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THE BEAST AND THE FALSE PROPHET

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FOREWORD

This 'Foreword' is a brief summary of my message on the 70-Weeks prophecy of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27). In that prophecy God gave the world two timetables; a 69-week timetable leading up to the first coming of Jesus Christ, and a remaining 70th week leading up to His second coming. The 69-week timetable consisted of 69 'weeks' of years, each week lasting for 7 years (for a total of 483 years). Jesus fulfilled that timetable when He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, four days before His crucifixion.

The 70th week, however, is not like the first 69 weeks; it is not a week of 7 regular calendar years. Rather, it is the great week of the Abrahamic Covenant; beginning roughly 4000 years ago with God's promises to Abraham, divided in the middle by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD (by the Romans), and soon to be completed at the second coming of Jesus Christ.



THE GREAT WEEK OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT

The first three pages in the prophecy section of this web site (Introduction to Prophecy, The Olivet Discourse, and The Timetable for Jesus' Return) explain these things in detail. To put it simply, Jesus has told us (in His 'Olivet Discourse') that the midpoint of the 70th Week is the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 AD. Then God gave the world four visions of the entire 70th Week in John's Little Book. John received the Little Book in Revelation chapter 10, and has set its contents before us in Revelation chapters 11-13. When we combine the Olivet Discourse with John's four visions, the nature of the 70th Week becomes obvious.

The first vision, of 'The Temple and the Courtyard' (Revelation 11:1-2), describes the second half of the week as a time during which the Temple Mount in Jerusalem would be given to the Gentiles:


THE TEMPLE AND THE COURTYARD

The second vision, of 'The Two Witnesses' (Revelation 11:3-12), describes God's giving of the entire Bible ('the Law and the Prophets') to the world during the first half of the week, and then portrays the dead bodies of God's servants lying in the city of Jerusalem throughout the second half of the week. This is a picture of the guilt of the Jewish nation for their persecution of God's prophets during Old Testament times, their crucifixion of Christ, their continuing persecution of Christ's disciples, and their opposition to the proclamation of the gospel to a human race desperately in need of it.


THE TWO WITNESSES

The third vision, of 'The Woman, the Child and the Dragon' (Revelation 12), describes Israel's bringing of the promised Messiah and 'seed' of Abraham into the world, followed by the dispersion of the Jewish people throughout the world for the following 1900+ years. While the second vision of 'The Two Witnesses' portrays the guilt of the Jewish nation, this third vision reveals God's preservation of that nation through many years of wandering and difficulty throughout the world. In addition, this vision explains the ultimate source of the world's persecution of the Jewish people over the past 1900+ years; a defeated and bitter archangel. The 'casting out of Satan' is one of the great themes of the New Testament, and sheds much light upon the history of the world over the past 1900+ years.


THE WOMAN, THE CHILD AND THE DRAGON

The fourth and final vision, of 'The Beast From the Sea' (Revelation 13), describes God's authorization of the Beast of Revelation to continue in existence throughout the second half of the 70th Week.


THE BEAST FROM THE SEA

This perspective on the 70th Week of Daniel is based upon the simple and obvious meaning of God's word. With it we can see that God has explained world history to us in a very accurate and useful way. And He has shown us that we are now living very late in the second half of the 70th Week. It is this perspective on the 70th Week that is the foundation for everything else that I have to say about prophecy in this web site. Without a willingness to at least consider the possibility that I am correct, any further time that my visitor might spend in the prophecy section of this web site will be of little use.

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THE BEAST AND THE FALSE PROPHET

In order to understand the Beast of Daniel and Revelation, we must first understand the circumstances that Daniel found himself in when he first learned about this Beast. I provide an explanation of those circumstances in the following first three sections of this web page. These three sections are also found in the beginning of my web page on The United States in Bible Prophecy.

DAVID'S KINGDOM INTERRUPTED

Roughly 3000 years ago, around 1000 B.C., God made a promise to King David of Israel, telling him that someday one of his sons would establish David's Kingdom forever:

The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you. When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you; your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.'

2 Samuel 7:11-13, 16

When king David died, he was succeeded upon his throne by his very famous son; Solomon. Solomon's kingdom represented the greatest of Israel's ancient glory, as his wealth and power reached unprecedented heights and he built Israel's first 'house' for God; the first Temple in Jerusalem. But Solomon did not remain faithful to God, and David's Kingdom declined over the next 400 years. It was finally brought to an end by the armies of Babylon in 586 B.C., as king Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel, destroyed Jerusalem and Solomon's Temple, and brought an end to the dynasty of David's family.

One of the Jewish people who was taken captive to Babylon was a young man named Daniel. As Daniel witnessed Babylon's conquest of his homeland, the deportation of his countrymen from the land of Israel, and the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, he could not help but wonder whether or not God still intended to fulfill His promises to David and Abraham. In response to his questions and prayers, God gave Daniel five prophecies that are recorded in the book of Daniel. One of these prophecies, the '70 Weeks' prophecy found in Daniel chapter 9, provides us with God's 'schedule' for fulfilling His promises; a 69-week timetable leading to the first coming of Israel's Messiah, and a 70th 'week' leading up to His second coming (for an explanation of these timetables, please see my web pages on the Olivet Discourse and the Timetable for Jesus' Return).

The other four prophecies that Daniel received share one common theme; describing the relationship between the nation of Israel (the Jewish people) with the greater Gentile world until the ultimate restoration of the kingdom of David in the last days, at the Messiah's second coming. God explained to Daniel that Israel would have no more Jewish kings until after the people of Israel had been dominated by four successive Gentile empires. At the end of that Gentile domination David's promised Son would return to fully restore the Kingdom of David and rule the entire world.

The four empires in these prophecies are Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. When Babylon desolated Israel and Jerusalem in 586 BC, it removed David's family from power, and David's kingdom came to an end. Israel has not had a Jewish king since that time. These four prophecies, found in the 2nd, 7th, 8th, and the combined 10th through 12th chapters of the book of Daniel, describe a Gentile domination of Israel that continues to this day; a period of over 2500 years. Looking at these four prophecies is like looking at something under a microscope and clicking up the power with each successive prophecy, because each one becomes more specific as it describes these Gentile empires, and the events that would take place as one empire fell and the next one rose to power. In this web page I explain the first two prophecies, in chapters 2 and 7 of the book of Daniel.

NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S DREAM

The prophecy in Daniel 2 was not actually given to Daniel; it was given to king Nebuchadnezzar in a dream, and Daniel then interpreted the dream for the king. In his dream Nebuchadnezzar saw a great statue representing four successive Gentile empires; a head of gold symbolizing Babylon, a chest and arms of silver symbolizing Persia, a stomach and thighs of bronze symbolizing Greece, and legs and feet of iron symbolizing the Roman Empire. Nebuchadnezzar watched God cut out a stone and cast it on the feet of this statue, destroying the entire statue. Then the stone grew larger, filled the earth, and ruled the world forever. This stone symbolizes the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to bring an end to Gentile domination over Israel, and to re-establish the kingdom of David.

statue

There are two things that we can deduce from Nebuchadnezzar's dream. First of all, God sees all 4 of these Gentile empires as one thing; they are all Babylon in His eyes. This is why He portrayed them as one statue. Persia, Greece and Rome have merely extended what Babylon started. Babylon brought an end to the rule of David's family over Israel. There has not been another Jewish king from David's family ruling over Israel since that day. God wants us to recognize the significance of this four-part 'Babylon' as that which has interrupted David's Kingdom, and will be done away with when David's Son, Jesus Christ comes back to reestablish that kingdom and rule the world. This is why, when we read about Babylon in the book of Revelation, we can understand that God is really talking about Rome. Why? Because when the apostle John received the book of Revelation, Rome had already risen to power and the 'Roman phase' of Babylon had begun.

Secondly, we can deduce from Nebuchadnezzar's dream that the second coming of Jesus Christ will occur late in the history of Rome. Since time moves forward as one moves from the head of the statue to it's lower parts, the stone falling upon the feet signifies that the second coming of Christ will occur late in Rome's existence, and bring Roman Babylon to an end.

