5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear. 10 “If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.” This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people. ~ Revelation 13:5-10
We come back to our study of Revelation 13. And, in context, we have the dragon or Satan who is giving power to the beast who is the antichrist. The setting is the earth and it is the second half of the tribulation.
In v.5-6 we read, "5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven."
These verses describe Satan’s final effort to stop the Kingdom of Christ from coming to earth. The motivational drive in the mind of Satan has always been to take the place of God. He wants to be the sovereign one in charge. And, in order to work out his diabolical plan in this world, he has to do it through humans. And, that means he needs men to lead other men to worship him.
And so, there will come a demon-possessed man who will utter proud words and blasphemies. Blasphemy is to claim to be God. The beast will blaspheme God by claiming to be God and to have His powers. He will also slander the name of God, heaven and those in heaven. There will clearly be a difference between the kingdom of God and that of Satan.
The sin that damned Satan was the sin of pride. His arrogance and pride is of such a nature that he blasphemes God and wants to dethrone Him and replace Him with himself. It will be characteristic, then, of the unhindered antichrist to speak evil of God continually in order to take His spot in this world.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:4 we read, "He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God."
It was the arrogance of Lucifer that caused him to be kicked out of heaven in the first place. In the second half of the tribulation, God will allow him to execute his diabolical plan of deception. And, once he sets himself up on the throne in the Temple in Jerusalem, his agenda will be obvious, outrageous, monstrous and blasphemous.
According to Daniel 9:27, in the middle of the seventieth seven of the tribulation, the antichrist will stop the sacrifices which Israel will be carrying out in the newly built temple in Jerusalem. And, he will somehow abominate and desolate the temple. These events will happen at the middle point of the tribulation, and his hatred of God's people will be fierce.
In Revelation 16:9, when the fourth bowl is poured out and men will be scorched with fierce heat, they will blaspheme the name of God. And when the fifth angel pours out his bowl, and the throne and his kingdom will become darkened, the loyalists to the antichrist will gnaw their tongues because of the intense pain. Then, they will blaspheme the God of heaven. So, this individual literally will rule a whole world of blasphemers. It will be at this point that the people will be beyond the point of no return. They will be beyond the point of conversion, and whatever God does, it will elicit no faith in them, no cries of repentance, no cries for mercy, but cries of outright blasphemy.
In v.7-8 we read, "7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world."
Those who have not bowed their existence to the Lord Christ will experience a dungeon which they will not be able to recognize until it is too late. Believers, on the other hand, are identified throughout the book of the Revelation as those whose names were written before the foundation of the world in the Lamb's book of life. Interestingly, the Lamb's book of life is mentioned seven times in this book of the Revelation. And the Lamb's book of life is simply the book in which God inscribes the names of His own.
In v.9 we read, "Whoever has ears, let them hear."
The Lord Jesus said these words many times during his ministry. And, in Revelation 2-3, in the seven letters to the seven churches this phrase occurs seven times. But, there is a phrase missing from this verse. In the messages to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3 we read, "If anyone has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." The phrase, "what the Spirit says to the churches" is missing here. The reason? Well, the churches will not be in the audience given here in Revelation 13:9, for we will have been raptured up into heaven.
In v.10 we read, "If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.” This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people."
The law of consequences cannot be endlessly evaded. There will come times when it may look like evil has triumphed, but in the end, the law of consequences will not be canceled. Having said that, the Lord does not call His followers to shoot abortionists. We are not led by His Spirit to fight back with carnal weapons. In the end, God lifts up those who exercise patience and faithfulness to Him.
Satan will have his hour, and the false prophet will shoot his rubber bullets. The future is still God’s, and we are God’s, and the future is ours through the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, we will reign with Christ during the Millennium. That is our faith, and we patiently endure through it all to the glory of the Kingdom promised to us. And in the end, we will be victorious with and through our Lord Jesus Christ.