Revelation 13:1-18 Part 3

REVELATION 13:1-13 Part 3


12:18:  And it was positioned upon the sand of the sea.


1)    Then I saw a beast having ten horns and seven heads arising out of the sea; and upon its horns there were ten diadems, and a blasphemous name on its heads.

2)    The beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet as a bear, and its mouth the mouth of a lion and the dragon did give it its power and its dominion and great authority;

3)    and one of its heads as having been fatally wounded and its stroke of death healed, the whole land was caused to marvel after the beast.

4)    And they adored the dragon that gave the authority to the beast and adored the beast, saying ‘who is like the beast’ and ‘who is enabled to wage war with it?’

5)    And a mouth speaking great, blasphemous things was given it, and authority to act forty two months was given it;

6)    and it opened its mouth in blasphemies toward God, to blaspheme His Name and those tabernacling in His tabernacle in the heaven.

7)    And there was given it to make war with the holy people and to overcome them.  And authority over every tribe and tongue and people was given it.

8)    And all who dwell on the land whose names have not been written in the book of life of the Lamb slain before the foundation of the cosmos shall bow before it.

9)    If anyone has an ear, let him hear:

10) If anyone is for captivity, into captivity he goes; if anyone is for killing by the sword, he is to be killed by the sword.  Here is the determination and the faith of the holy people!

11) Then I saw another beast arise from the land, and it had two horns like unto a young lamb; but it spoke as dragon!

12) It exercises all the authority of the first beast before it and confirms for the land and those dwelling in it that they must adore the first beast, the one whose death-stroke was healed.

13) And it would perform great signs, so that it may make fire to come down from the heaven into the land before the men,

14) and deceiving those who dwell upon the land by the signs given to it to perform before the beast, telling those who dwell upon the land to make an image to the beast that had the death-stroke by the sword and did live.

15) And it was given to it to give life to the image of the beast that the image of the beast might speak, and (it was given to it to) cause even the least of those who would not adore the image of the beast that they be killed;

16) and it causes all, the menial and the great, the rich and the poor, the freemen and the servants, that they be provided a mark upon their right hand or upon their forehead

17) so that no one be able to buy or to sell without having the mark: either the name of the beast or the number of its name.

18) The wisdom is herein.  Let one having a mind calculate the number of the beast; for that number is man, and his number is six hundred and sixty six.


As we finished last week, we heard John’s description of the sign of the dragon as it had been positioned at the edge of the sea, calling up the fourth great beast of human history; one that had previously been described by the prophet Daniel and had so shaken him when it was revealed to him.

And John describes the beast that arises in the exact same language as he described the dragon itself back in verse three of chapter twelve.  So the dragon (the serpent of old) has called up a beast in its own image, just as God had made man in His Own Image.

Remember that this is Yahveh’s sign of the dragon; it’s His perception of His Own history.  And the beast in the image of Satan is “man” called up in dominion over the earth in a vengeful “challenge” to the dominion of the risen Christ (Who is the “express” image of The Father).  So, the beast is an “imitator” and a “deceiver”.  (We’ll take a look at a modern imitator and deceiver shortly.)

Satan’s provocation of man toward dominion over the earth is in “defiance” of God and His creation.  For nearly seven hundred years this “avenger” has been enraging fallen mankind, and inciting it to tyrannous rule over other men; but it, itself, is inflamed by vengeance toward God and all the creatures in the heavenly tabernacle; for it was “cast” from the Presence of God in His glory cloud (that humiliation being the motivation for its vengeance).

Therefore its history-long goal is the cutting off of the covenant seed.  And since the occupation of “the land”, and the building of the tabernacle (which looks like the tabernacle of God in the heaven from which the dragon was cast), the dragon’s single-minded goal is the desecration of that tabernacle, the “holy land” being made a wilderness, and the holy people of God’s covenant being “cut off”.

You see, the temple on the dome of the rock in Jerusalem was the man-made image of the one in which Satanos was humiliated; the “holy land” is described by God as His new “paradise” – the new “Garden of God”, a new “Eden”.  And the “holy people” are those who God “set apart” for Himself out of the sea of fallen humanity.

And the dragon (as God sees it) has this insane desire to desecrate that temple, and to make the new “paradise of God” a wilderness, and to utterly destroy the “holy people”… all of which is in wrathful vengeance at having been cast from the Presence of Glory!

Raising up mankind in dominion over the earth in-and-of-itself is mockery of God’s dominion over His Own creation; but the primary purpose since the establishment of the new “paradise” is the three things mentioned above: 1) the tabernacle, 2) the holy land, and 3) the holy people.  Those three occupy Satan’s domain (the earth is its domain, you see); and they incite its vengeance.

