Monday, December 14, 2009

Revelation 13:4-9

Verse 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?"

People will unwittingly (some knowingly) worship Satan, not realizing it is he who is the power behind the man. They will also worship the beast or the antichrist, both the man and the spirit controlling the man, thinking he is the world's savior. They may even be under the impression that he is the awaited Messiah or Christ. In fact there is reason to believe that is exactly what a great many will believe. He will be a powerful person who can subdue others (this we know from Daniel) in a most miraculous way. Nobody will be able to make war with him, as he will win all the battles if they try to oppose him, and they will try (again Daniel tells us this).

Verse 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."

This takes us right back to Daniel. Chapter 7:8 "I considered the (ten) horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." And verse 25 "And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saint of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of a time."

We see that he (the beast) is given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. We know that this is most likely a human possessed by a demonic spirit from the abyss, although we cannot positively rule out a spirit manifesting as a human. This is the mouth that is given to the person that will be speaking these great things and blasphemies. We know that antichrist will reign for forty-two months, which again is interchangeable with the other time frames (dividing of times, 3 1/2 years, 1260 days).

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

There is no limit to the blasphemous things that the beast will say against God, heaven, and the heavenly hosts. His lack of fear in doing this, and the miracles he will perform will convince many people that he is correct in mocking and slandering the Christian God, as he will do so with what would appear to be impunity. It will convince many that the Christian God is non-existent and passe and that Biblical teachings are to be thrown away and his teachings to be accepted. People will believe that he is the new god. Notice that Daniel tells us he will change the times and the laws. This self-professed "god" will institute new laws, traditions, holidays, celebrations, etc. More than likely, he will eliminate anything that has to do with Christianity and proclaim that everyone must observe Muslim laws, traditions, etc. This would in effect literally change the times and laws.

Verse 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."

As already mentioned above in Daniel 7:25, it says the saints will be given into his hand to wear them down. We also know from Revelation 12:17 that he makes war with the remnant and we know from Matthew 24 that unless God put a stop to the killing, there would be nobody saved from his murderous rampages. This goes beyond killing the Jews and the Christians. The entire world, all kindreds, tongues, and nations, are handed over to him. Daniel 7:23 "Thus he said, the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces." The entire world will suffer at his hand and will be forced to obey his new times and laws, although many will readily and willingly acquiesce thinking he is the world’s savior. Others will acquiesce in order to spare their lives. This reminds us of the verses in Matthew 16 that tell us, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels and then he shall reward every man according to his works." They will exchange their eternal lives for a short-lived reprieve here on earth.

Verse 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.”

Whether by force or by willingness, everyone whose names are not in the book of life will worship him. They will do so, because the alternative is having their head chopped off. (Is it not an interesting coincidence [although I do not think it a coincidence] that the Muslim method of execution is beheading?) Having already discussed the book of life when covering the seven churches, that will not be repeated here. What is of interest is that not everyone whose name is written in the book of life is at this point in time a born again Christian. Many will live through the tribulation and Day of the Lord and not be raptured, but will go into the millennium. These people will not worship the beast nor take his mark (yet to be covered in our study), but do not yet know the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Their names are still in the book of life, as they will accept the Lord down the road after He returns, but at this point in time, they have not yet done so. This will include both Jews and Gentiles and there will be a remnant saved from every nation to go into the kingdom. This would seem to verify that names are written in the book of life from the foundation of the world and then blotted out if necessary, not written in when one accepts the Lord as Savior.

Verse 9 “If any man have an ear, let him hear.”

We have seen this phrase before. Seven times so far in Revelation to be exact. This is the command given to the seven churches. God reiterates it again. He uses the same words to make us aware that he is still talking to the churches. For the most part, only Christians are reading and studying this book, not the Jews or the unsaved. Scripture is spiritually discerned, so only a true Christian can hope to understand what is being taught in Revelation, even if some non-believing scholars try to understand it. Again, this confirms that Christians will be here through this time and they are again being warned that they are not to worship the beast to save their physical lives.

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