Here we are in the thirteenth chapter of the Revelation and thus far we have seen a chronological chain of events, many of which bring about one thing, death. But we have also learned of background information, and historical information which all mesh with the judgments and explain, to some degree, what the imagery means.
I frequently have to refresh my memory because of the similarities we see, and far too much incorrect information. So here is a recap.
Chapters 6, 7, and 8:1-5 announce the seal judgments. The 7th event, whether it be a seal judgment, a trumpet judgment, or a bowl judgment, all work the same way.
We have the entrance of the antichrist. Keyword: death.
Chapter 8:6 through 11:15 Bring forth the trumpet judgments.
A key to understanding or holding what happens here, in your head, is to remember one-third. One-third of the earth was burned; the sea is destroyed along with its sea life; freshwater is polluted and undrinkable; literal darkness because one-third of the sun’s light is obliterated as well as the moon.
There is a bizarre twist as Revelation 9:1, almost as though it just happened, tells us a star fell to earth and brings great havoc. This event happened, quite probably, before Adam; and yet, Revelation 9:2 defines locust-like creatures, whose tail is like a scorpion, stinging all except for those 144,000 Jewish young men, who God has sealed.
The sixth angel, within the trumpet judgments, tells us that four, deadly angels, who have been chained up to this point, are released. Considering that one angel killed all the firstborn, that were NOT protected by the blood of the lamb, in Egypt, that night. What could four angels do? Do they do the damage? No, they release a 200 million strong, demonic cavalry. These nightmarish creatures kill one-third of the remaining population by the smoke, brimstone, fire, and plagues that come out of their mouths.
Revelation 9:21 defines why all these judgments are coming upon the world.
“they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.”
Murders, that seems easy enough to understand and includes the murders committed through the usage of Covid 19 jabs.
Sorceries – Wow, you could take this anywhere, although, left alone, the mind takes you to Satanism, witchcraft, and other backwood spiritualism. However, pharmakeia, the Greek origin of the word sorceries means medication, “pharmacy.” Apply this to the Covid 19 and you should be able to associate the murder aspect.
Chapter ten speaks of an undefined, little book and a command to John saying, “You must prophesy again concerning many peoples and nations and tongues and kings.”
Revelation 11:15 brings on the seventh trumpet. However, chapter eleven stands out because it tells us that John is told to measure the temple but to exclude the outer court as that is given over to the gentiles for forty-two months (three and one-half years.)
Consider that John is an aged man and this was written on Patmos island, about 96 A.D. The temple had been destroyed in 70 A.D. So it should be obvious that God is NOT telling him to measure any temple that stood on the earth at that time. He could be talking about the one that Israel is about to build, or He could be talking about the temple in the new Jerusalem. Most likely God is talking about the one to be rebuilt (yes, that would mean that John has already seen what it looks like.)
Why do I think it will be the rebuilt one?
Because I do not see the Gentiles, during the 1000 years, treading disrespectfully upon the court of the gentiles.
Revelation 11:3 suddenly inserts the two prophets sent from God. These two stand in the streets of Jerusalem for 1260 days, this too is three and one-half years. This information about the two witnesses continues until Revelation 11:14.
Revelation Chapter 12 opens with “A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.”
This woman has multiple definitions, such as Eve, Mary, and Israel; and then there is the child. One of the strongest images it defines for us is the astrological alignment of stars that guided many throughout the years. The Magi stands out in my mind as they follow the alignment of stars to find the, now two-year-old child, Jesus.
The child, a male child, has been the target of Satan’s attempts to stop God’s plan since Eve and the garden. Jesus is one of the strongest images, while the nation Israel is the other.
Revelation 12 shows us the nation Israel being attacked.
Only a third survive and escape. Where they go is NOT clear but there is a reference to fleeing to the mountains and Israel has a few. All we are told is that Israel goes into the wilderness for 1260 days. This number has popped up several times now, so it is either the first half or the second. The first half seems to be relatively peaceful, if you can exclude all the death and destruction that is being poured out upon the earth, and that makes me think this occurs with the onslaught from the false prophet, who also operates for 1260 days.
Those that think it is Petra could be right but you can understand Petra, in Lebanon, as a water-carved canyon, and you are asking God to stash approximately 3 million people in the carved out caves that exist there.
Again, we have information and history, as we are told that Satan gets thrown to the earth. But we already saw that in Revelation 9. What we get here is very detailed as Satan is now at war with the Saints. Revelation 12 verse 11 tells us
“they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”
Overcome is the Greek word nikaō and also means to subdue, conquer, and prevail.
That means that, still here on earth, having to prove their allegiance to Christ, they, for the most part, give up their lives for Christ.
Where and how does conquering and subduing come into play?
What does a testimony look like?
