Saturday, 21 October 2017 09:42

86. The beast that comes out of the sea: it has seven heads * Revelation 13:1 - PART 1

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1 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.

 

PART 1

 

*** Beast ***: As a defeated enemy, the dragon went on to persecute the remaining people still faithful to God (Revelation 12:17). His goal is to deceive as many people as possible. Anyone willing to drink from his water will be poisoned with his lies about the what is actually contained in the Bible. Remember what described those who had not been deceived by the dragon? They are the ones “who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:17). Chapter 13 of Revelation talks about how the dragon will attack the people. He will do it through his agents: the beast that comes from the sea and the beast that comes from the earth.

We will start by discussing in detail the beast that comes from the sea. There is a lot in common with the beasts described in Daniel 7 and 8, and a strong correlation with the statues in Daniel 2. But before we dive in, we first need to understand the concept of the symbol used here: a beast. What is a beast? It most definitely not a wild animal. The Bible tells us the answer. Remember, the key to the symbols in Revelation is found in the Bible itself, not in technology, modern inventions, or superstition. A beast is a symbol for king or kingdom (Daniel 7:17; Daniel 7:23). The first characteristic of the symbol ‘beast’ is its political power. It represents a very strong governing system.

Because Satan wishes to deceive people in a large scale, he enlisted the help of some big governments seen throughout history. It is apparent that the text in chapter 13 of Revelation is not necessarily politically correct, but the Bible is very clear about the role that these well-known governments had in assisting the dragon. It is important to understand that Revelation does not point to a single individual as the beast. It’s a system, composed of many people, and these people may change over the years. And as people, they are also faced with their personal challenges of accepting Christ or the dragon. We must understand this point about the beasts of Revelation 13, otherwise, we will be very confused, trying to fit a single individual as the face of the beast. The beast is a government, not a person.

*** At the sand of the sea ***: Some translations of Revelation 13:1 place John standing at the shore, and others place the dragon there instead. Either way, that part is not crucial, because John did see what happened, and this places him there, through the vision. And the Bible says that the sea beast and the dragon were working together. In that sense, the dragon was also there, waiting for the beast to emerge, so he could give his power to that beast (Revelation 13:5). Note that they were standing “upon the sand of the sea”. We see this expression in the Bible when trying to convey a very large quantity, most often than not, of people (just a few examples, Isaiah 10:22; Genesis 32:12; Jeremiah 15:8; 2 Samuel 17:11; Hosea 1:10; Jeremiah 33:22; 1 Samuel 13:5; Romans 9:27; Hebrews 11:12).

*** Coming out of the sea ***: We saw in previous studies that Satan had come down to the people of the sea and of the earth (see studies #84 and #85). These people represent the totality of the planet that had rejected the pure message of God (Revelation 17:8). Now we see that this group is very numerous. The fact that the beast comes out of the sea only reinforce this understanding. The Old Testament mentions the sea as the dwelling place of a terrible creature who would oppress Israel (Job 26:12-13 [in Hebrew, Rahab, means sea monster, sometimes its translated as “the proud”]; Psalm 74:13-14; Isaiah 27:1; Isaiah 51:9-10; Ezekiel 32:2). The beasts in Daniel 7 also come out of the sea (Daniel 7:3). In Revelation 17:3,7,8,12, John describes the beast as coming from the abyss (or bottomless pit, see also Revelation 9:1 and study #57), which is the place reserved for the demonic forces. In Revelation 17:1,3, we read that the woman on the beast sits on many waters. There are many parallels between the symbol ‘beast coming from the sea’ and the symbol ‘woman sitting on the beast, who sits on many waters’. We will study this in more detail in just a little bit. Revelation 17:15 says that the waters she is sitting on are “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues”. The politic power which became aligned with Satan was emerging from a region where there were many people. This area was geographically significant because from there, they could attempt to deceive the whole world.

*** Seven heads ***: The beast coming from the sea is deeply connected to the dragon, whom the Bible says is Satan (Revelation 12:9). Note that the dragon himself has seven heads, ten horns, and seven diadems (Revelation 12:3). The beast described in Revelation 13:1 and the beast described in Revelation 17:3 both have seven heads and ten horns. The dragon and the sea beast work in unity. The heads of the beast seem to be related to the ability of the beast to execute its activities. Throughout history, the beast had been working through one of its heads, one after another. At one point, one of the heads received a severe injury, and the beast stopped its activities for a while and resumed its satanic work once the injury began to heal (Revelation 13:12-13).

