Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Beast Empire—Seven Heads: Part 5

Now we come to Revelation 13.

And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. (Revelation 13:1-2)

In Daniel 7 we saw a lion that represented the Babylonian empire, a bear that was symbolic of the Medo/Persian empire and a leopard that paralleled the Grecian empire. This beast in Revelation 13 is said to have body parts from each of the previous beasts we’ve discussed in Daniel. The “dreadful and terrifying beast” that signified the Roman empire in Daniel is not directly mentioned in verses 1-2, but as we continue in this study I think it will become apparent that it, too, is clearly represented in this beast entity.

There is much debate concerning who this beast is in chapter thirteen and who the seven heads are. Daniel only told us of five empires, but in this Revelation account we see seven heads. Chapter seventeen expands upon this and further identifies that these heads are indeed representative of the kings of the beast empires.

Here is the mind which has wisdom The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. (Revelation 17:9-10)

Some read of the seven mountains in Revelation and conclude that they are the seven hills that present day Rome consists of, but I tend to lean towards the thought that the seven mountains are simply symbolic of each individual empire as a whole, while the heads are symbolic of the leaders of that empire. In my second installment of this semi-short study I showed that the beasts in Daniel were clearly dualistic, meaning that they were spoken of as empires and as kings of those empires, and I think that the same idea is portrayed here in Revelation, though this mountain interpretation of mine may be debatable. I’m open to suggestions.
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A Change of Mind

After I wrote this entry I had a new thought that I have previously overlooked and I thought that I should amend this post for accuracy. I think that the seven mountains may not be speaking of the empires of the kings as I suggested above.

Here's why:
The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits and they are seven kings... (Rev 17:9-10)

The seven heads are the SYMBOLIC message. The symbolic is made clear and interpreted to be seven kings. It doesn't make sense that a symbolic message would be interpreted to be a literal seven kings only to give another symbolic answer in "the mountains." I think the mountains must be literal, and not another symbolic answer that came from the original symbolic vision.

You saw it here first. Someone that writes a prophecy blog admitting that they were probably wrong about something!
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Nevertheless, Revelation 17:10 makes it clear that the seven heads are seven kings. But these seven kings are two more than were spoken of in Daniel, so who are these extra kings?

…five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come... (Revelation 17:9-10)

Walking Backwards


I think the logical way to begin is to begin with what we know, and that is that one king “is” according to this vision, and we know that the kingdom in existence at the time of this vision that John had was Rome, therefore “five have fallen” before Rome. Considering Revelation links its beast to Daniel’s by showing it’s leopard, lion and bear qualities, and that the end of the world that Daniel spoke of is the same end spoken of in Revelation, and that the final beast empire that Daniel wrote about is the same that John speaks of in Revelation, it seems that we should, as usual, be able to combine the two accounts of the beast empires to gain a bigger and better picture.

Knowing that Rome is the kingdom present in John’s day we should be able to search in reverse order from this point and follow the trail that Daniel left us. Daniel showed that the empires previous to the Roman empire were Grecian, Medo/Persian, and first, at the time of Daniel, was the Babylonian empire. But still, according to Revelation the king of Rome was the sixth king, and including the three previous to Rome as we just have we only have the fifth, fourth and third kings clarified. Where do the other two “heads” come from?

Again, and as usual, there is debate, but it seems the simplest answer is found in the two empires previous to Babylon. Daniel’s vision began for him at a place where it was relevant to him and his people. God was showing Daniel what would take place in Israel’s near and distant future, thus the vision began with the king/kingdom that was present in Daniel’s day (Babylon) and moved forward until the vision culminated into the final empire. But here in Revelation 13 and 17 I believe that John is given a much broader view of the entire history and future of the beast empires combined.

In Revelation chapter seventeen it’s made clear that the vision included the historical kings/kingdoms that were previous to John and the Roman empire, so there is really no reason to reject that the vision could include empires previous to Daniel’s vision, too. It seems that one reason this historical view is given is to show believers in Christ who the real leader of each of these empires actually is, and has been, since the beginning. It is Satan. In chapter twelve we see a beast in heaven that is described as a dragon, and this dragon is shown to have seven heads and ten horns just as the beast out of the sea in chapter thirteen is said to have.

Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. (Revelation 12:3)

It seems to me that this is done in order to give us insight into this satanic beast system. The beast system, from beginning to end, is a part of Satan’s system engineered to persecute the saints and to further rebel against God and His eternal kingdom.

