Read for This Week’s Study: Rev. 13:1-12; 14:9-11; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4; Jer. 51:6, 7, 53, 57; Rev. 18:1-4.
Memory Text: “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, every one who is found written in the book’” (Daniel 12:1, NKJV).
Last week we looked at “the counterfeit trinity”, Satan (the dragon) and two earthly powers that together will bring persecution against God’s people.
One of these powers, the sea beast (Rev. 13:1-10), is described as a composite of a leopard, a bear, and a lion (Rev. 13:2) — images taken directly from Daniel 7:4-6. We saw in week six that in Daniel 7 — after the rise of Babylon (lion), Media-Persia (bear), and Greece (leopard) — came the final earthly power, Rome. It started out as pagan Rome and then turned into papal Rome, the little horn power of Daniel 7:7, 8; 19-21; 23-25; which rose directly out of the fourth beast. We saw, too, that many of the characteristics of papal Rome, as depicted in these verses in Daniel 7, reappear in the sea beast of Revelation 13:1-10. Hence, Bible scholars have seen Rome as one of the key antagonists in the end-time scenario of Revelation 13.
However, Rome is not alone. Another power is depicted. This week we will focus mostly on Revelation 13 and the events and powers portrayed in it, as always asking the questions: What do these events mean, and how can we be prepared for them?