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The Christian Counter

 
 

Revelation 12:7-14:5

The Four Beasts of Revelation
#1. The Great Red Dragon   (Continued)

 

Begin Text:

 

Last month, we examined the short apocalyptic prophecy found in Revelation 12:1-6. 

 

Even though Revelation 12:1-6 is a short prophecy, it provides an excellent view of three critical points which we need to observe before proceeding into the next prophecy which begins with Revelation 12:7.

 

First, there is a very clear demonstration of chronological order:

 

1.   Woman standing on the moon, pregnant, in pain, dragon ready to devour her child the    moment it is born.

2.   Woman gave birth to a male child

3.   The dragon tried to kill the infant Jesus

4.   Jesus taken up to God and to His throne…

5.   Dragon chases woman. Women fled into desert for 1,260 days.

 

This chronological order affirms Rule 1. “Each apocalyptic prophecy has a beginning and ending point in time, and the events occur in the order given.”

 

Second, this short prophecy informs us that it was Lucifer himself, (the great red dragon) working through a demon possessed man (king Herod) who tried to kill Jesus at birth. Why is it important to know that Lucifer himself attempted to kill baby Jesus?

 

>>>God wants His children to know that Lucifer is a living entity. He is a demon having evil objectives and unbelievable abilities. God wants His children to know that Lucifer and his fallen angels are very powerful, but they are limited by (a) divine authority and (b) human consent. […Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  James 4:7]

 

Over a period of time, a person can slip into demonic possession. Here is one scenario:

 

(1) Each time we refuse to surrender to the dictates of the Holy Spirit, our rebellion against God becomes deeper and stronger. The farther we go away from God, the more vulnerable we become to demonic influence. Demons study us. They are anxious to gain control of us because demonic control precedes demonic possession.

 

(2) Once a person is numbed by the Novocain of rebellion, he/she will do stupid things that will produce serious consequences and enormous guilt – without realizing at the time, the severity or consequences of these actions. Demons are delighted when this occurs because they are masters of preying upon a sense of worthlessness and self-loathing. Using guilt and shame, they bait the trap for demon possession.

(3) Once a person begins using drugs or alcohol to escape the realities and responsibilities of life, demons take over. The physiological connection between chemical addition and demonic possession is overwhelming. I believe millions of people are presently living under the control of demons even though they may not be totally possessed. This fact helps to explain the insanity that we hear in the evening news.

 

Herod’s sin of killing all baby boys ages two and under was a act of insanity and I want you to understand that another evil act, just as insane, is coming upon the saints of God. The saints are going to be attached – and victimized – during the Great Tribulation. So don’t be surprised! The devil is a violent predator.

 

He preyed upon the angels of God and one third fell.

He preyed upon Adam and Eve and they fell.

He preyed upon the antediluvians and they had to be destroyed.

 

He has relentlessly preyed upon mankind ever since Noah’s flood and history reveals that all nations, great and small, come to their end because he is a relentless predator. It is sad to realize that mankind has an unseen predator that is highly intelligent and desperately evil and most people have no idea that he even exists.

 

The devil is driven by hatred and motivated by malice. He has no regard or respect for anyone or anything except himself. He has but one objective in life: Bring everything that God has made to ruin.

 

Why? Because he knows that he is hopelessly doomed. He knows there is no recovery. He knows that God will fully punish him for his actions at the appointed time and he doesn’t care, so why not create as much grief for God and mankind until the end that he possibly can? This is a heart of hatred.

 

Ok, so far, Revelation 12:1-6 tells us:

1. Chronological order

2. Lucifer himself is a violent predator

 

The third thing about the short prophecy in verses 1-6 is the timely setting of this prophecy. This prophecy spans –1800 years. It began in 4 B.C. (shortly before the birth of Jesus) and it ended in 1798 (the end of the 1,260 years in the desert). How can we know for sure that this prophecy ended in 1798? 

 

If you remember our study on Daniel 7, you should recall three important things:

 

1. The little horn that arose from the fourth beast (the Roman empire) was the Roman Catholic Church. This conclusion is beyond reasonable argument when all the specifications given in Daniel 7 are examined and historically compared.

