James J. Barker

Lesson 22

Text: REVELATION 13:1-10


  1. 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 global-warming, etc.
  2. 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."
  3. 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.
  4. 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 organizations?"
  5. 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 power!
  6. 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).
  7. 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 order.
  8. 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."
  9. 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 Christ).



  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).
  2. 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).
  3. 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 Revelation.
  4. The name "antichrist" is found only four times in the Bible (I John 2:18, 22; 4:3; II John 7).
  5. He is called "the beast" 36 times in the book of Revelation, throughout chapters 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, and 20.
  6. 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 (13:1).
  7. 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).
  8. According to the prophecies of Daniel 7, there will be the emergence of an evil ruler referred to by Daniel as "the little horn."
  9. 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 beast."
  10. 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 wicked."
  11. Some say "the sea" indicates that the beast will come from the great mass of humanity, that is, the Gentile nations.
  12. Therefore, they believe the antichrist will be a Gentile.
  13. 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.
  14. The name of blasphemy (13:1) indicates the beast's blasphemous opposition to God and to the Lord Jesus Christ.
  15. 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 Satan.
  16. These three animals correspond to Daniel's prophecy in Daniel 7, the chapter describing Daniel's prophetic dream.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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."
  20. 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).
  21. 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).



  1. John in his vision sees one of the heads of the beast as "wounded to death" (13:3).  This strange prophecy has puzzled many Bible readers.
  2. 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.
  3. 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."
  4. Strong's Concordance says the Greek preposition anti means, "in place of (something)" or "instead of."
  5. 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 elect."
  6. In the final days of apostasy and confusion, the antichrist and the false prophet will arise and will deceive the multitudes (cf. Rev. 13:14).
  7. Revelation 12:3 also says that the deadly wound will be healed and that the whole world will "wonder" in amazement at the beast (13:3).
  8. 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 period.
  9. 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).
  10. 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 Christ).
  11. 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."
  12. 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."
  13. The plain, literal meaning of Revelation 13:12 is that the antichrist will be wounded with a "deadly wound" and will be "healed."
  14. 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 fakery.
  15. 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 Today).



  1. 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 wanes."
  2. 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).
  3. 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 USA.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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 Christ).
  7. 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."
  8. 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."
  9. We know from various prophecies that the antichrist will be a blasphemer.  Daniel 7:8 says he has "a mouth speaking great things."
  10. Daniel 7:25 says, "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High."
  11. 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 all."
  12. 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 God."
  13. 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 (13:5-7).
  14. Walvoord says, "As Satan’s mouthpiece he utters the ultimate in unbelief and irreverence in relation to God" (The Revelation of Jesus Christ).
  15. 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 week."
  16. 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."
  17. 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."
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Daniel 7:23 says the antichrist, "shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.”
  21. 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.
  22. 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).
  23. "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; 20:4).
  24. 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; 22:19).
  25. 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).
  26. "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).
  27. 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.



  1. There is a certain invitation given eight times in the book of Revelation: "If any man have an ear, let him hear" (13:9).
  2. 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.”
  3. But notice that in Revelation 13:9, there is an omission of the phrase “unto the churches.”
  4. 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 world.
  5. Reinforcing 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" (13:10).
  6. 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.
  7. This theme is repeated throughout the Bible.
  8. Romans 12:19 says, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."

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