“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.” – Rev. 13:1
Revelation 13 introduces two of Satan’s main players in the last days; 1) the Beast known as the Antichrist, and 2) the Beast known as the False Prophet. Their main goals are to gain control of the world, deceive the world, defeat the saints of God, and bring worship to the great dragon of Revelation 12, otherwise known as the Devil and Satan.
What confuses many is that this first beast represents both a political system and a individual person. Let’s look first at the political system represented. It was first revealed to the prophet Daniel in chapters 2 and 7 –
A dream was given to Nebuchadnezzar which only Daniel could interpret with God’s help that these represented the final four kingdoms to rule on the earth before the kingdom of God was to come. This dream came as a huge statue of different metals; head of gold, chest and arms of silver, waist of bronze, legs of iron and feet of a mixture of iron and clay. To Daniel it was revealed that these represent kingdoms to come after Nebuchadnezzar. Something of these kingdoms would remain and be incorporated into the final kingdom which would be unique and would finally develop into ten kingdoms out of which would come the Antichrist. When this final 10 toed kingdom and its final leader (a little horn) appear the kingdom of God would come forth.
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” – Daniel 2:44
Later, God gives Daniel a vision about these same kingdoms with several differences: While Nebuchadnezzar saw them as a glorious statue, God reveals them to Daniel as beasts.
“And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.” – Daniel 7:3
Once again out of the forth beast came 10 horns and out of them came a “little horn” who overthrew 3 of the horns and challenged God.
“I considered the 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 man, and a mouth speaking great things.” – Daniel 7:8
These four kingdoms did come on the stage of history; Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Many think they are no more but Scripture tells us they are. Revelation reveals that they will be active at the end of age –
“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” – Revelation 13:2
Something that represents their kingdoms remains and will be incorporated into the final beast kingdom that will grow out of Rome. For example: Greece was known for its philosophy and culture of humanism which is virtually the foundation of all education systems. Rome was known for its governmental system and laws, elements of which exist in most governments today. Nebuchadnezzar’s iron legs was Rome which divided into western and eastern (2 legs) branches and finally into 10 kingdoms of iron mixed with clay. I believe this predicted the rise of socialism (the clay) which was different than the republicanism of the original Roman ruling class.
The last kingdom, Rome, is still with us. It has morphed into many forms from Constantine and the Roman Church to the Merovingian kingdoms of Europe to the modern day European Union ( see the post From Ancient Rome until WWI). While there are different opinions about this, I believe what we see today as the EU will soon morph into the ten horned beast that God showed to Daniel and John saw rising out of the sea. The personal Antichrist will come up among them uniting three of them, or displacing them, in the process. My interest was greatly stirred when three of the EU nations joined recently to form Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg). The Treaty revising the Treaty establishing the Benelux Economic Union, was signed on 17 June 2008. This group exercises authority over the EU in matters of economic and security concerns and is located in Brussels. I believe the Antichrist will be connected with this group in some way. It is interesting to me that while the American news media, which prides itself in being the watchman on the world and American interests, is largely silent about these things.
The sad realization is that the world-view of these four kingdoms, revealed to us by God, has successfully infiltrated our educational systems. They have moved us from self sufficiency and trust in God to socialism, welfare, and trust in government for our needs. The religion of Humanism and the doctrine of Evolution have blinded many to the truth contained only in God’s word. Modern society’s only answer to depravity and moral decadence is to accept it and make it legal rather than God’s answer to condemn it but give a way to be delivered from it, which is faith in Jesus Christ. Modern society offers only slavery to sin and government, but God offers deliverance and freedom. The world-view of these kingdoms use political correctness to stifle any disagreement because they cannot use truth to support their plan.
There is much more to be revealed than I have mentioned in this article, which is for Revelation beginners, that I will leave to your further study. For example: Daniel and John both saw the same 4 final kingdoms of earth’s history but, there were differences. For example, Daniel saw a lion with eagle’s wings which were plucked off (Dan. 7:4) and John only saw the lion and makes no reference to seeing eagles wings (Rev. 13:2) – why?
I pray this will be a blessing to you and spur your further thought and prayers. Remember Revelation is the only Book of the Bible that promises a blessing to those who read it!
“Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” – Revelation 1:3
I will continue Revelation 13 in the next post.