Sun, Aug 13, 2000

The Beast Out of the Sea: Revelation 12:18-

Ministry of Pastor Joe Guglielmo teachings through the Bible, verse by verse for a better understanding of Gods Word.
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THE BEAST OUT OF THE SEA

REVELATION 13:1-10

Several years ago, Belgium’s Premier, P. H. Spock made a statement in the newspaper which said: "The truth is that the method of international committees has failed. What we need is a person, someone of the highest order of great energy. Let him come and let him come quickly. Either a civilian or a military man, no matter what his nationality, who will cut all the red tape, shove out of the way all the committees, wake up all the people and galvanize all governments into action. Let him come quickly. This man we need and for whom we wait will take charge of the defense of the west. Once more I say, it is not too late, but it is high time."

The world is looking, the world is searching for someone to rise up and solve all its problems. They have rejected the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, and they will embrace the Antichrist. In Revelation chapter 13 we are going to be introduced to this man and instead of being a man of peace, we will see his true colors come shining through and how he will get the world to bow down and worship him.

Now the power behind this man is Satan himself. In Isaiah 14:12-14 we are told of this once angelic being who fell. It says "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of themorning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For youhave said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars ofGod; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High."

Lucifer or Satan’s desire is to be like God, to be worshiped like God. The major problem with that is he is not God! He is a created being as Ezekiel 28:13-15 tells us, "You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: the sardius, topaz, anddiamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. Theworkmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you werecreated. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holymountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfectin your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you."

Satan is a counterfeit and John spoke of this in Revelation 12:9 when he said, "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.That word "deceive" in the Greek, PLANAO, means "the misleading of another, causing someone to wander or err from the truth." That is what the Devil does!

Think of it this way. If someone is working as a police officer, they must dress the part. They must have a badge identifying them as a police officer. The badge gives them the authority. It tells others who they are. But, if someone was to pretend to be a police officer, they too would need something to tell others who they are. They would have to dress the part and carry with them a fake badge. And Satan is no different as he disguises himself as an angel of light to deceive the world.

In God we see a Holy Trinity. We have God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. But, not to be outdone, Satan has his unholy trinity. He is the unholy father, the Antichrist with his pseudo-resurrection is the unholy son, and there is also a false prophet who is the unholy spirit.

This morning we are going to focus on the second person of this unholy trinity, the Antichrist. We may see the first mention of this person in Genesis 3:15, which speaks of the "seed of the serpent." Now throughout history there has been many vial and wicked men that may have even been called the Antichrist, men like Judas Iscariot, Nero, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and others, but none of them will even compare to the evil that emanates from this man, the Antichrist!

REVELATION 13

VERSE 1

This object rising out of the sea is described as a beast! It comes from the Greek word THERION, which speaks of a wild beast or a beast of prey. This is a destructive monster that is rising out of the sea and it is not Godzilla!

Now we need to understand that John is not speaking of a literal sea here. This beast arises out of the sea of humanity. Revelation 17:15 makes that point very clear as it says, "...‘The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues." Thus, this beast will arise out of the masses, out of the nations of the world!

Also, John does not see him as a man, but as a wild ferocious beast. Yes, outwardly he will look like a man but inwardly he is a wild beast that will cause havoc on this earth. How can people fall for this evil man? Many embraced Hitler, not seeing the evil that was in his heart until it was too late and that evil was manifested into action. God see’s the heart and as He looks at this man, he is evil, he is a beast!

Now we speak of the Antichrist, but what does that mean? The word "anti"can have two meanings. The first meaning is "over, against" and the second meaning is "instead of." Thus, this beast is the one who is AGAINST Christ and the one who IMITATES Christ as he is a deceiver!

Of this beast it says that he has 7 heads, not literally, but symbolically. And I feel that this is speaking of world empires. In Revelation 17:9-10 we are told, "Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are alsoseven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time."

Mountains speak of human government. Thus, five world empires have come and gone when John was writing this. The Egyptian, the Assyrian, the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, and the Grecian empires have all risen to the zenith of power and then crumbled and fell.

Now it is the Roman empire that was the one that was in existence during the time that John was writing this book. Thus, the one that is to come is the last gentile world empire before Jesus Christ comes to set-up His kingdom here on the earth.

