NT Prophecy – Revelation 12-13

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power
    and the kingdom of our God,
    and the authority of his Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
    who accuses them before our God day and night,
    has been hurled down.
They triumphed over him
    by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death.
Therefore rejoice, you heavens
    and you who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
    because the devil has gone down to you!
He is filled with fury,
    because he knows that his time is short.”
When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.

  • Revelation 12:1-17

The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?”
The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
Whoever has ears, let them hear.
“If anyone is to go into captivity,
    into captivity they will go.
If anyone is to be killed with the sword,
    with the sword they will be killed.”
This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.
Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.
This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666.

  • Revelation 13:1-18

Noted Biblical Scholars, Teachers, and Preachers Comments

Revelation 12-14 ‘The Woman, the Beast, and the Dragon’: ”Chapters 12 through 14 introduce several larger-than-life characters who act out the terrifying drama on earth. First, a woman (easily recognizable as Israel) brings forth a man-child, whom history has already informed us is the Son of God. The fallen angels of the devil and the great dragon called Satan are arrayed against Him for battle. As John watches, a beast rises up out of the sea, and John recognizes that the beast is a form of human government linked to Rome, the fourth great world kingdom spoken of by Daniel. In some form, the Roman Empire is to exist until the end of time.
“If you look at our Western world, you can see how true that is. Every nation of the Western hemisphere was settled by a member nation of the Roman Empire. We are Roman to the core; the whole Western world is Roman in its thought, philosophy, and attitude. Associated with this beast out of the sea is another beast, or religious leader, who rises out of the earth, whom many Bible scholars link with the Antichrist.”

