This study, as posted, covers the middle portion of Revelation, as the parenthetical passages and 7th trumpet cover quite a lot of space. We will probably take two weeks on this, getting as far as we can this week and finishing up the next week. I had tried to just stop in 11 before the 7th trumpet starts, but that was a bit short for one week. Likewise, the sounding of the 7th trumpet through the end of its description is a bit long for one week. So we'll see how it goes and break where we can.
Parenthetical, The Little Book's Contents
Revelation 10 is a chapter that gives us some information about what is going on in the heavenly realms and earth during some of the judgments.
10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:
10:2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
10:3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
10:4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
The mighty angel described here reads like Christ's description at the start of Revelation. Since the first part of Revelation indicates that Christ was counted worthy to open the little book, and this "angel" has the little book open in His hand, it is clear that Christ is referred to in the passage.
He stands on the sea and ground. He's never had any problem walking on the waters, and He demonstrates this once again. It is not said what His cry was. It is also not recorded, by Divine order, what the seven thunders say. However, I suspect that the world will all hear whatever it is.
It's a hard thing for a prophet to hear the word of God telling what must come about, and then be told to not divulge certain things, and actually follow through with that. Nonetheless, we need to listen to what God is telling us. It may be just for us. It may be to share. If it is just for you or just for us, then keep it there. If it is for everyone (I think that's the default), share what God is telling your churches with the world!
10:5 And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven,
10:6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer:
Christ swears that time shall be no longer. Dake comments that only the Godhead and Man swear. No angel is ever recorded making any oath to God or man. He goes further to comment that this is not saying that time will cease to exist. Only that the things that are to be finished will not be delayed any longer. He says that as the seventh angel sounds his trumpet, God's mysteries will be made known to all as He has already declared to the prophets.
10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
10:8 And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
10:9 And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
10:10 And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
10:11 And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.
Dake comments that verses 8-10 is a Hebraism for receiving knowledge that is sweet when received, but becomes bitter as you see how God is going to carry out His righteous judgments. The remainder of the Great Tribulation concerns the contents of the little book. John is ordered to transmit this prophecy again to everyone on Earth as a continued warning to get right with God.
Rise of the Antichrist
Revelation 11 begins to describe some of the workings of the Antichrist. These go hand in hand with our previous study of Daniel. In the first portion of the chapter, we see that Jerusalem will fall from Jewish hands, into the hands of the Antichrist, where he will take over the temple for a period of 3 1/2 years.
Jerusalem Taken Over
11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
11:2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
The Two Witnesses
Duration of Ministry
11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
But even though the Antichrist will be in control at Jerusalem, he will not have a peaceful reign. God will send two witnesses to the city who will prophecy for slightly under 3 1/2 years at the end of Daniel's 70th week. They will wear sackcloth during their time of prophecy. They are described as olive trees and candlesticks, standing before God.
So who are they?
The answer is quite simple. The Bible makes a couple of direct statements about life and death as seen in:
9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
So who hasn't died? If you read the Bible carefully, you will find the two individuals mentioned who are not recorded as dying.
For the first, turn to:
5:18 And Jared lived an hundred sixty and two years, and he begat Enoch:
5:19 And Jared lived after he begat Enoch eight hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
5:20 And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died.
5:21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:
5:22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:
5:23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:
5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.
Right in the middle of a very long list of genealogies, all ending with "and he died", we see a special case. Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. So he's the first!
For the other instance, we turn to:
2 Kings 2:11-12:
2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.
2:12 And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
Elijah is also specifically mentioned in Malachi 4:5-6 which also establishes the time when they do their work.
4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
4:6 and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
This prophecy plainly declares that many will turn to God due to the witness of these men, so there is still hope even after all the bad things that will be brought to pass.
So, by default, these two men are the oldest living people if anyone asks. They are biding their time in heaven, waiting for their final days on earth. They may not have to wait much longer.
Their Power and Destiny
11:5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
God gives them miraculous power while on earth. If they are attacked, They can devour their enemies by fire from their mouth. Elijah was always pretty good with fire, if you'll remember. God miraculously used fire to convince the king and the people that the prophets of Baal worshiped and caused the people to worship a non-entity. God answered Elijah's simple prayer by fire from heaven. So it will be here. The word of their mouth will call down fire to consume their enemies. If any man hurts them, he will be killed in this manner.
