The Beast Revelation 13
Revelation 13:1-4 MKJV And I stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns. And on its horns were ten crowns, and on its heads was the name of blasphemy. (2) And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and its feet like those of a bear, and its mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him its power and its seat and great authority. (3) And I saw one of its heads as having been slain to death, and its deadly wound was healed. And all the earth marveled after the beast. (4) And 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 it?
In the previous chapter we saw the dragon, the devil standing on the shore of the sea. Now we see a beast rising up from the sea. This shows us how chapter 13 is a continuation of chapter 12. It also shows the beast is directly related to the dragon. When we look at the scene from Heaven’s eyes, we are reminded, Jesus was seen standing on the land and sea with one foot on each. Satan can’t do that. He has some form of restriction. The devil is limited to some extent. So the devil waited until something in his likeness came up out of the sea. They formed an unholy alliance.
Some people look the sea and jump ahead in Revelation to pull out an interpretation for the symbol. Then the angel said to me, “And he says to me, The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues, (Revelation 17:15 MKJV). But wait. Is this correct? We would have to compare the two chapters to see if they are referring to the same event, or the same beasts using different symbols. At this point previous chapters have shown the land and sea has a relationship to authority. Jesus has authority over all of this world. Satan has restricted authority and is looking for a way around it. When we jump ahead to try to solve riddles, we miss the main lesson the author has been building up to. We have to respect the author and the order He had these visions recorded.
Satan is not a physical dragon, and there is no physical beast that crawled up out of the water to invade the earth. All of those are symbols, and we want to know why God used those symbols to show all the angels in Heaven what was going to happen.
What does the symbol of a beast show angels in Heaven? For one thing, it reinforced the fact, Satan wants to rule everything. He lost Heaven, now he wants total control over everything in the world he was restricted to.
When we see a beast coming out of the water, what on earth can we relate that to? When God created this planet, He gave humans, animals, birds, fish, insects, and even plants the power to reproduce. Satan never had that power, and that was one of the things that upset him in Heaven. He thought God was holding something back. So when Satan makes it appear something came out of the sea, Satan is trying to hide his deficiencies from this world. Satan wants to appear as the great leader and king he established in his own mind. Where does the theory of evolution begin? In the sea. If Satan can’t be a creator, he has to remove that role from God.
That beast had some distinct features. It looked like a leopard. A leopard can lay in the shadows and no one will know he is there until he moves. A leopard is a master of camouflage that relies on shadows. A good description of what that beast represents. That beast is taking attention off Satan so he can work in the shadows while attention is focused on the beast.
The beast had seven heads, ten crowns, and ten horns. The same number of heads, crowns, and horns the dragon had. A clear connection between the dragon and the beast. Satan is creating a beast in his image. Notice another fact the beast points to. The beast is smaller in scale to a dragon. Satan is restricting the beast and its power. In other words, doing the same thing to the beast that God did to Satan.
And four great beasts came up from the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagle’s wings. I watched until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on its feet like a man. And a man’s heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like a bear. And it raised itself up on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said this to it: Arise, eat up much flesh. After this I saw, and lo, another, like a leopard, which had four wings of a bird on its back. The beast also had four heads; and rulership was given to it. After this I looked in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, frightening and terrifying, and very strong. And it had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the rest with its feet. And it was different from all the beasts before it; and it had ten horns. (Daniel 7:3-7 MKJV).
Daniel identified the first beast or world power as Babylon. The second as Persia, and the third as Greece, the exact order of world powers from Babylon to Rome, the forth world power described was an awesome and different type of beast.
The combination of those beasts found in a single beast Satan called out of the sea is another indication showing how Satan wants to control the entire world. Satan gave his beast authority to rule his world. That left Satan free to work in the back ground and use this prophecy and others as smoke screens to cover up his real intent. He was already found guilty in Heaven, somehow he had to hide that from the world.
One of the beasts heads was wounded, then healed. Satan doesn’t have the healing power God and Jesus have, but he has to show the world, he can somehow pull it off. What does every government in this world do? They all claim to have the ability to correct every problem that pops up. Every government in this world plays God to one extent or another. That is one phase of Satan’s plan.
The beast is actually bigger than any world nation. Nations remain as separate governments, but the beast is looked at as being more powerful than any nation. Add that to the art of camouflage, creation, and some type of healing power and what does that all point to? A religious power? We are still fighting a war of words. One of the horns in Daniel’s vision was given the ability to speak. And that horn made a name for itself by misrepresenting God. Why else would Satan create a beast all his own?
