The Revelation of Hope – Revelation 14:1-8 – Week 28 – Rob Covell

The Revelation of Hope

Revelation 14:1-8

Week 28

Rob Covell
Introduction –

In this Session we will continue in the Interlude between the Trumpet and Bowl Judgments, and begin Revelation 14. Revelation 14 is a meta-view of the whole of salvation history from the Apostolic Church of Jerusalem to the Judgment of Jerusalem in AD 70, and the sure demise of the Roman Empire that is symbolized as the embodiment of Babylon. We see this common theme throughout the Revelation of the telling and re-telling the same narrative. Revelation can be outlined as a narrative of 3 sections of 7’s with Interludes in between.

The outline of Revelation 14 is as follows:

The First Fruits of Gospel – The Jerusalem Church – Rev 14:1-5

The Proclamation of the Gospel to the Nations – Rev 14:6-7

The Declaration of the Fall of Babylon (Roman Empire/World Systems)

Rev 14:8 The Judgment of those who are Disobedient to the Gospel – Rev 14:9-12

The Encouragement and Promise of Rest to the Saints – Rev 14:13

The Reaping of the Land for Judgment – Rev 14:14-20

Revelation 14:1

a) The 144,000 are previously mentioned in Revelation 7. The 144,000 are the faithful Jews who believed in Jesus as He ministered and demonstrated that He was Messiah, or believed in Jesus through the ministry of the Apostles in Jerusalem. See Acts 2, Acts 3, Acts 4, Acts 5, Acts 6, Acts 7, Acts 8, and Acts 15. This is not a literal 144,000 but a symbol of the many Jews who received Jesus as Messiah.

b) Romans 10-11 describes the First Fruits Community that we see in verses 1-5

c) The spiritual message of the imagery can be understood in the following ways. The Lamb – Jesus Christ – Jesus Christ the slain Lamb, the fulfilment of the Passover symbols who delivers His people from death. This assembly stands before Him positioned in the place of worship and they are objects of His love. The symbol of the Lamb standing on Mount Zion is figurative language that speaks of Jesus in the Place of Victory.

d) Mount Zion – This should not be understood as the literal Mount Zion, but it is best understood as the Mountain of God and the chosen place where His presence dwells. The heavenly Zion. These First Fruits of the Remnant have a special place in heaven where they behold Jesus in glory and worship Him. It is interesting to note that Zion means a “parched place” in Hebrew. If the place where God dwells is a parched place; that would speak to the thirst His people have for Him and heart that seeks God and deeply and longs for the eternal blessings He gives. Only the thirsty and the hungry get satisfied. See Hebrews 12

e) Having the His Name and The Name of the Father on their foreheads – This symbolizes the true mark of ownership as contrasted to the mark of Beast in Revelation 13 that leads to destruction. In fact all believers are sealed with the Spirit and kept by the Holy Spirit. See Ephesians 1:13 and Ephesians 4:30.

Revelation 14:2-3

a) This worship of the First Fruits Church is more than a song, but a sound of worship in a sacred song that only the Apostolic Church in Jerusalem would know as they were the ones who stayed true in the Jewish persecution of the brothers. See John 15:18-25

b) The song is unique to them as songs are birthed from experience and understood in the place of encounter. The First Century Judean Church experienced the ministry of Jesus and the Apostles in a way that could never be repeated. They experienced as eyewitnesses the ending of the Law, the giving of the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost, the unity of love, and the brutal persecution of those who rejected Messiah and scattered them. These are the redeemed of the earth (GE), the Land of Judea, not the globe (Oikumene).

c) We see them in the throne room where the 4 Living Creatures and the Elders worship in Revelation 4.