They can cause complete droughts during the time of their prophecy (almost 3 1/2 years, remember). That's a long time without any rain. Considering the drought that they can bring on the earth during the time of their prophecy (3 1/2 years), Elijah is a particularly good choice anyway. If you will remember, there was drought in the land in his day that ended when the prophets of Baal were taken out - see the cloud - the size of a man's fist - hurry, hurry home, or you'll be caught in the deluge, he told the king.
They are also allowed to smite the earth with plagues as often as they want. After the 3 1/2 years, the beast from the pit will make war against them, and will overcome them, and kill them. Their dead bodies will lie in Jerusalem (which is spiritually now known as Sodom or Egypt for the sins of the people who live there.)
The Party at their Death, Their Resurrection, and Rapture
11:9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
11:10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
11:11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
The people won't allow their bodies to be buried but will instead rejoice over their deaths, make merry, and send gifts to each other on the occasion of the prophets deaths. But God has another surprise in store for them. After 3 1/2 days, their spirit will return to the lifeless bodies and they will stand up. Everyone who had been partying (and knew the history of the fire coming out of their mouths and consuming their enemies) will panic. A great voice will be heard from heaven saying
11:12 Come up hither
and they will ascend, completing the fifth rapture of all the righteous dead before the Millennium begins.
From Dake's notes of Corinthians (p. 175), the first was Christ and the many saints that were resurrected after His resurrection. The second were those ready when He came to take the church right before Rev. 4:1. The third were the 144,000 member strong Man-child. The fourth are the tribulation saints, killed by the evil forces during the tribulation. The fifth and last are the two witnesses, at the end of the tribulation.
The Aftermath, the Conclusion of the Second Woe
11:13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
11:14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
Here, we see that a great earthquake (mentioned in later portions of Revelation as well), will occur at the same hour that the two prophets are raptured causing 10% of Jerusalem to be destroyed, and killing 7,000 more people. The remnant who are left are afraid and give glory to God. This ends the second woe that is mentioned. The third woe is yet to come.
The Seventh Trumpet
11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
11:17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
At the end of Revelation 11, there is the sounding of the 7th trumpet. This covers a fairly wide range of time, closing out when Christ actually takes over the governments of the world. So the passage described here introduces and covers the same 3 1/2 year time period that was covered by the two witnesses above, as described in 11:15 through the end of chapter 13.
There is a marked contrast between the effect of this in heaven and on earth. The 24 elders fall on their face and worship God, giving Him thanks for taking over and reigning once again. The nations are angry that God's wrath has come.
The chapter closes out with the judging of the dead, rewarding of the servants and prophets, saints, and those that fear God, both small and great. The opening of the temple of God where the ark of the covenant is seen is accompanied with hail, lightning, thunder, an earthquake, and other voices speaking which are not disclosed.
The Sun Clothed Woman, and the Man-child
12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
Revelation 12 is filled with imagery. It starts with a sun clothed pregnant woman, ready to deliver her child. There are many opinions as to what this woman could be. The one that Dake accepts, and the one that fits in best with everything else that is going on in Revelation, is that the sun clothed woman represents the Jews who will be living in the nation of Israel at the time of Daniel's 70th week. The Israelis were often spoken of as a woman married to God under the terms of the Covenant they made. An extract of his full notes on the subject follows...
The sun-clothed woman (12:1)
- Israel is often spoken of as a woman married to God under the terms of the old covenant (Isa. 54:1-6; Jer. 3:1-14; Hos. 2:14-23)
- The church is not once symbolized by a woman, married or unmarried. It is never called the bride of Christ (see p. 312). The church is spoken of as a man (note g. Eph. 2:15). Therefore, the church could not be the sun-clothed woman of Rev. 12
- The false church is spoken of as a woman, a great whore (Rev. 17), but this could not be the sun-clothed woman.
- The Bible mentions only 3 classes of people today: the church, the Jews, and the Gentiles (1 Cor. 10:32). At the middle of Daniel's 70th week when the woman travails and brings forth the man-child, the church has been gone from the earth for at least 3 1/2 years (notes t and y, Rev. 4:1). This leaves only 2 classes after the rapture: Jews and Gentiles. The woman could not symbolize the Gentiles, because they are the ones persecuting the woman. Therefore, the woman must symbolize national Israel.
