[The essay below is extracted from my ongoing book on the Book of Revelation — a work in progress which will hopefully be completed by March 2022. It currently stands at 360 pages containing 114,000 words, and is around 70% complete. The second essay in this two-part series, “The Beast Rising Out of the Earth”, is here: https://diakrisis-project.com/2021/12/21/the-beast-rising-out-of-the-earth/ ]
Satan’s Secret Work Through Empires, Governance, & Other Global Influences
An Exposition of the Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verses 1-10
INTRODUCTION: The Beast Fulfils the Desires of the Nations
In common with much of the rest of the Book of Revelation, the 13th chapter is both historical and eschatological in scope. By that, I mean that it traces influences which have operated throughout the age (or even from the time of the Fall of humanity way back when) yet which also come to a climax as the Endtime draws near. It is a mistake to force all the prophecies and visions of The Book into a solely future enactment. With some, the future is key. But with many, although their fulfilment and culmination is in the future, at the time of the end, they have an application throughout the entire age. It is so important to understand this principle, or we will miss the point on so many levels. In the case of chapter 13, its purpose is to provide an explanation and context concerning the persecution of Christ’s disciples which was presented in chapter 12. Just as their persecution has been an agelong occurrence, so has been the presence and power of the beast. However, both that persecution and the presence and power of the beast will come to a terrible climax as the time of the end draws near. Let us go more deeply into this.
In that previous chapter 12, one is taken through an amazing array of events and actualities from the whole panoply of history, beginning with the two signs of the woman and the dragon — the first two of three signs, while the third is given at the beginning of chapter 15. I have already explained the meaning of those first two signs. Covered in chapter 12 was the fall of angels (verse 4a), fallen humanity awaiting the promised redeemer (“the seed of the woman”, Book of Genesis, chapter 3, verse 15) throughout the old covenant period (verses 1-2, 5a), the incarnation of Christ (verse 5), the ascension of Christ (verse 5b), the Gospel Age (symbolised here as “1260 days” and “time, times and half a time”, verses 6 & 14), the astonishing presence of the fallen archangel, Satan, in heaven (verse 3), the casting out of Satan from heaven as a result of the ascension of Christ (verses 8-9), which Christ Himself predicted and anticipated when He said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Gospel of Luke, chapter 10, verse 18), the spiritual battle waged by Satan against Christ and His ekklesia (verses 4b, 4c, 7, 13-17), redemption for humans in the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ coupled with their willingness to be martyred (verse 11), the irrational fury of Satan in his hatred for God’s people (verses 12, 15 & 17), and the protection of the church by Christ (verses 6 & 14). That is an amazing array of events and actualities! When the third sign in heaven is revealed in chapter 15, it is an introduction to the final outpouring of God’s wrath on a recalcitrant, impenitent world (Book of Revelation, chapter 15, verse 1).
Now, in chapter 13 (and I would advise you to have that text in front of you, if possible), we read, “And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea”. This is usually put at the end of chapter 12 but it plainly belongs at the start of chapter 13. (Bear in mind that chapters and verses were not in the original manuscripts but were added many centuries later as helps). The dragon standing on the shore of the sea is a fitting introduction to this chapter. It encapsulates the idea of Satan (for that is what the dragon symbolises, as proven in chapter 12, verse 9) surveying the nations — looking over what he regards as his property, his kingdom and stomping ground to see what may be done, what strategy to use next. (The fallen archangel, Satan, has thought that the world belongs to him from the beginning. He even had the audacity to offer it to Christ, Gospel of Matthew, chapter 4, verses 8-9, to whom it really belongs). As we have seen, the sea is a symbol of the restless ebb and flow of the nations, those who are not part of the ekklesia (which dwells in the protected wilderness, as seen in chapter 12). If we take verses 1 & 2, our text here begins like this:
“Then I saw a beast with ten horns and seven heads rising out of the sea. There were ten royal crowns on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. The beast I saw was like a leopard, with the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority”.Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verses 1-2
The first note of significance here is that this beast ‘rose out of the sea’. In other words, it arose because the nations wanted it, indeed would be crying out for it, as the sea is a symbol used in the Bible, and especially in the Book of Revelation, to represent the restless, heaving turmoil of the godless nations (see Book of Daniel, chapter 7, verses 2-3; Book of Habakkuk, chapter 3, verse 8; Book of Revelation, chapter 17, verse 15). So this beast is also the great desire and product of that ‘sea’. It is the natural result of godless nations seeking corrupt leadership in a foolish bid for “peace and security”.