I don’t know for sure, but many people, like we have recently witnessed in Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban, have been pushed to their knees with the instructions to worship Allah or die. And so they choose to die. We, don’t get to see if they displayed remarkable strength or not.
So much for a recap, what does chapter 13 tell us?
Satan has been thrown to earth and is now at war with the Saints.
Typically I use the NASB, but Revelation 13:1 is one of those passages where there is a huge error in translation. I am not in love with the MKJV but look at this.
Revelation 13:1 MKJV And I stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns. And on its horns were ten crowns, and on its heads was the name of blasphemy.
The King James only crowd could revel in victory because their translation got it right. Fortunately, it is easy to understand that God, in the vision, has John standing on the seashore much like a speck among the nations.
Another thing that causes me grief is that I found NO other translation that uses the term dragon. I mention this because, having looked at information to inform myself as to which translations/transliterations would be best, I chose the NASB and use it as my primary Bible. A friend has asked me, on several occasions, which translation to use. I have told him that every translation has issues; yes, even the King James, and I learned this from the late Dr. Chuck Missler. Let me show you a recent bad example that was made clear.
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;
(2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV)
Here, Paul is reassuring the church in Thessalonica that the day when God’s wrath shows up, will not come, (and as the KJV puts it,) “except there come a falling away first.” Many of us have learned from Dr. Andy Woods, that the Catholic church, disgusted with people pulling out of the “state” church, and going over to the Protestant church. So, the Catholic church, with the backing of the King, had the Bible rewritten to substantiate their disgust, and possibly manipulate people into returning to the church, along with their tithe money. And thus we got the King James Version. Historically, one of the first bibles printed was the Geneva bible and it reads thus.
Let no man deceiue you by any meanes: for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and that that man of sinne be disclosed, euen the sonne of perdition,
(2 Thessalonians 2:3 Geneva)
The Geneva bible got it right, as the Greek word apostasia can also mean a departure, and the context of 2Thessalonians 2 clearly implies a physical departure.
The word beast, which is the common understanding, is the Greek word thērion and it means a dangerous animal. This word could represent any number of animals, however, as we will see, it has some distinct characteristics, none of which are found on earthly creatures.
I show you the NASB here so that you can see the error and possibly understand the confusion that such errors cause.
Revelation 13:1 NASB And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. …
Back to the MKJV.
“I stood on the sand of the sea,”
It is John that is standing on the sand of the sea. As Bible scholars, you know and understand that our Biblical narratives are all centered around one place, the land that God promised Abraham, and nothing less.
The sand, represents the hordes of people deemed the nations, but most specifically the Middle Eastern nations and their oil.
“a beast coming up out of the sea,”
First off, the sea is specific, however, we Gentiles always picture the ocean nearest us. As I said above, this is the Mediterranean. The is also representative of legions of people.
The final ruling empire comes out of this beast.
To help you understand that prophecy repeats, and the prophet Daniel spoke of a beast coming out of the sea, and described the animal characteristics of the four heads. John’s audience would have been familiar with this.
“Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this, I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, 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.” (Daniel 7:2-7 KJV)
“having ten horns and seven heads.”
This empire exerts its influence for a very long time and has multiple rulers.
One of the leading “nations” in the Biblical narratives is the Assyrians/Persia.
When we think of Persia who are we thinking about today?
I my lifetime I have seen at least four heads that have ruled that nation. Many years ago, the United States placed the Shah of Iran into power, and the nation operated in a somewhat democratic manner, much like Afghanistan just did. The Shah was eventually run out of town in the late 1970s and the Ayatollah Khomeini was voted into power.
Daniel 2:41,42 tells us of the ten toes, all of which are derivatives of the legs of iron. These ten toes are themselves smaller and weaker empires.
Revelation 13:1, in talking about the crowns on their heads, tells us that they have blasphemous names. Ponder that for a moment. Few of us speak Farsi or some of the other dialects and therefore have no clue that their names have meanings. The only thing that stands out in my mind is the commonality of Islam, and Islam, with its worship of Allah tells people that there is no god besides Allah. Jesus defined blasphemy as attributing the things of God to someone else, namely Satan.
Isaiah 37:23 NASB “Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? And against whom have you raised your voice and haughtily lifted up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel!”
The verse above defines the majority of the world these days.
If the rapture has not happened count yourselves fortunate, because you still have a moment to give your life to Jesus Christ and believe. After the church is gone and you will know it because the ground will rip open as bodies will be reattached to their spirits, as we go up to meet Jesus in the clouds. Only moments after that event, the hell that people have been talking about will begin to be unleashed, without any restraint.
But believe in what?
That Jesus Christ died for your sins, that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day.
He did all this for you and He has been waiting for you. It is because of what He did that lets me know that you are already forgiven, but He wants you to know that understand it, and accept that He did it for you. That is what we believe as followers of Jesus Christ.