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The Christian Counter


The Beasts of Revelation Exposed
What do They Represent?

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Presupposition # 3: “In Bible prophecy, a day always represents a year.”

This presupposition produces several false conclusions. For example, if you accept this view, considering the fifth trumpet of Revelation 9 as a future event is not possible since the fifth trumpet covers a time-period of five months (5 x 30 equals 150 days that would equal 150 years using the day/year presupposition). Further, this presupposition also prevents adherents from considering the fact that the 42 months in Revelation 13:5 occur after the deadly wound is healed. In other words, the presupposition demands that the 42 months be 1,260 years (42 x 30) – a time period far too long to be considered “the last days.” So it is argued that the 42 months cannot occur after the deadly wound is healed, although Scripture plainly shows just the opposite.

Presupposition # 4: “A person’s position or prophetic truth may be determined by (a) a prophet, or (b) founding church fathers, or (c) a doctrine committee, since God confirms truth through (a) prophets, (b) religious leaders, or (c) scholars.”

This generic presupposition includes most religious people. Moslems, Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Buddhists and Hindus all use this presupposition. The frightening aspect of this presupposition is that Scripture becomes secondary, and in some cases, immaterial. Nothing makes the devil happier that to lead religious people away from the plain and simple truths of God’s kingdom written in the Bible. Consider the real problem: Truth is ever advancing and when new truth appears, it always seems to contradict that was previously thought to be “true.” Let me explain. At any given time, man’s understanding of truth contains two elements: That which is actually true and that which is believed to be true. The problem with human beings is that distinguishing one element from the other is hard for us. We encapsulate both elements into one neat little box we call “truth.” Therefore, when new insights come regarding truth, it always defeats that portion of existing “truth” believed to be true. New truth does not change or alter that which is actual truth. Since most religious people cannot differentiate between actual truth and believed truth, they cannot endorse or accept new light as truth advances. This is why religion, per se, always goes stale when it comes to the area of advancing truth.

As you can see, the inherit problem with presuppositions is that thy can prevent people from accepting the Bible as it reads. Any presupposition that fails to exalt the Bible and the Bible alone as the Word of God (the rule of faith and doctrine), and any presupposition that prevents or discourages men and women from understanding all that is written in Scripture, is flawed. This does not mean that everyone has to see eye-to-eye on every point of Scripture. However, I do believe that all who are sincere and honest in their study of truth can get past their flawed presuppositions through study, prayer and the illumination of the Holy Spirit. (John 16:13)

Fussing with Secondary Details

Another point needs to be made before we begin looking at Bible texts. To make sense of prophecy, a good student first begins by trying to identify the main characters or elements in the story, constantly aligning his/her conclusions with the texts. After somewhat, stable conclusions on the big parts are developed, and then secondary details should be addressed. Too often, I find people trying to resolve everything at once. Fussing with secondary details, while ignoring larger issues, will only end in confusion. Truth is always simple, straightforward and easily grasped by those who seek it. If you believe your conclusions about Revelation or any spiritual matter are better that what you find here, put those views to the test and share them with a hundred Bible students or so and observe their response. As the saying goes, “the proof is in the pudding!” So, let us turn our attention to the identity of the beasts.

The Lamb is Jesus

The identity of the Lamb is quite simple to determine. Notice the following texts: Revelation 5: 5-6,9, 12 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth…And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and open it seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation… In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

Comment: When Jesus appears the second time, He will be “a roaring Lion” to the wicked and a “meek and gentle Lamb” to the righteous. With his own blood, He purchased men for God from every tribe, language and nation. He alone is worthy to receive the seven attributes of God (power, wealth, wisdom, etc.) Can there be any doubt as to whom the Lamb is? I do not see how. (John 1:29) The seven horns signify His omnipotence – having all power. The seven eyes signify His omniscience as though He has seven spirits reporting to Him about everything done on earth – having all knowledge.

The Dragon is the Devil

The identity of the dragon is no mystery. Notice the texts:

Revelation 12:3,4  Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born…

Revelation 12:7-9  And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled downthat ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him…

 Revelation 12:17  Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring – those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus.

