Revelation chapter 17 and the prophetic future of Babylon, what it is and who it is controlled by and the challenges presented by Babylon today. From our systematic series of bible teaching messages in the book of Revelation.
The world looks on and wonders, surprised at the residence and presidence of the demonic beast's take over of Babylon. The most surprising aspect of Revelation 17 is that the world is surprised! Having fashioned a world system of atheism, humanism, hedonism and materialism nothing could be more predictable than that system would become a perfect habitation for the demonic. Anyone surely could predict this, except the world itself! Satan had mankind fashion his anti-church, his anti-kingdom on his behalf. Here was a place of safety, security, and salvation (17:4). Babylon offered everything a soul could wish for! Here was a false saviour and a false salvation! Here was Satan's master piece, the work of millenia! The angel (17:1) pauses from his busy schedule to emphasise to John that whilst the wheels of Divine justice may well turn slow, they turn certain and sure. There is nothing more certain than Divine justice played out in time and in eternity. Dr J Stewart Gillespie, www.graceinchrist.org.
Systematic bible teaching from the book of Revelation chapter 16. We consider the significance of God's seven fold judgement of the vials upon this world, the mark of the beast and, the three frogs and Armageddon. A bible teaching message from the Bridgend Gospel Hall, New Cumnock.
Revelation chapter 13 is set in a day not too distant!
This second beast arises out of the earth as opposed to the sea (13:1).
The first beast we have categorised / identified as the AntiChrist on the basis of:
Wild beast description (13:1) by way of contrast with the description of the Lord Jesus as the lamb.
His incarnation in arising up out of the depths of the sea (13:1) in contrast to the one who came down from God (John 6:33,38)
7 fold names of blasphemy (13:1) in marked contrast to those names associated with the 7 fold spirit of God, described of the Lord Jesus in Isaiah 11: 2 and ascribed to the Lord Jesus in Revelation 5:6.
His mouth “speaking great things” (13:5) that also quite strikingly contrasts with the “gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth” (Luke 4:22)
The duration of his reign of 3 ½ years which compares to the 3 ½ of public service of the Lord Jesus as a humble servant.
AntiSermon on the mount of 13:6, as the beast opens his mouth in blasphemy against God, His place on earth and His place in heaven. The complete opposite of what we find from the lips of Christ in Matthew 5:2; 6:9.
The first beast then we characterised as the AntiChrist. He had the object of distracting us from Christ, providing us with an alternative, a Satanic alternative opposite to the Christ of God.That of course has always been the object and purpose of Satan, to provide an alternative Christ, an antichrist, anti in:
The second beast is intimately tied into the mission of the Antichrist (13:12). His purpose is not so much to provide the lie; that has already been done, but to get us believing the lie, subscribing to the lie and under the power of the lie.
This second beast is referred to as the false prophet in Revelation 19:20.
He is not only false of course but in verse 11 he is DANGEROUS; dangerously deceptive. The second beast looks superficially, to the passing glance, like a lamb, although intriguingly he looks like a lamb in rather peculiar way. That feature of the beast which connects him to, that echoes of the lamb, is perhaps the least lamb like feature of the lamb, the horns! You won't find any reference to that feature of the lamb in the OT. The closest perhaps, is the reference to God providing Himself a lamb in Genesis 22. When Abraham turns there is the provision for the sacrifice, caught by it’s horns in the thicket, but the language is changed from lamb to ram. The horn is symbolic of strength and power in the Old Testament. The power of this beast however is unassuming, maybe even strangely attractive. His power is disguised lamb like as non-threatening, benign and perhaps even kindly. This is the power behind deception. This beast, whilst we appreciate his power, can be trusted because, well quite clearly he is acting in our best interests! We can trust him! He is the master propagandist. He is powerful and dangerous. His power seems to be benign, beneficent. He has managed to convince a lost world that they can trust him! Trust me, I’m a devil.
You don’t need to look too far to get a flavour of that today, religious leaders who project themselves as warm, friendly, with your best interest at heart and in the process get you to swallow a lie hook line and sinker.
There is currently circulating on Facebook and You Tube a video with 3 million views, fronted by a benign and friendly looking Buddhist monk advising us of 3 things we need to know, one of which was ‘don’t be a prisoner to your past, the past is just a lesson not a life sentence.’
That seems to be, on the surface quite a warm and helpful statement, encouraging people not to be hindered by burdens in the past they cannot alter. But of course it contains the seed of a most profound lie and it fails to stand up to logical scrutiny.
