Revelation 13:7-10 The Beast Wars With The Saints

Revelation 13-7-10

Things are heating up on the earth. The beast is starting the Great Tribulation. But true saints will persevere… true saints will be faithful to the Lamb…

Although the great red dragon and the beast are not the same… although Satan and the anti-christ are not the same… they both have the same purpose… they want control of the earth so they can go after the Jews, God’s holy people…

It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. Revelation 13:7

Who is given the power and authority to make war with the saints—and to overcome them? The beast. He is given authority over the entire earth—over every single person—no matter who or where they are. No matter what family, clan or tribe you come from, no matter what group of people you belong to, no matter what language or languages you speak, no matter your race, country, or nationality. If you are living on the earth during that time, the beast will have authority over you—he will control the world.

However, let me remind you. The beast’s authority will be given to him—he does not (and can not) acquire it by himself. And the one who directly gives him his authority, Satan, is on a leash—its length is determined and held quite securely by God, Himself. Satan has no authority (either for himself or to give to someone else) except that which God allows him to have. Remember that. Live with that truth each and every day, each and every moment…

We need to discuss something. I have repeatedly pointed out that the book of Revelation is not predominately about the church; rather, the Jews are front-and-center. Unfortunately, most people have never studied the Bible for themselves and get their impression of its contents from others. If you are a “church person” you might (due to the vast amount of popular media concerning the end times) automatically think that the word “saints” is referring to the church.

The Greek word for saints is hagios and simply refers to holy ones, or those who are sacred or set apart unto God. Context must rule over all interpretation—and the context is the Jews, not the church. The church has not been the subject matter since chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation. In the context of Revelation (since chapter 4), it is the righteous remnant of the Jews (the ones who come to believe in their Messiah, Jesus) who are in view when the saints are mentioned.

It is possible, and even likely, that the church (the body of Christ) will no longer even be on the earth at this point in time. The Bible does not tell us for certain when the Rapture will happen but there are reasons to believe that we will be with our Lord once the wrath of God begins in full (bowl judgments). However, the truth is, it could happen sooner, or it could happen later. Although I want to be with Him as soon as possible, I, personally, do not hold a dogmatic position on the timing of the Rapture—based simply on the fact that there is no clear, repeated doctrine in God’s Word which unmistakably identifies its timing.

As I have mentioned before, Revelation does not concern itself with the Rapture, mainly because its theme is not about the church. Other books of the Bible do give us information which might cause us to lean in a certain direction concerning its timing, but the information is not clear, nor is it repeated. Where God has not spoken, we would do well to keep silent. We can trust that He will come and get us in His perfect timing and that He will sustain us in the meantime. It is certainly not something over which to break fellowship with another believer.

(Perhaps I will write an Observation Study on the subject of the Rapture at some point, but for now I bring it up for the sole purpose of understanding who the “saints” are in Revelation 13.)

I’ve talked about the different groups in heaven and earth. So, since we are on the subject, let me identify one of those groups. (Just pretend we are sitting down taking a lunch break during our trek over the mountaintops of Revelation and are simply chatting about an interesting topic.)

Once the church is gone, whenever that takes place, there will be Gentiles who come to believe in the truth. These believers are the sheep referred to in Matthew 25:31-46 who will take care of the “brothers” of Jesus—the Jews who are being persecuted during the Tribulation.

I know this might be taking you wayyyyy out of your comfort zone, but consider the following. There are Jews on the earth now who believe in Jesus; these persons are part of the church, the body of Christ. There are also Jews on the earth right now (most of them) who do not believe in Messiah—some practice a form of religion, others do not. There are people who call themselves Christians on the earth right now. Some are true believers, others are not. Those who believe in Jesus, whether Jew or Gentile, will be caught up together to be with Jesus one day (in the event called the Rapture). Those who do not believe in Jesus, whether Jew or Gentile, will be left on the earth at that time and experience the coming judgments (whatever judgments are left after the Rapture happens).

There will be both Gentiles and Jews who come to believe in Christ (Messiah) during the remaining judgments. The Gentiles who come to belief during that time are identified as the sheep who will inherit the kingdom prepared for them but the Jews who come to belief during that time (the righteous remnant) are identified as the wife of God. Those who do not believe during that time (both Jew and Gentile) will be sent to the lake of fire for eternity.

Do you see why I am trying so hard to be faithful to our goal of simply observing the book of Revelation? God’s Word is not difficult to understand, but it’s a big book and most people have done very little studying when it comes to the Bible. They “study” books about the Bible, but not the Bible itself, and few ever study the entire Bible. It’s not too hard, but most people haven’t done it. This is a huge problem for those who call themselves Christians, but it is a fact, nonetheless. I’ve mentioned the different groups (and there are quite a few more) just to salt your interest in studying the rest of His Word—it’s more than worth the work!

Okay, before you all jump ship, let’s finish our lunch break and get back to our trek through the text.

All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. Revelation 13:8

We are told that all who dwell on the earth will worship the beast, but we are given a proviso—their names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life. In other words, the earth dwellers will not inherit eternal life because they are not believers.

What do we find out about the Lamb’s book of life? First of all, the Lamb is the Son of God, Jesus Christ, Who was slain in order to bring life to those who would believe in Him.

The Lamb’s book of life does not contain the names of those who will worship the beast. Why? Because they do not believe and repent—so they will not receive eternal life.

Those whose names are in it have been written there since the foundation of the world. They will not worship the beast—instead they will follow the Lamb, even unto their death (which will usher in the final portion of their eternal life). Due to our amazing and wonderfully gracious God, the names of believers were placed in the Lamb’s book of life at the foundation of the world—before they were even born.

We can trust in God’s sovereignty when all around us is dark and evil. If you are His, your name is written in the Lamb’s book of life and no power of darkness can erase it—your future is secure because He is God!

If anyone has an ear, let him hear. Revelation 13:9

This is referring to a ear that actually listens in order to hear and understand. The Greek word for “hear” is akouo and means to heed or obey. It carries the idea of understanding, or taking in, such as a mental acceptance or embrace of the truth. In other words, it is a call to sit up and pay special attention and then, once the message is understood, to heed or obey it.

However, whether this phrase is calling us to put all our efforts of attention to understand what has preceded or what follows is not completely clear. Therefore, it seems it would serve us well to pay attention to, understand, and heed both!

If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints. Revelation 13:10

Although we may not be able to discern all the specifics of verse 10, the basic premise is clear as can be—those who do not follow the beast (the saints) will be greatly persecuted. True saints, however, will persevere and remain faithful to the Lamb. Evil will seem to dominate every space available on the earth but the saints will display their faith by patiently enduring the suffering.

Friends, the world is rapidly changing around us as I write this… and it is not changing for the better… World events are morphing rapidly into the shape of the future which the Bible describes. Saints need to put their faith in the God of the Word as the world rushes headlong toward its destruction…

But, as you can see, while God is pouring out His judgments on the earth and its unbelieving inhabitants, Satan will also be raging against the saints. Following the Lamb during those days will bring untold horrors. One could easily be afraid, even terrified, if he were not aware of God’s sovereignty over all things. Putting your trust in the character of the God (Who has written the future) will ensure that you remain steadfast and true to Him as darkness envelops the world… as it surely will…

© Sharon Jensen 1999-2017