Comment: Taking the Bible as it reads concerning the identity of the great red dragon leaves no doubt. He was in Heaven and he was cast to the Earth. The Bible leaves no doubt that this is the dragon, which is the devil, Lucifer, and the adversary of God and man. Notice that at the end of chapter 12, the dragon “went off” to make war against the rest of the woman’s offspring. This indicates that the dragon, himself, has been preparing to wage war on the remnant of God’s people during the last days. This war described in Revelation 13:7.

Note: The great dragon was a strange shaped body. There are seven heads, ten horns and seven crows on the seven heads. These descriptive appendages were purposely designed by God to help to help Earth’s last generation trace the devil’s activities through centuries of time. In other words, God’s descriptive language helps us identify and trace the activities of an invisible being that works in a spiritual dimension, a being who can assume different forms and do unbelievable things. The seven heads, ten horns and seven crowns will be described in a later segment of this document.

The Dragon-like Beast

Because several clues need to be addressed before properly identifying this beast, a selection of Scripture follows. To make this investigation as simple as possible, I have inserted comments between verses.   

Revelation 13:1  And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.  

Comment: John’s words do not tell us why or when this beast appears. He does, however, provide the essential clues. For example, John says about the wounded head, that the deadly wound had been healed. This is a profound statement of timing. For reasons presented later, this places the appearance of the beast after 1798, since the “wound” inflicted to the sixth head took place in 1798. However, why does this beast rise? The answer to this question is found in the behavior of the beast. It appears to rise to establish control over Earth’s governments – suggesting a breakdown of global infrastructures. Notice this profound point: This beast does not gain dominion over the Earth by force! On the contrary, the people of Earth will be astonished (awed) and follow the beast willingly. Eventually, everyone will worship the beast – except those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Revelation 13:3) What could cause something like this to take place? What could break down the infrastructures of the world? Answer: The events associated with the first four trumpets: A global earthquake, meteoric showers of white-hot hail burning up one-third of the Earth, two asteroid impacts and hundreds of mighty volcano eruptions. This sequence of events will inflict a mortal blow to life, as we presently know it. When the first four trumpets of Revelation 8 begin, travel, commerce, communication, banking, insurance, trade and manufacturing will be devastated by the events just mentioned. Into the vacuum of this infrastructure collapse, a crisis government will rise – it has no parallel in times past. It will quickly develop into a most impressive empire.

Like Father, Like Son

Like the dragon, the beast has ten horns and seven head. Unlike the dragon, however, the crowns are described as being on the horns of this beast. What does this suggest? The Greek word used in the verse for crown is “stephanos.”  In the Greek, the diadema is a crown of authority, whereas the stephanos is a crown of victory. For example, the woman in Revelation 12 wears a crown (stephanoes) that has 12 stars on it, whereas the dragon and the Dragon-like beast wear crowns of authority (diadema). The meaning behind the transfer of the crowns (from heads to horns) indicates a shift of authority. Since we have not identified who the seven heads are yet, consider this as an assertion for a moment: In Christ’s day (when the vision of Revelation 12 begins), the authority that persecuted the saints came from the heads (the religious powers). This is why the diadema described in Revelation 12 are on the heads. However, in the last days, the authority that will persecute the saints will come from the horns (the political or civil powers). The transfer of the diadema gives us a clue regarding the tactics of Satan. By moving the crowns from the heads to the horns – the devil will change persecuting authorities.

Revelation 13:2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a loin. The dragon gave the beast his power and the throne and great authority.  

Comment: This beast is sometimes called the leopard-like beast or “the composite beast” because it has taken special features taken from other beasts.  The beast looks like a leopard on purpose. God designed the strange anatomy of this beast to give us clues about its character and power. The leopard is known for its swiftness and stealth. This beast has feet like a bear (claws that are incredibly powerful and merciless) and it has the pulverizing mouth of a lion. (Who can withstand the king of beasts?) When comparing the beasts in Daniel 7 with the composite beast, notice two compelling points: The first three beasts in Daniel 7 are a lion, bear and leopard – the very elements used to make up this composite beast. However, notice that the body parts from the fourth beast of Daniel 7 are not included in this beast. Why is the fourth beast not included? Answer: The composite beast does not represent the fourth beast of Daniel 7, and further, it is not an end-time clone of the fourth beast of Daniel 7 – a point that confuses many people.

