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The Beast of Revelation 13

Countless millions of words have been penned over the centuries as to the Beast and almost every major political or religious power has at some time been classified as being the Beast, the Antichrist!

The Beast we are told is:

The list is long and confusing to say the least, but it is obviously an important issue which we must settle if we want to escape the wrath of the Almighty God. And so we ask, which one of these if any is the Beast? Before we give our answer let us make one point clear; the Scriptures do not state in plain and simple language who the Beast is. Nonetheless, we are given a number of vital clues as to his identity, clues which we must bear in mind if we are not to be taken in by every plausible theory that comes our way. Six clues as to the Beast's identity are considered below for the reader's guidance.

CLUE ONE … He is the Lawless One
Elsewhere in the Scriptures we are told that this same blasphemous power, who is scheduled to arrive on the world scene just before the return of the Messiah, is the Lawless One, the Wicked One, the Man of Sin. (2 Thess. 2:1-9)

He is the Lawless One because he not only breaks God's law, but vainly imagines that he can change it. The commandment he is particularly interested in trying to change is the one dealing with the sacred seasons, with TIME. This, of course, is the Sabbath commandment; for that is the only one which deals with the element of time. (Daniel 7:25)

He ... shall think to change times and laws.

This first clue, in short, tells us that the Beast is an outlaw, a blatant sinner, whose main objective is to change the times in Yahweh's law. In other words, he thinks he can change the Sabbath commandments; for these are the only ones dealing with the element of time.

CLUE TWO … He existed before the vision of the Revelation was given.
Our next clue comes from the lips of a mighty angel who plainly tells us that the Beast was in existence before the Revelation was given, but was not alive at the time it was given.

The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit…(Rev. 17:8)

This is a vitally important clue, for it means that when establishing his identity we will need to look for a person or power that existed before the book of Revelation was given (AD 96): a power 'that was.' Moreover, that power 'was not' around at the time the prophecy was given, but would ascend to life some time later - some time after AD 96.

CLUE THREE … He will arise from the Bottomless Pit.
Our next clue is even more meaningful than the first two, for it tells us where the Beast comes from.

Rev. 17: 8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

The fact that the Beast arises from out of the Bottomless Pit is also seen in Revelation 11: 7:

And when they (the Two Witnesses) shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

We know from our previous study of the abyss that it is a spirit-penitentiary of some kind where multitudes of evil angels are imprisoned and are awaiting the day of judgement. The Beast will come from that place, from the Bottomless Pit.

CLUE FOUR … He will actually reveal himself.
2 Thess.2: 7: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

Rev.17: 8: The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they BEHOLD the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

CLUE FIVE … His reign will last for 42 months.
Rev.13: 5: And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

This 42 month period will coincide with the 1260 days or three and a half years the ekklesia of Yahweh (the church) is in the wilderness. See Revelation 12: verses 6 and 14)
In other words, during the Beast's 42 month reign, when he is terrorising the world's inhabitants into serving him, the church of the Most High will be divinely protected in the wilderness well out of Satan's reach.

CLUE SIX … He will meet his end at the Saviour's return.
The Beast's reign, we are told, will end at the Messiah's return. Together with the False Prophet who deluded the world into accepting his Mark the Beast will be cast into the lake of fire.

Rev.19: 19: And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20: And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

This clue tells us that the Beast is an authority who is able to marshal the military might of all nations ( the kings of the earth and their armies) and to lead them in battle against the returning Son of God! Bear this vital clue in mind when trying to identify the Beast.

From these SIX meaningful clues we conclude that it is highly unlikely that any person, religious organisation or political party on earth today can sensibly be classified as being the Beast of Revelation 13; for of whom could it be said:

  1. They attempted to alter the Sabbath Commandment in God's law.
  2. They existed before the vision of Revelation was given (that is before AD 96).
  3. They were not in existence at the time the vision was being given. (AD 96)
  4. They ascended to life again from out of the Bottomless Pit, that spirit penitentiary, which is still shut anyway.
  5. They ruled the whole world for a period of 42 months (which is three and a half years or 1260 days)
  6. They have the authority to organise the military might of all nations and to wage an all-out battle against the Son of God!

With due respect to the many opinions about the Beast which have been voiced in the past, it is perfectly obvious that in this present world there just does not exist any person or power political or ecclesiastical which could meet even 3 of the above conditions, let alone all 6 of them.

Who then, is the Beast of Revelation 13?
From these 6 clues the Stewarton Bible School presents the following answer. The Beast, the Antichrist, the Lawless One, the Little Horn is a supernatural being who existed millenniums ago and was imprisoned in the blackness of the Abyss for crimes too grievous for our puny minds to even imagine. Though the evil influence from his past existence still pervades human civilisation, the Beast himself is in the Abyss at this very moment.

In Rev. 9: 11 we are plainly told that a mighty monarch called Abaddon, the Destroyer, the Exterminator shall arise from out of the Bottomless Pit to terrorise mankind: that is, all except those who have accepted the Almighty's seal. The prophecy also tells us that three unclean spirits like frogs, the spirits of devils, motivate the Dragon, the Beast and the false Prophet. In other words, the Beast is an evil, unclean being like Satan the Devil and the False Prophet. Unclean output (lies) issues from each of their mouths.

Rev.16: 13: And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

As king of the evil host which emerges from the Bottomless Pit, Abaddon is the personification of evil, a sadist of unspeakable depravity and he speaks with an unclean, lying tongue!

