Useful Bible Studies > Revelation Commentary > chapter 16

The dragon, the beast and the false prophet

Revelation 16:13

The battle at Armageddon will be the last battle before Christ begins his rule on earth. The armies that oppose Christ there will be both human armies and armies of evil spirits. They will have three principal leaders who will persuade them to gather for battle.

In Revelation 16:13, those three leaders are called the dragon, the beast and the false prophet.

A dragon means the most terrible animal that anyone can imagine. That describes the cruel and evil character of the devil. Therefore, in the Book of Revelation, the dragon means the devil (12:9).

A beast means a dangerous wild animal. That describes the antichrist, the great ruler who imitates Christ in order to oppose him (13:1-8).

A false prophet is someone who declares the words of a false god. In the Book of Revelation, the false prophet (also called a beast in Revelation 13:11-17) speaks on behalf of the antichrist.

It is by their words that the devil, the antichrist, and the false prophet persuade the nations to gather at Armageddon. Those words are evil words and lies. John describes those words as awful spirits that come from their mouths. He also describes them as frogs (small animals that jump suddenly). People considered frogs to be unclean and unpleasant animals (see Exodus 8:1-15).

However, their words have great power. They carry out astonishing acts. The antichrist will have authority over the whole world (13:7-8). Therefore the ‘kings’ in Revelation 16:14 are rulers with less authority than the antichrist. However, they will support him completely. They will order their armies to gather for a war against God himself.

Next part: The day of the Lord (Revelation 16:14)


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© 2016, Keith Simons.