Revelation 13 The Two Beasts and the Image
Posted by adventbiblestudy on August 18, 2013
Maybe its time to look at Revelation 13 for what it is. But first we should take a look at how the Bible defines a prophet. Look at the introduction of the books written by God’s prophets for the definition and learn the role of a prophet. Go ahead, review all the books written by God’s prophets. They are all consistent.
Micah 1:1-3 NLTse The LORD gave this message to Micah of Moresheth during the years when Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah. The visions he saw concerned both Samaria and Jerusalem. (2) Attention! Let all the people of the world listen!Let the earth and everything in it hear. The Sovereign LORD is making accusations against you; the LORD speaks from his holy Temple. (3) Look! The LORD is coming! He leaves his throne in heaven and tramples the heights of the earth.
The simple fact of the matter is, the role of God’s prophet is to lead people back to God. Nothing more. Nothing less. The role of a prophet has never been to interpret God’s messages, only deliver them.
There is one fact you have to know about the book of Revelation before you have any hope of understanding a single word. Every chapter in Revelation, except for one begins in Heaven. The introduction to the book of Revelation begins in Heaven. This is a revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants the events that must soon take place. He sent an angel to present this revelation to his servant John, who faithfully reported everything he saw. This is his report of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 1:1-2 NLTse).
Revelation chapter 13 is the only chapter beginning on earth. But this is the place so called modern day prophets begin their studies, or so called interpretations. God went to great lengths to point out this error which is largely ignored.
Revelation 13:1 NLTse Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God.
As we can see chapter 13 begins on the earth with a beast rising up out of the sea. Early in the chapter we are shown this beast and its message blasphemed God. The first few verses in a chapter establish its context. This is true for every chapter in the Bible. In this case the introduction establishes a warning. Unfortunately it is a warning few seem to recognize and appreciate. The message here originated in this world and blasphemes God.
Revelation 13:2 NLTse This beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear an d the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority.
The next verse tells us where the beast gets its power, from the dragon. Next we have to identify the dragon. Of course, every detail has to be identified with the Bible and only the Bible. This is the major lesson taught in this chapter. Since the beast originates from this world, the warning is, the majority of interpretations will evolve from the world. Now we look at who the beast represents.
Revelation 12:9 NLTse This great dragon–the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world–was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.
Revelation 20:2 NLTse He seized the dragon–that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan–and bound him in chains for a thousand years.
Notice how the spiritual meaning is repeated? “dragon–the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan.” This is another important rule to remember and follow, especially in Revelation 13. Always look for repeated words and terms.
Revelation 13:3 NLTse I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery–but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast.
So far the main points we see repeated is the beast and its authority from Satan. It is important to remember where the beast gets is authority to understand the lessons here. A new theme is introduced, “The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast.” Two words we will see repeated are, world, and allegiance which is changed to worship in later verses.
Revelation 13:4 NLTse They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast. “Who is as great as the beast?” they exclaimed. “Who is able to fight against him?”
Now the word worship is introduced. Pay close attention to exactly what the Bible tells you. They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast. Let’s analyze this text. The whole world, the place where this message originated is worshiping the the dragon and the beast together. Now pay attention to how the worship is shifted. There is a reason behind the shift in worship.
Revelation 13:5-9 NLTse (5) Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months. (6) And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his temple–that is, those who live in heaven. (7) And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation. (8) And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made–the Book that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered. (9) Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.
We have to pay attention to the words and themes repeated. Now the beast is allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. The beast carries on the theme of the dragon against the whole world. The word world is repeated so we pay close attention and understand where this message is coming from. This is known as keeping the message within context. Another way of studying context is to look at the conclusion of the previous chapter and introduction of the next chapter. The previous chapter explains how the author led into the subject.
Revelation 12:15-18 NLTse (15) Then the dragon tried to drown the woman with a flood of water that flowed from his mouth. (16) But the earth helped her by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that gushed out from the mouth of the dragon. (17) And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children–all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus. (18) Then the dragon took his stand on the shore beside the sea.
We instantly see the relationship between chapter 12 and 13 by the words, dragon, earth, and sea. We also see another set of words, woman and mouth. The word mouth has a close relationship to blaspheme, authority, and worship. One phrase sums up the theme of chapter 12. “All who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus.” This is a stark contrast between the message in chapter 12 that begins in Heaven and chapter 13 beginning on earth. Then I witnessed in heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. (Revelation 12:1 NLTse).
The introduction of chapter 14 also begins in Heaven.
Then I saw the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him were 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of mighty ocean waves or the rolling of loud thunder. It was like the sound of many harpists playing together. This great choir sang a wonderful new song in front of the throne of God and before the four living beings and the twenty-four elders. No one could learn this song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. (Revelation 14:1-3 NLTse).