And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. (Revelation 12:9)

Though the above passage is not speaking of the original instance when Satan was cast from heaven, it clearly indicates that the dragon represents him. Maybe I will delve further at another time into this second instance where Satan will be thrown from the heavens.

As it usually goes with writing of prophecy I’ve gotten off track. So who were the two main empires that were previous to Daniel as shown in the Bible? They can be none other than Egypt and Assyria, thus we have in John’s vision a seven headed beast that shows Satan’s beast system from beginning to end, from the Egyptian empire to the beast empire’s end sometime in the, potentially, not too distant future.

It’s Still Rome

What I’ve discussed above adds to my list of reasons why I believe that the fourth beast of Daniel must be Rome rather than the Islamic empire that began rising years afterwards with Muhammad’s conquests as some have suggested. While some of the below reasons are closely related to each other, there are different nuances within each that merit mentioning.

1. It seems awkward that Daniel’s vision would skip over the Roman empire when I consider the importance that Rome played in biblical history.

2. Adding to the above thought, why would Daniel exclude Rome considering the fact that the 69th week concluded during the Roman Empire?

3. The Roman king in Revelation 17 is clearly indicated as the king/kingdom that “is” at the time of John, and that it is one of the beast’s heads within the entire beast system.

4. Considering the smooth parallels between the books of Revelation and Daniel, why exclude Rome in Daniel when it’s clearly mentioned in Revelation?

5. The number of empires add up perfectly when Biblical history is combined with the two books. According to Revelation, Rome was the sixth empire. Counting backwards from Rome there were five other world empires that previously fell just as chapter seventeen indicates.

6. It makes sense that Egypt and Syria were not mentioned in Daniel. This smoothly brings us to the sixth, Rome, in Revelation 17.

7. The fact that Revelation includes Rome as part of the beast system makes it seem illogical for me to conclude that the Roman empire is not mentioned in Daniel's beasts.

If you have other reasons related to Daniel or Revelation that ad to the above seven, please comment and let me/us know.

Now I could also go into Daniel nine and discuss the seventieth week in more detail in an attempt to add to the above list, but Charles Cooper’s book release that covers the 70th Week is just around the corner and I feel I would do the subject absolutely no justice when compared to his work. I’m seriously looking forward to this new book that will most certainly add to my understanding of Daniel nine and that, of course, comes from a pre-wrath author. Maybe he or Alan will send me a free copy. I would do it for them.

Click here for a visual of the six heads discussed in this post.



15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Concerning Question 1:

Is it possible the reason Daniel skips over the Roman Empire because God foreknew there would be a time when a (later) book (The New Testament) would be written and "reveal" this period of time represented in the "legs of iron"?

If this was the intended design of Daniel's "ignoring" of the Roman Empire, then perhaps the answer to what the fourth beast actually represents can be established only when one acknowledges that the New Testament "bookmarks" the entire Roman Empire.

The Roman Empire appears to begin in Luke 2:1. And it appears to end in Revelation 18 with the destruction of Rome.

If the destruction of Rome is the end of the Roman Empire, then it would make perfect sense that Daniel would seemingly ignore the Roman Age.

-Mike S.

Anonymous said...

Question 7:

The Book of Daniel does mention the Roman Empire. After all, the "legs of iron" is the Roman Empire and the "prince that shall come" (Dan. 9:26) is a Roman Prince.

However, it appears that these are both "afterthought" type references. I think you were on the right track to understanding what this fourth beast represents with your previous examination of the "little horn" in Dan. 7:8.

I believe Daniel 7:24 is the real key to understanding what Daniel 7:8 (and ultimately the fourth beast of Daniel 7:7) really represents. I believe the first question that must be addressed is "How is the the little (11th) horn 'diverse' from the ten horns that preceded it?"

It appears that there is something unique about this 11th horn that makes it different from the previous 10. It also appears that this "diversity" is the essential aspect of this 11th king that leads to the three horns being "plucked up by the roots."

-Mike S.

PWTribune said...

Mike,

It just seem crazy for the Daniel 2 vision to not correlate with the Daniel 7 vision. It's already a tough issue, but to make one vision skip over an entire empire when the first vision didn't, and to do this without any indication whatsoever seems not only very awkward, but downright impossible to understand.

Where does the text indicate that there is an empire skip? Where is it indicated that one vision shows Rome but the other shows Muhammed's (and his people's) conquests?

And thanks for noticing my exclusion of a few words at the end of question seven. I will change it for clarity purposes.

Dave

PWTribune said...

