The Beast from the Sea Part 1
Revelation Chapter 13:1-10
(Vs.1) “And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.”
Satan also called the Dragon is about to set loose the last beast empire with designs to rule the globe through the man called the Antichrist also known as the man of sin or of lawlessness. This beast empire was coming up out of the sea which was the Mediterranean Sea. It was a Middle-eastern empire that both John and Daniel saw. This empire we are told had ten horns and seven heads. The ten kings are part of the seven heads which we are told by John are also seven mountains on which the harlot city sits. (Revelation 17:9) Firstly, the seven heads represent seven successive empires in history. According to Revelation 17 9-12 we are told that at the time John writes that five kings had already fallen. These were Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia and Greece. The sixth empire was in existence at the time John writes and this of course was the Roman Empire. John mentions that there is a seventh empire and an eighth empire still to come in the future that belongs to the seventh one. Following the sixth empire, being Rome, there was a seventh empire which conquered Rome historically and that was the Islamic Turkish Ottoman Empire.
The Ottoman Turks
In 1923 the Turkish Ottoman caliphate was abolished in Turkey. We are also told that there will be an eighth king who belongs to the seventh one and this is an empire that has been resurrected. Islam is revived. The ten kings or horns are directly connected to this eighth empire and receive their authority and power from the beast empire. These ten kings or horns would be an Islamic federation of ten Muslim nations. Already we have seen Erdogan of Turkey having a summit in Istanbul in late December last year (2017) with the leaders of the majority Muslim nations to condemn President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The gathering was under the auspices of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, OIC. Turkey currently leads the OIC and the emergency summit was called by President Erdogan. John tells us that there will ultimately be a ten nation federation that will be a part of this Islamic beast Empire.
“Ganging up on God”
Indeed at the OIC Summit we see their intention reflected in Psalm 83. “For behold, Your enemies (God’s enemies and Israel as well) make an uproar, And those who hate You have exalted themselves. They make shrewd plans against Your people, And conspire together against Your treasured ones. They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation (Israel), That the name of Israel be remembered no more.” For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant: The tents of Edom (The Palestinians in Southern Jordan) and the Ishmaelites (Saudi Arabia, the home of the Arab nations), Moab (The Palestinians in Central Jordan) the Hagrites (Egypt); Gebal (The Palestinians in Northern Lebanon) and Ammon (The Palestinians in Northern Jordan) and Amalek (The Negev and Sinai Peninsula area), Philistia (The Gaza Strip and the home of Hamas) with the inhabitants of Tyre (Southern Lebanon and the home of Hezbolah); Assyria (Syria and Northern Iraq) also has joined with them; They have become a help to the children of Lot.” (Psalm 83:2-8) Lot’s ‘children’ or descendants today are the Palestinian Arabs residing in Northern and Central Jordan. They are all Islamic nations today and the enemies of Israel. What we see today is a satanic conspiracy to destroy Israel and this is what is motivating Erdogan of Turkey. Added to this Iran has placed missile launching facilities in Syria with the aim of sending missiles to hit Israeli cities.
‘She sits on seven mountains’
Mystery Babylon the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth is described as sitting on seven mountains. (Revelation 17:9) Today the city of Mecca is surrounded by seven literal mountains. Fundamentalist Islam sees Mecca in Saudi Arabia as the harlot of Islam because of its compromise with the western democracies. John tells us that the beast empire and its ten kings will hate the harlot and eat her flesh and burn her with fire and that God has ordained it. The description of the harlot’s destruction would describe the effects of a nuclear weapon. (Revelation 17:16-17) Islam traces its roots back to the Babylon of Nimrod in Genesis. Babylon in the Bible is strongly associated with all false religion. All false religions have their source in the mystery religions of the Babylon of Nimrod. In Mecca today stands the Clock Tower overlooking the Kaaba housing the black stone which is worshipped and venerated by millions of Muslims around the globe. On the pinnacle of this highest tower you have a crescent moon, the symbol of the Mesopotamian moon-god of war and of Islam. They call this tower “Mt Babel.” It is a declaration to the nations that Islam’s ultimate agenda to see a global Islamic Empire established on earth.
