Revelation 13:7-12
(Rev 13:7 KJV)
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Here the beast has been given consent to make war with the Saints. It must always be noted that when we read “and it was given,” this means that the beast and the dragon are both under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ and it is God’s plan for the kingdom of Satan to make war against the Saints.

(Dan 7:21 KJV) I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

(Luke 21:20 KJV) And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

These two verses give us insight as to the overcoming of the saints being prophesied. Daniel tells us that Satan will make war against the Saints and will prevail. Luke gives us this same prophecy in a different way. He speaks of armies coming against Jerusalem which is akin to the armies of Satan attacking the body of believers. We saw the overcoming of the Saints in Revelation 11:7 when the true Gospel will no longer be preached to the world. It will be a momentary victory for the forces of darkness. This victory will not be just a limited one but as we read in the verse that the beast has power (authority) over the entire world. This means that satanic deception by means of secular and religious means will blanket the whole world and there will be no place for the true Gospel. This will make it look like the body of Christ has been defeated.

(Rev 13:8 KJV)
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Here is a very important verse which must always be taken into consideration when speaking of God’s salvation plan. The beast which will be given power by Satan will be worshipped by the whole world except those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of Life. This means that God had already named those He was going to save before the foundation of the world. Those who believe in free will normally avoid the core truth of this verse. If God already named who He was going to save, then no one outside that book can ever become saved. This is called Limited Atonement and is hated by all those who teach the free will of man in the area of salvation. It is only the named body of believers who will not bow down to the beast. This verse is also very illuminating in the area of salvation. The question always arises concerning, was their grace in the Old Testament? The answer is a resounding yes, because in principle, Christ was slain before the foundation of the world. This would mean, that along with whom God named as heirs of salvation in the New Testament after the physical crucifixion of Christ, that those in the Old Testament would become saved the same way by means of Christ being slain before the foundation of the world. This is why Abraham could have faith because he was a Christian saved by the pre-creation crucifixion of Christ, although in principle, was to become a physical reality in time. No person could ever become saved by any type of works and that is why those in the Old Testament such as David, Moses, Solomon, and others were saved because they were saved by the grace of God through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is how we have the Elect line going through Israel up to the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul said in Romans 9:6, that not all of Israel was of Israel and as we previously saw, that meant two lines coming through the whole Old Testament. There was the Elect line which was those who were saved and the secular line, those who were not saved.

(Rev 13:9 KJV)
If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Here the Lord Jesus is stating that those who have spiritual ears can hear what is being taught. It is important to know and understand that Revelation is an Apocalyptic book which must be viewed spiritually because if one tries to make a literal application, except in a few places, of Revelation, they will get into hermeneutical trouble and an erroneous interpretation will happen. This will also happen by those who pull verses out of the context of the visions and try to fit them into some type of belief system.
(2 Pet 1:20 KJV) Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2 Peter 1:20 teaches us that the Scriptures must harmonize with each other. The term “private interpretation” deals with the sad practice of isolating verses from their context to be hammered into a mold of someone’s personal belief system or theology.

(Rev 13:10 KJV)
He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Here is a two-fold warning against both the unbelievers who worship the beast and the true believers who do not. The first warning is that those who will lead others into captivity will themselves be subject to captivity and those who kill with the sword will themselves be subject to the sword. This is basically the law of sowing and reaping and applies to the unbeliever as well as the believer. When Christians are led into captivity it is speaking of another form of persecution as we see going on today. Many countries under the authority of the powerful Sodomite lobbies are passing hate crime legislation which is aimed right at the preaching of God’s word. If someone preaches that sodomy is sin, that person may be subject to prison and will go into captivity. In many countries around the world laws are being passed to prohibit the preaching of the Bible. One just needs to look at Islamic countries and open amoral countries who prohibit the teaching of the Bible before they prohibit open sexual conduct.

