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Displaying items by tag: Beast that comes out of the sea

PART 7

 

*** Prophetic application ***: Over the previous 6 studies, we have looked in detail at the Bible verses concerning the first of the dragon’s agents: the beast that comes out of the sea. Satan is focused on winning the war against God. In fact, he has been waging this war ever since he was in heaven, wishing to become like God, ascending to God’s throne and ruling over the universe (Isaiah 14:13-14). The seven heads of the dragon are repeated in the figure of sea beast, highlighting their strong association and identical objectives.

The sea beast is the first of the two powers the dragon summoned in order to assist him in his war against the remnant of the faithful woman (Revelation 13:1-2). In the next studies, we will go over the verses that explain the second agent, which is the beast that came out of the earth. Together, the dragon and the two beasts form a satanic trio aiming to deceive the entire world. They position themselves in a similar structure to the divine Trinity. The false trinity works to present a competing message to distract people from the Truth. Satan, who the Bible identifies as the dragon and the old serpent (Revelation 12:9), wishes to occupy the position of the Father. The sea beast was brought to the team as a counterfeit Jesus. When we compare the activities of the beast to the events in Jesus’ life, we can see how the sea beast works to deceive people. Please see the following table.

 

Jesus
Sea Beast
Came out of the water to begin His ministry (Luke )
Came out of the water to begin His ministry (Revelation 13:1)
“who has seen [Jesus] has seen the Father” (John 14:9)
Who has seen the sea beast has seen the dragon (both have seven heads, ten horns, and multiple crowns) (Revelation 12:3; Revelation 13:1)
Jesus received authority from the Father (Revelation 2:27)
The sea beast received authority from the dragon (Revelation 13:2)
Jesus has many diadems on His head (Revelation 19:12)
The sea beast has 10 diadems on his head (Revelation 13:1)
Jesus wages war against the wicked with His sword (Revelation 2:16; Revelation 1:16)
The sea beast wages war and kills with a sword (Revelation 13:10)
Jesus has seven horns as the Lamb who was slain (Revelation 5:6)
The sea beast has ten horns (Revelation 13:1)
Jesus’ ministry lasted for 3.5 years
The sea beast’s activities lasted for forty-two prophetic months (3.5 prophetic years) (Revelation 13:5)
Jesus received a mortal wound (Revelation 5:6)
The sea beast received a mortal wound (Revelation 13:3)
Jesus came back to life to be presented with great power and was received with intense worship (Revelation )
The sea beast came back to life to be presented with great power and was received with intense worship (Revelation 13:4-5)
Who is Like God (Michael) (Revelation 12:7; Isaiah 40:25)
Who is like the beast (Revelation 13:7)
Jesus territory includes “every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9; Revelation 14:6-7)
The sea beast territory includes “all tribes, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7)

 

This table makes it very clear that the sea beast is trying to imitate Jesus. The sea beast is a power that wants to establish itself in place of Jesus. That is exactly what the term “antichrist” means. The word “antichrist” comes from the Greek antichristos. According to the Strong’s Concordance, anti means “one who puts himself in the place of” or “enemy” and christos means “messiah”. The antichrist power is a power that places itself in the place of Christ. This is the exact behavior displayed by the sea beast. The actual word ‘antichrist’ is only found in the Bible in 4 verses: 1 John 2:18,22; 1 John 4:3; 2 John 1:7. Paul mentions yet another expression, the “son of perdition”, who is said to be a religious figure that placed himself above all else. Paul called him a man without the law (anthrōpos tēs anomias): “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). The antichrist presence in the church was already in power in John and Paul's time. John wrote: "and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.” (1 John 4:3). We know this problem started inside the Church because Paul says the son perdition would come after the apostasy of many in the church and would take “his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

Any system claiming to have powers that belong only to God is actively blaspheming against God (see study #90). We read in Revelation 13:6 that the sea beast blasphemes against God, His name, His temple, and His people (see study #90). As part of the real Trinity and as the Lamb who was Slain, Jesus has the power to forgive sins, to represent the Father, to be the bridge (or mediator) between the people and the Father, and to bring judgment over the people. Any religious entity on this planet claiming to have such powers is behaving as the sea beast, regardless of the name of that entity. As sinners, humans have no right to judge or alter precepts that have been established by God. It is not up to us to determine who will or won’t be saved. It is not up to us to put a price on salvation or forgiveness of sin. Jesus died for us so we could have a direct connection to the Father. By interfering with this communication process the beast is overtly denying Jesus’ sacrifice even though the beast’s theology is being presented as a Christian religion, as he sits in the temple of God, as Paul says. Once again, we see here the appropriateness of the term antichrist: in place of Christ.

The activities of the beast mirror the dragon’s opposition to Jesus. As such, the heads of the sea beast are a representation of the beast’s political activities (see studies #86 and #87). Additionally, these political activities are a reflection of the political dominion displayed by the dragon’s own seven heads. On the other hand, the beast’s Christ-like behavior suggests that this power also exercises religious powers. Now we can see the dual nature of the sea beast: a political and religious entity possessing worldwide reach.