  • Ray C. Stedman, Adventuring Through the Bible

Revelation 12:1-2 ‘the sign’: “To some degree, this chapter is like a parenthesis in the drama taking place in Revelation. Here we have a prophetic lineup of the key individuals in the great end-times drama. There are seven major figures mentioned: 1) the woman who represents Israel; 2) the dragon who is Satan; 3) the man-child, or Christ; 4) Michael the archangel, who represents the elect angels; 5) Israel, the remnant of the seed of the woman; 6) the beast out of the sea, the Antichrist; and finally, 7) the false prophet and religious leader, or the beast out of the earth.
“The great ‘sign’ (Greek,
sémeian) in heaven means that the vision John is about to record is extremely important. Six other signs are described in Revelation (12:3; 13:13-14; 15:1; 16:14; 19:20). The description of the woman contains parallels to Joseph’s dream about his brothers (Genesis 37:9), so the nation of Israel is clearly in view. The 12 stars, then, would be the 12 tribes of Israel (Revelation 12:1), and the child is the Lord Jesus Christ, who came from the nation of Israel (verse 2). The woman cannot represent the church, as some suggest. The church is the bride of Christ, whereas this woman is the mother of Christ! There was much labor and political intrigue when Christ was born, which is vividly confirmed in the drama recorded by Matthew (Matthew 1:18-2:18). King Herod had ordered the mass murder of male children in Bethlehem in the hopes of eliminating the One who was to become Israel’s ruler (2:16).”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Revelation 12:1 ‘sign’: “A symbol pointing to something else. This is the first of seven signs in the last half of Revelation. Cf. verse 3; 13:13, 14; 15:1; 16:14; 19:20. a woman. Not an actual woman, but a symbolic representation of Israel, pictured in the OT as the wife of God (Is. 54:5, 6; Jer. 3:6-8; 31:32; Ezek. 16:32; Hos. 2:16). Three other symbolic women appear in Revelation: (1) Jezebel, who represents paganism (2:20); (2) the scarlet woman (17:3-6), symbolizing the apostate church; and (3) the wife of the Lamb (19:7), symbolizing the true church. That this woman does not represent the church is clear from the context. clothed with the sun … moon under her feet … twelve stars. Cf. Genesis 37:9-11. Being clothed with the sun speaks of the glory, dignity, and exalted status of Israel, the people of promise who will be saved and given a kingdom. The picture of the moon under her feet possibly describes God’s covenant relationship with Israel, since new moons were associated with worship (1 Chr. 23:31; 2 Chr. 2:4; 8:13; Ezra 3:5; Ps. 81:3). The twelve stars represent the Twelve Tribes of Israel.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Revelation 12:3-4 ‘great red dragon’: “Satan, the great red dragon (Revelation 12:3), comes on the scene upholding the powers of the final world empire, the revived Roman Empire. The description given of this empire is similar to what is recorded in Daniel 7:7-8,24 and Revelation 13:1, both of which describe Satan’s control over world empires. Satan is seen as supporting seven heads (rulers) and ten horns (nations) with authority to dictate and rule, as portrayed by the seven crowns, or ‘seven diadems.’ The red dragon’s tail sweeps ‘a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth’ (12:4). Most commentators say this verse describes part of what occurs during the Tribulation, but it may be preferable to say that this looks back at what happened when Satan fell long ago, which Jesus described when He said, ‘I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning’ (Luke 10:18). Ezekiel, too, spoke of this fall: ‘I have cast you [the anointed cherub] as profane from the mountain of God’ (Ezekiel 28:16). Whatever the case, at the birth of Christ, Satan ‘stood before the woman’ (Israel) ready to devour the child (Revelation 12:4).”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Revelation 12:5 ‘male Child’: “The male child (Christ) born from the woman (Israel) will ‘rule all the nations with a rod of iron’ (verse 5). Before this happens, He is taken ‘up to God and to His throne.’ He is presently seated at the right hand of the Father until He subdues all His enemies and reigns from Jerusalem, the holy mountain of Zion (Psalm 110:1-3).”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Revelation 12:6 ‘Jewish remnant’: “The drama now returns to the future, to the last half of the Tribulation, during which the nation of Israel will be pursued by Satan. The surviving Jewish remnant of that time will go into ‘the wilderness where she [has] a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days’ (Revelation 12:6). This ‘remnant of Israel’ will hide out in the ancient city of Bozrah, located in the region of Mount Seir in the wilderness portion of Edom (Micah 2:12; see also Revelation 12:6). There is strong indication that Isaiah 33 is about both Israel’s purging and protection during this time. The sinners in Zion will be terrified (verse 14), and the Jews hiding in the mountains will have refuge in the ‘impregnable rock’ and will miraculously receive bread and water (verse 16). Many commentators suggest these Jews will flee to the ancient mountain fortress of Petra which is in the wilderness of Jordan.”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Revelation 12:7-12 ‘Michael and his angels’: “In heaven, Michael and his angels will wage combat against Satan and his angels (Revelation 12:7). Though Satan and his forces were earlier cast from heaven, Satan can still communicate with God (cf. Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7). The final expulsion will take place in the future, and Satan will then intensify his deceptive attacks on the population of earth (Revelation 12:9). While Satan is increasing his persecution against the righteous on earth, a voice in heaven will announce that ‘the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come’ (verse 10). Despite the fact that many will die from Satan’s attacks, the Tribulation saints will know spiritual victory ‘because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony.’ They will not be afraid to die for their faith (verse 11). Those in heaven will rejoice, yet there will be another woe on the earth because ‘the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time’ to persecute and torment the population (verse 12). The fact that Satan’s time is short indicates that this judgment is limited to the Tribulation period. This cannot logically refer to the thousands of years that have transpired since Satan’s fall at the dawn of creation.”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Revelation 12:7 ‘war broke out in heaven’: “The tumultuous events on earth during the Tribulation find their counterpart in heaven. A state of war has existed since the fall of Satan (cf. v. 4; cf. Dan. 10:13; Jude 9). Something will intensify that warfare-possibly the raptured saints passing through the realm of the prince of the power of the air (cf. Eph. 2:2).”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Revelation 12:9 ‘dragon was cast … into the earth’: “Satan and his demons were cast out of heaven at the time of their original rebellion, but still have access to it (cf. Job 1:6; 2:1). That access will then be denied, and they will be forever barred from heaven. Devil and Satan. Cf. 20:2. Devil comes from a Greek verb meaning ‘to slander’ or ‘to falsely accuse.’ He is a malignant liar (John 8:44; 1 John 3:8). His accusations against believers (v. 10) are unsuccessful because of Christ our Advocate (1 John 2:1). Satan, meaning ‘adversary,’ or ‘enemy,’ appears especially in Job and the Gospels. deceives the whole world. As he has throughout human history, Satan will deceive people during the Tribulation (cf. 13:14; 20:3; John 8:44). After his temporary release from the bottomless pit at the end of the Millennium, he will briefly resume his deceitful ways (20:8, 10).”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Revelation 12:11 ‘the blood of the Lamb’: ”The death of the Son of God is the grand fact set forth by the words ‘the blood of the Lamb.’ This death is the vital point of the gospel. The death of Christ is the death of sin and the defeat of Satan; therefore, it is the life of our hope and the assurance of Christ’s victory. We are to regard Satan as already literally and truly overcome through the death of the Lord Jesus. He is a vanquished enemy. By faith, let us grasp our Lord’s victory as our own since he triumphed in our nature and on our behalf. His victory was the victory of all who are in Christ. When the accuser has had his say and aggravated all our transgressions, let us not be ashamed to step forward and say, ‘But I have an advocate as well as an accuser. Oh Jesus, my Savior, speak for me!’ Jesus has borne the penalty due to us. He has discharged for us on the cross all our liabilities to the justice of God, and we are free forever. The voice of the dragon has been silenced by the blood of the Lamb.”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, from sermon notes

