The End Times
In my last post, we concluded the exploration of Revelation 13:1-4 concerning The Beast from the Sea. In this post, we unpack Revelation 13:5-10 concerning The Beast’s War with the Saints.
“It [the Beast]was given a mouth speaking arrogant blasphemies, and it was given authority to act for forty-two months. 6 So it opened its mouth in blasphemies against God to insult his name and his Sh’khinah, and those living in heaven; 7 it was allowed to make war on God’s holy people and to defeat them; and it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 Everyone living on earth will worship it except those whose names are written in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb slaughtered before the world was founded. 9 Those who have ears, let them hear! 10 “If anyone is meant for captivity, into captivity he goes! If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he is to be killed!” This is when God’s holy people must persevere and trust!” ~ Revelation 13:5-10 (CJB)
“It was given a mouth speaking arrogant blasphemies, and it was given authority to act for forty-two months. 6 So it opened its mouth in blasphemies against God to insult his name and his Sh’khinah, and those living in heaven. Note the expression carefully; it was given authority to act. This phrase or its equivalent appears six times in the first seven verses. All the power that the beast displays is derived from the dragon who is HaSatan. It is important also to realize that God Almighty permits whatever power HaSatan has. [See Job 1:12 and 2:6 for God’s authority over HaSatan.] While it seems that the Antichrist has absolute power (the duration of this power is forty-two months), he will initiate a program calculated to exterminate anyone who will not worship (follow) him. No part of this planet will go unaffected by this dictator and his policies.
Notice the use of the word blasphemy again. Blasphemy means “curse the name of the Lord” or “evil-speaking” or “slander.”  Blasphemy is mentioned in verse one and now again in five and six. This single word conveys how much HaSatan hates God. He attempts to blaspheme and desecrate everything that reminds him of God or His Son Jesus.
The Antichrist was given a mouth speaking blasphemies, exalting himself as God. This compares to the little horn that Daniel had seen, “The little horn had . . . a mouth that was boasting arrogantly” (Daniel 7:8 NLT). He blasphemed God by placing himself in God’s position. “He will oppose himself to everything that people call a god or make an object of worship; he will put himself above them all, so that he will sit in the Temple of God and proclaim that he himself is God.” ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:4 (CJB)
Setting himself up in the Temple is what Yeshua spoke of as “the abomination that causes devastation.” (Mark 13:14 CJB). The Antichrist will unite all nations and all religions under his authority.
It was allowed to make war on God’s holy people and to defeat them; and it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. There have been many persecutions of God’s children all down through the ages. There are horror stories upon horror stories of the attempts to wipe out the true believers of the Sovereign God, but there has never been anything as sweeping in scope as this final war on Believers. Believers numbering in the millions will be hunted down and put to death. Although they will not escape with their lives, they will be victorious even in death. All this will occur in the last half of the tribulation period. Since I believe in the pre-tribulation view of the Rapture, present day Believers will not experience the terror of that time, having been raptured, but God have mercy on those who go through the experience!
Everyone living on earth will worship it except those whose names are written in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb slaughtered before the world was founded. By this time the battle lines will have been drawn. The vast majority will have aligned themselves with the Antichrist. This verse throbs with the strength that the Believers in Yeshua possess. There is so much persecution and martyrdom that life for the child of God appears unbearable. Yet, it seems to be the rule, that when persecution comes, those tested grow stronger and more devoted. The reference to the Book of Life in this verse is understood to be the Lamb’s Book of Life (Revelation 21:27).
Those who have ears, let them hear! This warning sounds very similar to the letter to the Messianic Communities in Revelation 2:7; 2:22; 2:27; 2:29; 3:6; 3:23; 3:22; however, the difference is that now the warning is general and there is no mention of the church! The church is not mentioned because it was removed at the rapture. At the time of the recorded activities of this verse, the church is in heaven with the Lord. The unsaved world never understands the Believer and his thinking. God would have His children to act in a fashion that the world, which cannot understand spiritual motives, will consider foolish. Believers are to be controlled by divine love; they are admonished to turn the other cheek, to go the second mile, and much more. To the world this appears as weakness, making God’s people seem naive, gullible, and easy prey. The world’s philosophy is based on strength and power; an eye for an eye, a life for a life. The next verse sums up these thoughts:
“If anyone is meant for captivity, into captivity he goes! If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he is to be killed!” This is when God’s holy people must persevere and trust!”
Special Comparative Note on Chapter 13:5-10 
Historicists look to the papacy as this Beast. As late as April 330, 1922, Pope Pius XI said, “You know that I am the Holy Father, the representative of God on earth, the Vicar of Christ, which means that I am God on earth.” [emphasis added.] The forty-two months as has been previously discussed represents 1,260 years which refer to the period of conflict between the true church and the apostate papal establishment.
Preterists ascribe the worship of the Beast to the Roman Emperors. The war took the form of the persecution of the early church, especially by Nero.
Futurists view the forty-two months as the second half of the Tribulation period. As noted above, the blasphemies are tied in with Daniel 7:8. Everyone living on earth will worship implies compulsory allegiance to the Beast. All but the Tribulation saints will fall in line.
Idealists view this Beast as the leader of a government which will wage war on the Saints demanding total obedience and worship. They also consider verse 10 as an exhortation to Believers to patiently endure imprisonment and martyrdom without resorting to self-defense.
In my next post, we will explore Revelation 13:11-15 dealing with The Second Beast.
 The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary.
 Material in this post is taken from “Revelation: Four Views, Revised & Updated” by Steve Gregg. Notations in brackets, if any, are my comments.