THE FOURTH BEAST OF DANIEL 7

In Daniel 7 these same four Gentile empires are presented to us as four separate beasts. Babylon is symbolized by a lion, Persia by a bear, Greece by a leopard, and Rome by a beast unlike any known animal; dreadful, terrible and powerful, having great iron teeth and trampling and devouring the whole earth. This fourth Beast corresponds to the iron legs and feet of the statue in Daniel chapter 2.

lion

BABYLON


bear

PERSIA


leopard

GREECE


fourth beast

ROME


Daniel observed that this Roman beast had 10 horns. Horns symbolize concentrations of power in Bible prophecy. Daniel was told that these 10 horns represent 10 kings (or kingdoms) that would arise out of the original Roman Empire (Daniel 7:24). The original Roman Empire ruled most of the then-known world. From its center in the city of Rome, Roman domination radiated outward in a 360 degree circle, dividing the world into 10 primary areas. I believe that these 10 regions, beginning with the Italian peninsula itself, might be divided up as follows:

    1. Italy
    2. Achaia (Greece and the surrounding region)
    3. Asia (an area now called Turkey)
    4. Syria (an area including what is now Israel and the greater Middle East)
    5. Egypt
    6. Africa (northern Africa)
    7. Spain
    8. Gaul (now known as France)
    9. Germany
    10. Britain

REVELATION 13: DANIEL'S BEAST APPEARS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

The first New Testament appearance of the fourth Beast of Daniel 7 is found in Revelation 13:1, where the apostle John says that he saw a Beast coming up out of the sea. Some Bible scholars believe that the 'sea' in this passage is a reference to 'the great sea of humanity' (or mankind). This perspective is reasonable, given the fact that all four of the Beasts of Daniel 7 are also described as coming up out of the 'sea' (Daniel 7:2-3). And it is consistent with the fact that in Revelation 17:3 & 7 we are told that the woman (Rome) rides upon the back of this Beast, while in Revelation 17:15 we are told that she sits upon the 'waters of humanity'.

Why should we conclude that this Beast in Revelation 13 is the fourth Beast of Daniel 7? Because God shows us a connection between the Beasts of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13. In Revelation 13:2 we are told that the Beast possesses traits of the first three Beasts of Daniel 7; of a leopard, a bear and a lion. Thus God is showing us that there is an important continuity between Daniel's prophecy in chapter 7, and the Beast of Revelation 13:1.

There are two other important pieces of information about this Beast as well:

    1) CLOSE IDENTIFICATION AND COOPERATION WITH SATAN  In Revelation 12:3, Satan is described as a fiery red dragon, having 7 heads and 10 horns. In Revelation 13:1 the Beast is also described as having 7 heads and 10 horns. The only thing that distinguishes Satan from the Beast is that Satan has 7 crowns upon his 7 heads, while the Beast has 10 crowns upon his 10 horns. I do not know what this difference in the placement of these crowns signifies. But Revelation 13:2 & 4 tell us that there is a very close cooperation between the dragon and the Beast, where it is said that the dragon has given the Beast his own power, throne and authority. Hence we can conclude that, whatever the Beast of Daniel 7 may have represented, this same Beast in Revelation 13 is deeply and profoundly Satanic.
    2) AUTHORIZATION TO CONTINUE FOR 42 MONTHS  Revelation chapter 13 contains the fourth and final vision of John's Little Book. In Revelation 13:5 we are told that the Beast was authorized to continue for 42 months. This 42 months represents the second half of Daniel's 70th Week; from the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD until the second coming of Christ (see The Timetable for Jesus' Return for a fuller explanation of the 70th Week). It is important to understand that it is divine authority that is spoken of here, not Satanic. It was God Himself who authorized the continuing existence of this Beast. Because we are told that the Beast was given authority to continue throughout the second half of the 70th Week, it is clear that the lifespan of the Beast has already exceeded 1900 years. Thus this Beast cannot be a person, but must represent something else.

REVELATION 17: THE MEANING OF THE SEVEN HEADS

Revelation 13 also points us to an important distinction between Daniel's fourth Beast, and this same Beast in Revelation. While the fourth Beast in Daniel 7 had one head, the Beast of Revelation has seven heads. God Himself placed these seven heads upon the Beast of Revelation, because they symbolize a very important change that occurred in the Roman Empire in 69 AD. Though these seven heads first appear on the Beast in Revelation 13, God does not give us an explanation of these heads until Revelation 17. He gives the explanation in Revelation 17 because it is in that chapter that we encounter a Woman riding upon the back of the Beast. The seven heads enable us to understand who this Woman is, and the events that placed her upon the back of the Beast:

And the angel said unto me "Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the Woman, and of the Beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The Beast that you saw was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition. And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition.

Revelation 17:7-11

This passage from Revelation 17 tells us three things about the Beast:

    1)  It tells us that the Beast of Revelation has undergone a 'death and resurrection' experience'; it is a Beast 'that was, and is not, and yet is'. This 'death and resurrection' is also conveyed in Revelation 13:

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world wondered after the Beast.

Revelation 13:3
    2)  The seven horns tell us who the Woman upon the back of the Beast is: a city which sits upon seven mountains or hills. In Revelation 17:18 John was also told that this city was the one that ruled over the kings of the earth in his own day. There is only one city in the world that matches this description; Rome. Throughout its history Rome has been known as 'The City of Seven Hills'.

Seven Hills of Rome
THE SEVEN HILLS OF ROME
    3) The seven horns represents a series of seven kings. This series of kings would come to an end, but would be followed by an eighth king, who would himself be the resurrected Beast of Revelation.

THE RESURRECTION OF THE BEAST

Who were these seven kings? They are the seven emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty; a group of men who took Rome from being a Republic, to becoming an Empire. When the apostle John received the book of Revelation, five of those emperors had already died; Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius. The sixth king, Nero, was on the throne when John received Revelation.

As God foretold, Nero was followed by an emperor that would only last a short time; Galba. With the rise of Galba to power, a series of events were set in motion during which four separate men would declare themselves the emperor of Rome. This series of events is known as the Roman Civil War, which occurred in the year 69 AD; a year that has come to be known as the 'Year of the Four Emperors'.

In December of 68 A.D. the Roman Empire was ruled by the emperor Galba, who had recently succeeded the emperor Nero. Galba was overthrown and put to death by a conspirator named Otho. Otho was then overthrown by the General of the Roman armies in Germany; Vitellius. Finally, in December of 69 A.D., Vitellius was overthrown and replaced by the General of the Roman armies in Syria; a man named Vespasian. Vespasian went on to establish the next dynasty of Roman emperors; the Flavian dynasty. In Revelation 17 God did not recognize Otho or Vitellius as legitimate or viable successors to Galba. Vespasian is the eighth king, described as being 'of' the original seven, because he was also Roman and had served under the emperors that preceded him.

There is something important about God's description of Vespasian that we must not miss. God describes Vespasian as the Beast:

And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition.

Revelation 17:11

Although he was just a single man, Vespasian is called 'the Beast' in this verse. This is because Vespasian's rise to power represents much more than his own personal fortunes; it was also the 'resurrection' of the Roman Empire itself from the destructive events of the Roman Civil War. When the emperor Galba died in January of 69 AD, the Roman Empire suffered the deadly wound of Revelation 13:3 and 13:12, and Vespasian's rise to power represents the healing of that wound. But while Rome survived that calamitous year, it did not survive unchanged.

METAMORPHOSIS

Another concept that illustrates the events of 69 A.D. is 'metamorphosis'; the transition from a caterpillar to a butterfly within a cocoon. But in the case of the Roman Empire two creatures emerged from the cocoon rather than one.

When a caterpillar forms a cocoon, it essentially 'dies' within the cocoon. Its body parts are completely broken down, and its chemicals are used to make something new. In a sense this is also what happened in 69 A.D. When the Roman Empire entered its 'cocoon' in December of 68 A.D., it was one empire that possessed two traits; 1) A unifying religion comprised of God-opposing paganism and 2) military power. But what emerged from the 'cocoon' of the Roman Civil War were two distinct and separate things:

    1) The city of Rome functioning as a religious and cultural center.
    2) A broad, increasingly independent and international military 'Beast'.

Metamorphosis

Prior to the rise of Julius Caesar, the Roman Republic had been governed by the city of Rome. Rome itself was the seat of power, and decisions about the administration of the Republic were decided there. But with the rise of Julius Caesar, and the wars that he fought with other Roman leaders for supremacy, the city of Rome decreased in relative power. The various generals of the Republic began to decide who would rule the Empire next. This tension between the city of Rome and the Roman military continued until the Roman Civil War, when a complete break between the city and the generals became a permanent fact.

