Wednesday, February 26, 2014


As we begin chapter 14, we are continuing a parenthetical section that provides information that helps us better understand unfolding events of the tribulation period.  After the sounding of the 7th trumpet judgment, it was revealed that Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven and banished to earth.  Point is made that he is very angry and eager to take out his wrath on the Jewish people.  Immediately after that we see the Antichrist and his false prophet rising to positions of global power and authority.  John reveals that the Antichrist will be given power to overcome the saints at that time, and I believe that includes the 144,000 witnesses that were sealed after the rapture.

Revelation 14:1 “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.  And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.  And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”

I think the specific number of 144,000 seen with the Lamb and the fact that they are sealed with the Father’s name in their foreheads directly connects them to the witnesses identified in chapter 7.

Revelation 7:3–4 “Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.”

Just as with the two witnesses, I believe these witnesses had completed the ministry to which God had appointed them and then died as martyrs for their faith.  They will not have to endure the hardships of the “great” tribulation, the last 3.5 years before Jesus returns as King of kings.

An upcoming verse states that God sends an angel to declare the gospel.  I think this is necessitated by the fact that His original appointed messengers are no longer on the scene. 

I decided to do a word search on “Sion” to see if it gave further insight, and I think there is a verse in Hebrews provides some insight.

Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels….

To interpret Sion as the heavenly Jerusalem makes sense with the chronological flow unfolding in John’s narrative.

John hears a voice from heaven that again has the description previously associated with Jesus (Rev. 1:15, 10:3).  There is a verse in Ezekiel that uses this description to describe the voice of God, which provides another affirmation of Father and Son as one.

Ezekiel 1:24 “And when they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters, as the voice of the Almighty, the voice of speech, as the noise of an host: when they stood, they let down their wings.”

He also hears the voice of harpers (a singer, one who plays and sings to the lyre) singing as they play their harps. 

Point is made that these men are singing a special worship song that only the 144,000 can learn.  The 144,000 are described as virgins (chaste), celibate men that have been set apart as the firstfruits of redeemed Israel, those who accept Jesus as the Messiah, according to the principal established in Exodus.

Exodus 13:2 & 12 “Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.  That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD’S.”
When these servants speak, they are without guile (deceit or trickery).  They stand in the presence of God before the throne without fault (unblemished, without blame).  They are speaking the truth.  There appears to be a verse in Zephaniah that applies here.

Zephaniah 3:13 “The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.”

(to be continued…)

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Continuing our stroll through Revelation, we have reached the point where the false prophet introduces the infamous “mark of the beast” to control all business transactions across the globe.

Revelation 13:16–18 “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”

Until the development of current technology, it seemed impossible to think that such worldwide economic control could be possible.  I think it is important to note that neither economic nor social status will be considered with regard to compliance with this dictate.  No one will be allowed to buy or sell anything without this mark. 

The first step in conditioning the public to accept such “marking” was to introduce the technology as part of vital medical treatment and as a means of improving the safety and security of pets and children.  In the push to get to a cashless society, it is now being touted as the most effective safeguard against identity theft, money laundering, thwarting terrorist operations, etc.  As I continue to watch the news, it appears to me that many will turn to chip implants or skin tattoos just for the convenience they provide.  Very few seem to consider the fact that these implants or tattoos also greatly enable the development of a “big brother” surveillance society similar to that pictured in George Orwell’s, 1984.  A chip under the skin allows the powers that be to track a person’s movements and access the personal information it stores.  I was surprised to find a report by Jay Stanley and Barry Steinhardt of the ACLU from January 2003 warning against the dangers connected with being part of a “Surveillance Society.”  A pertinent quote from that report follows.

“If we do not take steps to control and regulate surveillance to bring it into conformity with our values, we will find ourselves being tracked, analyzed, profiled, and flagged in our daily lives to a degree we can scarcely imagine today.  We will be forced into an impossible struggle to conform to the letter of every rule, law, and guideline, lest we create ammunition for enemies in the government or elsewhere.  Our transgressions will become permanent Scarlet Letters that follow us throughout our lives, visible to all and used by the government, landlords, employers, insurance companies and other powerful parties to increase their leverage over average people.  Americans will not be able to engage in political protest or go about their daily lives without the constant awareness that we are – or could be – under surveillance. We will be forced to constantly ask of even the smallest action taken in public, “Will this make me look suspicious? Will this hurt my chances for future employment? Will this reduce my ability to get insurance?” The exercise of free speech will be chilled as Americans become conscious that their every word may be reported to the government by FBI infiltrators, suspicious fellow citizens or an internet service provider.”

