Category Archives: REVELATION 13

The apostle John is given information about the two personages who will dominate the world in the end times.

REVELATION 13

Introduction to the chapter
Having had explained to Him by God the position regarding the nation of Israel during the Tribulation Period in chapters 10,11 and 12, the apostle is now informed about two personages that will dominate that period.  They are called the first beast and the second beast.  The word beast is different to that used of the four living creatures associated with God’s throne, 4:6-8, for those living creatures are angelic beings, and are the agents used of God to execute judgement.  These beasts, however, are wild beasts, and are the agents of the Devil.  The first beast is otherwise known as Antichrist, 1 John 2:18, the Man of Sin, 2 Thessalonians 2:3.  The second beast is otherwise known as the False Prophet, Revelation 19:20.

The Book of the Revelation is the revelation of Jesus Christ, for He is central to the whole of it.  The Book of Daniel, however, could be called the Revelation of the Antichrist, for there is much about him in that book.  This is why there is a limited amount in the Book of Revelation about the Antichrist, for it has already been said in the Old Testament.  God was working throughout Old Testament times to bring in His Son, the Messiah, the Seed of the woman, but Satan was also working to bring in his anti-messiah, the seed of the serpent.  The reason why this latter thing has not happened yet is because the Holy Spirit is restraining evil, so that the antichrist cannot be revealed until God’s time has come.  Meanwhile, God in longsuffering is waiting for men to repent.  John, however, is going to tell us about Satan’s man, who will rise up in the end time.

Truths about the character of the coming antichrist is set out in Daniel chapter 8:10-12; 23-27, as follows:

1.  He waxes great even to the extent of being able to influence the host of heaven, meaning the angel hosts, verse 10.  As we learn later, this king is energised by Satanic power, and hence it is no surprise that he can control spirit-beings.  In chapter 10 we learn that there is conflict in heaven between holy and evil angel-representatives of the nations, and that victory is not easily achieved by the holy angels, such is the power of evil.  So successful is this king in verse 10, that he is able to cast some of the host of heaven and the stars, meaning, presumably, angels, to the ground and triumph over them.  This is awesome power, and reminds us we should not underestimate the power of the Devil.  We take comfort from the fact, however, that the eventual triumph of Christ is assured, (for “He shall send forth truth to victory”, Matthew 12:20), and meanwhile, “greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world”, 1 John 4:4.

2.  He so exalts himself that he aspires to attack Christ Himself, verse 11.  We read the armies of the Antichrist make war with the Lamb in Revelation 19:19, and this statement is to the same effect.  Not only is he antichrist in the sense of “instead of” Christ, but also in the sense of “against Christ”, for the Greek word “anti” has both these meanings. 

3.  He interferes with the sacrifices offered on the altar in the rebuilt temple at Jerusalem, verse 11.  Chapter 9:27 tells of a covenant with the majority in Israel to allow them to resume their temple worship.  This covenant he breaks after three and a half years, and this signals the commencement of the Great Tribulation, Matthew 24:15,21.

4.  A host is given him against the daily sacrifice.  A host is a multitude, especially when organised for war.  The fact that he is able to cause the sacrifices offered to God to cease suggests Satan allots some of his demon-forces to allow him to do this without God’s angels, and in particular Michael, preventing him.  Michael does not seem to be as strong as the Devil, as is seen in Jude 9, and Daniel 10:13 indicates that Gabriel was no match for the angel-prince of Persia until Michael came to assist him.  In verse 11 he magnifies himself against the prince of the host, which from 12:1 we learn is Michael, the prince that stands for the children of Israel.

5.  He casts down the truth to the ground.  This word “cast down”, is used in verses 7,11,12.  The idea is of throwing out, down, or away.  Here the little horn attacks the truth, and succeeds in casting it down, meaning that he persuades many to apostatise, especially in Israel, where the majority of the nation have sided with him, and only a remnant remains true to God.  John tells us that one of the main features of the antichrist is that he denies both the Father and the Son, 1 John 2:22; 4:3.  In other words, he totally rejects Christianity, with its emphasis on the revelation of the Father by the Son.  We shall see when looking at verse that his main weapon is his ability to sway the masses with his oratory, just like many dictators have done in recent times.

6.  He practises and prospers, for evil is having its final attempt to overthrow the things of God, verse 12.  It will be said that “all the world wondered after the beast”, and no-one is able to make war with him, Revelation 13:3,4. 

7.  He has a fierce countenance, for he will act with unimaginable cruelty, such is the nature of man, verse 23.  It is no coincidence that he is likened to a wild beast, unmerciful and untamed.  All the  features of the bear, (relentless attack), the lion (fierce attack with strength), and the leopard, (swift decisive attack), will combine in him.  In this he is like the one who empowers him, who is responsible for the misery and heartache experienced by men through the ages.

