THE SEVENTH TRUMPET IN DETAIL – PART TWO

THE WAR OF THE DRAGON UPON THE EARTH

REVELATION 13:1-18

We will begin our study today with where we ended last week.  We were considering the serpent, the devil, and his attempt to flood Israel and believers with tribulation after tribulation.  The idea is an onrushing flood of trouble and persecution, attempt after attempt, horror after horror.

Further we had reviewed (Psalm 18:4; Psalm 124:4; Isaiah 43:1-2).

As we continue our study, we see that there will be a great help coming from the earth.  God is going to use the earth to swallow up the flooding waters or attacks, of the devil and his Antichrist.  This probably means one or both of the following:

  • The devastations, natural catastrophes, of God’s judgment upon the earth will distract and require the attention of the Antichrist.  The catastrophes, natural suffering of the earth, will save a remnant of Israel believers.

Remember the enormous destruction upon earth that has already happened due to the seal and trumpet judgments (see Revelation 6:3-8; 6:12-17; 8:6-9:11; 9:11-21).  There will also be nations who do not go along with the policies of the Antichrist and they will give refuge to the Jews and believers who escape to their shores.

  • The dragon will launch an attack upon the rest of the woman’s seed.  This probably refers to the devil and his Antichrist launching a more aggressive attack against the Jews and believers who did not flee to other parts of the earth for safety (nations or barren and destroyed parts).

Again, remember that vast areas of the earth will be barren due to the natural catastrophes or judgments of God.  This could be what is meant by the wilderness areas to which so many flee.

In this day, when travel is so easy and with spy satellites and air planes and helicopters, the wilderness has to mean either huge areas of vast waste lands or else nations that will be sympathetic to the persecuted believers.   But not all will flee.  Therefore, the Antichrist will turn against those who remain behind with more animosity than ever.

NOTE:  The attacks of Satan have always been devastating, devastating in that his attacks destroy human lives.  We must, therefore, stand fast in Christ and proclaim the victory of Christ over the devil (Ephesians 6:10).  People can be saved through Jesus Christ alone.  Therefore, the glorious message of salvation in Christ (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-13; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) must be proclaimed to every man, woman, and child on earth.  Jesus Christ is their only hope of deliverance from the destruction of Satan (now or at the end of the tribulation age).

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).     

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles [strategies] of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11).

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

“Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). 

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your ADVERSARY THE DEVIL, as  a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (I Peter 5:8-9).

If you are not now standing fast in the power and strength of Christ, you may expect an attack from the evil one (Satan) whether now or at the end of the tribulation age.

Now we move to the attack through the first beast: A Political Ruler, (Revelation 13:1-10).

Introduction:  this chapter is the KEY to the whole book of Revelation.  Our study will now cover the Antichrist, the terrible world ruler, who is going to arise in the end time and embody the depth of terror and evil.  If a person understands  this chapter, then he will understand the great book of REVELATION.                                                                            

To understand the Antichrist is to understand…

  • how and why the end time will be swept with so much evil and horror.
  • how and why the judgments of God will fall upon the ungodly and evil of the end time, it will fall with terrible severity.
  • how and why God will end the world when He does.
  • how and why are such glorious promises are given to Israel and the believers who follow God in the end time.
  • how and why are so many of the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in the end time. 
  • how and why the Antichrist and his cohort, the world-wide religious leader, will help the Antichrist gain and maintain control over the world.

NOTE:  Their rule will be so savage and cruel that the Scripture calls them BEASTS. people – a numberless number will be slaughtered, not only in one or several nations but all over the world (Revelation 7:14-17).

The murder and evil will be so terrible that God just will not take the evil of man any longer.  The Antichrist will not only bring the world to the brink of disaster, he will cross the brink and cause utter destruction of the world as we know it.  Under the Antichrist, the world will be utterly destroyed.

Remember what has just happened in chapter 12.

  • Revelation has just given us a glimpse into the spiritual world.
  • We have seen a short glimpse of what lies behind the sin and evil of this earth.
  • It has shown us this:  there is a great spiritual battle being fought to lead man away from God
  • There is a great struggle in which Satan and his evil angels are attempting to get people to live ungodly and evil lives.
  • In the end times this spiritual evil — the dragon, that old serpent the devil, and Satan is going to be cast down to earth.
  • He knows that he has only a very short time left before God dooms him for eternity.
  • Therefore, he is going to unleash a wrath and fury beyond anything the world has ever known.
  • In the last days the devil is going to launch a campaign of evil and terror unparalleled in human history — such horror that it staggers the imagination.
  • How is Satan going to do this?
  • Through a world leader — a leader who will gain control of the world just as any other leader gains control of a nation.
  • Who is that leader?  THE ANTICHRIST is his name.
  • Satan is going to raise up a man who will be the very embodiment of evil — everything that Satan wants man to be.
  • This is the warning about the terrible Antichrist.  This is the passage that tells us about the political leader of the end time, the leader who will rule over the whole world, the Antichrist.
  1.   His origin: the sea (Revelation 13:1).
  2.   His great political power (v. 1-2).
  3.   His dramatic rise to power (v. 2-3).
  4.   His means of securing world government (v. 4-8).
  5.   His adversaries are the genuinely saved people of the world (v. 8-10).

