1. “Revelation 13 introduces a personage well known to the student of Bible prophecy.

Called by at least twenty names, he is most commonly referred to as Antichrist” -Tim LaHaye (Revelation, p.170). 2. “The Fact of the Antichrist: Just as Jesus Christ is the promised ‘seed of the woman’ (Genesis 3:15), the Antichrist is the ‘promised seed of the serpent. Counterfeiting the work of God has ever been the work of Satan… The crowning piece of counterfeit will appear when Satan raises up a man to be a substitute for the Lord Jesus Christ— a man referred to as the Antichrist… This term which has been universally accepted by fundamental Bible teachers… is nowhere in the Bible used in connection with a specific person… The Bible repeatedly predicts, however, that one will arise as the embodiment of all anti-Christian attitudes, purposes, and motives that Satan has implanted in his emissaries….” (Ibid). B. Response: The term as used in the Bible is universal truth, but sound interpreters of Bible prophecy do not agree with LaHaye’s (and other Premillennialists’) use of the title. C. Some Premillennial Errors: 1. In Dispensational Truth by Dr. Clarence Larkin, he lists 10 passages (contrasting each with a passage about Jesus, which are not listed here) that supposedly refer to the Antichrist: Isa 14:14-15; Dan 11:36; Zech 11:16-17; Lk 19:10; Jn 5:43; 2Thes 2:3-11; Rev 11:7, 13:3-4, 14:18, 19:20. I challenge one who hasn’t previously been led to look for a single Antichrist to find one in these passages. 2. The theory relies on stretching the 4th beast of Daniel 7, & the 4th section of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision (Dan 2) into today’s (or future) times. Adherents stretch the meaning of the vision into present or future “ten toes kingdoms.” This forces adherents to deny the kingdom has come (in spite of Mark 9:1; Luk 24:49; Acts 1:4, 2:2-4; Col 1:13; Heb 12:28; Rev 1:6, 5:10, etc.), because Dan 2:44 says the kingdom would come in the “days of those kings” of the fourth part of the statue. Premillennialists claim the statement refers to ten kingdoms that stretch out from Roman roots—ten kings (literal or otherwise) who are on the earth now, or will be when the fabled antichrist arrives on the scene. If the ten toes refer to anything, it is the ten client kings subject to Rome then, and to nothing literally on the earth today. 3. Premillennialism breaks the rules of interpretation: “Any interpretation that offered no help to the situation of the original audience, would have meant little or nothing to them, or which they would not have understood is wrong!” ---JLP.

Handout No. 9

The Sea Beast and Earth Beast – Revelation 13

Having given the scope of the revelation of this book through Chapter 12, in that last chapter, the Spirit drew back the curtain further to reveal the real powers behind all the great events that have been symbolized: The Lord, and the Dragon (Satan). Satan lost. The battle was spiritual in nature and invisible to mortal eyes, though its effects were clearly played out in the lives of those living in the late First Century Roman Empire. The Dragon was defeated by Jesus, and a sore loser, realizing his eternal fate was sealed and time shortened, the Devil turned his fury toward “the woman and the rest of her seed,” or Christians. Chapter 13 reveals the agents of Satan’s mission to persecute the church of that day. Understanding the chapter will help us understand how the enemy works the same way today. I. The Sea Beast (13:1-10) A. Origin & Appearance (vv.1-2) 1. Consider the end of 12:17. KJV & NKJ have John standing on the beach, but the ASV & ESV have the Dragon doing so. The latter has better contextual support considering it’s a contrast between Jesus standing on the Mountain later.

