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Notes for

The Revelation

Chapter Thirteen


1. This entire chapter is a revelation of what will surely take place.

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2. John (the man of God) stands on the seashore in his vision (a relatively unpopulated area) and watches the "beast" (Satan’s kingdom) come out of the sea (a heavily populated area). But this beast is different. The fact that the "crowns" of ruling power are on his "horns" tells us that this reality has not yet come into being. Not until the dominion of the seventh crowned "head" has passed away will the power of the dragon pass to the "horns".

What we are seeing pictured here is the Christians observing the emergence of a new aspect of their Satanic adversary.

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3. This is a composite beast, made up of ...

1. The bulk of the leopard - Greek philosophy (immortal soul)

2. The way of the bear - Persian ruthlessness (killing machine)

3. The speaking of the lion - Babylonian religious speak

4. The backing of the dragon - (Satan’s deceptive power)

As well as the characteristics of these four there are also the organisational skills of Pagan Rome, and the religious fervour of Papal Rome to complete the picture. This animal embodies all of these, and is therefore more, much more of a worker for Satan than any one of them.

If you remember, the lives of the other animals were "prolonged for a season and time". They are still there when the fourth beast of Daniel's vision meets its end in the fire.

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4. In a later revelation John is told regarding the seven heads, "Five are fallen, and one is [now], and the other is not yet come". 17:10

[Back to Note 11]

Thus Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome, and Papal Rome have had their time as rulers of the earth. It was the Roman Catholic head as a civil power (the 5th one) which received the deadly wound. The wounding began when the Protestant Martin Luther brought from the ashes of the gospel the understanding that justification (or being made right with God) is full and free. His teaching, which flamed across Europe and then the world, spelt an end to Roman domination and gave each person the freedom to approach God for themselves.

When the reigning pope was made captive by the French army in 1798, the papal civil power completed receiving its deadly wound and the prediction was fulfilled, "He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity." Revelation 13:10. Although another pope was subsequently elected, since that time the Roman Catholic power in the world has been severely curtailed because of lack of civil support (it has been in the wilderness), and religious freedom of choice has been well publicised in this age of materialism. The true church is "in the world" at present while the sixth head rules.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 The gospel has been regained

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

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5. The infliction of the deadly wound points to the downfall of the papacy in 1798 at the end of the first "war", or tribulation. After this, says the prophet, "his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered [or followed] after the beast." Satan's system lost its power through lack of popular support, and it will regain it in the same way. The people of the world will one day again put their strength behind it. Paul states plainly that the "man of sin" will continue until the second advent (2 Thessalonians 2:3-8), and we have seen that he will attack God's people again in the second "war". We are here being told that he will return to his old ways with the blessing of all those whose names are NOT in the book of life. To the very close of time he will carry forward the work of deception and be successful.

When Satanic agencies shall unite with the professed Christian world in opposing God, these words from Jesus will be fulfilled. In blind zeal "the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child; and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And you shall be hated of all men for My name's sake; but he that endures to the end shall be saved." There will come a time when the excesses of the dark ages will be repeated. The Roman Catholic way of religion will regain favour in the eyes of all the world and Satan will do again that which he did in the past.

God desires His servants to remember the instruction given by Jesus, that they may not be deceived in regard to what is coming upon the world. Of ourselves we can do nothing. Without the Spirit of God we are utterly helpless. Our strength lies in hiding in Jesus. God can do more in one moment to convict people than we can do in a lifetime. Therefore let us hold fast to the arm of Omnipotence. Let us lean upon Jesus. Thus we shall grow strong to do His will. The Lord is our helper. He will not leave or forsake us.

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6. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-5 The man of sin

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember you not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

Satan is working to the utmost to make himself as God and to destroy all who oppose his power. And today the world is bowing before him. His power is being received as the power of God. The prophecy of the Revelation is in the process of being fulfilled, that "all the world wondered after the beast." Revelation 13:3.

With God's word before us, with the lesson of instruction we may learn there, there is no need for us to be deceived. We are living in a momentous period of this earth's history. The end of the great conflict can be in our time. We can see that the world is corrupted under the inhabitants thereof. The man of sin has worked with a marvellous perseverance to exalt the spurious sabbath as well as the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and the disloyal Protestant world is wondering after the beast, and is going to claim that obedience to the Sabbath instituted by the LORD is disloyalty to the laws of the nations. Kingdoms will then confederate to sustain a false sabbath institution, which has not a word of authority in the oracles of God.

