Who, What is the
"Beast" of Revelation?
In symbol, John 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."
No such creature has ever been seen or heard of before or since. In this nightmarish vision, John saw a many headed monster seeming to rise slowly out of a vast sea, with names which were blasphemous written upon it! What was this creature? What is the meaning of the heads? What do the horns symbolize?
by Garner Ted Armstrong [printer-friendly] [pdf format]
You are living in the close of an age. Accelerated world events have rocketed our modern generation, in only a few decades—indeed, in the lifetime of many elderly persons today—from the invention of powered flight to landings on the moon! We have "progressed" from the Maxim machine gun to intercontinental ballistic missiles; from "blockbuster" two-ton bombs, capable of knocking out a whole city block of buildings, to multi-megaton nuclear warheads, capable of destroying whole cities the size of Los Angeles or Chicago!
You are living in the days prophesied by Jesus Christ of Nazareth!
The greatest prophet who ever lived was Christ Himself. In His famous "Olivet" prophecy, He listed a careful, step-by-step sequence of events which must take place prior to His direct intervention, the close of this age, and the ushering in of the next age, the NEW age of the reign of Jesus Christ over all this earth as King of kings and Lord of lords administering the government of God over all the earth!
Just where are we now in terms of world events in the light of prophecy?
There is no more important book in the Bible concerning present and future events than the book of Revelation.
The "Apocalypse," as the book of Revelation was named in the Greek language, means to reveal, not conceal!
God says, "Surely the Lord Eternal will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7).
Daniel said, "He [God] revealeth the deep and secret things: He knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with Him ... there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets..." (Daniel 2:22-28).
The secret of which Daniel spoke was the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's famous dream, in which he saw a monstrous image.
Read the entire second chapter of Daniel, to refresh your memory concerning this great event. Daniel showed that the head of gold of the great image Nebuchadnezzar had seen represented Nebuchadnezzar himself—and his Babylonian kingdom. Thus it was revealed in the interpretation of this prophecy that king and kingdom are synonymous.
Quickly following, Daniel revealed that the four successive worldruling Gentile empires would consist of Babylon, Medo-Persia, GrecoMacedonia, and, finally, the Roman Empire.
The Roman Empire was described as "...the fourth kingdom [which would be] strong as iron ... and whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potter's clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.
"And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken [margin: weak] .
Nebuchadnezzar's dream continued until he saw the great image destroyed by a symbolic stone, representing Christ.
Daniel revealed, "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever" (Daniel 2:40-44).
Notice it is in the "days of these kings," meaning the days of the kings represented by the ten toes of the great image, that the Kingdom of God will be set up on this earth!
It becomes immediately obvious that Nebuchadnezzar's dream, commencing in ancient Babylon, progressed forward into the twentieth and twenty-first century culminating in the Second Coming of Christ, and the setting up of the Kingdom of God!
It tells us, if we ponder the meaning of this vision, coupled with the four beasts of Daniel's seventh chapter, and the beasts of Revelation 13 and 17, that these four Gentile world-dominating kingdoms would continue one after the other until the fourth great kingdom began to rule over the whole earth—after which, through various successive stages or revivals, that fourth kingdom would once again rise to great power just prior to Christ's Second Coming!
Notice: "Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it break in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure" (Daniel 2:45).
Now, turn to and read Revelation 17:12-14!
"And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
"These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
"These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb [Christ] shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful."
Again, notice ten kings.
John says these ten kings are represented by the ten horns of the great beast which he had seen in an earlier vision.
The Beast—Who, What is He?
John said: "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 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 seat, and great authority."
For years, eschatologists have known that biblical prophecy is closely interwoven, that it is interdependent upon several different books of the Bible. And even though the real TRUTH about Bible prophecy has been concealed from the world at large, many have come to understand that Daniel and the book of Revelation go hand in glove, that one cannot be understood without the other.
Here, John sees a creature which embodies all of the strongest characteristics of the creatures seen by Daniel in his seventh chapter. The leopard was symbolic of the empire of Alexander the Great; the four heads (Daniel 7:6) a symbol of the four generals who carved up Alexander's great, sprawling empire even before his body was interred. Alexander, you will recall, revolutionized warfare, making lightning-like attacks (the "blitzkrieg" of his day) against the ponderous Persian Phalanxes with smaller, rapidly-moving, flanking columns.
