Beast from the Sea
This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.
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The beast is the Antichrist. He came out of the sea while the dragon [Satan] stood on the sand of the seashore.
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea
“The first sentence of this chapter belongs as the last sentence of chapter 12, since it concludes the account of the dragon (Satan; cf. 12:9) and his war against God and His people.” (MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. [Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000], 41)
“In Scripture the sea is a picture of the nations of the world, of mankind, like the restless sea.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 997)
Why did the beast come out of the sea? Because the sea “held terrors for ancient people and storms at sea easily symbolized evil (see Jonah 1).” (Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. [Nashville: B&H, 1998], 226)
This beast was going to terrorize the people in the world.
Beast on the Sand
Also note that the dragon is standing upon the sand of the sea.
This is Satan who is bringing “the wild Beast out of the sea and dominates him. (McGee, 997)
God is giving Satan a chance to rule the world.
God does not want Satan to be able to say, “You never gave me a chance.” (McGee, 997)
Satan will not be able to say that. (McGee, 997)
McGee tells us that this “Beast is the Man of Sin and Antichrist, the final world dictator.” (997) 2 Thessalonians 2:4
See Revelation 12:3 in Revelation 12:1-6 “The Woman” for a discussion of the beast.
“The blasphemous name on each head suggests a claim to divine status (vv. 5-6).” (Easley, 227) [NIV]
The Christians in John’s day associated this with the Roman Empire. (Easley, 227)
2. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion.
See Daniel 7:3-7
The leopard, bear, and lion “emphasize the characteristics of the nations they represent.” (MacArthur, 44)
|Lion||Fierce, consuming power of the Babylonian Empire|
|Bear||Ferocity, strength, and stability of the Medo-Persian Empire|
|Leopard||Swift conquests of Alexander the Great: speed and viciousness|
The Antichrist’s empire “will incorporate all the ferocity, viciousness, swiftness and strength of the other world empires.” (MacArthur, 44)
The dragon (Satan) gave him (Antichrist), and his seat, and great authority.
The Antichrist is under the control of Satan.
3. One of the heads on the beast has been wounded to death by a deadly wound and was healed.
The commentaries I am using all agree this must be the Antichrist.
Remembering that this was only one head, is it possible that this creature died and was resurrected?
There is agreement that this was a fake death and resurrection.
I like the way Easley put it: “The healing of the monster [Antichrist] is far different and less important than the resurrection of the Lamb. The monster will eventually face defeat; the resurrected Lamb is victorious for eternity.” (227)
This caused the complete world to be amazed and follow the beast.
Who are you following?
4. They worshiped the dragon
The worlds people will turn to worshipping Satan.
Speaking of the Antichrist we read in 2 Thessalonians 4 “he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”
Satan gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast
McGee tells us that the people are saying, “Look, we are worshiping something more wonderful than the God of the Bible!” (999)
The beast is saying to the people, “Who is like unto the beast, and who is able to make war with him?”
MacArthur says, “in the political, military, and religious realms, Antichrist will reign supreme and unchallenged by earth and hell.” (47)
God in Control
5. Where did Satan get what was given to him?
God is still in control. God gave him a mouth.
The Amplified Bible translates this as and the beast was given a mouth (the power of speech), uttering great things and arrogant and blasphemous words.
Many people are great orators. They can persuade many to believe what they say.
Here the Antichrist is doing just that!
“The only good news here is that Antichrist will be reigning like this for only forty-two months, or three and one-half years.” (McGee, 1001)
6. The Antichrist opened the mouth that God gave him and blasphemy against God.
“So hardened will sinners’ hearts be at that time that God’s judgment will elicit not repentance, but more blasphemy.” (MacArthur, 48)
The Antichrist will blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven
The Antichrist will blaspheme God’s name and God’s tabernacle which includes the “redeemed saints and the holy angels.” (MacArthur, 44)
7. God allowed Antichrist to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.
Saints here means believers who have accepted Jesus as their Savior.
He will overcome them through war.
Also, power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
This “does not mean that he will have the power to destroy their faith.
He will overcome them physically, but not spiritually.” (MacArthur, 49)
Those who have truly accepted Jesus as their savior will be with Jesus when they die.
Romans 8:38-39 Revelation 3:5 Job 13:15 John 10:27-29
8. “The phrase all who dwell on the earth is used throughout Revelation to describe unbelievers and does not include everyone who will be alive at that time.” (MacArthur, 49) [NASB1995]
The unbelievers shall worship him.
This includes everyone whose name has not been [a]written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. [NASB1995]
a. Revelation 13:8 Or not written in the book…slain from the foundation of the world
2 Thessalonians 2:10 tells us this is because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
Their names have not been written in the book of life of the Lamb.
Is your name written in the book of life?
Do you want it written there?
9.This phrase “is used sixteen times in the New Testament to emphasize a particularly important truth.” (MacArthur, 51)
In Revelation it was used in chapters 2 and 3 discussing the seven churches.
In those chapters “what the Spirit says to the churches” follows it.
“The omission of that phrase suggests that the church is not in view in this passage, having been raptured before the start of the Tribulation (cf. 3:10).” (MacArthur, 51)
10. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.
Compare Jeremiah 15:2 when God was using the Babylonians to punish Judah.
God is telling the redeemed saints going through the Great Tribulation “to bear with patience and faith the awful trials that will be coming even upon God’s children.” (McGee, 1002)
“God controls the future and believers belong to Him.” (MacArthur, 51)
1 Peter 4:12-14 Romans 8:37-39
In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995)
New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved
Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. Nashville: B&H, 1998
MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983