BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 17, Day 5: Revelation 13:1-18

Summary of passage:  A beast emerges from the sea with 10 horns, 7 heads and 10 crowns on his horns. On each head was a blasphemous name. The beast looked like a leopard, had feet like a bear, and the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave this beast his power, throne, and great authority. One head had a fatal wound but had been healed. The whole world followed this beast and men worshiped the dragon who had given the beast power. The beast exercised his authority for 42 months (3 1/2 years, the time of the Great Tribulation). He blasphemed God, his name, his dwelling place, and those in heaven.

The beast was given power and authority over the saints and every tribe, people, language, and nation. All non-believers will worship the beast.

Beast #2 comes out of the earth. He has 2 horns but spoke like a dragon. He was under the authority of the first beast (Rev 13:1-10) and made earth’s inhabitants worship Beast #1. He performed miraculous signs and created a false idol in the shape of Beast #1 that earth’s inhabitants worshipped. This idol was given the power to breath and speak and killed those who refused to worship the image. Everyone was forced to receive a mark (the number 666) either on his forehead or right hand.


12a)  The dragon is the anti-Father, the beast rising from the sea is the anti-Christ, and the beast rising from the land is the anti-Holy Spirit.

b)  Because Jesus is the Lamb.  This one is imitating Christ as the false prophet in order to deceive Christ-followers into following him.

c)  The Holy Trinity is defined by peace, thankfulness, spiritual growth in love and honor, songs, and wisdom.  The deceptive trinity is characterized by war, death, servitude, fear, threats, and destruction.  The antithesis of God.

13a)  Very similar to question 5a.  Deuteronomy says not to follow false prophets or gods even those who perform miracles.  God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and all  your soul.  Follow and serve God only.  Jesus says in Matthew you will recognize false prophets by the fruit they bear:  bad fruit meaning they will reap evil consequences, not for the good and not godly.  Mark says to be on your guard for false prophets.  John says in 1 John to not believe every spirit but to test the false prophets or spirits to see whether they are from God.  If they do not acknowledge Jesus is not God, then it’s the antichrist.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Very similar to questions 8b & 11c.  I know I am safe and God protects me.  I am marked with the Holy Spirit that guides me when these situations arise.  Identifying falsehoods and telling others is the best way I can share God’s truths.

Conclusions:  Good lesson.  Loved the comparison of the unholy trinity with the holy trinity.  An easy way to identify something is to ask what it’s purpose is:  is it for love, compassion, peace, and helpfulness?  Or is it for deceit, personal gain, malicious intentions, or strife?

End Notes:  See Previous Days:  Day 2  Day 3  Day 4

Lessons from Revelation 13:  Here we see important messages for Christians in today’s world.  First, we must endure our suffering and be faithful for Christ is coming.  Second, we must stand for our beliefs even when the rest of the world is worshiping something other than God.  Third, we see the proliferation of worshiping of false gods.  It’s a danger we all must be careful of.  An idol is anything you put before god.  Purge any in your life.

Conclusions to Lesson 17:  Good analysis of passage.  We’ve studied false prophets & teachings in Lesson 4 Day 2 & Lesson 5 Day 2.  A little repetition in the questions but it’s important to know there are/will be false prophets but God has given us ways to differentiate them.  False idols are everywhere and we must be aware and not check out.

Lesson 18 Preview:  Coming up, we will explore suffering, another interlude in Revelation I am not looking forward to.  We’ve already extensively covered suffering this year (See Lesson 3 Day 4, Lesson 4 Day 2, Lesson 4 Day 5, Lesson 11 Day 2 & Lesson 12 Day 4) and I’m about burnt out on how we all must suffer and will continue to suffer until the Day of the Lord.  I GET IT!  CAN WE MOVE ON?  Dwelling on my suffering is not something I like to do.  I prefer to live in the present and not the past and dwell on the positive aspects of my current situation and circumstances and not the negative.

General observations of the study of Revelation:  Due to the number of repetitious subjects, the number of lessons we have spent outside of Revelation, and the sheer volume of personal questions this year, I’m beginning to think the study of Revelation could have been compacted into half a year and then combine this with something else–another smaller book perhaps or similarly related.  I’m pretty crestfallen about the whole thing and my bubble has definitely burst over this study.  Would love to have your opinions on the matter.

