Revelation chapter 13 commentary

by Don Koenig

This is an informational chapter from the little book that tells us about the last Gentile world political and world religious power and the men that lead them just before the return of Jesus Christ. These entities become totally controlled by Satan and his angels.

1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

The sea shore John is standing on is the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Some say it is actually talking about a sea of people from Gentile nations; that is true as well. John is standing on the coast of Europe or Israel (depending on your point of view). In either case, the beast rises in the Middle East and Europe. The beast with seven heads and ten horns fits the same description of the red dragon seen in heaven in chapter 12. The Dragon and his angels have now been cast out onto the earth, John sees a beast with seven heads, and ten horns rise out of the sea of Gentile Nations. Later we will understand what the seven heads and seven horns on this beast represent. To understand this chapter correctly, we must search the scriptures for the answer to the beast with seven heads and ten horns. The answers are found in Daniel:

Danl 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.

2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

4 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.

5 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.

6 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.

7 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.

8 I considered the 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.

9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

15 ¶ I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.

16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.

17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;

20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

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.

24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints 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 time.

26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

The angel tells Daniel that the four beasts are kings or kingdoms that will arise on the earth. He also tells Daniel that the ten horns are ten kings that will arise in the last world kingdom before Jesus comes and sets up His kingdom. From this and following passages in Daniel, we can make sense of the beast in Revelation.

2And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

We know that Satan is the power behind this Beast because we have been told that Satan is the dragon. The passage tells us that the Beast is not only a world empire but a person as well (the dragon gave “him” his power).

There are seven heads on the beast and they represent the seven gentile world empires. The three empires before Daniel were Samaria, Egypt and Assyria. The four from Daniel’s time are Babylon, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman. Verse 2 describes the attributes of these last four beasts or world empires. These descriptions are in reverse order in Revelation than what Daniel describes because in Daniel we were looking forward to their time and now in Revelation we are looking back in time. Therefore, the Leopard was the Greek empire, the Bear was the Medo-Persian Empire and the Lion was the Babylonian Empire. The forth beast world empire from Daniel will have the combined attributes of all of the three before it. Consequently, the Roman Empire is the fourth Beast that rises out of the sea and is the seventh head of the dragon.

Rome fell from within but the wreckage has always been in place and several leaders have tried to put it back together again. The last attempt until now was with Hitler but today we see the revival of the Roman Empire taking shape in Europe. It is called the European Union (EU). The EU as of this writing has 25 members. They intend all members to join together in one central government, constitution and currency. However, there are and will be only 10 full charter members out of old Europe in the EU, if that has any significance. At some point in the not too distant future, the EU or the wreckage of it will evolve back into the final Beast.

This revived Roman Empire is further defined in Daniel’s prophecy that explains the vision of the statue of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan chapter 2). This vision as well, describes all the Gentile world powers until God sets up His kingdom on earth. The feet and ten toes on the image of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue are the ten kings in the last phase of the Roman Empire. At that time, a rock made without hands hits the toes of the image and pulverizes it. The ten toes in this vision of Daniel represent the same leaders as do the ten horns in Revelation. The ten toes are the ten horns that have power with the Beast for one hour and it is they that will be crushed by the stone cut out of the mountain made without hands. Daniel speaks to the king of Babylon explaining the king’s dream:

Dan 2:39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.

45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

A complete study on the prophecies of Daniel is way beyond the scope of this commentary. For how the prophecies in the book of Daniel relate to end time events and the end time Beast, I recommend these books: “The Handwriting on the Wall”, by David Jeremiah or “The End of the Days”, by Bloomfield.

3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

Satan will incarnate the man described as the Beast after a head wound kills him. Satan will be allowed by God to raise this world leader back to life to deceive all those who did not want to believe the truth. At that point, this risen man will enter the temple of God and claim to be God incarnated. The whole world will believe him. There is a reference in scripture that indicates that the wicked shepherd will be blind in his right eye and that one arm will be useless. This will apply to either the Beast Antichrist or his false prophet.

Zec 11:16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. 17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.

Although this man will be alive, he may still have some disabilities in this body due to the head wound. Verse three may have a duel fulfillment to a man as well as to his kingdom. Scripture indicates that there will be a revolt within the kingdom where he subdues three powers and removes them (Dan 7:20). The Beast Empire itself might as a result of this revolt receive a deadly head wound when the capitol is destroyed. It is healed when the incarnated risen world leader transfers the capitol to Babylon. From there he will begin the worldwide counterfeit kingdom of God also known as “Babylon the Great” (Chapter 18).