After the Roman Empire entered the cocoon of the Roman Civil War in 69 AD, two distinct things exited from that cocoon; a military beast and the city Rome. To put it biblically, Daniel's one-headed Beast entered the cocoon, and a Woman riding upon the back of Revelation's seven-headed Beast came out.

FEET OF IRON AND CLAY

This metamorphosis, from a single empire to a city riding upon the backs of many successive empires, is also revealed to us in Daniel chapter 2. In that prophecy the initial Roman Empire is symbolized by the iron legs of the statue, followed in time by feet that would be a mixture of both strong iron and weak clay. It would be these 'iron and clay' feet that would be present at the second coming of Jesus Christ, and crushed by Him.

statue

This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, and his feet part of iron and part of clay. You saw until that a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces.

Daniel 2:32-34

This mixture of iron and clay symbolizes a policy that has been followed by the city of Rome ever since 69 AD; a policy of striking alliances with military leaders throughout the world in the pursuit of wealth, power and influence. It is a policy that has come to be known in more recent times as 'clericalism'; a close cooperation or even union between church and state. From the very beginning, in 69 AD, the magistrates of the city of Rome dedicated themselves to the Machiavellian skill set of politically and religiously manipulating those with 'iron' military power. It is a skill set which, since the 'conversion' of Rome to Christianity under Constantine, the leaders of the Roman Catholic church have perfected to a science.

BABYLON IN REVELATION

The ancient Babylonian Empire of Nebuchadnezzar fell to the Persian Empire roughly 2500 years ago, around 540 BC. And yet in the book of Revelation, written by the apostle John 600 years after Babylon's fall, God says that 'Babylon' will still exist just prior to the second coming of Christ. How can He say this? As I have pointed out, both in this web page and in the other prophecy pages in this web site, the statue of Daniel 2 (above) explains to us how 'Babylon' can still exist today.

In Daniel 2 the empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome were all represented as one statue; they were all 'Babylon' in God's eyes. This is because Persia, Greece and Rome have continued what the original Babylonian Empire started; the suppression of the promised kingdom of David. This is how God can still call something 'Babylon' in the book of Revelation. He can do this if the thing being described 1) has a connection to original Babylon, and 2) continues (like Babylon did) to oppose the restoration of the kingdom of David.

In Revelation 17 the Roman Catholic Church is called 'Babylon':

And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials and talked with me, saying unto me "Come here. I will show you the judgment of the great Whore that sits upon many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication". So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness, and I saw a Woman sit upon a scarlet colored Beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the Woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And upon her forehead was a name written "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH".

Revelation 17:1-5

Later in this same chapter of Revelation, we are told that the 10 horns on the Beast represent 10 kings that will reign in the final 'prophetic hour' with the Beast, and that they will hate the Woman (or Whore) and burn her with fire:

And the ten horns which thou saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the Beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the Beast.

And the ten horns which you saw upon the Beast, these shall hate the Whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the Beast until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

Revelation 17:12-13, 16-17

This destruction of Babylon by the 10 horns of the Beast is described in Revelation 18. First an angel declares God's judgment upon Babylon, and then Babylon's fiery destruction is described:

And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird".

Therefore shall her plagues come in one day; death, and mourning and famine. And she shall be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning. Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying "Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is your judgment come".

Revelation 18:1-2, 8-10

Beyond the fact that the Roman Catholic Church is 'Babylon' in Revelation, the second point that I would stress is that the Beast very definitely is not Babylon. This is apparent not only by the fact that the horns on the Beast will destroy Babylon, but also by the fact that the Beast will still be present, after the destruction of Babylon, to wage war against Jesus Christ at His coming:

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the Dragon, and out of the mouth of the Beast, and out of the mouth of the False Prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

And I saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against His army. And the Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the Beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Revelation 16:13-14, 19:19-20

The question that I would pose is this: 'Why doesn't the Beast qualify to be called Babylon also?' Hasn't the Beast cooperated very closely with Rome over the past 2000 years, allowing its military power to support and enrich Rome while persecuting Christianity? Doesn't God link the Beast with the empires of Babylon, Persia and Greece in Revelation 13:2? What is it about the city of Rome and the Roman Catholic Church that makes her uniquely 'Babylon'?

I believe that what distinguishes the Roman Catholic Church from the Beast is the presence of a 'religious agenda'. Most nations and armies wage war over the world's material resources; land, gold, oil or whatever (James 4:1-3). Men and nations are often aimless, and will sometimes go to war just because they don't have anything better to do. Even when nations claim to fight for ethical reasons, this is often only a cloak for underlying greed.

The city of Rome, however, has always been the religious center of Roman paganism. As such, it has always hated and opposed the God of the Bible, and has waged war against Jesus Christ and the establishment of His kingdom on a spiritual level. While the last great military battle for rulership of the world will occur at Armageddon, between Jesus Christ and the Beast (Revelation 19:19), a much longer spiritual battle between Rome and Jesus Christ has been going on for centuries.

When once asked about the physical arrival and appearance of the kingdom of God, Jesus said that the coming of the kingdom would not be apparent. Instead He said that the coming of the kingdom would occur within the hearts of men:

And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said "The kingdom of God comes not with observation. Neither shall they say 'Look here!' or 'Look there!' For behold, the kingdom of God is within you".

Luke 17:20-21

What Jesus was saying, in effect, is that the kingdom of God has been 'under construction' since the days of Adam. This construction has continued for the past 2000 years since the times of Jesus and His apostles. The kingdom of God has been growing as one person and then another has come to repentance and faith, and then has qualified for eternal life in God's kingdom through perseverance in the faith (for a discussion of Christian 'qualification' and 'disqualification', see The Necessity of Christian Perseverance).

And so while the Beast has fought against Christians on a physical level for the past 1900+ years, the city of Rome has been warring against the establishment of the kingdom in the hearts of men, one soul at a time. Day by day the city of Rome has done everything it can, through spiritual deceit, to prevent individual persons from coming to saving faith and perseverance in Christ. And thus it has been Rome, first and foremost, that has coordinated and directed an unseen warfare against the promised kingdom of David (for an explanation of Rome's theological errors and spiritual warfare against God, see The City of Rome in Prophecy).

For 250 years after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the religious leadership of Rome encouraged Roman emperors to impoverish, imprison and kill Christians. Pagan Rome instigated many officially-sanctioned waves of persecution against the church. Then around 320 AD, with the rise of Constantine to the emperorship, Rome declared 'I am the church'. While many viewed this turn of events as a victory for Christianity, it was in fact one of the most diabolical developments in history. Rome went from persecuting Christianity overtly, to devouring Christianity from within. And while seeking to hollow out Christianity, Rome has continued its persecution of 'protesting' Christians by military means.

Ultimately we must go back to the picture of the Woman and the Beast that God gives us in Revelation 17. The Woman rides upon the back of the Beast, and thus holds the reins of the Beast in her hands, directing it as she wishes. So while the Beast has always hated God, and will directly and physically oppose Jesus Christ at His coming, it has always been the Woman who has been 'the brains of the operation'. This is why God calls the Woman 'Babylon'.

THE UNITED STATES OF BABYLON

When we read the description of Babylon's destruction in Revelation 18, a logical question comes to mind. While it is true that Rome is a glorious city, and one of the major commercial centers of the world, is it possible that the destruction of Rome could cause all of the worldwide economic loss and mourning that are described in Revelation 18?

For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. (verse 3)

And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her, for no man buys their merchandise any more. The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all citron wood, and all manner of ivory, and objects of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and perfumes, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men. (verses 11-13)

The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying "Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought". And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, and cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying "What city is like unto this great city!" And they cast dust on their heads and cried, weeping and wailing, saying "Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her wealth! For in one hour is she made desolate". (verses 15-19)

Revelation 18

Ever since the first time I read about the destruction of 'Babylon' in Revelation 18, I have wondered whether or not it is a description of the destruction of the United States. After all, throughout my lifetime there has never been another nation in the world that fits this description of economic dominance. In my opinion the events of Revelation 18 are the portrayal of a surprise nuclear attack; an attack through which Babylon is destroyed 'in one hour'. It is this same attack that I believe is also described in Revelation 6:

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake. And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood. And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?"

