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Lesson 11

 

INTRODUCTION OFTHEBEASTS

 

 

I.COMPLIMENTARY TEXTS

††† 1.Daniel 7:1-8 - Daniel saw a vision of four terrible beasts.

††† 2.Daniel 8:15-27 - The vision of the four beasts was interpreted to be four kings.

††† 3.2 Thessalonians 2:1-11 - Individuals will set themselves up as God using false miracles.

††† 4.James 5:10-18 - Patience and faith as seen in Job and Elijah are needed to endure.

 

II.MAIN THEME:Revelation 13 - The first (sea) beast and the second (land) beast are revealed with elaborate

††† description.Christians are told to have endurance, faith, and wisdom because those who do not bow their knee to

††† these beasts will triumph, having their names written in the book of life.

††† 1.Textual Discussion of Revelation 13 and related passages in Revelation.

††††††††††† 1) 13:1 - The sea beast emerges with ten horns (showing great power), seven heads (showing great wisdom), and ten

††††††††††† †† crowns (showing great authority).This beast symbolizes the Roman Emperor.

††††††††††† 2) 13:2 - The beast resembles a leopard, a bear, and a lion which is similar to the beasts described in the book of Daniel

††††††††††††††† (7:1-8).The dragon (Satan) gives the beast (Roman Emperor) his power and position.

††††††††††† 3) 13:3-4 - One of the heads of the beast had been fatally wounded, but it healed from the wound. Domitian, the emperor,

††††††††††††††† was very much like a previous emperor, Nero, who had committed suicide.People worshipped the dragon (Satan) and

††††††††††††††† the beast (Domitian) because they were in awe of the beast.

††††††††††† 4) 13:5-6 - The beast blasphemed God - Domitian constantly claimed to be God and he would not allow anyone to worship

††††††††††††††† any other god except himself.He persecuted Christians who worshipped God.

††††††††††† 5) 13:7-8 - The beast had authority throughout the known world - Domitian ruled the whole world.Only Christians

††††††††††††††† refused to worship Domitian and they were persecuted during his reign.

††††††††††† 6) 13:9-10 - John tells Christians that they should be patient and have faith because some will be sent to prison and others

††††††††††††††† will be killed, but eventually they will be victorious.

††††††††††† 7) 13:11-12 - The land beast emerges with two horns like a lamb (showing his limited power and religious nature) and

††††††††††††††† speaking like a dragon (using Satan's words).This beast probably symbolizes the Roman Concilia which was the royal

††††††††††††††† Roman priesthood that was created to enforce emperor worship in the area of Asia Minor because emperor Domitian

††††††††††††††† demanded that all citizens worship him as god.

††††††††††† 8) 13:13-15 - The land beast (Concilia) performed many, great deceptive miracles in order to get people to worship the first

††††††††††††††† beast (Emperor).This is similar to Paul's description in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.

††††††††††† 9) 13:16-17 - The Concilia forced citizens of the Roman Empire to receive a mark which identified them as Emperor

††††††††††††††† worshippers.If they did not have this mark, they could not conduct business in the Empire.

††††††††††† 10) 13:18 - Christians are called on to have wisdom in order to understand the identity of the first beast who is characterized ††††††††††††††††††††††† by the number '666' which symbolizes ultimate evil and deception.

††† 2.Related Topics:

††††††††††† 1) The sea beast is probably describing Domitian, the Roman Emperor of the late 1st Century; however, the description can

††††††††††††††† represent any leader or individual who opposes God and seeks to have others worship him.See 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12;

††††††††††††††† Daniel 7:23-27; 1 Corinthians 8:5-6; 1 John 2:18-23.

††††††††††† 2) The land beast is probably describing the Roman Concilia, the priesthood of emperor worship; however, the description

††††††††††††††† can represent any religious group or leader who leads people away from God and to another focus of worship.

††††††††††††††† 1 John 4:1-3; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 2 Peter 2:1; Acts 20:30.

††††††††††† 3) Satan's main power is deception.He used it in Rome and he will use it to draw us away from God. Revelation 12:9; 2

††††††††††††††† Thessalonians 2:9-12; 1 Peter 5:8-9; 2 Corinthians 11:14; 1 John 5:21.

††††††††††† 4) The forces of evil almost always appear to win in the physical sense.Christians are imprisoned and some are killed, but

††††††††††††††† this is only on this earth.1 Peter 5:8-11; Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Acts 12:1-2

††††††††††† 5) The number "666" is symbolic like every other number in the book.The number "7" symbolized sacred perfection and

††††††††††††††† the number "6" fell short of that perfection.Therefore, "666" is evil or sinfulness expressed in its ultimate sense.

††††††††††† 6) Endurance, faith, and wisdom are three characteristics that Christians are encouraged to have during this period of battle

††††††††††††††† with the two beasts.Endurance allows them to withstand the suffering.Faith allows them to look beyond this period of

††††††††††††††† apparent defeat.Wisdom gives them insight concerning their enemy.

 

III.PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

††† 1.Spiritual Warfare - we are involved in a battle against Satan and his forces. Though we do not fight with physical weapons,

††††††† our battle is very real and dangerous.2 Corinthians 10:3-5; Ephesians 6:10-20.

††† 2. Worship - our devotion and worship belongs to the Lord Jesus as God.His power and divine nature are the same as the

††† ††† Fatherís.Matthew 4:10; Colossians 2:9; Matthew 28:18; Revelation 1:4-5; 1 Corinthians 8:6.

††† 3. Wisdom - it is always necessary to use wisdom in understanding righteousness or evil.This wisdom should be of a godly

††††††† nature, rather than earthly.James 3:13-18; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Proverbs 3:13-26.

††† 4. Endurance - faith allows us to endure hardships, sufferings, and persecutions.We do not see the fulfillment of our faith in

††††††† this present world, so we must endure to the end.Hebrews 11:32-40; 2 Corinthians 4:7-15.

††† 5. Watchfulness - this chapter teaches us that we should be very watchful concerning spiritual matters because the world is full

††††††† of those who knowingly or unknowingly pull us away from the Lord Jesus.This can happen †† subtlety or in a heated battle

††††††† as pictured in this vision of Revelation.

 

IV.MEMORY VERSE - REVELATION 13:8

 

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