It’s interesting to me that John clearly reveals that the mark will consist of “the name of the beast or the number of his name.  He even identifies the number as the number of man—666.  In spite of this clear declaration from scripture, people will line up to comply with this directive.  The LORD has in the past and in the future will continue to verify the truth of scripture through the fulfillment of prophecy.  In spite of an abundance of fulfilled prophetic revelations, men continue to fall for the deceit of the enemy and reject the truth of His word.  You would think that the widespread availability of the truth of God’s word today in light of biblical prophecy would promote a great revival of faith, repentance and acceptance of that truth.  The pride of Satan and those that follow him in rejection of God as Lord of His Creation seems to trump truth and reason; they would rather believe a lie than submit to the Creator.  This too is in fulfillment of scripture.

John 8:44 “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

John 5:43 “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”

2 Thessalonians 2:8–12 “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

The intro phrase to verse 18 is intriguing.  After looking at several translations, it seems to be saying—You are going to need wisdom (understanding, learning, cleverness) to figure out what I am going to say next.  Count or compute (from the Greek) the number of the beast.  It is the number of a man; man’s number is 666.  Who knows in what direction this takes you.  We know that both the letters of the Hebrew and Greek alphabets were assigned numbers.  There are so many ways you could count or calculate; yet, I believe that those who need and are seeking understanding will probably know exactly what this scripture means when the time comes.  That is the whole purpose of revelation—revealing information.  God intends for us to understand when He gives us warning.

(to be continued…)

Thursday, February 20, 2014


In the previous post we saw that the beast from the sea, the Antichrist, will eventually become the de facto ruler of the world and be worshipped by all “earth dwellers” as God.  Only those who choose to follow God in faith and obedience will refuse to worship him, and such refusal will result in the death of many.  John next reveals the emergence of a beast arising from the earth.

Revelation 13:11–15 “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”

Note that the beast has two horns like a lamb, but he speaks like a dragon.  John consistently makes a distinct contrast between the Lamb, Jesus, and the dragon, Satan.  Horns are a symbol of royal dignity, strength and power.  This seems to indicate that this beast would carry the type of dignity and power reflected in a man of God in leadership, but would speak with the cunning and deceitfulness of the dragon.  Because of this description, he is often referred to as the false prophet.

This second beast is able to perform miraculous things “before” the first beast.  The word for “before” indicates “in the face of, in the presence of.”  This makes a clear distinction in their positions.  The first beast operates at will on his own; the second beast is subject to empowerment provided in the presence of the first.  The second beast carries enough clout to cause those on earth to worship the first beast.  Again, we are told that the first beast has had a miraculous recovery from an apparently deadly wound.  The fact that this second beast is directing the worship of the people also indicates a position of religious leadership.

The second beast is able to do great wonders/miracles/signs.  He is able to publicly call down fire from heaven to earth just like Elijah of old and the two witnesses in chapter 11.

There is a verse in Job that verifies Satan’s ability to call down fire from heaven in accordance with God’s permission.

Job 1:16 “While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.”

Though the fire was attributed to God, the fact is that God had given Satan permission to attack Job; and evidently the ability to call down fire from heaven was included in this permission.

I liked Kenneth Wuest’s expanded translation at this point:  “And he performs great miracles the purpose of which is to attest the divine source of the words uttered by the one performing the miracle, even to the extent that he causes fire to be descending out of heaven into the earth in the sight of the men.”

The second beast is able to “deceive” those living on earth because of his miracles.  Jesus warned us of Satan’s power to deceive.

Matthew 24:24 “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

Paul warned us as well.

2Thessalonians 2:9 “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders….”

There are also great verses in Deuteronomy that apply.

Deuteronomy 13:1-3 “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”

“The test of a miracle is its supernaturalness; the test of its source, the end, or interest for which it is wrought.  If in support of anything contrary to God and His revealed will and law, it is no less a miracle; but in that case it is the work of the Devil; for God cannot contradict Himself.”  Joseph Seiss

We are again told specifically that the second beast can only do these miracles in the presence of the first beast.  The same Greek word, “enopion,” is used for the word “before” in verse 12 and the phrase “in sight of” in verse 14.  He uses his platform of power to construct an image or statue of some sort in honor of the first beast. 

John also reveals that the apparently deadly wound was caused by a sword/knife/dirk.  Some scholars make a connection with this to the following verses in Zechariah.  If true, the attack on the Antichrist will result in a useless arm and blindness in his right eye.

Zechariah 11:16-17 “For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.”