Revelation 6:12-17 (Matthew 24:29-30, Mark 13:24-25, Luke 21:25-26)

As I have read this description of events immediately preceding the second coming of Christ, I have wondered whether or not the stars falling to the earth are not nuclear weapons. After all, a thermonuclear bomb is simply the instantaneous, split-second creation of a star. And the trajectory of such a weapon is very accurately described here. While a ripe fig might fall directly to the ground when there is no wind, the trajectory of a fig tossed from a tree in a storm is very similar to the trajectory of a nuclear weapon delivered by an intercontinental ballistic missile.

"The Stars Will Fall From Heaven" (Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:25, Revelation 6:13)

The RCC has been keen on planting its roots deeply in the Western Hemisphere ever since the first explorers came here. Columbus was a Roman Catholic, claiming the new world and its wealth for the Roman Catholic monarchy of Spain and the Catholic Church. The French explorers who opened up North America also came in the name of Rome. The Spanish and Portuguese 'Conquistadors' of Central and South America also advanced the interests of Rome.

Rome has been at the foundation of America from the very beginning, so that today there is hardly a single town of any size in the United States where the oldest and most stately building in the city is not a Roman Catholic church. America is steeped in Roman Catholicism; from Rome's churches, to its hospitals, to its schools and universities, to its social and charitable institutions. Every governing body from Washington D.C. to the smallest city council is both watched and influenced by the RCC.

This is why, in the eyes of God, the RCC and the United States are both Babylon. When someone talks about the wealth and power of the RCC today, they must talk about the RCC in America. Many evangelical Protestants do not want to believe this. They want to believe that America began with Protestant roots, and encourage one another to influence the course of the nation through the ballot box. But when it comes to competing with Rome for influence in America, evangelicals have never done anything more than 'bring a knife to a gunfight'.

One might argue that my description of the relationship between the United States and Rome is like that between the Woman and the Beast in Revelation 17; that Rome is riding upon the back of the United States and therefore the United States must be a part of the Beast, and not Babylon. That is a valid point, and the United States may indeed still be a part of the Beast. But two things must be kept in mind:

    1) First, the destruction of Babylon by the horns of the Beast will occur in the final prophetic hour (Revelation 17:12). Thus we should be open to a possible change in the relationship between America and the Beast that might occur just prior to the second coming of Christ. If today's Beast is the United Nations, then there is already open discussion about whether or not America will continue to support it, or choose to disengage from it. It is altogether possible that the United States will position itself further and further away from the U.N., while Eastern Hemisphere nations such as China might support it more and more forcefully, giving themselves diplomatic cover for their own aggressive intentions.
    2) Secondly, the United States today is in a pattern of withdrawal from domination over the world. Since George W. Bush's foolish and unjustified attempt to project American power into Iraq (i.e. into the back yards of both Russia and China, not to mention into a hostile Middle East), America has entered into a period where it is increasingly relying upon 'soft' diplomatic power, and less upon 'hard' militaristic power. Seen in the context of this move away from military dominance, it would make sense for the United States to embrace a diplomatic skill set that the Roman Catholic Church has been effectively applying for centuries.

Many conservative 'hawks' decry America's decreased military might and blame it upon Barack Obama. But the two elections of Obama reflect both the consensus opinion among America's 'elite', and a reaction of the general public to wasted 'blood and treasure' under Bush. Today the United States is no longer able to do whatever it wants in the world. The 'glory days' of the past are over. The 'realists' know this, and are adjusting to it. While it will not abandon militarism altogether, America is retreating to the Western Hemisphere and the old days of the Monroe Doctrine (hegemony over the Western Hemisphere as America's legitimate sphere of influence). In the process America is trading leverage in the Eastern Hemisphere in places like Taiwan and Ukraine, for an acknowledgement that places like Cuba and Venezuela fall within America's 'sphere'.

Today America is regrouping and rebuilding. America is now locked in a battle with China for economic supremacy in the world (and the military supremacy that is funded by economic strength). In order for America to renew its economic power, it will have to establish a reorganized 'marketplace'. At the present time China has initiated an organization called the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). It is an economic institution set up to compete with western institutions like the World Bank and the IMF (International Monetary Fund). China wields so much economic power in the world that most of America's allies in the Eastern Hemisphere (like Britain) have rushed to join the AIIB. I expect that this trend will spur American leaders, with ever greater urgency, to consolidate the entire Western Hemisphere into one cohesive economic and cultural unit.

Given these priorities of 'soft power' and western hemisphere consolidation, Rome will be helpful to the United States in two ways. First, Rome has long majored upon the skills of international diplomacy. Being militarily powerless in and of itself, Rome has mastered the art of obtaining information and influencing the powerful. Today Rome seeks to ingratiate itself with all of the nations and religions of the world by paying lip service to Christianity at home, while simultaneously insisting that all of the religions of the world are worshiping the same God. This 'ecumenism' opens many doors for conversation, if nothing else. Because Rome has local churches in almost every nation of the world, while also enjoying diplomatic status as a City-State in almost every capital, the RCC has been able to make contacts, exert influence and obtain 'real time' information that America's CIA can only dream of.

Secondly, with America's need to reorganize the Western Hemisphere, the RCC has become indispensable as the only institution through which this can be achieved. Both Central and South America are heavily Roman Catholic. It is no coincidence that the Pope is from Argentina, and that the RCC is very involved in promoting the opening of America's borders to the rest of the hemisphere. This is all part of the plan to unite the Western Hemisphere as a 'Roman Catholic powerhouse'. In exchange for its cooperation, Rome will be granted direct access to the financial gains flowing from such a 'powerhouse'. These are the circumstances in which I envision America separating from the Beast in this final prophetic hour, and fully becoming 'Babylon'.

Once the western hemisphere has been consolidated economically, the RCC will then be able to use its connections to invite nations in the eastern hemisphere to participate in 'the marketplace of the Americas'.

Revelation 18 describes the sudden fiery destruction of a 'Babylon' that will be dominating the economy of the entire world. Thus it may be that America's businessmen will ultimately win their economic contest with China, especially given America's newfound ability to produce oil and gas. And because America's economic power will flow out of the 'base' of a united Roman Catholic western hemisphere, it may be that the destruction of Revelation 18 will fall upon that entire hemisphere as well, and not the United States alone. One thing is clear in Revelation 17; it will be God Himself who will ultimately cause the destruction of Babylon:

And the ten horns which you saw upon the Beast, these shall hate the Whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree and give their kingdom unto the Beast until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the Woman which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.

Revelation 17:16-17

THE BEAST IS MILITANT HUMANITY

In Revelation 16 we are told that demonic spirits will come out of the mouths of the Dragon (Satan), the Beast and the False Prophet, and that these spirits will then go forth to deceive the world:

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the Dragon, and out of the mouth of the Beast, and out of the mouth of the False Prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Revelation 16:13-14

And in Revelation 19, both the Beast and the False Prophet are captured and cast alive into the Lake of Fire:

And I saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the Beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Revelation 19:19-20

These two passages would seem to indicate that both the Beast and the False Prophet are single persons, out of whom demonic spirits can proceed, and who can be taken alive and cast into the Lake of Fire. But I would argue that this is not true.

First of all, as I have pointed out earlier in this web page, the Beast is something that was authorized by God to continue in existence throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th Week; from 70 AD to the present. Secondly, the Beast is something that the Roman Catholic Church has been riding upon for over 1900+ years. The Beast is comprised of kings, dictators, presidents and prime ministers with whom Rome has been 'fornicating' for centuries. Lastly, I would direct my visitor to look at what Jesus says about His judgment of the world that will occur at His second coming:

When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. And before Him shall be gathered all nations. And He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides His sheep from the goats. And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on His right hand "Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world".

Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand "Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.

Matthew 25:31-34, 41

In this passage the Lord Jesus described the judgment that He will carry out upon His return to earth, with all of the living members of the human race coming before Him before the Millennium. This is not to be confused with the Great White Throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-15, in which the Lord Jesus will judge all those who will have died before His coming, and will occur after the Millennium.

What is important to recognize here is that some wicked people, who will stand before the Lord Jesus to be judged, will be cast alive into the Lake of Fire. This is consistent with the capturing and 'casting alive' of the Beast into the Lake of Fire in Revelation 19, and I would suggest that they are one and the same event. Just as there will be Christians who will not die before the Lord Jesus comes, but who will be 'raptured' directly into heaven, so there will be enemies of God who will not die either, but who will be cast alive directly into the Lake of Fire.