This is what so troubled Daniel as he saw Yahveh’s revelation of what was to be.  And he knew (Daniel knew) what the beasts were raised up to do.  He knew that the main goal was Israel.  And the fourth beast that John sees (the same one that Daniel saw) is in the image of the dragon; and it is very different from the first three in that, 1) it is much more beastly and ferocious and, 2) it is in the very image of the dragon!

According to John’s view (here in our text), this fourth beast is very deceptive.  In order to make the holy people in the land “marvel” at its greatness (verse three), God sees it as “imitating” a resurrection from death (just as our Lord was raised out of death, and just as His elect from the tribes of Jacob were resurrected In Him!).

This is obviously a prime issue for John, since he mentions this great resurrection deception three times.  The first time here in verse three; and then again in verse twelve; and once more in verse fourteen.

As I mentioned, I want to spend a little time with you on a current attempt at world dominion, especially as the attempt is so closely associated with deception and linked to deception (just as the one in our text was); but before I do that, we have to look at the reaction of those remaining in the holy land to the beast’s imitation resurrection.

As you can see at the end of verse three, the “whole land” was caused to marvel after the beast.  Another way that could be translated is, “the whole land was astonished after the beast”; the word “astonish” is a reasonable translation of the Greek word, but it doesn’t allow a sufficient translation of the passive voice in which the word is written.  The word “wonder” also fits, but it, too, eludes the passive voice in English.  Also there’s a slightly different “slant” to the Greek word than the word “astonish” would allow.  So I’ve translated it “caused to marvel”.

The word translated “marvel” isn’t common in the newer Scripture, but neither is it rare.  It’s found fairly often in the three synoptic Gospels and six times here in the Revelation.

What’s so important in relation to what John is describing here is the fact that in every occasion that it’s used in the Gospels, it is with reference either to the birth of Jesus Christ or in those instances in which He reversed the ills of His lost sheep that had been propagated on them by the false shepherds of Israel (the rapacious wolves in sheep’s clothing).

And what’s so interesting (and important) about this is that the lost sheep recognized The Christ and followed Him, having “marveled” (or wondered) that here among them was the promised Messiah of God!  But (on the other hand) the false shepherds of Israel did not recognize Him, but condemned Him as being a demon under the authority of the devil; and they tried Him for blasphemy and killed Him!

On the other hand, here in the sign of the dragon, as this beast in the image of the devil/dragon deceptively imitates a resurrection, those remaining in the holy land “wonder” at the imitation resurrection, and they were “marveled”, and they followed it and adored it and obeyed it!  So, all these remaining in “the land” did not recognize the Express Image of the Father; and they did marvel after the image of the dragon!

The ones that Yahveh had kept for Himself from the twelve tribes of Jacob “marveled”, because Jesus was the fullness of the prophetic Word regarding Messiah.  His wondrous works “filled up” all that was prophesied of Him, and they caused His lost sheep to marvel!  And they followed Him.  But, once again, those remaining in the land marveled at the false resurrection and the false signs that the beast showed, and they were full of wonder. 

The Christ of God was not “wonderful” to them, but the beast was!  As John writes at the end of verse three, “the whole land was caused to marvel after the beast”.  Once again, this is God’s sign of the dragon.  And it can’t be interpreted from man’s perspective or from the perspective of historical events.


Now.  That having been said, what I want to do for next few minutes, before we continue with this text, is to remind you once more about our more modern imitator/deceiver/beast.  We’ve done something along this line before; but in the light of our text I couldn’t make the decision to pass it up.   And, besides, I want to take it just a bit further than what we’ve done before.

 There’s no doubt in my mind that islam is a renewal of Satan’s beast-dominion-scenario (it’s just too easy!)  It just “fits” so perfectly with its serpent disposition.  The dragon, having completed its scheme for the destruction of the holy land, has now turned its attention to the Church in the nations, recognizing that it was tricked.  Jesus Christ took all that belonged to Him before the devil’s “beast” destroyed the “land”; and now the Gentiles are responding to The Gospel all over the world as the Church makes disciples among every people, tribe and tongue.

This latest beast-in-Satan’s-image began its quest for world dominion of our Lord’s Kingdom in the early six hundreds AD, and it did so by the sword, lead by Mohammed and his writings.  It almost conquered the middle East and Europe, being finally defeated and put to flight in Austria.

The beast (islam) has learned through the years (by experience) that it must be deceptive in order to reach its goal of world dominion (just like the fourth beast was so deceptive here in our text).