What does this last gentile world kingdom look like? Daniel tells us that this last gentile world kingdom will be a federation of 10 nations that come out of the old Roman empire. It won’t be as strong as the Roman empire for it will be a mixture of 10 nations, but it will still be powerful. (See Daniel 2:31-45).

We are seeing this empire coming together today. The Club of Rome, who had its beginnings in April of 1968, as leaders from ten countries gathered together in Rome. This organization claims to have the solutions for world peace and prosperity, which are linked to a one world government. On September 17, 1973 the Club of Rome released a report entitled "Regionalized and Adaptive Model of the Global World System." This document shows that the Club of Rome has divided the world into ten political/economic regions, which they refer to as "kingdoms." We already have a written world constitution that has been developed by the World Constitution and Parliament Association.

Way back on February 17, 1950, James Warburg, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, (CFR was founded on July 29, 1921), said this before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, "We shall have world government whether or not you like it - by conquest or consent." Today, 50 years later, we see these pieces of the puzzle for a one world government coming together before our eyes.

This is what the Antichrist will rule over, a confederacy of 10 nations which encompasses the world. Thus, these 10 horns come out of the old Roman empire, which never was defeated, but kind of spread throughout the world. Many have tried to revive this empire, but they have failed. But there is coming a day when it will be established.

You see, that explains the 10 horns and 10 crowns we see here in Revelation 13:1. The horns represent the 10 nations and the crowns are the crowns of kings or leaders of these nations! The Blasphemous names is against the true and living God, for which sinful man opposes. Daniel also speaks of the unbridled tongue of this man, the Antichrist, when he says in Daniel 7:25a,"He shall speak pompous words against the Most High..."

Now why would the world want to unite into a one world government? There are several good reasons that we are being told. First of all the proliferation of nuclear weapons, especially in third world countries. Human rights violations. Global warming. All kinds of pollution. Wars breaking out all over the world. Hunger at alarming rates. Population explosions especially in third world countries. Deadly diseases both curable that if untreated will become deadly and incurable. World financial problems. And I think you get the idea. The world is becoming ripe for a one world government as we are being bombarded with the hopelessness of this present situation, this present system, or at least that is what we are being told by the news media, the world leaders and scientists.

VERSE 2

The description of this beast should remind us of the vision of Daniel chapter 7. It is a vision of gentile world kingdoms as seen through the eyes of God, and they were like wild beasts. The lion represented the Babylonian empire. And the lion speaks of power, strength, which was reflected in the Babylonian empire.

The bear represented the Medo-Persian empire. It illustrates to us a formidable strength and sort of a lumbering, rumbling gait. This empire won its battles by its massive numbers of men that overtook and defeated its enemies. It was a very slow moving army because of its numbers and yet it was very fierce in battle, their giant paws crushed their enemies.

The leopard represented the Grecian empire which conquered its enemies very quickly and swiftly. From Greece to India they moved and quickly conquered the area, so much so that at the age of 32 Alexander the Great fell on his bed and wept for there were no other kingdoms to conquer.

And because this last kingdom will be part of the old Roman empire, it will also have some of the attributes seen in the Roman empire. Leupold said of this kingdom, "The Roman legions were noted for their ability to crush all resistance with an iron heel."

Thus, this final gentile world empire will be rooted in all the previous empires. But why does John see the leopard first and Daniel see’s the lion? Could it be that John is looking back into history and seeing these kingdoms, while Daniel was looking into the future at these kingdoms coming on the scene? I am fascinated by the details that God gives to us!

Notice also who empowers this man, Satan does! You see, it is at the point where the Antichrist enters the temple of God that he is possessed by Satan. You may think that is a strange idea, but remember what is said of Judas in Luke 22:3, "Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve." It has happened before and I believe it will happen again as Satan empowers this man to destroy the lives of the people of this world who refuse to worship him!

VERSE 3

As I have said before, Satan and this beast are counterfeits. Here we see an assassination attempt on his life. The phrase "as though slain" HOS ESPHAGMENEN in the Greek, is the same expression found in Revelation 5:6 which speaks of Christ. It says "And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain..."

