Chapter 13 gives us a brief overview of what happened in the first half of the book of Revelation. (We see the beast/final empire ruling over the earth, followed by the manifestation of the antichrist and his activities.)
v1: “I stood” – i.e. John stood
· This beast is an empire. In the last days, an empire is going to rise up out of a place of instability in the world. As mentioned in 12v3 the seven heads are seven distinct empires (see Rev 17v9-10) that manifest themselves in different times (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medes and Persians, Greece, Rome, A unique empire -the hardest to understand and the one most terrifying to Daniel – Dan 8v27- out of this empire arises a very brief 8th empire -see Rev 17v11.)
· 10 horns with 10 crowns on them= 10 world rulers to still come. They rule briefly in the final, unique empire (Rev 17v12). They are given rulership and authority (Rev 17v12-14)
· This final empire rules in a blasphemous way. satan is going to manifest himself in a unique and powerful way in this last empire – with signs, wonders and miracles (2 Thess 2v9-10).
All of these empires have stood in opposition to G-d. They have been satanically inspired and have demonstrated their opposition to G-d by persecuting the Jewish people and acting to remove them from the land of Israel. satan understands that it is G-d’s will for the people to be in the land.
v2: The final empire is satanic – satan (the dragon) gives his power, rulership and authority to the beast(antichrist). satan had offered all of this to Yeshua but He had rejected it(Matthew 4v8-11)
· Daniel spoke of these same animals, but in reverse order to John (Dan 7v4-6). Daniel saw these empires in his future (Babylonians, Medes and Persians and the Greeks) but for John they were in his past. John is writing about the same things that Daniel wrote about in his prophesy – just from a different perspective of time.
v3: There is a supernatural dimension to the beast – the fatal wound should have killed him, but it didn’t – resurrection language is being used here (Resurrection reminds us of Yeshua). This supernatural power deceives the world (2 Thess 2v8-12, see Dan 8v23-27) In the last days G-d is going to send strong delusion to those who have delighted in wickedness and refused to love truth. Only those people who have a covenantal relationship with G-d, and who follow after truth, will not be deceived (Mark 13v22-23).
v4 These people think that what they are seeing is supernatural. They wrongly conclude that G-d must have a hand in it. This is not the case. Those who are unaware of what the Scripture says, and are unprepared for the last days, are going to be easily deceived by the enemy.
Satan knows that he has been defeated and is not going to be victorious. He delights in the suffering of others and so will take down with him as many people as he can.
In Daniel 8 the shaggy goat depicts this beast. The people alive at the time will feel helpless against him. The sentiment will be: “How can we wage war or win against him because he is supernatural?” We need to realize that we have the King of kings and the L-rd of lords on our side. Our fight is not against flesh and blood….we have access to spiritual weapons. (Eph 6v10-18) Even if we are consumed/destroyed physically that is not our defeat.
v5: Daniel 7v19-20, v25(42 months =3.5years=a time, times and half a time) Daniels 70th week is made up of a seven-year period. (Daniel 9v27) These seven years are split in half – each half is 3.5 years, 42 months, or 1260 days.
v6: Daniel 7v25. He blasphemed the character of G-d, as well as those who have a commitment to the Kingdom of G-d. What G-d sees as good this empire will see as evil. What G-d sees as evil this empire will see as good.
v7: satan will be given authority to wage war against the saints and put them to death, to overcome them. Our physical lives might be taken from us, but this is not our defeat (Luke 21v16-19) We need to be concerned about the wellbeing of our souls – not of our flesh. satan may interrupt our physical existence, but he cannot touch the spiritual future that we have.
· This final empire will rule as a one world government (rule over all the families of the earth, over every language and over every people).