Revelation 14:4-5

a) These are not literal virgins that are males, as the Church is made up of male and female disciples. This is best understood as those who kept themselves in the purity of faith. Greek – PARTHENOS -a man who has abstained from all uncleanness and whoredom attendant on idolatry, and so has kept his chastity

b) They follow the Lamb – This is symbolic language that speaks of their faithful journeys of faith in following Jesus in every season of faith. This is beautiful poetic language that describes the perseverance of the saints.

c) These were purchased – The blood of Jesus is the AGORAZO for the redeemed. 1 Peter 1:18-19  d) No lie in their mouths – The Gospel is truth. This first generation of the Judean Church proclaimed the gospel in fullness in signs, wonders, miracles and word. The message of the Jesus Christ is the word of life and that delivers all from the dominion of darkness unto eternal life. The blood of Jesus makes us blameless. Colossians 1:13

Revelation 14:6-7

a) In verse 6 we see the Eternal Gospel that stands as a proclamation that began in Judea and will continue to be proclaimed to every generation until the return of Jesus Christ.

b) The angel is flying in mid-air/mid-heaven. In some way the angelic order has a part to play in the proclamation of the Gospel by the Church. Somehow the angelic order, the Holy Spirit and the Church work in unity to propagate the Gospel. It is interesting to note that the midair speaks of the expanse of the atmosphere of planet earth and not OURANOS the highest heavens where God dwells. The Gospel redeems this realm because this realm is in need of restoration that comes by the Gospel.

c) God desires that all humankind worships Him, as He is the Source and Sustainer of all creation. See Romans 1:18-25

d) The hour of Judgment is the destruction of Jerusalem and coming judgment at the end of the ages at Jesus Christ’s return. In the epochs of salvation history this is the last hour as there is no other Covenant of Work of God that needs to be done. It is finished in the work of Jesus on the cross that inaugurated the last hour.

Revelation 14:8

a) Babylon was a metaphor for the Roman Empire in the First Century. 1 Peter 5:13 is a good reference that we can look to see this point.

b) Babylon also represents the totality of the corrupt world systems of government, economy, sciences, arts, etc. that do not regard the leadership of God or godly principles of life.

c) The dominion of darkness is doomed to fall because it is an illegal institution that was born in the Fall of mankind.

d) The Roman Empire made all of the civilized world at that time drink the wine of her adulteries with Emperor worship, gross immorality, spiritual adultery, her luxurious economy, and her tyranny of government.

e) The wine of passion/maddening of the world systems is devoid of peace and cannot bring healing to any. The word for adulteries is PORNEIA in the Greek and can be defined as all illicit sex and spiritual adultery against God. Sex and spiritual adultery are married because human sexuality is sacred and is deeply tied to the spirit and soul of people.

f) It is the mission of the Church to displace Babylon and bring the superior systems of God’s Kingdom to society. Babylon is already defeated because the King is enthroned and has empowered His Church to conquer in love by the Holy Spirit. The angelic order has made God’s decision for the Fall of Babylon to be decreed.

Source Material: Don Walker – The Beast of Revelation White Paper David Chilton – Days of Vengeance  The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff   G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ  Blue Letter  Preterist Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation  George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium  Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology  Holman Bible Dictionary  Strongs Concordance  NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament-  NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament  Jonathan Welton – Raptureless  George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem  Wikipedia  Rapture Fever – Gary North  The Prophets Dictionary – Price  Vines Expository Bible Dictionary


Foundations – Week 4- The Goodness of God – Christus Victor – Revelation 1:10-18 – Rob Covell

Foundations Week 4

The Goodness of God – Christus Victor


Rob Covell

Introduction –  Every community or tribe of people have unique qualities that define them as a people, and those things come from corporate agreement. During the course of this series we are going look at the following subjects that make Refuge Tribe unique and defines our unique expression of faith. Our Foundations Series this summer, will focus us as a faith community into these things, awaken the inner spiritual life to walk them out.
1 – The Goodness of God  2 – Dominion Mandate  3 – Supernatural Lifestyle  4 – A Culture of Love and Honor

In this session we complete the Goodness of God section of our Foundations Series and the see the Goodness of God in giving us His Son not only as Savior, but Christus Victor, or Christ the Vanquisher, and Champion. It is the love of God and the grace of God to give us the Son who would be everything we are not, and from that Man draw out all the grace we would ever need to live this life.

Colossians 2:13-15

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.