 

2. Daniel 7:25 indicates the little horn would uproot three horns and persecute the saints for a time, times, and half a time. The Roman Catholic Church was instrumental in the destruction of the three of the ten horns that overran the Roman Empire. Further, according to Rule 4, the Jubilee Calendar forces “a time, times and half a time” to equal 1,260 years. (Incidentally, Revelation 12:6 and 12:14 confirms the fact that 1,260 days equals a time, times and half a time.)

 

3. History says that in A.D. 533, the Roman Emperor, Justinian, gave the pope the authority to determine who could belong and who could not belong to the Holy Roman Empire. Within five years, the Ostragoths, Heruli and Vandals, the three tribal nations that were part of the original 10 horns that divided the pagan Roman Empire had been destroyed and the Holy Roman Empire functioned without theological impediment.

 

When all of these specifications are put on the table, we find that 1,260 years after the destruction of the three horns, the Holy Roman Empire collapsed during the French Revolution. The authority of the Church over the governments of Europe was finally broken in February 1798.

 

Revelation 12:6 says the devil chased the woman (e.g., the saints) to the desert for 1,260 years. It is obvious that Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 12:6 point to the same period of persecution because (a) this time is so large that there is no other place for it (b) the specifications in both prophecies link together to produce the same result.

 

Here’s the point: If you can understand how the devil used one man in his attempt to kill baby Jesus… Then, you should be able to understand how the devil used generations of evil men within the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church to persecute and destroy the saints for 1,260 years. 

 

It’s as simple as predatory violence.

 

Once it became politically powerful as “the corrector of heretics” – the Roman Catholic Church became a predator against anyone who challenged its teachings or authority. The history of the Christian Church parallels the history of Israel in many ways. Both persecuted those who love truth. Ironically, in both cases the persecuted eventually became the persecutor.

 

The Church was supposed to exalt – faith in love for Jesus Christ, but it became focused on growth and acceptance and over time that morphed into a need for political influence and control and that eventually that morphed into the need for absolute power. By 538 A.D., the church gained absolute power.

 

We have examined these things because it is imperative that you understand that: Revelation 12:1-6 is a Lucifer versus God prophecy and the prophecy that we are going to study today, Revelation 12:7-14:5, is a Lucifer versus the saints (the woman) prophecy.

 

It is also important to understand these two prophecies because the methods of Lucifer are very surprising and clever. Here’s the question: The human point of view is simply inadequate. That’s why God put these matters in the Bible.

 

God wants us to see more and understand more about life than the naked eye can see. Lucifer preyed upon Jesus using a demon possessed man. Then, Lucifer preyed upon the saints for 1,260 years using a church full of demon possessed men. The surprising thing about this story is how Lucifer cleverly used ‘the church” (visible) to persecute the saints, the church (invisible).

 

Now that you understand these matters, let’s explain Revelation 12:7-14:5

 

Lucifer versus the woman.

This prophecy begins with verse 7:

 

Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.

 

Revelation 12:8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.  

 

Revelation 12:9 The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled [in] to the earth, and his angels with him.”

 

This prophecy begins with a war in Heaven.

 

When did this war occur? The Bible exclusively indicates this war occurred on Resurrection Sunday. (April 9, A.D. 30)

 

Many Christians erroneously think this war occurred before the world was created. This is not possible. Here’s why: When Lucifer was cast out; a declaration was announced in Heaven:

 

Revelation 12:10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now (right now) have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of God, and the authority of his Christ [e.g., Jesus has displaced the authority of Lucifer). For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”

 

Lucifer is our accuser…. And angels are our brothers…. If this war occurred in Heaven before the world was created, there would be no brothers on Earth to accuse! Even if this war occurred the day sin began, how could the angel declare:

 

Now [right now] have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.”?

 

Makes no sense!

 

Revelation 12:11 (This verse explains how sinners overcome this powerful predator and this declaration is inserted at this point in the prophecy because Lucifer’s accusations against the saints have no merit) They overcame him [the devil] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.”