God’s people have always faced opposition from a world-dominant political power that emphasized a religious system very different from the one established by the triumvirate God. One God in three persons, as the Bible describes the Trinity (Matthew 28:19; Matthew 3:16:17; Luke 3:21-22; John 14:16-17;  1 Peter 1:1-2;  2 Corinthians 1:21-22;  1 Corinthians 12:4-6; Ephesians 4:4-6). The Bible also describes seven world-dominant powers that have opposed or will in the future oppose God’s people, ruling both in the political and religious realms. Please see the following table to see what they were:

 

Political-religious worldwide powers that oppressed God’s people
The seven heads in Revelation
1 - Egypt (Exodus )
Five have fallen” 
2 - Assyria (2 Kings 17:5-23)
3 - Babylon (2 Kings 24:7-16)
4 - Medo-Persia (Daniel 5:30-31; Daniel 6:6-9; Daniel 8:20; Daniel 10:1)
5- Greece (Daniel 8:21; Daniel 10:20)
6 - Rome (Luke 2:1-7)
One is” 
7 – Sea beast power 
  • Pre-mortal-wound phase (Revelation 13:3 first part) and 
    • the mortal wound is healing
  • Post-mortal-wound phase (Revelation 13:3 lars part)
 
  • One that “has not yet come
    • Is not” 
  • The eighth head that is one of the seven
 

 

The pre and post-mortal-wound sea beast power are the same power but depicted in a different moment in time. Revelation 17:7-13 talks about the seven heads of the beast. It tells us that the seventh head would go through a phase the angel called “is not” (Revelation 17:10-11). This phase corresponds to the period of the mortal wound mentioned in Revelation 13:3. The “is not” phase occurs between the seventh and the eight heads. Then the angel explains that the 8th head is really one of the seven, not a completely new head. This means that there are really only seven heads in total and that one of them re-appears. According to Revelation 17:10, John was living in the time of the head the angel called “one is”. History tells us that John lived during the Roman Empire, which puts him at the time of the 6th head. Revelation 17:10 called the 7th head the one that “has not yet come”. The angel talked about a future power that would soon come, but that it would go through a period of absence, and then it would resume again later after the “is not” phase. The events relating to the sea beast in Revelation 13 and in Revelation 17 are very similar and clearly show that the sea beast power is the religious-political force influencing people of the earth during the final events of this world.

Even though we only see the sea beast starting his work after Satan was cast out of Heaven following Christ’s assertion to the throne of the Father (Revelation 5, Revelation 12, and Revelation 13), the dragon activities that the beast stands for had already been in place throughout history. The fact that the sea beast was described as a composite of the beasts mentioned in Daniel 7 reinforces this concept and their alliance. This leads us to believe that some of the political views and religious beliefs that were present in those systems continue to exist in the message the beast is preaching to the world. The dragon has been crafting his false doctrine for a long time, and surely he keeps the teachings that successfully have deceived people and kept them away from searching the Truth.

We have studied that the pre-mortal-wound phase of the sea beast lasted for 1260 literal years (42 prophetic months - Revelation 13:5), during the Middle Ages. We are evidently living now in the “is not” phase, which is the time before the complete healing of the mortal wound. We know the mortal wound has not yet completely healed because no religious power possessing political influence is opposing Christians in the same level and scale seen during the Middle Ages. That doesn’t mean that there is no opposition or persecution. The wound is in the process of healing, so as it gradually heals, we experience the gradual return of the sea beast’s political powers.

As Stefanovic points out in his commentary, the world has seen two oppressing religious powers that could fit this pre-mortal wound sea beast description: the Medieval and post-Medieval ecclesiastical rule that rose up from the Roman Empire and dominated the Western world for over 12 centuries, and the Protestant orthodoxy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Both powers exercised political-religious oppression and intolerance. However, we must point out that it was the Medieval and post-Medieval ecclesiastical rule who claimed to have changed the fourth commandment of God’s Law during the Council of Laodicea, as it reads on Canon 29 - making it more consistent with the activities of the little horn power described in Daniel 7:8,24-25. The medieval ecclesiastical power has always presented its message under the Christian banner. But interestingly enough, with the French Revolution, we saw the rise of a different world culture. A culture where religion should be separate from political affairs. According to History, Napoleon caused the demise of the political strength of the church. Those events seem to fit well with the description of the mortal wound described in Revelation 13 and the “is not” phase mentioned in Revelation 17. After the French Revolution, the church lost its political strength but kept its ability to continue on the religious front.

The “is not” phase, or the time during the healing of the mortal wound, is not to be confused with no satanic activity on the part of the dragon or the sea beast. Remember that the sea beast received power to deceive all the nations of the earth. That means that the beast and the dragon could be behind both sides of a war. We mentioned earlier how Napoleon’s strike against the church can be viewed as the strike of the mortal wound. With the French revolution, the Western world experienced a very dramatic change. The change was not only seen in the separation of church and state, but also in the elevation of self and philosophies that denied the existence of God completely. Abandoning God in this way also does not reflect what God wishes for His creation. Such philosophies also work in the same way as the Antichrist: altering the connection God has established with His people through His law, His forgiveness, Jesus, and Jesus’ sacrifice. The antichrist behavior never ceased. It took on a different form and presented itself as the elevation of self and human reason above others and above God.