Revelation 12:12 ‘a lack of passion and urgency’: ”In the highest regions evil has received a total defeat through the life and death of our Lord Jesus. Atonement has been made for human sin. The peace of God reigns in heaven. Yet the conflict now rages here below. The prince of this world is warring mightily against the cause of God and truth. The devil knows that his time is short because of the victory Jesus gained over him. He is persuaded that his reign has ended and that his opportunity is fleeting. He values the time remaining to maintain his kingdom, to distress the people of God, and to dishonor the name of Christ. Oh that people were half as wise. We know our time is short and our lives will soon come to an end. Yet we fail to know it practically, for we are not as fervent as dying people ought to be.
“This knowledge of the shortness of his time also excites Satan’s emotions. The deepest emotion of which he is capable is that of anger, for he does not know how to love. Wrath is his soul; hatred is his life. How much, then, ought the shortness of our time stir our hearts? With what compassion and eagerness ought we to pass our days of sojourning here? Knowing that the time of our departure is at hand and that the season in which we can serve God is brief, we ought to be excited to flaming zeal and passionate love. We are not half as stirred as we ought to be. Devils feel great hatred—how is it that we do not feel great love?”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, from sermon notes

Revelation 12:13-17 ‘woman persecuted by the dragon’: “The woman will be persecuted by ‘the dragon’ (verse I3), and will be given ‘two wings of the great eagle’ so that she can be taken away into the wilderness to be protected (verse 14). As already mentioned, this protection will last three and a half years (verse 6). Satan will attempt to cause the woman (Israel) to be ‘swept away’ (verse 15), but she will be protected by the earth (verse 16). Whether by natural or supernatural means, a godly remnant will be preserved by God, though according to Zechariah 13:8, two—thirds of the nation of Israel will perish. While it is said that Satan will pour water ‘like a river out of his mouth after the woman,’ this probably isn’t to be taken literally, but may refer to a flood-like catastrophe initiated by Satan. Satan’s final ‘war’ against Israel will fall upon the believing Jews, the ‘rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus’ (Revelation 12:17). The Jewish people are God’s chosen people, and their existence and survival are signs of the faithfulness of the Lord and the truthfulness of the fulfillment of His prophetic Word.”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Revelation 12:17 ‘what Satan wants in a church’:”If ever there is a church of God that the devil likes, it is good for nothing.”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, from sermon notes