 

Revelation 12:12 Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his [remaining days] time is short.”

 

When Jesus was resurrected, the devil knew that he and his angels were hopelessly doomed for destruction. The devil knew that his remaining days would be short. The word “short” is relative to the length of years the devil has been alive. (What’s 2,000 years compared to –25,000 years?)

 

Look at the next verse. We are looking for proof that this war in Heaven took place on Resurrection Sunday:         

 

Revelation 12:13 “When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.”

 

This is the clincher verse. Look closely at the timing declared in this verse:

 

Chronology in Verse 13

 

-----------a-------------------b-----------------c-----

            4 B.C.               A.D. 30            A.D. 538

 

“When the dragon saw (b) that he had been hurled to the earth, he (c) pursued the woman who (a) had given birth to the male child.”

 

Verse 13 clearly forces the war to occur after 4 B.C.

 

But wait! There’s one more passage of Scripture that will nail it down the dating of this war in Heaven! A few days before His death, Jesus went to the temple. We begin with….

 

John 12:28   Father, glorify your name!” Then there came a voice from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”

 

John 12:29   The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.

 

John 12:30   Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine.

 

John 12:31   Now [right now] is the time for judgment on this world [e.g., the moment of truth has come to see who will now win the contest]; now [right now, this coming week end] the prince of this world will be driven out [of Heaven. He will lose his seat in Heaven’s court as Earth’s representative]. 

 

 Revelation 12:13   clearly says the war in Heaven happened after the woman had given birth (4 B.C.), and we also know that after the devil was cast out, an angel declared, “Now have come salvation….” because Jesus had just paid the price for sin and was resurrected that very morning!

 

The involuntary but justified “unseating of Lucifer” in Heaven caused this war. Lucifer was thrown out of Heaven because on the basis of a sinless life and perfect submission to the Father’s will, Jesus had won back (redeemed) the right to represent Earth in Heaven’s court. So, the devil became madder than a “wet hen.”

 

Look at his string of failures:

1. Lucifer tried to kill Jesus at birth.

2. He tried to kill Jesus at birth.

3. He tried to keep Jesus in the tomb.

4. So, madder than a wet hen, Lucifer turned his attention to the work that Jesus began while on Earth, the church.

 

For the first two hundred years after he was cast out of Heaven, the devil persecuted Christians with a zeal that was unbelievable. When he saw that persecution was not working, the devil infiltrated the church! He worked on carnal minds of men and women in leadership positions and through them; he eventually gained control over the church visible. By A.D. 538, he was ready to eliminate the church invisible.

 

But, he could not destroy the saints of God. He could only chase them out of the church of Rome through persecution. So, the devil set up a great church/state system. This cruel system of government lasted 1,260 years and Lucifer devilishly used it to torment human beings with either the fear of God’s wrath or fear of being burned at the stake. Whether in or out of the church, life was unbearable.

 

Revelation 12:14   The woman (the saints) was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. (These are the same 1,260 day/years mentioned in verse 6.)

 

Against all odds, the church invisible survived. (God had prepared a place for her.) For 1,260 years, the devil, working through the Roman Catholic Church, persecuted the woman in the wilderness. Some historians claim that during the Dark Ages, more than 50 million people were beheaded or burned at the stake because they refused to obey the demands of popes and/or prelates.

 

Revelation 12:15   Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent.

 

Have you seen a flash flood in the desert? Nature’s most powerful force is a wall of water. (At 8 pounds per gallon, nothing can withstand a rushing wall of water.) Everything in the path of a flood is either destroyed or washed away.

 

The phrase, “the serpent spewed water like a river,” might be compared to a tsunami of persecution. The devil wanted to eliminate God’s saints from the Earth, and a 1,260 yearlong holocaust was conducted against the saints by the devil working through the Roman Catholic Church.

 

During the Dark Ages the devil made it illegal to own the Bible or any portion of it. He made it illegal to worship according to the dictates of conscience. He made it impossible to disagree with current church authorities and live. The devil did everything he could do to terminate the presence of the saints through the power and control of the church visible – which claimed to speak for God!