*** Overview ***: The war the dragon is waging against God’s people did not cease with the mortal wound. The mortal wound put a stop to the level of political power the ruling religious system of the time had. The religious system itself remained. We must emphasize the word ‘system’. The beast is not a symbol for only one person. As the Bible says, the beast already existed in John’s time during the 6th head power (Revelation 17:10,  2 Thessalonians 2:3-4;  1 John 4:3). Some of the heads had already fallen. Two of them even predated Babylonian era. The presence of the beast in future events even from our own perspective makes it clear that no single human being could be the beast. As such, we must be careful not to point fingers to religious leaders and accuse them of being the beast. Every single person on this planet will be faced with a choice to follow God or not, including those people currently under the beast’s domain. We can be certain of that because the Bible tells us that God will call those people out of the trap, to rejoin His divine fold: “[…] Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues” (Revelation 18:4). We must learn to separate the religious system from the people in the religion. We are all sinners who can choose to be covered by the grace of Jesus. We are no better than anyone else because there is no scale of sin as identified by the law. Sin is sin. It just happens that we may have different sins in our life. Nobody is made better or worse based on the lower or higher degree of sin. On the flip side, nobody is made better or worse based on their good deeds either! We are only made better because of the character of Jesus, which He transfers on to our record. That is what makes us better. It is true that historically, the sea beast’s seventh head fits the politico-religious system of the Middle Ages in even more detail than what we are studying today. Prophetically, the sea beast fits the religious system of the end-times as well, which the Bible identifies as being the same power as the seventh head. There is more to the beast than the head that received the mortal wound. Who are we allowing to take the place as head of the Church? Jesus or the beast? The Bible says: “[Jesus] is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.” (Colossians 1:18). If Jesus is the head of His church, then any power claiming to occupy that position is acting in blasphemy, like the sea beast. The real question we should be asking ourselves is not who is the beast, as in who is leading and behaving as the beast. This is because it’s religious influence is global and may manifest itself in many different ways. The sea beast never completely lost its religious influence. What we should be asking ourselves is, am I following a message like the one the sea beast is preaching? Am I following doctrines that are actually not in the Bible and therefore are contrary to the teachings of Jesus? And more importantly, if you are following such teachings, you should then ask yourself: am I willing to break with tradition and start following biblical teachings instead? Am I willing to study the biblical teachings for myself so I am not found among the ones deceived by the religious influence of the sea beast? If you are willing to say no to the beast’s teachings, then you can claim Jesus’ promise, that the Holy Spirit would come and teach you the truth (John 14:26). Open your heart to Jesus and let Him in. Let go of man-made traditions regarding faith and embrace the precepts established by God. This is how we overcome the beast influence, and not let it overcome us - it is only through the power of the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the Earth that we can be found in His book of life.

 
 
 
 

7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all tribes, and tongues, and nations.

8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

9 If any man has an ear, let him hear.

10 He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

 

PART 6

 

*** War against the saints ***: Last time, we learned that the blasphemous activities of the beast are extensive. The beast that comes out of the sea wishes to have the authority of God on Earth. It claims to have the power to change God’s law, to change how God is perceived by people, to prevent people from connecting to God directly, and to decide people’s fate. That power over the saints is highlighted in Revelation 13:6 as the beast’s blasphemies against God’s people, “those who dwell in Heaven”. That phrase is a nice bridge to verse 7. The dragon himself was preparing to make war with the remnant of the faithful people (Revelation 12:17), and now the sea beast joined the dragon in this endeavor, further demonstrating their alliance. Their goal: to overcome the people (Revelation 13:7). And so, during the prophetic forty two months (1260 literal years, which happened during the Middle Ages), God’s people were oppressed and suffered tremendously at the hands of the polítical-religious powers of the time (see studies #16#20#68#71#72#80, and #85).

*** Power over all tribes, tongues, and nations ***: We already know that the dragon had given power to the sea beast (Revelation 13:2) but now we read how far this power extends. The sea beast received power “over all tribes, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7). The dragon wants the sea beast to compete for the same territory claimed by Christ. When we studied the enthronement of Christ, in Revelation 5, we saw how the heavenly beings were praising Jesus because He had redeemed humanity through His death on the cross and made salvation available to “every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation” (Revelation 5:9). That message of salvation is to be preached “unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and tribe, and tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6). When we see this comparison, we can understand the true nature of the sea beast’s mission: to conquer Jesus’ territory with a different message - a competing message. We must understand that given this wide area, the beast may use different means of influencing people to move away from the truth. Even though a lot of what is said regarding the beast’s work involves those who profess to be Christian, the beast has received dominion over those who do not belong to the Christian faith. Not all nations in the world are Christian, and the verse says the beast received power over every nation. There are many ways to deceive people, and the beast along with the dragon are working to keep as many people as possible from knowing the truth about God.

*** And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him ***: Revelation 13:3-4 tells us that when the mortal wound heals completely, the people of the earth will worship the sea beast and the dragon. Here, in Revelation 13:8, however, we see some hope that counteracts the frightening size of the beast’s field of operation. Even though the beast is working to deceive everyone on the planet, only those whose names aren’t in Jesus’ book of life will fall for the beast’s trickery and worship him and the dragon. Those who believe in Jesus and accept God’s unaltered truth will be included in Jesus’ book of life. According to Psalm 69:28, that’s where the names of the righteous people are written down. It’s up to each one of us to choose whether or not we wish to be removed from that book. The Bible says that “if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:19). In other words, if anyone is preaching a message that is contrary to what is contained in the Bible, God will remove their names from the book of life. That is how serious God takes our free will. We are free to choose whether or not we want to be included in God’s book. If we want to worship God, love Him truly, then we are choosing to be in His book. On the other hand, if we choose to worship and follow the beast, then we are in fact requesting that our names be removed from the book of life.

