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Who Is The Beast In Revelation?

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In the Bible several different symbolic “beasts” are described in the Book of Revelation, but one particular creature is often referred to by the title, “The Beast of Revelation.” Here the Apostle John recorded a warning about a tyrannical government, represented as a terrifying beast, that exercises world dominion and works with a religious system at the end of the age of humanity’s reign over the earth.

Revelation 13:4, 6-8  4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”[...] 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Revelation 17:3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

What is God trying to tell us? Who is this beast? Who is this woman? Are we free from deception, faithfully worshiping God in spirit and truth?  

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The Beast First Seen By Daniel. 

Understanding the identity of the beast begins with unlocking the symbols of its description. In Revelation 13 John describes a beast from the sea with a combination of several different animals, bizarrely having seven heads and ten horns.

Revelation 13:1-2 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon [Satan, see Revelation 12:9] gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.

The identity of this beast from the sea was also revealed by God in a vision to the prophet Daniel roughly 600 years earlier (Daniel 7:1-8).  Daniel saw a series of four beasts emerge from the sea. In similar fashion John saw the rise of a single beast from the sea.

In Daniel’s vision, the first three beasts to appear share animal characteristics with the single beast of Revelation 13 (a lion, a bear, a leopard).  Then the fourth beast described by Daniel shares another remarkable similarity to the beast in Revelation with its ten horns.  

Daniel 7:7  After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.  

The unique shared features of the beasts from Daniel 7 and Revelation 13, prompt us to pair these prophecies together. Allowing the Bible to interpret itself, God directly revealed to Daniel that each of the four beasts represented dominant empires or kingdoms. 

Daniel 7:17  Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings [or kingdoms] which arise out of the earth.

Daniel Saw Four Empires In Two Visions. 

In Daniel chapter 2, King Nebuchadnezzar dreamt of a great statue of a man, composed of different metals. He saw a statue with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet mixed of iron and clay.  God would explain to Daniel the meaning of the statue ties directly into successive kingdoms also represented by the four beasts he watched emerge from the sea in Daniel 7.

By combining Daniel’s interpretation of the visions with an historical progression of dominant empires starting with the Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon as the head of gold (Daniel 2:37-38), we can identify the four successive, dominant kingdoms revealed to Daniel:

  1. Babylonian-Chaldean Empire 
  2. Medo-Persian Empire 
  3. Greco-Macedonian Empire
  4. Roman Empire

Of particular interest to Daniel was the fourth of these powers, the future Roman Empire, represented by both the fourth kingdom of the statue (Daniel 2) and fearsome fourth beast from the sea (Daniel 7).  God revealed the fourth beast was unique with its ten horns representing ten identifiable, powerful kings or governments as revivals of the Roman Empire influence that would emerge over time. (Daniel 7:23-24)  The final, tenth revival of that empire would become a dominant world power again at the very end time, right before the Most High God finally crushes that beast and establishes the Kingdom of God on earth (Daniel 7:24-27, Daniel 2:44-45).

The Beast Has Ruled From Babylon to Rome. 

Revelation and Daniel provide different perspectives to the same prophetic events – the two books cannot be understood fully on their own. The single beast God revealed to John brings together the prophecies of Nebuchadnezzar's statue dream and Daniel’s vision of four separate beasts. Collectively, these visions describe human governments and empires, from Babylon to Rome, which historically have been violently hostile to God and His people (Revelation 13:7). 

Through examination of the past, we find the Roman Empire stood on two geopolitical foundations: the Holy Roman Empire in the West and the Byzantine-Ottoman Empire in the East. In Daniel 2, this was symbolized by the two iron legs of the statue, which continues until the time of the final revival of the Roman empire. This final revival is explained in Daniel as an unstable mix of iron and clay in the statue’s feet and ten toes (Daniel 2:41-44). The ten toes are symbolic of an alliance of ten dominant, identifiable “kings” (or governments) that make up the final manifestation of the Roman Empire before its ultimate demise at Jesus Christ’s return and the establishment of His Kingdom.  (Revelation 17:12)  

Daniel 2:44- And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.  

God has revealed the end from the beginning. 

A Corrupt Woman Rides the Beast.

More details of this beastly world-influencing power are provided in Revelation 17, where we find yet another perspective of this symbolic creature, this time described as a scarlet beast.  The scarlet beast of Revelation 17 represents the final, end-time manifestation of the beast.  Its ten horns and seven heads are explained in detail:

Revelation 17:9-10, 12  “The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time…12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.

The woman that rides the beast directly influences and leads the creature and the nations involved in its system.

Revelation 17:3-6 And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication and on her forehead a name was written:  “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH”. 6  I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.

Prophetically, the Bible interprets the symbol of a woman to describe a church or religious system (Revelation 19:7, Ephesians 5:23-27, Revelation 12). Virgins often denote faithful followers of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2, Revelation 14:1-5), while a harlot depicts unrighteousness and false religion (Revelation 17:4-5).