8.  He understands dark sentences, indicating that Satan gives him insight into the mysteries that have been hidden from the mass of men down the centuries.  These secrets enable him to gain and keep hold of the minds of men.

9.  His power is mighty, but he owes it to another, for he will have succumbed to the temptation of the Devil, verse 24.  He had offered the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them to Christ, if He would bow down to worship him.  This the Lord refused to do, but this man will have done it, so that “the dragon gave him his power, his seat, and great authority, Revelation 13:2.

10.  He destroys wonderfully, for all the world shall wonder after the beast, such is the impressive nature of the things he is able to do by Satanic power.  He shall prosper, but God is in control, allowing the Devil to overreach himself so that he may be finally and decisively defeated. 

11.  He shall destroy the mighty and holy people, (literally “the people of the holy ones”, the ones spoken of in chapter 7:27), that part of the nation of Israel which refuses to renounce God.  Such is the intensity of his onslaught against them that only a third pass through the fire to enter the kingdom age.  Zechariah 13:9 had spoken of this, and it is interesting that Christ took a third of His apostles onto the Mount of Olives to tell them of these things, as recorded in Matthew 24.  They represent the faithful remnant of Israel in that chapter, whereas in John 13-17 they represent the church.

12.  Through his policy he causes craft to prosper under his control, verse 25.  Satan used the serpent in the Garden because it was more subtle or crafty than all other beasts of the field.  Of course, before sin entered this simply meant that the serpent was crafty or skilful in the best sense.  The devil used that characteristic to his own ends with the serpent at the beginning, and now is using it with the antichrist at the end. 

13.  Magnifying of self is a feature of the devil, and the antichrist shares it.  Pride is the condemnation of the devil, 1 Timothy 3:6, who sought in pride to be like the Most High, Isaiah 14:14.  We learn that this pride on the part of the antichrist is the same, for he will magnify himself even above gods that are worshipped.  Satan is using him to try to gain the goal he sought at the beginning when he tried to usurp the throne of God.  He still has the five-point plan he had then, see Isaiah 14:13,14.

14.  By peace he destroys many, peace having the sense of “ease”, freedom from anxiety, freedom from stress.  Those who worship him will be rewarded by him.  They will be called “them that dwell upon the earth” in Revelation 13:8, who are content with earth, have no thought of heaven, and deny the existence of hell.

15.  He will be so bold as to stand up against Christ, the Prince over the angel-princes.  He will no doubt attempt this by the devilish power Satan has given him.  We little appreciate the power the Devil still wields, even though he is a defeated foe.

16.  He will be broken “without hand”, meaning without any coming to “give him a hand”, in other words, he will be isolated and utterly defeated.  Such were the tremendous issues involved in this vision, and in particular the events concerning the little horn, that Daniel fainted, and was sick.  He was astonished at what the vision indicated, but no-one understood the precise meaning of it. 

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION CHAPTER 13, VERSES 1 TO 10:

13:1  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.

13:2  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.

13:3  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.

13:4  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?

13:5  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.

13:6  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

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.

13:8  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.

13:9  If any man have an ear, let him hear.

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.

The structure of the passage
This is very simple, with the first beast the subject of verses 1-10, and the second beast the subject of verses 11-18.

Verses 1-10        The first beast

13:1  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 I stood upon the sand of the sea- the apostle, on the island of Patmos, 1:9, is given a vision that he was standing on the shore of the island, looking out from Patmos into the Mediterranean. 
The prophet Daniel had a similar experience, but we know that he had “visions of his head upon his bed”, Daniel 7:1.  In his vision, Daniel saw that the four winds of heaven were causing a storm on the Great Sea, which to Daniel would have meant the Mediterranean, and four beasts had come up from the stormy sea, (for the winds strove upon it, indicating great forces at work), and he had described them in turn.  John does not describe the sea as being rough and stormy. 
And saw a beast rise up out of the sea- whereas Daniel saw four beasts, John saw only one.  Historians are agreed that European civilisation began on the island of Crete, which is opposite the Aegean Sea but in the Mediterranean, the Great Sea of Old Testament times.  The island was far enough away from Patmos to be over the horizon, so the beast would appear to John to rise up out of the sea.  It is interesting to note that the legend of Europa, the woman who rode upon the beast, was connected with Crete also.  Europa appears on the Greek euro coin.
Having seven heads and ten horns- in the previous chapter it was the dragon that had seven heads and ten horns, but these characteristics have been transferred to this beast.  We shall see from the next verse that this is because he rises with the authority of Satan behind him.
And upon his horns ten crowns- in the case of the dragon, his crowns were upon his heads, whereas this beast has them on his horns.  Now crowns denote that a coronation has taken place, and power has been conferred.  In the case of the seven empires represented by the heads, the crowns or diadems upon them spoke of rule exercised in the past through successive empires and emperors.  Now, however, the crowns are on the horns, and they rule simultaneously, as 17:12 will tell us, for they “receive power as kings one hour with the beast”.
And upon his heads the name of blasphemy- so on each head there is but one name.  We are not told precisely what they name is, but we can be sure that the leading idea behind the seven successive empires is that of the claim of Lucifer to be God.  This, indeed, is blasphemy.