- Israel is the one primarily dealt with in Rev. 4-19, not the church (see point 10, p 306, col 2).
- The sun, moon, and 12 stars symbolize Israel, as proved in Gen. 37:9-11.
- The Jews are the only people in Scripture spoken of as going through travail in the last days (v2-5; Mt. 24:8; Mk. 13:8; Isa. 66:7-8; Jer. 30:6-9; Mic. 5:3; Zech. 12:10-13:1).
- Israel is identified as the woman by the wars against her and her seed. The same predictions of this woman are found in connection with Israel in the O.T. so they must be the same (Dan. 7:21, 8:9-14, 24-25, 9:27, 11:40-45, 12:1, 7; Joel 3; Zech. 12:1-9, 13:8-9, 14:1-21).
- The whole 70th week of Daniel 9:27 concerns Israel and Jerusalem, as did the first 69 weeks (Dan. 9:24-27). The church is not once mentioned in connection with these last day events.
- In additional support of this, Dake references Gen. 37:9-11, Daniel 9:27, Isaiah 16:1-5, 26:20-21, 63:1-5, 42:11-13; Psalms 60:6-12, 180:8-13; Ezekiel 20:33-44; Daniel 11:36-45; Hosea 2:14-23; Matthew 24:15-22; Revelation 12:6, 13-16.
Satan's War Against the Man-child
12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
The imagery continues with a description of Satan. The dragon is a symbol of Satan in Revelation. The seven heads represent the seven world empires we have discussed that precede the kingdom of the Antichrist. Each of these heads is crowned, representing the fact that Satan had ultimate rule in those kingdoms. The 10 horns referred to here represent his power over the 10 crowned horns on the beast (Rev. 13:1)
In this case, this dragon's horns aren't crowned indicating that he doesn't rule these kingdoms directly but controls the beast that actually has the rule. The 10 horns on that beast (the Antichrist) are crowned, indicating he rules the 10 kingdoms. On the other hand, the beast's seven heads aren't crowned, indicating he (the Antichrist) didn't have anything to do with ruling the preceding seven kingdoms.
Here we see that Satan, along with 1/3 of the angels that rebelled against God, are finally thrown out of heaven. Most people, if asked, would never say that Satan is present in heaven today. Yet if you read Job, he is continually before the throne accusing the brethren to God. He, and the rebellious angels (those that weren't bound in the abyss, Jude 1), are commanded to appear at times as well. Here, and in the coming scriptures, we see that they are finally ejected for good.
We also see that Satan is incensed and wishes to destroy the man child as soon as he sees the end in sight to prevent the further evangelistic work being done by them in Israel. Remember that just before the start of the trumpet judgments, at the time of the seventh seal opening, 144,000 Jews are sealed to prevent them being hurt by any of the judgments to come. Other people who had turned to Christ but missed the rapture (whether Jew or Gentile) had to take their chances with those who refused to accept Christ as the judgments unfold. I believe that part of their work will be to try to evangelize the nation of Israel and prepare them for the final end days that are about to come about. This work continues through a portion of the first 3 1/2 years of lesser tribulation.
12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
Here, we see that before Satan can bring his plan against the man child about, God takes the man child directly to heaven to His throne. We also see here that many Israelis will flee into the wilderness at the time man child is taken and the two witnesses come to begin their work in Jerusalem to a place prepared by God. They will be fed there for the final 3 1/2 years of the tribulation. We can't say for certain how many of all of the nation of Israel will flee to this prepared place of refuge, but I suspect that the majority of the Jews living in Israel will do so.
The Bible says that a remnant will be left behind, as was the case with most other invasions of Israel in the Bible. In the last 3 1/2 years, the Antichrist will move against Israel, breaking his peace treaty with them. If they stay, they are likely to be destroyed, so I suspect that most will go, whether they have yet accepted Christ as their Savior or not.
The generally accepted place where the Jews will flee is to Petra. In Isaiah 16:1-5, we see that the people will flee to Sela which is another name for Petra. It is a rocky fortress like place with limited access that hasn't changed much for a long time. It is easily defended. With God on their side, they will be safe here for the 3 1/2 year time of greater tribulation.
