The Beast of the Apocalypse: What Is It?
The apostle John, transported forward into time, wrote of the strange, awesome things he saw in the book of Revelation, the Apocalypse. He wrote, “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” (Revelation 13:1). “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?’” (verse 4). “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him….These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:20).
Something so powerful, so gigantic, that it is worshipped because of its vast military power; something that assays to fight the returning, conquering Christ at His coming is obviously a political, economic, and military power which exists at the very time of the end! But who? Where? The prophet Daniel saw it first, a monster which “devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it” (Daniel 7:7). Then John saw it, at the end of the first century; a seven-headed, ten-horned monster rising from the sea, blaspheming God, and making “war against the saints.” What is the Beast? Where did it first plant its feet? Where did it go? Follow, now, from the annals of history and from the pages of Bible prophecy, the tracks of the Beast, and come to understand its frightening prophetic significance for our time!
The beast John saw in vision seemed to rise out of an ocean. It had seven heads and ten horns. The horns featured ten crowns, while the heads were decorated with names which are blasphemous in God’s sight.
What is the meaning of this seven-headed, ten-horned creature?
John said, “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear [strange feet indeed, for a leopard-like creature!], and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Revelation 13:2).
John wrote what he saw, without comprehending all the meaning. As a reporter, or a biographer, he was faithfully recounting what he saw in a vision. A strange creature, indeed; terrible in aspect, threatening, powerful. The power and authority from this many-headed, many-horned composite creature came from a dragon.
What is meant by a “dragon”?
Dragons, purely mythological creatures, remind one of serpentine monsters with huge, bat-like wings; fierce heads with blazing, snake-like eyes; heavy, clawed feet like those of a crocodile; and rows of wickedly gleaming, sharply pointed teeth, breathing roaring tongues of fire from their mouths.
But we need not speculate about what is meant by the dragon which empowers the beast, for the Bible plainly tells us what it is: “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:7-9).
The dragon is a symbol for Satan.
Jesus Christ said, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Satan is the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2), and is “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) who influences heads of state and leaders of false, counterfeit religions. He is “the accuser of the brethren” (Revelation 12:10), who, “as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
The many-headed, ten-horned beast is empowered and guided by Satan! As such, it is antichrist, against God, against His holy laws, His Sabbath days, and viciously, hatefully against His people, called the saints. It is against those who are performing the work of God on this earth.
Why did it look like a leopard? Why were its feet like those of a bear, and its head like that of a lion?
For centuries, Bible scholars have known that the prophecies of Daniel and those of John in the Apocalypse are inseparable; that one interprets the other.
To trace the tracks of the Beast from the time it first stood upon the earth until the time of the end, when it is said to “make war with the saints” and to fight Christ at His return, we must know what God revealed to Daniel.
Daniel, a Prophet Beloved of God
Daniel, together with three royal princes of the throne of Judah, were taken captive when Jerusalem fell to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. Who is not familiar with the story of “Daniel In the Lion’s Den,” which we were told as children? The book of Daniel contains lengthy pronouncements from Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who not only fulfilled the prophecy of the first beast, but is symbolic of the whole system of pagan, gentile kingdoms under Satan, called “Babylon the Great” (Revelation 17:5), which is pictured as in collusion with a great false religious system, called the “mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.”
Daniel’s prophecy also contains a lengthy announcement from a heavenly messenger in chapters eleven and twelve; actual first-person quotations from an archangel of God.
The first chapter relates Daniel’s capture and his condition in captivity, and informs us God had given Daniel and the three princes “knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams” (Daniel 1:17).
The second chapter tells us of Nebuchadnezzar dream.
Daniel not only interpreted the dream, but God gave him the secret of what it was Nebuchadnezzar had dreamed: “Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee: and the form thereof was terrible [awesome; overpowering]. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:31-35).
To Nebuchadnezzar, the image towered into the sky! The brilliant reflections of gold, silver, and brass were dazzling. Like a comet falling, a stone then smashed into the feet of mixed iron and clay. As the image collapsed, the iron, brass, silver, and gold seemed to completely disintegrate, forming a vast pile of metallic dust. The wind blew, and the particles of metal were whisked away. Then, Nebuchadnezzar’s astonished mind seemed to see the stone which had smashed into the feet begin to grow larger until it seemed to literally fill the whole earth!
No wonder this Babylonian king was astonished. No wonder he was overcome with eager curiosity to learn what such a vision could mean!
Daniel said, “This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold” (Daniel 2:36-38).
Notice several important points:
(1) It was the Great Creator RULER God who had allowed Nebuchadnezzar to become a “king of kings,” having subjugated many other surrounding nations; taking their peoples captive, and forcing other governments to bow to his will. Daniel told this Babylonian king that it was God who decided the course of world events; who set up or deposed rulers.
(2) Nebuchadnezzar was the first real world dictator, for Daniel acknowledged that he ruled over the known, inhabited earth.
(3) Nebuchadnezzar was the “head of gold,” which meant that, as king, he stood for and represented the Babylonian kingdom. Notice the proof: “And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth” (Daniel 2:39).
King and kingdom were synonymous.
(4) Babylon epitomizes the Beast power down through history. The Babylonish “mystery” religion, handed down from Nimrod and his mother/wife, Semiramus, continues down through history, masquerading as “the one true church,” which controls the political and military power of the end-time Beast.
(5) The Apocalypse predicts that the final union of church and state that will fight Christ at His coming will be like an end-time Babylon. The “woman,” or false church which sits on the beast, is called “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”
(6) Ancient Babylon was destroyed. Today, its ruins are a tourist attraction near Baghdad, Iraq. Yet, the Apocalypse says that the great city which represents the end-time Beast power and false church is nevertheless called Babylon. “I saw another angel come down from heaven…and he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils [demons], and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird…And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her….Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come” (Revelation 18:1-10).
When John received these prophecies, ancient Babylon had lain in utter ruin for approximately six hundred and thirty-nine years! This prophecy could not refer to ancient ruins, but to an end-time modern city which is called the “seat of the Beast,” or the capital city of the Beast power, which is ridden, or controlled, by the “mother of harlots,” arrayed in scarlet.
Thus, though Babylon, under Nebuchadnezzar, was the first of the four great world-ruling empires, the name of Babylon is permanently stamped upon the whole system, until the time of the Second Coming of Christ.
After predicting another kingdom, inferior to Babylon (the Medo-Persian Empire of history), and yet a third kingdom of brass (the Graeco-Macedonian Empire under Alexander), Daniel described the fourth kingdom, which was Rome: “And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ 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 [“weak”: margin]. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings [the final ten kings, as pictured by the toes, cf. Revelation 17:12-14] 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).
Obviously, though uttered thousands of years ago, this prophecy shows that there will be an end-time combine of ten nations represented by the ten toes of the great image who will be smashed into oblivion by the returning, conquering Christ!
It is called “Babylon the great” in the Apocalypse, yet is the end-time resurrection of what became the “Holy Roman Empire,” which will consist of ten nations. The ten horns of Revelation 17:12 are the same as the ten toes of the great image.
Now, let’s come to understand Daniel’s important seventh chapter, with his depiction of these same world-ruling kingdoms as beasts; three of them known creatures, and the fourth a surrealistic, satanic-looking creature, like no living animal.
Four Great Beasts
These remarkable prophecies, including Daniel’s God-given interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar dream, were uttered and later written long prior to 538 B.C., the time of the collapse of the Babylonian Empire. As the decades and centuries passed, it became clear, as a result of the rise and fall of city-states, nations, and empires, what was meant by the kingdoms of silver, brass, and iron and clay.
First, God revealed to Daniel the meaning of the king’s dream. Later, God gave Daniel a dream, which he carefully wrote down, and which forms chapter 7. This was during Belshazzar’s reign, nearing the end of the Babylonian supremacy.