The second beast is able to give life to the image of the beast and cause it to speak.  The interesting thing here is that the word for life is “pneuma,” which means “current of air, breath, spirit.”  Considering the speed at which technology is advancing today, who knows what type of image this will be.  Those that refuse to worship this image will be killed.  There is a verse in chapter 20 that indicates that beheading will be the likely method of execution.

Revelation 20:4 “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

(to be continued…)

Monday, February 17, 2014


As we continue in our verse-by-verse study of Revelation, I want to remind you that each post builds from the foundation established in each post from the beginning of the series.  We have reached the point where Satan and his armies have been cast out of heaven forever, and he has come to earth to possess the Antichrist and make one last futile attempt to thwart God’s plan to establish Jesus on the throne of David in Jerusalem as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Revelation 13:7 “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

In context “him” is a reference to the beast that arose from the sea, the Antichrist.  The “saints” are those that have been redeemed and consecrated to God, all true believers.  So, at this point the Antichrist is given the authority to fight against the saints and overcome them.  Daniel makes a similar prophecy.

Daniel 7:21 “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them….”

At first my mind jumped to spiritual warfare, but the more I think about it, I think this is talking about physical confrontation and victory.  The verse goes on to say that the beast has power (authority, control) over ALL kindreds (races, clans), tongues (languages), and nations (foreign, non-Jewish races, Gentiles).  This seems to reference the control he will possess to enforce compliance with his dictates by requiring people to be marked with his mark in order to buy or sell (as we will discover in upcoming verses).

John reveals that ALL that dwell on the earth shall worship him—that is, all those whose names are not written in “the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Revelation 13:8-9 “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.  If any man have an ear, let him hear.”

This is another amazing affirmation that God’s total plan of redemption was in place before the world was ever created.  Because our mind is so limited in understanding compared to God’s, man has a hard time accepting this truth.  I have heard so many debates and read so many articles related to this subject.  The bottom line is that we either accept God at His word or we don’t.  His word states that He knew all before He created.  His word states that He chose to give man the freedom to make choices.  His word states that He is not willing that any should perish.  His word states that election is His privilege and is based on His foreknowledge.  I, for one, embrace it all.  I have no problem accepting that the God of the Bible knew not only everything that would happen on planet earth, but that He knew what would have happened in all possible scenarios.  I also believe that He set into motion the scenario that allowed man’s choices and His will to work hand-in-hand.  Anything less is trying to fit God into a sphere of my complete understanding; and if I could do that, He would no longer be the God of the Bible in my opinion.

Considering my conclusion of the truth in the above paragraph, it is not surprising to see reference to a “book of life” that provides a record of all those that would choose to follow the LORD and accept His provision for redemption through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus on the cross.  According to my study, I believe that all names are written in the book of life until their opportunity for salvation has been finally rejected—at which time their name is blotted out.  Both Moses and the psalmist allude to this truth.

Exodus 32:31–32 “And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.”

Psalms 69:28 “Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous.”

The Lord Jesus also mentioned this truth in His letter to the church at Sardis.

Revelation 3:5 “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”

I think it is important to note that verse nine calls for “any man” that hears this message to pay attention to what God is revealing through John concerning the Antichrist.  This section of scripture will be crucial information for those living during that time.  

Revelation 13:10 “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”

E. W. Bullinger posits that verse 10 begins with a Hebraism that expresses destiny and makes reference to the following scriptures.  It seems to be a sound application to me.

Jeremiah 43:11 “And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt, and deliver such as are for death to death; and such as are for captivity to captivity; and such as are for the sword to the sword.”

Jeremiah 15:1-2 “Then said the LORD unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth. And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the LORD; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.”

Zechariah 11:9 “Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.”

Many saints will suffer captivity and death during this time.  They are to be prepared for this and persevere in their faith; in the end, scripture promises that they will emerge as overcomers.

1 John 5:4 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”

Revelation 21:7 “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”

I like the way the New Living Translation puts the second half of the verse:

Revelation 13:10b “…But do not be dismayed, for here is your opportunity to have endurance and faith.”

Another good reference that sheds light on having this patience and endurance is found in 1 Peter.

1Peter 2:19-21 “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.  For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps….”

(to be continued…)

Friday, February 14, 2014


In the last post we were introduced to a great beast with seven heads and ten horns that arises out of the sea, a picture of “restless humanity away from God” as described by Arthur Pink.  I concluded that this beast is picture of the Antichrist possessed by Satan.  Next John seems to see the beast imitate the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Revelation 13:3–4 “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. 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?”

