Keys to Revelation- Chapter 13
AUTHOR: Capoccia, Tony
PUBLISHED ON: May 12, 2003
PUBLISHED IN: Bible Studies

                        Keys to Revelation – Chapter 13

Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New York
International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

          BIBLE TEXT                                  COMMENTARY

REV 13:1  And the dragon stood on        [dragon] – REV 12:3, 9 identify the
the shore of the sea. And I saw a        dragon as Satan.  In the last verse
beast coming out of the sea. He had      of Chapter 12 we saw Satan enraged
ten horns and seven heads, with ten      at Israel and going off to destroy
crowns on his horns, and on each          the rest of God’s people– the
head a blasphemous name.                  remaining Jewish Christians and all
                                          the Gentile Believers.  The devil
                                          now summons the rest of his “unholy
                                          trinity” to help him in his efforts
                                          to destroy God’s people.

                                          [beast] – This is the symbol used
                                          for the description of the coming   
                                          Antichrist and his kingdom–the
                                          revived Roman Empire.

                                          [coming out of the sea] – Satan calls
                                          the Antichrist from the sea which has
                                          possible significance in that the sea
                                          of prominence to John would have been
                                          the Mediterranean, indicating that
                                          the Antichrist would come from that

                                          [ten horns, seven heads] – Beast has
                                          the same number of horns and heads as
                                          the Red Dragon (Satan) of REV 12:3
                                          and similar to the descriptions found
                                          in DAN 7:7-8, 24.  It is a another
                                          clear reference to the Antichrist and
                                          the revived Roman Empire.           

                                          The seven heads are a symbol of the
                                          seven hills of the city of Rome (see
                                          REV 17:9) from which the Antichrist
                                          will most likely establish his throne
                                          during this time.  The heads also are
                                          used to represent the kings of past
                                          and future of this world empire (REV

                                          The ten horns refer to the original
                                          ten kingdoms of the old Roman Empire
                                          of which three were subdued by the
                                          little horn of Daniel 7:8, who is to
                                          be identified with the world ruler of
                                          the great tribulation (Antichrist)
                                          who reigns over the revived Roman
                                          Empire (United Europe?), see REV

                                          [ten crowns on his horns] – Initially
                                          the Antichrist will come to power
                                          over the ten nations of the old
                                          empire and this seems to be somewhat
                                          of a peaceful takeover, but later he
                                          overthrows three nations and becomes
                                          a dictator in total control (see DAN
                                          7:7-8 and REV 17:12-13).

                                          [blasphemous name] – Shows the nature
                                          of the Antichrist and his kingdom as
                                          being directly opposed to God by
                                          assuming titles of deity much like
                                          the former kings, such as, Augustus
                                          who allowed his eastern subjects to
                                          pay him divine honors and Nero who
                                          was referred to as the Savior of the

REV 13:2  The beast I saw resembled      [leopard, bear, lion] – Daniel 7
a leopard, but had feet like those        shows that the successive world 
of a bear and a mouth like that of        empires are described as the lion,
a lion. The dragon gave the beast        referring to Babylon, the bear,
his power and his throne and great        referring to Medo-Persia, and the
authority.                                leopard, referring to the Greek
                                          Empire.  The fourth empire is a
                                          combination of the previous three
                                          and is the Roman Empire which we
                                          see revived as the kingdom of the

                                          [dragon gave…power] – It is clear
                                          that Satan is the driving force
                                          behind the Antichrist and the World
                                          System.  But we must always bear in
                                          mind that Satan is on a leash which
                                          Jesus holds in His hand.  The devil
                                          can only have as much power as the
                                          Lord will allow for His purposes. 

REV 13:3  One of the heads of the        [fatal wound…healed] – In keeping
beast seemed to have had a fatal          with the idea that the heads are
wound, but the fatal wound had been      kings of the Roman Empire (REV 17:9)
healed. The whole world was              it could be that the Antichrist is
astonished and followed the beast.        killed but raised to life by Satan in
                                          order to deceive the world by trying
                                          to “upstage” the resurrection of the
                                          Lord Jesus Christ.

                                          [world astonished] – Truly if some
                                          world leader would be killed and then
                                          somehow raised to life by some great
                                          power, then the entire world would
                                          follow after him because it would be
                                          their desire to have that power to
                                          help satisfy their needs.  One must
                                          remember that the world does not want
                                          the true power of God because of the
                                          cost involved–the turning from sin
                                          and the yielding of one’s life to the
                                          true Savior.