4And 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?

This verse is saying that the world will worship the man possessed by the Devil. No one will believe that anyone can defeat this Beast. He will have incredible supernatural powers and will have all the angels of Satan to assist him. The world will actually believe that he is God just as today’s world religions ascribe attributes of Satan to their present concept of God.

5And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

In the first four verses it is talking about the rise of a world empire and the verses only give us some hints of a man but the rest of the chapter primarily talks about the satanic man that is the power behind this Beast kingdom.

Again we are told that this person will be given power to continue for 3 ½ years. This period of time starts at the time Satan is cast out of heaven and indwells the world leader who has died and whose soul ascends out of the pit. He immediately kills the two prophets and desecrates the Jewish temple (this occurs at the end of the sixth trumpet). The reign on the earth by this Beast will last until Jesus defeats Him at His coming. The period of the reign of the Beast is the same 3 ½ year period that the obedient that flee from Jerusalem are under the protection of Michael in the mountains.

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

When Satan enters this man, the first thing this man does is speak blasphemy against God, his tabernacle and those that dwell in heaven. He will probably claim that all in heaven are alien impostors trying to control the earth. He probably will say that he is the real God and that he came with his angels to help mankind free themselves from enslavement to these hostile forces who now control heaven. Jesus said it would be like it was in the days of Noah at his coming. In the days of Noah angels came down to earth and posed as gods (Gen 6:2, Jud 1:6)

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.

There should be little doubt about the power of this being. He will make war and overcome all followers of Jesus and Jehovah. He will have power over all nations on the earth.

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.

The entire world will worship the Beast as the “God of God’s”. They probably will name him Zeus but Allah is not totally out of the question. The verse also indicates that those still on earth that are written in the book of life will not stay deceived by him or worship him.

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

10 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.

In those days, anyone who leads people to take the Beast forces captive shall themselves be made captives and anyone who takes up arms against the Beast forces will themselves be killed. God is clearly saying that this is not the time for anyone to take up rebellion against the Satan possessed Antichrist and his angels. This being will be all powerful on the earth and only Jesus at his coming will have the power to deliver the earth. The Antichrist will make short work of any tribulation militia forces who think they can war against the world Beast government. Those prone to thinking they can form a militia against this world government fail to realize that his force is supernatural and that scripture indicates he will have almost absolute power on the earth for these 3 ½ years.

Even most prophecy teachers fail to grasp the extent of the Beast’s power and it is reflected in their simplistic writings about end time events. Many teachers try to explain all of what will happen as a result of man’s own wars and the follow up catastrophes that result from those wars. They simply leave no room for the supernatural from God or from Satan! There will be two prophets from God with supernatural powers that will torment unbelievers on the earth for 3 ½ years in the first period and in this second 3 ½ year period Satan himself will have power to act as if he were God. No one can really conceive how the supernatural will control events on the earth during these periods.

11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

John sees another beast come out of the earth. This beast comes out after the first beast and is seen in the last 3 ½ year period. The first Beast came out of the “sea” which in scripture means that he came out of the Gentile nations of the world. The second beast comes out of the earth or land (the Greek word translated here as “earth” is more often translated as “land”). This means that he will come up out of “the land” (of Israel). He will certainly be Jewish. The verse says he will have two horns like a lamb. The two horns represent authority. He will not have crowns so he does not rule over two nations. The two horns mean He will have full authority from two world religions whose leadership believes that the first Beast is God. At this point any world religion that worships anyone other than the first Beast is actively persecuted (chapter 17), Therefore, they must be religions that wholeheartedly accept the Beast as God. Since the False Prophet is a Jew one of the Religions will be the majority of Judaism that reject the message of their own two prophets. I believe Jew on Jew persecution in the last days is predicted in several passages in the Bible. Only one third of the Jews in the Land of Israel will survive these wars and persecutions (Zec 13:8). That should be food for thought for those who want to help God by sending Jews to Israel before the Lord pleads for them (Joe 3:2). Nevertheless, I am not claiming that the return today is not prophetic and ordained by God but their future will be bleak if they do not know and obey their scriptures to flee when the temple holy place is defiled.

Luk 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.