Historically, the City of Babylon was never destroyed its location just atrophied over time. Saddam Hussein tried to rebuild it but it never happened. Jeremiah the prophet writes that there will be a future destruction of the city of Babylon and that its destruction will be heard at the Red Sea. Edom and Teman are also mentioned in this prophecy and these would be located today in Saudi Arabia. Jeremiah writes; “Therefore hear the plan of the LORD which He has planned against Edom, and His purposes which He has purposed against the inhabitants of Teman: surely they will drag them off, even the little ones of the flock; surely He will make their pasture desolate because of them. The earth has quaked at the noise of their downfall. There is an outcry! The noise of it has been heard at the Red Sea.” (Jeremiah 49:20-21) This fiery destruction of the harlot will be at the hands of Iran and most probably will be a nuclear device or by missiles. Teman and Dedan would be located in Saudi Arabia today. (Ezekiel 25:13) As the prophet Isaiah writes; “The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea. As windstorms in the Negev sweep on, It comes from the wilderness, from a terrifying land. A harsh vision has been shown to me; The treacherous one still deals treacherously, and the destroyer still destroys. Go up, Elam (Iran), lay siege, Media (the Kurds); I have made an end of all the groaning she (the harlot) has caused.” (Isaiah 21:1-2)
‘Mountains’ represent Kingdoms
Mountains in Biblical eschatology are figurative of kingdoms (Revelation 17:9) and both the ten kings are part of the seven mountains or heads with blasphemous names on her seven heads. These seven mountains or kingdoms not only represent seven successive world empires historically as we see from history but also the seven main Caliphates of Islam and they are blasphemous Caliphates because Islam denies the Trinity within the Godhead and are of the spirit of antichrist that denies the eternal relationship between the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22-23)
The Seven ‘Heads’ of Islam
The first ‘head’ (mountain/kingdom) that persecuted the church is the Rashidun dynasty, which sparked the conquest of Christian Syria in 637 and later Armenia. It had two crowns, Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (the 1st crown) and Hasan ibn Ali’, Grandson of Muhammad and the son of ‘Ali ibn Abi-Talib’ (the 2nd crown) which branched into the Shiites. This divide sprouted the two horns (Shiite and Sunni) and is why Islam is a “divided kingdom”. (Daniel 2:41)
The second ‘head’ (mountain/kingdom) was the Umayyad Caliphate (661-750) appointed Muʿāwiyah ibn ʾAbī Ṣufyān (the 3rd crown) centred in Mecca and Abd-ar-Rahman III (the 4th crown) centred in Christian Spain after invading that major centre of Christendom, and then Christian North Africa, the intellectual centre of Christianity and reached to the borders of East China and Christian Southern France.
The third ‘head’ (mountain/kingdom) was the Abbasid Caliphate with two horns (750-945/1258/1517). This was founded by Abul `Abbas al-Saffaḥ or the butcher (the 5th crown) centred in Baghdad and Al-Mustansir Billah (the 6th crown) centred in what was Christian Cairo in the heart of Egypt.
The fourth head (mountain/kingdom) was the Fatimid Caliphate (910-1171) which was founded by al-Mahdi Billah (the 7th crown) and established the Fatimid rule (Shiite) throughout much of North Africa, Hejaz, Palestine and the Levant.
The fifth ‘head’ (mountain/kingdom) was the Ayyubid Caliphate (1171-1260) with the famed Sultan Saladin (the 8th crown).
The sixth ‘head’ (mountain/kingdom) was the Almohad Caliphate (1147-1269). The Alomhads (the 9th crown) ruled major areas of the Maghreb being North Africa and Muslim Spain.