and Abednego. 2. “The sea stands for the nations in their restless movements and unsettled state. Isa 2. This is a word of command and encouragement to Christians. 57:20 speaks in that very fashion. Rev 17:15 interprets “waters” as nations & 3. Vv.8-10 - Predestination? peoples” –J. McGuiggan (Revelation, p.191). (See also Isa 8:7-8; Dan 7:2ff, 17.) 3. What do we think of when we hear “beast”? II. The Earth Beast (13:11-17) 4. This is Rome the persecuting civil power. A. Origin & Function (vv.11-12) 5. The appearance is as the Dragon, because he’s who was behind Rome, the 1. Rising from the earth symbolizes human origin. persecutor of Jesus, but this is because Satan was making himself known in the form 2. It’s called the “false prophet” in 16:13 and 19:20). This is Rome’s religious system. of Rome: 3. “Two horns like a lamb… spoke like a dragon” –this is “wolf in sheep’s clothing” • As it is here, it has 7 heads, but later we will see 8. hypocrisy. Perhaps a false messiah in a sense, but not the fabled Antichrist. • See 17:9-10. There is no doubting what the heads represent. Rome was built on 7 4. “Exercises all the authority of the first beast” –this beast has the authority of Rome. hills. The heads are also 7 kings (i.e. Roman Emperors). 5. In ancient Rome, religion was vital to politics. One supported the other. Rome had • “The Roman author Suetonius began his list of emperors with Julius Caesar. no tolerance of religious beliefs that didn’t support its claims. Nothing’s changed Tacitus, on the other hand, appears to have considered Augustus the first Roman with regard to present day nations, really. emperor” -J. Christian Wilson (The Problem of the Domitianic Date, New B. Miraculous Ability (vv.13-15) Testament Studies (1993), 39: p. 599). 1. Miracles? If so, they are false signs, but be careful to be consistent to interpret these • Here’s the list: Julius (?), Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba*, signs as symbolic. Perhaps these “miracles” simply symbolize the power of Otho*, Vitellius*, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, and so on (see handout #1). It’s persuasion. understandable why early date brothers start with Julius, because “five fallen” 2. Historic accounts tell us pagan priests of the era were experts with their tricks and comes to Nero. Nero was a persecutor. However, Daniel (Ch.7) obviously starts ventriloquism. with Augustus, because the 3 (marked*) are uprooted there. John picks up with C. Demands (vv.16-17) the 8 Daniel leaves in place. This is why McGuiggan argues for the mid-70s date 1. Evil counterpart of the Lord’s name marked on his disciples. of writing Revelation, since it puts Vespasian on the throne, and the reason to 2. No literal mark is in view in either case. warn of the coming of Vespasian (Revelation’s 8th, & Daniel’s 11th). More on 3. These marks symbolize participation. The Lord’s mark on his people represent this in the lesson on Ch.17. participation in his kingdom (belief, faithfulness). The beast’s mark basically means • “Ten Kings” - Bosporus, Thrace, Lycia, Galatia, Pontus, Lycaonia, Cappadocia, participation in emperor worship to avoid the pain of persecution. Armenia, Judaea and Egypt III. Concerning 666, the Number of the Beast (v.) B. Wound, Recovery, & Worship (vv.3-4) A. Some use numerology to add up “Neron Caesar” (from a form attributed to the Dead 1. The mortal wound refers to the death of Nero, then to the period of turmoil, which Sea Scrolls) could have resulted in the death of the whole empire that followed. B. Some use numerology to add up Domitian (from writings on the edge of Roman coins). 2. Vespasian stabilized the empire, and is one of the heads, but was not a persecutor. C. Others use numerology to add up the Latin phrase, “vicarius filii dei,” which means “in 3. The worship refers to the worship of deified Rome, which ultimately was the place of God” (i.e. “the Antichrist”). worship of the one who was working through Rome, Satan. D. Point is, twist and turn and you can add up whatever you’re looking for. C. Nature & Dominion (vv.5-8) E. It’s symbolism. The Greek is just as likely “the number of man,” as “the number of a 1. Haughty, blasphemous, man.” It refers to the utter failure of man to live up to the divine standard, and in the case 2. 42 months—we’ve seen this before. What does it mean? of these Caesars who claimed divine status it is especially appropriate. 3. Those who weren’t God’s people worshiped the beast over all the earth. Those who wouldn’t worship Rome suffered dearly for it. IV. Premillennialism: Revelation 13 and the Antichrist? D. Destiny (vv.9-10) A. Quotes: 1. Even saints who must suffer are in the hands of God. Consider Shadrach, Meshach,

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