The Greek for the word “wounded” references butchering an animal for sacrifice; in other words, it appears to reference the actual death of the Antichrist.  Arnold Fruchtenbaum states that “as it were wounded unto death” is an idiom for a resurrected individual and that real death is involved.  The same phrasing is used in reference to the Messiah in chapter 5, verse 6.  The expanded Greek translation by Kenneth Wuest adds clarification:  “And one of his heads appeared to have been mortally wounded, the throat having been slashed.  And his death stroke was healed.”

In light of his amazing resurrection, the people of the world determine that there is no one that compares to the beast.  With the technology available today this event will be well documented and observed by thousands—very unlike the resurrection of Jesus. 

I believe it is at this point that Satan indwells the Antichrist.  John makes the point of saying that the resurrection of the Antichrist causes the people to worship Satan.  It seems obvious to me that Satan intends the Antichrist to mirror Christ in every way possible.  He credits his authority as coming from Satan in the same way that Jesus accredited His authority to His Father in heaven.  He works lying wonders to deceive in contrast to the true miracles Jesus worked to inspire faith.  He stages an apparent resurrection from the dead in light of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Revelation 13:5-6 “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.”

As Satan always does, he blasphemes God and everything connected to Him.  John notes that he specifically blasphemes the name of God.  The name of God is indicative of things precious to God throughout the scripture—among them the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem.  God is very jealous concerning His name.

Deuteronomy 32:9–10 “For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye.”

Numbers 6:27 “And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them.”

2 Chronicles 6:6 “But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.”

Isaiah 48:11 “For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.”

Satan is aware of the scripture and all that is embodied through the name of God, and it is no small thing that he chooses to blaspheme the name of God. 

The beast also blasphemes God’s tabernacle, His dwelling place.  Although believers are indwelt by the Spirit in this age of grace, I am not sure that is a given in the seven years of tribulation known as the 70th week.  People of faith in Old Testament times were only indwelt by the Spirit for specific periods of time according to God’s purposes.  The seventieth week of Daniel is directly connected to a time that God is dealing with the Jews under Old Testament law, and it would seem that He would continue to work during that time as He did during the first 69 weeks.

It’s interesting that the beast also blasphemes “them that dwell in heaven (the sky; by extension, heaven—as the abode of God).”  Satan is well aware of the reality of heaven as God’s dwelling place; he’s had access all these years to accuse the brethren.  Is he just thinking of the angels that remained true to God and refused to rebel with him?  I believe he is also thinking of the saints that are at home in heaven with the Savior as well.  He has now been kicked out forever, and it’s like he is cursing to vent his anger.

Daniel also noted the blasphemies that would be spoken by this ruler.

Daniel 7:25 “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.”

Although he is given his power by Satan, the time established in which this power will be allowed to operate with supreme authority has been determined by God—42 months, or 3.5 years.  This timeframe references the last half of the 7-year tribulation period.

Daniel 12:6–7 “And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.”

Revelation 12:14 “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”

A time = one year
Times = two years
Half a time = half a year
Total = 3.5 years or 1260 days as stated in Revelation 12:6 – The time that the remnant of Israel will need God’s special protection from Satan’s all out attack to destroy them.

Revelation 12:6 “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.”

(to be continued…)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


In the last post we looked at John’s revelation of when Satan and his armies are cast to earth and will be banned from heaven forever.  That information provides the foundation for what we see next.

Revelation 13:1-2 “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.”

I think it is interesting to note that we start hearing more about the Antichrist as we hit the middle of the tribulation period since that is when we start seeing his true colors.  Remember, he arises on the world stage as a man championing peace with the ability to bring order out of chaos with his lying wonders.  He will soon show himself to be a wicked tyrant with a hatred for God and all who choose to follow Him.

The description of the beast depicts a direction connection to the dragon of Revelation 12; they both have seven heads and ten horns.  There is also a connection to the fourth beast described by the prophet Daniel.  In chapter 7 of Daniel the fourth beast has 10 horns, then Daniel sees another little horn emerge that uproots 3 of the 10 horns.

Daniel 7:7–8 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.”

There is another interesting connection to this beast in Isaiah.

Isaiah 27:1 “In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.”

In Revelation 13:1 it is the beast that rises from the sea, and in the verse in Isaiah it is the dragon that is in the sea.  Revelation 12 identifies the dragon as “that old serpent, the Devil, and Satan.”  I think they are so intertwined with one another at this point, that it is hard to distinguish them.  The beast, the Antichrist, is dependent upon the dragon, Satan, for his power and authority.  When Satan is thrown out of heaven in the middle of the tribulation, I believe he indwells the Antichrist.  They are two independent beings and will meet their own judgment at different times, but they operate in the tribulation as an inseparable unit.

