The Worst Dictator Ever – Revelation 13:1-10

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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Mao Zedong was the communist revolutionary of the People’s Republic of China who ruled the country from 1949-1976. To secure his power, he instituted a series of reforms including execution quotas. When land was seized from owners, at least one landlord was selected in each village to be beaten to death. Many deemed as threats were sent to labor camps where they perished. Governmental and industrial officials were publicly shot. Some estimate nearly 40 million souls were killed or committed suicide during Mao’s reign. Only by relating how many died under his cruel reign of terror can we comprehend how evil Mao Zedong’s dictatorship was.

Revelation 13 gives a word picture of the evil reign of the coming Anti-Christ, describing him as far worse than any ruthless dictator before him. Verse 2 describes him as “the beast” because of his cruel actions. He will have the cunning and speed of “a leopard,” the savage power of a “bear,” and the ferocity of a “lion” when it roars. His mouth will constantly be filled with “blasphemy” (vss. 1,5,6). “Blasphemy” means “vilification, evil speaking, or railings.” These fierce words will be targeted “against God” (taking His name in vain and likely denying His existence), against “His tabernacle” (because Jews will seek to worship Jehovah there), and against “them that dwell in heaven” (vs. 6). We take this latter reference to mean he will vilify true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, even those who have been martyred, convincing the world they are deluded, dangerous, and that they needed to die. He will have an irrational anti-Semitic rage that will infect all who follow him (Revelation 12). He will also be deceitful, convincing, and will have unusual oratory charisma. While the Anti-Christ will be given satanic power “over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” (Revelation 13:7), the Anti-Christ will be “wounded to death” (vs. 3) but rise from the dead, therein solidifying his power and wonder over the majority of the world (vss. 3-5,14). In vile egocentricity, he will demand to be worshipped (vs. 8).

Would you volunteer to experience these events described in the Tribulation? Would you want any of your loved ones to experience the rampages of this vicious dictator, the Anti-Christ? The only way to be certain to escape this vicious dictator is to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ who now offers eternal life as a free gift of His grace. If you haven’t already, trust in Christ now, and urge loved ones to trust Him while they still can.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."