The seventh head (mountain/kingdom) was the Turkish Ottoman Caliphate (1517–1924) founded by Selim I (the 10th crown) and by that he was the tenth and final horn of the seven heads. This last Caliphate encompassed all the previous ones and is the seventh head. (Revelation 17:10)
The Eighth King
Having said this according to the Bible the eighth head is the Kingdom of the Antichrist and the revived Turkish Ottoman caliphate which Erdogan of Turkey wants to resurrect, making it a global power. The eighth king arises out of the seventh king and this eighth king is the Islamic Antichrist, the one who comes from Turkey. (Revelation 17:11-12) (Revelation 2:13) Prophetically in the future there will be another federation or states of ten Islamic kingdoms that will be subservient to the 11th horn also being the eighth king and the Antichrist. (Revelation 17:12) Three of these horns will be uprooted by the Antichrist, ‘the little horn.’ (Daniel 7:8; 20)
Turkey, ‘the City and Throne of Satan’
When John wrote his seven letters to the seven churches they were all located in Turkey and at Pergamum John tells us that it was the city “where Satan has his throne and the city where Satan lives.” He also mentions the martyrdom of Antipas, the faithful witness. (Revelation 2:13) Islam persecutes Christians to this day and John is telling us in the Holy Spirit that the seat of Antichrist’s power is in Turkey and that he will persecute the faithful followers of the Lord Jesus which is a historical fact wherever Islam has spread. It was also at Pergamum where the worship of the Roman Emperors really started with Augustus having himself deified and setting the religious trend for the future Caesars of Rome. Turkey has a long and bloody history of persecution against Christians. Then you have the Armenian genocide which to this day Erdogan of Turkey hates to be mentioned. The Armenian genocide of 1915 – denied by the Turkish government today – destroyed a million and a half Christian Ottoman citizens in the first industrial holocaust of the 20th century.
Islam is ‘a Hydra’
In Greek Mythology a Hydra was a creature with many heads. Islam has several components or parts to it. It is not simply a religion but much more. Islam is a socio-economic power, a way of life, a political power, a form of government and a militaristic power with a militant and violent ideology of spreading its message with the sword. Religion is a component.
The Harlot City
Fundamentalist Muslims see Mecca and Saudi Arabia as having compromised Islam. Isaiah tells us then that Babylon is a wilderness or desert by the sea which would be the Red Sea. The City that John describes is a city in a desert and she is a harlot with the blood of Christians in her skirts. (Revelation 17:6) It cannot be Rome of New York because they are not located by the Red Sea or in a desert but the city of Mecca is. Last year it was reported in the media that Saudi Arabia is planning to build a mega city on the Red Sea unlike any other city in the world. It will be guarded by human-looking robots and will be greater than Dubai but it is not only Saudi Arabia that has plans on the Red Sea. Turkey also has entered the Red Sea arena via the Sudan and plans to surround Arabia with mega forces just as Iran is trying to do. If Isaiah the prophet has been correctly interpreted the fundamentalist Muslim world will finally destroy its mega religious centre to fulfil prophecy in that the Beast Empire with its ten Islamic kingdoms will burn its harlot in the desert because God Himself will have put it in their hearts to do this. (Revelation 17:16-17) Possibly both Mecca and this city, if it is built, will burn together at the hands of Iran who by then will have nuclear capability. The City of ‘Babylon’ will fall, either by missiles or by a nuclear detonation.
“Wounded by the sword and yet lives!”
Turkey and Iran will approve of this destruction of ‘the harlot’ as it will further promote Erdogan’s ambition and agenda to see a revived Islamic Turkish Ottoman Caliphate resurrected from the dead. Indeed this Caliphate with its supreme Caliph will be the eighth king or the little horn and “the beast wounded by the sword and yet lives.” In these last days Islam is making a big comeback! Once the Kaaba and the black stone are gone the whole Muslim world will be in a vacuum and then into that vacuum will step the Caliph of Islam (Erdogan?) and the whole Muslim world will worship and follow him and his ideology. (13:4) The Turkish Ottoman Beast Empire wounded by the sword at the end of WW1 will revive and be resurrected to life out of the earth as it were and make a comeback big time! Already this Islamic beast empire has arisen and the Caliphate of the Mahdi is on the way. What else do we know about this beast empire? John continues…
(Vs.2) “And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.”
The apostle John mentions the Leopard, the bear and the lion in that order. In the book of Daniel the order is reversed, you have the lion, the bear and the leopard. The fourth beast is the empire of the Antichrist, not Rome. In Daniel the lion was Babylon which traced its roots back to the original Babylon of Nimrod in the book of Genesis. Then you had the bear which was the Medio-Persian Empire which conquered Babylon but never destroyed the city itself. Then you had the Leopard which was the Greek Empire but the Middle-eastern leg of Alexander’s empire because all of these beast empires arose out of the Mediterranean Sea. The Apostle John reverses the order and begins with the Leopard, which was the Greek Empire followed by the bear which was Persia and lastly followed by the lion which was Babylon. When we consider the empire of Greece or ‘Grecia’ in the book of Daniel it is translated ‘Yavan’ or ‘Ionia’ which today is located in modern day Turkey. Alexander the Great had a western and eastern leg to his empire. Ionia was in Turkey. The Leopard John sees prophetically today would be Turkey. The Bear today would be Iran and the lion the Islamic Caliphate and the empire of the antichrist himself (Daniel’s fourth beast), which directly has its roots in the Babylon of Nimrod and Semiramis his wife who was also his mother. Satan himself will give this empire great power, a throne and great authority.