13:2  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.

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard- now it is often said that the four beasts that Daniel saw in his vision, are simply God’s view of the empires which Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream in the form of metals in an image.  Those were the Babylonian, Persian, Grecian and Roman empires in succession.  But when Daniel enquired the meaning of his own dream, he was told that “those great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth”, Daniel 7:17.  But at the point in time when Daniel had his dream, the Babylonian empire and its head had been in existence for forty-nine years, and in about seventeen years would be defeated by the Persian empire.  In no way could it be said to be about to arise, when in fact it was about to fall. 
Now the four beasts Daniel saw were a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a beast too terrible to describe, Daniel 7:4-7.  And the beast John saw was a leopard, had bear’s feet, and a lion’s mouth.  It is surely inescapable that there is some connection between what Daniel saw, and what John saw. It is said of the first three beasts in Daniel 7 that their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.  This is explained in our passage, for the leopard-emperor has incorporated three empires, with their characteristics, into his empire.  They live on, but only because of involvement with him.
So the animal John saw was a leopard.  Now the name Nimrod means “Rebel”.  But it also has connections with the word for a leopard.  This is significant, for Nimrod’s rise to power came because he was a renowned hunter.  He began by hunting animals, and then began hunting down men.  In the East, the leopard is often used in hunting because of its swiftness.  Sadly, this characteristic will mark the last empire and its emperor. 
And his feet were as the feet of a bear- this animal is noted for its large paws, and its ability to use those paws to pounce upon and hold its prey.  So this leopard hunts down its prey with swiftness, and then, bear-like, holds it fast.
And his mouth as the mouth of a lion- having captured its prey, it devours it with cruelty.  There is built up a picture here of terrible fierceness and savagery, and gives us the impression of the wickedness and heartlessness that will be displayed by this beast. 
And the dragon gave him his power- we see now why this animal has seven heads and ten horns.  It is because the dragon has these features, and it is made in the image of the dragon.  Whatever features the dragon has displayed through the centuries, this beast will display during his brief despotic rule.
When the Devil tempted the Lord Jesus, we read, “And the devil, taking Him up into a high mountain, shewed unto Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  And the devil said unto Him, ‘All this will I give Thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.  If Thou therefore will worship me, all shall be Thine'”, Luke 4:5-7.  Such was the offer made to the Lord Jesus.  The fact that the sight of the kingdoms was in a moment of time suggests there was a time factor involved here.  Is it not all the kingdoms of the world since Nimrod’s that is in view here?  After all, at the time of Christ there was really only one kingdom, that of Rome, for Caesar could cause all the world to be taxed, Luke 2:1. 
But there was a price to pay for all this glory, and it was giving Divine honours to Satan.  That price the Lord Jesus had no intention at all to pay.  He did not even consider it a possible option.  When He was tempted it was “without sin”, Hebrews 4:15, which does not just mean that no sin resulted, but it means that His mind was not open to the possibility of sinning.  When the right time comes, God will say to His Son, “Ask of Me, and I will give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession”, Psalm 2:8.  When that time comes men will bow down before Him, not to the devil. 
The Greek word for power used here is dunamis, from which we get the English word “dynamite”.  The Devil will give the beast explosive power, the ability to demolish ancient and well-established things that have a Scriptural basis, and introduce that which is Satanic.  There is a persistent movement at the present time to remove Christian concepts from the thinking of men, so that the barbarism of the ancient pagan world may be introduced in their place.  Abortion, euthanasia, Satan-worship were features of the world then, and their re-emergence now is a sign that the end times are close.  How close we do not know, so it is important for any reader who is not yet saved, to get right with God as a matter of urgency by seeking His salvation through Christ. 
And his seat- this is the place from which a ruler exercises his rule.  From the time that men began to rule over others, the city of Babylon has been their capital.  It was so with Nimrod, and also Shalmaneser of the Assyrian empire, and Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian empire.  Successive empires took over the territory of these emperors, and so included Babylon in their boundaries, even if not as their capital.  The Babylon-spirit dominated.  As human rule began, so shall it finish, for Babylon is destined to rise again, and become the capital city of the world-kingdom of the Antichrist.  We shall have to discuss this when considering chapters 17 and 18. 
And great authority- it is one thing to have explosive power, the ability to shatter and destroy.  It is another thing to have a throne from which that power can emanate.  But what of the authority to wield that power?  This the Devil will give to his man. 
The apostle Paul wrote, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.  For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power?  do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:  For he is the minister of God to thee for good.  But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake”, Romans 13:1-5. 
 The word for power used five times in that passage is the same word translated authority in Revelation 13.  So in an overall sense, God is the source of all authority.  He has ordained that some men should have authority, so that evil may be punished, and those who do well may be commended.  They may levy taxes to pay for those two things, and they may honour those who assist them in that, but that is the limit of their authority from God.  However, Satan is the prince of this world, and as such seeks to go further, and dominate the affairs of men, and so influence and control them that eventually he is worshipped.  The wonder of it is that he has been given by God a certain amount of freedom to exercise his own authority in this way.  This is strictly controlled, and he cannot go further that God allows him to go.  It is in this sense that the Devil gives authority to the first beast; he is allowed to do so that he, and the Devil, may over-reach themselves and be destroyed. 
We see this illustrated in the case of Pharoah, who afflicted the people of God, but God was over all, and He said, “Even for this same cause have I raised thee up, that I might shew My power in thee, and that My name might be declared throughout all the earth”, Romans 9:17.  So it shall be at the end time, for the Devil will bring about his own downfall.