Bearing these six clues in mind and comparing them with the prophecy of the Abyss, it is our considered opinion that the Beast who also rises from the Abyss, could well be Abaddon, the Destroyer, the King of the Bottomless Pit, the Exterminator from Sheol the Son of Hell! Yes, the Beast could well be Abaddon, the King of the Bottomless Pit, the unclean spirit who teams up with Satan and the False Prophet against Yeshua the Messiah. When the Beast rises from the Abyss at the 1st Woe, he will attract to himself the world's allegiance and adoration an adoration born of terror. He will then go on to be worshipped as the Antichrist - God on earth!

2 Thess.2: 3: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

At that time the Beast's most ardent followers will abandon themselves to violence, sexual licence and Devil worship, the very sins multitudes of evil angels were imprisoned in the Abyss for in the days gone by. (Jude 7). For three and a half years the Beast will govern the whole world, compelling its terrified inhabitants into receiving his Mark. At the end of that period he will organise the military might of all nations and dare to launch an attack on Yeshua the Messiah at his return. He will perish in the attempt and be hurled to his doom in the Lake of Fire. (Rev. 19:19-21)

The Mark of the Beast

When the Antichrist visibly manifests himself on earth and begins his three and a half year reign, he will compel the people of all nations to bear his Mark. Acceptance of it either in one's forehead (faith in it) or the right hand (acting upon it) will be compulsory, and those who refuse to receive the Mark will not be allowed to buy and sell in the markets of the world. In the prophecy of Daniel 7 we are plainly told that the Little Horn power (the Antichrist) will attempt to change the commandments dealing with time (the Sabbath days in Yahweh's law) which constitute the Sign of the God of Israel.

In other words, the Beast will attempt to counterfeit Yahweh's signature (His Sabbath days): and in their place he will popularise various festivals of his own choosing. It is these substitute festivals or rest days which are scheduled to become the dreaded Mark of the Beast, the Signature of Satan!

'And what,' you may ask, 'are these substitute days which are to become the Mark of the Beast?' There is only one true answer to that question and it presents itself as the only conclusion that the foregoing facts allow. And that one inescapable conclusion is this:

That as the true weekly Sabbath (the day known as Saturday) and the Annual Feast Days in the sacred calendar constitute the Sign or Signature of Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel, then the Mark of the Beast, the signature of the Lawless One, the one who vainly thinks that he can change the Sabbaths in Yahweh's perfect law and replace them with festivals of his own choice, must, by a process of simple deduction, be the bogus rest-day of Sunday and all the other unholy festivals of heathenism which are currently posing as the festivals of the Almighty God. (Christmas, Easter, Whit Sunday, Ash Wednesday etc.)

Astonishing as this may sound, these popular festivals are nothing more than the unsanctified output of paganism. Most were kept by the heathen centuries before the Messiah was born in Bethlehem. In the course of time they imperceptibly inveigled their way into the Christian church and are now being boldly proclaimed as the Lord's Day, Christ's birthday etc. Yet, and this is an unequivocal fact, there is not a single verse in the Holy Scriptures which even hints at their supposed sanctity, let alone calls for their observance.

When the Antichrist rises from the Abyss and begins his three and a half year dictatorship he will greatly magnify these ancient heathen festivals and rank the keeping of them as a Sign or Mark of allegiance to him. Who knows, he may even have been instrumental in organising their observance by the ancient pagans when he first lived; that is, centuries before he was imprisoned in the Abyss. When the Antichrist arrives the observance of Yahweh's Sabbaths will be banned and these bogus pagan festivals will be raised to their ancient glory and will again attain the dubious distinction of being the Mark of the Beast!

Strange as it may seem, not all the inhabitants of the earth will be deceived into receiving the Antichrist's Mark. There will be at least two groups of believers who will totally reject it.

They are:

The 144,000 Israelites are a special company of believers who are to be sealed by the Holy Spirit with Yahweh's character, which is specified in the principles embodied in the law. The 144,000 will not only observe God's commandments with faultless obedience, but they will keep His weekly and annual Sabbaths in the truest sense of the term: keep them as a sign of the absolute sanctification which Yahweh will have by then wrought in their lives. They are called 'Israelites,' so obviously a large proportion of that number will be blood-born descendants of the original children of Israel who will have accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as their promised Messiah. Nevertheless, among them will also be many Gentile believers who do not baulk at the idea of being classified as Israelites; for these souls know and live by the inspired pronouncement that says:

And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29)

These commandment-keeping Gentile believers are grafted in the Olive of Israel (Romans 11) and are, hopefully, not barred from being numbered with the 144,000 Israelites mentioned in this prophecy. True Israelites, in other words, are not merely the Messiah-accepting descendants of Jacob, but believers who not only have faith in Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), but also endeavour to keep the laws of Yahweh the God of Israel: particularly the Sabbath and food laws which so strikingly sets apart Israel from every other nation on earth.

The 144,000 Israelites could well make up the company who are symbolised by the woman in Rev. 12, but other than this brief explanation of our view it would be infantile of us to presume as to the particular denomination or race from which they will come. The innumerable multitude of commandment-keepers mentioned in Rev. 12:17 will also refuse to accept the Beast's Mark and though many of them will be martyred for their stand, they will all reign with the Master when he returns to earth to begin his millennial reign. (Rev. 20:4) This company will most certainly be made up of believers from every denomination and race; but, perhaps, for not having accepted Yahweh's Seal at the time of the sealing, they are not part of the wilderness group who will be supernaturally protected during the Beast's reign. (Rev. 12:13-17)

Trumpet 7 The Seven Seals Of The Revelation The Three Angels' Messages

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Author: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
First published 1983 / Placed on the Internet 1996 / Updated: 1998 / Reformatted: May 2000