So I’ve been way too busy to fulfill my goals which was to put out a video each week along with a podcast (apart from Canary Cry Radio) along with a blogpost with the transcript of the video. I think I was bit too ambitious, especially in light of working a full time job, having a family, running Canary Cry Radio, and working on Age of Deceit 2. Time management is certainly not something I am good at. And now there are rumblings about putting together the second Prophecy Forum Conference. So, maybe a videoblog each week is a bit too much. However, as a parallel to the release of Age of Deceit 2, I have been doing some work on a verse by verse handling of Revelation Chapter 13. As such, I have some stuff written out that I can post each week. After we get through the entirety of Revelation 13, I plan to release it as a PDF book. So I hope to get some feedback and reflection on the topic. Thank for your patience and prayers.
INTRODUCTION to REVELATION 13
One of the most fascinating and prophetic books written in all of human history is the Book of Revelation. While there are many interpretations and views on the various events described in the book, there is one enigmatic chapter that seems to reveal much about the nature of the end times. That is Revelation chapter 13. This is the chapter in which the first beast, most notably referred to as the Antichrist, and the second beast, commonly referred to as the False Prophet are revealed. Their character and actions not only reflect the current cultural climate of economic and geopolitical matters, but also the very fascinating realm of inquiry in technopolitics, and biopolitics. If those terms aren’t familiar to you, don’t fret. By the time you get through this study, you will see how relevant this chapter of the Bible is in addressing these issues.
While no one can claim a full and complete understanding of the Bible, we can draw intelligent projections of how a prophecy may play out based on information given to us through the Word of God. The method of interpreting the Bible is called Hermeneutics. The goal is to study the context and seek the authors original intent in any given Scripture. And while there are different techniques and tactics even within the realm of hermeneutics, we must be sure that any projections and speculative conclusions that we do make concerning how any given prophecy may play out does not conflict with the Bible.
The goal for with this study is to dig deep into Revelation chapter 13 and use it as a road map to gain an understanding of the end times. The method I will use is to go verse by verse through Revelation 13. In the process, we will scour the Bible for various connection and clues that might help us paint a picture of what we can expect as these prophecies begin to unfold. I will also reference the work of other authors, commentators and scholars to reflect on what has been said in the past regarding this chapter. All in all, I hope this will be an extensive commentary on Revelation chapter 13, but also a resource for those who want to do deeper study in the topic.
“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” ~ Acts 17:11
REVELATION 12 OVERVIEW (Revised)
To begin digging into Revelation chapter 13 requires a bit of set up from the Chapter prior. While chapter breaks in the Bible are artificial from the original Greek and Hebrew text, they are helpful tools to navigate the inspired text. In many regards, Revelation chapter 12 deserves it’s own verse by verse handling. And while there are many interpretations of this chapter as well, I will only briefly mention some important elements that will help us launch into the verse by verse study of Revelation chapter 13. Chapter 12 begins with a most unusual account of the Gospel message.
Rev. 12:1-6 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. 5 She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, 6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
The woman described here is commonly thought of as the nation of Israel. The dragon is Satan as identified later in verse 9. The male child who will “rule all the nations with a rod of iron” is undoubtedly Jesus Christ. It would seem that the entire chapter, especially the first six verses are of mere symbolic significance, there was a purpose for the Prophet John to express the Christian Gospel in this way. The latest version of the New Bible Commentary (IVP-NB) explains quote, “The Ugaritic Baal cycle tells of the battle of Baal, the storm god, with Yam, the prince of the sea. The Babylonians told of Marduk slaying Tiamat, the seven headed monster of the deep. (Marduk’s mother was depicted similarly as the woman in 12:1, and Tiamat in battling against heaven is said to have thrown down a third of the stars.) The Persians spoke of the son of Ahura fighting the evil dragon Azhi Dahaka. The Egyptians recounted how the goddess Hathor (Isis, wife of Osiris) fled from the red dragon Typhon to an island; the dragon was overcome by her son Horus and finally destroyed by fire. The Greeks had a similar story in the birth of Apollo from the goddess Leto, who was pursued by the great dragon Python, because he heard that her offspring would kill him. Leto was hidden beneath the sea, and the newly born Apollo immediately attained maturity and slew the dragon. Other variants and additions to the story were current in the Middle East, and some Jews saw in them striking parallels with the promise of the Messiah.” At first it may seem strange that John used these various pagan mythologies as a framework to express the Gospel. However, it makes sense when you consider that the Lord inspired John to do so as a way to communicate His ultimate superiority in the matter of salvation. In other words, the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection expressed in this unique way served as a mockery of such pagan accounts. But it also may be that the various pagan accounts were mere false counterfeit descriptions concerning the antichrist figure that will emerge as we dig into Revelation 13. This is plausible since Satan is the ultimate counterfeit of God. And when we consider Genesis 3:15 which says, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” we can see why Satan would want to inject these false descriptions of the Messiah throughout history.
Rev. 12:7-12 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
Here, we see Michael the archangel and other angels of God fighting the dragon in heaven. This event is echoed in Daniel 12 and marks the beginning of the final three and a half years of the tribulation period. The kicking out of Satan from heaven down to earth is what kick starts the events described in Revelation 13. While the heaven’s rejoiced because Satan was finally removed from his access to the presence of God, he was now brought down to earth where he “know his time is short” thus implementing the final stages of the Satanic agenda.
Rev. 12:13-17 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. 14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.
So in conclusion of a quick survey of Revelation 12 in set up to Revelation 13, we see that Satan who was kicked out of heaven is now here on earth. The pouring out of water like a river from the mouth of the Serpent in an attempt to sweep away the woman fails after the earth swallowed it up. Again, such imagery is likely allegorical, but it nevertheless could be indicative of the what is to come after the abomination of desolation as mentioned in Matthew 24. And while there are many details regarding Revelation 12 that were omitted in this short account, what is important to realize as we spring board into Revelation 13 is that Satan, who believes himself to be equal to the Father in heaven, is here on earth now eagerly working towards the manifestation of his unholy counterfeit of the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In the next post, we will begin by digging into the first couple verses of Revelation 13.
 New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition (ed. D. A Carson et al.; Accordance electronic ed. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 1440.