“In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof 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. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given unto it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it: and it had ten horns” (Daniel 7:1-7).
As we shall see, the end-time Beast portrayed in Revelation 13:1,2 embodies all the strongest characteristics of these beasts, and represents the culmination of all the gentile world-ruling kingdoms; governments ruled by men with minds like those of wild animals.
The First Beast-Like a Lion
The first beast, like a lion with eagle’s wings, which was “made stand upon the feet as a man,” and which had “a man’s heart” given unto it, represented Nebuchadnezzar, at the head of the first world-ruling empire in all history, Babylon.
Details of the seven years of Nebuchadnezzar insanity are given in Daniel 4.
Nebuchadnezzar became completely insane. The Bible says, “And he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws” (Daniel 4:33).
For seven long years, this man who had been a powerful, war-making king, lived like a savage animal, his beard and hair no doubt matted with filth.
At the end of those seven years, his reason was returned to him by a miracle from God. “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored Him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment: and those that walk in pride He is able to abase” (Daniel 4:34-37).
Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity is a type of the infamous “times of the gentiles,” during which God would allow powerful pagan kingdoms to be ruled by men with minds like rapacious, wild, predatory beasts!
Dozens of infamous examples stand out in the history of gentile kingdoms: Atilla, Ghengis Khan, Alexander, the Caesars of Rome, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin. There are dozens of other, lesser-known examples, like Antiochus Epiphanes, Laomedon, Ptolmey Soter, and Seleucus Nicator. Today, one thinks of despots like Saddam Hussein, Maomar Kadaffi, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, and the late leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung.
Such men implemented pogroms; committed mass murder and genocide; destroyed cities, villages, homes, and farms; deported helpless civilians. They raped and pillaged, burnt and destroyed, plundered and looted. As the Bible describes, they were more like “beasts” of the jungle than humane, civilized, caring human beings.
The first beast was Babylon, ruled by Nebuchadnezzar.
The Second Beast-Like a Bear
The Babylonian Empire was destroyed by Persian armies under Cyrus, probably in about October, 538 B.C. The second kingdom, represented by the chest and arms of silver in the great image, and by a bear (Daniel 7:5), ruled over the known world.
This was the kingdom of Medo-Persia, ruled by Cyrus “the Great.” Cyrus dated his years from 538 B.C., calling himself “king of Babylon and king of the countries,” meaning “king of the world.”
The remarkable prophecies of Isaiah 44 and 45 were written about 150 years before Cyrus was born, and yet mention him by name (Isaiah 45:1-6). In these two chapters, Cyrus was predicted to set the Jews free to rebuild the Temple, though the Temple had not yet been destroyed when Isaiah wrote the prophecies!
History positively confirms these astonishing prophecies, for it was Cyrus who allowed the captive Jews in Babylon, who had been taken there by Nebuchadnezzar, to return to Palestine.
Josephus, the famous and eminent Jewish historian, writes, “In the first year of the reign of Cyrus, which was the seventieth from the day that our people were removed out of their own land into Babylon, God commiserated the captivity and calamity of these poor people, according as he had foretold to them by Jeremiah the prophet, before the destruction of the city” (Antiquities of the Jews, 11.1.1).
Josephus then quotes a letter from Cyrus to Sisinnes and Sathrabizanes, in which we find preserved the statements of Cyrus himself: “I have given leave, to as many of the Jews as dwell in my country as please to return to their own country, and to rebuild their city, and to build the temple of God at Jerusalem, on the same place where it was before. I have also sent my treasurer Mithridates, and Zorobabel, the governor of the Jews, that they may lay the foundations of the temple, and may build it sixty cubits high, and of the same latitude, making three edifices of polished stones, and one of the wood of the country, and the same order extends to the altar, whereon they offer sacrifices to God” (Antiquities, 11.1.12,13).
Artaxerxes, who ruled over the Persian Empire after the death of Cyrus, issued two decrees using similar language during the days of Ezra and Nehemiah.
The decrees to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple help explain the famous “seventy weeks” prophecy of Daniel. As Halley says, “The date from which the 70 weeks [70 weeks of years, or 70 sevens of years, or 490 years] was to be counted was the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. There were three decrees issued by Persian kings for this purpose….The principal one of these was 457 B.C.
“The 70 weeks is subdivided into 7 weeks, 62 weeks, and 1 week (Daniel 9:25-27). It is difficult to see the application of the ‘7 weeks’; but the 69 weeks (including the 7) equal 483 days, that is, on the year-day theory (Ezekiel 4:6), which is the commonly accepted interpretation, 483 years” (Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 349).
Halley then makes the mistake of forgetting to add one year in his calculations, for there is no year labeled “0,” and, unless one adds a year to account for both 1 B.C. and A.D. 1, the arithmetic is erroneous. Coming forward from 457 B.C., subtracting 457 from 483 years, one has 26 years, or 26 B.C. But this is incorrect by one year, for there are two years labeled “1” in the arithmetic. Adding the missing year brings us to A.D. 27, the true date for the beginning of the ministry of the Messiah, or the coming of the “Anointed One.”
Halley goes on to say, “Further, within 3 1/2 years Jesus was crucified, that is, ‘in the midst of the one week’ ‘the Anointed One’ was ‘cut off,’ ‘purged away sin and brought in everlasting righteousness’” (ibid.).
To understand the correct date is vitally important, for it was only in A.D. 31, exactly three and one-half years after the beginning of Christ’s ministry in the autumn of 27, that the Passover of Nisan 14 fell on a Wednesday evening, with the first day of Unleavened Bread, the “high day” Sabbath (John 19:31) falling on our Thursday.
The Messiah was to be “cut off in the midst of the week.” He was in two senses: First, He was crucified on a Wednesday, not a Friday, and was to be precisely three days AND three nights in the tomb (Matthew 12:40). He was resurrected on a late Sabbath afternoon, which is why “while it was yet dark, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week,” Jesus’ tomb was already empty (Matthew 28:1).
Second, Christ was cut off after a three and one-half year ministry, out of a prophesied seven-year ministry. The second half of His ministry is waiting to be fulfilled (Isaiah 66:19).
Halley continues: “Thus Daniel foretold not only the Time at which the Messiah would appear, but also the Duration of His Public Ministry, and his Atoning Death for Human Sin” (ibid.).
One of the great proofs that there is a God is fulfilled prophecy. Daniel, who lived during the reigns of perhaps five Babylonian kings, was inspired to foretell the collapse of Babylon; the rise and fall of the Medo-Persian Empire, depicted by the breast and arms of silver, and by the bear-like beast of Daniel 7; the rise of the Graeco-Macedonian kingdom of Alexander the Great, and its disintegration into four separate kingdoms; then the rise of the Roman Empire, with its many successive kingdoms, down through history until our modern time!
Halley says, of the four beasts of Daniel 7, “This is a continuation of the prophecy of chapter 2, which was uttered 60 years earlier: ‘two aspects of one grand scheme of history’: Four World Empires, and then the Kingdom of God. In chapter 2 these are represented by an Image with a Head of Gold, a Breast of Silver, Thighs of Brass, and Feet of Iron, broken in pieces by a Stone. In this chapter  these same World Empires are represented as a Lion, a Bear, a Leopard and a Terrible Beast.
“These Four World Empires are commonly taken to be Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome…, representing the period from Daniel to Christ. These Beasts seem to form the basis of the imagery of the Seven-Headed, Ten-Horned Beast of Revelation 13” (ibid., p. 346).
The Third Beast-Like a Leopard
The third, leopard-like beast, which had “four wings of a fowl” on its back, represented Alexander’s Graeco-Macedonian Empire.