You see, the Antichrist is faking his death and resurrection back to life. God is the only one who has the power over life and death, but the Antichrist is going to pull this off and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was in this pseudo-dead state for 3 days and 3 nights, for he is a counterfeit! Thus, as the tribulation saints begin to witness of the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the world will point to the Antichrist and say that he did the same thing, thus, he must be god!

In Zechariah chapter 11, Zechariah tells us of what a true shepherd, Jesus Christ, is all about. And then, beginning in verse 15, he speaks of the false shepherd, and he is going to give us some insight into this assassination attempt on this false shepherd, the Antichrist. We read beginning in verse 15 of Zechariah chapter 11, "And the LORD said to me, ‘Next, take foryourself the implements of a foolish shepherd. For indeed I will raise up a shepherd in theland who will not care for those who are cut off, nor seek the young, nor heal those that arebroken, nor feed those that still stand. But he will eat the flesh of the fat and tear theirhooves in pieces. Woe to the worthless shepherd, who leaves the flock! A sword shall beagainst his arm and against his right eye; his arm shall completely wither, and his right eyeshall be totally blinded." Zechariah 11:15-17. And in Revelation 13:14 we are told he is wounded by the sword.

But this assassination attempt ultimately fails, as he makes the world believe that he died and came back to life. But understand, only God has the power to do this. Revelation 1:18 tells us,"I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." But it is with this man’s trickery that the world will marvel at what has happened and they will follow after the beast, they will worship him!

VERSE 4

Satan gets his wish, not only is he worshiped by the world, but so is the beast. How can something like this happen? Get real! People today worship movie stars, famous people, music stars, athletes, and-so-on. When you remove the true and living God from the picture, you will worship someone or something! Arnold Toynbee, an English Historian, put it this way when he said back in 1953, "By forcing on mankind more and more lethal weapons, and at the same time making the world more and more interdependent economically, technology has brought mankind to such a degree of distress that we are ripe for deifying any new Caesar who might succeed in bringing the world unity and peace."

In Exodus 15:11 we read "Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?" And now the world is saying that of the beast. Who can stand against this mighty man? Even death can’t hold him down! But they are sadly mistaken for it is not the beast or even Satan himself who will stand, but the Lord Himself, the true God will stand! For the beast and Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity. The one the world placed all their faith in will be destroyed, and they will have an opportunity to spend eternity with the one they worshiped - THE BEAST AND SATAN!

VERSE 5

This beast was given authority to make war against the saints and all those who refuse to worship him. The time frame is the the last 3½ years of the 7 year tribulation period known as the Great Tribulation. This man will speak pompous words, he will have a big mouth and speak as he pleases. Daniel 11:36 tells us "Then the king shall do according to his own will: heshall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done." Now as big and tough as this guy thinks he is, Paul tells us in II Thessalonians that he is nothing. In II Thessalonians 2:8 we are told "And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming." The Lord will put him in place at the appointed time that God has set.

VERSE 6

John tells us that his blasphemes will be directed at four things; God Himself, His name which reflects His character, His tabernacle or dwelling place which always reminded the Jews of the Hebrew word SHECHINAH or the glory of God, and lastly those who dwell in heaven.

Now you can understand why he wants to discredit God so he can get all the glory, but who is being spoken of in heaven that are troubling him? I believe he is upset with the church, the body of Christ, which was raptured unto the Lord before the tribulation period began.

Why is that? Because it is this cloud of witnesses that are a thorn in his side for they are a testimony that the Word of God is true! All those whom we have told of this period of time, and what will happen to those who put their trust in Christ, will testify by their absence here on earth of what they said was true. And this still bothers the beast for he wants the attention and he does not want people drawn unto the Lord.

VERSE 7

This beast becomes a world ruler and he exercises that authority upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He makes war against the saints of God, HAGIOS is the Greek word that is used for "saints." Now there are 3 groups of saints that the Bible speaks of. The first group is the church, those saved prior to the start of the tribulation period and are with the Lord before the tribulation period begins. Then those that are saved during the tribulation period, many who will be martyred for their faith in Christ. And then the Jewish believers who get saved during the tribulation period.