One more side note that may just be me:  I’m not getting a whole lot out of the lectures.  I’ve done so much study on the passages myself that what our Teaching Leader says is nothing new to me.  Oftentimes, the message is not even on the passage but one general theme such as how Christ is our Savior or how we need to “talk” about God to others that I struggle to stay awake because the message is so watered-down.  Other insights on your lectures?


39 comments on “BSF Study Questions Revelation Lesson 17, Day 5: Revelation 13:1-18

  1. rushp says:

    I have to agree with you. I am disappointed in the Revelation Study. I couldn’t wait for it to start and now I have a hard time doing my lessons. I agree there are to many personal questions. It’s like BSF doesn’t want to dig into the real meaning of Revelation. I have studied Revelation in a small group setting with my church and it was great and very in depth, BSF is just touching the surface, like it’s afraid to dig deeper. Our Teaching Leader just seems to read the note to us and I can do that on my own. I pray the study will get better as we go along but time is running out for this year.
    Keep up the great work you are doing. I am getting more out of your notes then I do the lectures.
    God be with you.

  2. Carole conwsy says:

    We are on lesson 16. So much missed. The meat is small. No word about the woman, child, beast, 12 stars, 7 crowns, 10 horns, etc. I’ve studies this subject before and I’m puzzled why it’s not in this lesson. It’s like Revelatiin 101. I’ve been in BSF 13 years. Feel like this is for newcomers. Very disappointing. Keep hoping to get more meaty lessons but we are half way through the book!

    • atozmom says:

      It stays the same, Carole and rush p. Unfortunately.

    • BLeet says:

      I’m glad you feel the study would meet the needs of a newcomer because that is who we should shepherd in to study God’s word. (More in depth study can be done on your own by doing “going deeper” or seek other resources just as atozmom does… yes??). I too was dismayed with all the personal questions but then again I don’t self examine or reach deep into my spiritual self…so doing this just may be a positive exercise. I have had the opportunity to volunteer with the level 1-2-3 or 4 children’s class and it has been amazing to see what the kids are learning about Revelations and how it relates to them. BSF did a wonderful job developing their lessons!!

  3. DLa says:

    I too am disappointed, was so looking forward to this study, but the lectures are just repeating the gospel message every week, and yes it’s very important. But I was hoping for more of an intellectual study. And the questions are not giving us insight into the passage. I am afraid BSF is not what I used to be and that is too bad

  4. D. A. says:

    I have to thank you for your remarks, they are so much more interesting than the actual lessons and lectures. BSF had such an opportunity and I feel it has been lost due to the blandness of this study. Thanks again

    Blessings, D

  5. Lissette says:

    I found this in a commentary:

    13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six.

    The False Prophet will use this mark as a means of forcing people to worship Antichrist. He will demand that everyone have his mark on their foreheads or on their hands in order to buy or sell. One can scarcely imagine the pressures of having to possess such a mark in order to secure the necessary food for his family.

    There are many views on what the 666 stands for but no where is it given in the bible as to what it means exactly.

    I was told by programmers when I was reading various chat groups before Y2K began that some computer programs begin with a starting coding of 666. That’s why there are many who today will not receive any type of computer chip implanted into them. Nor do they want any sort of a national ID which is again is something that is computer driven.

    Many think that the Antichrists name (first, middle and last) each will contain 6 letters each.

    I personally believe that when that time comes, those with discernment of the Word will know exactly what it means.

    We do know that to accept the mark is to accept Antichrist as God and thus deny God. Only those who walk with Christ will be able to understand why taking of this mark can not be done even if it means death to their physical body.

  6. Cheryl says:

    I am so disappointed with this Revelation study. BSF is so stuck on “not offending”, that they have totally watered down this study. What they fail to recognize is the Word of God always offends carnal man. Teach God’s Word and let the Word do what it is going to do. What is the point of drawing the crowds then choosing not to reveal The Truth to them. If they get offended, oh well. As Paul says, “If I have made you angry, I hope I have made you angry to repentance”. In my opinion, there should have been a deeper study into the letters to the churches. Those letters are talking to the Christian life today. Many sitting in this study fall into one of the category of these churches and probably not even aware. Is this what our over the summer intercession praying produced?