A tremendous amount of literature exists about the time of Alexander, who was a student of Aristotle. He was the son of Philip II of Macedon, and his mother, named Olympus, was reportedly a “woman of half-wild blood, weird, visionary and terrible.” A careful study of this infamous man’s life helps one understand, in part, what strange influences drove him to do what he did.
Alexander conquered the known world, leading his Greek, Macedonian, Spartan, and other troops into the faraway lands of modern-day Iraq and Iran, into India, through Palestine, and into Egypt (where the city now known as “Alexandria” was established by him). He was an absolutely fearless general, once leaping over the walls of an hostile village filled with barbarous forces with only three of his men, and suffering nearly fatal wounds as a result.
Alexander besieged Tyre for seven long months. When the city fell, after Alexander had built a causeway to breach its sea-bound walls, he utterly destroyed it, and “had the old Tyrian people scattered to the winds, 30,000 sold as slaves” (Encyclopedia Britannica, eleventh edition, vol. 1, p. 547).
Early in the siege of Tyre, Sanballat, Manasseh’s father-in-law, gathered seven thousand of his subjects in Samaria, who had earlier professed loyalty to Darius, and approached Alexander. He argued that it would be to Alexander’s advantage to have the strength of the Jews divided into two parts, and urged him to build a temple on Mount Gerizzim, the highest point in Samaria, near Schechem.
Alexander granted this request. After the fall of Tyre, Alexander marched on Gaza. Shortly, he turned toward Jerusalem.
The high priest in Jerusalem, Jaddua, was terrified. He ordered the people to make supplications and offer sacrifice to God so God would spare them and the city. After he had offered sacrifice, he had a vivid dream, in which he saw himself and the priests opening the city, decorating it, and advancing to meet the Macedonian general in their priestly robes.
They halted on a high prospect, where Alexander saw them. Josephus writes, “For Alexander, when he saw the multitude at a distance in white garments, while the priest stood clothed with fine linen, and the high priest in purple and scarlet clothing, with his mitre on his head, having the golden plate whereon the name of God was engraved, he approached by himself, and adored that name, and first saluted the high priest” (Antiquities of the Jews, 11.8.5).
Alexander’s army was displeased. Among them were Phoenicians and Chaldeans, as well as other races. Alexander’s highest officer and personal aide, Parmenio, approached him and asked, “How is it, that when all adore you, you adore the high priest of the Jews?”
Alexander replied, “I did not adore him, but that God who hath honored him with his high priesthood; for I saw this very person in a dream, in this very habit, when I was at Dios, in Macedonia, who, when I was considering with myself how I might obtain the dominion of Asia, exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass over the sea thither, for that he would conduct my army, and would give me the dominion over the Persians; whence it is that, having seen no other in that habit, and now seeing this person in it, and remembering that vision, and the exhortation which I had in my dream, I believe that I bring this army under the divine conduct, and shall therewith conquer Darius, and destroy the power of the Persians, and that all things will succeed according to what is in my own mind” (ibid.).
Alexander triumphantly entered Jerusalem, accompanied by the high priest and his entire entourage. He offered sacrifice in the Temple.
This remarkable occurrence, wherein two separate dreams caused the city of Jerusalem to be spared, can only be understood as the divine intervention of God. Alexander treated the priests with “magnificence,” and, when the high priest had showed him how to sacrifice, he also showed him the book of Daniel, “wherein Daniel declared one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended” (ibid.).
The prophecy of Daniel shown to Alexander was Daniel 8, in which Daniel saw “an he 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. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close to the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand” (Daniel 8:5-7).
Later, an archangel told Daniel the meaning of his dream: “Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king” (Daniel 8:18-21).
Thus, Alexander read a prophecy about himself that had been written two hundred years earlier. He was no doubt greatly encouraged by his dream and his encounter with the high priest, and having been shown the book of Daniel, he marched unopposed to meet Darius near Nineveh.
“Alexander came within sight of the Persian host without having met any opposition since he quitted Tyre. He had now to settle the most serious problem which had yet faced him, for in the plains the Persian army was formidable by sheer bulk” (Encyclopedia Britannica, eleventh edition, vol 1, p. 547).
But Alexander’s tactics proved too much for the ponderous Persian phalanx, wherein massed troops formed a human wedge, with shields, spears, and swords. Alexander’s horsemen and footmen launched attack after attack against the flanks and rear of the Persians, throwing them into confusion.
This was the famous battle named after Arbela, even though it was some sixty miles distant from the actual battlefield. Darius fled eastward into Media, and Alexander then marched on into Babylon, Susa, and Iran, discovering the treasure houses of the Persian Empire, and looting them.
In his overthrow of the Persian Empire, Alexander was aided by the chance (?) lunar eclipse of September 20, 331 B.C. “In the spring of 331 Alexander could at last leave the Mediterranean to strike into the heart of the Persian empire, for by his occupation of the coasts the Persian command of the sea had inevitably collapsed. Returning through Syria, and stopping at Tyre [from Gaza and Egypt] to make final arrangements for the conquered provinces, he traversed Mesopotamia and struck the Tigris some four marches above the site of Nineveh. It was near Nineveh that Darius [the Mede] was waiting with the immense host which a supreme effort could muster from all parts of the empire. The happy coincidence of a lunar eclipse gives us the 20th of September 331 as the exact day upon which the Macedonian army crossed the Tigris. Alexander came within sight of the Persian host without having met with any opposition since he quitted Tyre” (ibid., p. 547).
Like all despots, Alexander had many officers and governors throughout his kingdom who continually plotted against him. Little did he know that his kingdom would be divided up into four kingdoms even before his body was buried.
As Daniel foretold, “After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl: the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given unto it” (Daniel 7:6). True to this prophecy, Alexander’s kingdom was divided up into four kingdoms shortly after his death.
Always a man with vast and endless vision, Alexander wanted to discover whether there was a connection between the Caspian Sea and the Northern Ocean, and also determine whether there was a maritime route from Babylon (near modern Baghdad, Iraq) to Egypt, around Arabia.
He decided to build a vast fleet for his army to do just that. A great basin was dug at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, near Babylon, which could contain 1,000 ships.
Finally, after many reorganizations and innovations which would improve his army, all was ready. Alexander intended embarking on the 20th of the month Daesius, with his vast fleet.
But on the 15th and 16th, he “caroused deep into the night at the house of the favourite Medius. On the 17th he developed fever; for a time he treated it as a momentary impediment to the expedition: but on the 27th his speech was gone, and the Macedonian army were suffered to pass man by man through his chamber to bid him farewell. On the 28th (? June 13) Alexander died” (Encyclopedia Britannica, eleventh edition, vol. 1, p. 549).
Alexander’s kingdom disintegrated immediately.
Josephus writes, “Now when Alexander, king of Macedon, had put an end to the dominion of the Persians, and had settled the affairs of Judea after the aforementioned manner, he ended his life; and as his government fell among many, Antigonus obtained Asia; Seleucus [Nicator] Babylon; and of the other nations which were there, Lysimachus governed the Hellespont, and Cassander possessed Macedonia; as did Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, seize upon Egypt” (Antiquities of the Jews, 12.1.1,2).
Then followed a period of protracted warfare between the Seleucid dynasty of Syria, and the Ptolemys of Egypt, a lesser dynasty of Pharaohs.
The Seleucid dynasty began with Seleucus Nicator, a Macedonian, who was one of Philip’s generals. When he was about twenty three, he accompanied Alexander into Asia (333 B.C.).
Daniel 11 is amazingly detailed, dealing with a protracted period of time, from the first year of Darius the Mede to the “time of the end” when the final “king of the north” will invade Palestine. Chapter 12 begins with the time of the Great Tribulation prophesied by Jesus Christ, and concludes with a prophecy of the setting up of the Abomination of Desolation.