13:3  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 I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death- the word for wounded used here has the idea of the butchering of an animal, either for food or for sacrifice.  In fact it is found in Acts 7:42, where Stephen quotes from Amos 5:25-27, “O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?”  Sadly, many in Israel sacrificed to demons and not to God during that time.  But the idea is of a sacrificial animal being slain.
It is also used in chapter 5 of this book, in verses 6, 9, and 12, and also in this chapter, verse 8 in connection with Christ as the Lamb as it had been slain.  In line with this, the Ethiopian eunuch, as he read from Isaiah 53:7, found that it is said of Christ, “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter”.  
Is this one of Satan’s wicked deceptions being worked out, that he presents his false Christ as if it has been slaughtered for sacrifice, and yet is healed of its deadly wound?  Thus the parody of the sacrificial death and glorious resurrection of Christ is foisted on humanity, and they are deceived.
And his deadly wound was healed- the manner in which an animal is slaughtered for sacrifice is by having its throat cut, and this ensures that the blood of the animal drains freely out. This is indeed a deadly wound. This manner of death is impossible to reverse in normal circumstances, but in the case of the first beast it seems that is the case, for he is not said to have been raised from the dead, but healed.  We are not told who did the healing, but it is not beyond Satan to work this.  In the ancient world he was worshipped as Aesculapius, the Serpent who heals.  This will not prevent the Devil passing this off as a resurrection.
And all the world wondered after the beast- having largely rejected the gospel, and been conditioned to listen to and believe lies, and with the Holy Spirit withdrawn at the time of the coming of the Lord for the church, they will be at the mercy of the one who “deceiveth the whole world”, 12:9.

13:4  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?

And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast- this is the goal to which he has been moving for six thousand years, and for a brief period he will have achieved his object. 
And they worshipped the beast, saying- just as there is Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the Godhead, there will be, in stark contrast, the Dragon, the beast and the false prophet.  And just as the Father and Son are worshipped, but not the Holy Spirit, (except when the Godhead is worshipped without distinction of persons), so the Dragon and the beast are worshipped.  It has been a sad feature of the seven emperors represented by the heads on the beast, that they have sought divine honours for themselves. 
Who is like unto the beast?  They worship him for two reasons, and this is the first, his supposed pre-eminence, in opposition to God’s Christ, who has been made firstborn from among the dead, “that in all things he might have the pre-eminence”, Colossians 1:18.
Who is able to make war with him?  Not only do they worship because of the place the dragon has allowed him to occupy, but because the power he has been given.  Men feel that he is invincible, and therefore worship out of fear.

13:5  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 there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies- this had been foretold in Daniel’s prophecy.  We read,  “and behold, in this horn were the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things”, Daniel 7:8.  “And a mouth that spake very great things”, 7:20.  “And he shall speak great words against the Most High”, 7:25.  “And shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods”, 11:36.  A man who possesses great powers of oratory can sway the masses, so that they hang on his every word, and, whipped up into a frenzy, do what they would not normally do. 
The speaking of great words against the Most High would involve the denial of the Father and the Son that John writes about in his first epistle, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?  He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son”, 1 John 2:22.  Daniel prophesied of this too, when he said that Antichrist will cast down the truth to the ground, Daniel 8:12. 
And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months- it seems that there are two stages to the emergence of the Antichrist, for there must be a period when the other three empires of Daniel’s vision have a share in world domination.  It is said of the first three beasts in his dream that they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season.  Does this mean that their dominion was transferred to the fourth beast, who is the first beast of Revelation 13?  If this is the case, then their lives were prolonged in the sense that they continued as part of the final Antichrist empire, and their features continued to be manifest, inasmuch as the beast of this chapter has the characteristics of all three.
When this has taken place, however, and the Antichrist has none to rival him, he will assert himself by setting up his image in the temple at Jerusalem, thus declaring that he is to be worshipped.  This is the signal for the second half of the Tribulation Period to run its course, hence the mention of forty two months, or three and a half years. 
It is not just that he continues for that period in the same way as before, the idea of the word continue is “operate”.  He will conduct himself in a different way in the second half of the seven-year period.  There is a stark contrast between allowing the worship of God, and demanding that the world worship him.