Mike

Plus, Dan 7 says, "Behold, a FOURTH beast." It just seem so forced to say that it's not a fourth, but actually a fifth beast considering the text starts with the first, mentions that the second is in fact the second, and clearly speaks of a fourth. It seems to be presented in orderly fashion.

It seems to parallel Dan 2 in a nice an tidy way. The only reason I can see to say that the 4th is not Rome is because the description of the 4th sounds a little too dramatic to be Rome in the opinion of some.

Dave

Anonymous said...

Dave,

Do you really think Dan. 2 and Dan. 7 are merely repeating themselves? Notice the dramatically different imagery employed (Image of Man vs. Beasts from the sea), definitions (Dan. 7:17 says the four beasts represent four kings).

Dan. 2 and Dan. 7 may appear to tidy up each other, but there is sooo much more going on in Dan. 7, it seems nearly impossible to me that Dan. 2 and Dan. 7 are completely identical.

Furthermore, the fourth beast in Dan. 7 appears to represent two things at once: a "king" (Dan. 7:17) and a "kingdom" (Dan. 7:23). Also, it appears as if there is something unique ("diverse" [Dan. 7:7,23]) about each one that must first come to pass BEFORE the fourth beast can rise up out of the sea. And this, IMHO, really is the crucial point to understanding who, what, where, and when the fourth beast is. It's this marked "diversity" that distinguishes both the "king" and the "kingdom" from every other king or kingdom that has ever come into existence.

Re: Dan. 2

The mere fact that there are five elements to harmonize and only four kingdoms discussed could suggest that there is an "implied" empire skip. Therefore it's a simple accounting problem.

If there is an "implied" empire skip, then it stands to reason there must be some sort of logical explanation for it. If Christ's Kingdom destroys the fourth beast (which is the fourth kingdom according to Dan. 7:23) in Dan. 7:26 and this is again represented in Dan. 2:34 when the "stone" (Christ) smites the image upon his "feet of iron and clay," then it seems logical that the fourth kingdom IS the kingdom represented in the "feet and toes of iron and clay".

Perhaps this might explain why the Book of Daniel was a "sealed" book? Perhaps the unsealing of it could only occur after the New Testament (an exclusively Roman book) was written. The New Testament (not to mention the book of Revelation) seems to provide a perfect bookend between the third Belly and Thighs of Brass kingdom (Greek Empire) and the fourth kingdom represented in the ("diverse") feet and toes of iron and clay empire.

-Mike S.

PWTribune said...

Mike S,

There's some things you've said that I have issue with, but I would like to verify exactly who you think the fourth beast of Dan 7 is, and when did it/does it begin. Do you think it began with Mohommed? Begins with the Antichrist? Something else?

There are so many different views out there, and it's hard to know how to answer certain issues that you bring up when I don't know the entire background. Do you have or know of a web site that teaches what you're saying so that I can give it a once over so that you don't have to type every answer and so that I don't have to ask every question?

Dave

PWTribune said...

After I wrote this blog entry I had a thought. I think the seven mountains may not be speaking of the empires of the kings as I suggested.

Here's why:
The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits and they are seven kings... (Rev 17:9-10)

The seven heads are the SYMBOLIC message. The symbolic is made clear and interpreted to be seven kings. It doesn't make sense that a symbolic message would be interpreted to be a literal seven kings only to give another symbolic answer in "the mountains." I think the mountains must be literal, and not another symbolic answer that came from the original symbolic vision.

You saw it here first. Someone that writes a prophecy blog admitting that they were probably wrong about something!

Dave

David J. Butterfield said...

wow! it is honesty like that, brother, that is where it's at. you have more credibility than most teachers today... too proud to double-check themselves in earnest. we're all wrong sometimes, it's when we refuse to realize it that it becomes a problem.

that is encouraging, to say the least. keep up the good work. I should probably go double-check my latest posts, in case I bungled something myself, because I often do. In a debate with one of my uncles on the 24th I was insisting that Jesus baptized John... I was humbled when I coulden't find it in Scripture. Lord bless, bro.

PWTribune said...

If writers/teachers stay with what they believe and NEVER change their mind or realize they're wrong, they're just plain stupid, and not worth the nickel they paid to get their seminary degree.

And I thought it would make things more interesting to only amend the post by adding my new thoughts rather than deleting the old thoughts. I'm not sure why it's such a big deal to be wrong. I guess it makes us lose credibility with some, but I don't care much about those with that kind of mentality.

Thanks for stopping by!

Dave

Anonymous said...

Dave,

When I first saw the image of Dan. 2 you presented I got really excited because I totally agree with it. IMHO, you don't need to make any changes at all.