Within the context of this judgment it is interesting to note the basis upon which the Lord Jesus will bless the righteous and condemn the wicked:

For I was hungry, and you gave Me meat. I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink. I was a stranger, and you took Me in. Naked, and you clothed Me. I was sick, and you visited Me. I was in prison, and you came unto Me. Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying "Lord, when did we see You hungry, and fed You? Or thirsty, and gave You drink? When did we see You a stranger, and took You in? Or naked, and clothed You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and came unto You?" And the King shall answer and say unto them "Truly I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me.

Matthew 25:35-40

This basis of Christ's judgment upon the nations corresponds perfectly with the circumstances that will precede His coming. It will be a time when the 'Mark of the Beast' was imposed, and when those who opposed and warned against it were hated, persecuted, and even killed. On the other hand, among those who refused the mark there will have been mutual understanding, compassion and support. It will be within that context, and upon the basis of how people will have treated each other prior to Christ's coming, that the judgment will be made. There will be an exact correlation between having accepted the Mark of the Beast, and having mistreated God's people.

For Jesus to have spoken to His disciples about the Beast would have been confusing to them. They would not have known what to do with the information. It pertained to something that would not make sense until after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. But for God to close the Bible by broadcasting a warning about the Beast forward in time makes perfect sense. This is why we have two different descriptions of the same judgment of the world by the Lord Jesus. While both are true and accurate descriptions of the same event, one was understandable in the apostolic era, while the other provides further information for the post-apostolic world.

So what is the Beast? I conclude that it is organized, militant, God-opposing humanity in all of the various forms that it has taken from 70 AD to the present. Militancy is the primary characteristic of the Beast in Daniel 7, and of this same Beast in Revelation as well:

And they worshiped the dragon (Satan) which gave power unto the Beast, and they worshipped the Beast, saying "Who is like unto the Beast? Who is able to make war with him?" And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God; to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity. He that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Revelation 13:4-10

God concludes this description of the Beast with a warning against militancy; killing people or taking them captive. Throughout the past 1900+ years the military powers upon whose backs Rome has ridden have varied greatly. Rome has pursued Church+State relationships with all of the kingdoms of Europe at one point or another, as well as with many other governments, dictators and tyrants around the world. Rome has 'gone to bed' with these governments, trading its religious influence over the common man for wealth and access to the halls of power. This is why she is called a 'whore'.

The Beast of Revelation is organized, militant, God-opposing humanity itself.

This perspective agrees well with the fact that the Beast of Daniel 7 and the Beast of Revelation 13 are both described as coming up out of the great 'sea' of humanity. It is also supported by the fact that the Woman of Revelation 17 is described both as sitting upon the Beast (verses 3 and 7), and as sitting upon the 'waters of humanity' (verses 1 and 15).

THE FALSE PROPHET

Beginning in Revelation 13:11 we are told that the Beast will be accompanied and assisted by a second Beast. In Revelation 13:1 the Beast is described as coming up out of the sea, but in Revelation 13:11 the second Beast is described as coming up out of the earth or land. Why the distinction? What does coming out of the land signify?

As I have already mentioned, I believe that the 'sea' that the first Beast came out of represents the 'great sea of humanity'. It is interesting to note that when the angel gave the 'Little Book' to the apostle John in Revelation 10:2, he placed one of his feet on the sea and the other foot upon the land. And God was careful to repeat this description of the angel in verses 5 and 8 as well. And now here, in the final vision of the Little Book, we find two God-opposing Beasts coming out of the sea and land.

I believe that the 'sea and land' idea has significance, but at the same time I do not believe that we should read too much into it. I simply deduce that the 'sea and land' tell us that the whole world, and all of its inhabitants, are encompassed within God's plans, and are also encompassed within Satan's plan to oppose God through his two Beasts. It tells us that the scope of John's Little Book is worldwide.

In Revelation 13:11-12 we are given two important facts about this second Beast that allow us to understand the name given to him in other parts of the book of Revelation:

And I beheld another Beast coming up out of the earth. And he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the power of the first Beast before him, and causes the earth and them which dwell in it to worship the first Beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

Revelation 13:11-12

First, this Beast appears like a harmless and gentle lamb and secondly, he speaks the words of the Dragon; Satan. This distinction between someone's appearance and his real purpose was recognized in the false prophets of Old Testament times. And we are also warned about false prophets by the Lord Jesus:

For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them, every one is given to covetousness. And from the prophet even unto the priest every one deals falsely. They have also healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying "Peace! Peace!" when there is no peace.

Jeremiah 6:13-14

Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

Matthew 7:15

For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they might deceive the very elect.

Matthew 24:24

The Bible defines false prophets as 'hypocrites'. The original Greek word 'hypocrite' comes from the Greek theatre. It meant someone who wears a mask and pretends to be something that they are not; an actor. Good actors have been praised and appreciated throughout history; whether in ancient Greece, Shakespeare's England or in America's Hollywood. But when people practice hypocrisy in their everyday lives, and pretend to love righteousness when they are really serving Satan, they are 'false prophets'.

The other thing that we are told about the second Beast is that he derives his power from the first Beast, and causes the whole world to worship the first Beast. In short, the second Beast is a deceiver who works hand-in-hand with the first Beast. This is why, as we read farther through the book of Revelation, we find this pair of Beasts referred to as 'the Beast and the False Prophet':

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan), and out of the mouth of the Beast, and out of the mouth of the False Prophet

Revelation 16:13

And the Beast was taken, and with him the False Prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the Mark of the Beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Revelation 19:20

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the Beast and the False Prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever

Revelation 20:10

Revelation 13:11 is the only verse where this second being is called a Beast or is described as coming from the land or earth. Everywhere else he is simply called 'the False Prophet'.

There are two special traits of the False Prophet that must be recognized and understand; the ability to call down fire from heaven, and the ability to create and use an 'image' that is alive and speaks:

And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives them that dwell on the earth by means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the Beast, saying to them that dwell on the earth that they should make an image to the Beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the Beast should be killed.

Revelation 13:13-15

I would suggest to my reader that these two 'wonders' belonging to the False Prophet are modern-day technologies. When God gave the book of Revelation to the apostle John, He enabled him to see ahead into history and observe the circumstances of our modern times. These two 'powers' of the False Prophet first appeared on earth in the early 1900's; movies and the airplane.

In the early 1900's we saw man's first powered flight; something that was quickly developed and applied during World War 1. At the same time the ability to create dramatic silent movies and capture real-world events on film advanced as well. Through movies and warplanes the ability to call down fire from heaven in the sight of men became a reality, along with a new ability to influence public opinion on a broad scale.

Roughly 25 years later, at the end of World War 2, missiles and jet-powered warplanes appeared in the sky, nuclear weapons were first used (literally bringing the 'fire of heaven' down upon the earth'), and newsreel movies with sound spoke to people throughout the world. But that was only the beginning. Within a few years a new living, speaking image appeared; television. Soon the 'image of the Beast' appeared not only in the local theatre, but in many households.

Today this 'image' that lives and speaks is carried everywhere by everyone around the world; the smartphone and tablet. And with this technology has come the ability to show us man's latest ability to bring down fire from heaven in the sight of men; through drones and smart weapons. Soon nations will control the skies through swarms of unmanned drones, each of which will be individually controlled by a central computer which will keep track of them and coordinate their attacks through software systems. A fighter pilot who flies even the most advanced jet into one of these drone-swarms will be as helpless as a canary in a swarm of bees. As people see these developments, they will be compelled to ask the question that God foretold would be asked over 1900 years ago:

And they worshiped the Dragon which gave power unto the Beast, and they worshiped the Beast, saying "Who is like unto the Beast? Who is able to make war with him?

Revelation 13:4

This advance in warfighting technology will prompt people to submit to those possessing military power throughout the world. This power will not only be applied in conflicts between nations; it will increasingly be applied by law enforcement authorities within nations. However, the rise of drones is a two-edged sword. It has not only brought power to the leaders of nations; it is also bringing terror to them as well. What a police department or a military unit can do with a drone, a terrorist can do also. Hence the monitoring and control of drone technology is of ever-increasing importance today.