The feet of the vision seen by John were as the feet of a bear. The bear was a symbol of the Persian empire, under Cyrus the Great. With its great paws and ponderous strength, a bear can smash logs, searching for ants, grubs and termites; roll over huge stones, kill a range bull with a single blow to the head, or disembowel large animals.
The beast of Revelation 13 featured the mouth as the "mouth of a lion." It is the monstrous head of the male lion, made the more formidable-looking by the mane, which is the symbol of its strength.
Obviously, the great beast John saw in vision (Revelation 13 and 17) embodies all of the four strongest characteristics of each of the FOUR great beasts seen by Daniel. These great creatures parallel exactly the four successive world-ruling Gentile kingdoms depicted by the great image seen in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. The ancient Chaldean empire, Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom, came to be known as "Babylon" after the name attached to its capitol. Though the dates are disputed, this ancient kingdom is said to have reigned from approximately 625 to 539 B.C.
During the night of the riotous feast (Daniel 5) during the reign of a lesser-known Babylonian king, Belshazzar, the armies of the MedoPersian empire had diverted the course of the river upstream, walked beneath the river gates into the city of Babylon dry-shod, surprising the garrisons, and took the city! This was the army under Darius the Mede, allied with the Persian empire. The Persian empire dates commonly from 558-330 B.C.
Rawlinson's World History is one of the best sources for information concerning these ancient kingdoms.
The third successive world-ruling kingdom was that of GrecoMacedonia, under one of the most famous generals in all of history, Alexander the Great.
He subjugated the Persians, conquering the known world from India and points east all the way to Gibraltar, then called the "Gates of Hercules." History states that Alexander, then in his early thirties, having reigned for only a few short years, sat down and wept at the famous "Gates of Hercules" because, so far as he knew, there were no more "worlds to conquer"!
After his death, true to the prophecies of Daniel, his kingdom was divided by four of his own generals. History reports that the decision to carve up Alexander's empire occurred even before the interment of his body; and so were created the "four heads" of the third beast of the seventh chapter of Daniel, including the first: Greece proper with Macedonia to the north; the second: "Western Asia," or Asia Minor, including Thrace; the third: Syria and all of the Tigris Euphrates valley and territory into India; and, the fourth: Egypt, under Ptolemy Soter.
Eventually emerging from the chaos created by these four rival kingdoms (the eleventh chapter of Daniel, for example, enumerates the plots and intrigues, wars and conspiracies between the Seleucidae of Syria and the Ptolemies of Egypt) arose the Roman Empire. Rome came to power in approximately 31 B.C., and continued until its collapse in 476, followed by its restoration under General Belisarius in A.D. 554.
Study the seventh chapter of Daniel, and you will see the various "beasts" which picture each one of these four, powerful, world-ruling empires.
The beast of Revelation 13 is pictured as having the same number of horns as Daniel's fourth beast; and, even as Daniel's fourth beast had conquered the territory belonging to the previous kingdoms, absorbing its peoples and territories, it therefore included all seven heads (remember, the leopard-like kingdom representing Alexander's empire had four, thus numbering seven total).
Obviously, the beast of Revelation 13 and the fourth beast of Daniel 7 are the same beast!
And who was the fourth beast of Daniel 7? The Roman Empire, with its various resurrections from that time to this!
Briefly, refer back to the great image seen in Daniel's second chapter.
Here again, the events of history bear out biblical symbolism and prophecies. After about A.D. 330, the two "great patriarchs" at Constantinople and Rome began to bicker and disagree. Constantinople wielded power in the east, Rome in the west.
The Roman kingdom was finally divided between east and west, even as the iconoclastic controversy finally split the Roman Catholic Church, the eastern half surviving today as the "Greek Orthodox Church."
To this day, the Greek Orthodox Church worships before "icons," or raised images, whereas the Roman Catholic Church permits statues.
The two legs of the great image seen by Nebuchadnezzar represent this east-west split.
Notice that the "dragon gave him his power." The dragon is a symbol of Satan—this is a Satanic Gentile kingdom, embodying all of the strongest parts of each of the four, successive, world-ruling Gentile kingdoms.
God says, "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world..." (Revelation 12:9).
Here, then, is truly a monster military power—having all of the strengths of the greatest war—making empires the world has ever seen, governed directly by Satan.
Clearly, the BEAST was the ROMAN EMPIRE, with its prophesied revivals—its successive "resurrections" down through history.
However, remember that "king and kingdom" are synonymous!
Daniel said after Nebuchadnezzar would arise "another kingdom, inferior to thee!"