To cut to the chase, this beast in its most general sense is a symbolic representation of the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ — a phrase introduced by the apostle John when he wrote in his first letter, “the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and which is already in the world at this time” (First Letter of John, chapter 4, verse 3). This is seminal to our text about the beast, as we will see below when we go further into it and also explore the true meaning of Satanism as it has developed over the millennia. But here, for now, we can see that John was aware that the Antichrist was coming at some time in the future, and that the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ — the dark power of Satan operating through history and eventually leading to the Antichrist — was already operational in his day near the end of the first century. Such is the reality of this beast.
Note: In the next section of our chapter, we will examine the beast out of the earth — the religious, philosophical and scientific enabling aspect of beast-government and satanic authority across the world which comes in verse 11 of chapter 13 in The Book of Revelation. In reality, the two beasts are one though presented as two in a prophetic-literary device. For in the beast out of the sea, we are presented with the political/governmental aspect of the beast as a whole; while in the beast out of the earth, we are given the religious/philosophical/scientific (and technological) aspect of the beast. For the one-world government developed by the beast and culminating in the Antichrist will not only have a political/governmental basis but also a religious/philosophical one as the religions of the world come together with philosophy and science (transhumanist technology) to facilitate the adulation of the Antichrist. May I also remind you that this “beast” is the one connected with ‘the mark of the beast’, whose number is 666, which I will be going into in much detail in §8 of the present chapter.
The ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ operates on many levels within the individual, but it always seeks to control and tyrannize. Therefore, this will find its ultimate expression in governance, as we have seen in empire after empire, dictatorships, hegemonies and various national governments. Although ‘beast-rule’ has been a feature of empire and governance throughout history, it will only show the absolute fulness of its evil, the climax of its monstrousness, at the end of the age and this is ultimately what is being shown in our text.
The ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ has bubbled away in this world from the beginning of the human creation and it has been especially bubblesome since the ascension of Christ two thousand years ago, as that sparked immense fury throughout the whole demonic realm (Book of Revelation, chapter 12, verses 12-17). However, it culminates here as the beast in our text in the actual person of the Antichrist. Thus, as the end of this age approaches, that ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ will manifest in the revealing of what the apostle Paul calls “the man of lawlessness” and “son of destruction” (Second Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 2, verse 3), an identical description given to Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of the Christ (Gospel of John, chapter 17, verse 12). Unlike other dictators who have set themselves up in this world against the wishes of the people, this beast will have the full support of the mass of people, as indicated by the fact that it naturally arises “out of the sea”. Thus, the Antichrist will not come to power as a complete enforcement or imposition on the people but as a direct result of the wishes of the people — a chilling thought.
The Book of Daniel, Chapter 7, as a Backcloth to our Text
In order to grasp the nature of this beast, we really need to refer back to the 7th chapter of the Book of Daniel, where we read about “four great beasts” which “came up out of the sea”. Plainly, John’s vision in the Book of Revelation is using Daniel’s vision as a backcloth and as a demonstration of the sacred prophetic nature of his own vision. In that chapter of Daniel, we read that “the first beast was like a lion”, the second “looked like a bear”, the third was “like a leopard”, then a fourth beast appeared which was more awful than the three and which had ten horns. Horns are symbolic of strength and power, while the number ten in the Bible represents government in its human aspect, especially when it comes to its fulfilment. So we can see that John is using very similar language to Daniel but in slightly changed contexts, though both are representations of human governmental power. In Daniel’s vision, those four beasts represented four empires — Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman. John conflates those empires into one, thus showing that the beast in the Book of Revelation is a kind of conglomerate culmination of all the empires that have gone before.
The Kingdom of the Beast is Satanic, Permitted by God
Thus, we know that this beast out of the sea in the Book of Revelation represents a kingdom or empire. But because we are told who lies behind the rise to power of this beast out of the sea, we know two other things about it: 1) That this kingdom cannot ultimately succeed, and 2) That the beast does not merely represent a kingdom itself but is the leader of it too. For our text says that “the dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority” (Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verse 2c). In other words, this kingdom and its leader, stylised as ‘the beast’ are wholly empowered by Satan who, in the Book of Revelation, is symbolised by the figure of a dragon.
In view of the above, this beast out of the sea can surely represent none other than the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’, which has operated stealthily throughout the entire age, yet finally risen to its fulness in global power as the Antichrist. As we saw above, when we looked at the ‘four horsemen’ in chapter 4, §3, in my book, what eventually manifests as the Antichrist near the end of the age is part of a process which has been operational to a greater or lesser degree throughout the entire age in a wide variety of guises. The ten horns of the beast with a royal crown on each horn, and seven heads with blasphemous names all represent the joint culmination and merging of human power and counterfeit divinity (10 is a symbol of human governmental power and 7 symbolises Divine government). Thus, the very existence of this beast is a blasphemy in the cosmos.