Satan's Expulsion and the Third Woe
12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
In these verses, we see Satan's final battle with God and His forces. Michael defeats Satan and his angels, and their place is no longer found in Heaven. A loud voice announces from heaven the results of the battle. Salvation and strength, the kingdom of God and the power of Christ has overcome. Satan is cast down who accused the brethren of their failings in God's sight day and night.
How was he overcome? By nothing other than the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. They willingly gave their own lives rather than deny Christ and His atoning work on the cross. The command is given to the heavens and their inhabitants to rejoice due to the victory.
On the other hand, a woe is pronounced on the inhabitants of earth and sea because Satan is now down among them, really mad, because of the limited time he has left. At this point, he has lost the primary battle for heaven and only has a rear-guard action left. He is a defeated foe where heaven is concerned, but like most defeated foes his wrath is going to be poured out on those who are less strong than him. Thus, the inhabitants of the earth are warned against another coming woe.
The Battle Against Israel
12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Here we see a second reprise of the comments of verse 6. The dragon persecutes the woman (national Israel). God helps the woman to escape into the wilderness with two wings of a great eagle. This would suggest some sort of airlift is involved in the escape of the Jews this time from Satan's attack.
Satan sends an army after them (the flood out of his mouth). As happened to the Korahites in Numbers 16:29-35, the earth opens up and eliminates this army of Satan that is following the escaping Israelis. This infuriates Satan. Since he is clearly prevented by God from attacking those who chose to put themselves under the protection of God, he makes war on the remnant that stayed behind in Israel.
Dake comments that when the remnant sees the man child taken up, they turn to God and receive the testimony of Jesus Christ. This is the baptism in the Holy Spirit, so there's scriptural proof that the Holy Spirit isn't taken from the earth during this time.
The Beasts of Revelation 13
The Beast from the Sea
At this point, the parenthetical passage switches from the focus on heaven to what is happening with the Antichrist at this point in time. The beast of the sea corresponds to the kingdom of the Antichrist, the Antichrist himself, and a supernatural spirit which comes from the Abyss.
13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
Dake comments that John is taken to a beach on the Mediterranean, where he sees a beast rising up from the sea (which in this case means people). The beast has seven heads and ten horns, in parallel to the dragon we discussed earlier. Here, the horns are crowned and the heads are marked with the name of blasphemy, under the control of Satan. You will note in the spiritual description of the beast a parallel to our study of Daniel.
Revelation makes it clear that Satan, the dragon, gives the beast his power, his throne, and his authority. We also note here that one of the heads was wounded to death, but the wound was healed and this caused the world to wonder. Many have said that the Antichrist will be assassinated and heal himself, but I don't think this is the case.
It does say that a head is wounded to death. I believe that this indicates that there will be a great deal of damage to a particular country in the fighting while the Antichrist comes to power. He will be responsible for doing some really spectacular cleanup that will leave the world wondering at his power. This might include the cleanup after dirty nukes, biological, or chemical weapons or another of man's implements for war that makes a mess. Part of the Antichrist's allure to the world will start with his cleanup after this destructive mess is unleashed.
13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
As he comes to power, he will be worshiped. His military might will truly awe the world, and the world will feel that none can successfully engage his forces in battle. The Antichrist will make great promises and speak great blasphemies against God. He will have a 3 1/2 year period of power, although he will not realize his time will be this short when he starts out. He will blaspheme God, God's name, the tabernacle of God, and all who dwell in heaven from the start.
The Battle Against the Saints
13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
13:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
Since he is opposed to and blasphemes all things Christians should consider Holy, it is clear that Christians will be a primary target of his wrath on the earth. He will make war with those who have accepted Christ as their Savior post-rapture and will overcome them.
The debate continues, in Christian circles, whether the extent of his power is limited to the 10 kingdoms he takes out or the entire world, and indeed whether these 10 kingdoms encompass the world or just the area around Israel in the old Roman and Persian empires. We won't attempt to settle this argument here. The simple point is that if you end up in a place that is under the control of the Antichrist, it is going to be miserable trying to survive as a Christian. The point is to not find yourself in that situation in the first place.