The BEAST is, at once, the human leader over the final revival of the Roman Empire, and the military and political system he controls.
The beast has existed from the time of the ancient, pagan Roman Empire! At its head have been such leaders as the Roman emperors Constantine, Justinian, Charlemagne, Otto the Great, Charles the Great, and Napoleon.
Then, Mussolini and Hitler, at the head of the Axis powers during World War 11, formed a brief resurrection of the same old system. German units carried Roman standards in parades and marches. The symbol of Mussolini's army was from ancient Rome. Mussolini called his militarist government the "Holy Roman Empire."
There is obviously another resurrection of the Roman Empire to occur in the future—in OUR TIME! "And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet," said John (Revelation 17:12).
That prophecy is specifically for us, now! Today, there are no absolute monarchies in Europe. Will the terrible economic conditions in Britain, and then in Europe, cause nations to return to monarchies? Is it conceivable Prince Charles could yet abolish Parliament—step in, and take over, in a bid to save Britain from complete economic and social chaos claiming absolute power? Many European countries have royal families, various claimants to nonexistent thrones, including Holland, Belgium, Germany, and Spain, among others.
The prophecy could be satisfied if presidents, premiers, or prime ministers took total power, or if military dictators arose, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility that monarchies could return.
John said, "…but [these ten kings] receive power AS KINGS one hour with the beast These shall MAKE WAR WITH THE LAMB..." (Revelation 17:12,13). Obviously, they are extant, at the zenith of their power, at the time just prior to Christ's return.
The Woman Who Rides the Beast
In vision, John saw a famous harlot sitting astride the mysterious beast.
"So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
"And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
"And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
"And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration [shock, or awe]" (Revelation 17:3-6).
Now, who and what is this "woman"? Somehow, she contrives to control the ten-headed monster, the amalgamated political system of ten nations.
How? What is the one most important supranational motivating power or influence which could weld otherwise differing, disagreeing nations together?
Remember, it is Satan who gives power to this agglomeration of nations.
And who is this "mother of all whores"? She wears scarlet symbolic of harlotry. She has names which are blasphemous. She decks herself with gold, precious stones and pearls, and is the perpetrator of countless, vicious crimes against the true servants of God. She is seen as figuratively "drunken with the blood of saints"! At the end of the seventeenth chapter, John gives an important clue. He says, "And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth!" And what city is that? Is it Lansing, Michigan; Kobe, Japan; or Hobart, Tasmania?
What city is it which, down through history, has literally ruled over the kings and emperors of dozens of governments?
It is the city of ROME!
Rome, the city founded by "Romulus," eventually, through attrition and warfare, became the seat of the western "universal church."
The Roman Catholic Church harshly excommunicates recalcitrant priests, disobedient members and dissidents.
But interdiction is utilized by the Pope to literally "excommunicate" a whole nation.
In the past, when governments unfavorable to Rome have arisen in Catholic countries, interdiction has been used. No government could long survive if an entire populace, believing firmly in the pagan doctrine of the "immortality of the soul," were told they had been "excommunicated" and were going into an ever-burning hell fire rather than purgatory or "the beatific vision"!
Millions of frightened, crazed citizens would rise immediately, and violent demonstrations, and massive riots would topple such a government.
This has happened. There is only ONE great "universal" church which acts as a state; sending its ambassadors and representatives to national capitols all over the world, and entertaining emissaries and ambassadors from such nations in its own territory.
The Vatican is a state within a state! It is not, technically, a part of Italy, or the city of Rome! It carries statehood, absolute sovereignty, as a separate NATION inside the Italian peninsula!
As such, it is one of the several "Lilliputian" nations of Europe, including Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and San Marino.
Notice that the famous city sits astride "seven mountains," or hills. (Revelation 17:9).
Rome has its seven famous hills, each named, and marked by ancient monuments.
Some have imagined that the "miry clay" of Daniel's vision which seems to weld the ten toes of the great image together, represent a sticky, bituminous substance—which, even though it is obviously not "mixed" with iron, is used as a weak bonding agent of some kind, which at least effects a weak union for a time.
Daniel's vision shows that although the hardness of iron is present in the ten governments represented by the toes; there is also the "weakness" of clay.
The bonding agent which will hold the entire system of the future ten nation central government in Europe together is religion!
The "great whore" is pictured as having many harlot daughters.
Notice! "Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called, the lady of kingdoms.