In verse 5 of our text, it is said that “the beast was given a mouth to speak arrogant and blasphemous words”. In other words, it would have no power if it had not been ‘given’ to it, allowed to happen, permitted by God. Even if you want to claim that it is Satan who gives the Antichrist that “mouth” (which is true on one dark spiritual level), in the final analysis the only giver and permitter of anything — even satanic things — is God Himself. One is reminded of the words of the Christ to Pontius Pilate: “You would have no authority over Me if it were not given to you from above” (Gospel of John, chapter 19, verse 11). As we will see further below, the Antichrist will only have been revealed at all because the restraints (which are most likely angelic in nature) which we see here having been removed, were taken away by God (Second Letter to the Thessalonians, Chapter 2, verses 6-8). Thus, God is allowing the Antichrist and his kingdom to rise to power so that the human evil which is intrinsic in the untransformed human heart will come to its head and thus be justly judged by God in order to fulfil the Divine purpose.
The Mortal Wound of the Beast Being Healed
Next in our text, we read:
“One of the heads of the beast appeared to be mortally wounded. But the mortal wound was healed, and the whole world marvelled and followed the beast. They worshiped the dragon who had given authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who can wage war against it?’”Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verses 3-4
Now here is something to chew on: “One of the heads of the beast appeared to be mortally wounded. But the mortal wound was healed”. What could that be? I believe that it is parallel to something said to John by an angel in chapter 17: “The beast that you saw—it was, and now is no more, but is about to come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction” (Book of Revelation, chapter 17, verse 8). When that angel spoke to John towards the end of the first century as he wrote The Book, the beast was indeed “now no more” (which is the equivalent of being mortally wounded). But it had existed at one time, as we will see below, and as it says above, “the beast you saw, it was…”. However, there would be a time when the beast would “come up out of the Abyss”. The Abyss is a term used when fallen angels (demons and the arch-demon, Satan) are put under restraint, for example, in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 8, verse 31, when a legion of demons begged not to be put into the Abyss by Christ. We saw in chapter 11 that the two witnesses, when they finished their testimony, had war waged against them and were killed by “the beast that comes up from the Abyss”. For the ability of Satan to bring his kingdom into reality and make the Antichrist manifest has been under restraint throughout the Gospel age until near the time of the end when his one-world empire under the Antichrist will finally be permitted to come to pass. [The restraint of Satan in certain key aspects throughout the Gospel age is a most important teaching and will be dealt with in full in chapter 10 below, when dealing with the seventh vignette of The Book].
There is a sense in which that restraint had been in place since an event very much earlier in history. This is where we can come to understand the words in our text: “One of the heads of the beast appeared to be mortally wounded” (and thus in John’s day was also described as being “no more”). I am convinced that the event involving the mortal wound is when a confederation was created, and a tower built on the plain of Shinar, known as Babel. “Let us build for ourselves a city with a tower that reaches to the heavens, that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of all the earth” (Book of Genesis, chapter 11, verse 4). In all the empires which have existed since then, none was a coming together of many peoples to form a conglomerate confederacy. All empires have been based on the conquest of other nations by one single nation. But not Babel, for that was an amalgamated confederacy, just like the one-world government which will be set up under the ultimate “beast”, the Antichrist. God broke up that hubristic project at Babel as it was too premature for such a confederation. Thus, one head of the beast in an ‘early version’ of it was “mortally wounded” by God and the people subsequently scattered over the earth to create the nations, out of which Satan would eventually create his new Babel. So when the Antichrist and his kingdom will be manifested on earth, it will be like ‘Babel Revisited’, or ‘Babel v.2’, only far more terrible and globally devastating, especially for the ekklesia. The ‘mortal wound’ will look as though it has been healed, just as it says in our text: “But the mortal wound was healed”, and I am convinced that the event involving the mortal wound is when that confederation was broken up by God and scattered across the earth. However, what Satan could not achieve at Babel he will be permitted to achieve through the ‘man of lawlessness’. His reign will be an astonishment to all, who will worship him and even worship Satan (though it is important to understand that satanism is not really about wearing a hooded cape and attending black masses, as I will show in a later section)!
In verse 12 of chapter 13, it also speaks of the mortal wound of the beast having been healed. In verse 14, it goes even further by saying that it had “been wounded by the sword and yet had lived”. This must surely also refer to the judgement by God on the confederacy of peoples at Babel, which was mortally wounded by the judgement of God and yet will come back to life, culminating in the attempted kingdom of the Antichrist. God’s judgement is often referred to in Scripture as being the wielding of a sword (for example, see Book of Genesis, chapter 3, verse 24; First Book of Chronicles, chapter 21, verse 12; Psalm 7, verse 12; Book of Isaiah, chapter 31, verse 8; chapter 66, verse 16; Book of Revelation, chapter 1, verse 16; chapter 19, verse 15).
