War Against the Saints

The “Dragon” tasked his “Beast from the Sea” with the destruction of the “saints,” and the “Beast” received authority over all the nations to do so. In Revelation, humanity is divided into two groups: The “Inhabitants of the Earth” who “gave allegiance to the Beast,” and those who “Tabernacle in the Heavens,” namely, the “saints.” The forces of Satan wage war on the followers of Jesus, not on nation-states or Israel in the Middle East.

The apparent “victory” of the Devil over the “saints” vindicated them and sealed the fate of the “Dragon” and his earthly vassals. At the end of this “war,” they would be cast into the “Lake of Fire.”

Sword 2 - Photo by Ricardo Cruz on Unsplash
[Photo by Ricardo Cruz on Unsplash]

For those disciples who endured faithfully in their “
Testimony,” martyrdom did not mean defeat since their names were written in the Lamb’s “Book of Life.” They overcame the Devil “by the word of their Testimony, and because they loved not their lives unto death.”

  • (Revelation 13:6-10) - “And he opened his mouth for slander against God, to slander his name and his tabernacle, they who were tabernacling in heaven. And it was given to him TO MAKE WAR WITH THE SAINTS AND TO OVERCOME THEM, and there was given him authority against EVERY TRIBE AND PEOPLE AND TONGUE AND NATION. And all the inhabitants of the earth will do homage to him, everyone whose name is not WRITTEN IN THE SCROLL of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear: let him hear. If anyone is for captivity, into captivity he must go. If anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword he must be slain. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints.”

The “Beast slandered” God, His “Name” and “Tabernacle” - those who were “Tabernacling in Heaven.” As elsewhere in Revelation, the imagery of the “Tabernacle” is derived from the portable tent carried by Israel in the wilderness - (Revelation 15:5).

Previously, John “measured the Sanctuary,” and its “outer court” was handed over to the “nations” and “trampled for forty-two months.” Likewise, the “Beast” was authorized to “slander the Tabernacle and those who were Tabernacling in Heaven” during the same period, “forty-two months” – (Revelation 11:1-2).

The “priestly” company John saw in the “Sanctuary” was identical to the group described in Chapter 13 as those who “Tabernacle in Heaven.” During the “forty-two months,” the “Beast” was authorized to slander and kill the “saints,” just as the “Sanctuary” was handed to the nations for the same period. Those who were “Tabernacling in Heaven” were not supernatural beings, but believers set in contrast to the “Inhabitants of the Earth.”

This identification is confirmed by the clause, “His Name and his Tabernacle, those Tabernacling in heaven.” There is no conjunction, no “and” preceding the two clauses in the Greek sentence. It identifies the “Tabernacle.” The New American Standard Version reflects the correct sense - “His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.”

The term “blasphemy,” or more accurately, “slander,” refers to accusations against God’s people. Among the Seven Churches of Asia, this manifested in accusations made against them by the “Synagogue of Satan” - (Revelation 2:9, 3:9, 12:10).


Whether Satan wages war against the “Lamb,” the “Saints,” the “Seed of the Woman,” or “those who have the Testimony of Jesus,” it is the same conflict. The “Dragon” attacks the “Lamb” by persecuting anyone who follows him. The description of this war echoes language from Daniel - “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them” - (Daniel 7:21. Compare Revelation 11:7, 12:17, 13:7-8).

The war on the “Saints” is the same as the war against the “Two Witnesses” and the “Seed of the Woman.” The “Abyss” corresponds to the “Sea” from which the “Beast” ascended. The “Two Witnesses” were identified as the “Two Lampstands,” and lampstands represent churches. Rather than nation-states, the “Beast” wages “war” on believers - (Revelation 1:18-20, 11:4-7, 13:7).

The passage in Chapter 13 ends with the exhortation, “Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.” That these “saints” are followers of Jesus is clarified in the expanded form in the next chapter, “Here is the perseverance of the saints, they who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” – (Revelation 14:12).

The “Inhabitants of the Earth” are identified negatively, “Everyone whose name was not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb.” What determines a man’s identity and fate is whether he gives allegiance to the “Beast” or follows the “Lamb wherever he goes.”

The Book of Revelation traces the destructive efforts of the “Dragon” back to the Garden of Eden. This is why he is identified elsewhere as the “Ancient Serpent.” The war in Chapter 13 is the continuation of the one that started in Eden - (Genesis 3:15, Revelation 12:9, 20:1-3).

The passage concludes with the exhortation, “If anyone is for captivity, into captivity he goes. If anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword he must be slain.” Saints do not escape persecution or martyrdom - (Jeremiah 15:1-2, Revelation 13:7-10).

Storm Farm - Photo by Kacper Staszczyk on Unsplash
[Photo by Kacper Staszczyk on Unsplash]

HERE is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.” This echoes the exhortation in each of the letters to the Seven Churches: “If anyone has an ear, hear what the Spirit is saying to the assemblies.” The persecution endured by the “saints” is their “perseverance.” The verse begins with the Greek adverb hōde or “here,” which is emphatic. What looked like their defeat was their victory.

Believers must persevere in the “Testimony of Jesus,” especially during persecution. That is how they “overcome,” how they reign with Jesus as his “priestly kingdom,” and how God uses them to bear “witness” before the “Inhabitants of the Earth.” The victims of this “war” are the followers of Jesus, his Assembly.

  • The Ascending Beast - (To identify the Antichrist, we must understand what the relevant passages say about him, his methods, and his agenda)
  • Beast from the Sea - (The Dragon began his attack against the Seed of the Woman by summoning his seed, the Beast from the Sea – Revelation 13:1-5)
  • Inhabitants of the Earth - (The Inhabitants of the Earth represent the men who are omitted from the Book of Life because they embrace the Beast from the Sea)


Destruction of Babylon

Gog and Magog