Monday, August 8, 2011


Revelation 12:6 - 13:9 is a parabolic description of Israel during the second half of the Tribulation. Notice in Revelation 12:1-4, we have a summary of the events in heaven which will lead up to the rebellion of Satan. The woman with a crown of twelve stars in verse one (the twelve tribes of Israel), is Israel before she delivers Jesus, "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). Israel's history is described as her "travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered" (Rev. 12:2). Satan's description in verse three is exactly like that of the Beast, the antichrist, leading me to believe the Beast is nothing more than "a chip off the old blockhead" (Rev. 13:1; 17:3). The entire history of Israel is filled with Satan's attempts to prevent Jesus from redeeming fallen man, including King Herod's murderous scheme (Matt. 2:3-18), and Satan's trying to tempt Jesus in the wilderness (Matt. 4:3-11).

It is utterly amazing to me that the life of Jesus, from His birth to His Ascension, is summed up in one verse (Rev. 12:5)! Perhaps even more amazing is that the next verse is discussing the beginning of the second half of the Tribulation; the Church and the first half of the Tribulation are totally omitted (v. 6)! Revelation 12:7-17 is an explanation of Satan's history, from being cast out of heaven, to the time the Jews, whose eyes have been opened to Jesus as their Messiah at the middle of the seven year tribulation (comp. Lk. 24:45 w/ Rom. 11:25).

It is the middle of the Tribulation that the antichrist is given Satan's power (Rev. 13:2). Most theologians state that Satan will actually indwell the Beast at this point, some of them even suggesting that the antichrist will not actually come back to life, but that Satan will enter his dead body. I am not sure I want to go that far, but there is precedent for Satan indwelling another person called "the son of perdition" (Jn. 13:26-26; 17:12; 2 Thes. 2:3). Nevertheless, the Word is clear that the antichrist's "coming back to life" results in the worship of both the dragon and the Beast (Rev. 13:4).

The Beast will spend the next three and a half years trying to destroy Israel, but God will use His creation, both nature and humans, to protect His chosen people (Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 12:6, 13-16). Notice that the judgment of the nations in Matthew 25:31-46 occurs after the Second Coming of Christ, and that judgment will be based upon how His people were treated, presumably during the Tribulation. But even with help, some of those who will trust in Jesus will be caught. When they refuse to accept the mark of the Beast, they will be executed for their faith (Rev. 13:7, 10; 14:3, 12).

Following the second half of the Tribulation, the Lord will return, capture the Beast and the false prophet, cast them alive into the lake of fire, and destroy the antichrist's kings with their armies (Rev. 19:11-21). I realize there are hundreds of points that could have been made in discussing the antichrist, but he is not really worth my time or my paper. Suffice it to say, of men, he is the ultimate loser!

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