The Book of REVELATION
James J. Barker
A BEAST WILL RISE UP OUT OF THE SEA
- Recently I read an article from The Scientific
American. It was a typical
worldly article written from a proponent of the theories of evolution and
- I normally do not waste my time reading these type of
articles, but the headline caught my attention. It was entitled, "Effective World
Government Will Be Needed to Stave Off Climate Catastrophe."
- This caught my attention because both the book of Daniel
and the book of Revelation predict the rise of a one-world government which will
be headed up by the antichrist.
- I will not read you the entire article, but will read
two interesting questions asked by the author of the article:
"How do we create new institutions with enforcement
powers way beyond the current mandate of the U.N.? Could we ensure against a
malevolent dictator who might abuse the power of such
- Of course, this
"malevolent dictator" will be the beast of Revelation 13:1-8, better known as
the antichrist, and there will be no way to stop him from "abusing" his
- Only the Lord
Jesus Christ Himself will be able to stop the antichrist's reign of terror (cf.
Rev. 19:19, 20; II Thess. 2:8; Daniel 8:25).
- Revelation 13
predicts a future one-world government which will be a continuation of the
ancient Roman Empire but will cover the entire world. If you keep up with the news, you will
notice that the proponents of a socialist, one-world government often speak of
correcting so-called "climate change" as their catalyst for a new world
- This new world
government will be directed by the antichrist and empowered by Satan. Its
primary objective will be to force the whole world to worship Satan and his
human representative, the "beast."
- John Walvoord
says, "The purpose of Satan to take the place of God in this future great
tribulation is the motivating power behind Satan’s activities today. Satan’s
desire to be like God originally plunged the universe into sin (Isa. 14:14). His
program has never changed, and he is seeking today as throughout his career to
lure men to obey him instead of God. In the great tribulation this purpose will
be transparently clear, and after its manifestation it will be brought into
divine judgment" (The Revelation of Jesus
THE FIRST BEAST COMES OUT OF THE SEA (13:1,
- The first beast
will "rise up out of the sea," and the second beast (aka "the false prophet")
will come "up out of the earth" (13:11).
- Referring to
the first beast, John Walvoord says, "In the first ten verses of chapter 13, a
character is introduced of central importance to the events of the great
tribulation" (The Revelation of Jesus Christ).
- This evil
character will be given power by Satan, and he will emerge as the world
dictator. The name for this coming
world dictator is the "beast" (13:1), and he is commonly referred to as "the
antichrist," though that term is not found in the book of
- The name
"antichrist" is found only four times in the Bible (I John 2:18, 22; 4:3; II
- He is called
"the beast" 36 times in the book of Revelation, throughout chapters 13, 14, 15,
16, 17, 19, and 20.
- John sees the
beast coming up out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns. Ten crowns are
seen on the horns, and on the seven heads names of blasphemy are written
- The symbolism
of the seven heads and the ten horns identifies the beast with the dragon
(12:3), and the revived Roman Empire (Daniel 7:7, 24), and the one-world harlot
church (Rev. 17:3, 7).
- According to
the prophecies of Daniel 7, there will be the emergence of an evil ruler
referred to by Daniel as "the little horn."
- By comparing
Daniel's prophecies with the book of Revelation, we can discern that these
prophecies predict that during the tribulation, there will be the organization
of a revived Roman Empire, under the control of the antichrist, referred to by
Daniel as "the little horn" and referred to by John as "the
- There are differing opinions regarding the symbolism of
the sea (13:1). Isaiah 57:20 and 21 says, "But the wicked are like the troubled
sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire
and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the
- Some say "the sea" indicates that the beast will come
from the great mass of humanity, that is, the Gentile
- Therefore, they believe the antichrist will be a
- Others think "the sea" is a reference to the
Mediterranean Sea, and that the beast will arise from the Mediterranean area.
Both views could be true in that the beast could be a Gentile who will come from
the area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.
- The name of blasphemy (13:1) indicates the beast's
blasphemous opposition to God and to the Lord Jesus
- In Revelation 13:2, the beast is described as being
comparable to a leopard with the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion, and as
receiving his power, throne, and authority from the dragon, that is, from
- These three animals correspond to Daniel's prophecy in
Daniel 7, the chapter describing Daniel's prophetic
- In Daniel 7, the successive world empires are described
by the lion, referring to Babylon, the bear, referring to Media-Persia, and the
leopard, referring to Greece.
- The fourth empire is Rome.
