Year of the Bible – Revelation 12:1-16:21

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Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. – Revelation 13:11 

Revelation 12:1-16:21 (13:11-18)

This fourth vision of the Apostle John had seven parts, three of which are covered in this text. The first vision-part is about a woman with a dragon. The second is about a beast coming out of the sea. The third is about a beast that comes out of the earth. Each of the seven visions of the Apostle John give us further and greater insight into the activity of God and men, God’s kingdom and the kingdoms of men, in this world up to the final day of judgment and the entrance of our fallen creation into the new and glorious creation. The woman who appears represents the church, God’s children, and the dragon, as Satan. His crown signifies the deity that he wants to be (and cannot be), his tail and horns his power. His intention was to destroy the woman. His war was not only with the church, but with God and His heavenly angelic host as well.

The Church on earth has only two weapons in their battle against evil, but they are powerful weapons: They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. (12:11) The next vision is of a beast coming out of the sea. The sea has always represented “anti-god” powers within the world, the “secular antichrist.” Similar to Daniel’s vision, the beast is given the power to blaspheme God and to make war with the saints, to even conquer them (although the conquest is only an earthly one, not an eternal one).

The beast of the earth was of a different character than the beast of the sea. He had horns like those of a lamb (resembling Christ). He was and is the “spiritual antichrist.” He had the power to deceive the inhabitants of the earth into giving worship to the first beast. And the first beast gave his power to the spiritual beast so that he could force his imprint, his doctrine, his deception, upon the hands and forehead of men. His mark? 666. This calls for wisdom. (13:18)

Questions – Revelation 12 – 16
  1. What is a vision?
  2. What was the purpose of God’s visions given to the Apostle John?
  3. What did the “woman’ represent in John’s vision?
  4. What is the eternal activity of the dragon towards the woman and how can you see this in your own time and life?
  5. What are the weapons of the woman against the dragon?
  6. What do horns represent?
  7. How many beasts are there in these visions?
  8. What do the beasts represent?
  9. What is the mark of the second beast
  10. What is necessary for us if we are to understand all this spiritual symbolism?
© John W. Fiene | Artwork by Brian McFarland