 

What a predator.

 

Revelation 12:16   But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.”

 

The Earth helped the woman.

 

After Noah’s flood, God reserved a great landmass that would one day help the woman. The land mass eventually became the United States of America. Near the end of the 1,260 years of the devil’s persecution (1798), God raised up the United States. He gave this nation a new form of government that was unlike anything western civilization had seen.

 

This new government was born in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed. [just 22 years before 1798] God, working through honest, intelligent and spiritual men, gave this nation a constitution and Bill of rights never before seen. God did not merely do this for the benefit of those who would someday live in this nation, No! God established the United States for a divine purpose.

 

Go planned that this Protestant nation would tear down the veil of darkness that Catholicism had put around the Bible. God wanted Bible truth to shine throughout the world and God needed a variety of people to translate and distribute the Bible to the four corners of the Earth. (If you recall our study on the first three seals, this is the time frame when the first three seals were opened.)  

 

In years past, the United States has sent out more Christian missionaries, published more Bibles and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ than all the other nations on Earth combined. In years past, this wealthy nation has given more generously to spreading of the gospel of Jesus than all other nations combined.

 

So, Yes! The Earth helped the Woman. When the French Revolution terminated, the power of the papacy over Europe ended, God had a spot of ground ready to receive those who wanted to own Bibles and read them, a place on Earth had been prepared for people who wanted to worship according to the dictates of their consciences.

 

Millions of Protestants immigrated to the United States of America to experience the joy of religious freedom. The point here is that Earth itself helped the saints and the United States became a powerful influence for good upon the world for a period of time. But alas, those days are over.

 

The United States is no longer a Protestant nation exalting God. The United States has turned its back on God and it is in decline. Many of its leaders (political and religious) have become corrupt. The love for money has replaced love for God and man. Integrity has faded. Honesty and transparency in business and government is disappearing fast.

 

In the process, this country has lost many of its international friends, it had squandered much of its wealth, and soon, I believe it will be a bankrupt nation: both morally and financially.

 

When the devil saw the power of the papacy broken in 1798…. The devil realized that God would not let him destroy the woman in the desert, so he sat down to rethink his final strategy against the woman.

 

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

 

Now hear this:

 

The devil knows all about the Great Tribulation.

The devil understands the book of Revelation.

The devil knows that he has one final chance to ruin mankind and to thwart all that God is doing to save mankind.

The devil is preparing for his last war against the saints.

 

This war described in Revelation 13:7:

 

“He [the composite beast] was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them.  And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.”

 

Revelation 13:8   All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.”

During the Great Tribulation, two key features will identify the saints:

 

1.   They will uphold the Royal Law of God, e.g., the Ten Commandments, including the fourth commandment that demands rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week.

 

I should also mention here a time is coming when resting from work on Saturday will be a punishable offense. When the devil appears during the fifth trumpet, he will demand work on Saturday and all who refuse will be targets of execution. [More will be said about this matter later on.]

 

2.   The second thing that will identify the saints during the great Tribulation is this:

 

“The saints will hold to the testimony of Jesus.”

 

What is the testimony of Jesus? The testimony of Jesus is anything spoken by Jesus. In John 1, Jesus is called “The Word” because He speaks as God and for God. Whatever He speaks, that is His testimony. The angels obey the testimony of Jesus!

 

Revelation 19:10   “…. I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus.”

 

The testimony of Jesus will be heard during the Great Tribulation. The words of Jesus will be spoken through 144,000 mouthpieces. The words people will hear will actually be the words (or testimony) coming from Jesus. This rare phenomenon has occurred a few times in past history, but it will be prevalent and awesome during the Great Tribulation. The testimony of Jesus is also called the Spirit of prophecy.

 

Revelation 19:10   “…. For the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.”

 

The testimony of Jesus is called “the Spirit of prophecy” because those who are selected to speak the words of Jesus are prophets of God, that is, they are qualified by the Holy Spirit to prophesy. The gift of prophecy rests upon them.