The revived Roman Empire will combine
all these elements and characteristics, but will be far more dreadful in its
power and blasphemy than the preceding empires.
- The Scofield Study Bible says, "The three
animals, leopard, bear, and lion, are found in Daniel 7:4-6 as symbols of the
empires which preceded Rome, and whose characteristics all entered into the
qualities of the Roman empire: Macedonian swiftness of conquest, Persian
tenacity of purpose, Babylonish voracity."
- Daniel said the fourth beast was "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" (Dan. 7:7).
- Walvoord says, "The beasts selected, as many have
pointed out, are typical of the revived Roman Empire in the great tribulation,
having the majesty and power of the lion, the strength and tenacity of a bear,
and the swiftness of the leopard, so well illustrated in the conquest of
Alexander the Great. In addition to these natural symbols of strength is the
added factor of satanic power coming from the dragon, Satan himself" (The
Revelation of Jesus Christ).
THE DEADLY WOUND OF THE BEAST
- John in his
vision sees one of the heads of the beast as "wounded to death" (13:3). This strange prophecy has puzzled many
- Many see here a parallel with the slain Lamb, described
in Revelation 5:6. The
antichrist will be a counterfeit imposter who will imitate Christ in many ways,
perhaps even in his death and resurrection.
- It should be
noted that the term "antichrist" signifies not only opposition and antagonism
toward Christ, but it also speaks of one who comes instead of
Christ. The preposition "anti" can
mean "instead of" as well as "against."
- Strong's Concordance says the Greek
preposition anti means, "in place of (something)" or "instead
- Our Lord said in 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
- In the final days of apostasy and confusion, the
antichrist and the false prophet will arise and will deceive the multitudes (cf.
- Revelation 12:3 also says that the deadly wound will be
healed and that the whole world will "wonder" in amazement at the beast
- The wounding of one of the heads could be a reference to
the fact that the Roman Empire seemingly died out in the fifth century, and will
be revived during the coming tribulation
- This view is mentioned in the Scofield Study
Bible: "Fragments of the ancient Roman empire have never ceased to exist as
separate kingdoms. It was the imperial form of government which ceased; the one
head wounded to death. What we have prophetically in Rev. 13:3 is the
restoration of the imperial form as such, though over a federated empire of ten
kingdoms; the 'head' is 'healed,' i.e. restored; there is an emperor again --
the Beast" (p. 1342).
- Walvoord says, "It is significant that one of the heads
is wounded to death but that the beast itself is not said to be dead. It is
questionable whether Satan has the power to restore to life one who has died,
even though his power is great. Far more probable is the explanation that this
is the revived Roman Empire in view" (The Revelation of Jesus
- This is an interesting explanation, however, verse 12
says the second beast (the false prophet) "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."
- This indicates that the false prophet will force the
people of the world to worship the antichrist, ("the first beast"), whose
deadly wound was healed."
- The plain, literal meaning of Revelation 13:12 is that
the antichrist will be wounded with a "deadly wound" and will be
- There has been much debate over this healing, and it is
a fact that demonic servants of Satan have healed people. It is not all
- Regarding demonic healing, Merrill Unger wrote, "The
distinction between divine miracle and demon-energized magic can sometimes be
detected only by biblically knowledgeable Christians...The danger of delusion
increases in these last days as demonic activity accelerates and serious study
of God's Word wanes" (Demons in the World
THE WORSHIP OF THE DRAGON & THE BEAST
- When Israel
went into apostasy, they worshipped Baal and idols. Christendom's final form of
apostasy will be even worse. As
Merrill Unger warned, "The danger of delusion increases in these last days as
demonic activity accelerates and serious study of God's Word
- Revelation 13:4
says, "they worshiped 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?" (cf. 13:8).
- Today secular
humanism (in its various forms: atheism, naturalism, liberalism, etc.) has
swallowed up Europe and Australia and Canada, and is rapidly taking over the
- Humanism has
penetrated all levels of society, and has taken over the schools and
universities, politics, the court system, the entertainment industry, and most
of the churches.
- Humanism is
basically man-worship, and the ultimate in humanistic man-worship will be the
worship of the antichrist (13:4, 8).
This is where the ecumenical movement is headed (cf. Rev. 17 & 18).
- Walvoord says, "It is clear from verse 8 that the
universal worship of the beast will achieve at long last the characteristics of
a world religion in that it will be ecumenical. The desire to have all Christian
churches unite, or to even go one step further and unite all religions of the
world, has been advanced as a desired goal. It is questionable whether this will
be achieved prior to the end of the church age. However, in the great
tribulation as here described, a world religion will be advanced which will have
as its focal point the worship of a man chosen and empowered by Satan himself.