The Crescent Moon of Islam
The crescent moon of Islam was the symbol of Nimrod and the star the symbol of Semiramis. These two people were deified. The ‘moon’ god (created in Nimrod’s image) and the ‘star’ goddess his wife (created in the image of Semiramis) became the symbols for two main deities in Assyria, Babylon, Greece and Rome and in almost every other nation. The only real difference was that their names were changed. Even Allah, who is in reality the ancient Arabic moon-god of war, has a wife and thre daughters and the Arabs know this.
The mother and child
When you see the statues of the Madonna with the baby Jesus in her lap this imagery goes all the way back to Nimrod and Semiramis who was also his mother. The ancient Middle-Eastern empires of the past all depicted the child god in the lap of its mother which imagery was obviously passed on down to successive empires by Nimrod the ‘god’ and Semiramis his mother as well as his wife. The Roman Catholic Church ‘Christianised’ this imagery to show the baby Jesus in the lap of his mother Mary. Today in the Roman Catholic Church Mary is given a status which is almost higher than the Lord Jesus. Titles and accolades and other dogma are contributed to Mary which scripture does not even teach but this is a subject in itself.
The original Babylon of Nimrod was the source of all false religion and the occult accompanying it. We are told in Deuteronomy and 1 Corinthians that the worship of idols is demon worship. (Deuteronomy 32:16-17) (1 Corinthians 8:4) At the top of the Tower of Nimrod’s Tower of Babel it is said was an occult symbol or a Zodiac of sorts. Nimrod also was a major type of the Antichrist to come, who, like Nimrod will seek to build an empire that deifies himself as God. We are told about Nimrod that he “was a mighty hunter before the LORD” (Genesis 10:9) the Hebrew text says “he was a mighty hunter in the face of God” in other words he was a rebel before God and opposed to Him. The Antichrist who rules over this eighth Islamic caliphate will be a rebel against God. This final beast empire will be Babylon revived, (the second beast empire arising out of the earth) not literal Babylon of course but an empire in the character of Ancient Babylon. The Leopard is Turkey, the bear is Iran and the lion is the Islamic empire which is the modern equivalent to the Babylon of Nimrod and the Tower of Babel. Nimrod built the original cities of Babylon and Assyria (Genesis 10:8-11) In Biblical prophecy the king of Babylon and the King of Assyria are types of the Antichrist. (Micah 5:5-6) (Isaiah 14:9-17) The Kings of Assyria and Babylon were all under the influence of occult power and it was this power that promoted their empires. The armies of Islam that are now forming around the world are the modern ‘Babylonians’ of today. Their leader, the Mahdi or Caliph who is to come will be indwelt by Satan himself and have a very large army numbering 200 million.
200 million strong
John saw the army of the Antichrist and heard their number. It was a 200 million man army. This army in the prophecy of Joel and in revelation is depicted as ‘locusts.’ (Joel 1:1-4) (Revelation 9:3) This 200 million strong army coming across the dried up Euphrates river, is an Islamic army that cover the land like locusts. These armies of Islam destined to destroy a third of mankind with their firepower are described as “the Kings of the east.” (Revelation 9:14-19) They kill a third of mankind with weapons of mass destruction most probably missiles launched from armoured vehicles or mobile missile launchers. John describes this well. How could a first century man describe modern warfare with missiles and even nuclear exchanges? Well he could only describe it the best way he knew how. It took almost 2,000 years for his vision to become a reality but with the atomic bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki the nuclear age was launched. John’s vision is rooted in reality today as we see missiles and nuclear weaponry being stored up around the world.
