Beasts of Evil

I. The sequence of the Revelation “disclosures” is recognized.

A. “After this I saw (heard)” appears 6 times.

1. There are 7 obvious “disclosures” identifiable in Revelation.

a. Revelation 1:11 through 3:22 – the 7 churches
b. Revelation 4:1 through 6:17 – the Throne room and the sealed book
c. Revelation 7:1 through 7:8 – the 144,000 sealed

2. The largest section is Revelation 7:9 through 15:5.

a. It contains key elements and major events that progress to the end.
b. It appears to cover 42 months of earth time.

B. “After this…” are three more “disclosures”.

1. Revelation 15:5 through 17:18 gives more insight into the 42-month period.

2. Revelation 18 describes the sudden fall of Babylon.

3. Revelation 19 through 22 describes the return of Christ, the New Jerusalem, and the New Heavens and New Earth.

II. The “great red dragon” is revealed (Revelation 12:3-17).

A. The “Fire-like” Dragon (12:3, 9) is Satan or Lucifer, the “Chief Angel.”

1. He was created perfect in knowledge and beauty (Ezekiel 28:13-18).

a. He was the “anointed cherub that covers.”
b. He was on “the holy mountain” and walked in the “stones of fire.”
c. He often appears as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).

2. He is given five titles throughout the Scriptures.

a. Dragon (Revelation 20:2; 12:3-9; Isaiah 27:1)
b. Devil (Matthew 4:1-11; John 8:44; Ephesians 6:11; 1 Peter 5:8)
c. Adversary -- “Satan” (Job 1 & 2; Zechariah 3:1-2; Revelation 20:7)
d. Serpent (Revelation 12:9-15; 20:2)
e. “Accuser of our brethren” (Revelation 12:10)

B. The Dragon assumed that his power could usurp the Creator (Isaiah 14:12-15).

1. He is “cast down” from heaven (Revelation 12:10).
2. He has “great wrath” since he knows he has but a “short time” (Revelation 12:12; Revelation 20:3).  This seems to take place during the 42-month period so prominent in this section.
3. He persecutes “The Woman” (Israel) and the followers of Christ.
a. The Dragon attempts to “Flood” the Woman (Revelation 15-16).
b. The Woman is protected for 3 ½ years (Revelation 12:14).
c. The Dragon makes war against the “remnant” (Revelation 12:17).
4. He (the Dragon) implements his power and rage through “the beast”, identified so carefully in Revelation 13 and 17 (Revelation 13:4).
5. He (the Dragon) is worshiped by the Beast and by all who come under the influence of the Beast.  It is the same 42-month period (Revelation 13:5).

III. The Beast who rises up out of the Sea is revealed (Revelation 13:1-9, 18).

A. This “Beast” has seven heads and ten horns, crowned with open blasphemy (Revelation 13:1).

1. He is shaped like a Leopard, with the feet of a Bear, and the mouth of a Lion (Revelation 13:2).

a. This suggests a parallel with the information in Daniel 7:7 through 26 about the fourth “dreadful and terrible” beast.
b. This also suggests remnants of the three other beasts in Daniel 7:4-6.
c. This would further suggest that the “heads” (since they all have the mouth of a lion) might be sequential (appear one after another) rather than all sitting on the leopard-like beast at the same time. 
d. This would follow the sequential disclosure of this same beast in Revelation 17:10.

2. He has one of his “heads” mortally wounded (by a sword – 13:14), but healed (13:3 and 17:10-11).

a. He is given power by Satan (13:4).
b. He is to rule for 42 months (13:5).
1) Times of the Gentiles – Revelation 11:2
2) Ministry of the Two Witnesses – Revelation 11:3
3) Protection of the Woman in the wilderness – Revelation 12:6, 14
4) Same time of the 4th Beast – Daniel 7:25
5) Same time for the “vile person” to finish (Daniel 12:7, 11)

3. He effectively wars against the saints and receives the worship of all the rest of the earth (13:7-10).

B. This work of the Beast is amplified in Revelation chapter 17.

1. The seven “heads” are seven “mountains” (Revelation 17:9).

a. The “Mountains” seem to equate to “kingdoms.”
b. The “mountains of . . .” is a frequent phrase in Scripture alluding to the “land of . . . :”
c. The “mountain of the Lord” is used to imply His reign over territory. 
d. This is further made likely by the amplification of the notation that the Whore is “sitting” on “peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues” (17:15).
e. The possibility that this passage is referring to seven specific mountains (such as the land surrounding Rome) cannot be denied, but it is a less obvious interpretation.

2. The seven “mountains” are ruled by seven “kings” (Revelation 17:10).

a. Five are fallen – have come and gone.
b. One is – exists at the time of John’s writing. 
c. One is yet to come – is not yet in power.
d. The “Seventh” becomes an “Eighth” – a reference back to 17:8 and 13:3.
e. This must equate to all of history since the Flood.  This would also parallel the Great Image of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2) and the information about Media/Persia and Greece (Daniel 8).
f. This would tie the “beast” of Revelation 13 to past history as well.

