The Beastly Trinity
A.Last week we studied the war that will take place in Heaven as Michael the Archangel heads up an angelic army against "the prince of the power of the air" ( Eph. 2:2) and his demons.
1. Michael wins of course, and satan is kicked out of the heavenlies and confined to the earth.
2. Thats good news for those in heaven, but satan pulls out all the stops on earth knowing "that he has a short time." 12:12
3. This mornings study is a result of satans "pulling all the stops".
a) satan empowers 2 great warriors in this battle and ones mission is to cause the other to be worshipped as god!
b) They are referred to as, "beasts here in chapter 13.
c) But later, in chapters 16,19, and 20 the latter beast is referenced as "the false prophet."
d) So we have before us "the beastly trinity" of the "dragon (which is satan 12:9, the "beast", and the "false prophet"!
(1) As we study them and their "ministries", you will see their "copycat" resemblence to the Holy Trinity of God!
(a) satan has always wanted to be worshipped as god!
(b) The "beast" is a "logos" of satan! He is a physical representative of his!
(c) And lastly, the "false prophet" glorifies the "beast".
A. Revelation 13:1-21 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. 2 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. (NKJV)
1. The two witnesses have already been slain by the beast!
2. Daniel calls him "the prince that shall come" ( Dan 9:26).
3. Isaiah calls him "the wicked!" ( Isaiah 11:4)
4. Chrst called him "the abomination of desolation" ( Matt 24:16)
5. Paul labeled him as "the man of sin, the son of perdition" in 2 Thes. 2:3
6. Just prior to this, John had been watching the "woman" and the "dragon" when all of a sudden, he is standing on a seashore observing a beast rising out of the sea similar in appearance to the dragon!
a) But it is not the dragon! Chapter 12:9 told us that the dragon was satan himself.
b) This beast "rising up out of the sea" is symbolic! It represents a man, as verse 8 tells us the people of earth will physically worship him!
c) He get his power from the dragon Rev. 13:2.
7. Usually the sea referred to in scripture is the Mediterranean.
a) Therefore it is commonly assumed that this beast-man will come from one of the lands surrounding this great sea.
b) The 7 heads and 10 horns represent power and authority and in this case: a league of nations and leaders that are ultimately under the power of satan!
(1) Daniel saw the same vision and interpreted the lion as the Babylonian empire, the bear as the Medo-Persian empire, and the leopard as the Grecian empire!
(a) All of which were yet future, but history has proven this prophecy correct!
(b) All 3 of these "empires" have ruled or dominated Gods people in some way!
(c) Here John sees them in reverse order since he is "looking back" over history.
c) Please keep in mind that out of this "league" will rise a very charismatic leader. This man is the beast. And he is head of this league!
B. Revelation 13:3-43 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. 4 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?" (NKJV)
1. Scripture doesnt tell us from which nation this "head" will be!
2. We do know however that his nation will best suit the nature and purposes of the dragon which empowers him!
a) It is interesting to note that Sadam Hussein has spent millions of dollars rebuilding Babylon!
b) Babylon in modern Iraq is also the geographical "center" of all the worlds land masses!
(1) Wherever and whichever this nation is, it will also become the "center" of worship.
(2) All the nations as well as their respective religions will unite as they see this "suedo" death and resurrection of the beast!
(3) With all the flying angels and demons and the cosmic disturbances, no one will any longer doubt the existance of God!
(4) It is just that many will choose satan as god since he appears to be the most powerful!
(a) After all, he had power to overcome Gods two witnesses, and now seemingly death!!
C. Revelation 13:5-6 5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. (NKJV)
1. During this last 3 1/3 years, the beast will curse and defame the Lord, His holiness, His love, His law, His grace, and His people!!
a) He has but a short time and can no longer stand before the Lord and accuse the brethren, so he turns it loose on those remaining on the earth.
b) No doubt, to prevent any who might be thinking of giving their heart to the Lord!