From Jesus Christ flow all love, mercy and grace to be accepted and given purity and righteousness that we cannot possess in ourselves, but we possess these by believing He provided them to us, and freely imputed them to us. We become what we behold. As we gaze on Jesus Christ our Victor, we be participants in the Victory Jesus won and begin to walk in victory ourselves.

Revelation 1:10-11

a) The Lord’s Day – The Early Church set aside the first day of the week for worship, rest and fellowship to observe the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This observance still stands today several millennia later.

b) In the Spirit – What an amazing way to describe the atmosphere of intimately worshiping Jesus. Being “in the Spirit” is the doorway for encountering God. We should have an expectation for encounters as we worship Jesus.

c) The Word of God, Jesus Christ’s voice is described like a loud trumpet. The word in the Greek is MEGAS – a mega-loud voice. This indicates the importance of the message Jesus is about to give John. The Lord can speak in a multitude of ways from the still small voice to extreme loud voice. We should be encouraged that however God speaks to each of us, we being His children will always hear when we are in the Spirit.

d) Jesus commissions John to write the words of God on a scroll (BIBLION) – a written document, scroll or small book – In the Revelation we have the glory of Jesus Christ and His power and authority documented to encourage the Church through all the ages until His coming.

Revelation 1:12-16

a) Seven golden lamp stands – The menorah in Exodus 25:37 is symbolic of the Church of Jesus Christ who is the light to the world and the fulfillment of this type and shadow found in the Old Testament. Jesus will interpret this prophetic vision later in verses 19-20.

b) One like the Son of Man – This is a direct reference to Daniel 7:13-14. The prophecy in Daniel is confirmed here in verse 13-16. Jesus Christ is revealed in all His glory.

c) Jesus Christ stands among the lamp stands (churches) in glory and authority.

d) Golden sash around the chest. Symbolic of the chords of majestic glory and love emanating from the bosom of Christ for His Bride the Church.

e) Hair white as wool – This is symbolic of the perfect purity of Jesus. The head being the seat of emotion, thought, and decision; Jesus is perfect in pure thoughts, righteous judgments and is perfect in wisdom.

f) Eyes of blazing fire – Symbolic of Jesus’ passion for His Bride. His eyes burn with desire for His Beloved. Jesus is unmoved in His loving devotion to redeem mankind and have intimate relationship with people.

g) Bronze feet – Bronze is a metal resistance to corrosion, and is a strong alloy. The bronze is a symbol of Jesus being incorruptible and eternal. It is also a picture of His strength as Lord of Lords and King of Kings. This reveals His power and authority as the resurrected Christ.

h) Voice like rushing waters – The voice of Messiah is creative, authoritative and unstoppable. Hebrews 4:12

i) Jesus holds the seven stars who are angels that faithfully fulfill their assignments. They are in the right hand of Jesus. The right hand in Scripture is symbolic strength, and victory in warfare. Colossians 2:15

j) Hebrews 4:12 – Jesus is the Word of God; His words contain creative power and unstoppable decrees. Jesus has victory in His voice. Colossians 1:16, John 1:3-4

k) Face a brilliant as the sun – The thought here is that the face of God is covered in glory and unapproachable light. This is symbolic of the Omniscience of God, who possesses all revelation, knowledge and wisdom. Jesus is the Light. Paul encountered this Light in Acts 9 and described it in Acts 26:13.

Revelation 1:17

a) John was familiar with beholding Jesus as a GodMan, reclining close to His chest, talking with Jesus, walking with Jesus, and touching Him after His resurrection. John now encounters Jesus in pre-incarnate glory and majesty as the God the Son.

b) John falls down at His feet as though dead. This glorious display of Jesus overwhelmed the ability of the physical body to stand in His presence. Our physical manifestations are reactions to His presence.

c) Jesus indicates that John was in fear. Perfect love casts out all fear and leaves awe in its place. Jesus tells John do not be afraid and touches Him. Touches from Jesus comfort us, drive out fear and leaves us in awe of Him and ready to do His will.

d) Jesus the First and Last – This description illustrates the truth that Jesus has preeminence in all things. No matter what has touched our lives, Jesus completely sympathizes and understands humanity and has authority over it. Hebrews 7:25

Revelation 1:18

a) Jesus conquered the grave. His resurrection proved His victory over death. (Ephesians 4:8) Death is the fruit of the curse from Adam, and Jesus being the Second Adam destroyed the curse of death and gives life. 1 Corinthians 15:45 – Resurrection is one of the great hopes of Christianity, because at the resurrection Eden is restored in fullness. Jesus is eternal life.