The beast called islam also “imitates” a great religion (especially with the miraculous birth of Muhammed, who is the one everybody is to “marvel” after, since he was born the “last prophet of god”).  It (islam) wants the world to think it’s a religion; but it is not a religion… it is an imitator, just like the fourth beast of John’s Revelation was an imitator!  It really is an ideology of human culture and politics, with its starting point being an Arabian moon god!

And since it, by imitation, presents itself as one of the “three ancient religions”, the whole world is “marveled” at its revival since the crushing defeat that it suffered in the seventh and eighth centuries, and another defeat in the middle ages, and then another defeat in the Reformation, all the early defeats at the hands of three men who followed The Christ and instituted His Law-Word.  But, in effect, islam has had a “resurrection” since the Reformation.

There are three main things that you must know and remember about this beast until our Lord is through with His purpose for it; for you have to be ready to defend The Faith at any and every occasion.  If you don’t hold the testimony of Jesus and defend the Faith, then you surrender to the beast!!

And since this is not an exposition of quran, it is the “minimum” that you must know.

First, islam is NOT a peaceful religion that has been hijacked by extremists (as we’re told over and over).  The so-called “extremists” are simply following the commands in the quran.  And so are the ones who seem to be “peaceful” (I’ll explain that in a minute).  But this beast is a deceiver just like the fourth beast of the Revelation; for there are no peaceful islamists.

The quran is a book of commands put together from the writings of one man during a short period of time within a short life-span.  It is an imitation Bible, written by a “lunatic” (a particularly appropriate word, since “luna” has to do with the moon).

This book (a collection of commands) is full of contradictions for which islamists have an answer.  And the answer goes like this: the later writings of Muhammad supercede, or abrogate, the ones that come before!

And the “religion of peace” mantra that you hear about islam is an outright lie; for the “peaceful” portions of quran are at the beginning chapters (suras).  And they are completely contradicted in the later suras, which are full of violence and conquest and tyrannous world dominion.

So, when islamists are confronted with so-called extremist incidents, in order for them to defend the “religion”, they simply (and deceptively) quote the early suras in quran that have to do with “peace”.  They pick and choose.  It’s a deception that all of them participate in!  And the world believes them because it’s in “the book”!

All religions have a “book”, right?  And all religions are approximately the same; so, if the “book” says the religion is peaceful, then it must be so!!  And the world wants to believe and be tolerant.  Jihadists are just “extreme”, where most islamists are peaceful.  It’s in “the book”!!

But the world doesn’t know about the doctrine of “abrogation” and the world doesn’t understand that it’s being deceived!!

Secondly, striving to institute world-wide sharia-law is a duty of every islamist.  Islam is political and cultural ideology.  There is no separation between politics and religion, or between culture and religion.  Every muslim that attends mosque and holds to quran understands what his duty is! 

Sharia is a substitute, imitation law meant to replace God’s Revelation in the Scripture.  And a society that has any other kind of law is an “oppressor” of islam and sharia.  That’s why the United States is an oppressor nation.  No matter what muslims say in public, that’s the way they view us.  The very fact that we have a different law system is “oppressive” of sharia.

Islam is a totalitarian means for man to order the societies of every nation on earth (world dominion by man).  Rather than God’s Word ordering the nations of the earth, this is “man” substituting his own order; and the order is tyrannous totalitarianism (as is all man-generated law).  And it is exactly what Satan raised up out of the sea of humanity.  Daniel saw all four of them; John is shown the fourth one here in our text in Yahveh’s “sign of the dragon”.

In the mind of every islamist is sharia; it is his duty!  Every islamist must strive to bring every governing authority, at all levels, under this man-made, substitute law.  And whatever means is necessary to accomplish that goal is what they will do.

And that brings me to the third thing that you must know and remember.  And that is the concept of “taqiyya”.  Taqiyya is “deception”.  Islamists are allowed, and even required in quran, to deceive any and all non-muslims (called “infidels”) in order to “protect” and “advance” islam and its sharia.

Islam is at war with the entire non-muslim world; and what they say to the “infidels” of the world is completely different from what they say amongst themselves.  They deceive and defraud and manipulate infidels.  So islamists can collect money, for example, from good-hearted (but ignorant) infidels who think they’re providing relief for oppressed people, and then give the money to those in areas where great violence is required to further the cause.

They can say, perfectly appropriately, that islam is a peaceful religion.  What they don’t say (concealment of the truth is a required deception) is that peace is only achieved when the world is under the dominion of islam’s (man-made) sharia!  Never will islam be at peace until that time!  “Peace” is a deception to further global sharia.