Now let’s move forward and consider the Antichrist a little more.

(Revelation 13:1) Antichrist:  There is the origin of the beast or Antichrist.  He arises up “out of the sea.”  This is explained in Revelation 17:15 where the waters are said to be “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.”   The Antichrist arises from among the people.  Remember the terrible things that will be taking place upon earth:

  • the increase in world violence, conflict, terrorist activities, wars and rumors of wars.
  • The increase in natural catastrophes such as famines, earthquakes, diseases. (see Revelation 6:3-8; 6:12-17; 8:6-12; 13:9-11; 9:12-21; Matthew 24:1-51).

NOTE:  The people and nations of earth will be clamoring for a leader who can offer them hope and help.  The Antichrist will see their restlessness and political turbulence and give the people the hope they crave.  This time is very much like the people of the world today.

“Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!  The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.  And behold at eventide trouble; and before the morning he is not.  This the portion of them that spoil us (God and His people), and the lot of them that rob us” (Isaiah 17:12-14).

(REVELATION 13:1-2) – Antichrist

There is the great political power of the beast or Antichrist.  Everything said about the Antichrist is symbolic of the enormous political power he will gain.

1.  The Antichrist will have seven heads.  This means at least two things:

a. The Antichrist will have enormous human ability, a most unusual genius.  The number seven in the Bible means complete and full.  The Antichrist will be full of human ability.  He will be a supernatural genius, possessing complete knowledge and wisdom.  However, he is NOT omniscient or omnipotent. But he will be able to think, plan, act, respond, and react to situations quicker and more efficiently than any man has ever been able to do.

Think how far a person could go in political circles and in gaining power if he had what we might term perfect ability — if he was full of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.  He would be head and shoulders above all others, able to maneuver and manipulate power and people as no man has ever been able to do.  Think of the greatest leader who has ever lived and compare the Antichrist to him: the Antichrist will have seven times the ability of that leader; the Antichrist will have full and complete ability.

b. The seven heads and ten horns also refer to the ten nations who he will rule over.  In the beginning there will be ten nations, but he will take over or be given the power and rule of three which leaves seven.  The heads of these seven nations will most likely surrender their governments to his rule.  Therefore, the beast or Antichrist has the power of seven heads, seven heads of state.

2. The Antichrist will have ten horns. This is the same number of horns that the dragon (devil) had.  This again points to the Antichrist being the representative or embodiment of the devil upon earth.

The horns mean power, and the fact that there are ten horns means a confederated power of ten nations.  He will be the political head over ten nations.  Horns of course, pierce, rip and tear in the most fierce and vicious way.  The picture is that a confederation of ten nations that will be frightening and strike terror in the hearts of the world.

3. The Antichrist wears ten crowns upon his ten horns. Crowns, of course, mean authority and power: he will be the leader and ruler of these ten nations.  He will hold the power and authority over the confederation of ten nations, nations that are pictured as so frightening that they are called horns of beasts, horns that are able to rip and tear open the heart and bodies of other nations and people.

4. The Antichrist will have ten blasphemous names on his seven heads. This means that his blasphemy is against God and believers.  He will be the very fulfillment and embodiment of blasphemy.

  • He will be the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION who will stand in the very HOLY PLACE of the temple in Jerusalem and blaspheme the name of God.  He will demand that people give their first loyalty to the state.

“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” (Matthew 24:15).

NOTE:  We will continue our study of the Antichrist next week.  Continue to think about how the Antichrist acquires all of the authority he needs to conquer the world which allows him to stand in the Holy Place in Israel and defy God.

If you do not know where you will go upon death, please consider the following.  Find the peace of God that you have been searching for.

Let’s review some promises that God has in His Word, because God cannot lie and therefore the promises we see in His word are eternally true.

  • John Calvin said this about embracing God’s promises such as John 3:16. “The main hinge on which faith turns is this:

We must not imagine that the Lord’s promises are true objectively but not in our experience.  We must make them ours by embracing them in our experience.”

Another promise of God’s is “I forgive you”.             

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).

 Any number of people make the statement, “I can’t forgive myself.”  However, if one will go to God and repent of sin, accepting His Son as your personal Savior, then He says, “I forgive you.”  Remember, God is God and He can not lie.  Read John 3:16 and accept God’s free gift of eternal life.  Why go on making yourself miserable when you can be happy!

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