Thursday, 18 March 2021
It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. Revelation 13:7
The words refer to the beast rising out of the sea (13:1). It will be a beast led by the antichrist. It was said in verse 13:5 that he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. Now, it says, “It was granted to him to make war with the saints.”
This same satanic power, given to him to speak great things, is also behind his desire and ability to destroy the saints. This is a reference to the words of Daniel 7:21 –
“I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them.”
The horn of Daniel 7 refers to the antichrist now being described again in Revelation. He will be the leader of the beast. The saints are any who are believers in Christ. They are those that will make up the great white robed multitude referred to in Revelation 7 –
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’” Revelation 7:9, 10
They will understand who Christ is after the rapture has taken place, they will put their trust in Him, and they will refuse to be a part of the global system that is set up. The antichrist will have the power to come against them, “and to overcome them.”
It is exactly what Daniel prophesied with the words, “making war against the saints, and prevailing against them.” The powers he will wield will stretch around the globe, and there will be no place safe to hide. John confirms this thought with the words, “And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.”
Some manuscripts add in the words “and people.” Either way, the extent of his rule over the planet will be complete. The term used here expresses that all humanity will fall under his authority. What John is saying was also stated in Daniel 7 –
“He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand
For a time and times and half a time.” Daniel 7:25
Since the time of the Tower of Babel, the population of the world has never been united in such a way as will occur under his rule. The only ones who will not comply with his authority will be those who have a higher allegiance, meaning they have bowed the knee to Christ alone.
Life application: In the last three- and one-half years of the tribulation period, the anti-Christ will be “granted” the ability to come against the saints and to overcome them. This wicked person has no true power or authority of his own. He is working on behalf of Satan, and even Satan is bound to what the Lord will allow – something we learn from the first chapter of the book of Job.
Just because the antichrist has been granted authority to make war against these people and to “overcome them,” it doesn’t mean he has any true authority over them. Rather, Jesus holds their eternal destiny in His powerful grasp. Death for them is only temporary. At the end of the tribulation, they will be raised to eternal life.
The rest of the world will be under the authority of the antichrist, and they will pay for it with eternal consequences. There is a difference – some will die and receive eternal rewards, while others will die and receive eternal condemnation. Jesus is the key to both – either accepting Him or rejecting Him is the most important decision anyone can ever make. Be sure to call out for salvation today. Be sure to call out for JESUS!
Lord, the blessing of dying peacefully in this life is of no value at all when compared to the eternal blessing of being saved by the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Help us to get our priorities right, and give us the courage and strength to use this life for Your glory, even if it means death for Your name’s sake. Amen.