Governments such as ours and those in other western nations have abandoned God’s law in favor of man’s law (in one form or another).  And man-made law in most of its forms is easy to manipulate; and western law systems are tolerant of everything except God’s law.  And that makes most western governments perfect targets for islamists and their creeping sharia; for the “infidels” are not only anti-Christian (making them very weak, by the way), but they’re just plain stupid for not recognizing what’s happening to them.

When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components start creeping in as well.  As long as the Muslim population, for example, remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will, for the most part, be regarded as a peace-loving minority, and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in such places as the United States, Australia, Canada, China, Italy and Norway.

At 2% to 5% of the population, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. This is happening in Denmark, Germany, England and Spain (which once was ruled by Muslims).  And we see it beginning to happen here as well.

At 5% of the population they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population, along with threats for failure to comply with their demands.  At this point, they will work deceptively to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under sharia.  Governments that resist are accused of oppression of a minority, and the political pressure causes the government to condescend!

When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions.  Don’t ever think that these are spontaneous events!  They’re not!  They are planned and practiced, purposeful schemes of civil unrest.  In Paris we’ve already seen rioting and car-burnings.  Same thing in London and in Copenhagen and in several German cities.

Any anti-muslim action is eagerly anticipated by islamists and they purposefully take offense; and it results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam, with recent opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about islam.  Violence occurs routinely – purposefully, particularly in Muslim areas of countries such as India, Israel, Kenya and Russia.

Upon reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues, such as are occurring in Ethiopia.  The muslim population there is now thirty three percent!  And at 40%, nations experience systematic and methodical raping of infidel females (regardless of age), widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare, such as in Bosnia and Chad, and in Lebanon.

From 60% muslim population, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of sharia as a weapon, and “jizya”, the tax placed on all infidels.  This is happening right now in places such as Albania, Sudan, Qatar and Malaysia.

After 80%, there is on-going intimidation and violent jihad, state-run ethnic cleansing and genocide, as nations drive out the infidels (killing as many as possible), and move toward a hundred percent muslim, such as has been experienced in Bangladesh, Egypt and Indonesia.

100% will usher in the peace of  'dar-es-salaam' -- the islamic house of peace.  Here there's supposed to be peace, because everybody is a muslim, the madrasses are the only schools, and the quran is the only word, and the only law is sharia, such as in Afghanistan, Saudia Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.

Today's one and a half billion Muslims make up twenty two percent of the world's population. But their birth rates dwarf the birth rates of Christians. 

However, that’s not our hope, is it?  Although God’s people aren’t populating the world and having dominion over it as they should (given the creation decree), our Lord is in authority over all of this; and He is using this satanic beast for His Own purposes.  Our duty is to remain faithful and to make disciples, and to pray for another reformation in order to drive this beast back into the abyss where it belongs.

During the reformation, sixteenth and seventeenth century Christianity was reinvigorated, and the crazed Islamic beast was consigned to its asylums and hovels. 

It’s always interesting to me (and inspiring) to read what our reformation forefathers said and wrote.  Reading the sermons is an “experience” in and of itself!   Along with Romanism, islam was a frequent target.

Martin Luther (whose use of the language is offensive to many in today’s feminized and pietistic Church) never minced words with regard to this beast.  He exposed it; he ridiculed it (which sometimes is the very best way to deal with satanic provocation); and he described it with words that make some folks blush.

As he wrote (and by the way he wrote all of his sermons) and as he preached from Second Samuel chapter twenty-three, concerning the “sons of the devil (seed of the devil) being thrust away and utterly burned with fire”, he referred directly to Mohammed and his “book”.  Here’s what he said (reading Luther is a “riot” as far as I’m concerned):

“Neither does Mohammed find it in his book, that is, his bed of harlotry; for that is where he did most of his studying.  Thus this contemptible, filthy fellow boasts that allah, that is, the devil, had endowed him with so much physical strength that he could bed with as many as forty women and yet remain unsatisfied.  Indeed, his choice book, the quran, smells and savors of his studies in that book… the carnality of harlots.  He looked for and found the spirit of his prophecy in the right spot, that is, in the mons veneris.  And it is surely not surprising that he who pores over such books as that knows nothing of God, or Messiah.  Thus they also do not know what they are saying and what they are doing.

“The devil and its pander (flesh-peddlers), and the whoremaster Mohammed, may be offended at this; they may blaspheme and curse, but all of them will tremble eternally for this in the depth of hell with howling and gnashing of teeth.  God willing, that day is not far removed.”

So much for political correctness!

Now, the fourth beast raised up by Satan to destroy Israel was brought forth under the authority of the newly crowned King of Kings.  At the beginning of this period called “the end of the age”, there was only One.  And all the nations were gathered against Him (the beast).