It’s illogical – if the past is but a lesson for the present, then logically the present is a lesson for the future, which begs the question a lesson for what? For life? When does the living come if this is but a lesson. The reality is that the past and present and future are no mere lessons to be learned and moved on from. By all means we must learn lessons from our mistakes in the past. The subtle twist brings in the most profound lie. We learn lessons from the past and in the past but the past itself is not a lesson. The past is our life. The past has consequences for us, what we sow we reap. Consequences for others in time and for us in eternity, ultimately, we receive the ‘due reward of our deeds.’
We are accountable for our past and our past will be judged by God. It is no simple matter to learn the lesson, dismiss the past as a mere lesson and move on. That denies
accountability for and
judgement of and
salvation from sin.
This second beast is dangerous and deceptive.
What is the nature of this apparent miracle?
On surface he produces an image / a statue like perhaps that of Nebuchadnezzar and then make it live – that would be a miracle. It would indeed be a miracle! Comparable to the miracle of creation. This is very unlikely.
To God uniquely is imputed the power to give life. We have that truth in Creation.
“in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28)
“in Him is life and that life is the light of men”
So much so, come John’s Gospel, it is the fact that Christ is able to make alive that John uses as a proof of the Deity of Christ.
Come the replication of the miracles of Moses, the magicians of Pharaoh seemed to have a real problem in turning dust into lice, in producing life from the dust (Exodus 8:18). How come Satan can do it now but not then?
The word here for life is a bit unusual in verse 15. It is not the word for a living organism, animate with motion and activity ‘zoe’ but rather “pneuma”. This false prophet, manages to take a man made object and impute a spirit to it. By analogy to God’s creation of Adam we recall that God breathed into Adam the breath of lifes and Adam became a living soul then perhaps what we have here is a man made artificial entity empowered by the spirit of the false prophet. As strange as that may sound that is not out with the realms of possibility.
Man cannot create life but he can transfer his life force or spirit to a previously inanimate object.
The story begins back around 1999 with a Prof Miguel Nicolelis creating a Brain Computer Interface. Probes were inserted into the brain, which measured brain action potentials and electrical activity. Some very clever computer analysis was able to anticipate which muscles and movements these electrical activities triggered. He then got a monkey to play a computer game with a joy stick whilst that brain computer interface was reading the monkey's brain. He then disconnected the joystick and the monkey was able to control the screen and computer with mere thought read by the brain computer interface.
Professor Kevin Warwick, professor of Cybernetics at the university of Reading, used an implant into his nervous system in 2002 to control a robotic arm. What was interesting was that he added a further dimension to this by making use of the internet, so that he moved the robotic arm in a different continent. His spirit in a sense animated the inanimate object.
Currently an Elon Musk funded company in California – Neuralink is experimenting with a neural brain implant, about the size of a £1 coin, inserted into a hole hollowed out of the skull, to which is attached 1024 fine electrically conducting channels. The neuralink has inductive, wireless charging and megabyte wireless transfer speeds. These channels pick up the action potentials, the electrical activity of the brain. Complex and clever computer decoding is able to tie those patterns of electrical signals to the physical movements which they cause. Musk’s neuralink group were able to use the brain signals from a monkey to play ping pong!
We are also the first generation to live in the era when we no longer need to doubt the possibility of the fulfilment of verses 16 and 17, nor need we greatly speculate as to how this could be possible.
You can order one over the internet today.
British Polish company Walletmor has now gone into commercial production of these devices just a few months ago. It uses the same technology as is in your contactless NFC payment system in your mobile phone.
“The microchip implants that let you pay with your hand” BBC Website 2022
Cost euros: 249.00
The technology referenced in Revelation chapter 13 is already with us.
How long before the antichrist and false prophet are likewise with us?
As the king of counterfeit and the master mimic, Satan parallels and contorts the work and ministry of Jesus Christ, into his own fake imitation; a Satanic image to worship, the ultimate deflection away from genuine devotion and affection. The roots of this supreme distraction spread deep, drawing their caustic sap to the final shoots of one supreme manifestation in the AntiChrist. Amusement has fulfilled it's unthinking purpose for generations, lives have been successfully sapped of all success, years frittered unfruitful, time wasted and human lifespans discarded into the dustbins of purposeless unproductivity. A wasted and worthless life is a worthwhile goal for this antichrist infused world over which Satan as prince presides.
