Cover to Cover
In chapter 13, we are continuing to go over the Great Tribulation in more detail. In verse 4 it says, “they worshipped the dragon (Satan from chapter 12) who gave authority to the beast from the sea (the Antichrist).” The image of the 7 heads and 10 horns is illustrative of nations (heads) and leaders (horns).
This wicked world leader, the Antichrist, has power for 3 ½ years, or 42 months, the Great Tribulation. The Antichrist is granted access to make war with the saints and to overcome them. The Antichrist has authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Christians will know not to worship, or submit, to him, but others do. Still, we know that the Antichrist has enemies that come against him and war with him (Daniel 12).
The Antichrist takes over 3 of the horns, leaders, making seven leaders. There are seven heads, or nations. One of those nations is wounded but supernaturally survives. The world is amazed at the recovery and follows him.
This world leader has an assistant known as the False Prophet. He is described as the beast from the Earth (verse 11). This one has two horns. He sees to it that people submit to the Antichrist. The False Prophet has great power, even calling down fire from heaven, and he uses that power to deceive people of the Earth.
If someone does not submit to the Antichrist’s power, they will be killed. There is a one-world money market underneath this world leader. To buy and sell, a person must have a mark (literally tattoo), on the forehead or right hand. The tattoo will show either the beast’s name or number of his name. If you have wisdom, count the number of the beast. Just out of interest, not revelation, count the Roman numerals:
To understand the beast, his number is a count of Roman numerals, 666, and Rome represents human government.
To summarize, there is an organization of seven nations and seven leaders that support one world leader. There is a universal money market and this organization is in charge of it. You must be submitted to the organization and the world leader in order to buy or sell. Christians are alive during the Great Tribulation, and they will be killed if they refuse to surrender to this world leader.
Why would larger countries come together as one for a universal government? Perhaps a plague attacks the world, causing us to work together in a universal health care. Perhaps there is an economic collapse causing capitalism to cease as we know it. Maybe there will be global catastrophes or a common enemy that causes nations to unite. Whatever the reason, we know it is coming. We also know Jesus is coming, and He will overcome all human kingdoms in order to establish His own.
Nahum was a prophet in Judah, the southern kingdom, during the reigns of Manasseh, Amon, and Josiah. His contemporaries were Zephaniah, Habakkuk, and Jeremiah. The main theme of Nahum is the fall of Nineveh, the Assyrian capital, the Gentile city where God sent Jonah before its destruction. Nahum is believed to be written around 612 BC. Jonah was believed to have gone to Nineveh in 760 BC, a 148-year difference.
Nahum can be divided into 3 sections – the verdict of God, the vengeance of God, and the victory of God. The first tells of God’s great power, a power than protects the righteous and judges the wicked. The second section describes the coming destruction. The third section describes righteousness prevailing over wickedness. Many nations have risen and fallen throughout the centuries. No nation should think they are exempt from pride and falling.
In our world today, the increase of evil is a progression of sin that leads us closer toward the return of the Lord. When Jesus had His earthly ministry, He often went to those who had been hurt and damaged by living in a sinful world, guilty of wrong choices, and revealed His love and mercy, extending forgiveness and restoration. He’s a saving Jesus, a healing Jesus, a gracious Jesus. Our job as Christ followers is to do the same. We’re to rescue from sin and reconcile to God while we can. The time is short. We need to be busy with kingdom work, amen?