Satan and His Allies

English
Revelation 13
Year: 
2019
Quarter: 
1
Lesson Number: 
9

Lesson 9 Satan and His Allies

(Revelation 13)

 

Copr. 2019, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. If you normally receive this lesson by e-mail, but it is lost one week, you can find it by clicking on this link: http://www.GoBible.org. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as you study.

 

Introduction: Today in the United States, we have all these silly warnings about obvious dangers. These warnings are the unfortunate result of the work of lawyers. As you all know, I’m a lawyer and law professor, so let me give you a warning about something that you probably already know. The studies today and last week are based on my reading of the Bible. Many Bible scholars disagree with me. I readily admit their superior training in all areas except logic. With that warning, let’s dive into our study of Revelation 13!

 

  1. The Dragon and the Ten Horn Beast

 

    1. Read Revelation 13:1. Who did we decide last week is the Red Dragon? (Revelation 12:9 explains that it is Satan. The rest of that chapter explains how Satan and his angels are in a war against the followers of Jesus.)

 

      1. As the Red Dragon is standing on the shore, what comes out of the sea? (A “beast” with ten horns, seven heads, and ten crowns.)

 

      1. Is this Ten Horn beast a friend of God? (No. Each head had a “blasphemous name” on it. Its seven heads and ten horns make it resemble the Red Dragon. Revelation 12:3.)

 

      1. What does it mean to come out of the “sea?” (Read Revelation 17:15. This tells us the water represents a populated area.)

 

    1. Read Revelation 13:2. What else does the Ten Horn resemble? (The beasts coming out of the sea that Daniel saw in Daniel 7:2-6.)

 

      1. What does this suggest to us? (The beasts of Daniel 7 represent the history of the world starting with Babylon. Thus, the Ten Horn of Revelation 13 bears some resemblance to these prior world powers.)

 

      1. What does Satan give the Ten Horn beast? (Power, his throne and “great authority.” Ten Horn is an agent of Satan!)

 

    1. Read Daniel 7:7. How many horns does this beast have? (Ten.)

 

      1. Do we know the identity of this beast? (If this was a prophesy about the future (which is now history), then this fourth beast, Ten Horn, is the Roman Empire.)

 

    1. Read Daniel 7:8, Daniel 7:11, and Revelation 13:3-6. What do you find that is similar between these two accounts? (Both Ten Horns speak things that are proud and contrary to God. Because of the references to worship and talking, this describes a power that is at least, in part, religious and opposed to Jesus. Both suffer a fatal wound, and Revelation 13:3 indicates that at least part of this Ten Horn is healed of that wound.)

 

    1. Read Revelation 13:7-8. What other nasty thing does this Ten Horn do? (It not only makes war against the saints, it conquers them and demands worship from them.)

 

    1. What is the Ten Horn that receives worship and persecutes the saints? Are the Ten Horn beasts of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 the same? (Old Protestant commentaries (which are the ones I most consult) identify the Ten Horn of Revelation 13 as pagan and Papal Rome. I think there is great agreement that the Ten Horn of Daniel 7 is the Roman Empire. The time line works. The commentaries describe the persecution of Christians by both pagan and Papal Rome. Obviously, Catholics do not agree with the “Papal” identification, but I think the points of comparison are extremely compelling.)

 

      1. Look again at Revelation 13:8. Is this in the future? (It must be. That means this beast will be around until the end, which excludes the interpretation this beast is only the Roman Empire.)

 

  1. The Earth Beast

 

    1. Read Revelation 13:11-12. What does this second (Earth Beast) do for the Ten Horn? (It causes the inhabitants of the world to worship the Ten Horn.)

 

    1. What does it mean for this beast to arise out of the earth? (If water means people, then this would mean a sparsely populated area.)

 

    1. What is this Earth Beast? (Some of the old Protestant commentaries view this Earth Beast as Papal Rome, and my church teaches that it is the United States. There are various other theories about the Earth Beast.)