REV 13:4  Men worshiped the dragon        [worshiped the dragon] – This has
because he had given authority to        always been the goal of Satan to take
the beast, and they also worshiped        glory from God so that he may receive
the beast and asked, “Who is like        worship.  Satan lost his position as
the beast? Who can make war against      the greatest of all angels because of
him?”                                    his desire to usurp God (see ISA
                                          14:13-14).  In Matthew 4:9 we see the
                                          wicked one trying to get Jesus to bow
                                          down and worship him.

                                          [who is like the beast?] – The world
                                          is greatly deceived at this point
                                          believing that the Antichrist and the
                                          revived Roman Empire are the solution
                                          to all the world’s problems.  They
                                          think there is no other force that
                                          can overthrow this great power. But
                                          they do not realize that the problem
                                          with the world is sin and the mighty
                                          Savior Jesus Christ will come and
                                          destroy the entire evil world system.

REV 13:5  The beast was given a          [beast given a mouth] – The spokesman
mouth to utter proud words and            for the World Government is the
blasphemies and to exercise his          Antichrist and he is given what to
authority for forty-two months.          say by Satan the Father of Lies.  For
                                          three and a half years (42 months) he
                                          boasts of his power and glory.

REV 13:6  He opened his mouth to          [blaspheme…slander] – The words of
blaspheme God, and to slander his        the Antichrist are directed towards
name and his dwelling place and          God and His Kingdom.  He hates all
those who live in heaven.                that is good and pure. 

REV 13:7  He was given power to          [he was given power] – Just as God
make war against the saints and to        gave Satan the power to harm Job in
conquer them. And he was given            order to show to all that Job’s
authority over every tribe, people,      love was not based on greed, so here
language and nation.                      the saints will be given a chance to
                                          testify by their deaths of their 
                                          devotion and love for Christ.

REV 13:8  All inhabitants of the          [All inhabitants…worship beast] –
earth will worship the beast–all        Every unbeliever worships the beast
whose names have not been written        who is the Antichrist.  But all the
in the book of life belonging to          people who were elected for salvation
the Lamb that was slain from the          before the earth was formed refuse
creation of the world.                    to worship the beast.  No longer are
                                          there the non-religious and the
                                          religious in the world, for the one
                                          world government demands worship as
                                          a deity.

                                          [book of life] – A book that has all
                                          the names of those who were elected 
                                          by the sovereign choice of God for
                                          salvation before the earth began.

                                          [slain from the creation] – Jesus was
                                          slain at the same time the Christians
                                          were elected.  Before there was an
                                          earth or any man created God saw that
                                          all men and women He would create in
                                          the future, would reject Him, so in 
                                          love He planned for His own death, in
                                          order, that He could save a remnant
                                          for His glory.  And what God plans
                                          to do can be considered accomplished
                                          because no power can stop Him.

REV 13:9  He who has an ear, let          God now exhorts all readers to give
him hear.                                these verses their special attention.
                                          They must listen to what the Spirit
                                          of God is saying to them.

REV 13:10  If anyone is to go into        God is calling the Christian to
captivity, into captivity he will        display faith and patience in the
go. If anyone is to be killed with        face of divinely permitted pre-
the sword, with the sword he will        dominance of evil.  The faithful in
be killed. This calls for patient        Christ are assured that their
endurance and faithfulness on the        captivity and martyrdom are in
part of the saints.                      Christ’s will.  Some believers will
                                          be put into prison because of their
                                          faith while others will be killed for
                                          their allegiance to Christ. 

REV 13:11  Then I saw another            [another beast] – Just as the true
beast, coming out of the earth. He        Messiah had a forerunner who pointed
had two horns like a lamb, but he        others to Him, so also the Antichrist
spoke like a dragon.                      will have his own prophet, but one
                                          that is a deceiver.

                                          [out of the earth] – In contrast to
                                          coming out of the sea, the second
                                          beast’s origin is not important,
                                          out of the earth (mass of humanity)
                                          versus the possible significance of
                                          coming from a particular area (see
                                          REV 13:1).

                                          [two horns like a lamb] – The beast
                                          has an innocent and harmless appear-
                                          ance.  It has two little horns like
                                          a small pet lamb that appears very

                                          [he spoke like a dragon] – This false
                                          prophet appears harmless and gentle
                                          but when he speaks he is as dreadful
                                          as a dragon.  In fact, he speaks like
                                          his father the dragon himself–the

REV 13:12  He exercised all the          [authority of the first beast] – He
authority of the first beast on his      carries out the desires of the first
behalf, and made the earth and its        beast (Antichrist) and speaks in his
inhabitants worship the first            name, much like the prophets of God
beast, whose fatal wound had been        spoke with His authority.
                                          [made…worship] – His task was to
                                          make the world system (earth) and all
                                          the earth’s people (inhabitants) to
                                          worship the Antichrist.  Satan is
                                          trying to mimic John the Baptist who
                                          was to get the people to turn and to
                                          worship the true Lamb of God — Jesus

                                          [fatal wound…healed] – See REV 13:3

REV 13:13  And he performed great        [he performed…miraculous] – Satan
and miraculous signs, even causing        has his prophets perform deceiving
fire to come down from heaven to          miracles throughout the history of
earth in full view of men.                mankind (DEU 13:1-5; MAT 7:22; 24:24;
                                          MAR 13:22, 2TH 2:9).

