During the Tribulation Satan will be in full control of two beings, the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet. The Anti-Christ will dominate the world political system like never before in the history of man, and will in many ways mimic the ancient Roman Empire. The False Prophet will represent the false religion of “beast worship” and will do the bidding of the Anti-Christ in convincing the world that the Anti-Christ is the true messiah. Revelation 13 describes these two beings, which, with Satan, form an unholy trinity, mimicking the true Holy Trinity.
The first beast rises out of the abyss (sea) and is described as having seven heads and ten horns. On the heads will be “the name of blasphemy” and upon the horns will be crowns. What this will be, we are not told, but it certainly will be a name that dishonors God. The crowns represent kingly status or high rank. This beast is the Anti-Christ and he will cause people to worship him and Satan as God.
The sea out of which the first beast arises is a reference to the abyss (bottomless pit). Therefore, we know that this is the same beast referred to in Revelation 11:7, who makes war with the 144,000 witnesses. This beast will be the Anti-Christ who conquers all the nations (seven heads and ten horns) of earth and dominates the political scene. In many ways the Anti-Christ’s kingdom will mimic the ancient Roman Empire politically (ruling with an iron fist). The seven heads and the ten horns represent kingdoms that are controlled by Satan. The “name of blasphemy” could be anything that dishonors God, but will most likely be a counterfeit name for the Anti-Christ used to deceive people.
The animals that describe this beast are similar to those in Daniel 7. Daniel saw this beast in a dream and interpreted it as a representation of a satanic person ruling a satanic kingdom. The leopard depicts swiftness, the bear fierceness and the lion power. They have all been linked to earlier kingdoms on earth, but the Bible does not tell us specifically which nation is being referred to. We are told that this beast will derive his power from Satan and take over the rulership of the world system.
This beast draws attention to himself by counterfeiting the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Remember that he is the false Christ and performing this miracle will cause people to think of him in terms of deity, though he is not. People will worship him and Satan as gods.
In Revelation 13:5-8 some of the activities of the beast are given. He will be a persuasive speaker as he speaks against God, the Tabernacle and all who live in Heaven, which would include elect angels and believers from previous dispensations. This beast also engages in war with the earthly believers who have not yet fled to the wilderness. This beast will overcome the saints and he will have authority over the entire world system. Everyone on earth will worship him as if he were God, with the exception of the believers who are left on earth at this time.
All are invited to hear what follows. A warning is given to those believers who are left on earth. If they allow themselves to be deceived by the Anti-Christ into “captivity” they will go and if they attempt to resist this beast by ordinary means of warfare they will be killed in like manner. The patience and faithfulness of the believer will be tested severely during the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation period. This beast is the Anti-Christ who sets himself up as God.
The second beast will come out from the earth. This beast is the False Prophet. This beast’s role will be to convince the world to worship the Anti-Christ. He will have great power over mankind just like the Anti-Christ. Like the first beast, this beast can also perform miracles and does so in order to deceive people. The people of the world are duped into building an image to the beast for the purpose of worshipping it. This beast will also cause this image to come to life and speak. Those who refuse to worship the beast will be killed.
During this time, if anyone wants to buy or sell anything they must first have the “mark” of the beast put on their hand or forehead. This mark is not specified in Scripture, but the beast will have a number, which 666.
The word for worship in the New Testament Greek is “ prokuneo,” which means to reverence or to honor. The Word of God says that we are to worship God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in truth (the Word of God). It brings honor to God when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us to the truth while we are engaged in the study of accurate Bible doctrine. Learning and applying accurate Bible doctrine by means of the filling of the Holy Spirit also brings glory to God. All forms of the worship of God are to be governed by the same principle. Whether we are singing or speaking to God, we are to be guided by the Holy Spirit and the truth of God’s Word. (John 4:24; I Corinthians 1:31, 6:20; Galatians 1:23-24; Ephesians 3:16-21)
The Christian Way of Life can be lived only by a power greater than ourselves. We need God’s supernatural power in order to be effective in the execution of His plan, purpose and will. This power has been given to each of us in the Person of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus prophesied the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, He said He would send the Comforter. The word in Greek for Comforter is “parakletos,” which means someone called to the aid of another, particularly in the legal process. The “parakletos” would have therefore been an advisor, intercessor, mediator or advocate in a courtroom setting. In English, we would use the word “lawyer.”
We can see from the etymology of the word that “comforter” is a poor translation of “parakletos.” The word more correctly connotes ability, aid, and assistance, rather than comfort from pain or distress. God the Holy Spirit was not sent to “pat us on the head” and tell us that all will be okay. The Holy Spirit was given to us to empower us, to guide us and to teach us. (John 14:26, 15:26) Jesus said, “You shall receive power (“dunamis” in Greek) after the Holy Spirit is come upon you….” (Acts 1:8)
After salvation, the Holy Spirit provides the spiritual I.Q. for learning and applying Bible doctrine. (I Corinthians 2:9-14) The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation for the unbeliever, and God’s Word (Bible doctrine) is powerful in the life of the believer when he is learning and applying it. (Romans 1:16; II Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12) Without the power of the Holy Spirit the believer has no spiritual life.
The utilization of the power of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life is a matter of personal volition. The believer must choose to allow the Holy Spirit to “fill” him. “Be filled with the Holy Spirit” is one of the first positive commands after salvation. The Greek word for “filling” is “pleroo” and has four meanings, all of which apply to the filling ministry of the Holy Spirit.
God commands us to “walk by means of the Holy Spirit,” which means the Holy Spirit is in control of our lives. By relying on the Holy Spirit to teach us and guide us we are depending on His power to control our lives. The control of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is limited only by the amount of Bible doctrine resident in his soul and his personal volition. It is Bible doctrine resident in your soul that the Holy Spirit uses to guide you. The Holy Spirit does not whisper in your ear and your conscience is not the same as the Holy Spirit. However, your conscience can be influenced by God’s Word and by the Holy Spirit. In the Church Age in which we live, God speaks to us only through His Word.
God commands us, “stop grieving the Holy Spirit of God.” Grieving means to bring sorrow, which is against the will of God, takes us out of fellowship with God and we lose the filling of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 4:30)
God also commands us, “do not quench the Spirit.” Quenching means to suppress or say “no” to the Holy Spirit, which is also against the will of God and causes us to lose the filling of the Holy Spirit and our fellowship with God. (I Thessalonians 5:19)
The results of grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit are:
The filling of the Holy Spirit is God’s power system and the believer’s power source for the proper execution of the Christian Way of Life.