The Revelation of Hope – Revelation 13:11-18 – Week 27 – Rob Covell

The Revelation of Hope

Revelation 13:11-18

Week 27

Rob Covell

Introduction –  In this Session we will complete Revelation Chapter 13 and identify the “specific” beast who is described to us in verses 11-18. The identity of the beast is probably the most widely discussed and hypothesized figure in modern Christianity. Every person in the Body of Christ for the last 2 centuries who proposed someone as the beast of Revelation 13 has been wrong. This type of conjecture and accusation have robbed the Church of our voice to influence culture and have robbed us of the opportunity to have reasonable conversations with intelligent unbelievers looking for spiritual answers about God.

The type of sensational theories futurist teachers of eschatology propose regarding the identity of the beast make for good fictional stories and movies and excite the Body of Christ by focusing our attention on thoughts that the beast is right around the corner.

However a good look at Church History and the writings of the early church fathers teach us the identity of the beast was widely known. Commentary after commentary in regards to Revelation 13 are all in agreement on the identity of the beast. In fact, Revelation 13:18 identifies the beast by name.

David Chilton documents this fact in his commentary, Days of Vengeance. “It is significant that ‘all the earliest Christian writers on the Apocalypse, from Irenaeus down to Victorinus of Pettau and Commodian in the fourth, and Andreas in the fifth, and St. Beatus in the eighth century, connect Nero, or some Roman emperor, with the Apocalyptic Beast’. There should be no reasonable doubt about this identification. St. John was writing to first-century Christians, warning them of things that were “shortly” to take place. They were engaged in the most crucial battle of history, against the Dragon and the evil Empire which he possessed. The purpose of the Revelation was to comfort the Church with the assurance that God was in control, so that even the awesome might of the Dragon and the Beast would not stand before the armies of Jesus Christ.”
Lastly it is important to remember that the Revelation was written to 7 real Christian communities who would have been able to read the Revelation, understand it, and be encouraged by its prophecies concerning the defeat of the devil, the Roman Empire, the destruction of the Temple, the end of the Old Covenant, and the confirmation of the New Covenant. Another historical perspective to keep in mind is that John wrote this prophecy while on Patmos and this letter would have had to been carried off the island by Roman soldiers. In light of that, the Holy Spirit would have given John the Revelation in “code” that would have been understood by a First Century believer. See Revelation 1:1-9.

In previous studies we have learned that the Revelation is one narrative that is told in 3 sections of sevens and is repetitive, telling the same narrative from different spiritual perspectives and intensity. Much of Revelation is understood by correctly interpreting the spiritual symbols and themes through the lens of the Old Testament.

Revelation 13:11

a) In verse 11 we see one who is described as a false Christ-Shepherd. It was common knowledge at that time that the Caesar’s of Rome were called Lord of Lords, and King of Kings. The Roman Caesar was worshipped as being of a divine nature throughout the Roman Empire.

b) Christians believe that Jesus Christ is Lord of Lord and King of Kings, and that these titles can only be reserved for our true King, Jesus Christ.

c) The interpretation of verse 11 teaches us that a false Christ-Shepherd has come forth, who assumes the identity of a savior, but whose words reveal his true nature.

