|.Re 13:6a And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God,|| Opened
his mouth Term used for important speech mt0502,
Opened ... blasphemy The note immediately below provides a setting for the blasphemy against God and oppression. See note c for blasphemy against God.
|.6b to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.||To blaspheme ... A chart identifies these three objects of blasphemy.|
|.7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.|| Given
unto him God protects His faithful ones but allows trials to come
to expose the character of Satan. Compare the same time period in da0725.
This is the tribulation of the middle ages. The final tribulation of the
day of the Lord is trouble that comes after the preadvent judgment and
is only for the wicked da1201c.
Over all The beast became a geo-political organization.
|.8a And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him,||All God is not impressed by numbers or popularity. See note a for this verse. The massive end-time religion, now forming, will be a false one.|
|.8b whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.||Lamb slain See note b which describes God's ancient plan to rescue us. Note that a few names will be in the book. Predestination is discussed as note c. Why is it called the book of the Lamb? note d. (below)|
|9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.||Ear ... hear Note.|
|10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.|| Captivity
... captivity [of the beast] Promise of salvation from oppression
and the beast captured. See note
Patience ... saints See note b.
Note a for verse 13:6
Courage for the trampled — Enjoy heaven today
Several questions come to
mind as we look at this verse.
What would opening the mouth mean? The sentence would seem complete without the phrase.
We understand blasphemy against God's name, but why His tabernacle?
Who are the ones dwelling in heaven, and why could they be blasphemed unless they are God?
To simplify a bit more
- - - -
5 given mouth and time
6 speaks against God three ways
7 given overwhelming power against saints
given power over everyone
8 worshipped by all not in book
[not worshipped by saints]
|God's name||His character|
|His tabernacle||The ministry of Christ|
|Heaven dwellers||Citizens of the kingdom of heaven|
Blasphemy against heaven dwellers
"And he [the beast] opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven." (Rev. 12:6)
Can humans be blasphemed?
Yes, in a sense. The Greek word, blasphemo, may mean "to speak reproachfully
of." Here is an example:
"Being defamed [or "slandered"; blasphemo in Greek], we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring ["scum," NIV] of all things unto this day." (1 Cor. 4:13)
The last phrase in verse 6
reveals that the beast blasphemed "them that dwell in heaven." The term
"that dwell" is literally "dwelling" or "tabernacling." So we have blasphemy
against God, His tabernacle, and those tabernacling. Because "dwell" often
translates a different Greek word — different from the verb form of "tabernacle"
in our verse — and because the word, tabernacle, as a noun, is already
in the verse, we become curious to look for a connection between "tabernacle"
and "tabernacling." The concept of a tabernacle in heaven is not unique
to this passage. We see it also in Heb.
8:2, and Rev.
15:5. In other verses we find the word "temple" which would identify
the same place. The word, tabernacle, basically means tent. The wilderness
tabernacle was, indeed, a tent (Ex. 26:7). The word, temple, is used for
the permanent structures which replaced the tabernacle. Both tabernacle
and temples were constructed following the pattern of the tabernacle or
temple in heaven (Heb. 8:5). "Sanctuary" (Hebrew qodesh) is a synonym.
It refers to a holy place or thing where "tabernacle" and "temple" refer
to the structure which is holy.
In our verse the beast blasphemed God's tabernacle and those tabernacling in heaven. Looking back in Daniel, we find an interesting parallel:
"Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily [literally, "the continuation"] . . . and the transgression of desolation [the falling away, 2 Thess. 2:3], to give both the sanctuary [qodesh] and the host to be trodden under foot [by the horn that made itself exceedingly great challenging the prince of the host (Christ) (Dan. 8:11)]? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then [after the 3 1/2 times (12:4); during the time of the end (8:17; 12:4)] shall the sanctuary [qodesh] be cleansed [or "vindicated"]." (Dan. 8:13, 14)
This passage is too much for
us to fully unpack now. The point that ties it to our verse in Revelation
is the trampling of the sanctuary and the host. Under the symbolism of
our verse, this is blaspheming the tabernacle and those dwelling in heaven.
In Daniel a few verses earlier, the horn ". . . waxed great, even to the
host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the
ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince
of the host. . . ." (Dan. 8:10, 11) The host of heaven was seen by Abraham
as the stars (Gen. 15:5) who were to be those in his lineage.
If the host is stars, then what are the "stars" in the same verse (Dan. 8:10)? I think what Daniel saw as symbols were what we know as stars and planets (seen as brighter objects). Comparing other passages which explain the trampling, or oppressing by the horn power, will help us understand host and stars. It seems to me that the "stars," or planets, are the nations oppressed by the horn. This is evidenced by the three horns that were wiped out (7:24). We see the same two (host and stars as holy people and mighty) corrupted or destroyed at the end of 12:24. The horn's rising to the prince of the host represents his attempt to assume the prerogatives or ministry of Christ. Later the question comes, how long until the trampling of the host (followers of Christ) and sanctuary (Christ, as seen in His ministry) comes to an end? Let's summarize the parallels:
|Position of their prince challenged (Dan. 8:10, 11)||Host (and stars) trampled by horn||Dan. 8:10, 11|
|Arrogant words; times and law of Most High challenged||Saints worn out by horn (and kings subdued)||Dan. 7:24, 25|
|Sanctuary (Christ's ministry of salvation) trampled||Host trampled||Dan. 8:13|
|God's tabernacle (and name) blasphemed||Those dwelling in heaven blasphemed||Rev. 12:6|
"Having therefore, brethren,
boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and
living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is
to say, his flesh." (Heb. 10:19, 20)
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:4-7)
Although the riches of grace will be more fully revealed in the hereafter, we may even now experience them. We were dead in sin but God has raised us up in victory as He did Christ. We may join Him even now, tabernacling with Him in heaven by his saving ministry as revealed in the sanctuary.
