Bible Lessons on the Book of Revelation: The Christ Versus the Dragon and his Allies – Lesson XIV, Part 1

and he stood upon the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns ten diadems, and upon his head names of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as though it had been smitten unto death; and his death-stroke was healed: and the whole world wondered after the beast; and they worshipped the dragon, because he gave authority unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? and who is able to war with him? and there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and there was given to him authority to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth for blasphemies against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, even them that dwell in the heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and there was given to him authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation. And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, every one whose name hath not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that hath been slain. If any man hath an ear, let him hear. If any man is for captivity, into captivity he goeth; if any man shall kill with the sword, with the sword must he be killed. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. Revelation 13:1–10

Read More Than Conquerors, pp. 174–179



A. DESCRIBED: verses 1–3a

The dragon has friends. The first of these allies is now described. It is an ugly monster with ten crowned horns and seven curse-covered heads. This symbol is a modification of that the four beasts in Daniel 7. But here in Revelation Daniel’s four beasts, a part for the whole in each case, from one composite beast. And that beast represents the persecuting power of Satan embodied in the nations and governments of the world throughout history.

B. ADORED, verses 3b, 4

Do some of you recall the raucous voice of Hitler, screaming and yelling defiance (his tantrums transmitted to us by means of the radio )? And do you remember the thunderous applause he received? An entire nation was swept off its feet by these outbursts of unblushing animal passion. Many people in all likelihood failed to realize that by “wondering after the beast” they were actually “worshipping the dragon.” They were, moreover, thoroughly convinced of his invincibility. Now Hitler’s God-defying activity is only one of the many phases in which the beast manifests itself as it lifts now this, then that ugly head above the turbulent “waters.”

C. BLASPHEMING, verses 5 and 6

In whatever form the beast appears it always blasphemes. Thus, Old Babylonia, in flagrant defiance of the divine command, manifests its arrogant spirit by the desire to make for itself a name (Gen. 11:4). So its citizens try to build a tower “whose top may reach unto heaven.” Assyria rails against Jehovah, openly blaspheming his name, and placing him on a level with all the other deities, uttering these words of shameless, taunting mockery, “Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee” (Is. 37:8–13:23). The ruler of the new Babylonian empire defies the Almighty, wishing to dethrone God and enthrone himself. Do we not read in Is. 14:13, 14:

“And thou saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High”? Thus also cruel and vainglorious Haman of the Medo-Persian realm places his own decree over against the decree of God and decides to annihilate completely the people foreordained by Jehovah to bring forth the Messiah (“as concerning the flesh”). In the Greco-Macedonian empire Antiochus Epiphanes (his very name is blasphemous!) does his utmost to destroy Jehovah’s people, temple, holy day, sacred books, and ancient ordinances. In the days of the apostle John, the Roman emperor demands that his subjects address him as “Lord” and “Savior.” And not so very long ago we heard Hitler scream forth his taunting words, “For every cross we shall substitute a swastika….We shall establish an empire that win last for a thousand years.” And when the final, personal Antichrist arrives, he, too, will sneer against the Infinite and against his Anointed (Dan. 7:8,25; II Thess. 2:4).

Nevertheless, God’s children need not be filled with dismay. Let them rather be comforted by the words of Psalm 2:4 (see also verses 1-3): “He that sitteth in the heavens will laugh; the Lord will have them in derision.” Nothing is more terrible for the wicked than God’s laughter!

D. TRIUMPHANT? verses 7–10

Well, so at least it will seem when “the forty-two months” are past. Afterward, that is, during the brief period that intervenes between these forty-two months and Christ’s glorious return, the world in general will worship the beast out of the sea. Remember and combine these three 7’s: Rev. 11:7; Rev. 13:7; and Rev. 20:7, in their contexts, of course. In a future chapter we shall hear more about this beast. It is comforting to know, even now, that the final victory belongs not to the beast but to “the Lamb and those who are with him, called and chosen and faithful.”


1. What is meant in verse 1 by “the sea”?

2. Where does Revelation explain the seven heads and ten horns?

3. What is meant by the head whose deathstroke was healed?

4. What makes people follow loud-mouths?

5. How do you explain verses 9 and 10?

6. Does the beast out of the sea manifest itself today? If so, where?

7. What should the Christian do with respect to this beast?