Revelation 13:12

a) Verse 12 continues to highlight the Emperor worship that imposed throughout the Roman Empire and even into Judea.

b) In the last session we learned that the fatal wound was the short period of time during the Roman civil wars after the death of Nero to the time when Vespasian, being of different dynasty that Nero revived the Roman Empire by becoming Emperor exerting and re-establishing Roman rule.

c) The Roman historian Tacitus writes concerning that period: “The history on which I am entering is that of a period rich in disasters, terrible with battles, torn by civil struggles, horrible even in peace. Four emperors failed by the sword; there were three civil wars, more foreign wars and often both at the same time…. In Rome there was more awful cruelty…. Besides the manifold misfortunes that befell mankind, there were prodigies in the sky and on the earth, warnings given by thunderbolts, and prophecies of the future, both joyful and gloomy, uncertain and clear. For never was it more fully proved by awful disasters of the Roman people or by indubitable signs that gods care not for our safety, but for our punishment.”

Revelation 13:13

a) In verse 13, to be intellectually we must admit that “great and miraculous signs” is not in the Greek text as some modern translations read. The Greek reads MEGAS SĒMEION, which means a “great sign, mark, token or that by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others and is known. I mention this so that we can be intellectually honest and see that the Greek word SĒMEION does not necessarily imply a supernatural sign.

b) It is historically important to this discussion that Nero commanded the 12th Roman Legion to participate in the siege of Jerusalem. The word for earth in Greek is GE and generally is used to describe a localized area, not the globe. The 12th Roman Legion was named FULMINATA which means “Armed with Lightning-Fire” and their ensign is a lightning bolt with an arrow tip at the end. Titus, who sieged Jerusalem was one of the first Generals in military history to rain fire from the sky using war machines. The 12th Legion was famous for sending fire from the sky on their enemies as part of their battle array. This would have been the first time in history that fire was used on a mass scale to siege a city.

Revelation 13:14-15

a) After Titus had captured the Temple Mount, he presided over the worship the Image of Vespasian, defiling the Temple and then proceeded to kill all of the remaining Jews by the sword.

b) The inhabitants of the land were deceived by Rome as they offered their allegiance to Rome and not God. See John 19:15, as the whole Jewish leadership and all those present at Jesus Christ’s sentencing by Pilate proclaim their allegiance to the beast (Rome).

Revelation 13:16-17

a) In First Century the marketplace was called the Agora. This as a place where all the services, shopping, banking, legal matters, buying and selling was conducted. At the entrance of the Agora, there was an image of the Roman Emperor, who at this time was Nero. To enter the Agora, one needed to offer a sacrifice, or tribute to the Roman Emperor to enter. To distinguish that one offered worship, he received a mark of ashes on the right hand or the forehead to be allowed into the Agora to buy or sell.

b) It is important to note that John was writing to First Century Christians that would be tempted to compromise their faith by “cheating” Christ worship that He deserved in order to buy or sell.

c) The Christian community really struggled in this matter. Paul touched on this matter in 1 Corinthians 8.

d) John was giving the Church a clear warning not to compromise in their devotion to Jesus Christ.

Revelation 13:18

a) Now John clearly gives the reader of Revelation the specific identity of the beast by actually naming him in code, 666. The Greek text clearly says that the name is a number of “a man”, not the number of man.

b) Caesar Nero in Hebrew adds up to 666. The Hebrew spelling of the name Nero Caesar was NRWN QSR (English Transliteration). N = 50  R = 200   W = 6  N =50  Q = 100  S = 60  R = 200 which = 666

c) In many manuscripts of Revelation the number 616 is in the margin or in the body of the text. If one transliterates Caesar Nero in Latin the name adds up to 616. This was done so that a believer who is not familiar with the Hebrew language could still discern the number of the beast which is 666, and is identified with Nero.

d) It was common knowledge that Nero was nicknamed the beast by the Romans. Here are some very disgusting facts about the Nero the beast. Nero dressed up like an animal/beast and tortured naked Christians, even mauling their private parts. Nero kicked his pregnant wife to death, and murdered his mother. Nero castrated a 10 year old boy Sporus and married him. Nero raped Christian men and women. Nero burned Rome and blamed the fire on the Christians and began his bloody persecutions. Nero covered Christians in pitch and tar and burned them to light his palace gardens at night. There are many more crimes against humanity that Nero perpetrated, but we do not have time to discuss them.

e) Lastly, is easy to see that 666 is Nero, but also that he exemplified the true nature of his father, the dragon.