What Could be Wrong with a One-World Government?
If you want to say to me “What could be wrong with making the world a better place with a one-world government? Wouldn’t it stop war and international strife?”, I would reply like this: In the first instance, if you researched it properly, you would discover that establishing a one-world government with the cast of characters who are currently busily engaged in doing so has nothing to do with utopian oneness but is about increased hegemony and control by the power-elite which really controls even your national governments. For these are the same people touting AI and the Orwellian ‘Internet of Things’ and what they dub as “The Great Reset” (which is no ‘reset’ at all but simply a rehashing of the old ‘New World Order’ idea with a deceptively benevolent face, to their advantage).
Not only that but any form of government which does not recognise the Christ as King of this world is essentially acting unwittingly or otherwise as an agent of Satan, for the prince of darkness is still acting as if he was ruler of this world and takes control of any global endeavour which does not honour the Christ. This is the fallout from the spiritual battle. Finally, Christ Himself said, “My kingdom is not of this world”, for this world in its present format is a fallen world which will be destroyed to make way for the new creation in the new aeon. This present world is a kind of temporary ‘pretend-world’, a theatre which is only in place to show what a mess humans make of things when they are given free rein in all their egocentric hubris and do not acknowledge Christ as King of the world. Anyone who is building up this world as if it were the be-all-and-end-all of the creation is falling straight into the hands of the demonic realm which currently thinks it controls it. It is laudable to attempt to ameliorate some aspect of this world which is causing human hardship and suffering. No contest there. But to imagine that this three-dimensional world is all that can be, and that there is no such thing as demonic evil controlling human behaviour is the height of moral ignorance and spiritual naivety.
Demonic Madness Spreading Like Wildfire
“The whole world marvelled and followed the beast”. I want you to try to imagine the prophecy described here — the whole world marvelling and following the beast. Bear in mind that this is a monster! Yet almost the whole world marvels about it and follows it. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Well surely that can’t be possible. How could the whole world worship a monstrous authority figure? Too many believe in democracy.” It will be easy to overturn that lie. No problem. If you think that such global madness would be impossible, think about how the vast masses across a supposedly “civilised” country like Germany could end up in the late 1930s/early 1940s holding up an outstretched stiff arm to not only a hollow moustachioed man yelling at them from a podium but even a mere photograph of that deviant on a wall in a room, while chanting “Sieg Heil!” or “Heil Hitler”! Demonic madness spreads as easily through a spiritually untransformed population as a wildfire across a parched and windswept hillside. Think about how Islam places a mere man, Muhammad, on a pedestal, putting out a contract on anyone who disses him! Think about how millions upon millions can be influenced by religion to gather in one place in the world they imagine to be sacred and bow down before a god that they have invented as an extension of themselves. We will see all this madness again one day, and not just across a few countries but across the whole world. The ultimate in false worship, the worship of a mere man, the Antichrist, which is nothing less than a contagion of idolatry.
But there is not only that merely humanistic adulation of the Antichrist; for far more chilling is the fact that, as it says in our text, “they worshipped the dragon who had given authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast”. They worship the dragon, Satan! Do you realise the implications of this? The whole world being given over to the worship not only of the Antichrist but also of Satan as the power behind his throne. This is the pinnacle of Satanism. You probably think it’s not possible. You think to yourself, “I could never worship Satan”. That’s because you have been given a completely skewed idea of what Satanism is. Let’s open this up a little…
The True Meaning of Satanism
The vast majority of people have a very poor understanding of the true meaning of Satanism, which has little to do with black magic, churches of Satan or ritual evil. The real Satanism is not what one sees in a horror movie. That is just a distraction from the actual mass strategy of the forces of darkness, through which those fiendish fallen angels present themselves to the world as “angels of light” in order to deceive as many souls as possible and carry them off with them into eternal darkness. You may be shocked if I say that most religious practices and those of supposed spirituality today are pure Satanism, without ever mentioning Satan and always presenting themselves as beneficial and wonderful; for through such deception is how Satan actually works. A true definition of Satanism — what lies behind all manifestations of it — is identical to the definition of what the apostle, John, called “the spirit of the Antichrist”:
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses Jesus as the Christ who has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God, and this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world”.First Letter of John, chapter 4, verses 1-3
The ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ involves the complete denial that Christ has come in the flesh as the Messiah, which means that He is the chosen One to transform this world by overcoming Satan. This has nothing to do with any religion, for Christ did not come into this world to create a religion. It is simply pure truth. To disbelieve and openly deny that Christ is God come in the flesh is the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’. The ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ is satanic, for the Antichrist is Satan’s man on earth in the same way as Christ, the Son of God, was sent by God the Father (Gospel of John, chapter 7, verse 16; chapter 12, verse 49). The ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ forms the essence of Satanism.