In that day, true believers on Christ will be separated from this world religion
and will be the objects of its fearful persecution" (The Revelation of Jesus
- The antichrist
will be Satan’s substitute for Christ.
As I said earlier, the antichrist will be a counterfeit imposter who will
imitate Christ in many ways, and the Greek preposition "anti" can mean "instead
of" as well as "against."
- Our Lord said
in 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."
- We know from
various prophecies that the antichrist will be a blasphemer. Daniel 7:8 says he has "a mouth speaking
- Daniel 7:25
says, "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out
the saints of the most High."
- Daniel 11:36 and 37 says, "And the king shall do
according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above
every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods. Neither
shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any
god: for he shall magnify himself above
- Second Thessalonians 2:4 says, "Who opposeth and
exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he
as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is
- Now here in Revelation 13:5, we are again told that the
antichrist will be a blasphemer (cf. 13:1b). His evil character is shown in his
boasting and blasphemy and persecution of God's people
- Walvoord says, "As Satan’s mouthpiece he utters the
ultimate in unbelief and irreverence in relation to God" (The Revelation of
- His authority will continue for forty-two months, i.e.,
the latter three and one-half years of the tribulation (13:5). It is probable
that the antichrist will come into power before the beginning of Daniel's
seventieth week. Daniel 9:27 says
the antichrist ("the prince that shall come" -- Daniel 9:26) will make a
covenant with the nation of Israel but then betray them "in the midst of the
- This indicates that he will not begin his reign as a
world dictator until the middle of the seven-year tribulation period, referred
to by many Bible teachers as "the great tribulation."
- Our Lord said in Matthew 24:21, "For then shall be
great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to
this time, no, nor ever shall be."
- Our Lord said in Matthew 24:15 that this great
tribulation will begin when the Jews shall see the abomination of desolation in
the holy place, spoken of by Daniel the prophet.
- From that point, when the antichrist defiles the temple,
he will continue ruling for forty-two months until he is destroyed at the second
coming of Christ.
- Daniel 7:23 says the antichrist, "shall devour the whole
earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in
- In Revelation 13:7 and 8, the worldwide extent of the
beast's power is described -- "all that dwell upon the earth
shall worship him." The expression “it was given to him” in verse 7 refers to
the satanic origin of his power.
- Walvoord says, "The dream of countless rulers in the
past of conquering the entire world is here finally achieved by this last
Gentile ruler" (The Revelation of Jesus Christ).
- "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints,
and to overcome them" (13:7). The beast will wage war against Christians all
over the world, and will overcome many of them (cf. 6:9-11; 7:13, 14; 13:15;
- The entire world will come under the political and
religious domination of the beast.
Beast-worship will be encouraged and eventually enforced (cf. 13:8, 15)
so all the world except genuine Christians will worship him -- those whose names
are written in the book of life (13:8; cf. 3:5; 17:8; 20:12-15; 21:27;
- These who will worship the beast are described as
not having their names written in the book of life, a book mentioned
often in the book of Revelation (cf. Luke 10:20; Phil. 4:3).
- "Some references to the book of life seem to indicate it
is the book of the living, namely, of all born in the world, and that those who
do not trust in Christ are blotted from it leaving only those who are saved (cf.
Rev. 3:5; 22:19)...The simplest explanation here seems the best, namely, that
their names were written in the book of life from eternity past. This was made
possible by anticipation of the future dying of the Lamb on their behalf"
(Walvoord, The Revelation of Jesus Christ).
- The idea is simply that all who are not saved will
worship the beast and that those who are genuinely saved will not worship him.
- There is a
certain invitation given eight times in the book of Revelation: "If any man have
an ear, let him hear" (13:9).
- The first seven
invitations are given to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3: “He that hath
an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
- But notice that
in Revelation 13:9, there is an omission of the phrase “unto the
- This is because
the church will be raptured before the tribulation period, and this exhortation
is not addressed to the churches, but to the entire
this exhortation is a warning of God's sovereign justice: "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"
- This is the law
of divine retribution. Those who will persecute the saints and lead them into
captivity will in turn suffer the righteous judgment of God.
- This theme is
repeated throughout the Bible.
- Romans 12:19
says, "Vengeance is
mine; I will repay, saith the