"I was wroth with my people [Israel!], I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand: thou didst show them no mercy; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke!
"And thou saidst, I shall be a lady forever: so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart, neither didst remember the latter end of it.
"Therefore hear now this, thou that are given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:
"But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries, and for thy great abundance of thine enchantments" (Isaiah 47:5-9).
Yes, she is pictured as a MOTHER church; a UNIVERSAL church, which has many protesting "daughters"!
Who IS this great, scarlet-attired, blasphemous WHORE, who commits spiritual fornication with many Gentile governments; who martyred countless thousands of God's people down through the centuries; out of whom came daughters—protesting against her excesses?
She sits astride the ten-nation BEAST, wielding powerful influence. She resides in an ancient city having seven noted hills. She is "splendid" in her purple and scarlet costumes; her bejeweled facade; her gilded altars; her churches filled with the bones of dead men.
She has the names of blasphemy.
"I AM" is a title of GOD! Here is a great false church called the "daughter" of Babylon (ancient Chaldea), whose religion is a "Babylonish mystery religion," and who adopts titles which belong to God!
The Pope in Rome is called by a title which belongs to God! He is called "father," as are the priests of the Catholic religion, and yet Jesus said that, in a religious sense, we are to "call no man father on earth!" (Matthew 23:9).
The pope is said to be infallible when he speaks from the so-called "holy" See. It is said that he, although human, CANNOT make a mistake!
Now do you see? The Bible interprets its own symbols.
Thus, a mountain means a large nation; a hill a smaller one. A great beast or an animal always stands for a gentile kingdom; a woman means either a church or the nation of Israel, depending upon the context. The horns on the heads of beasts symbolize individual kings or governments.
Notice that this great false church, at the head of a ten-nation combine will destroy many of God's people!
Read that quotation from Isaiah 47 again. The great false church, at the head of a united Europe, will "lay her yoke" on God's people! They are to be taken captive by the beast power.
In Jeremiah's description of the great tribulation, called "Jacob's trouble," that is made plain.
"Alas! For that day is great so that none is like it [see Matthew 24:21] it is even the time of Jacob's trouble [Jacob's name was changed to Israel]; but he shall be saved out of it.
"For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Eternal of Hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:
"But they shall serve the Eternal their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up" (Jeremiah 30:7-9). Finally God releases them from captivity.
Notice the time element. This is at the resurrection, following the Second Coming of Christ! David, who has been these many centuries dead, is pictured as being raised from the dead, to become the king of Israel!
Thus, in this prophecy of both destruction, privation and captivity, there is also eventual rescue and restitution.
A great "yoke" of captivity has been laid across the backs of God's people!
And it is that "great whore" astride the beast who afflicts God's people with her "yoke"!
What About the Ten Horns?
A horn, as it decorates the head of horned animals such as sheep, deer, moose, caribou, elk, etc., is like a "crown" on the head of an animal. It is the horns of these animals which trophy hunters covet; the horns were utilized by ancient races, including the American Indian, as impressive headdresses to throw fear into one's enemies, or to enhance the appearance of shamans and witch doctors.
The Bible uses horns as a symbol of a king, or a government.
The Bible clearly tells us "The ten horns ARE TEN KINGS, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast" (Revelation 17:12).
Therefore, it is clear that the final "ten horns" are seen on the final head of the many-headed beast of John's vision.
You know this simply because the ten are obviously contemporaneous; they fight Christ at His coming! They correspond to the TEN TOES of the image in Daniel's second chapter, which are smashed by the symbolic stone, which is Christ.
Notice the language of the prophecy: These kings have "received no kingdom AS YET"! Yet, the Bible says they receive POWER "as kings" one hour [a very short time in history] with the BEAST.
And what is the power of kings? It is absolute power! It is the power of a DICTATOR! It is total autocracy; the power to declare war, to conscript vast armies, to manipulate national economies, to impose martial law!
The prophecy says, "These have one mind This simply means they are united in purpose; that they completely agree on one united policy; that their goals and objectives are the SAME!
"...and shall give their power and strength unto the beast." Obviously, then, ten separate nations allied under ten presidents, prime ministers, premiers or dictators (the biblical symbol is "king") agree on a unified policy; then commit their total economies, industrial base and military forces into the united power called "THE BEAST"!
"These (all ten, allied now into ONE great ten-member nation) shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them..." (Revelation 17:14).
Do you see?