Beyond the display of military technology and the ability to intimidate mankind, today's 'image' connects us to 'media' of all kinds. Major news outlets such as CNN and the BBC, as well as many other sources of information on the internet and in social media, are more interested in influencing the 'masses' then simply putting objective truth before us. The 'image' of the False Prophet possesses tremendous power to influence public opinion, and to turn that opinion in a variety of different directions instantly and throughout the world.

Today there are 'political professionals' who are incredibly skilled, and often incredibly dishonest, who have perfected the ability to touch people's emotions and influence public opinion not necessarily by lying, but simply by 'framing the truth' in subtle ways. It is through such people that Satan is speaking, influencing public opinion and establishing 'thought correctness' everywhere throughout the world. The end that is sought is globalism; the rise of a united humanity against 'religious ignorance', 'intolerance' and the God of the Bible. It is the pursuit of righteousness as mankind wants to define it, not as God has defined it (Psalm 2). They will want what God foretold they would want; to kill anyone who disagrees with the 'truth' that they are broadcasting from our movie screens, televisions and smartphones:

And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Revelation 13:15

This is what's coming. Peaceful, civil protest is a thing of the past. Today's university campuses are filled with young people who have grown up without parental discipline or any fear of God. They have been encouraged to pursue sexual intimacy freely from their youth, and are comfortable in a culture that has destroyed 60 million unborn children in the past 40+ years. Young men grow up in idleness, socially immature, practicing bloodshed and mayhem with video games. Today's generation grew up with Harry Potter; a book series predicated upon the notion that our biological parents are not our real parents, but rather that there is a spiritual world out there where our true greatness and 'family' might be found. We have not yet begun to see the fruits that the Harry Potter series will bring; a set of books that has been devoured by young people around the world, followed up with movies and television programs that have encouraged them to dabble in witchcraft and communicate with 'familiar spirits'. Today there is an openness to Satanic influence throughout the world that promises to unleash hell on earth.

Indeed, communication with familiar spirits is not only being embraced throughout the secular world, but in today's 'Christian' churches and colleges as well. This 'new spirituality' in the church is often referred to as 'the emerging church'. It comes under the guise of yoga, 'centering prayer', contemplation and 'spiritual formation'. The False Prophet is not only to be found speaking from electronic devices; he is also found in many of the pulpits of today's churches.

Much of today's Christianity is like Israel's first King; Saul. For a while he was accepted by God, had a genuine relationship with Him, and had removed those who communicated with familiar spirits from the nation of Israel (1 Samuel 28:3). But after he disobeyed God and lost his connection with the Holy Spirit, Saul turned to a medium and familiar spirits for information and advice (1 Samuel 28:7). To the medium's surprise, instead of communicating with a 'familiar spirit', God allowed a dead prophet, Samuel, to appear and inform Saul of the terrible judgment that would befall him the very next day. In exactly the same way a 'Christianity' disobedient to God and devoid of the Holy Spirit is now turning to familiar spirits. And like king Saul, the ultimate outcome of their disobedience will be disastrous and terrifying consequences.

It is today's generation, disconnected from reality and believing that good is bad and bad is good, who believe that those who disagree with them should be put to death. College professors and other 'thought leaders', along with media outlets around the world are stirring up the 'righteous indignation' of mankind, encouraging violence in the pursuit of 'social justice'. Ultimately this 'people's justice' is going to focus very specifically upon Christians, Jews and Israel. For many Christians throughout the world, who recognize the unprecedented darkness that is upon us, a cry is going up that the Lord Jesus might return quickly and do what He alone can do; bind Satan with a chain and cast him, along with his lies, into a pit (Revelation 20:1-3). The answer to that prayer is coming, but not right away.

Jesus warned that, in the last days, the love within many people's hearts would grow cold because lawlessness would abound (Matthew 24:12). That certainly characterizes our time. The apostle Paul described these as 'perilous times', when people would be more in love with themselves than anything else (2 Timothy 3:1).

Consistent with my belief that the Beast is not a single person, but is organized, militant, God-opposing humanity, I also believe that the False Prophet is not a single person either. I believe that the 'False Prophet' is a portion of the people who comprise the Beast, and who are uniquely able to use technology and the media to advance Satan's agenda of military intimidation and thought 'correctness' throughout the world. While God tells us that the Beast will have existed for '42 months' (from 70 AD to the present), this is not said of the False Prophet. I believe that we can deduce, from the description of him that God has given to us, that the 'False Prophet' is something that has only existed in recent times.

There have always been false prophets throughout the history of the world, but the False Prophet of Revelation is not a single person; it is a conspiracy of persons in these last days who, through technology, will be uniquely useful to Satan. God does not despise or condemn human technology; He does not condemn airplanes, televisions or computers. But He does condemn the ways that Satan will use those technologies in these last days.

THE MARK OF THE BEAST

There is a third technology that the False Prophet will use, in addition to 'speaking images' and 'calling down fire from heaven':

And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads. And that no man might buy or sell, except he that has the mark, or the name of the Beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that has understanding count the number of the Beast, for it is the number of a man: and his number is 666.

Revelation 13:16-18

It should be observed that the number '666' is not associated with the False Prophet, but with the Beast. The False Prophet may introduce and promote the mark and the number, but they are the mark and the number 'of the Beast', and will signify submission and allegiance to the Beast.

Secondly, we are told that the number of the Beast will be 'the number of a man'. This may indicate that each person upon the face of the earth will have a number that is uniquely pertinent to himself. The vast majority of the nations of the world already 'number' their citizens. In many cases one of the groups of numbers associated with a person is his birthdate; sometimes recorded by a six digit group in the MM/DD/YY format. This is only conjecture on my part, but the future 'number of a man' may consist of 3 groups of 6 digits, each group representing specific and unique personal information about a person. Such a system might seem very harmless and useful when it is introduced.

As God has said, the heart of this new system will be an identifying mark that people will be required to have either in their forehead or their hand (or both). I believe that this mark will be some kind of computer chip, inserted under the skin. It may be an RFID chip (Radio Frequency Identification Device) containing the information represented in a '666' format, enabling authorities to identify people, even at a distance. It will also be the foundation of a new medical system and cashless economy in which the government will be able to tax every financial transaction that takes place, while watching the behavior of people by monitoring their financial activities. This system and its chip will incorporate people into what is now referred to as the 'Internet of Things' (IoT).

I expect the foundational software of this new system to be largely complete by 2020. It will be based upon the 'Block Chain' technology that underlies the BitCoin cryptocurrency that is used throughout the world today. Today the world's banks, governments and corporations are racing to implement this technology worldwide. This is a 'distributed ledger' system that will allow not only for the exchange of money digitally throughout the world, but will also enable an exchange of physical property and personal information that will be completely secure, verifiable and very inexpensive to operate.

This is a 'trustworthy' system that will require a joint commitment or 'buy-in' from all of the nations and organizations who will use it. Because of this it will be heralded as finally bringing peace, understanding, cooperation and unity to mankind. It will promise to revolutionize society and the economy worldwide, providing equal access to opportunity and wealth to every citizen of the world. And it will fill the coffers of the governments, banks and businesses that embrace it with amounts of money never before dreamed of.

This new system will be viewed by many people as mankind's crowning achievement, and the 'evolutionary gateway' to unlimited future possibilities for the human race. Block Chain technology is a concept that was born around the same time that the 'Great Recession of 2008' occurred, and was implemented in the creation of BitCoins. It has proven to be reliable, and has been embraced by many because it is 'tamper-proof', and cannot be 'gamed' or broken into by anyone. BitCoin supporters see it as the answer to the governmental and Wall Street corruption that brought the world economy down in 2008.

This is a technology that will soon revolutionize the world. This cannot be denied. The initial rollout of this technology may allow us to access it via fingerprints, iris scans or facial recognition. But eventually, for the sake of speed and efficiency, a chip will be required underneath a person's skin. Personally, if it were not for God's warnings about this system, I would be among the first to embrace it. Many people throughout the world already are having themselves 'chipped' for identification purposes. They love the 'progress' that the technology promises. But God has clearly shown the world when the second coming of His Son is going to occur (see 'The Timetable for Jesus' Return'), and along with that information He has told us that anyone who takes the 'Mark' will spend eternity in the "Lake of Fire":

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice "If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, he same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation. And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever. And they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus".

