Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Beast

Revelation 13:1-10

“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.   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.” (Revelation 13:1-2)

Daniel 7:3-8 describes the sequence of empires that would arise in Babylon, using a lion to represent the Babylonian Empire, a bear to represent the Persian Empire, and a Leopard to represent the Greek Empire.   A fourth beast, the Roman Empire is different from all the others and will conquer the earth, breaking it apart.  Out of its remains come ten horns which, according to Daniel 7:24 represent ten kingdoms that will arise out of those earlier empires.

 A little horn arises out of those ten horns, the one we call the Antichrist that Daniel 7:25 describes.  “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”  Daniel 8:24 confirms that his power comes from Satan.  “And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.”  

“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.” (Revelation 13:3)

Knowing that the heads represent nations or governments it is obvious that the wounded head is a government that has been almost wiped out.  Daniel 11:14-16 made it clear that the king of the north that preceded the Antichrist had defeated and almost wiped out the Islamic government of the king of the south.  Later, in Daniel 11:40, we are told “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him…,” clearly indicating that the government has been rebuilt.  It seems likely that that Islamic alliance is the head which is rebuilt.  The rest of Daniel 11:40-41 are explained in Revelation 17.

“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?” (Revelation 13:4)

The Islamic religion teaches that at the time of the end, when Christ returns, there will be a redeemer of Islam, known as the Mahdi, who will rule for several years before the Judgment, ridding the world of evil and bringing the entire world to the Islamic religion.   Many of the Jihadist leaders are seeking to become the Mahdi, and such a belief will provide incentive for the Islamic groups to follow and worship the Antichrist if he restores Islamic unity. 

The Moslem religion did not exist until after the collapse of the Roman Empire, and we know that the Antichrist comes out of it.  Daniel 11:37-38 says he sets himself above every god, and honors a god his ancestors didn’t know about.  ”Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.   But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.”   

“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.  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.  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.  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.” (Revelation 13:5-8)

Once again, scripture teaches that the Antichrist will only be in power forty two months or three and half years.   He will blaspheme the God of heaven, and his religion and those in heaven.  He will do his best to destroy all those who believe in God, and will be worshipped by all those who have rejected Christ’s atonement for their sins.  Daniel 7:25 tells us almost exactly the same thing.  “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

“If any man have an ear, let him hear.  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.” (Revelation 13:9-10)

Once again we are warned to listen to what the angels have told John.  God will bring judgment on the wicked.  The Christian faith rests on God’s judgment of the world and rewards of those who believe.  As Hebrews 11:6 reminds us, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

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