  7. Lucy says:

    I agree with everyone’s sentiments. The study of Revelation is lacking, there is so much more to it. I fear BSF has fallen into the trap that many churches have of not wanting to offend or scare people off. I disagree. We are to be different. We are to be a light in the dark world, not conform. I was hoping for so much more. The personal questions are the same every week, “how are you going to share and with whom?”

  8. Myrt says:

    This study has given me a sense of urgency that I did not have before to tell others they need salvation so they will not have to endure the judgments of the 2nd Coming of the Lord. I believe many Christians have become complacent in their witness and believe somebody else will lead them to Christ. I need to step up and be more bold, I need to exercise my Faith. The whole theme of the Bible points to God’s plan of Salvation and Revelation reinforces this. We don’t have to fully understand all of the details of what John saw to realize we do not want anyone we love to suffer the judgments coming when Jesus returns to earth. Revelation repeats over and over that His children will be protected, even in death. Don’t you want everyone you know to have that? Everyone is saying there is much more to the study of Revelation. What else could be more important than the message of telling others about Jesus Christ?

  9. Granna says:

    This is my first experience with BSF and a formal study of the Bible. I was so yearning to strengthen my faith but now I find myself questioning some things. But I will persevere and hope this study will satisfy my goal of a stronger relationship with God. Some of my friends that are BSF veterans are feeling the same way as most of you that this study is lacking so far.

  10. Barb says:

    Lesson 17: 5 b. No one wants you to disagree with them, so disagreement, even in Christian circles, always seems to bring hostility. This question struck home for me with my dissatisfaction about the direction that BSF has gone. I only confided to one friend what I was feeling and she “put me in my place” and did not respect what I was struggling with. Another friend joined for the first time this year and although she is deep in her Bible knowledge and numerous past Bible studies, she is “enjoying” BSF. I’ve come to a couple of conclusions. Part of my problem is that I was in BSF back in the earlier days and it was so deep and so thorough, and by contrast today it is very minimal, hardly recognizable. I also did some searches on Google to see if I was the only one to feel this way. I came across some interesting info and some concern for the direction that BSF is going-even to the point of people feeling that they can no longer be involved. I felt better to know that I’m not alone. I will finish the study and try to be respectful, but my heart for BSF is sadly gone.

  11. I, too, am very disappointed with the lack of “meat”. I find the lectures are essentially preaching to the choir–are you saved?–when the obvious answer is yes. I”m also a bit tired of sharing how encouraged I am. I feel a tremendous need to understand more, to delve beyond the surface, to grasp the Lord’s message to me.

  12. BEJ says:

    My teaching leader shared a few weeks ago that another group had been losing people because of their disappointment in the study content. She also shared that that was not the case with our group, thank goodness. Last year there was a palpable sense of excitement over the study of Revelation, but it was tempered by visits from the leadership warning us that they were going to avoid highlighting areas of disagreement. They have definitely accomplished that! The difficulty with that approach is that NOTHING is cut and dry, so too much has been left out. The book of Revelation definitely gives us insight into God’s character and how we can better worship Him, and the study has really helped me in this way. However, it is also PROPHECY, which will always have multiple interpretations, so to neglect that is to neglect one of the primary purposes of it. Those who want to dig deeper will do so on their own, but those whose natural inclination is to only do the study and not look for more information are the big losers. The commentaries that I use do a good job of presenting the various interpretations, and then usually conclude by giving reasons for why they believe a certain one is the most valid. BSF has done its students a disservice by thinking them so (unintelligent? shallow?) incapable of deciding which interpretation to accept. I, for one, love BSF, but do not rely on them to be the final arbiters, instead relying on deeper study to find the truth. Discernment, indeed!

  13. Rungirl says:

    I have been so disappointed with this years study. It’s definitely for those who have never studied the bible. I too get more out of your blog than my lesson and lecture. Our lectures have not hit home to me! Not really sure if I will continue next year with John.