Note that there is something special about the book of life. It belongs to the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:8). This is important because it makes it clear that we depend on Jesus in order to be saved. No one else has the power to grant salvation to people. Only Jesus’ sacrifice has the power to save us, and He gave His life at no charge to us. There is nothing we can do or add to Jesus’ sacrifice that could increase our chances of salvation. All that had to be done was already done. He is offering His work, His life, His death, and His resurrection in exchange for our accepting His sacrifice. There are no extra works that we could possibly do that would help complete His saving grace. His grace is already perfect and complete. All we have to do is say yes and follow Him. Any good works we may do after our encounter with Christ will be a consequence of His transforming powers in our lives. There is no need for us to offer Him our penitences in exchange for forgiveness, or salvation. The Bible says that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NASB). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). God had a plan of salvation in place from the foundation of the earth. Humans had done no works, good or bad when Jesus decided He would offer His own life for us. That’s how deep His love is.

*** Are you paying attention? ***: Here is a call very similar to the one we saw in the seven letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2-3: “If any man has an ear, let him hear.” (Revelation 13:9). Jesus is calling us to pay close attention to the message He is giving to His people. The message is not about how we should be afraid of the beast, the dragon, or their power. The main point is not about what the beast can do to us, but what God will do to the beast and the dragon in the end. The oppression and persecution of God’s faithful people are temporary, but the destruction of Satan and his allies is certain and permanent. Revelation 13:9 is a call to pay attention to the message in verse 10, as it relates to the suffering mentioned in the previous verses: “If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.” (Revelation 13:10, NASB)

- “If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he goes”: This statement is about God’s faithful people. It reminds us of what Jesus said: “The gospel must first be preached to all the nations. When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” (Mark 13:10-13, NASB). We are also reminded of Revelation 12:11: “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” (NASB). We should not be surprised if we are faced with suffering, persecution or even death because of our unwillingness to follow anything different from what God has commanded us in the Bible. If in order to remain faithful we are to face captivity, then imprisonment would be preferable to abandoning God’s principles.

- “If anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed”: This statement is directed toward the persecutors and highlights their certain end: death. This translation is found in Bible versions such as King James, New American Standard Bible, based on the 4th century codex Sinaiticus. Some other Bible translations have included this second statement in the same pattern as the first one, as if directed to God’s people: “If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.” (NIV). Those translations are based on other manuscripts like the 5th century Codex Alexandrinus, and are included in versions such as the New International Version, New Living Translation, English Standard Version, International Standard Bible, among others. The translation based on the Codex Sinaiticus seem to more closely match the words of Jesus in Matthew 26:52: “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again your sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Jeremiah 15:1-2 and Jeremiah 43:11 have a similar warning directed to the apostate people and oppressors of God’s people. Based on these other Bible verses, we can understand that the second statement in Revelation 13:10 is more likely directed towards those who are persecuting God’s faithful people; to the ones taking them into captivity and death. Their end is certain and has been determined by God. God will bring an end to injustice and evil.

- “Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.”: God’s people are not called to pick up the sword and fight back. They are called to endure their trials and tribulations. They are called to have faith and trust that God is in control. Even if they find themselves on the other side of the beast’s sword, God’s children are called to trust in God’s sword, the sword that comes out of Jesus’ mouth (Revelation 1:16). His sword is His Truth, contained in the Bible. The Truth comes out of His mouth, not out of the mouth of men who seek to change the message in order to suit their own agenda. Christ is calling us to endure to the end: “but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” (Mark 13:13). We are able to endure not because there is any strength in ourselves, but because there is strength in God’s Word, and because those who endure have faith: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” (Revelation 14:12).

*** Breaking God’s Law ***: The sea beast received tremendous power. Power to deceive the entire world. Not just those who profess to be Christian and may become contaminated by altered messages. The beast aims to deceive the entire world by any means necessary, inside and outside the church. The sea beast is seeking worship and a position equivalent to God. This behavior goes directly against God’s 1st and 2nd commandments (Exodus 20:1-6), which sate we should not have any other gods besides the God in Heaven, and that we should not create or serve any other gods. As the beast preaches false doctrines to the world, misrepresenting God, the beast is also breaking the 3rd commandment (Exodus 20:7), which says we should not take God’s name in vain. The Bible says that the end time religious-political power would seek to “change times and laws” (Daniel 7:25), and the 4th commandment (Exodus 20:8-11) is the only one of the ten that has to do with time. It talks about the special time that God Himself has chosen as His holy day and as a memorial to the connection He established with His people. The 4th commandment begins by saying “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God […]” (Exodus 20:8-10). The Bible teaches us to keep the seventh day. Jesus Himself kept the seventh day (Luke 4:16; Matthew 12:8). As followers of Christ, shouldn’t we do the same? The first century Christians kept it (Luke 23:52-56; Acts 13:42,44; Acts 15:21; Acts 16:13; Acts 17:2-3; Acts 18:4). Paul warns us against this sort of disobedience and calls us to enter God’s rest: “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:9-11, NASB).