Occult to the core
This empire of the Antichrist will be occultist to the core. As John writes; “And to it (the beast empire) the dragon (Satan) gave his power and his throne and great authority.” Today Islam is the religion of the sword and you have the crossed scimitars on Islamic flags and the symbol of the Muslim Brotherhood. Why? Because ‘Allah’ is the Arabic moon-god of war, the one that kills, steals and destroys. The crossed swords in the Islamic emblem are pointing upwards denoting conquest by the sword. This ‘moon-god’ of war turns up in Judges Chapter eight where we read that Gideon removed the crescent ornaments from around the necks of the Midianites Camels after he had defeated the Midianites in battle. (Judges 8:21 NASB) What Gideon did to the Midianites, the Lord Jesus will do to the Empire of Islam when He comes back riding on a white horse. Instead of broken crosses there will be broken crescents. (Isaiah 63:1-6) What else do we notice about this last beast empire?
(Vs.3-4) “I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast;
It was the Turkish Ottoman Empire that toppled the Roman Empire in 1453 AD with the fall of the City of Byzantium or Constantinople (Istanbul today). This happened around a thousand years after the western leg of the Roman Empire fell to the barbarians in 476 AD. In the west Romulus, the last of the Roman emperors, was overthrown by the Germanic leader Odoacer, who became the first Barbarian to rule in Rome. The order that the Roman Empire had brought to Western Europe for 1000 years was no more. The Eastern leg of Rome whose capital was Constantinople in Turkey went for another 1,000 years before falling to the Turks. In 1917 General Allenby and the allied forces defeated the Ottoman Turks recaptured Jerusalem and the Turkish Ottoman Caliphate was abolished in 1923. It would seem that this beast empire of Islam that had toppled the Roman Empire was no more. It would seem that the Turkish Ottoman Empire had received a mortal wound. Today the wound has been healed as we see Islam being resurrected.
The coming Caliphate
Today Erdogan of Turkey wants to resurrect the Turkish Ottoman Caliphate with himself as the Supreme caliph of the Muslim world. He knows full well that the whole Muslim world is waiting on the coming of the Mahdi. Now this ‘head’ that seemed to have ‘a mortal wound’ was seen as being ‘healed’ and resurrected again and that by satanic supernatural power. There is no doubt that the whole Muslim world is looking for the coming of the Mahdi whom they believe will lead them in a global Jihad to establish Islam and Sharia Law globally. A Caliph would be able to spearhead such a movement especially if he was indwelt by Satan himself. In Islam you have the Shiite Muslims, the Sunni Muslims and the Sufi Muslims. The Sufi Muslims are the mystical branch of Islam. If you watch them chant and sway their bodies in unison you will see demon possession. A Sufi Muslim would be pre-disposed to this. Erdogan of Turkey has a Sufi Muslim background. Whether it is him or someone coming after him Turkey will be the main instigator of a worldwide Islamic Jihad. The Commander in Chief of Turkey (the Turkish President) will rally many Muslim nations to his side. In the media they have referred to the fact that the man from Turkey is now being called ‘General Erdogan.’
The ‘worthless’ shepherd
Possibly, although not necessarily, there may be an attempted assassination on the Antichrist that he will miraculously survive. The prophet Zechariah describes the Antichrist as the worthless shepherd who will not care for Israel or for anyone and he will have lost the use of his right arm and his right eye possibly through an attempted assassination on his life? (Zechariah 11:16-17) So miraculous will be his recovery that the whole Muslim world will worship him. While this ‘resurrection’ primarily refers to the 8th beast empire itself it may also have a double fulfilment where its ‘horn’ (ruler) has a miraculous resurrection, something that will supposedly challenge and seek to rival and even outdo the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Himself. The ‘worthless shepherd’ alternately may refer to a leader arising in Israel who will not care for the Jewish people but will sell out to the Antichrist’s agenda. Time will tell of course. At present Israel’s leadership is divided and possibly Prime Minister Netanyahu will be facing a fourth election within a two year period.
Against and in place of Christ (the Messiah)
We need to keep in mind that the word ‘antichrist’ has two meanings in the Greek text. Firstly it means “against Christ” and secondly it means “in place of Christ.” Such a miraculous resurrection would indeed gain the attention of the entire Muslim world and beyond even that especially if the man had been seen to have a supernatural resurrection. Having said this both the horn and his empire will be empowered by Satan who has given authority to them both and the wherewithal to carry out his dark and sinister agenda to take God’s place, subjugate the world to himself, destroy Israel and eliminate faithful Christians. Satan wants to be worshipped as God through a man. He wants to be incarnated and worshipped and the man of sin will be the one through whom Satan will succeed for “a time, times and half a time” (42 months, 3.5 years, 1,260days by the Jewish calendar) and no more because for the sake of the elect God will cut those days short. (Matthew 24:21-22) Like the Caliphates of the past this eighth empire will enforce Sharia law throughout his empire.