Revelation 13:5Revelation 13:5-10 MKJV (5) And a mouth speaking great things was given to it, and blasphemies. And authority was given to it to continue forty-two months. (6) And it opened its mouth in blasphemy toward God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and those dwelling in Heaven. (7) And it was given to it to war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given to it over every tribe and tongue and nation. (8) And all dwelling on the earth will worship it, those whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain, from the foundation of the world. (9) If anyone has an ear, let him hear. (10) He who leads into captivity will go into captivity. If anyone will kill with the sword, he must be killed by a sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
Again we see another reference to that forty-two months, or 1260 years. This shows that chapter 13 is adding information and details to previous chapters in Revelation. Now we can see how this beast will assist Satan in his pursuit of the woman, trampling the holy city, and killing God’s two witnesses.
When we take another look at the witnesses, we can see that God needed witnesses in Heaven when Satan was on trial. There is one part of the story, what Satan did wrong, and another part of the story, what Jesus did to fix this world. The witnesses here in this world were sent here to tell this world what happened in Heaven, and why Satan was cast down to this planet. Information Satan doesn’t want this world to know. So Satan enlists all the help he can get to hide the truth.
We can see how Satan created a propaganda machine. It is a war and propaganda is an important weapon. Satan had to hide the truth from this world, so he recruited a beast made up of all the previous world powers to pump out lie after lie. Satan hired a beast with a lot of previous experience in war and propaganda. Not to mention the experience those nations had in creating and controlling religions of all types. When we read those stories and focus on how kings interacted with religions, we see a strange parallel to they way governments interact with religions today.
How did that look to angels in Heaven. Here was this beast on earth who has never been to Heaven, never seen Heaven, wants no contact with Heaven, telling people all about Heaven. How would you like someone you never met spreading vicious rumors about you? God had to show the angels what was going to happen so they were prepared for it when it did happen. God wanted His angels informed and involved.
This is the beast that makes war with God’s people. Other of Satan’s factions join in on the conflict, but this beast takes center stage and carries the blunt of the blame. All the nations follow this beast. Hence that is why the description included attributes of all the world powers. That was Satan’s plan, to control all the world’s powers. He thought he had control over the world and offered all the power, glory, and riches to Jesus. But Jesus knew better, turned down the offer, and showed Satan where he actually stood. To Jesus the powers and riches of this world are nothing. It was the people who mattered.
The Book of Revelation has already shown us how to gather all the information on a subject before scripture will begin to explain scripture. Now we are getting into another phase of study, looking back to other books. When the Bible directs us back to other books, the story in scripture tells us exactly where to look. Using sets of key words, the Bible is written much like a road map of words. Go north on highway 21 until you pass a red barn. After the barn you’ll see a gas station. Turn east at the gas station and continue for three miles. People express directions in words, and so did God in the Bible. Those directions are commonly known as key words. Key words give us direction, and are most often repeated. Key words are words that are the same, similar, or related. At the beginning of Revelation chapter 13 we see a set of related words. Beast is repeated. Beast and dragon are related. Leopard, bear, and lion are all related to beast. In this example those key words point us back to the Book of Daniel. Because this prophecy is so deep, we have to refer to more than one chapter in Daniel to find out where Daniel linked those beasts to kingdoms.
Since so many studies have been written and presented on this very popular subject, I am not going to repeat that process. Most Christians have heard a number of explanations on Revelation 13 and its relationship with Daniel. But I am going to show you how those chapters are related and how God confirms their relationship. The Bible has what I term as parallel chapters. One chapter has a prophecy and somewhere its fulfillment is recorded in the Bible. People like to guess at things in the Bible, especially visions, prophecies, and the all time favorite, symbols. Symbols are identified within the story by the same author. But like Revelation, it is one long story and people don’t have the patients to read the entire story and give the Bible time to reveal the answers. In a way Revelation 13 is a prophecy showing how people will study scripture as the time for this world draws to a close.
The concept of parallel chapters, key words, and links between stories and chapters in the Bible has been around for a very long time. Martin Luther developed a basic method of study using key words. Others who followed Luther learned how to look deeper and deeper into scripture. Not long after the Bible was translated from Latin to more useful languages, the Spirit revealed how words link stories, and men worked long and hard hours developing the Concordance. Each Bible translation required its own Concordance. That is why the rule of key words tells us to look at words that are repeated, similar, and related. It didn’t matter what word translators used, when we look for similar or related words, the Spirit is able to place scripture back into the perfect order.
