Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #351 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Revelation 13 today and our focus is on Who is the Beast in Revelation and Who is the Dragon We are a daily 10ish minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in . Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
Let’s start out with a couple of recent comments from listeners. Sometimes we get GREAT comments, like this one, from our old friend Og: “War in heaven” — How do immortal spiritual beings fight? I sometimes wonder about that. For example, Daniel talks about Gabriel being sent to him, but being restrained by the prince of Persia until Michael came to help him. What does that look like? In one sense I’m curious. In another sense, I’m content not to know empirically.” That’s a great thought, Og – I generally picture them hacking away at each other with swords, but I’m not entirely sure that is accurate, though we do see a few times in the Bible where angels have swords, like:
Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. Numbers 22:31 and
Then the Lord commanded the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath. 1 Chronicles 21:27.
What are those swords made of? Do demons and other bad guy spiritual creatures also have swords? I’ve no idea!
So, that’s a great comment. Somewhat regularly, we get comments from WAY out in left field, like the almost one page comment that gave a lot of presumptuous Bible interpretation to identify Benjamin Netanyahu as THE Antichrist, or this one, which just came in a couple of days ago, that alleges that most physical water baptisms that happen in church are actually witches (who themselves are dark magicians) secretly initiating would be church members into a coven with other witches that are led by demons.
The word that you may want to know its deeper meaning is the word “baptism” When you meticulously study the word baptism and study its definitions to see what other words are related to it you should eventualy [sic] come to the conclusion that EXTERNAL baptism is a magic ritual. When someone is baptised from the “outside” he is considered to have entered a “coven-ant”… When the word COVENANT is split up into 2 words, it transforms into the word “coven” and the suffix “ant”….The word COVEN means “”an assembly of witches, especially a group of 13. So, the deeper meaning of the word “baptism” is “”An agreement (contract) with a “coven” controlled by witches or lords. Therefore when people are baptized, they have agreed to serve in the capacity of a coven or make an agreement with a coven, which is controlled by witches or lords. The question therefore people SHOULD be asking is “the one performing the baptism a member of a coven of the true LORD or is he a member of a coven of witches who worship false gods. The witches who have infiltrated many churches on this earth are the dark magicians. The magicians have masters that are known as demons.. Their demonic masters are the lords that people make contracts with when they agree to be baptized by the minions of the dark magicians.
This is some real tin-foil hat kind of stuff that is really pretty out of bounds. Are there some witches who have infiltrated churches? I suppose there are, but in my experience, such things are quite rare. We should be careful about going off the rails, and it is the Word of God, not strange etymological speculations that keep us where we need to be.
And now- Revelation 13. Vss. 3 and 4? NOT my favorite Bible verses. In fact, they are quite disturbing:
The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast. 4 They worshiped the dragon because he gave authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to wage war against it?” Revelation 13:3-4
This is obviously a huge deal, because whomever this “beast” is, the WHOLE world will be amazed and follow the beast (except for those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life, of course.) And, the dragon – the dragon is the one who gives authority to the beast, and the people of the world will worship BOTH the dragon AND the beast because of this. SO, who is the beast, and who is the dragon? The identify of the dragon is quite easy, because Revelation 12 spells it out beyond a shadow of a doubt:
7 Then war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought, 8 but he could not prevail, and there was no place for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was thrown out—the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him. Revelation 13:7-9
So, the dragon is obviously the devil, Satan – the serpent in the garden. How do things end for the dragon in the book of Revelation? I can summarize with one word: badly. Very badly. Okay, that was two words, but we’ll cover that shortly.
The identify of the dragon is quite straightforward, but the identity of the beast is much less obvious.
The first thing is that we need to note that there are clearly two beasts – a beast from the sea and a beast from the land, as vs. 11 makes clear:
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon
When I read that description of the beast of the earth, the second beast mentioned, one way to take it is that this figure will be one who appears to be lamb-like (perhaps Christ like?) but his words are dragon-like (Satan-like). This reminds me of Paul’s warning in 2nd Corinthians 11:14, “For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” This might give us a clue as to the personality of one of the beasts, but we need to back up first and consider the big picture.
Is John talking about a creature here, or a human being? I believe the answer is given to us in Daniel 7, which is a chapter that connects at multiple points with Revelation 13, just as Revelation 12 links up with Daniel 8 in places. Let’s read a little bit in Daniel 7:
In the first year of King Belshazzar of Babylon, Daniel had a dream with visions in his mind as he was lying in his bed. He wrote down the dream, and here is the summary of his account. 2 Daniel said, “In my vision at night I was watching, and suddenly the four winds of heaven stirred up the great sea. 3 Four huge beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other.4 “The first was like a lion but had eagle’s wings. I continued watching until its wings were torn off. It was lifted up from the ground, set on its feet like a man, and given a human mind.5 “Suddenly, another beast appeared, a second one, that looked like a bear. It was raised up on one side, with three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up! Gorge yourself on flesh.’6 “After this, while I was watching, suddenly another beast appeared. It was like a leopard with four wings of a bird on its back. It had four heads, and it was given dominion.7 “After this, while I was watching in the night visions, suddenly a fourth beast appeared, frightening and dreadful, and incredibly strong, with large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and it trampled with its feet whatever was left. It was different from all the beasts before it, and it had ten horns….15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit was deeply distressed within me, and the visions in my mind terrified me. 16 I approached one of those who were standing by and asked him to clarify all this. So he let me know the interpretation of these things: 17 ‘These huge beasts, four in number, are four kings who will rise from the earth. 18 But the holy ones of the Most High will receive the kingdom and possess it forever, yes, forever and ever.’19 “Then I wanted to be clear about the fourth beast, the one different from all the others, extremely terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze claws, devouring, crushing, and trampling with its feet whatever was left. 20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three fell—the horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke arrogantly, and that looked bigger than the others. 21 As I was watching, this horn waged war against the holy ones and was prevailing over them 22 until the Ancient of Days arrived and a judgment was given in favor of the holy ones of the Most High, for the time had come, and the holy ones took possession of the kingdom. 23 “This is what he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, different from all the other kingdoms. It will devour the whole earth, trample it down, and crush it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will rise from this kingdom. Another king, different from the previous ones, will rise after them and subdue three kings. 25 He will speak words against the Most High and oppress the holy ones of the Most High. He will intend to change religious festivals and laws, and the holy ones will be handed over to him for a time, times, and half a time.
Wow – we are in deep waters now, aren’t we!? And, because this is already running long, TOMORROW, in episode 352, we will look at the parallels between Daniel 7 and Revelation 13, AND read through Revelation 14 together.
Bible Memory passage for the month of December: Revelation 5:12, “They said with a loud voice: Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
Happy by Mike Leite https://soundcloud.com/mikeleite
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