*** Overview ***: The dragon has recruited two agents to perform their deception plan on a global scale. The first agent was the beast rising from the sea. This beast is a strong political and religious power that works directly with Satan. The similarities between the dragon and the beast are not a mere coincidence. Basically, those who see the beast, see the dragon. Satan has created a copy of the relationship of the Trinity. Satan wants to take the place of God the Father. The beast out of the sea also positions itself as God, but in a function similar to that of Christ. Jesus once said, "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. He who has seen Me has seen the Father." (Excerpts of the verses in John 14:7,9). It is this unity of the relationship between the Father and the son that Satan tries to imitate, as he presents the beast that comes out of the sea. This political and religious power has its mission on earth, to influence and deceive the whole world and spread its philosophies, which are contrary to the teachings of God (Revelation 17:2). Satan created an elaborate plan to lead people to the way that is opposite to the path of salvation. That is why we must analyze all the religious teachings we have learned and compare them to what is written in the Bible. Satan's deceptions are disguised as Christianity! When the dragon went out to attack the remnant, his main tactic was to infiltrate the political and religious system where the faithful were. The lack of knowledge of the Bible puts people at risk of being deceived by the false trinity of Satan. Believing in the traditions that are passed on from generation to generation without comparing them to the Scriptures is a very common behavior, and yet extremely dangerous. The Bible says: "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ." (Colossians 2:8). The activities of Satan represented by the heads of the dragon or of the beast aim to enslave people in the way described in Colossians 2:8. Only if we are rooted in Christ we can resist the enemy's attacks.

Below, is a table comparing the visions seen in the books of Daniel and Revelation, describing the world powers from Babylon era to the Second Coming of Jesus.

 

Interpretation

Daniel 2:

1 Statue

Daniel 7:

4 Beasts

Daniel 8:

2 Animals

Revelation 13:1-6

1 Beast

Revelation 17

a woman on a beast

Beasts = kingdoms  -  Daniel 7:17

The king of Babylon had a dream: he saw a statue

 

Daniel 2:31

The prophet had a vision: he saw the sea and 4 great beasts

 

Daniel 7:2-3

The prophet had a vision: he sees himself near water, and sees 2 animals

 

Daniel 8:2

The prophet had a vision: he saw the sea and a beast

 

Revelation 13:1

 

Kingdom: Babylon

 

The head of gold is the kingdom of Babylon  -  Daniel 2:38

Description: head of gold

 

Daniel 2:32

Description: lion with wings of an eagle

 

Daniel 7:4

(Babylon is not represented in this chapter because it had already lost its domain when the prophet received the vision)

Description: mouth of a lion

 

Revelation 13:1

 

Kingdom: Medo-Persia

 

After Babylon would arise an inferior kingdom to them  -  Daniel 2:39

 

 

The ram with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia   -  Daniel 8:20

Description: silver breast and arms

 

Daniel 2:32

Description: devouring bear, with uneven sides

 

Daniel 7:5

Description: a ram with  2 uneven horns

 

Daniel 8:3

Description: feet of a bear

 

Revelation 13:1

 

Kingdom: Greece

 

The kingdom of bronze is a kingdom that will rule over all the earth  -  Daniel 2:39

 

 

The goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn is the first king. The four horns that arose in place of the broken one represent four kingdoms which will arise from thisnation  -  Daniel 8:21-22

Description: bronze belly and thighs

 

Daniel 2:32

Description: leopard with 4 wings and 4 heads

 

Daniel 7:6

Description: a goat with  1 horn, which broke off and 4 horns came up in its place

 

Daniel 8:5-8

Description: leopard

 

Revelation 13:1

 

Kingdom: Rome (legs) and divided Europe (feet and 10 toes)

 

A kingdom strong as iron, who crushes everything into pieces. Then, the divided kingdoms, which are part strong part brittle, but will not become one anymore  -  Daniel 2:40-43)

 

 

Kingdom that will take over the world and crush it. This kingdom will give rise to 10 other kings. One kingdom will arise and cause three of them to fall. It will speak against the Most High; destroy and wear down the holy people for a time, times and half a time; and think to make alterations in times and in law  -  Daniel 7:23-25

 

 

Kingdom: the little horn is a ruler who will magnify himself; will destroy mighty man and holy people;  will succeed by deceit; and will oppose the Prince of princes  -  Daniel 8:23-25

Description: iron legs, and  feet of iron mixed with clay (10 toes implied)

 

Daniel 2:33

Description: a beast with 10 horns, iron teeth, and a little horn with eyes like a man and a mouth speaking blasphemies. The little horn came up and 3 horns were destroyed.

 

Daniel 7:7-8

Description: a little horn who considered itself to be equal with God, and it grew exceedingly

 

Daniel 8:9-12

Description: 7 heads with the name of blasphemy on them, 10 horns with crowns, and a mouth speaking blasphemies, with authority to act for forty-two months.

 

Revelation 13:1, 5

Description: a woman sitting on a scarlet beast. The beast is full of blasphemous names and has 7 heads and 10 horns.

 

Revelation 17:3

   
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