People went back to original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts to translate the Bible into a vast array of languages. It didn’t matter how they translated a Hebrew word, one Bible used one word, another used a similar word with the same meaning. Words may have turned up a little different, but the substance of the sentence was still there. God had all of this planned long before Moses sat down and began writing the first book in the Bible.
When we look at the example comparing Revelation 13 and Daniel, we can see another sign post God used. Compare the introduction of Revelation 13 to Daniel chapter 7.
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head on his bed. Then he wrote the dream and gave the sum of the matters. Daniel spoke and said, In my vision by night I was looking: and behold, the four winds of the heavens were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, different from one another. (Daniel 7:1-3 MKJV).
And I stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns. And on its horns were ten crowns, and on its heads was the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and its feet like those of a bear, and its mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him its power and its seat and great authority. (Revelation 13:1-2 MKJV).
Notice how all the beasts came out of the sea? The introduction to every chapter in the Bible explains the main theme in that chapter. When we find two chapters with the same, or similar introductions, we know those two chapters are covering the same theme. In this example it is easy to see how those two chapters add so many details to one another. We can see how those chapters were designed to be placed together, compared, and how one sheds extra light on the other.
People studied like that for hundreds of years. People used to be able to explain how the Bible and God’s Spirit revealed information and connections to them. But how often do we see people doing that? How often do we see people giving credit to God’s Spirit, and explaining how they were led through the scriptures? No one can explain a route they have never traveled.
Look at Revelation chapter 13. It is the only chapter in Revelation that begins on earth. It is also the choice for many people to begin teaching. When I see that happening, I know exactly where it is leading. That teacher received all his knowledge from the world, and they will use the world to present scripture. After reading a few verses out of Revelation chapter 13, they will jump right into history books, the news, or whatever they know. Where is the Spirit? Why can’t people explain how God wrote the Bible, why it is arranged the way it is written, and how the Spirit guides us through script?
Prophecy has become big business. Billions of dollars is spent on books about prophecy, seminars, and of course donations. People need to keep the money rolling in. So every week they need to come up with new exciting stories, a different slant on the same old verse. Today prophets face a lot of competition. The race is on to be the first to hit the airwaves with new interpretations. Does it take to long to explain how the Bible revealed the prophecy, or have those people forgotten how to study?
Speaking out against God is one of the main themes in Revelation chapter 13. John repeated it a number of times to draw our attention to it. Daniel confirmed that fact. Previous chapters in Revelation also lingered on that subject. Now we are faced with a dilemma. When we know this war is focused on a war of words, do we lean on Jesus in Heaven for the weapons we need, or do we look to the world? How can we ever hope to defend ourselves with worldly weapons? We can’t.
Of course this war goes beyond words. In some stories God sent angels to act. One angel killed an entire army in one night. Jesus could have called any number of angels to His side when He was arrested. Angels are always there to help us. But how can we call on an angel if we don’t know the language, or understand their role in this war?
Revelation 13:11-18 MKJV (11) And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. And it had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. (12) And it exercises all the authority of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and those dwelling in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. (13) And it does great wonders, so that it makes fire come down from the heaven onto the earth in the sight of men. (14) And it deceives those dwelling on the earth, because of the miracles which were given to it to do before the beast, saying to those dwelling on the earth that they should make an image to the beast who had the wound by a sword and lived. (15) And there was given to it to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might both speak, and might cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. (16) And it causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark on their right hand, or in their foreheads, (17) even that not any might buy or sell except those having the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name. (18) Here is the wisdom. Let him having reason count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. And its number is six hundred and sixty-six.
Here is where we see Satan using the people he controls to hide behind. Satan wants to sit in the shadows out of sight. One of his main deceptions is to convince a part of the this world, there is no God. If there is no God, how can there be a devil? Satan knows this, and knows he has to make it appear as if earth is in charge of its own destiny and people control every aspect of life on this planet. How was Satan going to accomplish that? Make people believe they evolved from a lower life form. Evolution came on the scene and millions of people flocked to the theory, praising it as their god. Satan made people believe they were in charge of their own life, their own destiny, and the world.