3. The 10 horns are 10 other kings (Revelation 17:12).

a. These serve a limited time with power (17:12).
b. These are united to the Beast (17:13).
c. These make war with the Lamb (17:14).
d. These will turn on the Harlot and destroy her (17:16-17).
e. These probably are the 10 toes of Daniel 2:41-43.

C. This information must be compared with the visions in Daniel.

1. The great image of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:36-45)

a. Five progressive kingdoms – beginning with Babylon
b. Babylon; Media-Persia; Greece; Rome (split, 10 toes); Eternity

2. The sequence of “beasts” (Daniel 7:2-26)

a. Four different “beasts” beginning with the “Lion with wings”
b. Fourth beast is strikingly parallel to the beast of Revelation 13 & 17
c. Fifth (king) is the seating of the Ancient of days

3. The two goats follow Babylon (Daniel 8:2-26)

a. Media-Persia
b. Greece

4. The Kings of the South and the North over time until the end (Daniel 11-12)

IV. The “Other Beast” out of the earth with two horns (Revelation 13:11-18)

A. This “beast” looks like a lamb, but speaks like a dragon (Revelation 13:11).

1. He speaks for the dragon (13:12-17).

2. He operates during the same time period as “the” Beast.

3. He exercises authority in the name of the “First Beast” (13:12).

a. This is in the sense of the “best” or “most important” beast. 
b. The Greek word is protos (Matthew 19:30 – “many who are first, shall be last”; and Matthew 20:27 – “whoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant”).
c. The Greek word for a sequence of order (1,2,3) is either eis or mia.
d. This is referring to the “eighth head” (17:11) of the Beast that comes out of the sea (13:1, 3).

B. This beast does great “wonders” and “miracles” (apparently to mimic the power of the Two Witnesses – same “fire from heaven”) that deceive men (13:12-14).

1. He campaigns for an Image to be made (of, to, for) the Beast and causes the image to speak. 

a. Those who do not worship the image are executed (13:14-15). 
b. The image could be “like” the Beast or merely an image that the Beast authenticates and uses to represent his rule – perhaps a political or national symbol (i.e. the “eye” on top of the pyramid on our $1 bill).

2. He enforces a rule that every person on earth must receive a “mark.”

a. The mark is received either in the forehead or in the right hand (13:16-17).
b. The Greek term translated “mark” is charagma; a scratch or etching, i.e. stamp (as a badge of servitude), or sculptured figure (statue).
c. The right to buy or sell is granted when one has either the “mark” or the “name” or the “number” of the Beast. 
1) It could be a miniature of the “image” that was erected.
2) It could be the “mark” (tattoo) of the Greek letters cxs.
3) It could be a separate identification device (implanted EMS). 
4) It certifies the bearer as one who worships the Beast.

V. The “wisdom” given to the Saints is to “count the number of the Beast.”

A. This is said to be the number of a “man” whose arithmos is 666.

1. Wide and wild speculation has resulted from this verse.  Many “men” have had their “names” calculated over the centuries – and NONE of them have been “the Beast.”

2. Common scholarship suggests that each letter of the alphabet equals a number – when added together the letters will equal a sum.  If the numbers add up to 666, the person is the beast.

B. This basic problem revolves around WHICH alphabet to use.

1. Roman numerals are fairly familiar to most educated people – but that assumes that Latin is the appropriate alphabet.  Latin is not one of the Biblical languages.

2. Greek characters have been given a numerical equivalent. 

a. The specific citation in Revelation 13:18 translated “six hundred threescore and six” is the three Greek letters cxs which in our English letter equivalent would be “x” (chi) and “xz” (x-see) and “s” (sigma) – x = 600, xz = 60, and s = 6.
b. The usual text inscription for 666 is cxakosioi cxekonta cx – 600, 60, 6.
c. Thus, the citation in Revelation 13:18 is a “shorthand” symbol.

3. Some have suggested that the “wisdom” and “understanding” to which John referred meant that the name would be calculated via the Hebrew alphabet. There is no basis for this possibility other than speculative preference.

4. It is probable that this “mark” of a man is a logos of his identity.

C. The precise use of Greek words in Revelation 13:18 is very specific.

1. “Here, in this place, is the wisdom.  The one who possesses the intellect to perceive should calculate out the number of the beast: for it is man’s number,  and the number is 666.”

2. The majority of interpretive applications suggest that “the beast” is a man.

a. The “man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
b. The “abomination of desolation” (Daniel 11:31; 12:11; Mark 13:14)
c. “The” antichrist – although the Bible speaks of many “antichrists” (1 John 2:18; 2:22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7)

3. The “beast” and the “false prophet” are two different issues (Revelation 20:10).

a. The “other beast” which appears to be the “false prophet” may well be an individual since the personal pronoun “he” is used frequently.
b. The “7-Headed Beast” does not have the personal pronoun used of it – with the exception of the 8th Head (Revelation 17:11).
1) This may imply the Beast is a “system” or the “result” of evil rule.
2) This may imply the 8th Head is the final embodiment of that power.
c. The “7-Headed Beast” is an age-long “beast” of 7 empires (“mountains” and their “kings”).  The last and “8th Head” may well be a world dictator sharing power with the false prophet and empowered by Satan himself.
The Revelation of Jesus Christ
ch. 13 & 17


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