If you were on the proverbial desert island, and you knew God existed, you knew that the Bible is HIS WORD, you would need only these three verses of the Bible to wash ashore in the proverbial bottle to absolutely convince you that the following facts are true:
1) Somewhere on this earth, there will be ten kings or human rulers of ten separate governments who will emerge, having dictatorial power!
2) They will arise suddenly, and will endure together but a short time.
3) They will have one policy.
4) They will unitedly pledge their industrial, economic and military
strength into one central power.
5) This power is called "the beast" in Bible prophecy.
6) They will FIGHT CHRIST at His coming!
7) Christ will overcome them, and destroy their power!
Do you see?
From just these few verses of Revelation 17, if you believe that the Bible is the divinely-revealed Word of God, you can KNOW all of the foregoing!
Now, read carefully the entire passage concerning the beast, commencing with Revelation 13, verse 1: "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea…"
A government derives its force and power by the number of people it controls. Its industrial, economic and military base reside in the masses of people beneath that government Here, the analogy is obvious: A great, threatening, autocratic government rises up out of masses of people.
"...having seven heads and ten horns...." There were four beasts pictured in Daniel's seventh chapter, representing four successive worldruling empires. Alexander's government was depicted as a leopard, one of the four, but it had four heads. Since each of the other three beasts had one head, and the leopard, picturing Alexander and his four generals, had four, the total is seven heads, or the great beast of these dictatorial, military Gentile governments holding sway over the known world from the time of Nebuchadnezzar until the collapse of the Roman Empire, A.D. 476.
"...and upon his horns ten crowns…" Crowns are a symbol of kings, again representing the absolute power of an unlimited monarchy.
"...and upon his heads the name of blasphemy." The Roman Empire was called (and is yet to be called) "the HOLY Roman Empire"! Many have made the error of interpreting the beast of Revelation 13 as purely a religious power, and have become confused about the meaning of biblical prophecy. No doubt, they simply have not understood that the pagan Roman emperors, and, in fact, the kings and emperors of more ancient states long antedating them, were WORSHIPED as deities!
Roman emperors demanded that they be called "divinity," and were revered by the pagan populaces as "gods."
This, long before the so-called "Christianizing" of the pagan Roman Empire, which subsequently, as its rulers were crowned by the Popes, became known as the "Holy" Roman Empire!
Therefore, names and titles which belong to God were blasphemously attached to purely pagan, militaristic governments!
We have already seen the meaning of the second verse, wherein each of the most powerful aspects of the four beasts of Daniel's seventh chapter are revealed to characterize the powerful, final beast which will be extant at the time of the Second Coming of Christ. Let's now notice the third and fourth verses:
"And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death…." This refers to the collapse of Rome in A.D. 476. "…and his deadly wound was healed…" General Belisarius effected a weaker resurrection of the Roman Empire when he conquered Carthage in North Africa, and various of the provinces of Italy in 554.
Actually, the "Holy Roman Empire" continued from that time until the second defeat of Napoleon in comparatively modern times; indeed, experienced another resurrection during the time of Hitler and Mussolini!
"...and all the world wondered after the beast
"And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"
State worship was one of the trappings of Hitler's "Third Reich." Hitler was a false Christ who attempted to bring about the creation of the "super race," claiming his "Reich" would stand for a thousand years! Thus, as the false "savior" of Germany, the architect of a race of "superhumans," claiming that he had established a "Christian" government on the earth which would endure for one thousand years, Hitler masqueraded as Christ Himself!
There is little doubt Hitler was possessed by Satan. Can anyone explain his vicious pogroms against the Jews; the deportation of millions into slave labor camps; the uprooting of whole populations; his incredible record at the first of diabolically brilliant military successes; and his later frenzied rages, demonic dreams, tortured thoughts, and insane orders, ordering non-existent armies to non-existent fronts when his own generals told him the armies of Nazi Germany had been defeated?
In the early days of Hitler's rise to power, he was revered—worshiped by millions in Germany! He was called the very heart, mind, and soul of Germany! Rudolf Hess, during the famous Nuremberg rally, shouted "Hitler ist Deutschland—Deutschland ist Hitler!"
Once again, there will come upon the world scene a leader with the same type of charisma; the same dark, inexplicable power; the same military genius; the same diabolical, demonic ability to sway the minds of millions who will become the HEAD of a combine of nations, probably called the United States of Europe!
The man probably will be a German, though Bible prophecy does not specify it!
That man will fulfill the biblical prophecy of the beast!