The true Satanism is not about dressing up in weird outfits and chanting Satan’s name in the ritual sacrifice of a virgin. If Satanism were merely that, then only a few warped crackpots would go for it (which they do anyway!). But from the beginning, Satan has been into dishonest recruitment in a big way, so he uses methods most people could never imagine. He gets people on his side through things which appear to be the very opposite of what most people believe that Satanism is. And behind all manifestations of Satanism, the foundation of his recruitment is to ensure that people never have a heart realisation that Christ came in the flesh as the divinely-appointed way to life and restoration (for individuals and for the entire cosmos). Just as John said above that ‘the spirit of the Antichrist’ involves deliberately not confessing that Jesus is the Christ who has come in the flesh, so it is also ‘the spirit of Satan’. For the Antichrist will be wholly empowered by Satan (Book of Revelation, chapter 2, verse 2c). The Antichrist will be Satan’s man on earth — the usurper of Christ, claiming that he is God and most likely passing himself off to the gullible inhabitants of earth as the returned ‘Christ’ (or the returned Mahdi for Muslims, or the Messiah-to-come for the Jews, or the Bodhisattva Maitreya for the Buddhists, or Lord Maitreya for the new age folks, or The Pahana of the Hopi Indians). As the apostle Paul puts it: “He will oppose and exalt himself above every so-called god or object of worship. So he will seat himself in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God” (Second Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 2, verse 4). Thus, the Antichrist will simply be reaping the fruits of what Satan has sown throughout history through many “mini-antichrists” in his rampage to prevent people from confessing that the Christ has come in the flesh as Jesus. The Antichrist is the natural culmination of Satan’s work on earth. Every single one of his endeavours is geared towards that end. The revering of the Antichrist is the natural culmination of human narcissism and alienation from the Divine. Therefore “the spirit of the Antichrist” is actually the culmination of Satan’s teaching, which is what Satanism really is. Thus, we are demonstrating that ‘the spirit of the Antichrist’ is indistinguishable from Satanism, if properly understood.
Let me emphasise again: Genuine full-fledged Satanism — which is truly deceptive and the ultimate in artifice and subterfuge — is not really to be found in Dennis Wheatley novels, Bohemian Grove events, Anton LaVey’s antics in San Francisco or Michael Aquino’s Temple of Set. Those are red herrings — mere theatrical caricatures as a diversionary tactic (though still lesser forms of Satanism nevertheless). Even many church people naively think that Satanism is merely what happens when you play with Ouija boards or chant “All hail, Satan!” at a black mass ritual. However, the real Satanism — the one which is overlooked by the mass of people, whether within the church or outside it — is the narcissistic celebration of the self and the denial of the incarnation of the Christ. Here we come to heart of understanding the true meaning of Satan and the darkness he brings into this cosmos.
The narcissistic celebration of the self and the denial of the incarnation of the Christ is “the spirit of the Antichrist” and the essence of Satanism. This is the complete opposite of the spirit which is in the disciples of Christ, which involves the denial of self and the confession of Christ as the saviour of the cosmos and harbinger of the new aeon. As He said to His disciples: “If anyone wants to come after Me [i.e. be My disciple], he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 16, verse 24). When Christ asked Peter who he thought that He is, he replied: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 16, verse 16). That is the heart-confession on the lips of all of Christ’s disciples — the very opposite of ‘the spirit of the Antichrist’ which seeks to deny Christ and narcissistically celebrate the self.
The revealing of the Antichrist will come after countless years of grooming by the forces of darkness, in which people have gone further and further into narcissism and pride, celebrating themselves and their sexual perversions as if they were little gods, opposing Divine law, hating the very idea of a God whose very presence is a judgement on them, or even imagining they are themselves Divine as eastern and new age ‘spirituality’ encourages, as they dig their own graves and imagine that they are wholly autonomous beings who need to answer to no one. Yet, when the Antichrist is revealed, those same people will willingly answer to him, and even worship him by their reverence for him, imagining him to be the answer to all the world’s problems — for that is how he will have been presented to them and how they will have been groomed to see him. For, after years of plagues, false flag operations, terrorism (even government-sponsored bio-terrorism), and much increased natural disasters (the natural outcome in an apostate world), they will be desperate for a leader, someone to rescue them from the horrors of living in a fallen world, someone to be their saviour on earth, some ‘great leader’ to provide them with ‘peace and security’. But that imagined “peace and security” will be their downfall. As Paul put it: “While people are saying, “Peace and security,” destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape” (First Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 5, verse 3).
