Satan's war with the Saints
Extracts and comments from Revelation Chp. 13:7 & 13:8
And it was given to him to make (a)war with the (b)saints, and to (c)overcome them: (d)and power was given him over all kindred’s, and tongues and Nations.
(a) "War"; the Greek word used means "special attack". This word emphasises the murderous venom which the beast/Satan now brings to bear on "the saints".
(b) "The saints"; the Roman Church and its misuse and abuse of this word clouds the understanding. The Greek "HAGIOS", means "separated ones", or "holy and separated ones". With this definition, it could apply to whichever group or person the Holy Spirit desires. In this case, it in context undoubtedly refers to the Jews, especially those Jews who are to receive protection in the 42 months mentioned. However, there will certainly be Jews and non-Jews who are the focus of Satan/beast attacks, fitting the "Overcomers", category. Some groups of Christians feel it applies to themselves, but there are many clues in Scripture which would preclude that, one of which is in the next verse.
(c) "Overcome them"; Satan/beast will be allowed to oppress the Jewish Nation to a degree never before experienced, which with the record of the 1939-45 world war, is ominous.
(d) The beast/Satan also has power given to him to pursue and persecute all the Nations of the world. (See note at the beginning of Chapter 9).
And all that dwell upon the Earth shall (a)worship him every one whose name is not written in the (b)Book of the Life of the Lamb slain, from the foundation of the world.
(a) Here is reached probably the highest point on Earth (as opposed to Heaven) for the beast/Satan who now has many of the Earth's population openly worshipping him directly, and via. his false messiah and false prophet, some believing that he is the true God.
It is quite possible that the charade of Satan is so convincing that the established religions will accept him as Messiah (in the case of the Jews), the risen Christ (in the case of Christendom), the hidden Imam (in the case of Islam), the 5th Buddha (in the case of Buddhists), and the Maitreya (in the case of the New Agers). This especially so as the beast will "hate the whore", (Rev. 17:16) and appear to destroy her, which is clearly false righteousness for the effect of drawing their large groups together.
The question arises, who is this entity described as "the beast"? (See 2:6 above). Chapter 2 of Daniel describes the figure in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. When the legs are reached they are described as iron (V.33), and from history are clearly military and religious Rome. The ending of the military phase of Rome started in the 4th century A.D. under Constantine. He and his very influential mother Helena, began the conversion of the Empire into a military and religious body, for many reasons, including the main one, effective control of the Empire and people. Constantine set up his own capital at Byzantium/Stambul (Istambul) which he re-named Constantinople. This alienated Rome, which by the 11th century A.D., split completely into the East and West of the original "Holy Roman Empire". Since then the two have established separate orthodoxies, i.e. Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Church, (two legs, left and right).
The feet of the dream (Dan. 2:41) and the toes, 5 from the left leg, and 5 from the right leg; (V.42) are the subject of our present study. Verse 1 describes it as having 7 heads and 10 horns (the horns are assumed to be the toes of the "image" Dan. 2:41). Other references to it are in Dan. 7:7 "ten horns", and 7:20 "ten horns". In 7:20 and 7:24 another horn rises and subdues 3 of them, and becomes very powerful. It is that horn in its power base that "makes war with the saints", 7:21 & 7:25. In Rev. 13, the beast has 7 heads. In Dan. 7:20 the ten horns are on one head, implying that the 7 Nations have become one power (Confederation), under the most powerful horn 7:21.
The identity of the little horn is the next concern. In Dan. 8:23 we are shown that he arrives out of the divided Kingdom of Alexander the Great, (8:21-22), which divided between his four Generals at the death of Alexander. We also have many Scripture references to him. I.e; in Dan. 8:23 the correct Hebrew shows that "the transgression", (against Israel) are to reach a peak, before "he", "shall stand up". This clearly points to the Tribulation imposed on the Jews by him (Satan) in the background, and almost certainly his full exposure ("standing up") will correspond with the breaking of "the Covenant", (Dan. 9:27). His highest representative on Earth is commonly called “Antichrist”.
Through the Ages he has had various roles on Earth i.e. (Isa. 14:4), (Isa. 14:12), (Isa. 14:25), (Dan. 7:8), (Dan. 8:23), (Dan. 9:26), (Dan. 11:36), (Mic. 5:5), (2 Thess. 2:3), (2 Thess. 2:8), (Rev. 13:1) and (Rev.13:18). Some of the above apply to his future role as Antichrist.
IN SUMMARY: the "little horn", Antichrist emerges from the 4th beast (Confederacy) as its leader. Initially magnanimous to Israel, there is a 3½ year period of peace for them. After the first 3½ years, he breaks the agreement with Israel and they enter persecution (Jer. 30:7), known in prophecy as "Jacob's trouble", for 3½ years. However, this is the stage of the dramatic re-entry of the Christ of Jehovah onto the world stage for the first time in Power (Dan. 2:34-35, 44 and 45), (Isa.), (Zech.) & (Ezk.) etc. Simultaneously or partly simultaneously (apparently) much is happening to the Nations of the world, which is not of Satan, but the "wrath of God" (Rev. 16:1).