In light of real history in the context of the times of the First Century we can be assured that the beast and the mark of the beast are past, and they are defeated. We no longer need to look forward to the future and face the satanic inspired beast and his persecutions.
It is time that the Church transcend eschatologies that give no hope for the future and take away from the true mission of the Church which is to overcome all kingdoms by the Gospel and transform society into the image of discipleship to Jesus Christ.

Source Material: Don Walker – The Beast of Revelation White Paper David Chilton – Days of Vengeance  The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff   G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ  Blue Letter  Preterist Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation  George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium  Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology  Holman Bible Dictionary  Strongs Concordance  NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament-  NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament  Jonathan Welton – Raptureless  George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem  Wikipedia  Rapture Fever – Gary North  The Prophets Dictionary – Price  Vines Expository Bible Dictionary

The Revelation of Hope – Revelation 13:1-10 – Week 26 – Rob Covell

The Revelation of Hope

Revelation 13:1-10

Week 26

Rob Covell

Introduction –  In this Session we will begin our exegesis of Revelation 13 and continue to travel through the Interlude between the Trumpet and Bowl Judgments. But before we begin, it is important to define the Antichrist according to the Scriptures, as so many in the Body of Christ relate Antichrist to Revelation 13. It may be a shock to many of us to learn that the word Antichrist is not found in the Revelation, nor is the concept of Antichrist found in Revelation 13.

Antichrist is found in the 2 apostolic letters of 1 & 2 John. To rightly define what the Antichrist is, we need to look at the 4 verses that mention the Antichrist and interpret the meaning of Antichrist in that light.

1 John 2:18-22

Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
a) Antichrist was already in the world when John wrote this.

b) Antichrists came from the Church, and were heretics.

c) We have an anointing from the Spirit, and by the Spirit we can discern error from truth. We can see that Antichrists are easily recognizable to believers.

d) The Antichrist is a person who rejects the true identity of Jesus Christ, as the Son/Messiah. By rejecting the Son, one denies the Father who sent Him.

e) To summarize we see that in these verses Antichrist is a false teaching spirit and or people who teach according to this mindset.

1 John 4:1-3

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.

a) Antichrist is a spirit of false prophecy that denies the Incarnation of Jesus Christ b) Antichrist is already in the world at the time John writes his letter, and more are coming.

2 John 1:7

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.

a) Antichrists are false teachers and deceivers who deny the Incarnation of Jesus Christ as God in the flesh.

There are only 4 verses that mention Antichrist and the context of these 4 verses teach us that Antichrist is a false spirit and or a false teacher that came out of the Church, was present at that time, and denies the truth of Jesus Christ as God the Son who came in the flesh.

Early Church Father Irenaeus gives the following account.
“On meeting in the public bath at Ephesus the Gnostic heretic Cerinthus, who denied the incarnation of our Lord, John refused to remain under the same roof, lest it might fall.”

John may have had this man in mind when he wrote 1 & 2 John, as John ministered in Ephesus for many years.

We do not see a futuristic person who would be possessed of devil and rule the world at the end of the New Covenant Dispensation. So we can be assured that Antichrist according to the Scriptures is not characterized in Revelation 13 as the beast.

Now that we have rightly defined the Antichrist we are prepared to look at Revelation 13 and interpret this chapter in light of Biblical symbolism, allegory and cultural context. Revelation 13 is divided into 2 sections. Verses 1-10 define the “generic” beast, and verses 11-18 define the “specific” beast. We will unpack this in detail as we interpret this chapter verse by verse. In this session we will define the identity of the “generic” beast.

Revelation 13:1

a) The dragon standing on the shore of the sea speaks in symbolic terms of satan having a dominion over the mass of humanity, and him being the spirit of disobedience that inspires tyrannical and ungodly governments of nations.

b) We see the beast mentioned again in Revelation 17, and the seven heads are descriptive language of the 7 mountains of Rome. See Revelation 17:9. The heads also speak of heads of government as we will see in verse 3.

c) The ten heads with blasphemous names are the 10 provinces of the Roman Empire at that time. A simple Google search will produce nice maps where one can see them in detail.

d) These provinces were ruled by vassal kings who pledged allegiance to the Roman Emperor. Herod was the vassal king of Judea at the time of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.

e) Each having a blasphemous name speaks of their involvement in the false cultic religions that either worshipped the Roman Emperor, and the many cults of the Roman Empire that denied the teachings of Christianity.