Then there were twelve more.  Over thirty-five years or so, there were a hundred and forty four thousand more.  And the most terrible beast in the world’s history was raised up against them.  And they kept the commandments of God and held to the testimony of Jesus, at risk – and cost – of their lives.  And the Church thrived in the nations.

This present-day beast (not at all unlike the fourth beast in our text) is calculatingly cunning and deceptive when it has to be; and it is vicious and bloodthirsty when it is in its best interests.  But from the sharply-dressed man in the blue suit and red tie, to the most demure lady clad in her burkha, they all have the same thing in their minds.

And that is dominion… a world-wide caliphate with all societies under sharia.  The serpent/dragon has raised up another man-made imitation of the dominion of the King of Kings.  It is man in rebellion against his Creator/Ruler; for he will not acknowledge and pay homage to Jesus Christ.  But our Lord IS the Overcomer; and we can rest assured that He will overcome.  For The Christ of God has all authority in the heavens and on the earth.  And every attempt of man to rise up against the King of Kings is met with laughter and mockery (and then judgment); for the dragon and its beasts from the sea of humanity are used by Him for His purposes and for His glory.

That’s what John’s entire letter to the Churches is about.

All that remained in the land adored the fourth beast and the dragon that gave the beast its authority (verse four).  After all, it ruled all the nations of the earth, so its might was unquestioned.  Who in all the world could make war with it?  Besides, it had performed an imitation resurrection from death.

Since this is Yahveh’s sign of the dragon, any explanation of this resurrection (this healing of the death-stroke) has to come from Scripture; it can’t be explained by human reason or by man’s view of history.  Any attempt to do so is flawed from the outset.  It must be seen from God’s perspective through His revealed Word.

This is the SIGN of the woman and the SIGN of the dragon; and where does the dragon first appear?  And what did God say to the dragon?

Having been humiliated and cast into the earth, it entered God’s garden and vengefully deceived the woman made in God’s image into rebellion against her Creator.  If the woman rebelled, you see, and was judged by God, then there would not be born The Seed!

But God told the serpent that there would, indeed, be The Seed; and although the serpent would bruise His heel, He would crush the serpent/dragon’s head!  His head!!

And from God’s perspective here in the sign of the dragon, its head (the serpent’s head) received its death-stroke at the resurrection of Jesus Christ and all His people in Him.  And our Lord ascended to the throne where He now rules all the nations from the Tabernacle in the heaven.

But the dragon “fakes” a resurrection (in God’s perspective) in order to do exactly what the King of Kings has decreed, which is to destroy Israel.  And the beast that it raises up is the dragon’s spitting image; therefore it has a head which has suffered a death-stroke (verses three, twelve and fourteen) from which it fakes a resurrection in order that all those remaining on the land “marvel” at it and adore it.

The beast itself is a fake; it is the image of the dragon, and it is a deceiver pretending to be what it is not.  And it is under the supreme authority of the risen and enthroned Christ.  And it can do nothing other than what is decreed for it to do.  And those remaining in “the land” are blinded and deafened to its deception (as prophesied by Isaiah).

And all that has been decreed by Yahveh, and all that has been prophesied in His Word with regard to Israel, is carried out under the authority of The Christ of God.

Now.  I know we’re long; but I want to take another minute or two to remind you that there are many who have said that islam is prophesied in the Revelation of St John.  Historicists, amillennialists, premillennialists and dispensationalists alike have made islam to appear in the text.

And I’ve read a number of our reformed forefathers; and they, too (some of them), have done similarly.  However, all who have done so have done so by conjecture; therefore they have “assumed” a position before doing the exposition of the text.  It is their “interpretation” of Yahveh’s sign and they inflict the text with a foreign element.

I have no problem at all with recognizing (from Scripture) the disposition of the devil (for God’s Word makes it clear), and therefore “extrapolating” from that that this creature is still acting in the same way that it was before, because its disposition is still the same!  And I have no problem whatever in acknowledging that, in many ways, islam is another beast raised up as a “contender” for our Lord’s Kingdom.  It is a deceptive imitator much like what is described for us by John here in chapter thirteen.  That’s how we can recognize it!

AND, I have no problem in treating it as such!  We are to learn these things from God’s Word; and we are to be alert to all deceivers.

But preaching that islam is prophesied here is forcing an interpretation on the text that isn’t here.

However, the Scripture does prophesy that the Lord Jesus Christ will bring the earth into submission to Himself for the glory of the Father; and that all nations will acknowledge Him and bow to Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  And that’s what you need to hold to; and that’s the prophecy to which you need to testify at every opportunity.