As you seem to suggest in your presentation, the fourth kingdom does "belong" to the Antichrist. And the Antichrist's kingdom is the fourth kingdom. I completely agree with this.

The problem I have is that you seem to suggest the Antichrist receives this kingdom when he "first" rises to power. I placed the word "first" in quotations because you believe he first rises to power at the midpoint. I believe this happens at the beginning of the week. You and I disagree on this point, but this doesn't diminish the real question: When does the Antichrist actually receive the entire KINGDOM?

While I believe the Antichrist is "revealed" at the beginning of the week with the "covenant" (after all, it's extremely likely that he will be the author of it), I do not believe he will "receive" the kingdom immediately upon his first rise to power. According Dan. 7:8 it doesn't appear that the Antichrist assumes authority over the entire earth (as Rev. 13:8 suggests) when he first rises to power.

I believe the Antichrist assumes authority over the entire earth in Rev. 17:17, when the ten kings come into "agreement" with him. However, I don't believe this occurs at the beginning of the week when he is first revealed. Instead, I believe this is a more gradual process with stages, though 7 years is not really that long a time.

A few of questions for you.

1. If Satan actually "gives" the Antichrist his power (Rev. 13:2), and around the midpoint Satan indwells the body of the Antichrist (Rev. 13:3), then when the ten kings agree to give the Antichrist their kingdom in Rev. 17:17, who does this kingdom really belong to?

2. If the ten kings who reign with the Antichrist "receive power" with the Antichrist" (Rev. 17:12), and, according to Rev. 17:13, they "give their power and strength" to the Antichrist...to whom are the ten kings really giving their power and strength over to?

Of course the real issue is "when" all of this happens. According to Rev. 17:13 this will happen for "one hour". Might this "one hour" be the same "hour" referenced in Rev. 3:10? If they are then is it possible the Antichrist receives this kingdom at the "Day of the Lord"? If it is, then this might explain why the fourth beast in Daniel 7:7 is describes as both a "diverse" king (Dan. 7:17) AND a "diverse" kingdom (Dan. 7:23).

To answer your question, I believe the fourth kingdom is when the ten kings (who receive their "dominion" from God) "give" their kingdom to the Antichrist (who receives his power from Satan). I believe this happens at the "Day of the Lord" and explains why Daniel witnessed this fourth beast in "night visions" (Dan. 7:7).

BTW, hope you had a great Christmas.

-Mike S.

Robert said...

pwtribune : There's nothing wrong with changing your view and explaining why . That's honest and refreshing to see .

Anonymous said...

After reading revelations and what Jesus and the prophets tell us it comes to mind that the earthly jerusalem is the whore that sits on 7 world kingdoms. I think that the 7th kingdom is NEW rome under the the king of rome. The POPE! This would make the 11th horn the antichrist...who comes in peace...who looks like a lamb(christ) but speaks like a dragon(satan!).

Now it is the 7 headed beast system which gives rise to the 7th beast system. This eigth king is all of the other kings together, The dragon is the he who is of all the others and he gives his power to the beast. Notice the Dragon is depected in revelation as a 7 headed beast with 7 crowns and 10 horns but when he gives power to the beast notice the exast same description except for the transfer of crowns...

7 headed beast, with names of blasphemy, with 10 horns and 10 crowns.

Roman empire rises out of the ashes headed by the Roman vatican see where a new king, the pope, rises with it. He is the beast that rises from the earth. When something rises from the earth then it is a man! Just as man was created from the earth! When something is rising from the sea it is describing a kingdom which rules people

Now we have 6 kingdoms passed and a new kingdom, the 7th, which is a new rome. This 7th kingdom has 10 horns which are 10 kings as such which rule with the 11 king, they are given power with the beast for 1 hour. This one hour is the destruction of the whore. Jerusalem is spoken of many times by all the prophets and its destruction. Jesus gives us a prophecy that it will be made desolate in the final days. Think of it why does a new Jerusalem come down from heaven. Also note that the earthly Jerusalem is described as spiritual egypt and sodom...It is earthly Jerusalem that is destroyed by the 10 kings who are given power from the beast.

So we have the dragon...and from the dragon he transfers power to the beast...The beast has an idol made which is given power to come alive by the earthly beast that rises from the earth. The eartly beast causes man kind to fall away and worship the beast system and to have its mark in the foreheads and right hands. It is the earthly beast which IS the false prophet.


