Revelation 13:4 – So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
After the beast rises from the dead, the world worships the beast because they believe he is invincible like a god – if death doesn’t stop him, who will? But the world also worships the dragon who gives authority to the beast to rule over the earthly kingdoms. It is not clear if the world openly embraces Satanism, or if the world worships Satan through the beast.
Some believe the dragon enters the beast in the same way Satan entered Judas Iscariot, controlling his every move like a demon possession (Luke 22:3). Isaiah 14 shows the king, or beast working in tandem with Satan, which may show a possession similar to that of Judas. And since the beast will exalt himself above every god, this suggests that the world worships Satan through the beast and not separately from the beast, which also lends credence to Satan possessing the beast, but the beast himself will honor a “god of fortresses”:
Daniel 11:36-39 – “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.”
The Hebrew word for “fortresses” can mean forces, strongholds, or places of refuge. This word is found in several verses that describe the Lord’s strength and protection. But it is also used to describe a temple of a false god:
Judges 9:46 – Now when all the men of the tower of Shechem had heard that, they entered the stronghold of the temple of the god Berith.
The meaning of this word can extend beyond a physical stronghold, as the following passage shows that there are strongholds in the spiritual realm too:
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 – For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God….
So the “god of fortress” is a stronghold in the spiritual realm who rules over other strongholds and gives the beast his power and authority. Satan not only has power and authority over the earthly kingdoms (Luke 4:6), he is the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) and has power over the fallen angels and demonic forces (Revelation 12:9, Matthew 25:41, Luke 11:18). This shows that Satan is the “god of fortresses” who gives power to the beast and the beast worships him. Even so, the beast will exalt himself above all gods:
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 – Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
When the beast, or “the man of sin” sits in God’s temple and exalts himself above God, Jesus calls it the “abomination of desolation,” which includes desecration of the temple and ceasing of the sacrifices and offerings. This will occur in the middle of “Daniel’s 70th Week,” which is the midpoint of the 7-year Tribulation:
Daniel 9:24, 27 – “Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city…. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”
A similar prophecy in Daniel fulfilled in history further describes the “abomination of desolation”:
Daniel 11:30-31 – …So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation.
“Was given”: The sovereign God will establish the limits within which Antichrist will be allowed to speak and operate. God will allow him to utter his blasphemies, to bring the rage of Satan to its culmination on earth for 3-1/2 years (verse 5; 11:2-3; 12:6, 13-14).
Eventually the Beast turns this unbridled animosity toward all the people of God (as Rev. 13:5-7), makes clear.
Earlier John makes it plain that the beast’s power, authority and kingdom are given to him by Satan (verse 2). And John also tells us something revealed to no one else. This is the beginning of the Great Tribulation which Daniel spoke about in when the sacrifice and the oblation ceases. This is called the “Abomination of Desolation” (also see Matthew 24:15).
He speaks blasphemy against God. The power and authority of the Beast come from Satan himself. Satan has his own false “trinity”.
“Forty and two months”: The final 3-1/2 years, 1260 days, of the “time of Jacob’s distress” (Jer. 30:7), and Daniel’s 70th week (Dan. 9:24-27), known as the Great Tribulation (see notes on 11:2; 12:6; compare Dan. 7:25). This last half is launched by the Abomination of Desolation (see note on Matt. 24:15).
Verses 6-8: The unbelievers of the world will be deceived into believing that the Beast is a god (compare 2 Thess. 2:4, 11). Only those whose “names” are “written in the book of life” will refuse to “worship” the Beast. The Beast will persecute the “saints” of God, and exercise power throughout the world. The “Lamb” was “slain from the foundation of the world”, in the sense that Christ’s redemptive death for mankind was part of God’s plan from eternity past.
The ruler of the Seleucid Empire, Antiochus Epiphanes fulfilled this prophecy in the second century B.C. The “abomination of desolation” was that Antiochus defiled the temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar. He also set up a statue of a Greek god in the place of the Most Holy. The “abomination of desolation” has not happened again since Christ reiterated Daniel’s prophecy in His “Olivet Discourse”:
Matthew 24:15 – ‘Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand)…”
As discussed in Revelation 11:1-2, a Jewish temple will stand in the last days and sacrifices will begin again. The antichrist will fulfill this future prophecy by defiling the temple and stopping the sacrifices in the middle of the Tribulation like Antiochus Epiphanes. As we will see later in Revelation 13:14, people will worship an idol made in the image of the beast. Many believe the beast will set up this idol in the temple as part of the “abomination of desolation,” just Antiochus Epiphanes set up an idol when he desecrated the temple.
The “abomination of desolation” will mark the point in the Tribulation when the antichrist begins to take full reign. The world will ask: “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” Who can defeat someone who appears invincible? How do you kill an enemy who overcame death? On the surface, these questions make sense in light of the miracle of the beast’s resurrection. However, the way the world phrases the questions show they are not merely asking questions, but mocking God as they exalt the beast in the same way the following passages exalt God:
Exodus 15:11 – “Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”
Psalms 35:10 – All my bones shall say, “LORD, who is like You, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, yes, the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?”
Psalms 71:19 – Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You?
Psalms 113:4-5 – The LORD is high above all nations, His glory above the heavens. Who is like the LORD our God, who dwells on high….
God will respond with a retort to the world’s questions when He returns to destroy Babylon and it’s king who is the “worthless shepherd” mentioned in the last section:
Jeremiah 50:43-44, 46 – “The king of Babylon has heard the report about them, and his hands grow feeble; anguish has taken hold of him, pangs as of a woman in childbirth. “Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the floodplain of the Jordan against the dwelling place of the strong; but I will make them suddenly run away from her. And who is a chosen man that I may appoint over her? For who is like Me? Who will arraign Me? And who is that shepherd who will withstand Me…?” At the noise of the taking of Babylon the earth trembles, and the cry is heard among the nations.
Incidentally, we find that the beast, or the “worthless shepherd” will arrive on the scene after God judges Edom near the beginning of the Tribulation, as discussed in the “Great Middle East War” study, which fits with the antichrist appearing at the beginning of the Tribulation in the first Seal judgment (Revelation 6:2):
Jeremiah 49:17-19 – “Edom also shall be an astonishment; everyone who goes by it will be astonished and will hiss at all its plagues. As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighbors,” says the LORD, “No one shall remain there, nor shall a son of man dwell in it. “Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the floodplain of the Jordan against the dwelling place of the strong; but I will suddenly make him run away from her. And who is a chosen man that I may appoint over her? For who is like Me? Who will arraign Me? And who is that shepherd Who will withstand Me?”
Ultimately, only God Almighty can make war against the beast and those who gave him power, and the Lord will overcome them:
Revelation 17:12-14 – “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
After the Lord defeats the beast and the dragon, He will assemble the nations and declare that there are no other gods to worship but Him, because only He can save them, and everyone will worship the Lord:
Isaiah 45:20-25 – “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you who have escaped from the nations. They have no knowledge, who carry the wood of their carved image, and pray to a god that cannot save. Tell and bring forth your case; yes, let them take counsel together. Who has declared this from ancient time? Who has told it from that time? Have not I, the LORD? And there is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; there is none besides Me. “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath. He shall say, ‘Surely in the LORD I have righteousness and strength. To Him men shall come, and all shall be ashamed who are incensed against Him. In the LORD all the descendants of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory.'”
Philippians 2:9-11 – Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
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We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.
Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.
Please do not waist another a minute.
No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.
If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.
Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.
If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?
I implore you to do this without delay.
Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.