Governments all over the world took bits and pieces of Satan’s lies and formed compromises. Look to your leaders to solve every problem in the world. All it takes is money. A meteor hits the earth. Develop a plan to shoot them out of the sky. All it takes is money. Rivers overflow and wipe out houses where they never belonged. Build walls and dikes to control the river. All it takes is money. Wars pop up, solve the problem with money one way or another. The planet is polluted, all it takes is money and new laws to solve that problem. Governments are designed to take God out of the picture and collect taxes. The hope governments can solve any problem is an illusion.
Satan hides behind one beast, then another, and another. That’s Satan’s plan. God showed that plan to all the angels in Heaven in a vision. John recorded that vision. God’s angels don’t hide behind anyone. Neither does God, Jesus, or the Spirit. They stand up, show themselves, and take full responsibility. Satan hides behind one image after another that he creates.
We can see how phrases about words and communication are once again repeated. The word worship is also introduced. Most Christians know, Satan has been introducing false forms of worship for some time.
After Cain killed Able, Cain was banished, much like Satan was. Cain asked for a mark, and God gave him one. When we look at Cain’s decedents, we see how they began to introduce their own forms of worship. That was Cain’s original mistake. He wanted to make a different form or worship.
Adam and Eve had other sons, Enoch was one of them. He sought after God one on one. His form or worship was acceptable to God. Enoch had a son and learned about the father and son relationship God wanted. It was simple. On the other hand, Cain’s decedents wanted to build huge structures, one of them used as a symbol making themselves as high and powerful as God. That one didn’t last.
We need to concentrate on the vision of Heaven God wants us to see. There is one Heaven and one love from Heaven. Enoch found it, and God took him to Heaven.
On the other hand, Satan made a million deceptions. Sad to say, people are trying to identify each and every single one of them. Or they are falling for one of Satan’s greatest deceptions, that there is only one deception to look out for.
Since John told us that Satan is involved in creating beasts tied to worship, we have to consider the form of worship angels in Heaven follow. People like to worship in churches. People like to depend on institutions and committees. Satan knows that and uses that to his advantage. Enoch didn’t need a church or a committee to show him the path to Heaven. All Enoch needed was God. That is where angels worship, in God’s presence.
Once we look through the entire chapter in Revelation 13, we can’t help but see Satan creates worship in different flavors to attract different people. But the core value is still the same. The beast that came out of the sea developed a form or religion designed to control people. Other beasts took that idea and used it in different forms. The control remained the same. It is a control lurking in the shadows. A control so camouflaged, people don’t even notice it. As a matter of fact, people worship the control imposed upon them. Satan made control an image, a pillar in his church. People not only worshiped that pillar, they claim it is their salvation.
When we trace back through the history of the church, we can see how Satan recreated the church into a group of people with rules they established as a new and easier path to salvation. A path Enoch never traveled. A path Jesus never walked or talked about. A path none of the apostles followed or wrote about, but a path the world has accepted as normal. Not only normal but mandatory. When people didn’t agree with one church or committee, Satan directed them develop a new church. It was okay with Satan, as long as the members carried the core values of the beast along with them. A few little changes to Satan’s original system of worship didn’t alarm him, as long as they stuck to his original plan of committees and man made rules for worship.
The new beast coming up out of the earth looked like a lamb. That had to remind Heaven about the image of the Lamb that was able to open the seals. And I looked, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, amidst the elders, a Lamb stood, as if it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him sitting on the throne. (Revelation 5:6-7 MKJV).
The main difference was, the Lamb that represented Christ appeared in front of God’s throne. Satan’s lamb came up from concepts Satan developed in this world. Of course Satan had to develop a new set of concepts that appeared to come from Christ, but in fact came from earlier concepts developed by this world. The fact Satan’s lamb had only two horns showed there was a little, but incomplete connection with Heaven. Jesus’ horns had a complete connection with Heaven.
There was no way Satan’s lamb could open or understand those seals, which began a series of visions John and Heaven were shown. So Satan had to develop his own form and methods of interpretation. Satan had no choice but to reply on the world for his information. Satan set out on a plan to create his own little sequence of events that appeared to fit into the prophecies John recorded, but like those two horns, each was incomplete. But the world ate them up faster than Satan could pump them out.
Let’s take a quick review. Satan is the dragon who watched a beast that looks like a leopard coming out of the sea. That beast has markings of all the world powers Daniel described. Another beast comes along, a lamb, a type of counterfeit to Christ, but that lamb came up out of the earth. That lamb made an image, pillar, or some object, more or less an idol of the first beast, and the world followed that image. That image somehow got the power to speak. Back to the war of words.