Revelation 13:1-10 ‘The Rise and Reign of the Beast’: “Revelation 13:1-10 summarizes the activity of the beast who was first mentioned in 11:7. He has many names: 1) the wicked one (Psalm 10:2-4), 2) the little horn (Daniel 7:8), 3) the prince (9:26), 4) the despicable person (11:21), 5) the king [who] will do as he pleases (11:36), 6) the man of lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2:3), 7) the son of destruction (verse 3), 8) the lawless one (verse 8), 9) the Antichrist (1 John 2:18), and 10) the beast (Revelation 13:1).
“The beast comes ‘out of the sea,’ or out of the nations, meaning that more than likely he is a Gentile and not a Jew.”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Revelation 13:1 ‘Then I stood’: “Most manuscripts read ‘he stood,’ referring again to the dragon, or Satan (cf. 12:9, 17). He takes a position in the midst of the nations of his world, represented by the sand of the sea. a beast. Lit. ‘a monster’ (cf. 11:7), which describes a vicious, killing animal. In this context, the term represents both a person (Antichrist) and his system (the world). The final satanic world empire will be inseparable from the demon-possessed man who leads it. … He is also described in Daniel 7:8, 21-26; 8:23-25; 9:24-27; 11:36-45. rising up out of the sea. The sea represents the abyss or pit, the haunt of demons (cf. 11:7; 17:8; 20:1; Luke 8:31). The picture is of Satan summoning a powerful demon from the abyss, who then activates and controls the beast (Antichrist) and his empire. seven heads and ten horns. This description is like that of Satan in 12:3. The heads may represent successive world empires—Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and the final kingdom of Antichrist … The final one is made up of all the kingdoms represented by the horns … Ten is a number that symbolizes the totality of human military and political power assisting the beast (Antichrist) as he controls the world. Horns always represent power, as in the animal kingdom—both offensive power (attack) and defensive power (protection). Daniel shows that the human Antichrist will rise up from these ten kings (Dan. 7:16-24). John picks up the numerical imagery of Daniel 2:41, 42, which refers to the ten toes on the statue’s clay and iron feet. The apostle sees the beast as the final world government—the anti-Christ, anti-God coalition—headed by a revived Roman Empire, having the strengths of various world powers, yet mixed with weakness and ultimately crushed (cf. Dan. 2:32-45; 7:7, 8, 19-25; …). The crowns show the regal dominion of this confederate kingdom. blasphemous name. Throughout history, every time a monarch has identified himself as a god, he has blasphemed the true God. Each ruler who contributes to the beast’s final coalition has an identity, wears a crown, exerts dominion and power, and, therefore, blasphemes God.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Revelation 13:2 ‘leopard’: “A metaphor for ancient Greece, alluding to the Greeks’ swiftness and agility as their military moved forward in conquest, particularly under Alexander the Great (cf. Dan. 7:6). The leopard and subsequent animal symbols were all native wildlife in Palestine, familiar to John’s readers. bear. A metaphor for the ancient Medo-Persian Empire, depicting that kingdom’s ferocious strength, combined with its great stability (cf. Dan. 7:5). lion. A metaphor for the ancient Babylonian Empire, referring to the Babylonians’ fierce, all-consuming power as they extended their domain (cf. Dan. 7:4).”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Revelation 13:8 ‘’: “Christ the eternal Son is timeless. When you think about Jesus, you have to think twice. You have to think of His humanity and His deity. He said a lot of things that made it sound as if He wasn’t God. He said other things that made it sound as if He wasn’t human. He said, for instance, ‘Before Abraham was, I am’ (John 8:58). That made it sound as if He antedated creation. Then He said, ‘l can of mine own self do nothing: as l hear, I judge … (5:30), and that made it sound as if He wasn’t divine. He said, ‘my Father is greater than l’ (14:28), and that made it sound as if He wasn’t God. And He said, ‘l and my Father are one’ (10:30), and that made it sound as if He wasn’t human.
“But the fact is, He is both. He talked about Himself as divine and as human. And when Jesus talked about Himself as human, He used humble, lowly words. When He talked about Himself as divine, He used words that startled and shook people. He said, speaking about the inspired Scriptures, ‘Ye have heard that it was said … but l say unto you …” (Matthew 5:21-22). He could talk like God and then He could talk like man. So we’ve always got to think about the Son of Man, Jesus Christ the Lord in two ways.
“ ‘But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law’ (Galatians 4:4), that He might ‘deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage’ (Hebrews 2:15). That means His humanhood.
“And then He was ‘slain from the foundation of the world’ (Revelation 13:8). What can that mean? How could He be slain from the foundation of the world? When God laid the heaven and the earth and caused the grass to be upon the hills and the trees to be upon the mountains, when God made the birds to fly in the air and the fish to swim in the sea, God had already in His heart lived Calvary and the resurrection and the glory and the crown. So He was slain before the foundation of the world.”