Looking back at world history from our modern perspective, we need not indulge in idle speculation or fantastic prophetic scenarios. Instead, we can look at what actually happened from the time of ancient Babylon until the present.
World history proves that which practically all Bible scholars and commentaries agree upon; that Nebuchadnezzar’s visionary image represented the four successive world-dominating empires from Babylon to Rome. These facts are not open to argument or fanciful, imaginary interpretation.
Dozens of historical sources corroborate Daniel’s prophecies. The identity of the four successive world-ruling empires is utterly without question; substantiated by the great events of history. Never forget, then, that the fourth and final beast, which answers exactly to the feet and ten toes of the image, represents ROME, not some backward, impoverished, insignificant Middle Eastern country populated by Arabs. It was to continue down through history until an end-time “resurrection” of the Roman Empire occurred.
The Fourth Beast and the Time Setting of Daniel 7
Now, notice how Daniel’s prophecies of the fourth beast, which is identified as Rome, repeatedly culminate in the setting up of Christ’s kingdom, just as chapter 2 shows how the ten toes of the whole Babylonish system are smashed by the “stone cut out without hands,” which is the returning, conquering Christ:
After describing the dreadful fourth beast with iron teeth, Daniel wrote, “I considered the horns [ten horns], and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man [it depicts a human leader], and a mouth speaking great things. I beheld till the thrones were cast down [some scholars believe this should read “were placed,” referring to Christ’s kingdom (Revelation 20:4)], and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:8-10).
Horns are symbols of human leaders of governments. Notice that Daniel describes the Ancient of Days almost exactly as does John, who saw the glorified Christ in vision: “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters” (Revelation 1:13-15).
Some commentaries think the Ancient of Days described in Daniel 7:8-10 is the Father, rather than Christ, because they see only the Father as conducting the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11). Whether it refers to Christ or the Father, it is obvious it refers to the time of the setting up of the Kingdom of God on earth, after the “little horn” succeeds in overthrowing the first of the ten succeeding kingdoms. Daniel continued, “I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame” (Daniel 7:11).
When is the Beast slain?
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness doth He judge and make war….And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS….And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. And the beast was taken [seized; arrested], and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Revelation 19:11-20).
This passage, near the end of the Bible, graphically depicts the Second Coming of Christ. One of the very first things He will do is hurl the Beast and the False Prophet¯two evil, demoniacal, cruel human leaders¯into a lake of fire.
The False Prophet is the infamous Antichrist, the head of a great, false religious system, called Mystery, Babylon the Great (Revelation 17:5).
Now, notice how Daniel saw, again and again, how the dreadful fourth beast, which is Rome, and the little horn, which is the papacy, continue until the time of the Second Coming of Christ, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man [Christ] came with the clouds of heaven [cf. Matthew 24:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:17], and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13,14).
For the second time in only five verses, Daniel 7, which depicts the four successive world-ruling empires, culminates in the Second Coming of Christ, and the setting up of Christ’s millennial reign on this earth.
Notice the next example: “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever” (Daniel 7:17,18).
Daniel then wrote, “Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass: which devoured, and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet: And the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes [the little horn,], and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn 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 7:19-22).
So the fourth beast is a continuing system, along with the little horn with eyes like a man, who speaks great things, and who persecutes God’s true church¯the saints! It continues, along with the little horn, until the setting up of God’s kingdom on earth (Isaiah 2; Micah 4; Isaiah 11; Revelation 20:4).
Now, we have seen three examples in this ancient prophecy, written before the rise of the Persian Empire, of how the prophecy continues until the time of the Second Coming of Christ.
Notice another: “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (Daniel 7:23-27).
Again, here is absolute proof that the little horn which plucks up by the roots three of the first ten horns, continues until the time of the Second Coming of Christ and establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.
These scriptures also demonstrate that the ten horns of Daniel 7 are ten successive governments¯ten revivals of the Beast system down through history. How remarkable that Daniel’s prophecies, written five hundred and thirty-eight years before the time of Christ, should be so specifically detailed, so accurate! Christ Himself referred to Daniel’s prophecies when He said, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place…Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains….For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:15-21).
Who, or What, Is the “Little Horn”?
Now, what is the identity of the little horn which had eyes like a man, a mouth speaking great things, names of blasphemy, and which will think to change times and laws; a little horn that terribly persecutes God’s saints, makes war against them¯engaging in every kind of brutality and mass murder?
Referring to this little horn or the “other horn” of Daniel 7, Halley says, “The ‘Other Horn’ (8, 20, 24, 25), which should arise among the Ten Horns, is a combination of the Leopard Beast and Lamb Beast of Revelation 13. The ‘three kings’ which he displaced (8, 24), are thought to refer to Lombards, Ravenna and Rome, which were handed over to the Popes as the beginning of their Temporal Kingdom, (A.D. 754)…The ‘other horn’ (8, 20, 24, 25) possibly refers to Antichrist” (Halley’s Bible Handbook, pp 346-7, emphasis added).
There is much disagreement about which three governments were “plucked up by the roots” by the little horn, which is identified as the papacy. Some believe they were the Vandals, Ostragoths, and the Heruli. The important point is that this little horn, which is seen to have a “look stouter than its fellows,” and which specifically is identified as persecuting and making war against the saints of God, functions as a state. It is a government, with the power to overthrow other governments.
Writing of the little horn of Daniel 7, the Critical and Experimental Commentary by Jamieson, Faucett, and Brown, says, “And the ten horns¯answering to the ten ‘toes’ (ch. ii. 41). out of this kingdom¯it is out of the fourth kingdom that the ten others arise, whatever exterior territory any of them possess (Rev. xiii.1; xvii.12). and another shall arise after them…Antichrist rises after their rise, at first ‘little’ (v. 8): but after destroying three of the ten he becomes greater than them all (vv. 20,21). The three being gone, he is the eighth (cf. Rev. xvii.11); a distinct head, and yet ‘of the seven.’ As the previous world-kingdoms had their representative heads¯Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar; Persia, Cyrus; Greece, Alexander¯so the fourth kingdom and its Antichrists shall have their evil concentrated in the one final Antichrist” (vol. 4, p. 422).
Notice carefully that the time period of “time, times, and half a time” are mentioned in both Daniel 7:25, and Daniel 12:5-7. That a literal three and one-half years is meant is inescapable in the book of Revelation, since its setting is during the time of the end. Some have thought the persecutions of the saints would take place during 1,260 years, on the “day-year” theory (Ezekiel 4:6).
But there is no doubt whatever that a literal three and one-half years is the period of ascendancy for the latter day Beast and the “image of the Beast.”
John wrote, “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” (Revelation 13:1). It was only after the little horn had overthrown the first three of the ten, leaving seven, that the title “holy” was attached to the whole governmental system.
“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard [its overall bodily characteristics were lithe, sinewy, powerful, like a leopard¯reference to Alexander’s kingdom], and his feet were as the feet of a bear [referring to the strongest characteristics of a bear; the powerful paws, which can roll over huge rocks, smash logs, or disembowel a large range animal; reference to Cyrus’ Medo-Persian empire], and his mouth as the mouth of a lion [reference to the huge head of a male lion; its powerful jaws¯depicting Nebuchadnezzar Babylonian kingdom]: and the dragon [Satan] gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death [this was the collapse of the Roman Empire in A.D. 476]; and his deadly wound was healed [the restoration of the Roman Empire in A.D. 554]: 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? 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 [1,260 days, or three and one-half years]. And he 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: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations” (Revelation 13:1-7).
This is nothing short of state worship; a gigantic socio-economic, military, and industrial power which evokes awe and worship among its citizens; which rises to such power and prestige that it is a true world power.