I've made my case in an earlier lesson for the Antichrist only controlling a limited amount of territory in the area surrounding Israel. Hopefully, in God's grace and mercy, and by the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ, I won't have to worry about whether I am right or wrong in that guess as I'll be an observer. (I will, perhaps, be taken to task for printing something wrong here, and perhaps not). Hopefully the words here will drive some to make the right decision for Christ before it is too late (either due to their deaths or the rapture occurring).
I would urge all Christians to not let these words be used as weapons against each other, and I am sure that Dake would hope the same thing. All we can do is speculate until prophecy actually unfolds as to how it might unfold for items that aren't black and white. The purpose of this series is to wake non-Christians up, not to cause any more strife (or add more fuel to the fire) than already exists between Christian factions.
Those who are under his power will be commanded to worship him. The Christians will not worship him. For those who don't worship him, the Bible prophecies that there will only be a choice of captivity or death. The worship of the Antichrist will try the patience of the saints.
Here we see a repeat of that famous phrase that was popular as Christ was speaking in the church age recorded in Revelation 2, 3.
If any man have an ear, let him hear.
This sentence is just as relevant to the newly minted Christians under the Antichrist here as it was to the moribund churches in Revelation 2, 3. Pay attention! Worship of anything other than God is idolatry and is sin. You cannot worship the beast and not incur God's wrath. It is sin. So you must take the path of captivity or death. Don't worship the beast!
The Beast from the Earth
13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
13:12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
The Antichrist will have help in his work. A second man will come up from the earth. This man is frequently identified as the false prophet for his aid to the Antichrist. He will have the appearance of a lamb, but the words will be as the words of Satan. He will have similar powers to the first beast and will cause the first beast to be worshiped. He will be able to do great wonders such as commanding fire to fall from heaven.
The signs, wonders, and miracles that Satan will perform through the second beast will cause many to be deceived who live on the earth. He will command the people of earth to make an image of the Antichrist that must be worshiped. The second beast will give life to this image so that it can speak. Whoever refuses to worship this image of the Antichrist will be killed. Don't be deceived.
The Mark of the Beast
13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
Perhaps nothing in Revelation has gotten the attention of the people of the United States as much as the mark of the beast. This parenthetical series will be continued next time, with further discussion about the reasons why you can't take the mark. I've talked about the mark of the beast in other spots so I'll let those words fill in some of the blanks here. Suffice it to say that you won't be able to buy or sell anything without the mark, the name of the beast, or the number of his name in either your right hand or on your forehead.
I see the world moving quickly to a place where this will be acceptable. Today, in our fair town, there are many places that are refusing to accept local checks. It has been a long time since most places would accept out of town checks. There is an element of mistrust being sown by the credit card companies, calling after you make purchases to make sure that the purchase was valid and that you actually still physically possess the cards.
Our currency is being redesigned again and again to try to foil counterfeit operations (there are currently 3 variants of each of the major US bills in circulation although the original is less frequently seen). There's a huge push on to support a nationwide ID that is harder to counterfeit as well. All of these things are moving toward making some sort of physical biometric implant an acceptable proof of account information and identity.
Already, out there in the world, there are attempts to implant RFID tags in school children in Japan for identity purposes and there are working prototypes of hand implanted RFID tags used for purchasing items at resorts. I don't claim that these things are necessarily what will turn out to be the mark of the beast. All I am saying is that this sort of technology was unthinkable when Revelation was written 2,000 years ago (and was unimagined even 50 years ago, for that matter).
Now, we are moving toward the place where it will be accepted by society without a fuss. The technology is now in place to allow the Antichrist and the beast from the earth to make this come about if they so choose. If you think that there won't be a huge final push after the rapture to try to pin down people's identity and make transactions more secure, you're delusional. Everything is ready. The rapture may not come about for a long time to come, but it could certainly come about right this second. Are you ready?
If this message is coming across as a bit scary, I assure you that that is certainly my intention. Scared straight is a powerful concept. Even if the message causes you no worries at all since you know you are saved, then let it be a prod to get off your pew and start doing His work. Seek out God's will for your life and get on with it. Make every moment that you can spare, count for the kingdom of God.