Thus, I believe the saints spoken of here in Revelation 13:7 are both saved Jew’s and gentiles that got saved during the tribulation period, not the church. The reason I say that is in Matthew 16:18 Jesus said that "...the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it, [the church]." The word "prevail" in Matthew and "overcome" in Revelation are the same Greek words. And so the saints that are overcome by the Antichrist here in Revelation chapter 13 can’t be the church. And notice the absolute rule and universal authority this beast has over the entire earth!

VERSE 8

If you worship this beast and reject the cleansing work of Christ, then your name will be blotted out of the book of life. You shall spend eternity in the Lake of Fire, tormented and separated from the presence of God. Revelation 3:5 tells us "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels."

That tells me that everyone’s name is written in the book of life and the only way to have it removed is be entering His presence in unrighteous garments, in your own righteousness and this is done by rejecting Jesus Christ. Can you imagine going to heaven and the Lord is there, and as you stand before Him He asks you, "How do you spell that name again, I can’t seem to find it?" Don’t let that happen, receive the righteousness of Christ that Paul speaks of in

II Corinthians 5:21, "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we mightbecome the righteousness of God in Him."

In the ancient world, rulers kept registers of those who were citizens of their kingdoms, and only when a man died or lost his rights as a citizen, was his name removed. Thus, the book of life is a register of those who belong to God, and if you are spiritually dead, living in sin, your name will be removed from that register!

VERSE 9

Here is one of those interesting little nuggets that God has for us. In Revelation chapters 2 and 3 we saw the phrase "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches..."Some 7 times it was repeated. But here in chapter 13 we see that the church is left out. Why? Because the church has been raptured unto the Lord back in Revelation chapter 4, prior to the start of the tribulation period. And thus, this message is no longer for them, the message is for those who are alive during the tribulation period and they need to pay attention to what God is saying! It is not only hearing the truths of God, but applying them to your life! You see, you can’t serve two masters!

VERSE 10

Satan is not going to set us free but he leads us into bondage. He is a deceiver and so is the Antichrist. Isaiah 14:17 speaks of Satan "Who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners? "[or would not release them].

It is Satan that is leading the masses into captivity. And thus it is Satan and his forces who will be taken captive. We as Christians know he is against us and the work we are doing for he is against all those who hold to faith in Jesus. The encouragement that John gives to us is spoken of as our PATIENCE and FAITH.

Patience, HUPOMONE in the Greek, speaks of courageously accepting the worst that life, or the enemy can do to you, and turning it around to glorify God. Endure till the end! The Christian life is a long distance race, not a sprint!

Our faith, PISTIS in the Greek, Speaks of our love unto God which will never wavier in its devotion to Him, even during the darkest time. Remember the fifth seal which spoke of the tribulation saints martyred for their faith. We read in Revelation chapter 6, beginning in verse 9,"When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?’ Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed." That is faith in action and should encourage us that words or even the sword can not destroy our witness or our faith in God.

May we have faith as the three Hebrew captives had as they refused to worship the image and were being threatened with being killed in the fiery furnace. We read in Daniel 3:16-18,"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar,we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve isable to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, Oking. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will weworship the gold image which you have set up." No matter the outcome, they trusted in the Lord, they rested in Him! May we do no less! The enemy will be captured, he will lose, we know the end of the story which should keep us moving, it should spur us to action!

Are you ready to stand before almighty God? Folks, that is the most important question you will ever be asked and one that how you answer has eternal consequences attached to it. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

If His yoke is not around you, then you are lost in your sins, you are in bondage. You need to turn to Him and ask Him to be Lord and Savior of your life and you will find that His yoke is easy as He leads you through this life, you can rest in Him for His burden is light. You see, you are either for Him or against Him, there is no middle ground! Chose Christ!

This morning we have seen the rise to power of the Antichrist, whose authority was given to him by Satan himself. Next time we will be looking at the false prophet who will lead the world in the worship of this man and Satan. A sad state for the world to be in but it is a prelude to the coming of Jesus Christ. Continue forging ahead in the faith, don’t give up, don’t be weighed down by the things of this world, don’t drop out of the race! As Paul said, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." I Corinthians 15:58.

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