Rev. Mark H. Creech
Revelation Chapter 13: The activities of the Beast
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By Rev. Mark H. Creech
May 20, 2023

Various leaders have discussed the concept of a New World Order throughout history, but it gained particular prominence in the aftermath of the Cold War. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev used the term to describe a new global political and economic system based on cooperation and peace.

Since then, various leaders and organizations have called for a New World Order, including the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, and numerous political and business leaders. They argue that increasing globalization and interconnectedness require a new system of governance that can address global challenges like climate change (so-called), economic inequality, and conflict.

While efforts have been made to establish a New World Order, such as creating international institutions like the International Criminal Court and the Paris Climate Agreement, progress has been slow and uneven. Many countries prioritize their own interests (which is how it should be) over global cooperation, and there is an ongoing debate about what a New World Order should look like and how it should be achieved.

Nevertheless, the concept is growing, although quite incrementally. If the globe were suddenly plunged into a general free-fall, no doubt, the idea could rapidly catch on, become pervasive, and transform into a beastly one-world government led by a man indwelt and empowered by the Devil, the Antichrist.

I once heard my childhood pastor say something in Church one Sunday that has stayed with me into my senior years. He said, “One day, the Lord will say to the world, ‘Alright, you have wanted the Devil’s way; you have preferred him over me, despite my countless warnings. Now I’m going to give him to you fully.’ Then the Lord will also say to the Devil, ‘Alright, you have always said you could run the world better than me. So, I will stand back and restrain you no more from having total power. Let’s see what you will do with your newfound powers.”

We will undoubtedly see chaos and catastrophic results. Humanity will plummet into unprecedented disaster, and the Devil’s reign will be short-lived and an utter failure.

H. A. Ironside, in Lectures on Revelation, says of this coming spectacle:

“It is not hard to imagine something in which the condition of this world will be found after all Christians have been snatched away to be with the Lord, especially when we realize that many in high places – rulers, governors, and other political leaders, are at heart Christian men…Their removal would be like the breaking of a dyke, permitting the rushing waters of anarchy…Think of how evil will then be intensified. What frightful lengths unsaved men will go to in their efforts to bring about a millennium without Christ. Whether carnal men realize it or not, true Christians are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Let every Christian suddenly be taken away from this scene, and you will have gross darkness covering the earth.”

As a registered lobbyist for the Christian Action League of North Carolina, I’ve seen this principle played out repeatedly in the state legislature. I have on many occasions said that if it were not for the many exemplary Christian leaders elected to serve there, the whole place would go to hell in no time. Their presence is a profound restraining influence.

One day this restraining influence of true Christianity in creed and action will be withdrawn from the entire world, and out of the wicked sea of nations will arise “a Beast.” John said of this Beast:

    “It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God. This Beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the Beast his own power and throne and great authority” (Revelation 13: 1-2).

The astute Bible student will recognize the remarkable similarities between the Beast that John saw in his vision and the four Beasts that the prophet Daniel saw in his own. The Beast in Revelation chapter 13 echoes the fourth Beast in Daniel chapter 7 in several ways:

  1. In Daniel’s vision, the first Beast was like a lion, the second Beast was like a bear, and the third Beast was like a leopard. Daniel said he saw a fourth Beast that was terrifying and dreadful, which “devoured and crushed its victims with huge iron teeth and trampled their remains beneath its feet. It was different from any of the other beasts, and it had ten horns.” In John’s vision in Revelation, the Beast has a body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion.

  2. The fourth Beast and John’s Beast both have ten horns.

  3. Both Daniel’s fourth Beast and John’s Beast represent world powers that rise up and dominate the Earth.

  4. Both Daniel’s fourth Beast and John’s Beast have enormous power and authority, ruling over the earth and exerting its will on humankind.

  5. Daniel’s fourth Beast with its little horn and John’s Beast have a blasphemous nature, speaking against God and making extraordinary claims.

Overall, the similarities between the two visions suggest they are referring to the same power or empire that will dominate the world in the last days before the return of Jesus Christ.

Charles Ryrie, in Revelation, further explains:

    “In total appearance, the Beast was ‘like a leopard,’ his feet ‘like those of a bear,’ and his mouth ‘like a lion’s. In the vision of Daniel 7, the first Beast that the prophet saw was like a lion, the second like a bear, and the third like a leopard. John’s Beast combines these features; whatever the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, and Grecian armies had of strength, brutality, and swiftness will be present in this final form of Antichrist’s world rule in the Western confederation of nations” [some refer to this as a revived Roman Empire]. Great as this man and empire will be, he is actually an agent or tool of someone else. It is the dragon, Satan, who gives the Beast his power, throne, and authority. He is sold out to Satan, and Satan uses him to the maximum.”

In 2001: On the Edge of Eternity, the late evangelist, Jack Van Impe, asked a pointed question:

    “In man’s search for international leadership, there has always been the drive to find the one who is destined to hold it all together. Are people today really ready to accept a ‘devil’ as the new CEO of world affairs.”