Revelation 13:2

a) The Christian Community of the First Century would be immediately reminded of Daniel 7:17. John’s readers would have easily equated these symbols as empires that were symbolized by these animals. They would have easily identified the last beast as the Roman Empire. These 4 beasts were a continuation of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue in Daniel 2. The statue represented the empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.

b) We can see that the Roman Empire incorporated all of the unrighteous power of these previous empires, and that it was empowered by the devil and was allied to his dominion of darkness.

c) History tells us that the Roman Empire was the most powerful empire that has ever existed in the history of the world in terms of its military power, economy, and the diversity of peoples that it ruled over. The Roman Empire was truly a 1 world government that has not been seen before it or been seen since its fall. The Roman Empire truly exercised great authority.

Revelation 13:3

a) Verse 3 speaks of the political turmoil of Roman Empire at that time. See Revelation 17:9-10 – Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.

b) Here John is speaking to First Century believers who would have easily identified these kings with the Julian-Claudian dynasty of Roman Emperors. Here is the list – Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero.

c) Nero is the head with the fatal wound. When Nero committed suicide the line of the Julian-Claudian Dynasty died and immortal Rome descended into a season of terrible civil wars until Vespasian assumed the Throne and healed the Roman Empire that seemed to have suffered a mortal wound. We will look at Nero in much for detail as we begin to deal with the identity of the specific beast in verses 11-18.  d) It is important to note that Nero reigned for 42 months. November 64 A.D – June 8, 68 A.D

Revelation 13:4

a) It was common practice from the time of Julius Ceasar until Nero the Roman Emperors were worshipped as gods and were considered to be of a divine nature. Worshipping a Roman Emperor is the same as worshipping the source of their power who is the dragon.

b) Rome was considered an immortal kingdom, and was feared by all nations and was revered as a marvel. No nation made war with Rome, as Rome was the conqueror, not the conquered.

Revelation 13:5-7

a) As we mentioned before Nero ruled for 42 months and was the first Roman Emperor to make war, or persecute Christians. Nero beheaded Paul, crucified Peter, burned a large portion of Rome and blamed the Christian Community for the fire. He also did other horrible things to believers that we will detail in the next session.

b) Nero was commonly called the beast by the Roman Senate, ruled with a cruel sword, and known for his tyranny.

Revelation 13:8

a) The religion of the Roman Empire revolved around a pantheon of gods, including the Roman Emperor. All Roman citizens were cultured into Roman customs and religion as they conquered territories and people groups.

b) Only true salvation and worship belong to the Lord.

Revelation 13:9-10

a) John is not prophesying doom to the church, but communicating that some would have to endure the hardest of persecutions, and some would even die for their Lord Jesus Christ.

b) Supernatural perseverance and faithfulness is required for such times when evil men attack God’s Bride.

In the next Session we will identify Nero as the “specific” beast and look at Nero in detail and correlate his life to the beast described in verses 11-18.

Source Material:  Don Walker – The Beast of Revelation White Paper David Chilton – Days of Vengeance  The Apocalypse Code – Hank Hanegraaff   G. Davis Dean – The Revelation of Jesus Christ  Blue Letter

Preterist Charles Taylor – Commentary on the Book of Revelation  George Eldon Ladd – Commentary on the Book of Revelation George Eldon Ladd – The Gospel of the Kingdom Loraine Boettner – The Millenium  Harold Eberle – Victorious Eschatology  Holman Bible Dictionary  Strongs Concordance  NIV – Interlinear Greek New Testament-  NASB – Interlinear Greek New Testament  Jonathan Welton – Raptureless  George Peter Holford – The Destruction of Jerusalem  Wikipedia  Rapture Fever – Gary North  The Prophets Dictionary – Price  Vines Expository Bible Dictionary