13:6  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God- this verse expands on the statement in verse 5, “a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies”.  The great things are to elevate himself, and the blasphemies are to denigrate God in the eyes of men.  We should not think of this personage simply in terms of political position.  His main agenda is to dethrone God, and banish Him from the universe,  for that is Satan his master’s agenda.
To blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven- we should remember that God has already started to judge the world as detailed in chapter 6, but far from repenting, this man responds by blaspheming God’s name, the crime that in Israel merits stoning to death, so serious was it.
God’s tabernacle is the place from whence the judgements come, as we see from 15:5,6, hence his profane anger against it.
He also blasphemes those who, because they revered the name of God in their lifetime, are now safe in heaven out of his reach.  But that does not stop him cursing them. 

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.

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them- notice God is still in control here, for the beast can only act as permission is granted to him.  He does not overcome the saints in the sense that he causes them to recant and deny the faith.  Rather, he kills them, but that is all he is able to do.  Daniel foretold this in the words, “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of Days came, and judgement was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom”, Daniel 7:21,22.  The Lord Jesus promised “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”, Matthew 24:13.  They do not necessarily have to endure to the end in relation to time, but in relation to holding to the faith until the end of their earthly journey, whether it is terminated by a martyr’s death, or by the coming of Christ to reign.  We saw in 12:11 that they loved not their lives unto the death.  Their compensation will be to reign with Christ.
And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations- this power to hunt down those who believe and kill them had no boundaries, whether tribal, linguistical, or political.  There will be no place on earth that is out of bounds to him, for he will have free range over the earth.  This means that he will be seeking to counteract the evangelistic efforts of the one hundred and forty-four thousand evangelists that God had sent into the world at the beginning of the seven year period.

13:8  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.

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him- that this is not an absolute statement is seen in that it is qualified in the second half of the verse.  So not only has he power to kill those who refuse to bow to him, but he has power over all men to demand that they worship him.  By so doing they will worship Satan himself, his master.  This expression really defines men at this time.  They will be earth-dwellers, having rejected God and His heaven, and not believing there is a hell.
Whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world– this is the defining feature of those who worship him.  The question at this point is whether this means that the Lamb is slain from the foundation of the world, or that the names are written from the foundation of the world.  The answer is found in chapter 17 verse 8, where the same idea of having names in the book of life is found without the mention of the slain lamb.  It reads, “and they that dwell upon the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world”.  So it is names that are written from the foundation of the world, and not the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  Of course it is true that the Lord Jesus, as God’s Lamb, was foreordained before the foundation of the world, 1 Peter 1:20, and our verse does not deny that. 
The Epistle to the Hebrews makes it clear that one of the two main reasons why God made the earth was so that those who believe may enter into the Kingdom rest His Son will bring in.  (The other great reason, of course, is so that His Son might live and die on the earth).  The writer to the Hebrews links together the rest that God enjoyed at the end of creation week, and the rest the saints on earth will enjoy during Christ’s reign  .  So the foundation of the world has special relevance to the earth. 
In accordance with this, the Lord Jesus said that those of the Tribulation period who believe, will enter into the kingdom prepared for them “from the foundation of the world”, Matthew 25:34.  God has perfect and infallible foreknowledge of who will believe, and He secures their safety by inscribing their names in the Book of Life, for their faith is based on the slain lamb.  He does not surrender His sovereignty by so doing, for it is an act of His sovereignty to do it.  If He chooses to act in this way, who can say Him nay? 
Saints of this present church age, however, will enter fully into the blessings that are vested in Christ “before the foundation of the world”, Ephesians 1:4.  And this is only to be expected, because the hope of the church is heavenly, and the earth is not their destiny. 
The word for slain as used of the Lamb in this verse, is the same as is translated “wounded” in verse 3.  The antichrist is Satan’s counterfeit lamb, but he cannot bring redemption and the forgiveness of sins as the Lamb of God can. 

13:9  If any man have an ear, let him hear.

If any man have an ear, let him hear- ever the evangelist, John now inserts some exhortations here.  All men have ears, given to them by God so that they may listen to His word.  John encourages them to do so, given the horrific events that are yet to take place on the earth.

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.