Arthur Pink has this to say about “the sea” in his book The Antichrist:  “In scripture, the troubled ‘sea’ is frequently a figure of restless humanity away from God.  The Antichrist will come upon the scene at a time of unprecedented social disturbance and governmental upheaval.  He will appear at a crisis in the history of the world.”

It’s also interesting to note that John describes this beast as possessing the characteristics of the same animals that Daniel saw in his dreams that represented the last four great world powers that were/will be significant in the history of Israel.

Daniel 7:3–6 “And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.”

Mark Hitchcock makes a good observation—John is looking back in history while Daniel is looking forward, so John sees the beasts in reverse order to Daniel.

I think it is significant to note that the beasts in Daniel’s vision are identified as representing four kings.  The first three are interpreted in chapters 2&8 of Daniel as Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Cyrus of Medo-Persia and Alexander the Great of Greece.  The fourth kingdom is a reference to Rome, but the fourth king is in reference to the Antichrist, the most powerful ruler to emerge from that empire depicted by the legs and feet of the image from Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2. 

It indicates to me that the Antichrist will possess the combined strengths of the rulers represented by the kingdoms Daniel saw (Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece).  Then we are told that the beast is given his power, seat (his throne, his position), and great authority (includes ability, privilege, superhuman mastery, jurisdiction) by the dragon, already identified as Satan.

Yes, the Roman Empire fell long ago.  That is true, but scripture declares that there will be a confederacy of ten kings or rulers (pictured by the ten toes of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream) that will once again come to power from the remains of that fallen empire that will unite under the leadership of the Antichrist to control the world. 

One can’t help but wonder why the other great kings/kingdoms of the world (e.g., the Ottomans or Mongols) were not included in Daniel’s and John’s visions.  God’s word is intended to tell His-story as reflected through His dealings with the nation of Israel.  After 70 AD that nation no longer existed.  Since it is once again an active nation on the world scene (as of 1948), we can look for the reemergence of the fourth kingdom in fulfillment of scripture.

(to be continued…)

Saturday, February 8, 2014


In the previous post, Satan and his angelic army have been cast out of heaven.  The hosts of heaven will erupt in a great praise and worship service.

Revelation 12:10–12 “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.  Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

The hosts of heaven know that Satan’s final demise is soon (from the heaven’s perspective of time) to be realized.  I think it is noteworthy that it is a great man of faith that makes this declaration.  He notes that believers had emerged victorious from the attack of the enemy against them by claiming the blood of the Lamb, Jesus the Messiah, and living in obedience to Him as a testimony of their love for Him.  The wording of some translations makes me think that these words may be specifically honoring those that died as martyrs; some translations read as though this references the whole body of believers.  I think both are true.  I believe martyrs to the faith as well as all that have placed their faith in God are given special grace to face death.

Though the heavens are rejoicing, they declare a woe for those on planet earth that will have to experience Satan’s wrath.  He will finally realize, if he hasn’t already, that his time is short.

Revelation 12:13–17 “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

Satan’s first priority upon being confined to planet earth is to persecute the people of Israel, the nation that gave us the Messiah.  God has, however, prepared a place of special protection and provision to which they can flee.  I think the “two wings of a great eagle” also reference the fact that He will provide a sure way for them to get there.  God’s protection of the Jewish people is often compared to the actions of an eagle.

Exodus 19:4 “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.”

Deuteronomy 32:9–12 “For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.”

Many speculate that the place where God protects the Jewish remnant for the last 3.5 years of the tribulation might be Petra in Jordan.  This is a reasonable possibility to me since Daniel declares that the Antichrist is not allowed to overthrow Jordan.

Daniel 11:41 “He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.”  [These lands are in the area of modern day Jordan.]

It also fits in with Isaiah’s prophecy of the Lord coming from Bozrah (in Edom) to Jerusalem as he returns to make war with Antichrist.

Isaiah 63:1–4 “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.”

We know that Satan will be acting with full use of his temporarily allowed powers during this time.  It seems he will try to prevent the Jewish remnant from reaching their place of refuge by using those powers to cause a great flood, but God will override that miracle by causing the earth to swallow up the waters.  This will infuriate Satan, so he turns his attention to making war with the remnant of Jews that have turned to faith in the Messiah and are striving to keep His commandments.  Though I believe this to have particular reference to the 144,000 and the two witnesses, I think it will include all that are followers of Jesus during that time that are outside the specially protected area of escape.

(to be continued…)