For the Antichrist will not come appearing like some hyper-spooky Damien (as in the movie, “The Omen”) or a power-crazy, Orwellian Big Brother type (well, not at first anyway) but with a mouth full of seeming ‘wisdom’, performing what appear to be miracles (like that demonic, phoney ‘guru’, the late Sai Baba) and appearing to be the ultimate wise world leader. The Antichrist will be Satanism in its clothing of false light personified, who will demand veneration of himself (and thereby of Satan). In spite of the fact that he is really a monster, he will not be presented as a character with horns, pitchfork and a pointy tail, but as “a being of light” with all the Luciferian connotations that go with that. Being taken in by the Antichrist will be the culmination of decades of all the grooming of the world’s population by ‘angel of light’ Satanism. For he will come falsely proclaiming his phony “peace and security” using demonic “power, signs and lying wonders” (Second Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 2, verse 9; Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verse 14). And the world will be impressed by it, will love it, and will be inspired to revere the one doing it.
The Slandering of God’s Name and Waging War Against the Saints
Then we read in our text:
“The beast was given a mouth to speak arrogant and blasphemous words, and authority to act for 42 months. And the beast opened its mouth to speak blasphemies against God and to slander His name and His tabernacle—those who dwell in heaven. Then the beast was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them, and it was given authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation. And all who dwell on the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written from the foundation of the world in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb who was slain”.Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verses 5-8
So first we see in those words that the beast was permitted to speak its blasphemy against God — carry out its work — for 42 months. This is yet another variation on the 1,260 days, 3½ years or “time, times, and half a time” we have come across in other places in the Book of Revelation. All those periods of time are symbolic representations of the period between the ascension of the Christ and the time of the end. We saw that clearly in chapter 11, with the “two witnesses”, who represent the testimony of the ekklesia throughout this age. In other words, it also shows that the beast is not merely operational at the time of the end but that it is, to a greater or lesser degree, operational throughout the entire Gospel age. For that period of time is commensurate with the time during which the ‘holy city is trampled’ and with the testimony of those two witnesses, the ekklesia (Book of Revelation, chapter 11, verses 2-3), and also with the length of time that the ekklesia is said to be in the wilderness (Book of Revelation, chapter 12, verses 6 & 14). In other words, that is representative of the entire Gospel age — the indeterminate length of time between the ascension of Christ and the end of the age, while the ekklesia is still operative. (It is indeterminate because only God the Father knows when the end will come: “About that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, verse 36). For there will come a time when the testimony of the ekklesia about Christ will come to an end (Book of Revelation, chapter 11, verse 7). Then all hell will break loose, as we will see in the seven bowls of God’s wrath outlined in chapter 16.
A major way that the beast operates throughout the entire Gospel age is through the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’. John said that it was “already in the world” in his time (First Letter of John, chapter 4, verse 3). The apostle Paul said that the “mystery of lawlessness” (which is the equivalent of the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’) “was already at work” in his day (Second Letter to the Thessalonians, chapter 2, verse 7). The Greek word for “at work” there literally means ‘energised’. So the Antichrist was never going to be something which comes entirely out of the blue at the end of the age but would be a mysterious force which would energise all human governance and even religion (as we will see in §7 below when we look at the beast out of the earth), throughout the entire age, culminating at the end of the age in a final attempted setting-up of his counterfeit kingdom.
Thus, in verse 5 of our text, we see that the blasphemies inherent in the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ will not merely be confined to a quick blast at the end of the age (though there will certainly be a ‘quick blast’ with the revealing of the Antichrist). Those blasphemies will surface when the satanic volition is there throughout the entire age. We can see that this has indeed been the pattern as false teachings, atheistic philosophies, rationalistic doctrines, religious contentions, scientific theories, pseudo-spiritual notions, new age teachings, and many other ways of blaspheming the name of God through sowing vigorous seeds of doubt have been lauded throughout the age. Not only blaspheming the name of God but also, as we see in our text, slandering “His tabernacle—those who dwell in heaven”. In other words, denying everything taught by Christ and His apostles about the afterlife, the resurrection of the saints, the new heavens and new earth, glory. In this way, each generation is groomed into the satanic mindset until eventually the apostasy will be complete and the Antichrist will be revealed on the back of all the blasphemy and slander which has gone beforehand, as its summation and culmination. This will be the very best that humanity and Satan can do; and it will have devastating eternal consequences.