He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity- this verse does not exhort that who oppose God, but warns them of the consequences of their actions.  The Lord Jesus warned His people that Jerusalem would at some point be surrounded by hostile armies, and that many “shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations”, Luke 21:24.  These are the two things mentioned here.  Those who lead into captivity shall themselves meet the same fate, but in a spiritual sense in terms of eternal judgement. 
He that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword- the same is true in the case of those who execute true believers, for they themselves will be likewise killed.  God said in Moses’ day, speaking of the end times, “For I lift up My hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.  If I whet My glittering sword, and Mine hand take hold on judgement; I will render vengeance to Mine enemies, and I will reward them that hate Me”, Deuteronomy 32:40,41.
Here is the patience and the faith of the saints- the saints of those times will be able to endure, because they are sure God will eventually vindicate them and deal with their enemies.  This is Old Testament sentiment, which will re-emerge in the time of Tribulation, for the last seven years of Daniel’s prophecy is really connected with the periods that went before it, the church age having intervened.
They will also have listened with the ear of faith, as exhorted by verse 9, and will continue in faith as they wait for Christ to come.  The prophet Habakkuk had spoken of those who would refuse to draw back, as if they did not believe Messiah was coming, but would eagerly expect the one who will come, and not tarry, Habakkuk 2:2-4;  Hebrews 10:35-39.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE BOOK OF REVELATION CHAPTER 13, VERSES 11 TO 18:

13:11  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.

13:12  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.

13:13  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

13:14  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.

13:15  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.

13:16  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:

13:17  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.

13:18  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. 

Verses 11-18    The second beast

13:11  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 I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth- if the first beast arose out of the sea, as John looked out across the Mediterranean, then this one must arise out of either Greece or Turkey, the two land-masses either side of the island of Patmos.
And he had two horns like a lamb- a lamb does not have very aggressive horns, for they are only just showing, and cannot be used for fighting.  So this beast seems to be innocent enough.  We are not told whether he is altogether like a lamb, or whether just his horns are lamb-like.
And he spake as a dragon- as soon as he opens his mouth, it becomes clear that he is articulating the lies of the great dragon, Satan himself, 12:9.  It is noticeable how both these beasts use words to gain their objectives.  Jude prophesied of those who would be judged when Christ comes for all their hard speeches they had spoken against Him, Jude 15.

13:12  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 exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him- this explains why he speaks as a dragon, because the first beast’s power, or authority, is derived from the dragon himself.  These three are united in their opposition to God and His Christ.  The source of the authority is Satan himself, because he still has residual power as a former cherub.  When he claimed that he was able to give the kingdoms of the world to the one that would worship him, Luke 4:6, the Lord Jesus did not dispute his claim. 
The expression “before him” means “in the sight of”, “in the presence of “, being the same phrase that is translated “in the sight of”.  The idea is that there is no trickery here, as if the wonders he performs are sleight of hand, but real miracles, done in the open.  The magicians of Egypt were able to do wonders in Pharoah’s presence, Exodus 7:10-12.
And causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast- by so doing they will be worshipping Satan, for he is the evil force behind the Antichrist.  This universal worship has been the aim of Satan from the very beginning, and he has partially achieved it by the introduction of idolatry.  He will use these two beasts to finalise his rebellious plans.
The second beast causes the earth to worship the first beast.  In Psalm 148, which anticipates the Millenial reign of Christ, the psalmist calls upon all creation, even inanimate things, to praise God.  This is poetic language no doubt, but it is still real.  Will the second beast have such power from Satan that he can cause even inanimate things to recognise the presence of the first beast?  We should remember that the religion of the Antichrist will be pantheism, that God is all and all is God.  He will be hailed as the highest expression of the process of evolution, not just of the body but the soul.  This is what “Christ” is, to the pantheist, one who has harnessed the Force of the Universe to his advantage and advancement. 
It is those who dwell upon the earth that worship the first beast.  This does not mean all mankind, for there will be some believers still upon the earth.  These people have a definite character, for they are earth-dwellers, not believing in hell, and not interested in heaven.  They are ready to give to Antichrist what they should have given to Christ.
Whose deadly wound was healed- this wound and its healing is mentioned three times in this chapter, verses 3,12, and 14.  It is the feature that is designed to cause wonder, convince the world that he is of God, and imitate Christ.