The other religion will certainly be Islam or what Islam evolves into under the Beast. Islam today is setting the stage for the forced Beast worldwide worship system. Honest astute true Christians know that Moslems who follow the extreme fundamental tenets of their religion with its intolerance and forced worship embraced a god that has the exact same attributes of Satan. In addition, the fact that the headquarters will be moved to the geographical center of Islam tells us that Islam will be the chief religion to embrace the Beast as God, even if my statement is not politically correct.

The appearance as a lamb might mean that this beast will appear gentle and talk peace. However, this leader will speak the lies of Satan. This False Prophet is the foolish Shepherd from the tribe of Dan that will not spare his own flock (Zec 11:15-17). He will tell the world to worship the first Beast who claims to be God. The False Prophet will take on the role of Elijah and perform similar miracles as Elijah by making fire come down from heaven in the sight of the first Beast.

The coming of a Messiah-like figure to help mankind is an expectation of Moslems, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians. This coming of a new Christ to bring in a new age is also a common expectation for those in “new age” beliefs and other religious beliefs as well. The world has been programmed to accept these two Beast antichrists.

There really are three Antichrists on earth at this time and not just one:

·Satan is the invisible counterfeit god in the Beast - Satan is counterfeiting Father God - Satan is anti God’s true Christ

·The Beast is the visible counterfeit god/man - The Beast is counterfeiting the visible image of the God/man (Jesus) - The Beast is the Antichrist

.The False Prophet from Satan gives power to the Beast - The False Prophet counterfeits the power that comes from God’s Holy Spirit - he is anti God’s true Christ

They all will oppose the true Christ and they will come as a triune counterfeit to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

12 And he 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.

Like the first Beast, he will have great power but His purpose will be to promote and force worship of the first Beast who rose from the dead. As the Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself and promotes Jesus this False Prophet will also not promote himself but will promote the Beast Antichrist. All this is done to counterfeit everything of the true God.

13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

This False Prophet will do great wonders. Apparently, he will have the power to call down fire from heaven like Elijah did. The False Prophet may even claim to be Elijah. The orthodox Jews have always expected Elijah to come and prepare the way for the Messiah. The deception through the power of Satan may include deceiving the biblical illiterate or those who read scripture without the light, that the real two witnesses of God are the classical biblical Antichrist and his False Prophet.

Popular books and movies on end times have programmed most of the world to expect the Antichrist and False Prophet to come to torment the world at the end of the age. Yet, scripture really tells us that the two witnesses tormented the unbelievers on the earth. The two witnesses had the power to smite the earth with plagues as often as they wished for 1,260 days.

It will be like in the days of the plagues of Egypt. The Egyptians did not welcome the judgments but the judgments came from God by the word of His prophet Moses to deliver His people from bondage. I do not know for sure exactly what these two prophets will demand from the world but the world will not wish to comply. The two prophets may demand a world kingdom by the Jews from Jerusalem. They will have power for 1,260 days, which is the same amount of time the world has been taught to expect the Antichrist and False Prophet to rule on earth.

When the Beast kills these two true prophets of God the whole world will rejoice! Why? Because they may believe the classic Antichrist and False Prophet are dead. They will think the Christ has come, that the Beast is God and that the Kingdom of God has come to earth. They will be led to believe that they have survived the great tribulation and have reached the “thousand year new age” of peace. What diabolical deception! No wonder all who hate the truth will be deceived.

14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

This False Prophet will have the power to work miracles in the sight of the Beast Antichrist. He will be able to perform miracles on the temple mount. The image of the Beast will be set up in the holy place of the temple. There was a foreshadow of this when a statue of Zeus was set up in the “Holy Place” Under Antiochus Ephiphanes in 168 BC, which is also one of the reasons why I say the world may believe the Beast is Zeus. In ancient days, Zeus was worshipped as the god of gods and the savior god. These are names for the Lord Jesus. Zeus, even then, was a counterfeit. Zeus was the national god of the Greeks. When Paul healed a cripple, the Greeks of the city said the gods had come down to them in the form of men. Then they called Barnabas Jupiter (Zeus in Greek), because he seemed to be the one in charge (Act 14:12). With all this in mind, it would not take much deception for the world to believe that Zeus is the highest God

Jesus in his Olivet discourse warns the Jews to flee to the hills when the desecration spoken about by Daniel the prophet stands in the holy place (where it ought not). Only Jesus is worthy to stand in the holy place of the temple. This blasphemy will bring the wrath of God on those on the earth, instead of the thousand years of peace that will be promised by the Beast and his False Prophet. Hitler had plans that included a thousand year reign by the Arians. His attempt to unite Europe by using war and by using Jews as scapegoats was a foreshadow of the coming Antichrist government and its deception.

