I gave a teaching on Victory in our Recovery meeting last night. An aspect of that teaching talks about giving yourself over to Jesus and allowing Him to change your life. I pointed out that real changes only happen when you open your bible as you pursue those changes. I am painfully aware of how heavy the bible covers are, but I told the crowd that I will help them to open it.
Surely at this point you picked up on my sarcasm; it also applies to our being able to understand the Revelation as well. While I had the desire, all those years ago, they faded quickly after the speaker left, because I was left to deal with finding these answers that were buried in my bible just as you are. Add to that, that I had undiagnosed learning disabilities. What began to change all this for me was technology, and a program called e-Sword. It gave me a number of resources and the ability to find things quickly through searches. There is one other thing that caused great change in me, and that was Joel Richardson and his book, The Islamic Antichrist. The word of God came alive after I began to read that book.
We are living in the Revelation as I speak. It makes my hair stand on end just saying that. As a British acquaintance of mine says, “Come on, get in!”
The beast was allowed to speak
Revelation 13:5-6 Darby (5) And there was given to it a mouth, speaking great things and blasphemies; and there was given to it authority to pursue its career forty-two months. (6) And it opened its mouth for blasphemies against God, to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle, and those who have their tabernacle in the heaven.
Pick a translation, most of them use the terminology him instead of it.
Why is this noteworthy? Because by going back to Daniel's prophecy we established that we are dealing with empires or governing bodies that comprised the beast. Our understanding of what is taking place here can easily change depending on the translation. For example: if I was locked into the translation that calls the beast “him” then certainly I would be looking for a man. However, if I comprehend that this is an “it”, then the concept of a mouth given to it, takes on the form of a spokesman, and that is what we are looking for when we deal with verses 5 and 6.
The statue we see in Daniel chapter two, that Daniel describes to Nebuchadnezzar as the head, corresponds with the two other visions that Daniel saw in Daniel chapters seven, and nine. Since we know that the Babylonian kingdom was followed by the Medes and Persians, and then the Grecian empire we are able to grasp the direction this beast is going in terms of power and a global threat.
A second thing we need to pay attention to is what this spokesperson says. The passage itself tells us that he is “speaking great things and blasphemies”. Speaking great things does not sound so bad, does it. But what translation do you use? Let's assume that you are old school and only use the .
Revelation 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
“great things” does not seem so bad. With everybody running for president of the United States, all we hear are the great things the candidates claim they are going to do. The trained ear knows that 99% of that talk is lies, but we want to be appeased and therefore listen.
But if you explore other translations, such as the Message, you get this:
Revelation 13:5 MSG The Beast had a loud mouth, boastful and blasphemous. It could do anything it wanted for forty-two months.
Now it has changed a little. In concept it is not so different from the King James version, but let's do one more for fun.
Revelation 13:5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.
“the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words”, now it feels like more of an affront not only to God, but to my good nature. I have not yet approached this idea of blasphemy, but will, so hang on.
The Greek word translated mouth is stoma. This is similar to a word that we learned in Horticulture, and is a small opening on the plant used for transpiration, the exchange of gases. In a human I believe we call this exchange of gases coming out of the mouth hot air, but is it hot air if there is a deadly truth to it? Check out how the Strong's concordance defines stoma: the mouth (as if a gash in the face); by implication language (and its relations); figuratively an opening (in the earth); specifically the front or edge (of a weapon): - edge, face, mouth.
The Greek word translated as haughty, boastful and arrogant, is . For crying out loud, we have a shark by that name, a Mega Mouth. The definitions for cover a range from big and arrogant, to fierce and large. I suspect, that since this “mouth” is more than likely Islamic, then he will tell you exactly what he is going to do, and mean it.
Revelation 13:5 ISV The beast was allowed to speak arrogant and blasphemous things, and it was given authority for 42 months.
“arrogant and blasphemous things”
How many times have you heard someone talk about the possibility that they committed the unpardonable sin? Jesus sort of verbally crashed into the pharisees one day immediately after healing someone. The story begins with:
Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and unable to talk was brought to him. Jesus healed him so that the man could speak and see. All the crowds were amazed and kept saying, "This man isn't the Son of David, is he?" But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "This man drives out demons only by , the ruler of the demons." He knew what they were thinking and told them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. (Matthew 12:22-25 ISV)
So the Pharisees, seeing this healing, say quietly, this man drives out demons by the power of Satan. How did Jesus respond to this murmuring?
Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31-32 )
His response was almost immediate. “every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” Analyze what happened here in Matthew. Jesus heals a man who is blind and cannot speak. In that condition the man is incapable of telling anyone what caused the problem. Jesus merely heals the man, and yet the Pharisees, pick up on the fact that Jesus released this man from a demon possession. They do not give honor to God, but attribute what just happened to the devil. Jesus adds: “but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” The bottom line is this, you can challenge Jesus/God all day long, but attribute what he does to the devil and you have crossed the line.
What is this “mouth” doing? He is speaking evil against God. Since we know that this mouth, the Antichrist is thrown into eternal punishment with Satan, one can assume that his blasphemies were against the Holy Spirit/God, and unforgivable.
If this mouth is Islamic, quite possibly taking the role of the twelfth Imam – The Mahdi Islam awaits, and the Antichrist, then wouldn't it be his job to put God and Jesus down, while lifting himself up. In that role, what kind of things would he be saying? Not sure, but I cannot imagine them being pleasant. We get a taste of what Islam says and believes even now, as they brutalize their captors - especially if they are Christians - raping them, and then killing them in some brutal fashion.
One last thing: “and it was given authority for 42 months.” The time of God's wrath lasts seven-years. Therefore the 42 months or three and one half years, parallels either the first half, the second half, or somewhere between. I suggest this is the first beast, and shows up at the beginning of the time period, signs a peace treaty, presumably with Israel (although the scriptural terminology calls for many), wages a continuous war against the saints (these are those who are martyred during this time period), and then seems to step aside as the false prophet shows up at the midpoint.
The object is not to scare you, but to inform you. The more you know and understand, the easier it is for you instruct many in righteousness, and that is what we are all about.
If you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal savior then ask Him into your life. It may be the wisest thing you have ever done. He is coming back for those who belong to him, otherwise I foresee nothing but pain in the future.