Thus is the description of John, which he saw in vision of the final, end-time Beast, which embodies all the strongest characteristics of the first three beasts: Babylon, Persia, and Graeco-Macedonia.
But who is the “spokesman” for this system? Who is it who blasphemes God, and persecutes God’s people?
“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon” (Revelation 13:11). Here is a government, which appears, outwardly, “Christ-like,” for it has lamb-like characteristics. Yet, it speaks as directly motivated by Satan. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him…” (verse 12). So this lamb-like beast, which is counterfeit Christianity, utilizes the economic, industrial, and military power of the civil government; the first beast of Revelation 13, which is the end-time Beast which will fight Christ at His coming (Revelation 19:19,20).
“And causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed [this is state worship]. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast: saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image [a replica; a copy; an exact counterpart] to the beast, which had the wound by the sword, and did live” (Revelation 13:11-14).
This is obviously an ecclesiastical government, under a human leader. It corresponds to the “mystery of iniquity” foreseen by the apostle Paul in his warning to the church in Thessalonica. He wrote, “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [restrains] will let [restrain], until he be taken out of the way [or: “until it arise in the midst,” or “become to be”]. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-9).
So the image of the Beast is obviously an ecclesiastical government patterned after the Roman civil government, headed by a human leader who will eventually have satanic powers to produce awe-inspiring miracles, signs, and wonders¯thus deceiving countless millions.
This will be a combination of church and state, the two cooperating fully. “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Revelation 13:15).
The ancient Roman government was organized into political spheres called the great diocese and the diocese. There was the “collegia.” Which great universal church has the same governmental pattern today?
The little horn of Daniel 7 represents the papacy, as does the lamb-like beast of Revelation 13. The “man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-9) and the False Prophet of Revelation 19:20 are one and the same, commonly called the Antichrist.
Writing of the papacy, Halley says, “The Papacy is an Italian Institution. It arose on the ruins of the Roman Empire, in the name of Christ occupying the throne of the Caesars; a Revival of the Image of the Roman Empire inheriting the Spirit thereof; ‘the Ghost of the Roman Empire come to life in the garb of Christianity.’ The Popes have mostly been Italians.
“The Papacy’s Methods: It brought itself to power through the prestige of Rome, and the Name of Christ, and by shrewd political alliances, and by deception, and by armed force; and by Armed Force and Bloodshed has maintained itself in power.
“Papal Revenues: Through a large part of its history the Papacy, by the sale of ecclesiastical office, and its shameless traffic in Indulgences, has received vast revenues that enabled it to maintain, for much of the time the most luxurious Court in Europe” (Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 783).
The lengthy article by Halley (pp. 757-804) is well worth reading, for it represents a brief synopsis of the gradual development of the Roman Catholic Church, lists all popes since the bishop of Rome began to assert his sole power over the church in about A.D. 500, and explores the Protestant Reformation.
The Roman Empire
The fourth beast with great iron teeth represents the Roman Empire from its founding until the time of the end when a final, ten-nation resurrection of the same system will fight Christ at His return.
Rome was founded, according to historical legend, by Romulus. Romulus’ name, when adding up the Roman numerical value of the letters, adds up to 666, as does “Lateinos,” which became the common language of the Roman Empire, and the language of the great universal church which has its seat in Rome.
Romulus was represented as the “son of Mars” by the Vestal Rhea Silvia, or Ilia, daughter of Numitor.
Romulus was the twin of Remus, born to Silvia. The legend has it they were placed in a trough and cast into the Tiber River by their grandfather. The trough then ground in the marshes under a wild fig tree, and the two children were, according to the myth, “suckled by a she-wolf” and “fed by a woodpecker.”
There is a massive amount of literature available about the Roman Empire, from the founding of the city of Rome through history until the present. Study the accompanying chart, and notice the names of the leaders of the Holy Roman Empire down through time.
Now, with the many prophecies of Daniel and Revelation 13 in mind, let’s understand the true meaning of the end-time Beast of the Apocalypse.
The Ten-Horned Beast of the Apocalypse
John saw a woman sitting astride a monstrous beast. Notice how he described what he saw: “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials [of God’s wrath; see Revelation 16:1], and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 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” (Revelation 17:1-5).
The woman symbolizes a great false church; a church which rules over kings and governments; a church which has political intercourse with the civil governments of this world. She has daughters, which came from her, and are also called “harlots.”
As we saw in Daniel 7, the little horn was depicted as continually making war with the saints. Notice that her colors are purple and scarlet¯the colors, traditionally, of harlotry¯and that she is decked with splendor; gold, precious stones and pearls.
John wrote, “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 [awe]” (Revelation 17:6).
Many, many books, such as Fox’s Book of Martyrs, and Hislop’s The Two Babylons, detail the sickening facts of centuries of murders and vast persecutions which have occurred.
Halley says, of Innocent III (1198-1216), “Most Powerful of all the Popes. Claimed to be ‘Vicar of Christ,’ ‘Vicar of God,’ ‘Supreme Sovereign over the Church and the World.’ Claimed the right to Depose Kings and Princes; and that ‘All things on earth and in heaven and in hell are subject to the Vicar of Christ.’
“He brought the church into Supreme Control of the State. The Kings of Germany, France, England, and practically all the Monarchs of Europe obeyed his will. He even brought the Byzantine Empire under his control. Never in history has any one man exerted more power.
“He ordered Two Crusades. Decreed Transubstantiation. Confirmed Auricular Confession. Declared that Peter’s successor ‘can never in any way depart from the Catholic faith.’ Papal Infallibility. Condemned the Magna Charta. Forbade the Reading of the Bible in vernacular. Ordered the Extermination of Heretics. Instituted the Inquisition. Ordered the Massacre of the Albigenses. More Blood was Shed under his direction, and that of his immediate successors, than in any other period of Church History, except in the Papacy’s effort to Crush the Reformation in the 16th and 17th centuries. One would think Nero, the Beast, had come to life in the Name of the Lamb” (Halley’s Bible Handbook, p. 776).
Writing of the infamous Inquisition, Halley states, “The Inquisition was the main agency in the Papacy’s effort to Crush the Reformation. It is stated that in the 30 years between 1540 and 1570 no fewer than 900,000 Protestants were put to death in the Pope’s war for the extermination of the Waldenses….
“Think of Monks and Priests, in holy garments, directing, with Heartless Cruelty and Inhuman Brutality, the work of Torturing and Burning alive Innocent Men and Women, and doing it in the Name of Christ, by the direct order of the ‘Vicar of Christ’” (ibid., p. 777).
Chillingly, as we shall soon see, God’s Word prophesied an end-time martyrdom of saints; a time in the future when the Abomination of Desolation will be seated in the “holy place” in Jerusalem; Jerusalem will be surrounded with armies, and the Great Tribulation will have begun. For a lengthy, in-depth understanding of the coming events, read our booklet “MIDEAST STRIFE—Will It Lead To ARMAGEDDON?“. It details many events occurring now on the world scene, including vitally important information about Jerusalem and the Middle East; about the potential for the construction of another temple there, and whether or not another major war is coming in the Middle East.
Many prophecies describe martyrdoms which are coming in the time of the end. Yet, millions of people believe there will be a rapture of the saints which will occur before the Great Tribulation, so there will be no martyrdoms! Which is right: Daniel 7, Revelation 13, and the prophecies of Christ Himself, or those who believe in a “rapture”?
John continued describing his vision, “And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not: and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit [an “abyss”], and go into perdition [it will be the last “beast”; going into final destruction, or perdition]: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is” (Revelation 17:7,8).