The harlot riding the beast is a forgery of the woman who is faithful to God (Isaiah 54:5-8, Ezekiel 18:8-21; Revelation 12:17, Revelation 19:7-9). The harlot manipulates the nations in the name of religion, but she incorporates pagan practices of the Babylonian system. She rejects God’s commandments and violently persecutes people who follow them, drunk with the blood of the martyred saints. 

This woman is the church which has worked in tandem and reigned over the kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire for centuries, better known as the Roman Catholic Church. 

The Beast From the Earth Will Deceive the World.

In Revelation 13, John also witnessed a beast come up from the earth. 

Revelation 13:11-13  Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.

This miracle-working beast from the earth is an authority pretending to be representative of Jesus Christ, which will deceive the nations into submitting themselves to the political-military power of the beast from the sea. This beast from the earth has features like a lamb, often indicative of Christ (John 1:29, Revelation 17:14), but speaks like a dragon, often indicative of the devil (Revelation 12:9, 20:2). 

So, this beast from the earth is a counterfeit to Christ. This beastly power is led by a false prophet and man of sin who receives power from Satan the Devil to deceive the whole world by use of signs and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; Revelation 19:9). The beast from the sea and the beast of the earth will work hand in hand as the Holy Roman Empire to lead the world in rebellion against Christ Himself (Revelation 16:14).  But they will fail; their fates have been determined in advance. 

Revelation 17:14  These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.

The Beast and False Prophet Meet Their Doom at Christ’s Return.

Prior to Christ’s final victory over the beast and false prophet, the ten “kings” (countries or national alliances) of the beast power who previously allied themselves with the harlot woman, will turn on her with intense violence.

Revelation 17:16-18  And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.

After the fall of the woman, which further represents the pagan religious system of Babylon the Great (Revelation 18:2-3), the beast power and its single representative human leader will make one last assault against Christ and the saints. This war will end with the destruction of both the beast and the false prophet. 

Revelation 19:19-20  And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.  20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.  These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

God has provided these prophecies in advance as a warning to humanity. Our loving Father pleads with us to avoid the deception imposed on the world through its corrupt governmental systems and myriad of counterfeit religions. 

Revelation 18:4  And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her [Babylon], my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
Luke 21:36  Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. 

We can not be part of the evil promoted by the beast of Revelation, or else we will share that same fate. Are you paying attention? Prove all things!

swipe

Who Is The Beast In Revelation?

Printer + Reader Friendly
swipe

In the Bible several different symbolic “beasts” are described in the Book of Revelation, but one particular creature is often referred to by the title, “The Beast of Revelation.” Here the Apostle John recorded a warning about a tyrannical government, represented as a terrifying beast, that exercises world dominion and works with a religious system at the end of the age of humanity’s reign over the earth.

Revelation 13:4, 6-8  4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”[...] 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Revelation 17:3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

What is God trying to tell us? Who is this beast? Who is this woman? Are we free from deception, faithfully worshiping God in spirit and truth?  

swipe

The Beast First Seen By Daniel. 

Understanding the identity of the beast begins with unlocking the symbols of its description. In Revelation 13 John describes a beast from the sea with a combination of several different animals, bizarrely having seven heads and ten horns.

Revelation 13:1-2 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon [Satan, see Revelation 12:9] gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.

The identity of this beast from the sea was also revealed by God in a vision to the prophet Daniel roughly 600 years earlier (Daniel 7:1-8).  Daniel saw a series of four beasts emerge from the sea. In similar fashion John saw the rise of a single beast from the sea.

In Daniel’s vision, the first three beasts to appear share animal characteristics with the single beast of Revelation 13 (a lion, a bear, a leopard).  Then the fourth beast described by Daniel shares another remarkable similarity to the beast in Revelation with its ten horns.  

Daniel 7:7  After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.  

The unique shared features of the beasts from Daniel 7 and Revelation 13, prompt us to pair these prophecies together. Allowing the Bible to interpret itself, God directly revealed to Daniel that each of the four beasts represented dominant empires or kingdoms. 

Daniel 7:17  Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings [or kingdoms] which arise out of the earth.

Daniel Saw Four Empires In Two Visions. 

In Daniel chapter 2, King Nebuchadnezzar dreamt of a great statue of a man, composed of different metals. He saw a statue with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet mixed of iron and clay.  God would explain to Daniel the meaning of the statue ties directly into successive kingdoms also represented by the four beasts he watched emerge from the sea in Daniel 7.