Read the specifications about the fourth beast of Daniel 7 and you will see that the composite beast of Revelation 13 and the beast of Daniel 7 are not the same creature. The fourth beast of Daniel 7 rose in 168 B.C. and three of its ten horns were uprooted by A.D. 538. On the other hand, as you will read later, the composite beast rises after 1798 with seven heads and ten horns! Further, the composite beast is a composition of parts from the first three beasts, but the fourth beast in Daniel 7 was terrible and different from the first three! (Daniel 7:7) This composite beast is a unique beast in its own right. Last and perhaps most convincing, the composite beast is not ancient Rome or a neo-Roman empire that will flourish again. Once the Roman Empire (the fourth beast in Daniel 7) was destroyed, it does not rise again. Remember Daniel 2? Once we move to the legs of iron (Rome) to the feet and toes of iron and clay, we never again return to a world of one metal (kingdom). On the contrary, the composite beast is a soon coming composite government, something like the ancient empire of the Medes and the Persians (having more than one king). Even when the devil establishes his one-world church/government with himself as king of kings and lord of lords, he still cannot forge a homogenous empire!

As stated above, the composite features of this seven-head/ten horn beast are taken from previous world empires (the beasts in Daniel 7 were also world empires). This reveals much about the type of world government this composite beast will be. In other words, this beast will have world dominion just as the lion; bear and leopard had world dominion in Daniel 7. However, since this beast is a composite, it will not have one king ruling over the world like Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great and other ancient kings. This coming world empire will be ruled by 17 entities (seven heads and ten horns) for a while, but eventually, these 17 entities will be overruled by the devil himself.

A Junkyard Guard Dog

We cannot overlook the last sentence in our text: “”The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.” The devil will empower this “crisis government,” and its laws will be highly oppressive, with severe penalties for disobedience. The Bible reveals that the devil will give the beast its throne and great authority. This means that this beast will not be great by human prowess. This government will not become powerful by conquest and technology. This beast will suddenly appear and have enormous power and authority – out of “crisis” necessity.  This beast represents a composite world-government that will be set up within a few days of the global devastation caused by the first four trumpets. (Revelation 8: 7-12) Think of this government as the hand puppet of the devil and you will conceptualize a concise picture of what is coming. Those who correctly understand this prophecy will easily “see the hand within the puppet” for themselves. No, this beast is not the impotent United Nations or some current form of government operating on Earth and ready to go. Nevertheless, this beast cannot rise up and come to life until God releases the four angels holding back the overwhelming destruction. (Revelation 7: 1-4) This beast, like a sleeping “junkyard guard dog,” awaits the coming global crisis described in Revelation 7 and 8. Watch for it and refuse to submit to it!

Revelation 13:3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.

Comments: The focus of this verse is on one of the seven heads. As it turns out, the head in question is the sixth head. Before attempting to identify the wounded head, let us consider two points:

  1. Each of the seven heads bears a blasphemous name. (Revelation 13:1) This indicates that each head is religious in nature and antichrist. Notice that the ten horns so not have blasphemous names on them because they represent political powers and do not presume to speak for God.  Yet the heads, by their very nature, claim to speak for God and yet, are opposed to the authority of God – their blasphemous names confirm this.
  1. One head appeared to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed by the time the composite beast rises from the sea. What does the phrase “followed the beast” have to do with the fatal wound on one head being healed? Simple this: The head that was wounded represents the Christian Church that existed in John’s day, which eventually evolved into the Roman Catholic Church. The healing of the fatal wound indicates a restored papacy. When the beast rises out of the sea, the world will believe that obeying this beast is proper because the Roman Catholic Church will endorse the establishment of this new world government! Please! Do not misunderstand me, I am not railing on the Catholics any more than any other religious system because all the religions will join this endorsement. Contrary to what many believe and teach, I do not find the composite beast to represent the papacy, nor do I find Bible prophecy predicts the papacy will rule the world during end-times, as Europe was ruled during the Dark Ages. Rather, I believe the papacy to be one of the key players in the big picture of coming events. For reasons that I will follow, I understand that the seven heads are the seven religions of the world – after all, they are seven of the same thing – namely, seven heads. If one head of this beast is a religious system, then the remaining six heads must also be religious systems.

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