What a remarkable prophecy! Right now, today, in our time, this prophecy is being fulfilled! Today, the successive “beasts” of history are simply gone! The beast “was,” in the past. It emerged time and time again, from the time of Nebuchadnezzar to Cyrus, to Alexander, to ancient Rome, to Constantine, to Otto the Great, to Bismark, and to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, and the Holy Roman Empire Mussolini declared during World War II.
But with the defeat of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in World War II, the Beast power descended into a figurative abyss. Today, there is no great visible coalition of ten powerful governments, situated where the Roman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire was always situated, in the heartland of Europe. Never before in history has there been a time when the prophecy of Revelation 17 was exactly current.
Daniel heard and saw incredible visions of the great beasts of prophecy. Yet, he did not understand. He wanted to know the meaning of all he saw and heard. He said, “And I heard, but I understood not: then said, I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And He said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end” (Daniel 12:8).
For centuries, men have tried to understand the mysterious symbols of Daniel and the Apocalypse. But the meaning eluded them. God had closed the prophecies; sealed them by “concluding them all in unbelief,” until the time of the end.
Notice further: “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried: but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:10).
Now is the time for the wise to understand the visions of Daniel and the Apocalypse; for God’s people to watch world events, and to be forewarned (Luke 21:36; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4).
When John was transported forward in time into our day, now, in vision, he wrote, “The Revelation [not the concealing, or the “mystery”] of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him to shew unto His servants those things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John” (Revelation 1:1).
It is astonishing, but true! We are living in the day, right now, when the great BEAST of the Apocalypse “was, and is not, and yet is” (Revelation 17:8). This prophecy could not have been understood in its current relevant sense even during World War II. It would not have been currently relevant at any time in history until our day, now!
Today, the final great Beast of the Apocalypse has not yet emerged. It is ready to form¯to come out of the bottomless pit, which is metaphor¯but it is not yet visible.
Europe has made many major steps toward uniting, as we have continually warned for decades! The pope has called for a “United Europe from the Urals to the Atlantic,” but no such complete political unity has yet been achieved.
Following the defeat of Nazi Germany and Italy, because of the threat of world communism and Red Russia, the United States adopted the Marshal Plan, to rebuild Germany.
For many decades, we warned of where this would eventually lead. We spoke of the reunification of Germany, and the creation of a “United States of Europe,” back in the 1950s, throughout the decades of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Germany would rise from the ashes of defeat, and once again become the dominant power in Europe, we said. That has happened!
Never in history has there been anything like the incredible collapse of the former Soviet Union, and the toppling of communist governments in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria in rapid-fire succession, within only months!
It was a staggering series of events.
When I knew the Berlin Wall was coming down, I rushed to Germany to do special television programs. I began writing, from Berlin, a special edition for our magazine, which was published in January, 1990, entitled “New Order Coming In Germany.”
In that article, I reprinted over fifty quotations from our magazines and radio and television programs over the preceding years, demonstrating how consistently we had predicted the reunification of Germany and the rise, eventually, of a modern-day “Holy Roman Empire,” perhaps called “The United States of Europe.”
As the Western Allies began rebuilding Germany as a bulwark against world communism, the terrible years of the Cold War began. For many years I said, dozens of times, “the last chapter of European history has not been written.” Early on, Europeans began moving toward greater economic cooperation. First came the European Coal and Steel community; then Euromart, then the European Economic Union, which exists today. There is a European Parliament, and the ECU, a Common European Currency. But there are more than ten nations presently allied with the European Community, including Britain.
The final ten-nation Beast will not necessarily include some of the nations of the European Community of today. Likely, it will include mostly the Catholic countries of Europe, and not Britain, which is Anglican, or the Church of England.
As never before, in these increasingly troublous times in which you live, you need to be informed about the coming Great Tribulation; about where in the Bible our peoples in the English-speaking world are identified in prophecy; about what major events we should be alerted to which will mean the Tribulation is almost upon us.
The Beast power could arise and be visible in a matter of only weeks, or months, or a few years! There will be major stimuli which will bring it about; wars, especially another big war in the Middle East, which would threaten European oil supplies; a collapse of the global economic system, which would give rise to violent overthrow of present governments, and the rise of despotism¯dictatorships!
Today, Europe gets 46 percent of its precious oil supplies from the Persian Gulf. Japan gets 70 percent. The United States, while about 50 percent dependent on imported oil, receives 17 percent from the Gulf. A major war in that region would spell catastrophe for the big industrial powers. They would all become involved! They would have no other choice¯just as the Bush government, which put together a coalition of forces to drive Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.
That war was about oil, as everyone knows. Another war in that region would be about the same thing. Be sure to read our major booklet entitled “MIDEAST STRIFE—Will It Lead To ARMAGEDDON?” You simply must read this important booklet in order to understand!
Now, notice again John’s prophecies about the final, end-time Beast of the Apocalypse: “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and of the seven, and goeth into perdition” (Revelation 17:9-11).
The little horn uprooted the first three of the ten horns, or ten governments, revealed in Daniel 7. That left seven. The one that is “yet to come” is the eighth system, yet is “of the seven,” or like them in every respect. The eighth consists of a final ten government system which will coalesce into the Beast power.
“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” (Revelation 17:12).
Writing of the seven heads and ten horns, Halley’s Bible Handbook has an interesting comment: “The Dragon had them (12:3). The Leopard-Lamb-Beast had them (13:1). And here the Harlot-Beast, Babylon, has them. They are understood to symbolize World-Government.
“‘Babylon’ is stated to be the great city reigning over the kings of the earth (17:18), which, at the time, was Rome. Rome is further identified in the expression, ‘The Seven Heads are Seven Mountains on which the Woman sits’ (17:9): for Rome, literally, was built on Seven Mountains, and was known as the ‘Seven-Hilled City’….
“‘An eighth is of the seven,’ (17:11). This looks like a Revival of the Beast, after the Seven Heads and Ten Horns have passed, perhaps pointing to the Final Form Antichrist will assume” (p. 731).
The Critical And Experimental Commentary says: “That a personal antichrist will head the anti-christian kingdom, is likely, from the analogy of Antiochus Epiphanes, the Old Testament antichrist, the ‘little horn’ (Dan. viii. 9-12); ‘the son of perdition’ (2 Thess. ii. 3-8), answers to ‘goeth into perdition,’ and is applied to an individual, Judas, in the only other passage where it occurs (John xvii. 12). He is a child of destruction, and has but a little time ascended out of the bottomless pit, when he ‘goes into perdition’ (vv. 8,11)….The eighth [beast] is not merely one of the seven….At the same time, there are not eight, but only seven heads, for the eighth is the embodiment of all the God-opposed features of the seven….He does not fall like the other seven (v. 10), but is destroyed, going to his own perdition, by the Lord in person” (Jameison, Faucet, and Brown, vol. VI, p. 712).
Remember, the woman, which is the great false church, over which Antichrist rules, rides upon, or controls the beast. It is a church-state union which is described by John; the False Prophet using the power of ten kings; meaning their economic and military power, for his own purposes.
Notice that the final ten-nation combine exists for a very short time, called “one hour,” and is the last beast, for it “goes into perdition.” It is the Beast power which will fight Christ at His return (Revelation 19:19,20).
John continued, “These have one mind [one overall strategy; one purpose, or plan they are in complete agreement], and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (Revelation 17:13).
The power and strength of a king is the total power of his people, his economy, his industrial infrastructure, his raw materials, and his military. It is absolute, despotic power, not limited by the “checks and balances” of a democratic system of government.
“These [the final ten kings, or human leaders over governments] shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him [may God grant that this includes you and me!] are called, and chosen, and faithful” (Revelation 17:14).
As we have read in Daniel’s seventh chapter, the final great Beast power exists at the time of the Second Coming of Christ. It is this system, together with the False Prophet, which will perpetrate the Great Tribulation upon the United States, and the British Commonwealth of nations.