In the end, all of these roots will finally feed one shoot, the AntiChrist, the beast from the sea of Revelation chapter 13, Satan's man of Sin on earth. His worship will be volitional, devotion by deception! In the character catalogue of Revelation chapter 13 he attempts to emulate by inversion the character of Christ. The lamb becomes the beast (Revelation 13:1); his incarnation ascends from the depths in stark contrast to Jesus who descends from above, an anointing with the 7 fold Spirit of God in Isaiah 11:2 is parodied by 7 heads of blasphemy in the beast (13:1). The 3 and a half year ministry of Christ is mocked by a 3 and a half year reign of the beast (13:5) and the Sermon on the Mount is parodied by a mouth opening in blasphemy (13:6) rather than blessing (Matthew 5:2ff).
Here is Satan's Antichrist, here is the destiny to which the compass of this world is pointing, passive distraction and distracted devotion to a delusion, 180 degrees from Jesus Christ, our only source of hope and peace.
A message preached by Dr J Stewart Gillespie as part of a systematic series of bible studies in the book of Revelation, free to listen or view online.
Revelation chapter 13 details for us the rise of the Satan inspired Beast from the sea. He arises against the same background given to us in Daniel's prophecy of chapter 7. From the area of the Mediterranean emerges a monstrous beast like leader; autocratic and powerful, absolute in his authority, comparable to the lion like Babylon of old (Revelation 13:2). Geographically his origins appear skewed towards that of the footprint of the bear (Revelation 13:2); a territory more similar to that of the Medo-Persian empire; that of Turkey, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Egypt. Taking his inspiration from the Greek Leopard, 4 wings and super charged in speed, his Kingdom rises rapidly and spreads quickly.
It is this same individual whom Daniel refers to as the little horn in Daniel chapter 7. Point for point the 2 individuals are identical:
Revelation – The 1st Beast Chapter 13
Daniel – The little horn Chapter 7
Referred to as “a beast” (v1)
Referred to as “a beast” V10
Given power by the dragon (v2)
(Daniel 8:24) - Given power by another
Given “a mouth speaking great things” (v5)
“a mouth speaking great things” (7:8)
Reign ran for 42 mouths (v5)
“time, times and a dividing of time” (7:25)
Blasphemed name of God (v6)
“speak great words against the most High” (7:25)
Made war with the saints (v7)
“made war with the saints” (7:21)
The importance of this identification of the first beast of Revelation chapter 13 and Daniel's little horn of chapter 7, lies in the additional details which Daniel's prophecy furnish us regarding the origin of the little horn or beast. It is Daniel who reveals to us that the little horn or beast will arise from the fourth of Daniel's beasts: that beast representing the Roman Empire. This of course poses something of a problem for us today as this is an empire long gone. The western part of the Roman Empire fell into obscurity in the 6th century AD with the Eastern part of the Byzantine Empire persisting until the 15th century. It is perhaps from this eastern portion of the empire we can look to find the beast arising; from the footprint of the Medo Persian bear.
How can the beast arise from an empire long gone? Revelation chapter 13 points us to a head once wounded to death but now revived (13:3). It is from the revived, probably eastern portion of the Roman empire that we can look to find the beast arising.
An excerpt taken from systematic bible teaching given on chapter 13 of the book of Revelation by Dr J Stewart Gillespie: "Revelation chp 13 vs 1 to 10 - Who is the AntiChrist? Where will we find the Antichrist?"
From the lands of the Mediterranean Sea there will arise a Beast, the AntiChrist, the Man of Sin. Echoing features of empires past he will move quickly like the armies and empire of Alexander the Great, as pictured in the Leopard. His geographical domain is likely to be that of the Medo-Persian Empire of centuries ago, standing bear like, with his feet gripping the lands of Turkey, Iran and Iraq. This is Satan's one world dictator, a man with universal political (Revelation 13:2) and spiritual authority (Revelation 13:8) over the worlds. It is interesting to speculate how such a universal dictatorship could arise. The world of Revelation chapter 13, whilst echoed by events in the past century is very unlike the political landscape we see today. This is a world decimated by judgment, wars, disease and famine. between the judgments of the fourth scroll and 6th trumpet, one half of the world's population has been destroyed. Food production has been decimated by poisoned seas and rivers, nuclear explosions have polluted and destroyed productive agriculture and lands. This is a post-apocalyptic landscape, the leadership of which has been grasped, probably out of necessity to restore law and order and distribute evenly what resources there are. Here is Satan's finest hour, achieving his goal from the garden of Eden. This is his takeover of God's creation. Satan's Kingdom has come! Whilst this may be Satan's greatest moment, it is undoubtedly earth's most awful moment. A message preached as part of our series of systematic bible studies in the book of Revelation. Dr J Stewart Gillespie graceinchrist.org