By going directly against the Father’s instructions, Satan and his agents are breaking the 5th commandment (Exodus 20:12), which calls for obedience to parents. Revelation 13:7 tells us that the beast and the dragon are waging a war against God’s people. They wish to keep the people from receiving eternal life. Through persecution, imprisonment and even death, the dragon and the beast will do everything they can to keep people from the Life Giver. By doing so, they break the 6th commandment (Exodus 20:13), which says: “You shall not murder”. Jesus said that Satan was a “murderer from the beginning” (John 8:44). The dragon wishes to turn the Church away from her groom, Jesus Christ, and make her betray Him by believing in the dragon’s own false teachings. This association between Satan and the Church is intended to break the 7th commandment (Exodus 20:14), which warns against adultery. The dragon wishes to steal God’s bride and keep her to himself. Not because he loves the bride, but because he hates God. Satan is seeking revenge against God by attempting to steal the Church from God’s hands. In the process, the dragon breaks the 8th commandment (Exodus 20:15), which says “You shall not steal”.

Furthermore, the dragon, and now the beast, have been spreading lies about the character of God from the beginning! Jesus called Satan the father of lies (John 8:44). The false teachings that come out of their mouth are their strongest weapon in this spiritual war. The 9th commandment (Exodus 20:16) warns us against this behavior. We must seek to become like the Father in Heaven, not like the father of lies. This entire rebellion against God started because Satan wished to ascend above the stars of God and be like the Most High (Isaiah 14:13-14). Satan coveted God’s house, His bride, His servants and His belongings. Satan made himself the center of his life and ended up forgetting his purpose as an angel and created being. By doing so, he ended up breaking the 10th commandment (Exodus 20:17), which warns us against coveting that which does not belong to us. As the dragon and his agents go about breaking every single one of God’s commandments, they work to trick people into following their example. This is because breaking the Law sends a clear message. A message about not loving God. Remember what Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

*** Overview ***: The sea beast power is calling us not to keep God’s commandments but Jesus is calling us to follow God instead. Jesus warned us: following Him would cause us to be hated, rejected and persecuted, just as He was. People will hate us and reject us when we preach the unaltered message of the Bible. The sea beast is the one tricking people into thinking God’s commandments are a thing of the past or encouraging them to believe that it has been changed. It is true, we are not saved by the law, we are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). But the commandments are important because they are like the engine light in a car, that lights up when there is a problem and informs the driver that he or she needs to take the car to the mechanic. Our spiritual engine light tells us that we need to go to the only one who can fix us, who can forgive us. Would you ever consider fixing your engine problem by removing the light from the car panel? No, never. If we choose to ignore our engine light, we won’t know we need our Savior, Jesus Christ. Just as that light in the panel cannot fix the problem in the car or prevent the engine from being lost, the Ten Commandments have no power to cleanse the sinner from sin. Only Jesus can do that. The beast and the dragon would like nothing more than to have people reject and ignore the light God has given to His children. The dragon's goal is to keep the entire world from seeking God’s forgiveness from sin. And that is the war that the sea beast and the dragon are waging against all the nations. As they break God’s commandments, they trick people into breaking them as well. Let’s not forget how the Bible describes the end-time faithful people: they are the ones “who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17). In the New Testament, Paul described the law of God as holy, just, and good (Romans 7:12). Here is what Jesus said about God’s Law: “Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets, I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). “I have kept My Father’s commandment and abide in His love” (John 15:10). “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18).

2 And the beast that I saw was like unto 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 throne, and great authority.

 

PART 4

 

*** Mouth like the mouth of a lion ***: Daniel 7:4 described the first beast “like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.” Note that the lion beast has at least one element that the beasts that followed also have: wings (leopard), the ability to stand up (bear), and human characteristics: eyes and a mouth (little horn coming out of the fourth beast). Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome had things in common with Babylon. It’s important to note that Daniel 8 does not mention Babylon, because, at the time of the vision described in Daniel 8, Babylon had already fallen, as we’ve mentioned before.

The night that Babylon fell, Daniel was called to the presence of the king, because the hand of God had left a message on the wall (Daniel 5:1-12). The king had just ordered all the gold and silver cups from the Jerusalem temple to be brought up from storage and to be used in their pagan festivities. While they were in the middle of their party, a hand appeared, writing on the wall. Nobody could understand what was written. None of the king’s magicians, astrologers, or soothsayers could read it. But the queen remembered how Daniel interpreted dreams in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, and so Daniel was brought in to interpret the message. Daniel reminded the king of how God had given everything to his father Nebuchadnezzar and how, as time passed, his heart filled up with pride, to the point where his heart was made like that of an animal, until Nebuchadnezzar was able to recognize that “the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appoints over it whomever he will.” (Daniel 5:21). Then Daniel told the king: “And you his son, O Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this; But have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before you, and you, and your lords, your wives, and your concubines, have drunk wine in them; and you have praised the gods of silver, and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand your breath is, and whose are all your ways, have you not glorified” (Daniel 5:22-23). The message on the wall read: “MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN” (Daniel 5:25), which means “God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it. You are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting. Your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” (Daniel 5:26-28).

Both kings of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar) had a serious problem of pride. When Nebuchadnezzar boasted on his accomplishments, he became like a wild animal, and spent seven years roaming and grazing, until he recognized the sovereignty of God (Daniel 4:28-37). Nebuchadnezzar’s mental abilities were restored at that point, and he was able to resume his kingly activities. Belshazzar, on the other hand, remained proud and did not give glory to God (Daniel 5:23). Belshazzar misused the items that had been consecrated to God. He used them for his own selfish interests. The mouth of a lion is a proud mouth that boasts, a mouth that proclaims self-righteousness, and that claims to have the authority to change the teachings that were established originally by God Himself. Just like Belshazzar used the cups that belonged to the temple to satisfy his own ego, the mouth of the lion proclaims it’s self-given rights to use God’s vessel with a different content, using it to make all the “inhabitants of the earth [...] drunk with the wine of her fornication” (Revelation 17:2, see also Revelation 17:4). God’s vessel can be understood as His teachings, which are contained in the Bible. Remember that the little horn power had human features and would seek to “alter the times and the law” (Daniel 7:25) contained in the Bible.

