This vision pertains to the first 3 ½ years of the last seven years before Christ returns. The information in Revelation 11 takes place during the last 3 ½ years.
Revelation 13:1 The “ten horns and seven heads” leads us back to chapter 12:3, 4, 7, 9, 13, 16, 17 where we learn that the dragon who is the devil has the same description as the beast. The beast is called the “little horn” in Daniel, “man of lawlessness, the son of destruction” in 2 Thessalonians, and “the Assyrian” in Isaiah. He will be the last evil tyrant that rules the world before Jesus returns and destroys him.
This beast will be the personification of the devil, much like Jesus is the embodiment of his Father, Yahweh.
Horns represent power, and diadems are crowns, a symbol of sovereignty.
Daniel 7:5-23 These verses provide the background for this chapter.
Daniel 7:7-8 "After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. "While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.
In the book of Revelation, the vision shows 10 horns that represent ten distinct but unified kings that comprise the last world empire. Since three of the kings are overthrown by the “little horn”, there remains ten kingdoms but only seven heads, with the little horn replacing the three. The other kings also submit to the little horn, who in Revelation 13 is called the beast.
Revelation 13:2 Leopard, bear, and lion are the animals used to describe the kingdoms that precede the final world kingdom recorded (Daniel 7:1-6). This last tyrant king will contain the power of all the mighty kingdoms of the world that went before him. He will be the mightiest of all.
The devil gives him his power, position, and authority. Seemingly, he is the most powerful and far-reaching world leader.
3 He is healed of a fatal wound that the whole earth becomes aware of and follows him. The healing must validate him.
4 “They” (the whole earth) worship the devil; it may happen indirectly through the beast, just as it has always been. Everyone becomes very impressed with the beast. How can you defeat someone who is healed of a fatal wound?
5-6 His speaking is also prophesied in Daniel.
Daniel 7:8, 11, 20, 25; 11:36 "While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.
11 "Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.
20 and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates.
25 'He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.
11:36 "Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done.
Authority to act for 3 ½ years
7 Will make war with the saints and overcome them. He will end up with authority over all the world. Revelation 11:7; Daniel 7:21
8 Everyone will worship him except those faithful believers that survive and those who ended up dead. Revelation 3:10
9-10 This may happen to you. Will you compromise or stand? (Jeremiah 15:1-6)
11-13 He has two horns, meaning he has power and is a docile lamb, not a ravenous animal like the first beast. The second beast supports the first beast and encourages people to follow him. This beast is considered to be a spiritual man with supernatural power.
14 He deceives everyone. Jesus foretold of this time in Matthew 24:5, 11, 23-26.
The first beast was killed with a sword.
15 The image speaks? If you do not worship the beast, you will be killed.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 We are given specific information about the events that precede the return of Christ so that we will not be deceived. Many have already been deceived over and over again. Two major events will happen that reveal we are near.
- Apostasy from Greek apostasia, only here and in Acts 21:21 translated “forsake”. The whole world and the saints will forsake God. 1 Timothy 4:1; Matthew 24:10; Daniel 7:21; Revelation 11:7
- The man of lawlessness, the son of destruction, the same beast of Rev. 13
4 Displays himself as being God. Takes his seat in the temple as God; hence, he is the abomination of desolation Daniel and Jesus foretold would happen.
5 Paul obviously wanted them and us to understand what will happen.
6 God holds the mystery of lawlessness in check and has not yet allowed Satan to take over complete control. He will when the man of sin is revealed. Many have wondered why God allows the sinful world to continue on. There is a mystery that has not yet been revealed. The fullness of the Gentiles has not yet come in.
Romans 11:24-25 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree? For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery-- so that you will not be wise in your own estimation-- that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in
2 Thessalonians 2: 8 Jesus will slay him when he comes.
9 Again we see that Satan empowers him.
10-12 We gain insight into why the end has so much destruction. It seems the world will become so evil, it will reflect the times of Noah: Then Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5)
1 John 4:1-4 Do not fear; rather, have faith!