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The Beast of Revelation 13
Query for the Month
Next up-date: April 1st 2015 (God willing).
Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.
Some perpetual questions ....
Do you know the difference between the "love"
that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world? Click here to find out!
Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share amongst your friends. It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read!
In the meantime, try this site.
Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.
In this reply the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding. Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library. No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly. All the ideas expressed in this article, right or wrong, are my own.
Why is the beast of Revelation 13:2 part leopard, part bear and part lion?
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
And the beast which I saw was like to a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
This beast is said to arise “out of the sea” which is prophetic talk for emerging from a mass of people, in this case, the nations of Europe as we have seen in Daniel chapter seven. And right from the start we are told that it is against God because it has “the name [character] of blasphemy” [which leads to rebellion] in its mind, which makes it a religiously-inclined animal.
Then we learn that although it is made up of the creatures that Daniel saw in his vision, they are not in the same order as he saw them, but are reversed. That’s because it is not intended that this should be a repeat of that vision, but a compilation of it, leading to a new entity in a different time.
The sleekness and speed of the leopard’s body, contrasted with the lumbering and yet positive walk of the bear, and the roar of the lion should also lead us to see a new creature. By that I mean that it has the Greek leopard’s philosophy of the immortal soul, the Medes and Persians bear’s ruthlessness in forcing its views on others (it disposed of three opponents), and the lion of Babylon’s strength and roar, all rolled into one.
Then the Pagan Romans added their democratic way of life!
And that describes most of the Western nations of today, for they are all part of the beast. Their national characteristics were all heavily influenced by the ancient Greek and Roman ways of life which were absorbed when they were under their sway. But it also encompasses the heathen nations of the East, for the main characteristic of the beast is the nature of man – the rebellious and selfish nature inherited from Adam, which shows itself in force in religion and a belief in an immortal soul.
Why? Because they (the general public, those of “every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people”) ARE the beast and they love and worship themselves!
Here’s an interesting quote:
************** (Begin Quote)
“A surging, seething, murmuring crowd of beings that are human only in name, for to the eye and ear they seem naught but savage creatures, animated by vile passions and by the lust of vengeance and of hate”.
Here we are given a very clear portrayal of the beast’s behaviour, as well as learning that it is a pictogram of a sinful creature. It is a fighting creature because that is the natural activity of all sinful beings, whether against God or amongst themselves. (When God wants to depict those who follow His way, He uses a lamb which doesn’t fight.)
But humanity is also separated into two great aspects, the natural man (the king of the south) and the religious man (the king of the north), and Satan uses one or the other (even both at times) to oppress God’s people when it suits him, for both attributes exist in the same individual, even in baptised paganism. Every man and woman is a member of a nation by birth, as well as a religion (sometimes by choice, but most nominally under the established religion).
(Christians are naturalised into another “nation” and religion by the rebirth.)
This division is also pictured in the iron (the state) and the clay (the religion) in the feet of the statue.
During the crucifixion of Christ the character of Satan was clearly revealed to the angels and to the inhabitants of the unfallen worlds. Until this time the arch apostate had so clothed himself with deception that even holy beings as intelligent as the angels had not understood his principles.
They had not clearly seen THE NATURE of his rebellion. They had not seen him as the “beast” because up until then he had always used one of his co-rebels on earth and blamed the results on the sins and failures of the people. But Christ, the sinless One, by enduring all his actions to the death, exposed his motive, for Satan could not keep himself from exulting as he saw the Son of man die, and the loyal angels witnessed this.
Contrary to many established opinions, this vision is NOT a picture of the Papacy, for it is the WHOLE “beast”, while the Papal system is only one of its seven heads.
That’s why the prophecy goes on to explain that the fifth head (the Papacy) had received a death-dealing blow, necessitating a sixth head taking over, and that’s the one under which we live today. (I think this took Satan by surprise, and he did not have a new head ready, so the one that came was man-made!) Some have accepted in the past that that system (the 6th) is Communism because it is a great advocate of atheism, but as we now know, the Communistic philosophy has also received a set-back – not one which has caused it a mortal wound, but it certainly cannot be seen as a world-dominating power today.
And that is what the seven “heads” represent – world-wide political and conquering powers.
Although the nations began with Egypt and Assyria under Nimrod, because the prophecies were not given until Daniel’s time, his vision began with his world power, Babylon, followed by Medo-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome and Papal Rome, each extending its influence and control until the beast controlled most of the entire world. This last one was Satan’s masterpiece, for it subordinated the mind as well as the body.
But since 1798 who has been the dominating power in the world? As we look around in the news we hear a lot about the United States of America and the United Nations, but neither of those groups has world-DOMINATING power. They have NEWS-dominating ability and policeman-like positions, but no absolute political control in this industrial age, which is the main characteristic of the heads of the beast.
So who or what does control the world today?
Paul gave us the answer when he wrote to his beloved student and told him, “For the love of money is the root [the base] of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows”. 1 Timothy 6:10. While this has always been a basic character of the people of the world it is even more so today. The mindless pursuit of money at the present time as a means to power does not need any further explanation, for that is very plain.
A wise man wrote not so very long ago:
The Disease of Materialism
Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948)
Western nations are today groaning under the heel of the monster god of materialism. Their moral growth has become stunted. They measure their progress in pounds, shillings and pence [the old British money]. American wealth [the dollar] has become standard. She is the envy of other nations. I have heard many of our countrymen say that we will gain American wealth but avoid its method.
I venture to suggest that such an attempt if it were made is foredoomed to failure. We cannot be “wise, temperate and furious” in a moment [at the same time]. I would have our leaders to teach us to be morally supreme in the world.
This land of ours was once, we are told, the abode of the gods. It is not possible to conceive gods inhabiting a land which is made hideous by the smoke and the din of mill chimneys and factories, and whose roadways are traversed by rushing engines dragging numerous cars [steam trains] crowded with men mostly who know not what they are after, who are often absent-minded and whose tempers do not improve by being uncomfortably packed like sardines in boxes and finding themselves in the midst of utter strangers who would oust them if they could and whom they would in their turn oust similarly.
I refer to these things because they are held to be symbolical of material progress.
This state of things is not what the devil would like, of course, for he would rather have a head that persecutes the people of God. However, although he has great powers of persuasion, he cannot always make mankind do his bidding, and so he works as well as he can today. But his plan and desire is to change soon to another religious head which he will use as a springboard to achieve his real goal – the WHOLE world following his way deliberately, if not consciously.
(In the last three centuries of the United States of America’s existence, he has tried just about every six months to get a Federal law introduced which would make Sunday a special day of rest for all the States, but God has been able to thwart his desire each time!!) For a great deal more on that subject, try http://ancient-sda.com/dateline_sunday_usa/preface.html
Which is why it is written:
And there are seven kings [kingdoms of the beast]: five are fallen, and one is, and the other [the Protestant world] is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short space [just a while]. And [then] the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth [head], and is of [the same character as] the seven, and goes [leads them all] into perdition.
“And [but first] all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [Satan, through all the religions in the world], whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear”.
For more on this subject, click here
Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated,
but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.
Next query. To be discussed from April 1st 2015.
Why are there “seven crowns” on the heads of the beast in Revelation 12:3, and yet on the horns of the beast in 13:1 there are ten? Associated with these is the question as to why there are NO crowns on the beast either on the heads or the horns in Revelation 17:3? (There are no crowns in Daniel 7 because the rise of the “little horn” is the subject of that prophecy, not world dominance.)
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