 

      1. Let’s look at the logical problem with both of the U.S. and Papal views.

 

        1. If the Earth Beast is Papal Rome, did it promote worship of the Roman Empire? (I’m no serious historian, but that seems inconsistent with history.)

 

        1. If the Earth Beast is the United States, does it promote worship of Papal Rome? Does it promote worship of the Catholic Church? (This is history about which I have no doubt. The U.S. has been exceedingly anti-Catholic. President John Kennedy was a Catholic, and that was a serious problem in his election campaign. Currently, the press and the movie industry are extremely anti-Catholic. Some of that criticism is justified based on recent scandals, and some comes from pagan anger at the stand of the Catholic Church against abortion and homosexuality.)

 

    1. Read Revelation 13:13-15. What else does this Earth Beast do?

 

    1. Re-read Revelation 13:11. What other world power has promoted worship? (Islam.)

 

      1. Did Islam “come out of the earth?” (Yes, it arose out of a sparsely settled area.)

 

      1. Does Islam have “two horns?” (It has two major divisions: Sunni and Shia. Islam also has two major teachings: there is no god but God; and Muhammad is the messenger of God.)

 

    1. Read Revelation 16:13, Revelation 19:20, and Revelation 20:10. What other name is the second beast, the Earth Beast, given? (The “false prophet.”)

 

      1. What does the term “false prophet” suggest about the identify of the Earth Beast?

 

      1. Let me ask the same question I did about Papal Rome and the United States. Has Islam ever promoted Pagan Rome or Papal Rome? (No! They have historically been enemies.)

 

    1. If we look at history, Papal Rome, the U.S. and Islam fail to fit the description of the Earth Beast. What if we look to the future? Read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10 and compare Revelation 13:13. Do you think these two verses describe the same event?

 

      1. If they do describe the same event, has that taken place? (Based on this text, Christians believe that Satan will stage a false second coming of Jesus. What most Christians don’t know is that many Muslims believe that the Mahdi, who is also called the redeemer, will come and rule on the earth for a period of time before the “Day of Resurrection.” They believe that the Mahdi will be accompanied by Jesus.)

 

    1. Now look at the Earth Beast with this understanding of the future held by both Christians and Muslims. Does this now satisfy the various views of the Earth beast? Could the Earth Beast be the combined power of the United States, Islam and Catholicism when the counterfeit second coming takes place? (I have Catholic friends who jokingly say, “Catholics don’t read the Bible.” What I think is that all Christians (including Catholics) who do not read their Bibles will believe what they see - that Jesus has come. Muslims will accept this as the anticipated Mahdi. This Satanic counterfeit of the Second Coming of Jesus will bring together all humans who are not students of the Bible.)

 

    1. Read 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12. How powerful will be this delusion?

 

  1. The Mark

 

    1. Read Revelation 13:16-18. We have previously discussed the idea that a “hand” or “forehead” mark means that either the person was forced or was convinced to take the mark. What is the result of a refusal to engage in this false worship? (Death or economic disaster.)

 

      1. When you think about the potential role of the United States in this terrible time, does this seem reasonable? (Consider that the U.S. is the leader in the technology that could make this possible. Currently, the U.S. monitors large cash transactions. Very few employers in the United States pay employees in cash. I rarely buy anything with cash. The technology is so sophisticated, that before the merchant hands my credit card back, my watch tells me that my account has been charged!)

 

      1. Read Revelation 14:6-7. What is the alternative call to worship? (True worship is of our Creator God.)

 

        1. What theological controversies are connected to the Creation account? (Creation, the Seventh-day Sabbath, heterosexual marriage, the relationship between humans and animals. You can see the battle lines forming now!)

 

    1. Friend, the stakes are high. Will you commit to being a serious student of the Bible so that you will not be deceived?

 

  1. Next week: God’s Everlasting Gospel.