort to imprison and kill God’s people. If we think this might be in one or two regions of the world, as it has been in the past, the last line exposes that fallacy. He will have authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation, hunting them down.
The beast lusts for everyone’s worship. Faithful Christians will face open persecution when they withhold what Antichrist intently desires. He will eliminate them.
Verse 8 reflects the depth of deception. Everyone will worship the beast— “everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.” God’s people are preserved not by their power or strength but by God. Believers will not worship the beast.
The “Book of Life” reminds us that believers will not be saved because of their cleverness but through the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb, who died for their sins. Their names have been written from the foundation of the world. God carefully preserves them and their faith. Seek not to retain your breath on earth as much as your loyalty to God, who so faithfully sacrificed His only Son for you.
Verses 9-10 include special caution for the believers of this time. Though their souls are carefully protected, their lives will be severely tested. John wants them to persevere: “If anyone has an ear, let him hear” (13:9). My main point by expositing Revelation 13 is to point out these seven facts, so I’ll spend minimal time reflecting on this statement.
There are three destinies for these believers—they admit to the dragon’s ability to net and kill believers. Three options are given: captivity, killed by a sword, and perseverance in a hostile climate (not directly mentioned but assumed before capture). Following the great mass killings from the takeover, one will be imprisoned or killed when found.
Interestingly, this topic provides necessary insight and comfort for believers—if they are ever taken. They can be faithful; God still reigns. No one can steal their faith, no matter what distressing situations they might find themselves in.
“9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints” (Rev 13:9-10).
What does it mean by the last sentence: “Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints?” God openly states that believers will face severe persecution. Don’t be surprised if you do. Sure, you might be planning to bring your son to summer camp, but your life might be disrupted When Antichrist gets his hands on the controls, this world will go from bad to horrific. The righteous will face mistreatment, death, torture, injustice, etc.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking God doesn’t allow such things with His people. He says for a brief time He will allow Antichrist this power. Antichrist is locked up right now, but when he is loosed (Rev 20), he will do his best to eliminate Christians and get them to deny their Lord. This is where chapter 12 left us. Chapter 14 describes what grand blessings lay ahead for the martyrs. They end up as victors!
We don’t like hearing this sign as it ruins our life’s hopes and plans, but the Book of Revelation, like Daniel, helps us gain the eternal perspective. This is the grand power the truth can have on His people.
Summary of the Seven Signs
The Lord told Daniel to conceal those words (Dan 12:4); Revelation, however, reveals these words because the time is near (Rev 1:3). The Lord graciously reveals these signals that Antichrist has landed so His people might stand the test, resist the deception, and resolutely follow King Jesus—no matter what happens to your church, your family, your country, or to your life. Each sign depicts the dragon’s in-your-face rebellion against God, even Satan, who inspires and leads Antichrist.
The Second Beast (Revelation 13:11-18)
Equally importantly, that John warns us about another. Later in Revelation this beast is identified as the “False Prophet” (Rev 16:13; 19:20; 20:10). Though it’s important to mention this second beast, we will not go into the same detail.
This section introduces the second beast who arises from the earth, after John introduced the first beast. We hear much more about Antichrist. The second beast mysteriously serves as Antichrist and Satan’s collaborator.
John introduces the second beast and describes him. In a true sense, then, the way he works with the first beast and the dragon makes this second beast another huge glaring sign of Antichrist’s presence.
As I formerly wrote in part 2, I do not think there is proof that this second beast is time-sequential to the first. They work seamlessly together. And if together, then what he does becomes a further confirmation of the presence of Antichrist. The “another beast” differs from the first.
“11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon” (Revelation 13:11).
Some have suggested that the description “two horns like a lamb” suggests a Christian connection. Instead of blatant opposition against Jesus, the second beast portrays himself as harmless, perhaps belonging to the Christian church.
The term ‘False Prophet’ affirms this understanding. He will come from within the church to deceive and sway believers. What concerns us is that “he spoke as a dragon.” What does a dragon speak like? At first, I thought of a powerful, fiery breath—at least when upset, but then his tongue also speaks craftily and deceitful, like in the garden of Eden when he spoke to Eve.
“12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed” (Revelation 13:12-15).
Verses 12 and 14 show how the second beast works for the first. They work so closely together that he exercises all his authority. He possesses equal authority and carries forth the same plan—because it’s the dragon who inspires each of them. His particular mission is to cause those on earth to worship the first beast (12). The amazing wonders that he performs (13) are done to deceive everyone (14). He even tells all that they ought to make an image of the first beast because he has come to life.
Call him the ‘convincer,’ who is a mock version of the Holy Spirit. The False Prophet has a false message and signs to persuade the people. What does it mean “to give breath to the image of the beast?” He will be convincing enough and hold the needed authority to kill those that do not worship the beast.