He has had many predecessors. A type of the beast of Bible prophecy was Antiochus Epiphanes, who is the last central figure of the lengthy eleventh chapter of Daniel's prophecy, obviously a type of Adolph Hitler!
Other types were Justinian, Charlemagne, Otto the Great, Charles the Great, and Napoleon.
Each of these, reigning over the imperial restoration of the Roman Empire from 554 until 1814, represent some of the "horns and heads" of the beasts revealed in Daniel's seventh chapter, and comprise the first five heads of the seven-headed beast of Revelation 17!
Now, back to our chapter: "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months" (Revelation 13:5).
Forty-two months in Bible prophecy translates into three and one-half years.
The Three and One-Half Year Period of Prophecy
Remember, Jesus Christ of Nazareth warned of the coming GREAT TRIBULATION! (Matthew 24:21,22). The tribulation is clearly the time of national calamities to befall God's people Israel! (Jeremiah 30:7, 8; Daniel 12: 1,2).
Even though the Jewish people of the modern nation of "Israel" in Palestine are definitely a part of Israel, they DO NOT represent the tentribed HOUSE OF ISRAEL which became lost from history!
The United States and the British Commonwealth comprise the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim; other nations of northwestern Europe, including the Scandinavian countries, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and perhaps the northern half of France comprise other parts of the "lost ten tribes of Israel."
The national calamities to befall God's people are prophesied to continue for a period of three and one-half years! Notice the parallels: "...and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months!" (Revelation 13:5). The beast power reign continues at the zenith of its power—for exactly three and one-half years!
However, God shows that His people are symbolically protected by Almighty God (the symbol of God's protection is "two wings of a great eagle": Revelation 12:14; Exodus 19:4).
"And to the woman [God's church] were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness [a spiritual type of God's protection] into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent" (Revelation 12:14).
Earlier, the Bible shows that God's true church was protected for "a thousand two hundred and three-score days" (Revelation 12:6) from the persecutions of Satan, and his church on this earth.
Now, compare Revelation 12:6 with Revelation 12:14 and Revelation 13:5.
In verse 6 of chapter 12, you see the period of time during which the saints are protected is a thousand two hundred and three-score days."
Yet, in verse 14 of the same chapter, the same period of time is called a time, and times, and half a time." This tells you that one time is a year; that "times" is not three, seven, ten or more, but only two times, and that "half a time" is six months, or half of one year!
Compare these verses with Revelation 13:5. Here, the beast power which is persecuting God's people continues for forty and two months." Forty-two months is exactly thirty-six months plus six months—or three and one-half years!
Furthermore we learn that, in Bible prophecy, the months all have exactly thirty days, and each year has exactly twelve month—contrary to the present pagan, Roman calendar. For the purposes of history, Bible chronology and prophecy, God uses this special measurement of time!
Now, notice Revelation 11. As the angel symbolically measures the temple of God, he is told, "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread underfoot forty and two months!"
This coincides exactly with the prophecy of Daniel 11:40-45. Here, the "king of the north" (who was Antiochus Epiphanes in ancient times—and who is the BEAST of central Europe in the future!) will enter into the land of Palestine, setting up his military headquarters in Jerusalem. The twelfth chapter shows the great tribulation is brought about immediately by such a move! Furthermore, it concurs exactly with Jesus' famous "Olivet prophecy" (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) in which He predicted yet a future "holocaust" to befall the Jewish people in the land of PALESTINE!
Christ prophesies a future occupation of the holy land, probably under the guise of "protectionism," by a multilateral European force, in order to set up a so-called corpus separatum, or "internationalized city," in Jerusalem!
It will be set up by the future beast, the European military power, and the Pope himself will move to Jerusalem, Palestine! At that time, he may well claim to be, not only "the vicar of Christ," but GOD HIMSELF! (Study 11 Thessalonians2:3-10.)
Now back to Revelation 11.
"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two-hundred and three-score days, clothed in sackcloth" (Revelation 11:3).
Notice that the exact time during which the mysterious "two witnesses" of Revelation 11 prophesy—during which they have the power to call down great plagues upon the "seat of the beast," meaning the site of the beast's authority—is for a duration of three and one-half years!
Now, put it all together.
God shows that the beast power will hold sway for three and one-half years. The great tribulation and the day of the Lord occupy three and one-half years! The two witnesses prophesy for a period of three and one-half years, and it is obvious from the latter verses of Revelation 11 that the Second Coming of Christ follows very swiftly after the martyrdom of the two witnesses!