(Vs.4) “And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”
The Beast Empire will be such that nations will be hard pressed to resist its power but there will be nations that will fight against the Antichrist’s forces. (Micah 5:5-6) (Ezekiel 28:6-8) It is one thing to fight an enemy on open ground but when that enemy hides behind innocent civilians and fights behind hospitals, schools and by stealth sees suicide bombers detonate powerful explosives in a crowded subway or a terrorist driving a car into innocent bystanders, you have an enemy that is hard to defeat and this kind of urban warfare suits Islamic ideology well. Some in despair undoubtedly will say of this beast empire “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” When you consider this 200 million Islamic army armed to the teeth with missiles sitting on the top of armoured vehicles or mobile missile launchers you can well see the devastating effect they will have on many nations. No wonder a third of the world’s population dies from the firepower of this army. (Revelation 9:13-20)
Power over the people
This beast empire that John sees is so powerful that multitudes will follow its ideology and submit to its authority. Islam of course means submission to Allah and to his prophet Mohammad and to the Koran being the image that represents Islam to the masses demanding allegiance to Allah. The Koran has power over the people. When you consider Iran with nuclear capability or Pakistan with the same capability Islam could provoke a war unlike anything in past history. Muslims who die in Jihad are promised instant paradise attended by 70 virgins according to Islamic teaching. The suicide bombers who think they have found the ‘yellow brick road’ to paradise will find after they gave departed this life that the road leads to hades and to someone who is far more sinister than the Wizard of Oz and its terror is very frightening beyond human imagination. This is where Islamic suicide bombers end up.
(Vs.5-7) “And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them.”
The prophet Daniel also mentions this same time period but writes it as “time, times and half a time” or three and a half years or 42 months or 1,260 days. (Daniel 7:25; 12:7) (Revelation 11:2-3) This beast empire will be an affront to God and its ‘horn’ boasting and verbally denigrating the LORD and persecuting and supressing the saints and sitting in the Temple of God proclaiming himself to be God. (Daniel 7:8b, 20, 25; 11:36) (2 Thessalonians 2:4) This persecution in Jerusalem under his regime will last three and a half years. Satan himself is called “the accuser of the brethren who accuses them day and night before our God” but he is cast down to earth and takes up residence in the man of sin. However, he cannot defeat the saints spiritually. As the John also writes; “And the great dragon was hurled down—the ancient serpent called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, he who accuses them day and night before our God. They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death.” (Revelation 12:9-11)
The believers will not overcome Satan or his antichrist by natural means or weapons, although these will be used against him by those nations opposing him. How will believers overcome Satan and his antichrist?
Firstly; “by the blood of the Lamb:” When the Israelites were in Egypt and they knew that the destroying angel was to pass though Egypt that they had to splash the blood of the sacrificed animal on the doorpost as an act of faith for it to protect them.
Secondly; we read that they overcame Satan by “the word of their testimony.” They openly confessed what they believed in their hearts. On the night when the destroying angel passed through Egypt to slay the firstborn the blood of the animal would not be effective just staying in the bowl, it had to be applied. It is one thing to believe in what the Bible says that the blood of Jesus does in us and for us but when we confess it openly Satan must give way. When we testify to what the Bible says that the Blood of Jesus does for us we overcome Satan. He cannot stand the power of the blood. Overcoming Satan has always been by believing in the power of Jesus’ blood and confessing it verbally. Even in our salvation confession accompanies belief. (Romans 10:9-13)
Thirdly; we read; “that they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death.” These are those who do not love their lives in this world but know that they are aliens and strangers in this world and that their real home is in the world to come. While we do enjoy many things in this life by the benevolent grace and providence of God we must not become attached to them which it is easy to do in this materialistic age in which we live. Once they control us we open ourselves up to Satan’s trap. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy that those who want to be rich, however, fall into temptation and become ensnared by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. By craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” (1Timothy 6:9-10)
Christ or Antichrist? We all must choose
Before the Lord Jesus comes back there will be many more martyrs especially during the three and a half year of the Great Trouble when for “time, times and half a time the power of the holy people will be broken.” (Daniel 12:7) It also means that if we are faced with a choice, Antichrist or Christ then we must choose Christ even if it means our imprisonment of even martyrdom. At such times God will be with us in that furnace of affliction. (1 Peter 4:12-14) Already we are making choices to follow hard after the Lord Jesus or backsliding into the world, we cannot have it both ways. As the Lord Jesus Himself said; “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.”(Matthew 12:30)
(Vs. 7b-8) “And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.”
