Revealed At Last... The Beast of Revelation! ~ Part 1
A ‘beast’ with seven heads and ten horns; another beast that looks innocent as a lamb but ‘speaks as a dragon;’ a mysterious mark, and that renowned number, 666– what’s it all about? Probably no book has been as misused as the Bible, and no part of the Bible as mystifying and misunderstood as the Revelation. ~ Walter Kazimir
In particular (coincidentally?) one of the more misinterpreted parts of Revelation is Chapter 13– the source of the famous ‘beasts’ and ‘666,’ and so on. My contention is that the eschatological prophecies are deliberately obscure, but that they become increasingly transparent as we approach the ‘End Times’ they describe.
The puzzling chapter 13 is the key to this comprehension. This essay investigates that portion of Revelation in the light of recent history.
In the interests of condensing a long discussion into a readable article, I have to assume that the reader has read (better yet studied) the book of Revelation, and moreover, understands that the book defines its strange imagery within its very pages for those who perceive. [For quick reference, the passage can be read here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rev%2013&version=NIV ]
The first eight verses describe a ‘beast’ that rises from the ‘sea,’ having ‘ten horns and seven heads,’ each horn crowned by a diadem, and each head showing ‘blasphemous names.’ We are told that ‘the dragon gave him his power, and throne, and great authority.’
Verse three is crucial, and many have stumbled on it: “I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast.” This amazing beast clearly becomes very powerful, and so arrogant as to blaspheme God, and to persecute His people.
Verses 11 to 18 then turn the spotlight on ‘another beast,’ who comes out of the earth, and who looks like a lamb, externally, but who speaks ‘like a dragon.’ This beast turns world attention on the first beast, and makes everyone worship it.
It deceives everyone, and enforces the famous ‘mark’ on the hand or forehand that must be received in order to buy or sell. Chapter 13 ends with the infamous number, 666, ‘the number of the beast,’ that is said to somehow designate ‘a man.’
This short chapter would be pretty difficult to unlock on its own; but it so happens that chapter 17 seems to rehearse the same scenario, but from quite a different perspective. By combining the clues from the two chapters, a coherent picture emerges.
In chapter 17, John is shown a ‘harlot’ sitting on a ‘scarlet beast having seven heads and ten horns,’ clearly establishing a link with the earlier vision (of ch. 13). On her forehead is written the mysterious name ‘Babylon the great, mother of harlots and of the abominations of the Earth.’ She is described as drunk with the blood of the saints.
In verse eight the beast is twice described as one that ‘was, and is not, and will come;’ a phrase that is repeated again in verse 11. That verse goes on to state that he is ‘also an eighth and is one of the seven.’
The last verses of chapter 17 describe how ‘ten kings’ will wage war against ‘the Lamb,’ but will be defeated. They turn against the harlot, and destroy her, and the last verse defines her as ‘the great city that reigns over the kings of the earth.’
Now; let’s start putting the clues together, letting scripture define its own terms as much as possible, and always bearing in mind that Revelation is a symbolic book. Most of the symbols used by John echo similar ones used 6 centuries earlier in the book of Daniel, which were explained in the text. Similarly, the angel/guides in Revelation give John the general meanings of the symbols in the visions. Summarizing very briefly, they are…
Beast = ‘kingdom,’ country, empire (Rev 17:10, Dan 7:17);
Dragon = Satan, the Devil (Rev 12:9, 20:2);
Sea = populous area; the ‘old world’ (Rev 17:15);
Horns = kings, rulers (Dan 7:24);
Heads = governments, nations;
Diadem = sign of authority, rulership;
Blasphemous = un-Godly;
Tabernacle = the ‘church’, ‘saints’, who are spiritually residents of heaven;
Harlot = apostate faith community (Ezek 23:4);
Judgment = fate, punishment;
Waters = people, populations (Rev 17:15).
Also, we should know that numbers are used symbolically in the Bible, where seven indicates perfection, completion; and ten stands for a complete or inclusive set. Many commentators, ancient and modern, have become hopelessly sidetracked because they do not accept the Bible’s own definitions, and try to impose their own!
For example, many pundits have assumed that the beasts stand for people (e.g. the Pope); but the scriptures don’t say that; they tell us explicitly that they’re kingdoms (or nations, today).
Re-capping the main points of the text in plain language, we can see that:
1. The text refers to a kingdom (nation) that had disappeared (was slain) at the time of John’s writing (set at about 90 AD), yet would reappear later in history;
2. When this nation reappears it will cause people to be amazed;
3. This nation is associated with the name of a man; and perhaps aspires to attain godly heights… their way.
4. This nation was among a group of 7 that existed in a then-populous region– i.e. the Middle East– before it was extinguished;
5. When it reappears, it will be in some ‘new’ form (different from the first appearance);
6. This nation is associated with a false religion somehow;
7. Another nation appears later (after John’s day), that will be closely allied with the restored nation– it wasn’t one of the original 7; but when it arises in a less populous area, it will enforce homage to the restored nation;
8. The ‘new nation’ will first appear benign (lamb-like), but will issue draconian edicts that will cause all other nations to ‘fall into line’ with it;
9. The new nation is being directed by a false, apostate religion;
10. There seems to be a blurring between ‘the woman’ as a church and as a ‘city,’ but in any case, there is a highly urbanized nation that exercises hegemony over all other nations;
11. A set of ‘ten’ symbolic kingdoms arise in the end-times and they give their ‘power and authority’ to the restored kingdom for a brief time (ch. 17:12-13) until Jesus defeats them.
When you look at the facts laid out like this, while there may still be some fuzzy details, nonetheless, certain conclusions jump out as inescapable!
As soon as you mention ‘restored nation’ the obvious candidate that leaps out is ‘Israel’. Its name comes directly from ‘a man,’ their patriarch Jacob who was renamed Israel (Gen 32:28). Ancient Israel was one of a group of seven prominent kingdoms in the Middle East that includes Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Greece, Babylonia, and Rome.
Their rejection of the Messiah, Israel’s cherished cultural religion, Judaism, became an antichristian blasphemy. As a nation, Israel has always aspired to ‘help’ God do things their way. From the taking of the Promised Land, to the Pharisaical plot to eliminate Jesus, the children of Israel preferred their deeds over God’s providence.
The dramatic restoration of the Jewish homeland, named Israel, in the land of Palestine in 1948 was indeed seen as amazing, even miraculous, by the on-looking world. While many assumed that it must be due to God’s intervention, others who have investigated the creation of modern Israel, find that it was, instead, due to conniving plans dating back to the late 19th century (as Zionism, promoted by Herzl) and renewed following the First World War, by the Balfour Declaration.
It was not God’s hand that was involved, but that of the Dragon, motivating Zionist agents behind the scenes of diplomacy.
Walter Kazimir - February 14, 2011 - PakalertPress
Revealed At Last... The Beast of Revelation! ~ Part 2