13:6, note b
Allies join the battle
" 5 And there
was given unto him [the beast from the sea] a mouth speaking great things
and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13)
Did you notice the progression? The beast was given a mouth, he opened it in blasphemy, he was given power, and all except those written the book would worship him. And did you notice the change in verb tense? And that worship from nearly all those on the earth is in the future? "All that dwell on the earth shall worship Him." The story of oppression in this chapter is in two parts as we saw earlier. In the first part a beast rises from the sea, carrying the objectives of the dragon. In the second part another beast rises from the land and takes up his cause.
It is under the land beast that worship of the first beast is an issue for the whole world (verses 12 and 15). Verse 8 (above) includes the future tense because is written from the perspective of the middle ages. Worship from all the world was then future, and it still is (now in 1998). Strong winds are blowing in the religious world. We are being prepared to accept a "one world order." I believe big changes are eminent. Forced obedience to the church was certainly present during the middle ages but, only in the area of Europe. Elsewhere, including the Far East and Southern Africa, such was not the case.
In verse 7, the beast is given power over all. I see both verses 7 and 8 as projecting into the future. While we are focusing on the beast, we follow his action right up to the end. Later in the chapter we will see another player running defense for him.
This projection to the end is part of a pattern. The antagonist in chapter 12 was the dragon. We saw him continuing on to the end to fight against the very last of the woman's seed (12:17). Although no mention was made of the beast, we see now that he was the dragon's agent of persecution when the woman flew to the wilderness during the 3 1/2 times or 1260 days (12:14, 6). This time is the 42 months of 13:5.
Beginning in chapter 13, our eyes are on the beast. We see him as the dragon's agent of oppression of the saints (13:2) who were represented as the woman in chapter 12. When a new beast rises from the earth, he takes our attention, although the first beast and the dragon still present. We see all three in the final struggle in 16:13.
chapter 12 13:1-10 13:11-18
Dragon -------------- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Beast from sea ----------- . . . . . . . . .
Beast from earth -------------
The battle was intense during the
papal supremacy so we could say that there was war then, too. It will be
somewhat different during the final conflict. We will understand when it
Can we look back and see that the beast's opening of his mouth came after he was given the mouth? I see this as representing the granting of power through the code of Justinian before the beast began to exercise it more freely in 538 when the last of the opposing horns were destroyed. Might the granting of world domination in 13:7 come before the application implied in 13:8? I think so, but one could follow the other immediately. We don't know.
Of one thing we are certain; God is in control. We can exclaim with the apostle, "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." (2 Tim. 1:12)
13:6, note c
Slander against God
"And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. "(Rev. 13:6)
We discussed blasphemy against God's tabernacle and those dwelling in heaven. What about blasphemy against His name? First remember that God's name is who He is. It's His character — His glory.
"And the LORD said unto Moses . . . thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy." (Ex. 33:17-19). Also ex3404.
How does the beast
blaspheme God's character?
These verses help us understand God's name (or character). How did/does the beast blaspheme it? What if a person or an institution claims the power to be "merciful and gracious" toward some and to not clear others for the eternal kingdom whom they judge as "the guilty" (by excommunication)? Is it not pretending to take over the very judgment work of the Lord God — Yahweh Elohim. The attributes of showing mercy or not clearing the guilty describe His name.
It may be argued that God has granted these responsibilities to His original church which continues on today, but Scripture disagrees. ". . . the Father [Himself] judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son." (John 5:22).
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
Whose name is being discussed
in the verse just quoted? "Jesus Christ of Nazareth" (verse 10). If this
is the only name given among men, through which anyone can find salvation,
it has to be the same name that was shown to Moses — Yahweh Elohim, and
the same individual — Jesus Christ.
Who made the statement? Peter, when he and John had been scolded by the high priest and the rest of the top brass (4:6). The two had found a lame man at the temple gate and Peter had called on the name of Jesus for his healing. Some today believe Jesus had given Peter the authority to declare who will be eternally saved. When the people saw the man walking and staying close to the two disciples they were "filled with wonder and amazement" (3:10). Listen to Peter's response:
"And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham . . . hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up. . . . And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all." (Acts 3:12-16)
Later defending his actions before the Jewish leaders, Peter made the statement we already read. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." The question of power in the name of Jesus is now about salvation rather than healing. If Peter and John's "own power or holiness" could not heal, could it grant salvation? Can a church claiming authority passed down from Peter assume to have inherited power which the apostle declared came only in the name of Jesus? There is only one name "whereby we must be saved." Also see ac1025.
Another way God's
name is slandered
In a more direct way we see blasphemy against God's name by its being assigned to priests who are fallen humans he0726, ro0512. (Links point to first verses of passages.)
"After this manner therefore
pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." (Matt.
"And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." (Matt. 23:9)
After learning French I realized the meaning of the Latin title Monsignor. In French it would be "mon seigneur" — my lord. And the pope is called "Holy Father." Of course "lord" and "father" are both acceptable terms to describe ordinary human relationships, but only One is our "lord" or father" in a spiritual sense.
"And he [the beast] opened his mouth
in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name. . . ." Again, I'd like
to emphasize that God loves people who hold doctrines which I have objected
to. Many, even among clergy, are living by the light they know. Jesus died
for all. As we learn, or have opportunity to learn, new things from the
word, we become responsible ac1730.
May God lead and strengthen us all day by day.
Overcoming the saints
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." (Rev. 13:7)
This verse is discussed above in connection with verse 6. Would you like to go to that discussion?