*** Gifts from the dragon ***: We saw in our last study how Satan created a falsified version of the Trinity, where he takes the place of the Father and the sea beast takes the place of Jesus. We will see who takes the place of the Holy Spirit later in Revelation 13. The end of Revelation 13:2 says “and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.” The dragon is imitating the actions of the Father. The Father gave His power, throne, and authority to Christ (Revelation 2:27; Revelation 3:21). The fact that this political-religious figure, symbolized by the sea beast, accepted powers from the dragon makes it evident that they are working together to deceive the world. They both have the same goal (Revelation 12:9; Revelation 17:2).

*** Overview ***: The sea beast exercises its given power by proclaiming boastfully it’s authority to alter spiritual mandates that were established by God Himself and to make decisions on God’s behalf. This behavior is much like that of the lion beast in Daniel 7:4, who stood up as a man (on two feet) and had the mind (or heart) of a man. This is a contrast to what happened to Nebuchadnezzar, a man who was brought down on all fours like a beast and who received the mind of a beast until he could recognize the sovereignty of God. The man who was made into a beast had to give up his ruling authority. On the other hand, the beast who was made into a man claimed its ruling authority. The boastful mouth of the lion indicates that the sea beast does not recognize God as supreme ruler, but rather the dragon, from whom it accepts power, authority an a throne to reign over the inhabitants of the planet. God has revealed this information to us so we are not found among those who are deceived by satanic schemes. We must ask ourselves if the teachings that we are following are contaminated by the poison coming out of the beast’s cup. The false teachings coming out of his cup can get people drunk with beliefs that distract them away from the true message contained in the Bible. If you find yourself believing in doctrines that have been altered by your religious leaders, you must pray for God’s guidance and courage to break with tradition. No one on Earth has powers to change what has been determined by God. Jesus said: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:18).

2 And the beast that I saw was like unto 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 throne, and great authority.

 

PART 3

 

*** Background ***: The connection between Revelation 13 and the book of Daniel is undeniable. More specifically, chapters 7 and 8 of Daniel provide many details that help us understand the identity of the sea beast from Revelation 13. In order to get the overall picture, we must go back even further, to Daniel 2. In that chapter, we read that the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about the ruling powers of the world, extending from Babylon until the divided governments that emerged after the fall of the Roman Empire. The dream ended with the divine kingdom that “the God of heaven will set up” (Daniel 2:44). In the dream, there was a statue, and each segment of the statue was made of a different material. Each segment represented a different kingdom. The head of gold was Babylon (Daniel 2:36-38). The chest and arms of silver represent the kingdom that caused the fall of Babylon (Daniel 2:39, first part), and that kingdom was Medo-Persia. The hips and thighs of bronze represent the kingdom that came next, and that was Greece (Daniel 2:39, last part). The last and fourth kingdom is represented by the legs of iron. It was a kingdom that would “crush and break all [things] in pieces” (Daniel 2:40). History tells us that the Roman Empire is the kingdom that overthrew Greece. After the Roman Empire came to power, no other kingdom came and took over them with their same strength and unified front, like it had happened in the previous kingdoms. In a way, the Roman Empire disintegrated and gave way to divided nations. Smaller empires came along but were never conquering as a government of global influence, like the four kingdoms mentioned in the dream. Fragmented governing rulers replaced the Roman domain. Nonetheless, Roman influence was still prevalent, and this was represented in the dream as the feet of the statue, which were iron mixed with clay. To summarize many centuries of history, we have in this dream the outline of the global governing powers, starting with Babylon, followed by Medo-Persia, then Greece, and finally Rome. After that, we see the rise of divided nations, which are still divided today.

Daniel 7 and 8 give more details about the historical events concerning the rise and fall of powerful political regimes. In both chapters, they follow the same order laid out in Daniel 2. In Daniel 7, the prophet saw 4 beasts instead of a statue. But the same kingdoms were still represented. Daniel saw a lion, bear, leopard, and a fourth beast. John, on the other hand, saw only one beast, but it had elements from the four creatures mentioned in Daniel 7. The description in Revelation 13:2 comes in the reverse order: a beast that resembled a leopard, a bear, and a lion. Daniel had the vision while living at the time of the lion, and he looked into the future, describing the kingdoms that were to come. John, however, was living at the time of the fourth beast, and he looked into the past to describe the nature of the beast that comes out of the sea. Imagine there is a line between Daniel and John. They both are looking at the line. This line represents how history unfolds. When Daniel sees the line, he sees the kingdoms as they would rise and fall, in historical order: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. When John looks at this timeline, he looks towards the past, and he sees history from where he is to what came immediately before, and so forth, so he sees Rome, Greece, Medo-Persia, and Babylon.

The timeline of worldly kingdoms is also represented in Daniel 8, but in that vision, they are portrayed as different animals. At the time of the vision, Babylon had already fallen, so there was no more need to include it in the scenario. In Daniel 8 we see 3 important elements: a ram, a goat, and a little horn that grew. Daniel described those three pieces as symbols for three powers that were going to emerge.