13:13  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

And he doeth great wonders- as the Lord Jesus prophesied, “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”, Matthew 24:24.  Again, the apostle Paul warned that the coming of the Man of Sin 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”, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.  So it is clear that Satan is behind this ability to work miracles, and it is done to further error and deceit, and to produce such awe and wonder that the world is prepared to worship the beast.  If it be asked why they believe the Devil’s miracles when they did not believe Christ’s, then the answer is that since man is a sinner, his mind is receptive to error, and resistant to truth.
So that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men- Satan was worshipped of old under the name Baal, and amongst other things, Baal was the weather god.  This is why the false prophets of Baal called upon him to answer by fire and consume their sacrifice, 1 Kings 18:24-29.  They wanted the lightning to strike their sacrifice and consume it.  The Devil has not forgotten his defeat on Mount Carmel, so he will assert himself and empower his agents to bring fire down from heaven.  The lightning is awe-inspiring, and virtually uncontrollable, but the weather-god has power to send it down.  Elijah also brought down fire from heaven to consume those who had come to arrest him, but here no-one seems to suffer, the fire simply comes down.  Satan is trying to make out he is not only powerful, but harmless. 
That it is done in the sight of men is not only designed to impress them, but also to show that there is no trickery, but it is real wonder-working.  Satan is the great trickster, but he does not need to use trickery all the time.

13:14  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 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- the miracles the Lord Jesus performed were pointers to the truth, sometimes being called signs, for they had great significance.  He said, “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake”, John 14:11.  He had just said that He was “the truth”, and the works He did were a powerful expression of that.  The false prophet, however, is working miracles to promote a lie, that Satan should be worshipped as God.
Saying to them that dwell on the earth- again we have mention of this class of people, who have no interest in heaven, and have settled down on the earth.  They are distinct from the believers of that day, who have listened to the Word of God and have believed it. 
That they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live- we now learn the origin of the image of the beast that is eventually set up in the temple at Jerusalem in the middle of the Tribulation Period.  Those who dwell upon the earth are sympathetic to the workings of Satan, and are prepared to combine together so that this image is made to the glory of the Antichrist, and ultimately, to the glory of the god behind the idol, Satan himself. 
Notice that in this verse there an image to the beast, whereas in the next verse it is the image of the beast.  Of course this could very well be the same single image.  But there is the possibility that the beast-worshippers will make their own personal image to the beast, set up, perhaps in their own homes, (like the household gods of ancient times, and, for that matter, today in Buddhist houses), whilst the main image of the beast will be erected in the temple at Jerusalem.
After he had been given a dream about the succession of empires that would be in control during the Times of the Gentiles, Nebuchadnezzar set up an image in the plain of Dura, and commanded all to worship it.  Nebuchadnezzar was told that the head of the image in his vision represented himself.  He was clearly lifted up in pride through this, and made an image wholly of himself, thus claiming to be superior to all who would rule after him.  His image was sixty cubits high and six cubits broad, so it had the number six about it.  Daniel’s three friends refused to worship his image, and were thrown into the fiery furnace, thus becoming an illustration of those who refuse to worship anyone other than God.  In particular, those believers of a coming day who will refuse to bow down to the image of the beast. 
We are told here for the first and only time how the deadly wound was inflicted.  It was by a sword, suggesting it was something that happened in battle.  The Antichrist is being hailed as a war-hero, who has taken his devotion to the cause to the ultimate level, and as such, men think, is worthy of adulation.  On the other hand, the word may be translated dagger, so there is the alternative possibility that he will be the object of an assassin’s attack, and this will gain him the goodwill of those disposed to follow him.  Perhaps this is what is meant by the wonder or admiration of verse 3.

13:15  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. 

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast- this is staggering power, and should not be diluted by any thought that this is something mechanical.  When Aaron threw his rod down before Pharoah and it became a serpent, that was a demonstration of Divine power.  When the magicians did a similar thing, it may have been trickery, for it is possible to hold a serpent in a such a way that it goes rigid.  If their rods were rigid serpents anyway, it was a small thing to simply release their hold on them and allow them to wriggle free.  But it may not have been trickery, or else it might be thought that Aarons’s action was trickery as well.  What if the magicians had the power to cause demons to indwell their serpents, this would be awesome and Satanic.  Of course, if this was the case, then when Aaron’s serpent swallowed their serpents, he was showing the superior power of God over the Ancient Serpent, Satan himself. When it came to making the dust into lice, Exodus 8:16-19, the magicians were powerless, and had to confess, “This is the finger of God”.  So it seems that Satan is not able to bring life out of the lifeless, for that is God’s prerogative alone.  But he is able to use the animal creation to further his fiendish ends.
Now the word that is translated “life” in Revelation 13:15, is not rendered in that way anywhere else in the New Testament.  It is translated “ghost”, 91 times, (especially in connection with the Holy Ghost); life once, in this passage; spirit, 151 times; Spirit, 137 times; spiritual gift, once; wind, once; spiritually, once.  So it is clear that “spirit” is the underlying meaning of the word. 
Of the 151 times that the word is translated “spirit”, with a small “s”, in the New Testament, it is in relation to evil spirits at least 45 times.  The Authorised translators wisely did not translate the word as spirit, lest we confuse it with the Holy Spirit.  Nonetheless there is the possibility that such is the power of the false prophet, that he is able to cause the image to be possessed by a spirit, or demon, and hence be able to speak. 
That the image of the beast should both speak- if the foregoing suggestion is correct, then it is quite easy for a demon to speak, and to utter the things that the Devil wants spoken.  We should bear in mind that this is all happening in the Temple of God in Jerusalem.  The innermost part of the temple of Solomon was called the oracle, or speaking place.  Coupled with this, in the days of Moses, he went into the Tabernacle to speak with God, Exodus 34:35.  Here is Satan’s counterfeit oracle, the means by which he speaks directly to his devotees, and does it while usurping God’s place in His temple.  And if they each have their own domestic image, to speak to them personally as well.
And cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed- the word “both” in the previous phrase would suggest that suggest that the false prophet gives life to the image for two purposes, but those two purposes are in fact put into effect by the image itself.  The image is enabled to speak, and it is also enabled to cause all who will not worship it to be killed.  We can readily see how an evil spirit can call for this, having at his disposal, as he does, all the power of Satan and his agents.