D. Revelation 13:7-10 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 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. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. Revelation 13:10 10 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. (NKJV)
1.These are not the resurrected saints, but those who will come to know the Lord during the tribulation!
a) Romans 8:29-3029 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (NKJV)
b) The Lord knows everyone who will accept Him, and their names are written in the book of life! These saints from the tribulation will not bow, at the cost of their own lives (he "overcame them")!
c) All the rest of the earth dwellers will bow and worship the beast.
d) John begs, "Listen with your heart! (he who has ears)"
(1) If any man has had a difficult time making a decision up til now, the beast is about to force it!
(2) John reassures the saints in verse 10 that those responsible for the death of the saints will likewise be put to death! You see, the dispensation of grace has ended!
E. Revelation 13:11-12 11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. (NKJV)
1. Here is the third member of hells unholy trinity. A demonic "mime" of the Holy Spirit (who glorifies Christ), this "parrots" mission is to cause people to worship the beast!
a) As we said earlier, he is three times later in Revelation called the "false prophet"!
2. This second beast is the leader of the world religious system or the great "harlot" spoken of in chapter 17.
a) He will be a pope, or an ayatollah, or a guru, or a televangelist, buy most likely, he will simply be called "the prophet"!
(1) Or maybe I shoud say, "He will "pompously" be called `the prophet"
b) Somehow these two satanically empowered men will become the closest of friends.
c) At the same time that the first is gaining world political power, the other will be gaining the worlds confidence as the only true prophet of God!
d) Each supports the other and together they establish universal control over the people!
F. Revelation 13:13-14 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. (NKJV)
1. You see the 2 witness of the Lord had made fire come down from heaven. The false prophet and the beast must not look inferior to the Lord!
a) Matthew 24:2424 "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (NKJV)
b) 2 Thessalonians 2:9 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, (NKJV)
c) 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. (NKJV)
d) His deception is very thorough!
e) We must learn from this that miracles are not necessarily of devine origin!!
2. Man seems to have a natural aptitude for worshipping "things". The "false prophet" gets little or no restraint as he commands worship of the beast!
a) It is possible that little images of the beast are made and sold so that every household can perform their daily worship of the beast!
b) For sure there is a large image made for the world to view, and worship publically, (probably via satelite).
G. Revelation 13:15-17 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (NKJV)
1.Soon after the image is formed, the prophet gives it the ability to talk, probably promoting himself and blaspheming God, and also issueing commands to kill any who do not worship the image of the beast!
2. The prophet immediately sets up "registration" centers to number and identify his worshippers.
a) He classifies them into 3 different group:
(1) Those who have the "logo" (image) of the beast!
(a) This is probably the bulk of the population.
(2) Those who have the name of the beast!
(a) This is probably a little "closer" group that works closely for his plans and purposes.
(3) And those who have his name (or number)!
(a) Perhaps these are the inside circle!
(i) The point is this: without these identifyers, you will die!!!
(ii) Either by refusal of the marks, or by starvation!!
A. Revelation 13:18 18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (NKJV)
1. The beast is a man!
2. That man has a name!
3. His name has a numerical equivalent!
4. We are expected to count the number of this mans name!
a) In English this seems weird, but in the Hebrew or the Greek language and in some cases Latin, it is not strange at all!
b) You see, each symbol used for the alphabet was also used for a number!
c) For example, in Latin V=five, X=10,L=50, and so on!
d) In Greek, the language of the New Testament, alpha = 1, beta = 2, iota = 10, rho = 100!
e) To "count" the number of the beast one would simply add up the numbers attatched to the letters in his name!
5. Who is this man? No one knows!
a) Many people could have names that the letters equal 666, but only one will rule the world!
(1) In Greek the name is Chi Xi Stigma (X = 600, x = 60, V = 6)
(a) During the war, Christians said it was Hitler!
(b) I remember in the 70s, folks said it was Kissinger!
(2) But all this is Greek to me, and I dont plan on being around for all this!!
(3) The point is this! Watch and be aware!
(4) Better yet, make your decision now, and you can watch all this from eternity!