Then we read in our text that “the beast was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them” (proof also that the ‘two witnesses’ in chapter 11 are symbolic of all the saints, disciples of Christ). Again, this has been a recurring feature throughout the Gospel age, to a greater or lesser degree. Remember how the rider on the white horse — one of the ‘four horsemen of the apocalypse’ — in chapter 6 of The Book “rode out to overcome and conquer”. We showed how that rider and horse is symbolic of the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ throughout this age, though culminating in its fullness at the end of the age as the actual Antichrist. The act of ‘conquest’ over genuine disciples of the Christ has only been sporadic in its intensity throughout the age, but it will become globally endemic and absolute when the Antichrist — as the culmination of the beast-world-system — is revealed. Remember how, in chapter 11, when the two witnesses (symbolic of the ekklesia) finish their testimony, it is said that “the beast that comes up from the Abyss will wage war with them and will overpower and kill them” (Book of Revelation, chapter 11, verse 7). This is entirely commensurate with our text in chapter 13, that “the beast was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them”. This will be the great tribulation at the culmination of this age, which will only last a comparatively short time, because for the sake of those whom God has called out of the world to be Christ’s disciples, “those days will be cut short” (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, verse 22). Although the manifestations of the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’ and the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ have been able to incite hatred and persecution of the people of God throughout this age, there has never been the permission to wage war to such an extent that it actually conquers them. That total conquest will be permitted at the end of the age in the great tribulation fomented by the Antichrist. That will certainly ‘weed out’ the false disciples from the true, just as the Christ said about false disciples (tares or weeds) being revealed at “the end of the age” in His chilling parable of the wheat and the tares/weeds (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 13, verses 24-30, 36-43).
As an aside which will be developed in full in chapter 10 of my book below, note that the beast is said to come up from the Abyss to wage war against the saints at the time of the end. This is because Satan (and also the ‘spirit of the Antichrist’) has been under restraint from exercising the fullness of his powers in this world throughout this age in terms of finally building his kingdom on earth, which restraint is also the meaning of Satan being “bound” in the Abyss (the place of angelic restraint) that we read about in chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation. Incidentally, that restraining of Satan has nothing whatsoever to do with a so-called “millennial reign” of Christ on earth, which is a huge misreading of that chapter 20. (There will be much more on this in my chapter 10 below).
As our text shows, at the same time as the beast will be released from his restraints and permitted to “wage war against the saints and to conquer them”, he will also be “permitted” to have “authority over every tribe and people and language and nation”. So you see it really will be an absolute one-world, global government which the Antichrist will exercise (by Divine permission, of course). As a result of that, as we read in our text, “all who dwell on the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written from the foundation of the world in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb who was slain” (Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verse 8). Yes, there are books — records kept in heaven concerning humans, their activities and spiritual accomplishments. The “Book of Life”, which is mentioned on five other occasions in the Book of Revelation (see chapter 3, verse 5; chapter 17, verse 8; chapter 20, verses 12 & 15; chapter 21, verse 27), is specifically referred to as “the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb”. In this Book, the children of God are all recorded from the beginning of time in some way beyond our imagination (for this is not a physical book made of paper pages) showing that they belong to the Lamb who is the Christ, who came into incarnation and sacrificed Himself for them. Their names were written in this book from the time of the creation! Does that blow your mind? Tears should spring into your eyes as you read these words, for they are precious!
There are “other books” apart from the Book of Life. We read about this in chapter 20, verse 12:
“I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the one of life. And the dead were judged out of the things having been written in the books, according to their deeds”.
The same are referenced in Daniel: “A river of fire was flowing, coming out from His presence. Thousands upon thousands attended Him, and myriads upon myriads stood before Him. The court was convened, and the books were opened” (Book of Daniel, chapter 7, verse 10). These “books” will be opened right at the very end, at the judgement on the world. I have written about this extensively elsewhere; but suffice it to say that those whose names are not written in the Book of Life will not pass into the new creation in the new heaven and new earth but will undergo “the second death” (which I wrote about in §2 of chapter 1 above), eternal separation from the Divine. The only way to be in that Book of Life is to be a devotee of God the Creator, a disciple of the Christ. For that you only have to ask from your heart, and then commit yourself to the metanoia, the radical and total spiritual transformation which will then become an intrinsic part of the rest of your life.
Incidentally, there are those new age folks who claim to be able to see into these books, which they call “the Akashic Records”, and they will charge you money allegedly to peer into them for you. Let me assure you that this is nothing less than a scam. No human can look into these books. They are the preserve of the Divine alone and to imagine that one is opening them is the height of presumption and an attempt to trespass on forbidden territory for which there will be a terrible penalty. To seek to peer into such things is as dark and reckless as the Nazis in that scene in the film, “Raiders of the Lost Ark” when they tried to acquire and open the Ark of the Covenant! Those who do not respect “the secret things of God” are treading a road to ruin.