God has never allowed one man to have complete rule over this planet. The Antichrist and his beast empire will be like nothing else on earth. It will be a vast domain stretching right across the Middle-East into Europe, sweeping down into North Africa and to a degree into the South pacific region. It will be greater than the empire under Suleiman the Magnificent who presided over a large empire and ruled longer and more heroically than any other Ottoman sultan. The Ottoman Empire reached its peak under his rule both in terms of political and economic power and development of Turkish art and architecture. Under Sulyeman sharia law was elevated to a higher level than in other Muslim states. It became the law of the land for all Muslims and it was practiced with a high degree of uniformity in Sharia courts throughout the empire.
Will the Antichrist rule the entire globe?
When Süleyman died in 1566, the Ottoman Empire was a world power. The Ottoman Empire under Suleyman was a multinational, multilingual empire controlling most of Southeast Europe, parts of Central Europe, Western Asia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. His capital city of course was Istanbul in Turkey. When we read that the beast empire in Revelation chapter 13 was given authority “over every tribe and people and language and nation” it is used as a term to denote the extent and to the boundaries of his empire. We see the same terms used to describe King Nebuchadnezzar’s edict when he commanded all people everywhere to worship the image of gold we read, “And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up. And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.” Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.” (Daniel 3:4-7) To be consistent with the way Bible prophecy is revealed the beast empire of the Antichrist will be vast and greater than the one under Suleyman the Magnificent but it will not be a global empire. When King Nebuchadnezzar made his edict concerning “all peoples, nations and languages” it did not include China or Korea or even Japan but only those nations within the boundaries of the Babylonian Empire. If the antichrist and his beast empire are to rule the whole globe then what do we say about those nations that actually oppose him? The Bible mentions this will be the case. (Micah 5:5-6) (Ezekiel 28:6-8) (Daniel 11:38-40)
Worshipping God or Satan?
The Antichrist and his beast empire will be fighting other nations even during his reign in Jerusalem for three and a half years. When the Lord Jesus comes back the armies of the Islamic nations will be surrounding Jerusalem along with many other armies and all of them together will be annihilated on the mountains of Israel. (Ezekiel 38:21-23; 39:4-6, 17-20) All those whose names have not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain, will worship the Antichrist even if they are not under Sharia Law. At this time people will either be worshipping Satan or God globally. There will be no “fence sitters” anymore.
(Vs. 9-10) “If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.”
The LORD who inhabits eternity knows how our life will end on earth and has prepared for it to supply what we will need if or when that time comes before the Lord Jesus comes back. For some Christians they will be still around when the Lord Jesus comes back. Many believers will have fallen asleep (died) as a result of sickness or old age. However, multitudes will have been martyred and persecuted for their faith more than at any other time in history. The Apostle John saw believers coming out of Great Tribulation and in its context they were being persecuted and martyred for their faith. (Revelation 7:14; 12: 11, 17) Many will go to prison and many will be killed and the apostle John tells us that the persecution calls for the endurance of faith. The Lord Jesus Himself said; “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:9-14)
Your redemption is drawing near
When we see the ‘signs’ of the end of the age coming one upon another like contractions coming upon a woman in labour we know that the birth of God’s visible Kingdom on earth is imminent. The last great sign preceding Jesus’ Second Coming will be the proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. The eighth beast empire and its ‘horn’ is coming, tribulation and persecution is coming, death and destruction to a third of the world’s population is coming and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble is also coming for Israel and the world at large but so is the Lord Jesus coming back to deal with Satan and the Antichrist personally. As believers in Jesus our Lord we need to take to heart what He encouraged us to do at such a time when he said; “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:25-28)