  • A. W. Tozer, The Attributes of God II

Revelation 13:11-18 ‘The Rise of the False Prophet’: “The beast has a cohort who is said to come ‘up out of the earth’ (verse 11). This false prophet has power, represented by his two horns ‘like a lamb,’ though he speaks like a dragon. The portrayal as a lamb would show a certain docility that elicits a reminder of the nonresistance of Christ as ‘the Lamb of God.’ But this beast will speak with frightening authority like a hissing dragon! He will have equal authority as the first beast and will cause the whole population of earth to worship him (verse I2). He will have the power to make fire come down upon the earth (verse 13), and he will deceive ‘those who dwell on the earth because of all the signs … given him to perform’ (verse I4). He will also inspire the whole earth to make an image of the first beast, ‘who had the wound of the sword and has come to life’ (verse 14.).
“The fact that this second beast causes the world to worship the first beast is the reason the second one is called the religious beast or the false prophet (16:13). His end is recorded in 19:20, where he is thrown into the lake of fire along with the first beast. There, he will be tormented ‘day and night forever and ever’ (20:10).
“This second beast will give breath to ‘the image of the [first] beast’ and even cause it to speak. Those who do not worship the image will be killed (13:15). The second beast will cause all men of all social stations in life to have a ‘mark on their right hand or on their forehead’ (verse 16). This technology is already available today, and by this mark the second beast will control the population of the world. No one will be able to survive economically without this mark (verse 17). The ‘mark’ (Greek,
charagma, ‘tattoo’) must show either the name of the first beast ‘or the number of his name’ (verse 17), which is ‘six hundred and sixty-six’ (verse 18). The reference to ‘wisdom’ in verse 18 means the Tribulation saints will understand what is happening when they see this mark and its number required of all peoples on the earth.
“Some have attempted to tie the number 666 to some Roman emperor or political figure in the past. The church father Irenaeus said the number represented the ‘Latin Empire’ of Rome. Others have calculated that the number points to the Roman emperor Nero, and modern candidates have been Kaiser Wilhelm, Benito Mussolini, Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Saddam Hussein. Even some American presidents and diplomats have been added to the list! Such interpretations frequently ignore the context of Revelation 13 and allegorize what the apostle John wrote to describe the literal, historical, and future events of the Tribulation.”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Revelation 13:11 ‘another beast’: “This is the final false prophet (called such in 16:13; 19:20; 20:10) who promotes Antichrist’s power and convinces the world to worship him as God. This companion beast will be the chief, most persuasive proponent of satanic religion (cf. 16:13; 19:20; 20:10). Antichrist will be primarily a political and military leader, but the false prophet will be a religious leader. Politics and religion will unite in a world-wide religion of worshiping the Antichrist (see 17:1—9, 15-17). out of the earth. Likely another reference to the abyss that lies below the earth. The false prophet will be sent forth and controlled by a powerful demon from below. The earth imagery, in contrast to that of the foreboding, mysterious sea in verse 1, may imply that the false prophet is subtler and more winsome than Antichrist. Two horns like a lamb. This describes the relative weakness of the false prophet compared to Antichrist, who has ten horns. A lamb has only two small bumps on its head, very inferior to the ten-horned beast. like a lamb. The lamb imagery may also imply that the false prophet will be also a false Christ masquerading as the true Lamb. Unlike Antichrist, the false prophet will come not as a killing, destroying animal, but as one who appears gentle and deceptively attractive. spoke like a dragon. The false prophet will be Satan’s mouthpiece and, thus, his message will be like the dragon, Satan—the source of all false religion (cf. 2 Cor. 11:14).”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Revelation 13:12 ‘exercises all the authority of the first beast’: “The false prophet exercises the same kind of satanic power as Antichrist because he is empowered by the same source. He, too, will have worldwide influence and reputation as a miracle worker and speaker. Causes … to worship. ‘He causes’ is used eight times of him. He wields influence to establish a false world religion headed by Antichrist and to entice people to accept that system. whose deadly wound was healed. …This likely refers to the carefully crafted deception of a false resurrection, a false murder to inspire allegiance for the world.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Revelation 13:13 ‘great signs’: “The same phrase is used of Jesus’ miracles (John 2:11, 23; 6:2), which indicates the false prophet performs signs that counterfeit Christ’s. Satan, who has done supernatural works in the past (e.g., Ex. 7:11; 2 Tim. 3:8), must use his strategy of false miracles to convince the world that Antichrist is more powerful than God’s true witnesses (ch. 11), including Jesus Christ. fire come down from heaven. The context indicates that the false prophet does counterfeit pyrotechnic signs continually to convince people of his power, and also in imitation of the two witnesses (11:5).”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Coffee and Revelation – Introduction
Coffee and Revelation – Part 54, Revelation 12:1-6
Coffee and Revelation – Part 55, Revelation 12:7-10
Coffee and Revelation – Part 56, Revelation 12:11-12
Coffee and Revelation – Part 57, Revelation 12:13-17
Coffee and Revelation – Part 58, Revelation 12:17
Coffee and Revelation – Part 59, Revelation 13:1-4
Coffee and Revelation – Part 60, Revelation 13:5-10
Coffee and Revelation – Part 61, Revelation 13:11-15
Coffee and Revelation – Part 62, Revelation 13:15-18
Coffee and Revelation – Review of Revelation 1-13