13:16  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 he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond- no class of men, whether reckoned in terms of influence, (small and great); affluence, (rich and poor); social class, (free and bond), will be exempt.  There is no exception to the edict to worship the beast.  But does the edict come from the false prophet, or from the image itself?
In Nebuchadnezzar’s day, “people, nations and languages” were all to worship his image.  So the Times of the Gentiles begins with the worship of the image of a man, and it ends the same way, two and a half thousand years later.  Paul writes of the pagan world, that it “changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things”, they thus “worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever, Amen”, Romans 1:23,25.  What will happen in the future is worse still, for it represents the worship of man as God.  This is the ultimate blasphemy.  One of the abominations that was shown to Ezekiel was the weeping for Tammuz in the very temple of God at Jerusalem, Ezekiel 8:14. 
To receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads- after Cain had murdered his brother, God put a mark on Cain, “lest any finding him should kill him”, Genesis 4:15.  He was a “marked man”.  He was preserved from being murdered so that he could be a constant reminder of the consequences of rebelling against God.  So Cain’s mark was given to him because there were those who wished to avenge the blood of Abel.  At the time of the final “Cain”, antichrist himself, the mark will be on the majority of men because they sympathise with him, not seek to destroy him.  By this they will also express their hatred of Christ, such will be the wickedness of the days of the Tribulation Period.
It is interesting to notice that although the Greek uses the preposition “epi”, meaning “over”, nevertheless the translators were guided of God to use the word “in”.  Modern technology enables a man to have a microchip in his hand, so that he has only to swipe his hand over a sensor, and money is transferred from his bank account to pay for his purchases.  We can easily see how this prepares the way for the scenario described here. 
The word for mark means “a scratch or etching”, or a sculptured figure as in a graven image.  It is the word Paul used when he referred to the idols in Athens as “graven with art or man’s device”, Acts 17:29.  It is interesting to notice that a microchip is etched, so this is possibly in view here.  But combining this with the idea of a graven image, may this mark not be a miniature image of the antichrist himself, the mark of allegiance to him? 

13:17  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.

And that no man might buy or sell- when men “shake hands on a deal”, they will have to have the mark in their hands to do so.  It may be that the chip is connected to a central Antichrist-controlled computer, which will only allow those with the mark to do business.  And it may be that the chips of the two persons must interact before the transaction is allowed.
Save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name- so there are three options, a mark, a name, or a number.  But they all signify allegiance to the beast, submission to his will, and worship of himself, and through him Satan himself.
We can see why the Lord Jesus included “Give us this day our daily bread” in the prayer He taught His disciples.  Those who keep on in faith during the Tribulation Period, and especially during the second half, will be dependant on others who in some way will be able to supply their need.  These will be the “sheep” at the judgement of the living nations, Matthew 25:31-40, who are credited with ministering to the king by ministering to His brethren.  By so doing they will show that they were believers who had not received the mark of the beast, yet who still had supplies of food, perhaps because they had grown it themselves.

13:18  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. 

Here is wisdom.  Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast- in the prophecy of Daniel we learn of those who are wise, and who understand the significance of the events that will be taking place at the end time.  Daniel wrote, “And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days”, Daniel 11:33.  These are the Maskilim, the understanding ones, and they will be greatly encouraged by the thirteen Maschil psalms, which are, Psalms 32, 42, 44, 45, 52-55, 74, 78, 88, 89, and 142.  A reading of these psalms in the light of the circumstances which will prevail in the Tribulation, will be instructive to those who are passing through those difficult times.
For it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six- as to the name of the beast, that can be learned from his number.  Ancient languages attached a value to each letter of their alphabet.  If the beast is Nimrod returned from the dead, then his name in heathen mythology was Saturn.  The value of the letters of that name, excluding the vowels, was 666.