 

Let’s go back to A.D. 95.

 

Why is the prophet John on the island of Patmos?

 

Revelation 1:9   I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”

 

John was punished with exile on Patmos for obeying the Word of God and for speaking the words that Jesus gave him utterance to speak. John was a prophet. When a person is given the gift of prophecy, a very solemn responsibility rests upon that person. That person must speak the truth regardless of the consequences. This requirement explains why the life span of prophets is very short.

Matthew 23:37   “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.”

 

The 144,000 will deliver the testimony of Jesus without any deviation (no weasel words). Wow.

 

Revelation 14:5   No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. [When we behold their suffering for faithfully speaking the testimony of Jesus, these words will become profound.] The 144,000 will be Earth’s final prophets.

 

This is why the Bible says:

 

Revelation 10:7   But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God [the sealing]will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”

 

Most, if not all of the 144,000, will die during the war against the saints that takes place during the Great Tribulation.

 

Revelation 18:24   In her [the great whore – the one world church/state which is established after the devil arrives] was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.”

 

Look at this:

 

Revelation 16:4   The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.

 

Revelation 16:5   Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: “You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged;

 

Revelation 16:6   for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.”

 

Ok, let’s summarize Revelation 12:7-17:

 

1.   The devil was cast out of Heaven on Resurrection Sunday.

2.   When he saw that he had been cast out, he preyed upon the church of Christ.

3.   He then infiltrated the church of Christ and used demon-possessed men to persecute God’s saints for 1,260 years.

4.   Then he spewed a great torrent (a flood of persecution) out of his mouth to destroy the woman.  (Biblical language uses the metaphor of a flood in various places to describe total and complete destruction…)

5.   But, the Earth helped the woman. God opened up a new world in 1776. This event would enable Protestants to capitalize on the fall of the Roman Catholic Church in 1798.

The United States was a Protestant nation for a while. During its early history, it propelled the Bible and the gospel of Jesus throughout the Earth – which ironically, sets the stage for the Great Tribulation.

6.   When the devil saw the Catholic church brought down in 1798, he angrily summoned a council of demons to lay plans for the final destruction of the saints during the Great Tribulation – “Their plan is all out war.”

7.   The saints will be easily identified during the Great Tribulation: They will uphold the Ten Commandments and obey the words of Jesus, spoken through the 144,000.

 

Now hear this: verse 17 is the last verse in chapter 12, but verse 17 is not the end of the sixth prophecy in Revelation. The sixth prophecy continues throughout interruption. Revelation 13:1 is the next verse. This prophecy is quite interesting because we are now living between verses 12:17 and 13:1. 

 

A new beast is introduced in Revelation 13:

 

Revelation 13:1   And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea [the idea here is that Lucifer is seen waiting for this beast to rise. The first four trumpets will enable this beast to come to life.]

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.

 

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 lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.

 

Revelation 13:3   One of the heads of the beast seemed to have a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. [this forces the beast to rise after 1798] The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.

 

Revelation 13:4   Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?” [the word worship means to obey, an act of submission]

 

Revelation 13:5   The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. [the composite beast has zero authority other than these 42 months]

 

Revelation 13:6   He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.

 

Revelation 13:7   He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.

 

Revelation 13:8   All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all who names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.”

 

It only takes 8 verses to describe the war that Lucifer will conduct against the saints during the Great Tribulation.  

 

Let’s review a few things: The first four trumpet judgments described in Revelation 8:2-13 will produce death and destruction on a Biblical scale that exceeds human measurement and calculation!

 

These judgments will occur during the first 30 to 60 days of the Great Tribulation. Because these judgments will be global, most survivors will seriously question whether survival on planet Earth will even continue. 

 

Thousands of cities will be destroyed by the first four trumpet judgments. Earth’s infrastructures will be in ruin and twenty-five percent of Earth’s seven billion people will die as a result of these judgments. [1.75 billion]

 

During these four calamitous events the inhabitants of Earth will be traumatized by two painful observation: First, we will tremble at the reality of Almighty God, the power and scope of His wrath. Second, we will observe that God’s judgments fell on cities and places that were well known for their wickedness.