Now, think. If you knew absolutely nothing about the book of Daniel; if you knew nothing about the identity of the “Lost Ten Tribes”; if you knew nothing about any other scriptures in the entire Bible except three verses in Revelation 17, you would still know a great deal about major world events!
How so? Read Revelation 17:12-14 again, slowly. Ponder each and every word of this prophecy. Here is what you would come to understand, if you had no other information whatsoever:
(1) There are ten governments which are to receive absolute despotic power “as kings” for a short time with the Beast.
(2) They are in complete agreement, and give their power and strength to the Beast.
(3) They are the last beast of Bible prophecy and world history, for they will fight Christ at His coming, and will be utterly destroyed!
That these are the ten toes of Daniel 2 is simply indisputable.
Now, where on this earth would you look to find the successors to the historical Beast power of prophecy; the Beast power that held sway from the time of Christ, through the Middle Ages, down until the time of World War II?
Remember, you cannot find the answer anywhere in the oriental world. Why? Because the Beast is controlled by the great harlot woman, which is a false Christ! It is a counterfeit Christian system, not a Buddhist, or an Islamic, or an animistic system!
There are those who speculate wildly, imagining that an Arab leader is the Beast, or that perhaps even the United States government is the Beast. This is absolute nonsense, and will not stand the test of the truth of prophecy and history.
Always, from the time of the emergence of the fourth beast, which was Rome, the Beast power has been in Europe! In most of history it was a Germanic kingdom, as is clearly shown in the chart, and proven by history.
The Holy Roman Empire was never Islamic, or Buddhist!
It was always nominal “Christian,” under the popes of Rome.
Notice what the eminent Critical And Experimental Commentary says about the Beast of Revelation 17: “It seems that these ten kings of kingdoms are to be contemporaries with the beast in its last or eighth form, viz., antichrist. cf. Daniel ii. 34, 44, ‘the stone smote the image upon his feet’¯i.e., upon the ten toes, which are, in vv. 41-44, interpreted, ‘kings.’ The ten kingdoms are not, therefore, ten which arose in the overthrow of Rome (heathen), but are to rise out of the last state of the fourth kingdom under the eighth head. Three of the former ten, the fourth kingdom’s little horn, the papacy, starting subsequently, absorbed Daniel vii.8. But the last ten of the fourth kingdom, the ‘ten toes,’ shall tread down the earth as ten simultaneous kingdoms, subordinate to the beast” (vol. VI, p. 712).
It is the system of Anti-Christ, not Anti-Mohammed, or Anti-Buddha.
Remember, the great fallen woman dressed in scarlet is a false, counterfeit “Christian” system, it is not Islamic!
The Great Tribulation¯the Time of “Jacob’s Trouble”
The two most specific events which will indicate to God’s people that the Great Tribulation is about to begin were prophesied by Jesus Christ in His famous Olivet Prophecy.
He warned, “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….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 [by God’s intervention], there should no flesh be saved [alive]; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:15-22). Again, please read our in depth booklet, “MIDEAST STRIFE—Will It Lead To ARMAGEDDON?“. It covers all the amazing signs Christ said would occur which would usher in the tribulation; droughts, famines, disease epidemics, earthquakes; you will learn how the nations have stockpiled deadly biological and chemical weapons; about nuclear proliferation; about the potential for another war in the Mideast, and European and American involvement.
The Abomination of Desolation has occurred several times in the past, as a type, or forerunner of the final fulfillment. Antiochus Ephipanes desecrated the Temple, dedicated it to Jupiter Olympus, and caused swine to be sacrificed in the holy place. Titus desecrated it when Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70.
The second very specific sign for which Jesus said we are to watch is armies surrounding Jerusalem. “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh” (Luke 21:20).
The final, end-time fulfillment of these prophecies will be brought about by the Beast power moving into Palestine, overflowing into many other countries in the region, including Egypt (Daniel 11:40-45).
For many years, we have shown how the pope has called for Jerusalem to become a “corpus separatum,” or “internationalized city,” open to people of all faiths, in order to remove it as a political capital for any nation.
The new Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said over and over again that Jerusalem will never again be a divided city; that it will remain, in perpetuity, as the capital of the Jewish state. Yet, Yassir Arafat and the PLO, backed by many other virulently anti-Israeli nations, including Syria, Iraq, and Iran, absolutely insist that Jerusalem must become the political capital of the Palestinian state.
As discussed thoroughly in our booklet, “MIDEAST STRIFE—Will It Lead To ARMAGEDDON?” the policies of the new Israeli government could well spell an end to the tentative “peace process” in the Mideast. Be sure to read that lengthy and very informative booklet for the complete picture.
The next war in the Mideast could bring about massive intervention from Europe. That intervention could come in the form of the movement of vast military forces into Israel, surrounding Jerusalem! If masquerading as the “Prince of Peace,” the pope of Rome could then enter into the Temple, having the power to perform miracles before hundreds of millions over global satellite television! He could claim that the only true church, the universal church, is returning to the place of its birth, Jerusalem! Study 2 Thessalonians 2 in this regard, where the “man of sin” will sit in the Temple of God, claiming to be very God!
Now, the Abomination of Desolation, AND the surrounding of Jerusalem with armies, would be in place!
Meanwhile, the United States and the British Commonwealth countries will be deep into economic malaise; afflicted by shocking, record-breaking droughts in some places; floods in others. Disease will be taking a dreadful toll; starvation will take the lives of hundreds of thousands, as famines grip many countries. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions will cause further, massive destruction.
The Time of Jacob’s Trouble
Make no mistake! In the event of a major war in the Mideast, the United States would be directly involved! So would Europe, and, if such a conflict threatened the oil supplies in the Gulf, so would Japan. These observations are not prophetic¯they are geopolitical; practical economics!
This is important, for many scoff at biblical history and Bible prophecy, which prove the Great Tribulation is to fall primarily on the lost ten tribes of Israel, as well as the Jewish state of Israel.
The Tribulation is to fall upon Britain, the United States, and all those countries which are a part of “Jacob” and “Judah.”
Jeremiah was given a prophecy about this time of terrible national suffering, “For thus saith the Eternal; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:5-7).
This is exactly the same time described by Jesus Christ and Daniel¯a time without parallel in horror, in destruction and death; a time worse in disastrous events than there has been “since there was a nation until now”; a time greater than any other time “from the beginning of the world to that time, no, nor ever shall be.”
It is the time of Jacob’s trouble! Jacob’s name was changed to Israel. Israel had twelve children who are the eponymous ancestors of twelve tribes. But dying Israel crossed his hands, deliberately blessing the two sons of Joseph by laying his right hand on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, who was the elder. He said, “let MY NAME be named on them” (Genesis 48:13-21).
Ephraim was to become a company of nations and Manasseh was to become the greatest single nation on earth. This fascinating story is covered in great detail in the book mentioned above¯there is no space to repeat it all here. It is the story of how the Israelite nation was formed; how the house of Israel and the house of Judah are two distinctly different nations in history, with two separate histories; two separate dynasties of kings.
Israel was carried captive in 721-718 B.C. by Shalmanezer of Assyria. The bulk of them never returned. Judah continued in the land until being deported as slaves by Babylon. As you read earlier, Cyrus and Artaxerxes allowed them to return to Palestine and rebuild the Temple, during the time of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah.
But the vast majority of the tribes¯Gad, Asher, Reuben, Naphtali, Dan, Issachar, Ephraim, Manasseh, Benjamin, and large portions of Simeon and Levi (who had no inheritance in the land, and were disbursed among all the tribes, including Judah)¯overspread the valleys of Europe, eventually settling all of northwestern Europe and the British Isles.