This series of images brings this world right back to the stone and wooden images talked about in other books. In Heaven’s eyes we appear just as primitive as ancient cultures. Our images may be more sophisticated, more detailed, more appealing, but they are even more deadly than those bought and sold in and around Jerusalem during her glory days.
What kind of statue appears to come to life and talk when viewed from Heaven? The statue is an image of the first beast, made up of all the symbols Daniel used to represent three world powers. But where is the forth represented in that beast? The forth world power was the the one who spoke out against God. Now we have a series of other beasts and images taking over that role. To Heaven it looks like people in this world are doing the same old thing, making the same mistakes, and thinking they are so wise. The fact of the matter is, their self proclaimed spiritual wisdom makes it easier for the devil to deceive them. Here is a beast people should know is bad news. So introduce a not so fierce looking beast people will trust. It says the same things the fierce looking beast said, but it looks harmless, and more acceptable. People get used to the appealing beast. After time, Satan brings back the first beast. Not the real beast but a model of it. People have been so misled, a second look at the first beast now appears appealing. Once again Satan succeeds, and no one knows what is happening.
To get his plan to succeed, Satan needed a smoke screen, a distraction to go along with the camouflage. What better way to distract people than give them a puzzle to solve. People have been wasting a lot of time and money trying to solve the riddle of the number given in Revelation chapter 13. More money has been spent and made on that number than any other number, word, or phrase in the Bible. Movies have been made, books written, and countless sermons preached. People think it has something to do with Roman numerals, an actual stamp on people, social security numbers, computer chips, and countless other things. All of that research has one thing in common, all of it is centered on the earth. People are trying to answer a question posed in the Bible with something from this world, and that is never going to work.
Imagine a religion centered on finding out, or proving who the devil is. Is that crazy or what? But that’s exactly what the world wants to learn. They go as far as calling that worship. If they stood back long enough to take a look at what they were doing, they’d see the transition of those three beasts, and their origin is from the devil. Problem solved. But not for those intent on focusing their attention on a single word, phrase, or number.
By rule, Revelation chapter 13 has an introduction and summation. The introduction tells us the main theme, and the summary sums up the main theme in the chapter. By rule, that number in the summary people are trying to identify is defined by the introduction.
Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666. Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God. This beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority.
The answer will not come from any worldly power or wisdom. No matter how much power, glory, and honor the devil promises, it will never come close to the wisdom from Heaven. That is what people have to realize.
The number of the beast is like a test. What does the number do? It repeats. It points to the simple rule of repetition God used to write the entire Bible. Over generations God used prophets from all walks of life from kings to shepherds to write books. They all followed the general rule of repetition to call the readers attention to certain words and phrases, the main theme in the story and lesson. Some people call those keys words. Those are words that are the same, similar, or related. The number 6 is repeated and used to close that chapter and portion of the vision. Whenever we have a question in scripture, we should look back in the chapter, and at the previous chapter for the answer.
The previous chapter told us about the dragon, and identified that dragon as the devil. Then John was shown two other beasts, plus an image of one of those beasts. The word image sets up a relationship with the first beast. We instantly know those beasts and that image are related, one of the criteria used in the rule of repetition. How are those 3 beasts related? They all follow the devil. When God tells us to follow the rule of repetition, tells us we need wisdom, is He telling us He already provided the answer? Or is God telling us to look past Him, to the world for the answer?
Where does the Bible talk about a mark? Cain had a mark. Cain asked for a mark. What did Cain do? He decided to make a few changes to one of God’s simple commands. That’s exactly what Eve did, and Adam followed. All Adam and Eve had to do was follow one simple rule, don’t touch that fruit. The devil had a different idea. The devil made promises he couldn’t fulfill. The devil is still working for the same goal, using the same techniques, and achieving the same results. It is all based on simple repetition. We keep doing the same things, making the same mistakes, and why in this world we would ever expect a different result is beyond me. We all do it. God is simply bringing that point to our attention by using repetition in its simplest form. But people take that clue, change the rules, insert a few standards of their own, and expect to see a successful result. They make the same mistake Adam and Eve made, the same mistake Cain made, and the same mistake we see in dozens of other stories in the Bible. None of those changes to God’s simple form of worship, and easy way of finding answers ever worked. That doesn’t stop people from trying to find short cuts through the path God made for us to reach Heaven.