The beast that comes out of the water is not a repetition of all four of the beasts in Daniel. Note that Revelation 13:2 says that the sea beast “was like”. From Johns perspective, he was already living at the time of the fourth beast of Daniel 7. In describing the sea beast with characteristics from the beasts that came before the Roman Empire, John is saying that the sea beast has incorporated elements from those three previous kingdoms.

*** Like a leopard ***: Daniel 7:6 described the third beast “like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it”. Greece came to power very quickly, conquering a vast portion of the known world at speeds never seen before up to that point. Daniel 8:5 tell us that “a male goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.” According to Daniel chapter 8:21, “the male goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king”. After Greece conquered Medo-Persia (the goat victory against the ram), “the male goat grew very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and instead of it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.” (Daniel 8:8). The similarities between the leopard and the goat are very strong. When we compare these verses to the historical accounts of the rise of the Greek Empire, we can understand the symbology perfectly. Alexander the great was the king of Greece who ran through the world, conquering new territories so fast as if the had wings. Alexander had four generals, who worked under his leadership, Cassander, Ptolemy, Antigonus, and Seleucus. At the apex of his power, Alexander died (the great horn was broken), and the four generals took over, dividing the kingdom under each of their domains (the four heads of the leopard and the four notable horns of the goat). One thing that both the leopard beast and the sea beast have in common is that they both received dominion from an external source (Daniel 7:6, Revelation 13:2).

*** Feet like feet of a bear ***: Daniel 7:5 described the second beast “like a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.” The uneven look the second beast had (one side was higher than the other) is also described in Daniel 8:3-4, when he described the ram that was standing near the water: “there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.” The kingdom that won over Babylon was, in fact, the combined powers of the Medes and the Persians. Starting out, the Medes were the stronger of the two but in time the Persians became the dominant part (referenced as the beast being raised up on one side, and as one horn being taller than the other). The three ribs in the bear’s teeth parallel the three directions that the ram was pushing as it went on establishing its territory. Daniel’s prophecy was not the first one about how the Medes would overtake Babylon. Both Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesied about the fall of Babylon. “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them [Babylon], who shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.” (Isaiah 13:17). “Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, their captains, and all their rulers, and all the land of their dominion. And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.” (Jeremiah 51:28-29). These prophecies were made many years before Babylon fell to the combined powers of the Medes and the Persians. The bear beast of Daniel 7:5 was called to stand up and “devour much flesh”. The ram was described as a very strong force, so much so that “no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand” (Daniel 8:4). This reminds us of how Revelation tells us the world would worship the sea beast, as they would say: “Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:4). The appearance of the sea beast was so imposing that it gave people of the world the impression that it was invincible. It could stand up and devour anything in front of him. Just like the bear beast, who had three ribs in its mouth, the sea beast (as the little horn power of Daniel 7:8) destroyed three horns when it came up and assumed its power. In 538 AD, three of the ten kingdoms that rose after the fall of the Roman Empire were destroyed. These kingdoms were the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths. History tells us that a religious power which had been strengthened politically at that time was responsible for the destruction of these kingdoms, exactly how Daniel had prophesied.

*** Overview ***: The sea beast is a political-religious power that emerged from the Roman Empire (fourth beast) and that has characteristics from the kingdoms preceding it. The sea beast received power from the dragon, similarly to how the leopard beast in Daniel 7:6 received its power from an external source. With its bear-like feet, the sea beast is ready to stand up and exercise the power it received from the dragon, much like the bear beast in Daniel 7:5, who, upon standing, was called to conquer the territories on its path. This political-religious power demonstrates, through their actions, that it is willing to dominate and devour anyone who tries to interfere with their plans. The sea beast believes that no one can get rid of its domain. However, the Bible is clear about the end that this beast will face. It is not invincible. When Jesus returns, He will make it clear that the teachings presented by the false Trinity do not come from God. Thus, God will put an end to the beast'’ deceits. We can read how John described the details of his vision as to how the end will come to the sea beast and the false prophet: "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." (Revelation 19:20).These false religious and political systems will be destroyed forever. The return of Jesus unmasks all the falsehoods that Satan's agents spread across the planet. The only way to protect ourselves against Satan's attacks through the sea beast and the false prophet is to remain in God's truth. The beast looks to change times and the law of God. But the Bible describes believers as those who keep the commandments of God, just as God gave them.

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 2

*** Ten horns ***: The horns are a bit different than the heads. While the heads are related to the beast activities throughout history, the ten horns represent the political powers present during a certain period of time (Revelation 17:12). The sea beast reminds us of the fourth beast of Daniel 7:7, which also had ten horns. Daniel says the fourth beast is “different from all the others”, and that it is “exceedingly dreadful” (Daniel 7:19). The angel explained to Daniel the meaning of the fourth beast and its horns: “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom, ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.” (Daniel 7:23-25). In these verses, we can see many important aspects of the beast, but we must underline one right now, that has to do with how the dragon wished to attack the remnant, those “who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:17). A strong emerging horn, out of the ten, will seek to “make alterations in times and in law”, and the people of God would suffer under their domain for the same period of time we saw when we studied the two witnesses and the woman who fled to the wilderness (studies #72 and #78). The period is “a time, times, and half a time”, which equals 3.5 prophetic years, or 42 prophetic months, which equals 1260 literal years. This is the time in history where Christians suffered tremendously during the Middle Ages. During this time, the Roman Empire was in charge. This places the Roman Empire as the legs of iron and as the fourth kingdom seen in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7. Now we can see how the rise and fall of the kingdoms which possessed global domination happened exactly how it was laid out in prophecy, as we saw in Daniel 2.