By combining Daniel’s interpretation of the visions with an historical progression of dominant empires starting with the Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon as the head of gold (Daniel 2:37-38), we can identify the four successive, dominant kingdoms revealed to Daniel:

  1. Babylonian-Chaldean Empire 
  2. Medo-Persian Empire 
  3. Greco-Macedonian Empire
  4. Roman Empire

Of particular interest to Daniel was the fourth of these powers, the future Roman Empire, represented by both the fourth kingdom of the statue (Daniel 2) and fearsome fourth beast from the sea (Daniel 7).  God revealed the fourth beast was unique with its ten horns representing ten identifiable, powerful kings or governments as revivals of the Roman Empire influence that would emerge over time. (Daniel 7:23-24)  The final, tenth revival of that empire would become a dominant world power again at the very end time, right before the Most High God finally crushes that beast and establishes the Kingdom of God on earth (Daniel 7:24-27, Daniel 2:44-45).

The Beast Has Ruled From Babylon to Rome. 

Revelation and Daniel provide different perspectives to the same prophetic events – the two books cannot be understood fully on their own. The single beast God revealed to John brings together the prophecies of Nebuchadnezzar's statue dream and Daniel’s vision of four separate beasts. Collectively, these visions describe human governments and empires, from Babylon to Rome, which historically have been violently hostile to God and His people (Revelation 13:7). 

Through examination of the past, we find the Roman Empire stood on two geopolitical foundations: the Holy Roman Empire in the West and the Byzantine-Ottoman Empire in the East. In Daniel 2, this was symbolized by the two iron legs of the statue, which continues until the time of the final revival of the Roman empire. This final revival is explained in Daniel as an unstable mix of iron and clay in the statue’s feet and ten toes (Daniel 2:41-44). The ten toes are symbolic of an alliance of ten dominant, identifiable “kings” (or governments) that make up the final manifestation of the Roman Empire before its ultimate demise at Jesus Christ’s return and the establishment of His Kingdom.  (Revelation 17:12)  

Daniel 2:44- And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.  

God has revealed the end from the beginning. 

A Corrupt Woman Rides the Beast.

More details of this beastly world-influencing power are provided in Revelation 17, where we find yet another perspective of this symbolic creature, this time described as a scarlet beast.  The scarlet beast of Revelation 17 represents the final, end-time manifestation of the beast.  Its ten horns and seven heads are explained in detail:

Revelation 17:9-10, 12  “The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 10 There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time…12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.

The woman that rides the beast directly influences and leads the creature and the nations involved in its system.

Revelation 17:3-6 And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication and on her forehead a name was written:  “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH”. 6  I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.

Prophetically, the Bible interprets the symbol of a woman to describe a church or religious system (Revelation 19:7, Ephesians 5:23-27, Revelation 12). Virgins often denote faithful followers of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2, Revelation 14:1-5), while a harlot depicts unrighteousness and false religion (Revelation 17:4-5).

The harlot riding the beast is a forgery of the woman who is faithful to God (Isaiah 54:5-8, Ezekiel 18:8-21; Revelation 12:17, Revelation 19:7-9). The harlot manipulates the nations in the name of religion, but she incorporates pagan practices of the Babylonian system. She rejects God’s commandments and violently persecutes people who follow them, drunk with the blood of the martyred saints. 

This woman is the church which has worked in tandem and reigned over the kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire for centuries, better known as the Roman Catholic Church. 

The Beast From the Earth Will Deceive the World.

In Revelation 13, John also witnessed a beast come up from the earth. 

Revelation 13:11-13  Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.

This miracle-working beast from the earth is an authority pretending to be representative of Jesus Christ, which will deceive the nations into submitting themselves to the political-military power of the beast from the sea. This beast from the earth has features like a lamb, often indicative of Christ (John 1:29, Revelation 17:14), but speaks like a dragon, often indicative of the devil (Revelation 12:9, 20:2). 

So, this beast from the earth is a counterfeit to Christ. This beastly power is led by a false prophet and man of sin who receives power from Satan the Devil to deceive the whole world by use of signs and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; Revelation 19:9). The beast from the sea and the beast of the earth will work hand in hand as the Holy Roman Empire to lead the world in rebellion against Christ Himself (Revelation 16:14).  But they will fail; their fates have been determined in advance. 

Revelation 17:14  These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.

The Beast and False Prophet Meet Their Doom at Christ’s Return.

Prior to Christ’s final victory over the beast and false prophet, the ten “kings” (countries or national alliances) of the beast power who previously allied themselves with the harlot woman, will turn on her with intense violence.

Revelation 17:16-18  And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast until the words of God are fulfilled. 18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.

After the fall of the woman, which further represents the pagan religious system of Babylon the Great (Revelation 18:2-3), the beast power and its single representative human leader will make one last assault against Christ and the saints. This war will end with the destruction of both the beast and the false prophet. 

Revelation 19:19-20  And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.  20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.  These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

God has provided these prophecies in advance as a warning to humanity. Our loving Father pleads with us to avoid the deception imposed on the world through its corrupt governmental systems and myriad of counterfeit religions. 

Revelation 18:4  And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her [Babylon], my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
Luke 21:36  Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. 

We can not be part of the evil promoted by the beast of Revelation, or else we will share that same fate. Are you paying attention? Prove all things!

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