My Thoughts

I have very little to add this week.  The combination of scholarly comments above are about all I could say.  The woman, who is pregnant (Israel, the bride of God, producing a Savior).  The Devil, Satan, in the form of a dragon is ready to devour the child but misses his chance.  The war starts in heaven, but once defeated, the war shifts to earth, attacking believers.  Revelation 12 is fairly straight forward.

Revelation 13 introduces two characters to the drama and one number.  The first beast, the Antichrist, or Rev. MacArthur drop the article as if Antichrist was the name.  The number of the name is 666.  Rev. MacArthur proposes what I have heard from several people in recent decades, that six is incomplete and seven would be complete.  Thus, 666 is the incompleteness, the unholiness of man.  Someone who totally defines themselves in such a way could be thought of as vile and inhumane.  When you add to it that Antichrist is a world leader, a despot, and enjoys killing, you can imagine that many would flock toward him.  Some bow down from fear.  Others bow down in respect for the arrogance and brash way of getting things done.  But then the second beast is the false prophet who beguiles the world into worshipping the first beast.

I agree with Rev. LaHaye, it would be foolish to try to take a political leader in the world today, or in recent history and label that person the first beast.  The pieces in the puzzle may be nearing, but are they even on the world stage at this moment?  The pieces are not in place, but the mechanism for it to occur is on the world’s agenda.  The secular world is so enamored with the idea of a one world government that they are pressing toward that end, all the while ignoring that is one of the major puzzle pieces needed.

We could look at these chapters and not see Hope, but these events are the staging events for the next part of the End Times.  And even in this chapter, the woman has been carried away to safety.  God takes care of His own.  That should give Hope to each of us who love God.

Some Serendipitous Reflections

Revelation 12: 1. What do you learn here about conflict between the Christian church and demonic evil?
“2. When has Satan seemed very real to you? Why? How do you overcome Satan (see v.11)? How could you apply these tactics in your own life’? What do you need to do to become stronger for spiritual battle?
“3. How can your Christian friends pray for you in battles you are facing? Likewise, how can you pray for them? Do this in your group.
Revelation 13, The beast out of the Sea: 1. Who are some of the beasts or idols in your life (people, forces, institutions, etc.) that test your allegiance to Christ? How have you been swayed from your allegiance to Christ by talk of ‘patriotism’ and ‘tradition’? How is God helping you deal with that?
“2. ls your name written in the Book of Life? How do you know?
“3. What kind of grade would you give yourself on patient endurance and faithfulness? Why?
Revelation 13, The beast out of the Earth: “1. How can we discern false religion and governments?”

  • Lyman Coleman, et al, The NIV Serendipity Bible for Study Groups

There is one set of questions for chapter 12 and two sets of questions for chapter 13.  The second chapter is split between the two beasts.

Substitute whatever group for any reference to a small group or ask who could come to your aid.

If you like these Thursday morning Bible studies, but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Thursday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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