15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

This person will have power to make the image of the first Beast have life and speak (the image set up in the holy place). Who really knows what all that means? Possibly, it will be a hologram of the Beast. A world religion with the Beast as God will be put into effect. Anyone who will not worship the image of the Beast will be killed. There most likely will be a time of day when all in the world will have to stop what they are doing and at some audio signal they will have to get into a position of worship toward his image in Jerusalem. It will be like it was in the days of Nebuchadnezzar. When the musical instruments played the people in Babylon had to fall and worship the image he made of himself or be killed. That was a foreshadow of what is coming under the Beast Antichrist.

We see a similar situation today in Moslem countries except they bow toward a landmark rather than an image of a man. The verse is talking about a worldwide worship that is enforced by penalty of death. The image will probably tell the world what Satan requires for them to do. Is it any wonder that the Beast moves his headquarters to Babylon Iraq? The killing and beheading of Christians and Jews by fundamental Moslems in the name of God is already foreshadowing how this demonic religion will readily accept the Beast as their God. A worldwide foundation for the Beast system is now being put in place and it is called Islam. However, I am not saying that the world will go Islamic. I am saying this intolerant religion is rapidly setting the foundation built on hate for this counterfeit God who will kill everyone who does not join his world system and worship him.

16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

This False Prophet will cause all to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads. The power of this individual is over the entire world. Much has been written about this mark but we are all speculating until the event happens.

I speculate that the mark will be some type of biological computer chip that will allow a satanic gateway for control over the mind and/or even to somehow bring an altering of the human genetic code. Taking the mark may be packaged in the guise of an evolutionary leap forward for man to become like God (a new age concept). Once an individual takes this mark we are told that he can no longer be saved. I believe this may be because those who take the mark may no longer have the genetic code of a human descendent of Adam. At the very least it will be a visible mark of initiation sealing those who belong to Satan.

Before the flood Satan tried to alter the DNA code of man by having angels take wives and have offspring to produce a new race on the earth (Gen 6:2). This corruption of the flesh brought God’s judgment on the earth to save a pure line from Adam through Noah. In the last times Satan may again try to corrupt man through whatever the mark of the beast is. The “kinsman redeemer” (Jesus) who came from the bloodlines of Adam might no longer “lawfully” save those who corrupted their bloodline by taking this mark of the Beast.

17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

No one will be able to buy or sell anything unless they have taken the mark, the name or the number. Most likely a person’s hand or forehead will need to be scanned to complete a business transaction. If the person is physically remote he will have to have the password or account number to buy or sell (i.e. a phone or computer transaction). At that time a one world cashless economic system will be set up and it will be controlled by computers. Unless you have access to the world financial system by having the proper identification you will be totally shut out. Those who do not take the mark will have to barter to get anything they need and that will be outlawed.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

The number of the Beast will be 666. If you study numeric patterns in the Bible, six is the prime number for man while God’s number is seven. The number 666 might mean man claiming to be the triune God (777).

There are notions that the number of the Beast’s name will add up in Hebrew and/or Greek to 666 (in these languages each letter also has a numerical value). That is probably a correct assumption but I would not get carried away with speculation about who the man is before Satan is cast out of heaven and possesses his body. The man is likely to change his name after being incarnated by Satan anyway, so what anyone’s name adds up to before this takes place is probably totally meaningless.

Satan offered to enter Jesus and to give him a shortcut to all the kingdoms of the world but Jesus rejected Satan’s offer (Mat 4:8). This man will welcome Satan but until that happens, he is not yet the Beast and his identity is sheer speculation at best. When all these events happen, people who are worshiping his image and taking his mark will know the man they are worshiping (although they may not know him by the name of the Beast).

This verse is probably not saying that it “takes wisdom to find out who the guy is” because at this point everyone will already know the identity of this person who claims to be God.

Those with “understanding” will know all about these mysteries of a man claiming to be God (666) and about the counterfeit kingdom he will set up. Those with wisdom will not be deceived; they will know that this counterfeit is not God.