Do you see?
Even as the great image of Daniel's second chapter was "partly weak and partly strong," and even as the ten kings will receive "power as kings one hour" with the beast, so the history of this future "resurrection" of the "Holy Roman Empire" in central Europe will endure for only THREE AND ONE-HALF YEARS!
Jesus Christ gave specific WARNING about a series of shocking events which would usher in the great tribulation.
He said, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand), then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
"Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
"And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.
"For then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no nor ever shall be.
"And except those days should be shortened, there should NO FLESH BE SAVED [ALIVE]: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened" (Matthew 24:15-22).
Do you now understand?
When the world sees the forming of ten nations in Europe—probably to be called "the UNITED STATES OF EUROPE"—when the world sees that power move to OCCUPY PALESTINE (modern "Israel")—when the world sees the POPE move his official headquarters to JERUSALEM, thus setting up the "abomination of desolation" in the HOLY PLACE—THEN THIS WORLD HAD BETTER REALIZE THE GREAT TRIBULATION IS BEGINNING!
Jesus plainly said so.
Now, in a nutshell, here is what you should WATCH for in world developments:
(1) Major economic distress will strike the United States and Britain, probably as a result of increased protectionism, resultant TRADE WARS, primarily between America and Japan, and between America and the Common Market countries, specifically Germany.
(2) Major socioeconomic upheavals will topple governments; massive marches, riots, demonstrations and violence will ensue as angry populations blame governments, minorities, and various "conspiracies" for their troubles.
(3) Western nations will find martial law being imposed; presidents and prime ministers will seek emergency powers. An absolute monarchy may return to Britain and some European countries.
(4) Western Europe will not escape unscathed in a global economic breakdown. Dictators will emerge. A "STRONG MAN" will take the helm of government in Germany.
(5) Either a single Mideastern leader (the "king of the south" of Daniel 11:40), or an Arab bloc of countries will "push at" the United States of Europe in some way. This implies economic interference. Perhaps another OIL embargo. This will be coupled with an all-out Arab attack against Israel, which will bring major loss of life and major damage to Israeli cities.
(6) Because JERUSALEM will be seriously endangered, the Pope will call for MILITARY guarantees of an "internationalized city" or the corpus separatum which he has already espoused, to be enforced by the beast power in Europe.
(7) The European powers move swiftly into the Middle EAST. The Pope will move to Jerusalem.
(8) Following trade wars and probably in connection with major events in the Middle East, a complete breakdown in the present economic structure of the world will occur. War will break out in the Middle East; the United States will declare war on the U.S. of Europe and its allies, probably including Japan. The GREAT TRIBULATION will begin! The prophesied great tribulation is to come upon God's people Israel, Joseph, primarily meaning Manasseh (the United States of America), and Ephraim (the British Commonwealth of nations). The tribulation on South Africa will come largely from within, resulting from a violent overthrow of the minority white apartheid government. The Israelitish people in Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania, almost in a bizarre rerun of what might have happened in World War II, will very likely be conquered by Japan. It is possible that this war will NOT necessarily include nuclear weapons, or, at least, all-out nuclear war.
(9) GERMANY, at the head of the United States of Europe, will conquer the United States and the British Commonwealth of nations! (Isaiah 10:5-12; Isaiah 47:6; Jeremiah 30:7-9; Ezekiel 5:12; Ezekiel 23:9; Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21,22). Thus begins captivity, deportation, privation, and hardship such as never before known for the western democracies!
(10) During the next three and one-half year period, there is no organized preaching of the gospel (Amos 8: 11). The two witnesses, two human beings who are called of God as spiritual leaders, are repeatedly conveying messages to the beast and false prophet in Jerusalem, as an antitype of Moses and Aaron, demanding that the beast power release the people of God from slavery (Revelation 11).
(11) For some reason, probably betrayal and internal politics, the "beast shall hate the whore and make her desolate" (Revelation 17:16-18; Revelation 18, entire chapter). The eighteenth chapter of Revelation specifies how God will cause the beast power to turn upon the false prophet and his church, thus carrying out God's judgments as foreordained throughout all of history and as foretold in Bible prophecy.
(12) At about this time, the two witnesses are allowed to be killed, and, miraculously, resurrected to human, physical life a few days later, just prior to the Second Coming of Christ!
