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The following is my latest commentary on chapter 13 of the book of Revelation. I suggest you set aside all your previous notions and take a fresh look.
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.Revelation 13:1
The beast in the vision of this chapter is represented slightly differently to the dragon in the vision of chapter 12 verse 3. There the 7 crowns were on the heads of the great red dragon but in this chapter 13 they are on the 10 horns, and thus there are 10 crowns.
The image in chapter 12 vision has 7 heads representing or indicating the 7 kingdoms of man that have dominated the world — Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. The Devil also referred to as the dragon has always controlled the kingdoms of man through the leaders and kings of those kingdoms. In the vision in this chapter I believe that 3 of the 7 heads are not all the same as in the image of chapter 12. It is explained below.
The main focus in this vision is on the 10 horns, which represent kingdoms of man in this final age. The word ‘crowns’ is translated from the Greek word διάδημα diadema or “diadem” representing royalty. Diadems are worn by the kings. I don’t believe that the number 10 needs to be exact as many numbers in Revelation are symbolic.
The focus here (v.1) is in heaven. Salvation is from the Lord God not the usurper. God has judged the great whore, the “old woman of prophecy,” and avenged the murder of the true believers (v.2). These are the enemies of God, but what do the Scriptures tell us about the timing of these events?
The LORD said to My Lord, Sit You on My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool? (Matthew 22:44. Also Psalms 110:1)
Christ must remain on the right hand of the Father, until all His enemies, including the great whore, are judged or put under His feet (or made His footstool). Christ cannot bodily return in His Second Coming to Earth until all His enemies are piled up and He rests His feet upon them.
There is no secret rapture before Christ’s Second Coming. He resurrects all believers, both living and dead, at His Return, and all are judged then, and not before He has destroyed all His enemies.
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:30,31)
It will be very well known. It will be noisy. All will see it happen. It will be global.
Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)
Now read 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:42, 51-54. This means new bodies like the old but instead incorruptible. There is no doubt amongst commentators that these passages are about the Return of Christ and the resurrection of the saints.
The “false Prophet,” assists the AntiChrist by directing people to worship him. So, who is the false Prophet, or, more precisely, what do the words “false Prophet” symbolise in the Revelation?
A lot of discussion nowadays revolves around the identity of the AntiChrist. Some believe he is a world leader who will arise in the not-too-distant future, and allegedly unite all countries of the world, establish world peace, bring in a global currency and ultimately dictatorially control the world, persecuting all true Christians, especially those who do not worship him as God. That interpretation of Bible prophecy I once believed but no longer, because it is wrong. It has been a very skillful ploy of Satan and the Roman Catholic church to divert the Protestant and evangelical churches attention away from the simple truth in the Bible. That interpretation, developed and promoted by Jesuits, has diverted the believing churches attention away from the Papacy and onto some future, yet unknown, world leader. It is called the futurist interpretation of Bible prophecy. The correct way to interpret Biblical prophecy is from a continuing or historical perspective. That is how the Reformers understood it and how we should also.
The question here is: Who is/are the false Prophet? To answer that question lets look at where false prophets might be found.