Spiritual Endurance Rather than Physical Resistance
Finally, in our text in this section, we read these words: “He who has an ear, let him hear: ‘If anyone is destined for captivity, into captivity he will go; if anyone is to die by the sword, by the sword he must be killed’. Here is a call for the perseverance and faith of the saints” (Book of Revelation, chapter 13, verses 9-10). When it says, in the Bible, “He who has an ear, let him hear”, it is really saying in a very authoritative voice, “Listen up, people!” So what are we to listen up to here?
In case there may be those who think or say, “We must resist the Antichrist through demonstrations or even by taking up arms!” — just as there are those today who post all over social media about how we must “rise up” and demonstrate vigorously against the New World Order or The Great Reset — this little interlude tells us that spiritual endurance rather than physical resistance is the correct mindset for the disciple of the Christ. We cannot overthrow the satanic World-system to create a better world. That is an empty daydream. For this world can only be fixed by Christ. We can, each in our own ways, counteract it through exposing its works of darkness, refusing to go along with unjust or nonsensical laws, and proclaiming the truth about Christ (thus potentially saving souls). It is also important to put all human evil in its correct context of the Fall and the spiritual battle down the ages. But to think that somehow all we have to do is gather outside some parliament or congress with a placard and everything will be put right is the height of naivety. There are even many who want to engage private militia to overthrow the system with AK-47s and other small arms. The world-system (which is essentially the beast world-system) is already so corrupt, so entrenched in darkness and subterfuge — not to mention its superior physical forces and armaments — that to imagine one can overthrow it is extremely naïve. Every revolution which has ever happened has resulted in evil which is at least as bad (if not worse) as the regime that was being overthrown. By the time that the Antichrist will come on the scene, the beast world-system will be so utterly corrupted and so much of an abomination that the only solution by that point is supernatural destruction rather than human amelioration. This is not at all to advocate passivity or complicity. Far from it! The disciple of Christ will not be cooperating with the world-system of the beast but will be busy educating the world and pointing in the direction of truth, peace, love and justice in the framework of Christ’s Gospel. In any case, the fury of the Antichrist against the ekklesia will be so all-consuming that any physical resistance will be futile — though spiritual endurance will be de rigueur.
So, this text means that, first, if to be taken captive is your destiny, then sobeit. You cannot fight it. Accept it. Second, it means that if you are destined to be executed (or even assassinated) then that is your destiny, and you must accept it. For you cannot fight it or escape it.
Incidentally, there is an alternative textual variant which says, “If anyone kills with the sword, then by the sword he must be killed”. It is difficult to say which variant holds the most weight. Both can be applicable. One is saying, “accept your destiny rather than fight it”, whereas the other is saying, “If you try to put up a physical fight you yourself will suffer the injury that you seek to inflict on others”. This latter reading is similar to some words of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane to one of His companions after he hacked off a servant of the high priest’s ear, “All who draw the sword will die by the sword” (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 26, verse 52). However, all things considered, I do think that the “accept your destiny” reading is probably the right one as it fits with the first part of the verse about accepting captivity. But I believe one should still not take up arms against the system as that would be a moral and spiritual error, not to mention utterly futile in view of their superior firepower.
However, one can still be a powerful witness in such situations. Even in captivity, one can be a superb witness to truth, either to a guard, or to one’s fellow prisoners, or to a judge, or an audience, or even some televised proceedings. Christ actually refers to this situation, saying that when one is brought before authorities because of one’s faith,
“This will be your opportunity to serve as witnesses. So make up your mind not to worry beforehand how to defend yourselves. For I will give you speech and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict”.Gospel of Luke, chapter 21, verses 12-15
One could not hope for a better promise than that. And so our text finishes by saying, “Here is a call for the perseverance and faith of the saints”. Once again, this is about being “overcomers”, as we have discussed many times above in this book. As Christ said, “The one who perseveres to the end will be saved” (Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, verse 13). Right to the end. All the way. Nothing can stop it. One’s perseverance and faith are together an unstoppable force. Together, they are the sign of the genuineness of your discipleship. Even as you are about to be executed or assassinated, and you are told that it can be withheld if you will only renounce Christ, you will simply smile and say, “No, thank you. I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day” (Second Letter to Timothy, chapter 1, verse 12).
In the next section, we will open up the text about the beast rising out of the earth and see how it dovetails with the beast coming out of the sea.
© 2022, Alan Morrison / The Diakrisis Project. All Rights Reserved. [The copyright on my works is merely to protect them from any wanton plagiarism which could result in undesirable changes (as has actually happened!). Readers are free to reproduce my work, so long as it is in the same format and with the exact same content and its origin is acknowledged]