(13) During this entire period (the great tribulation, the heavenly signs and the day of the Lord), God's people, Israel, have been in captivity! Every scripture which speaks of the condition of God's people Israel in connection with the Second Coming of Christ pictures them as being in captivity. A few samples: Isaiah 10:20-25; Isaiah 11: 10- 16; Isaiah 14:1,2; Isaiah 14:25; Isaiah 27:12, 13; Isaiah 35:4-10; Isaiah 43:1-7; Jeremiah 16:14,15; Jeremiah 23:5-8; Jeremiah 31:7-14; Ezekiel 11:17-20; Ezekiel 20:33-36; Ezekiel 34:11-24; Ezekiel 36:24-38; Hosea 11:11,12; Hosea 12:1-9; Joel 2:20-32; Amos 9:9-15; Micah 5:5-8; Zephaniah 3:14-20; Zechariah 8:13-23; Zechariah 14: 1-11.
Read each one of the scriptures listed above, and see the many graphic descriptions of hapless, wretched slaves who are released at the time of the Second Coming of Christ! Notice the time setting in each prophecy. Though there is duality in some few cases; though there was an earlier return from captivity during the time of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zerubbabel, yet none of the prophecies concerning the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31) or the Second Coming of Christ occurred!
You will find that, in some cases, the resurrection is portrayed. In one case, Jeremiah specifically states that David will be resurrected to become the king over the physical remnant of Israel during the millennial reign of Christ (Jeremiah 30:9).
There are many more events which are to occur, including the protection of some of God's people who will not be called upon to give their last testimony through martyrdom. Jesus plainly said, "But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake ... and ye shall be betrayed both by parent, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and SOME OF YOU shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish" (Luke 21:12-18).
According to Matthew's Gospel, Jesus said, "All these are the beginning of sorrows [great tribulation], then shall they deliver YOU up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake..." (Matthew 24:8,9).
Yet, to some few of God's people, there is strong implication that protection will be offered!
"Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation [trial or tribulation] which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth" (Revelation 3: 10).
Yet, God plainly says, "And he [the "spokesman" of the BEAST] opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and TO OVERCOME THEM..." (Revelation 13:6,7).
Also, God says, "And the dragon was wroth with the woman and went to make war with the remnant of her seed [the last, end-time generation of God's people] which KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ! (Revelation 12:17). Daniel's prophecy says, "I beheld, and the same horn [the "little horn," representing the papacy, which overthrew three of the preceding Roman governments!] made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; UNTIL the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom" (Daniel 7:21,22).
Make no mistake! Not every praying, fasting, spiritually strong Christian is going to be spirited away, or supernaturally protected in a "place of safety"!
The strongest biblical proof of that statement is found in Revelation 11, in the story of the two witnesses, who will become two of the greatest prophets in all history: greater than Moses and Aaron, greater than Elijah and Elisha, for their miracles will not merely be local, but GLOBAL, and they will have the power to perform great miracles, such as drought, famine, and other miraculous events to PUNISH the beast power, and will be completely impervious to all attempts at their assassination for three and one-half years, during the time of their prophecy, until God allows their martyrdom!
Thus is the scenario for the truly great events which are to shape the next decades of world history!
Somewhere on this earth Almighty God has commissioned His work, as a "watchman" to cry out in a wilderness of Babylonish and spiritual confusion, with a loud and clear voice, a dynamic message of WITNESS and WARNING!
Has God somehow led you into contact with that very work? Jesus said, "You shall know them by their fruits!"
WATCH the events unfolding around this world day by day and week by week! What events can you point to, right now, which indicate the beginning of protectionism and trade wars, and which will lead toward economic chaos and confusion? Have the Arabs clamped an oil embargo upon the powers in Western Europe and the United States previously? Could it happen again? In the event of the seeming imminent destruction of the holy places in Jerusalem, which nation would gain MORE by immediately becoming Israel's "protector," and which great, universal spiritual leader would most likely be the first to act?
Do you see?
Once you understand the identity of the American and British peoples in biblical prophecy, literally dozens of major events begin to fall into place. Without that understanding, those who study prophecy are casting about in the dark. They may understand, basically, that the biblically prophesied great tribulation, the heavenly signs, and the day of the Lord are coming. They read about Armageddon, and the Second Coming of Christ.
But they do not seem to know the answers as to WHO is the beast—WHO is the false prophet—and upon WHOM is the great tribulation going to fall!
Isn't it about time you wondered about the truly big questions in your own life? What about the future? What will you Do during the biblically prophesied GREAT TRIBULATION to fall upon our peoples?
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