The Apocalypse – Chapter 13
We are continuing our study into the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse. It may well be offering to us insight as to what is unfolding in the days that we are living in. Understanding the role and limits of the enemy and the power of the God of heaven brings a blessing. For as in Rev 1:3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near. The Beast from the Sea
Immune from Evil Immunity from evil Is My guarantee, To all who totally Rely on Me. Evil was conquered by Me Turn evil aside With the darts That I provide. Rejoicing in tribulation Is one dart, Practicing My presence is another The staying close to My heart. Self-emptying is yet another, Claiming My power over temptation each day. You will find many of these darts As you tread My way. You will learn to use them swiftly From My great storehouse they are sent Each is to be adapted to the need Of the moment. By the late Andrew Feakin [passed away 16th March 2019]
Keys – The Beast from the Sea
- Know that there is a limitation of the devil’s power and success.
- Know that those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life are covered.
- Christ has a chosen remnant, redeemed by His blood, recorded in His book and sealed by His Spirit.
- Though the devil might overcome our bodily strength, and take away our natural life. He can never conquer our souls, nor prevail with us to forsake our Saviour and revolt to our enemies.
- Here is an assurance given that when God has accomplished His refining work on His people, then He will turn His hand against the enemies of His people.
- Here now is the reward for the patience and faith of the saints—patience under the prospect of such great sufferings, and faith in the prospect of so glorious a deliverance.
We are now commencing Chapter 13 of the book of Revelation. In this chapter is a further description of the enemies of the church. They are represented as two beasts. The first (Rev. 13:1-10) and the second Rev. 13:11-18.
The Beast from the Sea
Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.
He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity
And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
Henry says – Here is an account of the rise, figure, and progress of the first beast. The apostle seemed to be standing upon the sea-shore. Whether in the body or out of the body he could not tell. This beast came from out of the sea. It was a monstrous emblem of iniquity and tyranny. For the most part it was like a leopard, but its feet were like the feet of a bear and its mouth as the mouth of a lion.
It had seven heads, and ten horns, and upon its heads the name of blasphemy. A most horrid and hideous monster! In some part of this description here seems to be an allusion to Daniel’s vision of the four beasts, which represented the four rulers, Dan. 7:1-3. One of these beasts was like a lion, another like a bear, and another like a leopard. This beast was a composition of those three, with the fierceness, strength, and swiftness, of them all.
The dragon gave him his power
The seven heads, ten horns and crowns denote its several powers. The word blasphemy on its forehead proclaims its direct enmity and opposition to the glory of God. It was the dragon who gave him his power, and seat, and great authority. He was set up by the devil, and supported by him to do his work and promote his interest; and the devil lent him all the assistance he could.
A dangerous wound was given him, and yet unexpectedly healed, Rev. 13:3. Some think that by this wounded head we are to understand the abolishing of pagan idolatry. The healing of which introduces the popish idolatry. Some that it is a physical person who receives the wound. But whatever the interpretation it is the same in substance with the former, only newly presented and continues to carry out the devil’s design. We ought to be cautious of laying substantial claim to a viewpoint. Some mysteries will be revealed as time unfolds.
They worshiped the beast
All the world wondered after the beast; his power, and policy, and success were admired. They also worshiped the dragon that gave power to the beast, and they worshiped the beast. They paid honour and subjected themselves to the devil and his instruments, and thought there was no power able to come against them. So great was the darkness, degeneracy, and madness of the world!
He exercised his infernal power and policy. He had a mouth, speaking great things, and blasphemies. Blaspheming the name of God, the tabernacle of God, and all those that dwell in heaven. And he made war with the saints, and overcame them. He gained a sort of universal empire in the world. His malice was principally levelled at the God and His heavenly attendants. He made images and worshiped them – at the tabernacle of God.
All he can do is to blaspheme them
Some say this is by the popish doctrine of transubstantiation. At the human nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, in which God dwells as in a tabernacle – this is what is dishonoured. They give power to every priest to prepare a body for Christ. The verse against those that dwell in heaven is meant by the glorified saints. The popish doctrines put them in the place of the pagan demons by praying to them. The saints are far from being pleased with that that they judge themselves as wronged and dishonoured by it.
Thus the malice of the devil shows itself against heaven and the blessed inhabitants of heaven. These are above the reach of his power. All he can do is to blaspheme them. But the saints on earth are more exposed to his cruelty, and he sometimes is permitted to triumph over them and trample upon them.
He can never conquer their souls
There is a limitation of the devil’s power and success restricted by time and to certain persons. His reign is to continue forty-and-two months (Rev. 13:5). There are shadows of which in other prophetical characters in the reign of antichrist. He is also limited as to the persons and people that he shall entirely subject his will and power. It will be only those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life. Christ had a chosen remnant, redeemed by His blood, recorded in His book, sealed by His Spirit. Though the devil and antichrist might overcome their bodily strength, and take away their natural life. He can never conquer their souls, nor prevail with them to forsake their Saviour and revolt to his enemies.
Here is an assurance given that when God has accomplished His work on mount Zion, His refining work, then He will turn His hand against the enemies of His people. Those who have killed with the sword shall themselves fall by the sword (Rev. 13:10), and those who led the people of God into captivity shall themselves be made captives. Here now is the reward for the patience and faith of the saints—patience under the prospect of such great sufferings, and faith in the prospect of so glorious a deliverance.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
Prayer for the Day
Prayer: Father, I come to You. Thank You for Your assurance that there is a limitation of the devil’s power and success. Thank You that those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life are covered. That Christ has a chosen remnant, redeemed by His blood, recorded in His book and sealed by His Spirit. Though the devil might overcome our bodily strength, and take away our natural life. He can never conquer our souls, nor prevail with us to cause us to forsake our Saviour. Thank You that You are refining us and making us ready to meet with Christ. And that when this work is done You will turn Your hand against our enemies. Thank You for the promise of reward for the patience and faith of the saints. That ultimately there will be a glorious a deliverance. In Jesus name. Amen.
The Beast from the Sea
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