We easily see how the summation on chapter 12 and introduction to chapter 14 explain, “the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made–the Book that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered.” Without these verses we would be like the world, guessing at the true meaning and message in the texts. As we progress through Revelation 13, we see how the deceptions from the dragon are revealed.
Revelation 13:11-12 NLTse (11) Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth. He had two horns like those of a lamb, but he spoke with the voice of a dragon. (12) He exercised all the authority of the first beast. And he required all the earth and its people to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.
Now we see another beast come up out of the earth. There is no doubt where this beast comes from. Bible study hinges on similarities. The sea and earth have a relationship. They are both in this world. Now we see two beasts. The second beast is separating itself from the dragon. The second beast only spoke with the voice of a dragon. It gets its authority from the first beast. Notice how the dragon is fading out of view as emphasis is being placed on the second beast? There is a reason for this which is explained as we follow the actions of the second beast through the chapter and pay close attention to what is written.
Revelation 13:14-15 NLTse (14) And with all the miracles he was allowed to perform on behalf of the first beast, he deceived all the people who belong to this world. He ordered the people to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. (15) He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die.
Once again we are reminded the whole world is paying attention to the second beast. Why and how? Its not very had to figure out why. The world thinks they can find answers to their questions by studying the beast. Isn’t that what the world is doing? The second beast makes a statue or image to the first beast. Why the first beast? Why not its real boss, the dragon where it gets its real power from? The answer should be obvious. The dragon, Satan is placing as much distance between himself and the world to mask his deceptions. And his plan is working. The world is concentrating on the only chapter of the Bible beginning in the world looking for answers centered on this world. From there preachers and self made prophets take a verse here and there in an attempt to prove their message is correct and the rest of the world is wrong. Satan’s plan is going to succeed as long as people rely on their own methods of Bible study and forget all of God’s messages originate in Heaven, not this world. Satan’s plan is to create war between God’s people and he succeeded by pointing them to Revelation 13 for all their answers. The end of chapter 13 asks for understanding. After looking at this chapter in the proper context is there any understanding?
Revelation 13:18 NLTse Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666.
Thousands of books have been written about this number. Are any of the answers correct? Do any of them provide an answer originating in Heaven? One thing we know is the beast is leading people away from God. Wouldn’t God’s Spirit be the logical place to look? It is. But people still insist on looking for the answer in this world. Look at all the answers you are given. All the answers originate from the world. Another thing we know is the beast will fall short. This is not an interpretation of the number for the beast, but an illustration of an answer originating from Heaven. If the number 6 falls short, what does it fall short of?
Matthew 18:21-22 NLTse Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” (22) “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
If seven is used to illustrate forgiveness, what does this tell us about the beast and the image it created? We also know the goal of that image is to blaspheme God and His word. Another goal is to create war between God’s people. We also know the devil will deceive people by trying to hide. What better place to hide than behind God’s Word. Didn’t Satan start the mess we find ourselves in by distorting God’s Word and hiding behind a beast? He is still doing it. He is creating war between God’s people by hiding behind a thousand deceptions. That’s how many interpretations you can find for Revelation 13. All of them originate on earth. That means all of them are wrong. Maybe not completely wrong, but distorted enough to cause divisions. Just like Satan’s distortion of God’s Word caused division between God, Adam and Eve.
The role of a prophet is to lead people back to a personal relationship with God, not call glory on themselves by providing some interpretation no one else has been able to figure out. God has and never will use prophecies to divide people. The religious leaders who killed Jesus were divided by their interpretation of scripture and all of them were wrong. You can count the number of people on one hand who understood the prophecies about the Messiah. They have a few things in common. They went to see Jesus when He was still a baby. They looked upon His face. They held Him and put their faith in someone the world did not appreciate. They were definitely in the minority. It makes sense and is completely consistent throughout the Bible. God reveals prophecies to people who know Him when the time is right. You want to know prophecy? Get to know God, His Son, and Spirit first. There is no short cut. It all begins in Heaven. Always has and always will begin in Heaven.
This entry was posted on August 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm and is filed under Advanced Studies, Bible Study Aids, Bible Study Methods Explained, Prophecy. Tagged: allegiance to the beast, beast and its message, beast seemed wounded, dragon gave the beast his own power, fatal wound was healed, God's prophets, His number is 666, how the Bible defines a prophet, keep God's commandments, learn the role of a prophet, LORD gave this message, Revelation 12, Revelation 13, Revelation 13 The Two Beasts and the Image, Satan's plan is to create war, testimony for Jesus, testimony of Jesus Christ, world worshiped the beast, worshiped the beast, worshiped the dragon. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.