The number 10 is not a random number. The beast had ten horns for a reason. Revelation 17:12 tells us the ten horns are ten political authorities who will receive power directly from the beast, who is the main political figure. The angel explained to Daniel the exact meaning of the ten horns: they are ten kingdoms which will come from the fourth beast (the Roman Empire). We saw these ten kingdoms as the ten toes of the statue in the prophecy written in Daniel 2. They were kingdoms that partly had the strength of iron (Roman Empire) and the weakness of clay. These kingdoms were divided and not to ever unite again under human rule.

*** Ten crowns ***: The Greek word for crown used in Revelation 13:1 is the word diadema, which means royal crown. Both the beast and the dragon are described as having the royal diadem. One interesting detail is that while the beast has ten crowns on its horns, the dragon has seven and they are on his heads (Revelation 12:3). Remember that the dragon’s goal was to be like God and sit on God’s throne. He wanted the supreme authority for himself. As we’ve seen before, the number seven is used in the Bible very frequently, and it often refers to fullness, completeness, and perfection. The dragon presents himself has having a perfect and complete authority as ruler. This is part of his deceit because he has absolutely no divine authority. The dragon not only claims to have the authority but also the ability to pass it along to his agents (Revelation 13:4). That authority was transferred to each of the horns, meaning to each of the ten political powers that emerged after the Roman Empire fell. The angel explained to Daniel that “the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise” (Daniel 7:24-25). With the fading away of the Roman Empire around the year 476 AD, ten tribes emerged in Europe, taking over what was once a united Roman territory. These tribes were: Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Alemannians, Suevi, Anglo-Saxons, Heruli, Lombards, and Burgundians. (See study #79). The crowns differ from the horns just as the horns differed from the heads. While the horns represent an actual political power, the crowns represent the authority that the dragon had given them. This is a strategy Satan is using to mimic the power and authority that belongs to God. The Bible tells us that Christ is "Lord of lords and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14) and that Jesus wears on His head “many crowns” (Revelation 19:12).

*** The name of Blasphemy ***: There is one more thing that is revealed about the sea beast in Revelation 13:1. It has names of blasphemy upon his heads. The beast described in Revelation 17 is "full of blasphemous names” (Revelation 17:3). The little horn power of Daniel 7 had a mouth that was speaking boastful words (Daniel 7:8). Daniel 7:25 goes more into detail about what these boastful words were: “He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.” Revelation 13:6 says “[the beast] opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.” But what is blasphemy according to the Bible? John 10:33 brings the answer to this question. Once the Jewish leaders wished to stone Jesus because, in their minds, Jesus had blasphemed against God. Even though they were accusing Jesus unjustly, the accusations of blasphemy were clearly stated: “The Jews answered Him, ’For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.’ Jesus answered: ‘do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, you are blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God’?” (John 10:36). Another time, the Pharisees believed Jesus was speaking blasphemy when He demonstrated His authority to forgive sins. Forgiving sins can only happen by a divine action. To show that He is God, one with the Father, Jesus answered those Pharisees, stating "the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins“ (Luke 5:24). Blasphemy happens when someone makes themselves equal with God, and attributes to himself powers that belong only to God, such as: changing God’s law (Daniel 7:25) and forgiving sin (Luke 5:20-24).

*** Overview and Prophetic Application ***: The dragon went on to fight the remnants of the woman, those who still "keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus" (Revelation 12:17). In order to organize his attack, Satan enlisted helpers to his team. The first helper was the sea beast, a strong political power that followed the demise of the Roman Empire and that ultimately wished to do the things that only God is capable of doing. The sea beast’s blasphemous words reflect its false claims of having authority to forgive sins, alter God’s law, and of being equal to God. As we’ve studied, the beast represents a secular power of different nations rising in Europe. Ten kingdoms emerged after the fall of the Roman Empire, and these ten kingdoms gave origin to the current European nations. Note how this power is not only political but also religious, as it claims to have divine attributes and capacities. Just like the beast and the woman of Revelation 17, who, combined, function as a symbol for the apostate church (prostitute) and the political power (beast), the sea beast is a political force that exercises some religious influence over the people. This becomes evident in Revelation 13:12, where it says the whole earth will worship the sea beast. We need to be aware of the origin and objectives of this first beast, so we are not deceived by Satan’s lies, which he throws at the people through his agents. We must exam every doctrinal information and compare it to the Bible. If it is not included in Scripture, then it is created by man and therefore not part of God’s Truth. It could even be very close to a Biblical teaching, but if it has some minor alterations, we know that it does not come from God. Remember how Satan misquoted Scripture to Jesus during His time in the Wilderness? (Matthew 4:1-11). It sounded very much like the original Bible verse, but he changed it enough that it became a temptation, an instrument designed to make Jesus sin. See how dangerous slight alterations to God’s truth can be? We must not deceive ourselves. Satan has created a counterfeit unit to replace the role of Jesus as Savior and sovereign king. Let’s choose to remain firmly in the teachings of Jesus Christ, so we can be counted among the faithful remaining ones, “who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 12:17).

 

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 this nation  -  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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