God’s warning through Jeremiah said the Great Tribulation of the end time would come upon Jacob, meaning Israel. But the biblical term Israel does not mean the modern nation in Palestine by that name, who are predominantly Jews, and therefore of the house of Judah. Remember, the very first time the word Jew is ever used in the Bible, the Jews are at war against Israel (2 Kings 16:6).
Four whole books of the Bible, 1 and 2 Kings, and 1 and 2 Chronicles, are devoted to the separate histories, and the separate dynasties of kings of the two distinctly different kingdoms of the house of Judah, (the Jews) and the house of Israel (who were never called Jews).
Now, notice the time setting of Jeremiah’s prophecy: “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 [Jehovah, or JHVW] their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them” (Jeremiah 30:8,9). Again, here is a prophecy which shows Israel in captivity until the time of the intervention of God, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and the resurrection of the dead!
Israel, meaning Jacob, or the so-called lost ten tribes, are pictured as in captivity until God Himself breaks their bonds. A foreign power, or powers, has laid a yoke upon them, as a man would yoke an ox. They are in bonds which Christ Himself will burst, to set them free.
Now, whose yoke is laid upon them?
God says, “O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation. I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few” (Isaiah 10:5-7). Study this entire chapter, for it is God’s prophecy that the northern ten tribes would be removed by the armies of Assyria. And they were, in waves of invading forces from 721 to 718 B.C. But they never returned to Palestine en masse.
Once again, notice the time setting of the prophecy: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob [Ephraim and Manasseh primarily], shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Eternal, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return [this has never yet happened in history!], even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God….And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing” (Isaiah 10:20,21,27).
Time and time again, ten-tribed Israel is depicted as being in a wretched state of captivity, their proud nations having been destroyed and their populations having become slaves, like the millions of forced laborers in Germany and eastern Europe during World War II. When does the Bible picture this terrifying state of affairs?
Isaiah 11 answers this question. Here are a few brief excerpts: “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse [Christ], which shall stand for an ensign for the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His rest [His millennial kingdom] shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria [this has never happened in history!]….And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah [notice two different peoples] from the four corners of the earth….And the Eternal shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea [the eastern Mediterranean and Nile Delta]: and with His mighty wind shall He shake His hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dry shod. And there shall be an highway for the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt” (Isaiah 11:10-16).
Never has any such thing occurred in history. Here, modern-day Israel, which does not mean the nation by that name in Palestine, is scattered among many nations, primarily Assyria, which is a modern, super-powerful, industrialized nation.
Notice again that it was Assyria that is prophesied to place a yoke of slavery on God’s people Israel during the Great Tribulation.
Now, notice: “Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate….Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man. As for our redeemer, the ETERNAL of hosts is His name, the Holy One of Israel. 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, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand: thou didst shew them no mercy; upon the ancient hast thou very heavily laid thy yoke” (Isaiah 47:1,3-6).
This is the great false church organization, the “image of the Beast,” which is a mystery religion, having its ancient roots in Chaldea. For astounding proof of the direct relationship between the ancient Chaldean mystery religion and modern-day Roman Catholicism, read The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop.
Notice, then, that it is both Assyria, the modern nation, and the great “lady of kingdoms,” or a false religious system, which lay their yoke of merciless captivity and persecution on God’s people Israel.
“And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever: 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 art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I AM, and none else beside me [names and titles of GOD, which are ultimate blasphemies in God’s sight!]; I shall not sit as a widow [so she was metaphorically married], neither shall I know the loss of children [she has “daughters” which came out of her in protest]: 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 the great abundance of thine enchantments” (Isaiah 47:7-9).
The Beast power is ridden by a scarlet-colored woman, called the “mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.” God will allow the ten-nation Beast power, at the behest of the False Prophet, over a great false church, to punish His people, who have utterly rejected His laws and His way of life.
But after the Beast power occupied Palestine and Egypt, “tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him” (Daniel 11:44).
The sixth trumpet plague is described: “And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are the spirits of demons, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty….And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon [Har-Meggido, or the hill of Megiddo, about ninety miles north of Jerusalem]. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done! And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath” (Revelation 16:12-19).
The Beast power will then turn upon the great false church and utterly destroy her!
There was a limerick many years ago which is hauntingly appropriate to the description of the woman who rides the beast, but who is ultimately destroyed by the Beast:
There once was a lady from Niger,
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger;
They returned from the ride
With the lady inside,
And a smile on the face of the tiger.
Notice: “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put it in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 17:16-18).
The Critical And Experimental Commentary says, “As Jerusalem used the world-power to crucify her Saviour, and then was destroyed by that very power, Rome, so the Church, having apostatized to the world, shall have judgment executed upon her by the world-power, the beast and his allies” (vol. VI., p. 713).
Then follows Revelation 18, which details how the Beast shall “hate the whore” and make her desolate.
Here, she is once again characterized as “Babylon the great.”
God’s warning to the world, and His warning to you is, “Come out of her [the Babylonish “mystery” religion], my people that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues: for her sins have reached unto heaven” (Revelation 18:4).
Now you know who, and what, is the Beast of the Apocalypse! It is a ten-nation combine which will arise in Europe, most probably dominated by Germany, the “fatherland,” in cooperation with the “mother” church!
A “king of the south” will “push at” this huge European power (Daniel 11:40-45), which will precipitate a massive invasion of the Mideast, and the occupation of Palestine.
Perhaps prior to this time, a temple will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, or a cornerstone will be dedicated. If the Arab mosques of the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque, which stand on the site of Solomon’s Temple, were to be destroyed, it would precipitate a massive war in the Mideast; such an act would unite otherwise bickering, disagreeing Arab states.
Any major threat to the precious oil supplies of Japan (70 percent dependent!), or Europe (46 percent dependent!), would bring about military intervention.
The stage would be set for a great religious leader to “sit in the temple of God, shewing that he is God,” by performing “miracles in the sight of the beast,” and bringing about massive persecution and martyrdom of God’s true people!
Never forget that the two most important events for which God’s people are to watch were pointed out by Jesus Christ Himself: “When ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet…stand in the holy place where it ought not,” and, “When ye see Jerusalem surrounded with armies then know that the destruction thereof is nigh.”
There are no “secrets” involved in any of these prophetic understandings. No chronologies, no numerology, no secret visions, no special dreams.
Today, geopolitics moves inexorably toward the very events Jesus Christ Himself described. But as evil and horrifying as the Great Tribulation is to be, Jesus Christ reassured His people by saying, “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads: for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).
It is always darkest before the dawn. You and I live in terrible times. We are surrounded by senseless terrorist bombings, street crime, drug abuse, rape, arson, and murder. Daily, we hear of children murdering other children; of parents drowning or shooting their own children; of “drive-by” shootings. We hear of robbery, burglary, auto theft, and every form of violence. We hear of wars and conflagrations from Bosnia to Northern Ireland; from Burundi to Korea.
Our nations are being torn apart by divorce, and the destruction of the family. Like Sodom of old, major political influences now change legislation to permit “same sex” marriages. Millions of helpless, unborn human beings have been slaughtered, many in the ninth month, by the forces of “pro-choice,” who now represent a major political movement, absolutely critical in national elections!
For these, and myriad other sins, God Almighty says He will shortly allow the wrath of the mighty Beast of the Apocalypse, ridden by a scarlet-clad woman, to wreak terrible vengeance upon our peoples!
Speaking of the horrible droughts, famines, disease epidemics, earthquakes, and wars which will afflict us, Jesus Christ says to you and to me, “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that you might be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man” (Luke 21:36).
As the “watchman” to Israel, Ezekiel cried out, “Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11).
Finally, remember Jesus’ words: “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 [by divine intervention from God!], there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened!” (Matthew 24:21,22).
May God grant that you and I be a part of His very elect!
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