The answer is yes, they are and will, given the right circumstances. This happens during the Tribulation Period after the Church has been removed.

Recently, this text made me consider what draws people to accept and submit to a ruthless dictator.

One of the primary reasons is fear. Dictators often use fear to control people, threatening violence and retribution. People are drawn to a charismatic leader with a strong personality. The masses see these traits as necessary to run a successful government, even when the leader’s methods are not ethical or legal. Dictatactivors are experts at evoking nationalistic pride – someone who can restore order and unity around a common identity. When times are going well, people support such leaders even when their governing style is undemocratic. Dictators also use propaganda to shape public perception, using techniques to spread misinformation, suppress dissent, and manipulate public opinion. Sadly, if people have experienced some trauma, or sometimes even the threat, they will seek protection and a sense of security, accepting a dictator’s rule, should it even mean they have to give up their freedoms.

The Bible indicates the Antichrist will employ all of these means to seduce and conquer, except something happens that clinches the world’s affections and adherence. The apostle John continues:

    “I saw that one of the heads of the Beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the Beast. They worshiped the dragon for giving the Beast such power, and they also worshiped the Beast. ‘Who is as great as the beast?’ they exclaimed. ‘Who is able to fight against him?'” (Revelation 13:3-4)

Satan is the master of deceit. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that his Superman, the Antichrist is like him. Perhaps the most effective means of the Devil’s ability to defraud is imitation.

The Evil One has always sought to counterfeit the character and works of God. He desires that he be worshipped instead of God. Thus, he tries to mislead by imitating God’s actions but with a different objective. For example, God is a giver, and Satan imitates by offering false promises. God is holy, and Satan presents himself as an angel of light, but in reality, he is full of darkness and evil. Overall, the Devil’s objective is to trick people into believing he and his ways are a legitimate “alternative” or “replacement” for the Lord and his ways.

It appears that in Revelation chapter 13, Satan, in the person of the Antichrist, himself a counterfeit of the Son of God, seems “mortally wounded” and appears to experience the miracle of resurrection. What could be more persuasive to cause the masses to submit to him?

Some Christians do not accept this interpretation.

J. Vernon McGee, in his Thru the Bible commentary on Revelation, says for many Christians, this text describes “the Roman Empire and that the imperial form of government, under which Rome fell, will be restored in a startling manner.”

Admittedly, this view has some merit, but as McGee adds:

    “[T]he Beast is a man who will exhibit a counterfeit and imitation resurrection. This will be the great delusion, the big lie of the Great Tribulation Period (see Thessalonians 2:11), and this is part of the big lie. They will not accept the resurrection of Christ, but they sure are going to fake the resurrection of the Antichrist…The challenge on that day will be: ‘What has Christ done that that Antichrist has not done?” Nobody can duplicate the resurrection of Christ; they might imitate it in a way that will fool the world – it is the big lie. Believers say, ‘Christ is risen!’ The boast of unbelievers on that day will be: ‘So is Antichrist!’ The Roman Empire will spring back into existence under the cruel hand of a man who faked a resurrection, and a gullible world who rejected Christ will finally be taken in by his forgery.”

Next, the Bible says:

    “Then the Beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given the authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months. And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling—that is, those who dwell in heaven” (Revelation 13:5-6).

Blasphemy is insulting, speaking irrelevantly, or showing contempt for God and sacred things. It is a terrible sin.

Some real-life modern examples of people who blasphemed are Andres Serrano. In 1987 the American artist created a photograph titled “Piss Christ,” which depicted a crucifix submerged in his own urine. The late British American author and journalist Christopher Hitchens wrote a book titled God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, which severely mocked and criticized God. In the 1960s and 70s, American activist and founder of American Atheists, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, was known for her outspoken denigrations of God and the followers of Christ.

In the last days, the Antichrist will be more blasphemous than Serrano, Hitchens, and O’Hair combined.

Let me encourage you to stop and pause for a moment to consider another quote from H.A. Ironside:

    “Only those who have exchanged the heavenly hope for an earthly one will be deceived by this great leader. He is the coming man for whom the world is waiting. Mistaken and blinded statesmen will hail him as the head of the nations, the one who will solve the problems – social, political, and economic – that are now disturbing the world. How blessed to be warned by God of all these things beforehand, that we may walk apart from everything that savors of that day of reproach and blasphemy.”

Only someone lacking in good judgment – reckless or careless would disregard such a warning – and if they should have doubts, not earnestly investigate.

You’ve been warned.

© Rev. Mark H. Creech

 

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Rev. Mark H. Creech

Rev. Mark H. Creech is Executive Director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc. He was a pastor for twenty years before taking this position, having served five different Southern Baptist churches in North Carolina and one Independent Baptist in upstate New York.

Rev. Creech is a prolific speaker and writer, and has served as a radio commentator for Christians In Action, a daily program featuring Rev. Creech's commentary on social issues from a Christian worldview.

In addition to RenewAmerica.com, his weekly editorials are featured on the Christian Action League website and Agape Press, a national Christian newswire.

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