End Times: Back to the Future
Lesson 16Revelation 13
In this lesson, we will examine Revelation Chapter 13, which describes the two beasts and the mark of the beast — all symbols telling us something about the end times. Here again, we will have the opportunity to apply the symbols that we learned earlier in our prophecy study.
So let’s read Revelation Chapter 13, put on our thinking caps, and respond to the following questions:
- Chapter 13:1-18 describes two beasts. One rises out of the "sea", and one emerges from out of the "earth". Who are these two figures?
- If the sea has always symbolized peoples in turmoil, and the earth symbolizes organized civilization, then write down what you think these specific passages connote (i.e., "rising out of the sea" and "coming up out of the earth").
- Where will the Anti-Christ come from? (Where is his birthplace?) See Micah Chapter 5, especially 5:5; and Isaiah 14:24-27.
- If horns and crowns are symbols of power, then what can be inferred by the fact that ten crowns are mentioned in the passage, but only seven heads? (Before you answer, read ahead to Revelation Chapter 17:6-18 and then re-read Revelation 12:3. Let the Bible interpret the Bible.)
- Where does the first "beast" cited in Revelation 13:1 get its power? I.e., from whom? (see Rev. 13:2)
- From our previous lesson, who did we learn is "the dragon"? (see Rev. 12:9)
- What is the dragon’s main purpose, i.e., that which he hopes to accomplish through "the first beast"? (see Rev. 12:13)
- From all of the above and the understanding that you’ve gained so far, read Revelation 13:3 again and identify that which is "wounded to death". Is it a person?
- What "blasphemies" are associated with Anti-Christ and his empire, or are voiced by him? (see Rev. 13:1) See Ezekiel 9:9 for one example; you should be able to think of plenty more.
- In Revelation 13:11-18, the Second Beast — the False Prophet — causes several things to happen. List each one alongside the pertinent verses below. (Note he is able to perform these acts because Rev. 13:12 tells us that he has "all the power of the first beast".)
- Verse 12
- Verse 13
- Verse 14
- Verse 15
- Verse 16
- Revelation 13:18 references the mark, or number, of the beast, i.e., 666. Before answering the questions that follow below, consider several things:(a) The number for man is 6, representing imperfection, while the number for God is 7, representing perfection or completeness.(b) A "mark" sets someone apart (see Ezekiel 9:4), so it is normally a symbol, not an actual "name".(c) A "mark" indicates either ownership, or something that happens or results from some type of action or decision (see Galatians 6:17).Given the above considerations, do you suppose that the number 666 is someone’s name (containing six letters in each name, e.g., Adolph Hitler, etc)? What could possibly be meant by this "symbol" and the "mark" of the beast?
- [BONUS QUESTION] Can you determine the basic difference between the theme of Revelation Chapter 13 and the theme of Revelation Chapter 17?
May God richly bless you as you study His Word.