 

Since very few people understand the book of Revelation, most of the survivors will logically think that more judgments from God are imminently forthcoming.

 

This anticipation will induce panic and this panic will move the leaders of the world to rapidly and radically transform their governments. Desperate situations require desperate solutions. During the forth trumpet, darkness will cover the middle third of our planet and during this darkness a crisis government will form. This crisis government will be the composite beast.

 

The compelling need for a new government will be simple. Everyone will have an overwhelming fear of Almighty God and who will argue against the need to do something to appease God or is it assumed that everyone will die? [In other words, no one will be able to reasonably argue against the formation of this crisis government or its mission to appease Almighty God.]

 

The religious and political justification for the formation of this crisis government will be simple: “Mankind must immediately appease God through repentance and worship or mankind will perish.”

 

God is going to turn the world upside down with His first four trumpet judgments and in the process, the religious leaders of the world will come out on top!

 

Religious leaders will be given positions of higher authority than held by political leaders because religious leaders claim (and billions of people believe) they know the will and ways of Almighty God!   

 

This “fruit basket upset” will enable religious leaders to insist on the creation of a crisis government to deal with God and His wrath and bewildered politicians will have no option but to go along.

 

Remember this panic statement: We must quickly appease God through repentance and worship or everyone will perish.”

 

As political leaders survey the global death and destruction caused by the first four trumpets, when they realize that God targeted places well known for wickedness, they will be willing to do whatever religious leaders think best.

 

Once empowered, and claiming to speak for God, religious leaders will attempt to appease God through the formation of a crisis government. This crisis government will resemble the former Taliban government of Afghanistan.

 

Sins of all kinds will be outlawed, morality will be legislated, and offenders will be severely punished, all of this to avert more of God’s wrath. The creation and imposition of sin-less laws will be the hallmark of the composite beast. So, the rise of the composite beast in Revelation 13:1-4 should be understood within the context of the first four trumpets.

 

The composite beast will be a composite government. 

 

The composite beast will not arise from an existing nation.

 

The composite beast will arise from “a sea of peoples, multitudes and nations.” (Revelation 13:1-8; 17:15)

 

This composite beast will have seven heads and ten horns – 17 entities.

 

This beast does not yet exist.

 

This beast rises after “the Earth helps the woman” and we know this beast rises after the French Revolution because when this beast rises from the sea, one of the seven heads of the beast “had been healed.” (Revelation 13:3)

 

The seven heads are seven religious systems, and the head that was wounded is the Roman Catholic Church.

 

The Roman Catholic Church was seriously wounded during the French Revolution (1798-1799) and only in recent years (largely due to the popularity of Pope John Paul II) has the church regained much of the influence and respect that it once enjoyed.

The point here is that the deadly wound is not healed until the papacy once again has authority over nations as it did prior to its injury in February, 1798.

 

Like the Taliban government, the composite beast will be a ruthless monster driven by misguided religious zeal and false theology. The composite beast will persecute the saints of God for 42 months. (Revelation 13:5) During this time, it will have authority over all nations (Revelation 13:7) and it will be destroyed by Jesus at the Second Coming. (Revelation 19:20,21)

 

This beast is called Babylon (Revelation 14:8, 17:5) because it will mirror ancient Babylon both in arrogance and ignorance. Ironically, the composite beast will claim to speak for God, but it only blasphemes God and misrepresents God.

 

Babylon has not yet formed, even though all of the players are present.

 

When fear of God’s wrath is global and hundreds of millions of people are dead, the political leaders of Earth will turn to their religious leaders for instruction and direction. Political leaders will ask their religious leaders, “What does God want us to do?” and religious leaders will say, “We must immediately appease God through repentance and worship or everyone will perish.”

 

In this vacuum of fear and uncertainty the Roman Catholic Church will step forward with leadership and an elegant solution. The pope will invite religious and political leaders from all over the world to a worldwide council. At a minimum, three amazing decisions will come from this council that would otherwise be unthinkable.