    • Lisa N. says:

      I will encourage you to come next year to the study of John. I think it will be a breath of fresh air after this year. It is wonderful study where you will spend a lot of time studying Jesus’s own words, which helps so much with feeling close to him. Hang in there and perhaps change classes if you have another option. In my years in BSF I have definitely clicked with the style of some teaching leaders more than others.

      I have my frustrations this year as well but thankfully for me this year the lectures have been making up for my sometime lack of enjoyment with the homework part of the study. Also I I find myself paying better attention to my classmates answers this year.

      • Rungirl42 says:

        Lisa N I have studied John with BSF. I have been in BSF for 8 years now and this year has been a difficult for many reasons. Our teaching leader is new and that has been difficult. Thanks for your concern, we will see where the Lord leads

  14. 1dog2cats says:

    I too think am struggling. I have learned more about keeping my eyes on Jesus, but the lessons are a struggle. It is hard to stay motivated. Lectures are not helping me change or grow. I do learn from and enjoy the notes. My prayer is that we will trust lean on and be confident in the Lord.

  15. Judy says:

    But you have helped so many with your comments and study….is that God’s purpose for you? It has certainly helped me..

  16. barbarae says:

    One suggestion that might help those who come here to grow in their ability and desire to study God’s Word would be to cite your sources. Always a good practice in any type of scholarship…thanks!

  17. StacieG says:

    This is my first year in BSF. I too am struggling with the lectures. Its too close to the lecture notes and I could just read those on my own. I find myself leaving early because its just not what I’m looking for. I too learn a great deal from your blog and I really enjoy your notes. Thank you for the effort that you put forth, you are bringing the message to so many!

  18. Pat Britt says:

    Thank you so much for your insight. I totally agree with you about the repetitiveness. During group most of the time I stay silent when the personal questions are discussed because it’s usually the same answer. I also agree about the boring lectures. I thought maybe it’s the presentation and her monotone voice that puts me to sleep but maybe not. I do appreciate the notes. Thanks again for all the extra time you’ve put into this study. Patricia Britt, Trenton, Michigan

  19. RaeAnn says:

    I too have been in BSF for many, many years. I agree that Revelation is taking it slow and easy, but if I would have taken it in my first few years I would not have had an easy go of it. I have read it on my own but never studied it with great depth so I am glad we are taking the time to go over it. This is also a new study for BSF and they will see what works and what doesn’t. Because there is a wide variety of people’s Bible knowledge I think they are probably concerned on that. Those who have a lot of Bible knowledge have the opportunity to go deeper if they feel it isn’t enough.

  20. Paula says:

    I am so glad to know it isn’t just me! I have been so disappointed with this study. In fact I have been getting very disappointed in BSF in general. I attended in the early 1990’s for about 3 or 4 years. Then because of work didn’t attend until 4 years ago. But it seems like each year they want less “analytical thinking” going on and just want “pabulum” answers. By not wanting you to really expound on what one might feel or understand what the scripture is saying ,it seems they only want you to repeat exactly what the verse says instead of delving into deeper thoughts. We use to be able to give insight into the thoughts behind the scripture but now in our own studies we are not to use commentaries at all and have been told to not even read the commentary at the bottom of the Bible that might be being used. I don’t have the time or intellect to learn what all these great followers of God have devoted their lives to. Why not use all that knowledge to our benefit to enrich our studies. What are they afraid of? That we might actually get into an interesting thought or discussion? I know I’m ranting but BSF, we need you to return to what you once were and not be so afraid of sharing deeper thoughts – that way the more mature can grow along with the newer Christian who might have the opportunity of learning more earlier in their walk with Christ. Thank you for giving me a platform to get this all off my chest! I really enjoy what you have to say, even when I don’t always quite agree–which is very seldom. May God bless you for your continuing service!

    • atozmom says:

      You’re welcome and thanks for chiming in! Great point about the newer Christian learning more sooner in their walk with deeper thinking instead of superficial. I would have loved to learn more sooner as a young adult rather than now. After all, we’ll only take in as much as we’re ready to so why not throw it all on the table and have a feast!

      God bless!

    • Lissette says:

      I so agree with you about not being allowed to use commentaries. I cannot go to BSF anymore but when I did the commentaries expanded what I was reading.

      When it was incorrect the Holy Spirit always let me know. Now I look up what scriptures are being read. Because of Atoz I am still able to follow the lessons.