“16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six” (Rev 13:16-18).
The last three verses speak about the mark of Satan’s ownership. It’s derived from verses 16-17 which forbid buying and selling without the mark. This is the False Prophet who engenders this sales pitch, not Antichrist. The mark, however, is associated with the first beast, the Antichrist.
A Summary (Revelation 13:11-18)
The second beast, the False Prophet, possesses his signs but is wrapped up with Antichrist’s mission. If we interpret this second beast properly, we should anticipate a powerful Christian leader to sway God’s people into worshiping this beast by receiving his mark. So what does it mean that this mark comes from the second beast rather than from Antichrist? If there is any opportunity or pressure to get such a mark (or computer chip), which I wrote about in part 2, then the Lord teaches us to guard ourselves carefully. It doesn’t matter how cunning and right it sounds—remember, he speaks as a dragon. Resist him; don’t accept his mark; you belong to the Lord (1 Cor 6:19-20).
Final Conclusion of Revelation 13
John saw two beasts and presented them in Revelation 13, the one from the sea and the second from the earth. They collaborate with one another—all masterminded by the dragon, Satan himself. Being spiritual, Satan will want to animate that statue and receive worship. People will worship Antichrist, but somehow the image directs inwards towards Satan.
John gives us many signs, centering on these two beasts. He will seriously oppose those who frustrate his efforts to deceive the whole earth. We should anticipate the persecution we have seen in China to take place worldwide.
Do not let the promise of a rapture exclude you from Antichrist’s plans. If you are rescued, fine, but be prepared for the worst. This is the reason the Lord prepared chapter 13 for us. God is love but in that love for His Son, called Him to suffer for a greater good—that many can be His sons (i.e., God’s people).
Discussion Questions on Revelation 13
- Look through chapter 13 and identify where the two beasts are introduced. Describe where each comes.
- Describe the first beast. What do we know of him from verses 1-2?
- List the seven signs of the first beast.
- What sign do you find most interesting? Why?
- What sign do you find most perplexing? Again, why?
- Why do you think the Lord tells us how some will suffer mistreatment and martyrdom? Explain.
- Describe the second beast. What do we know of him from verses 11-12?
- Look through this last section and try to understand how the first and second beasts relate to each other.
- Why are Satan, the first beast and the second beast alluded to as the “unholy trinity”?
- Are you prepared for mistreatment and martyrdom for your faith? Explain and pray for each other.
Other Resources by Paul Bucknell on the First and Second Beasts, Antichrist
Antichrist in the Bible (Part 1)
Antichrist in the Bible: What does the Bible say about the Antichrist?
The Signs of Antichrist: Is Antichrist Coming Soon?
In the second half of Revelation, John provides deeper insight into the ... 3rd Sign : Persecution by the beast from the land (13:11-18). 4th Sign: The Lamb and ...
So what did the serpent get for his deception? Control. But only for a short time, “ He must be released for a short time” (Revelation 20:3) before his catastrophic …
Beast and false prophet are first captured and then “thrown alive into” the lake of fire ... C. Victory over evil through Christ: the 1st Resurrection during the Church …
…beast out of the earth (alias a false prophet) and the whore Babylon (including those marked by the beast). 2. This section begins with the opening of the temple ...
sea, the beast out of the earth (alias a false prophet) and the whore Babylon ( including those marked by the beast). The church’s struggle arises, not because ...
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God ... The Serpent goes much further here than in the first twisting of God’s word.
... God and provides for us Stephen’s brave example on how his motivation to serve the Lord was not at all lessened by intense opposition or threats of martyrdom.
... gospel, saved, Christ, serve, timidity, fear, ministry, problems, persecution, Hindu, activists, suffering, missionaries, missionary story, Polycarp, martyrdom.
... for the Kingdom of God on Acts 6:8-7:60 which reveals Stephen’s deep convictions which formed the basis of his life motivation in life as he faced martyrdom.
Start by comparing the dates and places of Paul’s journey, his martyrdom and the possible dating of this letter along with Peter’s martyrdom.
But instead of denying New Testament prophets, we should carefully warn others of false prophets as Peter did. “But false prophets also arose ...
What are some signs that the Israelites have clung to the nations? 11.What does the Lord promise to do if we cling to those around us (13)?. 12.Joshua’s claim in ...
We dare not take our eyes off the warnings of the possible entry of Antichrist onto earth’s shores during this hyped coming of a global “Great ...
Trampling“42 months” (11:2 13:5), believers protected “1260 days” (11:3 12:6,14) , (“a time times and a half of time” = 3½ years) and allotted time for antichrist to …