Revelation 14:9-12

I think that it might be helpful to consider God's warning within the context of the different ways that professing Christians understand the Lake of Fire and Brimstone. I am what is referred to in Christian circles as an 'annihilationist'; a person who believes that some people who are cast into the Lake of Fire will ultimately be annihilated (destroyed) and cease to exist, thus ending their torment. I believe that the amount of time spent in that Lake will directly correspond to the wickedness of those who are put there.

Many Christians believe that everyone who is cast into this terrible Lake will suffer there never-endingly. They reach this conclusion because the Bible says that the Lake itself will never cease to exist, and that the torment of some persons in it will also never end. But the Bible doesn't insist that everyone cast into that Lake will suffer eternally; only that their destruction will be eternal.

The Lord Jesus taught that there will be varying degrees of punishment for the wicked in the day of judgment. He summed up this truth by saying that "those who knew their Master's will and did not do it, will be beaten with many stripes", while "those who did not know His will, will be beaten with few stripes" (Luke 12:47-48). Since the Bible says that all of those who are not saved will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:15), it seems to me that we are left with two possible conclusions:

    1) Some areas of the Lake of Fire will be cooler than others (and thus more bearable for those who remain there eternally), or
    2) Some people will experience varying lengths of time in that Lake which will correspond exactly to their wickedness, at which point their existence will end.

In the light of what the Lord Jesus has taught about varying degrees of punishment, I believe that the second option makes more sense and is the biblical one.

Do I believe that there has been anyone in human history who might deserve to suffer forever? Yes. People like Adolf Hitler come to mind as well as Herod the Great, who murdered a large number of baby boys in his attempt to destroy the newborn Christ Child (Matthew 2:16), or Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus. There are a number of possible reasons why a person might suffer eternally, including apostasy from the Christian faith after a genuine conversion (see The Necessity of Christian Perseverance).

The point that I am trying to make is this; although God is just and fair in His judgments, it must be noted that God has warned of a torment that will last 'forever and ever' for those who take the Mark of the Beast. This is a punishment reserved for only the most evil people; people who will have clearly understood that God's prophecies have all been fulfilled until now, have heard God's warnings about taking the Mark, and who will nevertheless choose to join Satan in his opposition to God, joining him in a Lake of Fire that was originally prepared for him and his angelic allies alone.

When God created humanity, He gave us a very simple choice in Eden; to acknowledge and believe Him, obeying His commandment not to learn the difference between right and wrong, or to dishonor and disbelieve Him, believing instead that we would be able to use a knowledge of right and wrong to justify ourselves and govern the world as we saw fit. It came down to a simple choice; to eat the forbidden Fruit or not to eat it (see Why God Requires Our Faith).

Now God is bringing an end to His long and protracted struggle with both rebellious angels and a rebellious human race. In order to finish everything properly, He has set another simple choice before mankind; to take the Mark or not to take it. The underlying question is still the same, and has never changed. Do we think that we can save ourselves through our knowledge and technology, or are we willing to acknowledge God and our dependence upon Him; believing Him and embracing His offer of forgiveness through Christ.

Are we going to trust in the knowledge-based promises of the False Prophet, or acknowledge that whatever technology we have is child's play when compared to the glory of Someone who created the universe instantaneously, and whose biological machinery not only underlies life, but also underlies the ability of living things to fight off infection, repair themselves and use variations in superficial traits to adjust to changing environments over vast periods of time? Genuine evolution, after all, is not the chance creation of some new species from another, but is the divinely engineered superficial variation that can happen within a species over time; variation that allows the species to adapt to severe environmental changes over time without fundamentally changing the species itself. This is why there are black people, white people, brown and yellow people upon the earth. Though superficially different, these people who are still able to exchange organs and blood transfusions with each other, and to produce interracial children. What the human race has done with the concept of evolution is blatantly dishonest. Instead of honoring our Designer's genius in empowering various species to survive, we have used it to deny that He even exists.

An acknowledgement of Intelligent Design, however, cannot bring us to where we need to be. It may move us in the right direction, but acknowledging that there has been an Intelligent Designer is not enough. God requires us to acknowledge who the Intellligent Designer is. That conclusion cannot be reached intellectually; it is reached through the 'eyes' of the conscience. It is only through the conscience that we can acknowledge that there are such things as evil and moral wickedness in the world, and in ourselves. It is only through the conscience that we can acknowledge that the just 'wages of sin' is death (Romans 6:23). And it is only through the conscience that we can be brought to see that the 'Designer' sent His Son into the world as a man, in order that He might suffer a criminal execution upon a Roman cross and provide a conscientious way of salvation for sinners.

The conquest of death is not something yet to be discovered in today's laboratory. It was openly revealed to the world nearly 2000 years ago in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The 'eyes of conscience' can see this; the eyes of the intellect never will. This is the choice that confronts us today. It is as simple as refusing a piece of fruit in Eden (Genesis 2:16-17), as getting on the Ark in the days of Noah (Genesis 6-9), as fleeing Sodom in the days of Lot (Genesis 19), and as refusing the 'Mark' in our own time. A choice about the 'Mark' is very simple, and yet it goes to the very heart of who we are.

CHRISTIAN, TAKE HEART

In my web page titled 'The Necessity of Christian Perseverance' I point out that God likens the Christian's journey, through this life, to the journey of the Israelites through the wilderness toward the promised land. Israel's time in the wilderness was a period during which God tested them, to see whether or not they truly loved and believed Him; to know whether or not they would continue to obey His commandments (Exodus 15:25-26).

In Numbers chapter 13 we are told about how God brought the Israelites to the border of the land of Canaan (that had originally been promised to Abraham). God told the Israelites to send 12 spies into the land, to learn about it and bring back a report to the people. When the spies came back, two of them (Joshua and Caleb) gave a positive report about the land, and encouraged their fellow Israelites to trust God and follow Him into the land. But the other 10 spies, while acknowledging that it was a desirable land, provoked fear in the hearts of their fellow Israelites by telling them how powerful and frightening the inhabitants of the land were. They convinced the Israelites that they would die if they followed God. These were the words of the Israelites:

And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried. And the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron. And the whole congregation said unto them "Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt!" or "Would God we had died in this wilderness!" and "Wherefore has the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be victims? Were it not better for us to return into Egypt?" And they said one to another "Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt".

Numbers 14:1-4

Even though the Israelites had seen God's power and glory in delivering them from Pharaoh and Egypt, and had repeatedly experienced His goodness in their wilderness journey up to that point, they became cowardly and unwilling to believe that God could conquer their enemies and lead them safely into the promised land.

In response, God rejected that generation of Israelites and cursed them:

Because all those men which have seen My glory, and My miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tested Me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice; surely they shall not see the land which I swore unto their fathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). Neither shall any of them that provoked Me see it.

But your little ones, which you said would be victims, them will I bring in, and they shall have the land which you have despised.

Numbers 14:22-23, 31

Just as the challenge of conquering the 'promised land' tested the faith of the Israelites, so also the challenge of 'overcoming' and entering heaven tests the faith of the Christian. There are often times along the way when Christians must decide whether or not they are willing to endure hardship in order to take possession of 'the promised land of eternal life'. The Christian can say 'It looks difficult, but I can do it with God's help', or the Christian can say 'This is too frightening. It seems like God wants to destroy me'. God commands Christians to reject cowardice, and to be of 'good courage'. It's not about what we can do, but what God can do in us and for us. The only question is 'Are we willing to let Him do it?:

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:13

Now the just shall live by faith. But if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Hebrews 10:38-39

But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Revelation 21:8

God warns us that a fearful withdrawal from the challenges that confront us in these last days is not acceptable to Him. And as we look at the disobedience of the Israelites, we can see two things that they failed to do. First, they forgot God's demonstration of His power and love toward them in the past. They had faced great difficulties before, and God had shown Himself to be faithful and ready to help them. God instructs Christians to acknowledge those same things. There is no true Christian who has not already drunk deeply from the wellspring of God's grace, love and power; sometimes repeatedly over many years. The Christian already knows that the Lord Jesus is ready, willing and able to answer prayer:

Hear me O Lord, for thy lovingkindness is good. Turn unto me according to the multitude of Your tender mercies.