Then there are going to be those who will physically kill Christians to shut down their ministries. Recently in North Korea, (November 2005), four Christians were placed under a bulldozer alive and were murdered. The murder of Christians all over this world is increasing at an alarming rate as there were more Christian martyrs in the twentieth century than there was in all preceding centuries. Here God tells us that those who physically kill His children will also face the sword and that is the worst one of all because it will be the second sword of God which will be the second death in the lake of fire. No one will get away with hurting God’s children.

Now throughout the first and second visions of John we saw that that the church is going to undergo persecution throughout the entire New Testament period and this persecution will become more rampant as we approach the last day because the true Gospel has been prophesied that it will be temporarily overcome very close to the Lord’s return. This is why God is pointing out that the Saints must have patience and faith during these times of persecution. It is also interesting to note that millions of Christians believe in a pre-tribulation rapture when here we find that the church on earth is alive but persecuted. Too many Christians are unprepared for persecution and are waiting for their escapist theology to commence. This will not happen until the last day as all the believers will still be here on earth or else why would God call for the faith and patience of the believers.

(Rev 13:11 KJV)
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

The first beast that John saw had arisen out of the sea but now he is seeing a second beast rise out of the earth. Now this is an interesting beast because the description is not one of ferocity but of gentleness which is represented by the lamb. Now this lamb has only two horns. Two would show us an imitation of the two witnesses which would be the body of believers. The first beast gave us a secular world system which is void of God and now this beast will be gentle as a lamb but will still have the authority of Satan to operate. It will put on the airs of gentleness but will speak in falsehoods. We see a simple picture of this when Isaac spoke to Jacob concerning the blessing he stole from Esau.

(Gen 27:22 KJV) And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.

Isaac’s eyesight was dim which is a picture of the spiritual sight of the world, and he did not recognize Jacob. Instead he just said the voice was Jacob’s but the hands are of Esau. Esau was an unbeliever, so when we look at this scenario we can liken it to the second beast which had the appearance of a lamb but spoke words of the devil. We have the sweet words of religion but the deception of Satan in the second beast.

(Rev 2:9 KJV) I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

In Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 the “synagogue of Satan” is mentioned. This would also refer to those who say they are Jews but are not. What is in view are those who claim to be real Christians but are not. He is speaking of Spiritual Israel which is the body of believers. So it is a possibility that the second beast which arises out of the earth may be the false prophet which attempts to keep the people of the world in religious darkness or bondage. Since the Lord Jesus Christ is called a Lamb, this lamb would no doubt be a fake who comes in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ but brings a false gospel and false religions.
(Mat 24:5 KJV) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
One of the characteristics of the final days is that there is going to rise many who will come in the name of Christ and teach false gospels and there will be many who will proclaim that Christ is God and will append false teachings instead of truth. For example, the charismatic movement proclaims Jesus as Lord but then focuses mainly on prosperity and health. The teaching that Christ is God may be the lure and then comes the false teachings which may sound very good.

(Rev 13:12 KJV)
And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

Now here we have the second beast which possesses all the power of the first beast but the second beast, which is the false prophet, now begins to get the unsaved to align themselves with the first beast which runs the world system. In today’s religious world, many of the religions of the world are aligned with secular governments and do their bidding for them. The Roman Catholic church has many of its adherents involved in government. During the middle ages when they were murdering the true Christians, they had the local authorities to do the burning of the martyrs. In Israel today, Judaism is tied to the government of Israel and Judaism is a hostile religion to the Lord Jesus Christ. The religion of Islam is also tied to the governments of many countries as they use Islamic law to run their countries. As we saw that the deadly wound of one of the heads of the first beast was healed and that means that the world system also took a hit but it was not destroyed. The second beast tries to meld the religious world and the secular world. With the true Gospel being expunged from the world, we can see today how the secular churches have begun to align themselves with their governments. Instead of opposing evil governments, they counsel their people to obey them. When a human government opposes God’s laws, then God’s laws must be obeyed but this is not what is being preached today. We see in the political arena that human government is being treated as divine as so many people look to the government to take care of them. I wish they would realize that government is not the solution but the cause of the problems. He who has ears to hear!