 

(1) Given the religious diversity of mankind and given the fact that there is one angry God, this council will unanimously agree that all nations must unite as one man to appease God. This union will be possible because everyone will agree that certain principles of righteousness should be imposed upon the whole world. Amazingly, there are two principles upon which the diverse religions of the world agree: Repentance and worship of God! These two principles will be adopted by this council as the basis for world unity and appeasement of God.

 

(2) Because everyone observed that God’s anger was directed at places that were well known for wickedness, every nation will agree to begin legislating “sin-less” laws so that the wrath of the Almighty might be appeased and His judgments cease. Further, all nations will recognize that they cannot disregard this unified effort to appease God or God’s wrath will likely break out against the whole world once again. Therefore the political leaders of every nation on Earth will agree to abide by the directives of this new crisis government that will be established for the single purpose of managing the current crisis between God and man.

 

(3) The leaders of the world know that every government requires leadership. This council will therefore create an executive congress of religious leaders from all of the religions of the world. (This supreme council will be something like the United Nations, except it will be religious in nature and far more effective.)

 

The pope will be selected as the leader of this council. He will be given authority to oversee and direct the process of appeasing God on a global basis, and rightfully so. The Roman Catholic Church is uniquely prepared to serve the world in this role because it is both a spiritual and a political organization having diplomatic relations with more than 170 nations of Earth.

 

>>>The pope will not be elected to this position for the purpose of imposing Catholic doctrine on the nations of Earth. The diversity of the world’s religions will not permit this. Rather, the mission of the pope and his council of diverse religious leaders will be limited to overseeing and directing a united effort by all nations to appease God through repentance and worship.

 

The composite beast will be a crisis government created by world leaders. The diversity of this government is indicated by the fact that the composite beast is part lion, bear and leopard, remnants of the ancient empires presented in Daniel 7.

 

Actually, for all the good the composite beast intends to do, it will quickly become a hand puppet of the devil. “…. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.” (Revelation 13:2)   

 

The composite beast has seven heads and ten horns just like the great red dragon because the devil will totally infiltrate this crisis government and working through demon possessed men and women, he will control the composite beast.

 

In other words, when the crisis government forms, men will be responding out of a legitimate fear for God because they don’t understand what God is actually doing. However, as time passes, the crisis government will quickly become corrupt. Absolute power absolutely corrupts.

 

I like to define Babylon, the composite beast, as “a human glove” which mankind will create and the devil will use. The devil will work through this human glove to persecute the saints of God.

 

For example, if you put your hand into a glove and then hit someone with your gloved hand, who is responsible for the pain you caused, your glove or your hand? The point here is that once mankind exalts religion over politics and creates this crisis government, the devil will quickly enter through the back door to take control of the world.

 

“… And he [the composite beast] was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship [obey] the beast, all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb…” (Revelation 13:7,8)

 

When the governments of the world submit to the demands of the crisis government, they will be, in effect, worshiping the devil because the concept of appeasing God through forced obedience is false from the start.

 

The devil will be delighted with the crisis government because he has been preparing to make war on the saints for a long time (Revelation 12:17) and now his chance has come to make war on them and destroy them.

 

“He [the composite beast] was given power [by the devil] to make war against the saints and to conquer them…” (Revelation 13:7)

 

I hope you can see why the anatomy of the devil in Revelation 12 and the anatomy of the composite beast in Revelation 13 are identical (both having seven heads and ten horns).

 

God represented these matters to John in this way so that we can trace the devil’s hidden presence and evil activities as he “enters” the human glove. The human glove will be demon possessed. The human glove will be a violent predator. 

 

This is interesting:

 

While the Lord Jesus is doing everything possible to save mankind from the curse of sin, the devil will be doing everything possible to destroy God’s people. The devil will make the most of the 42 months. But, God will give His people grace to deal with persecution and death.

 

Revelation 13:9   He who has an ear, let him hear.

 

Revelation 13:10   If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.

 

End Text




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