(1) And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
Chapter 13 of the book of Revelation is filled with imagery that seems frightening. But we must look at these images as analogies. Imagery that explains how the Lord views things. This chapter is giving us a visual that leads up to the time when Jesus returns. All this imagery happens before the Lord returns.
In the scripture above the apostle John has seen a beast rise up. We must remember it is not an actual beast like a creature in some scary movie. This beast is rising up in power. A beast here, used in the image, is someone who cannot be controlled. They do what they want and it has seven heads. A head, we know, from previous scriptures in the New Testament is the leader. Like a husband is the head of the household and over his wife, and Christ is the head of the church and over the husband. Each continent will have one leader but the beast will be the leader of all.
There are five habitable continents on the earth. There is Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania (Australia) and America. America is divided into North and South America. Each one of these continents will have a leader that rules or governs. The ten horns represent the leaders or kings with their respective crowns. But they are all classified as blasphemers. They slander and do not honor God, the Almighty.
There is a reference in Revelation chapter 17:9 to “seven mountains” the great harlot influences. These are only different in that John wrote “mountains” in the scripture. Verse 17:9 says, “The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” Whereas, this scripture has a reference to horns and crowns. You can read more about the seven mountains in the Great Harlot pt 2. When you group these two visions together you can see that the leaders can have influence over these 7 areas. This makes total sense when you are looking at a government. A government can control those areas. Religion, family, education, government, media, arts & entertainment and business.
All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted. ~ Psalm 75:10 KJV
This scripture reveals there are wicked horns and there are righteous horns. If we substitute horns for leaders we see the tying in of the horns.
(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: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
We are given the image of a leopard. What can you think of when you read leopard? He is dangerous and he is fast or swift. When we read the feet of a bear, can you imagine the large, dangerous claws a bear has? One quick move and the bear can slice you up and kill you. A lion is the king of the jungle. He is the boss! The mouth of a lion has sharp teeth and can easily kill you as well. The final part of this scripture tells us that the dragon, also known as Satan, is the one that has given this beast his power, his seat to rule and his authority.
(3) And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
John tells us that one of the leaders was wounded to death but he healed through the power of Satan. The whole world was in awe that he did not die.
(4) And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
This ability to heal the wounded leader apparently gives the world some amazement and in turn they believe he is indestructible. And this causes the world to worship this person known as the beast.
(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 person speaks great blasphemies and power was given to him for 42 months which equals about 3 1/2 years.
(6) And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
This is a pretty straight forward scripture. He was speaking a lot of atrocities against God and those in heaven.
(7) And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
He was given power to make war with the believers in Christ. And this person was given power over many nations and people who speak different languages.
(8) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose name are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Every person who is not written in the book of life will be worshipping the beast. In other words, anyone who is not truly a Christian or a true follower of Christ will be worshipping the beast.
(9) If any man have an ear, let him here. (10) He that leadeth in to captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
In war there are always traitors. They try to save their own skin by siding with the enemy. This scripture is showing us that anyone who leads others in to captivity will also go into captivity. And anyone who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. The final scripture in this section says this is where the patience and faith of the saints is tried. Through these troubled times the saints must have patience and continue to have faith that Jesus will rescue them from this reign of terror.
If we remember the story in the Old Testament of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego we know they did not bow down to the golden idol made for Nebuchadnezzar. (Daniel 3:16-27) For this defiance they were thrown in the furnace. But whether they lived or died they were not going to bow down to the golden image. Because of their unwavering faith there was a fourth man that appeared in the furnace which was Jesus. Believers must do the same as these three men when the time comes. We must be strong in the faith no matter what and know that our God is the deliverer not taking in to account whether we live or die. But know without a doubt that we are His and will be with Him for ever!