This is just from what I have read and I don't claim that this is accurate. What does stand out when I read the book of Revelation is that the Whore or Mystery Babylon is the earth Jerusalem because what is described of it destruction can be read in the prophets accounts. I could be wrong!...This does not mean that Rome stands tall because the Vatican is the seat of the new empire (the seventh beast) along with the pope who is the false prophet. Remember that the Beast and the False prophet are the first to be thrown into the Lake of Fire...The second death...after the destruction of the whore...this is in revelations.

Yes catholics do worship a queen of heaven but remember that ancient Jerusalem has rejected Jesus Christ who is described as the bridegroom yet they still say that they have right over the promised land...is this like saying that you are the queen of heaven who is not a widow?...

Revelation 18:7

Its only those who accept christ who are given access to the new Jerusalem who is described as the bride coming down from heaven...

Rev 21:2

Ask the question...why is there a New Jerusalem?

Many people mistake the whore for the Vatican city but I think that the Vatican city is the seat of the 7th beast empire ruled by the little horn (false prophet) pope which in turn the dragon rules over the 7 headed beast and I think the whore is earthly Jerusalem who has rejected the testament of GOD and that he fills the 10 kings with his wrath to destroy the whore...Read revelations!

robert said...

Didn't Daniel say the third beast had 4 heads? doesn't that equal 7?

I too agree that earthly Jerusalem is mystery babylon.

Islam wants her wiped off the face of the earth. As Jesus predicted would happen, and be the sign of His second coming.

Jesus described many things that would happen in the future. But He said when you "SEE" armies surrounding Jerusalem leave for her desolation is at hand. He declared that all that was written of her, by the prophets she killed, would be fulfilled.

He also said the generation that sees what He has said about Jerusalem would be the last.

The question that Jesus was responding to, was, "when is Your second coming"

Praise Jesus!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

Regarding the seven heads of the Revelation 13 beast, -- the answer is quite simple. Daniel 2:45 describes a ~4,3,5,2,1 = FIVE~ world empire sequence (Iron, Bronze, Clay, Silver, Gold). And of the Clay, it shall be "divided" between some number of nations (i.e., 3-superpowers) and it shall also have Iron in it (i.e., the Roman Representative Republic, -- as evidenced in virtually every nation today: "... and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands ...".

Thus where Daniel 2 says FIVE, Daniel 7 says FOUR, and we know from our second grade teacher that FIVE ≠ FOUR, so the FOUR must represent the "divided" 3-superpowers and the one-world-government.

Thus in Rev. 17, the eight are:
1. Babylonian -- fallen
2. Medo/Persian -- fallen
3. Grecian -- fallen
4. Roman -- fallen
-- 5. Lion/Eagle (U.K./U.S) -- fallen from pre-eminence
-- 6. Bear (Russia) -- "is" when it attacks Israel
-- 7. Leopard (China) -- "yet to come"
-- 8. dreadful (U.N.) -- "is not" as it has NO geography, NO populous, NO army, etc.

Please note that the seven heads are the seven world empires, and the full manifestation of the "beast" is the eighth that "is not".

Equally, please note that the Lion/Leopard/Bear exist concurrently as evidenced in Rev. 13:2, with the Lion (U.K./U.S) "mouth" representing market strength; the Leopard (China) "body" representing population; and the Bear (Russia) "feet" representing land mass.

Does this not agree with modern geopolitical circumstances since 1948, -- the time of the end?


Anonymous 039

Anonymous said...

Hi, Revelation says that the Beast has seven heads. It doesn't say that the Beast is Rome, only one of the heads. The Beast made up of only 3 empires, Babylon, MedoPersia, and Greece. And it has the appearance of GREECE (the Leopard) This seems to indicate that the two chapters in Daniel are connected and that the Beast is probably a "descendent" of the Seleucid and Ptolemy empires, (as indicated by the long legs of the image?) The Image in Daniel two seems to indicate this also. Since the legs AND THIGHS are Greece, the division occurs during Greece, not Rome.
In reference to Rome/EU etc. being the Beast, it ignores the fact that there are two legs the "Christian" western empire and the eastern Islamic empire. Cuould thenBeast empire be a union of false christianity and islam? All that it would take is for the Catholic church to deny the deity of Christ. So maybe the legs of iron/toes of iron and clay have a double meaning?
Also, if you believe in the Gap theory of Daniel 9, the majority of the Roman empire, and the EU exist in the Gap, when Israel is in exile. (Daniel,is about Daniel's people and their city Jerusalem.)
Also, I think a piece of the puzzle has been left out. Revelation says the Dragon and the Beast both have seven heads and ten horns, but the crowns are in different places on each. What could this mean?