                                          [fire from heaven] – The priests of
                                          Baal could not bring fire down from
                                          heaven because God was showing the
                                          world that there was only one true
                                          God–The God of Elijah.  Yet here we
                                          see Satan given the power to cause
                                          real fire to come out of heaven.

                                          God has promised that the wicked
                                          will, “perish because they refused
                                          to love the truth and so be saved. 
                                          For this reason God sends them a
                                          powerful delusion so that they will
                                          believe the lie and so that all will
                                          be condemned who have not believed
                                          the truth but have delighted in
                                          wickedness” (2TH 2:10-12).

REV 13:14  Because of the signs he        [the signs…deceived] – Satan
was given power to do on behalf of        deceives the unbelieving world by
the first beast, he deceived the          making them think his miracles were
inhabitants of the earth. He              by the power of the devil, when in
ordered them to set up an image in        fact it was by the power of God, in
honor of the beast who was wounded        order to keep the unbeliever deceived
by the sword and yet lived.              because they first refused to love
                                          the truth about Jesus (2TH 2:10-12).

                                          [set up an image] – God has declared
                                          that man will not set up an image or
                                          worship idols, yet Satan continues to
                                          defy God.  The false prophet uses the
                                          fact of the resurrection of the first
                                          beast (Antichrist) to be a cause of
                                          worship and adoration.

REV 13:15  He was given power to          [given power] – From Satan to the
give breath to the image of the          false prophet but ultimately from God
first beast, so that it could speak      to continue the earned delusion (2TH
and cause all who refused to              2:10-12).
worship the image to be killed. 
                                          [give breath] – Either the statue of
                                          the Antichrist “comes alive” (which
                                          seems unlikely) or through some more
                                          deception he makes the idol appear to
                                          be alive and speak.  The technology
                                          does in fact exist today for such a
                                          feat (i.e. Disneyworld’s Hall of the

                                          [refused to worship] – The statue
                                          commands that anyone who refuses to
                                          worship it will be killed. It appears
                                          to be very convincing, most likely,
                                          after the first few folks “laughed it
                                          off” and were killed the rest took it

REV 13:16  He also forced everyone,      [forced everyone] – No person was
small and great, rich and poor,          allowed to be free, for all must show
free and slave, to receive a mark        allegiance to the Antichrist and his
on his right hand or on his              government by receiving the “mark.”
                                          [mark..hand or forehead] – The evil
                                          one cleverly finds a way to show
                                          allegiance–“The Mark.”  It could
                                          be visible or invisible to the naked
                                          eye, but would be effective in
                                          determining who the Christians were.

REV 13:17  so that no one could buy      [buy or sell] – All commerce would
or sell unless he had the mark,          depend solely on whether you had the
which is the name of the beast or        mark or not.  Imagine our materialis-
the number of his name.                  tic society saying no to the mark and
                                          thereby being unable to buy food or
                                          any of their “wants.”

REV 13:18  This calls for wisdom.        [wisdom…insight] – This verse seems
If anyone has insight, let him            to indicate that the reader could in
calculate the number of the beast,        fact identify who the Antichrist is
for it is man’s number. His number        by a proper understanding of the
is 666.                                  number 666.  However, no one since
                                          the writing of this book has been
                                          able to discover the meaning of the
                                          number.  Some scholars note that in
                                          both the Hebrew and the Greek
                                          language the letters also have
                                          numerical equivalents, therefore they
                                          surmise that the Antichrist’s name
                                          will add up to the number 666.

                                          Since different names can equal the
                                          same total of 666 it would be next
                                          to impossible to know his real name
                                          until he is revealed.  In 2TH 2:3-7
                                          we learn that the man of lawlessness
                                          will not be revealed until the Holy
                                          Spirit’s special presence on earth
                                          (the Church) is removed by the event
                                          called the rapture.  Therefore, one
                                          would waste their time trying to
                                          determine who the Antichrist is.

                                          God’s Word will again be proved true
                                          when the revealed Antichrist’s name
                                          adds up to the sum “666.”

Tony Capoccia
Box 130
Shreveport, LA 71110
Modem (318) 949-1456
300/1200/2400/9600 Baud

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