      Quite honestly I don’t feel like I am missing much by not attending BSF.

  21. Kay P. says:

    I agree with you about the many personal and repetitive questions. I was really hoping for a lot of meat in this study that is missing. However, our teaching leader is awesome. I can’t say enough good things about her lectures and the side notes that she gives us and how in depth she goes. She really goes the extra mile, which makes it fabulous. Hopefully, BSF will modify the study of Revelation for the next time. I hope they put a lot more in-depth, background and deep study materials in the lessons rather than so many repetitive and personal questions. I do love to dig deep into the study material.

  22. mixwickie says:

    I almost always fall asleep during lectures. They do not hold my attention. That’s why I am glad I found this site. I’m Getting more from you than bsf. This is my first year and I wonder if it will be the last. Thank you for your insight and knowledge.

  23. Lisa N. says:

    I think some of the frustrations I have with the numerous personal questions is that so much of Revelation is hard to imagine and so symbolic in nature.
    I often DON’T KNOW how I feel about something that is so hard to understand, and hard to picture, even with the descriptions we get of the beasts etc. I guess I want more explanations or opinions on the subject matter before I change my focus to personal questions. I feel that my answers to the personal questions aren’t always coming from “the heart” as much as I would like them too.

  24. Lisa N. says:

    Oh and how can I forget, THANK YOU so much for all that you do. You are a amazing person and your honesty encourages me to be more honest!

  25. Sadly, I would have to agree. For the first time ever, I am not getting much out of BSF this year. Even though we have a wonderful lecturer, I barely have anything written down. I’m glad it’s not just me feeling this way. I know the devil loves it when I get discouraged studying the Bible. I just keep pressing on because at the beginning of Revelation it says that we are to study these words.

  26. says:

    I’m studying with a “rogue” group who has the benefit of a recorded lecture & copied notes/questions (don’t get legalistic on us…we did our part..). We are rogue on account of a snaffu in the BSF system. Our group includes a previous leader who lead for several years and was forced had to bow out on account of a family needs a year ago. After an ENTIRE summer of delightful anticipation we where shocked, humbled and thankful to find ourselves alone – together. We are so so grateful we found each other! We have struggled with the content as many of you but return frequently to this thought…This is MY study & I own it. It’s my relationship with Jesus and His word I am studying. If it’s not meeting my needs I need to only get on my knees. He will lift the veil and guide me to the “meat” intended for me. He does it every time. Just a thought ladies.
    Many thanks to AtoZ your perceptions and insight are so valuable!

  27. Carla Luisa says:

    hi there! I’ve followed your blog for several years, off and on. Thanks for taking the extra time to do this! I would say – in response to your feeling frustrated with your BSF experience, that perhaps this is a nudge to be doing something different for you! Usually when I feel uncomfortable, it is the Lord moving me on to a new opportunity and signaling change for myself. I’d encourage you that instead of looking to criticize this study and your BSF TL’s work, you could ask “so what does God want me to now do instead?”

  28. Lissette says:

    This was my verse for the day, especially for you Atoz

    Did you know that God is an artisan? Even more importantly, did you know that you are one of his masterpieces? God has designed us to be beautifully useful for doing good things! So let’s not let anyone, especially not the evil one, convince us that we are not worth anything to others or to God. His grace has made our lives canvases upon which he will provide the world more masterpiece works of his artistry! Let’s live up to God’s high opinion of us.

    Thank you, dear Father, for knowing me and re-making me by your grace in Jesus. Use me to do your will and lead me to the appropriate people so that I can most effectively minister to them. In Jesus’ grace-filled name I pray. Amen.

  29. Rebecca Krueger says:

    I totally agree ! I was in BSF leadership for years and stepped out for two years and couldn’t be more surprised. I too was very excited for the Revelation study but very quickly realized something had changed. I have been very frustrated with the questions or lack of real question and our lectures are very similar each week. I’m curious why they haven’t really brought in any of the OT prophets (one or two verses once in a while). I have been digging deeper on my own and I have been listening to other pastors who are teaching Revelations and I enjoy checking out your insights (thank you, thought I was the only one feeling this way) Many blessing to you.

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