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7. Daniel 11:40-41 He will return

And at the time of the end [1798] shall the king of the south [materialism] push at him: and [sometime after that] the king of the north [false religion] shall come against him like a whirlwind [suddenly and violently], with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many... shall be overthrown...

Matthew 24:9-11 Christians will suffer

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for My name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

The people of the world, who share a love of power with Satan, are sure that his agency will win the battle. They cannot see any other end to the conflict. But Jesus has said:-

Revelation 3:10 His promise

Because you have kept the word of My patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

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8. He overcomes at first with honied words of "love", and with doctrinal errors which cannot be seen through because of the lack of Bible understanding, then gains sympathy by emotional calls which are not under the control of reason. He is guided by the dragon who is "more subtle than any beast". Genesis 3:1. Not until near the end will he find it necessary to use force against the remnant of God's people.

The 42 months represent the 3 years that this use of force will continue. As we have not been given a commencing date for this prophecy, we must be alert and watching all the time as Jesus told us. The only hope for the people of the world is in the fact that we know in advance what is to happen, and can warn them beforehand.

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9. Daniel 3:4-6 The test will come to all

Then a herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, O people, nations, and languages, that at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up: and whoever falls not down and worships shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.

Nebuchadnezzar’s way was through music and entertainment, backed up by a fear of the fiery furnace. This was sufficient because of the underlying desire of all sinners to become "kings" and control others. In this way the entire world will again be drawn to worship the beast and give him their power or support.

But at that time, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, we will be safe with Jesus.

 

The book of life

Philippians 4:3 The book contains the names of saints

And I entreat you also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other [of] my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

Revelation 3:5-6 Names can be removed from it

He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Revelation 20:12 It will be used in the judgment

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Slain from the foundation of the world

Genesis 3:21 The Son of God died in Eden

To Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins [from their animal sacrifices], and clothed them.

John 1:29 The Son of man died at Calvary

The next day John sees Jesus coming to him, and says, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.

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10. As you sow....

When we have learnt the final lesson, to fight only as God fights, then we will have great need of patience.

Luke 8:15

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Luke 21:17-19

And you shall be hated of all men for My name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess you your souls.

Romans 5:3-4

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope...

Romans 15:4

For whatever things were written before this were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

Hebrews 6:12

That you be not slothful [lazy], but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

James 5:7

Be patient therefore, brethren, to the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman [gardener] waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

God has placed in our hands a banner upon which is inscribed: "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14:12. This is a distinct, separating message, a message that is to give no uncertain sound. It is to lead the people away from the broken cisterns that contain no water, to the unfailing Fountain of the water of life.

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11. This is a new "beast" and comes from a relatively unpopulated area. It is to be the seventh "head".

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12. This animal starts off good but ends up evil.

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13. This innocent-looking animal will actually imitate the actions of the first "beast" and cause all the world to worship the first beast. The Roman Catholic church will be back in popularity again, the pope seen as "such a nice man".

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14. It is able to perform real miracles through the powers of the dragon. These will have the effect of causing the people of the world to believe that it is of God. With this power (this deception) it will ask them to form another alliance with civil authority and it will then be able to control those who differ from its doctrines.

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15. The end result of this new union of church and state will be to bring in a death decree for those who persist in defying its authority. The "mark" or "name" associated with this decree can be received in the hand or the forehead. This means that believers in the divine authority of this "head" (faith in its direction coming from God - a forehead belief) are not its only supporters, but a nominal acceptance (it pays me to follow it - the way of the hand) will also back it. Those who have the same character (those who believe in a god who uses force in religious matters) will have no problem accepting its dogmas.

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16. It should now be clear that the number 666 has nothing to do with the Catholic Church, for the text clearly states that it is the number of the image beast. Neither is it the number of "a" man, for the article "a" has been added to the text by the English translators. The Greek Bible states that it is the number "of man" or mankind.

Literally it reads,

"... let him calculate the number of the wild beast, number for of man it is; and the number of it six hundred sixty-six.

This is picturing the ultimate in apostasy - the end result of wickedness, the third and final occasion of rebellion.

The first time rebellion reached a height in this world was in the days of Noah's Flood. That is symbolized by the first "6".

The second time was at the crucifixion when the people of the world rejected God in the form of His Son. That made it "66".

The third time will be at the close of human probation just before the second coming when the population of the world will reject the Sabbath "rest" that Jesus offers and attempt once again to control its own destiny. This will be "666".

 

There is a good explanation of "666" on another site.

 

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