Psalm 69:16

I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Romans 12:1

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted by God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Secondly, God wanted the Israelites to embrace the future; the glory of the land that they had seen. The Israelites had been given a 'vision' of what was possible, and it should have moved them to ambitiously follow God, as it had moved Joshua and Caleb. In a similar fashion, God has given Christians a vision of His coming kingdom, and asks us 'Do you want it?' Do we want to move forward, laying hold of eternal life (1 Timothy 6:12,19), or do we want to return to the 'Egypt' of our past?:

And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshiped God saying "We give you thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which are, and were, and are to come; because You have taken Your great power and have reigned. And the nations were angry, and Your wrath has come. And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should give reward unto Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Your name, small and great. And should destroy them which destroy the earth.

Revelation 11:16-18

Christians must look back upon what God has already done for them, and they must look forward to the glorious future that He has promised. But there is also a third thing that Christians must do; we must allow the 'peace of God' to rule in our hearts in the present:

Be anxious about nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be thankful.

Colossians 3:15

The apostle Peter gave a warning to Christians regarding the predatory nature of Satan:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, like a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who has called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect; establish, strengthen, settle you.

1 Peter 5:8-10

One of the things that lions do, when they have driven their prey into some safe hiding place, is to roar and claw the ground and create all kinds of commotion outside of that hiding place, hoping to frighten the prey into 'making a run for it'. Then when the frightened animal comes out, they pounce upon it and devour it.

In a similar way Christians today are bombarded with frightening and unsettling things from all sides. They wonder 'Should I vote for this party, or that party; for this candidate or that candidate?' They see terrible military dangers around the world, and the utter dishonesty of a media that serves Satan's agenda. They feel compelled either to come out and fight, or to come out and surrender (in despair, depression and defeat); when God would not have them 'come out' at all.

In these last days it is imperative that Christians monitor their own thoughts, and realize that it is only as they abide in God's word, His peace and His patience that they can 'possess their souls':

Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what you shall answer. For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And you shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And you shall be hated of all men for My name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess your souls.

Luke 21:14-19

One of Satan's 'roarings' is the claim that the Bible is no longer trustworthy, and that we need to embrace technology and human intelligence. Another is to point at professing Christians whose lives are failures. Unfaithfulness in the 'church' is disheartening. Another tactic is to tell us repeatedly, through the False Prophet, that we will never be able to overcome the military firepower, the media power or the economic power of the world; i.e. the Beast.

If he can convince us that we are defeated, Satan knows that we will never put on 'the armor of God' (Ephesians 6:11) and try to do him any harm. If we do not recognize Satan's approach of trying to unsettle our minds and make us question God's competence (as the Israelites did), then he may very well be able to frighten us away from God's side and quickly devour us in our foolishness. Peter would not have warned us about these things, if they were not real dangers.

The way to answer Satan's fear tactics, as we approach the times of testing and trial that lie ahead, is to remind ourselves that God's battle with Satan and the nations is already over and the victory has already been won. We must keep things in biblical perspective. Jesus has already overcome the world. All we need to do is obediently follow Him across the Jordan River and into the promised land:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying "Great and marvellous are Your works, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are Your ways, You King of saints. Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You. For Your judgments are made manifest".

Revelation 15:2-4

THE 10 HORNS THEN AND NOW

In my web page titled The United States in Bible Prophecy, I propose that the 10 horns upon the fourth Beast of Daniel 7 represent 10 major geographical regions of the ancient Roman Empire. My list of those regions was as follows:

    1. Italy
    2. Achaia (Greece and the surrounding region)
    3. Asia (an area now called Turkey)
    4. Syria (an area including what is now Israel and the greater Middle East)
    5. Egypt
    6. Africa (northern Africa)
    7. Spain
    8. Gaul (now known as France)
    9. Germany
    10. Britain

But in Revelation 17, we are told that the 10 horns represent 10 kings that will give their power to the Beast in the last 'prophetic hour', and will hate the Whore (Roman Catholic Babylon) and will burn her with fire:

And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the Beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

And the ten horns which you saw upon the Beast, these shall hate the Whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put in their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the Beast until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

Revelation 17:12-13, 16-17

The question is this: 'Is there inconsistency in my claim that the 10 horns on the Beast of Daniel 7 represent one thing, while the 10 horns on the same Beast represent something else in Revelation?' Is it reasonable to think that God might allow the 10 horns to represent different things in different prophecies?

The first thing that should be remembered is that the 10 horns, in both Daniel and Revelation, represent major regions and centers of power in the world. It's not as if horns represent one thing in Daniel and something else in Revelation. The horns in both books are consistent; they represent similar things. The 10 horns in Daniel represent 10 major regions or nations of the world as one looks forward into the future from Daniel's perspective. Those same 10 horns also represent 10 major power-centers of the world in Revelation, but as they are found in the last prophetic hour.

Secondly, it should be remembered that the fourth Beast of Daniel 7 undergoes profound changes in the book of Revelation. God gives the Beast seven heads in Revelation (as opposed to one in Daniel) to symbolize this change. In fact, God likens the change to a 'death-and-resurrection' experience. Given this context, of a radical change in the Beast from Daniel to Revelation, I do not think that letting the 10 horns represent one thing in Daniel, and something different in Revelation is inconsistent with sound biblical interpretation.

Thirdly, it should be recognized that by letting the 10 horns represent one set of nations in Daniel, and another set of nations in Revelation, God has been able to portray both the rise and ultimate fall of the United States in relation to those 10 horns. When viewed in the light of this shared significance, one can easily recognize the continuity between the 10 horns of Daniel and Revelation. Though representing two different sets of nations, they share the single divine purpose of portraying the contest between God and 'American Babylon' from beginning to end.

Are there any rules of Bible interpretation that require us to insist that the 10 horns on the Beast in Daniel 7, and the 10 horns on the Beast of Revelation must represent the exact same thing; the same 10 nations or monarchies? No, I don't think so. Given the radical transformation of the Beast that God has symbolized by switching from one head to seven heads, I don't see any inconsistency in believing that the 10 horns that Daniel saw 2500 years ago might be different from the 10 horns seen in Revelation's final prophetic hour.

SATAN'S REORGANIZATION OF THE WORLD

One of the most important keys to understanding the Beast's metamorphosis from having one head to having seven, and to understanding the history of the entire world from 70 AD to the present, is to understand the fact that God cast Satan out of heaven and down to earth just prior to 70 AD. I explain this 'casting out' of Satan, and the vision of 'The Woman, the Child and the Dragon' that portrays it so powerfully (in Revelation 12), in my web page titled The Timetable for Jesus' Return.

One of the most important concepts for understanding Christianity itself, and God's approaching judgment of the world, is this 'casting out' of Satan by Christ. Jesus said that it was an essential part of His mission, and would be an important part of the Holy Spirit's subsequent message:

Now is My soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this cause I came unto this hour. "Father, glorify Your name". Then came there a voice from heaven, saying "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again". The people therefore, that stood by and heard it, said that it thundered. Others said "An angel spoke to him". Jesus answered and said "This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world. Now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me". This He said, signifying what death He should die.

John 12:27-33

And when He (the Holy Spirit) is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

John 16:8-10

Jesus Christ defeated Satan at the cross. Up until Jesus' death, Satan had always been able to come before the Father and point out the sins of mankind, asking God how He could allow His precious and holy Son to die for us. Satan had a moral right to press this case before God, because it was a reasonable one that posed an important moral question. Satan's hope was to convince God to compromise with himself, not allowing His Son to die for such wretched sinners, while also not being willing to destroy humanity altogether. After such a compromise, Satan and God would go forward as co-regents of the universe.

But with Jesus' death and His provision of an atonement for the sins of men, Satan no longer had any moral leverage before God, and he was cast out of heaven and down to earth just prior to 70 AD, with profound implications for the history of the world and the survival of mankind from that moment forward.

It is only with a proper understanding of the 70th Week of Daniel, and of the fact that Satan was cast out of heaven just prior to the midpoint of that Week (70 AD), that we can perceive that the seven heads on the Beast of Revelation portray a 'reorganization' of the Roman Empire by Satan that would suit his purposes. With the Roman Civil War, Satan was taking the Roman Empire and changing it into two separate entities that he would use in the future; a religious city that would oppose God spiritually, and a worldwide military 'Beast' that would oppose God through physical, tangible power. And these two entities would work cooperatively with one another for many centuries, until the 10 horns of the Beast would finally turn upon Rome and destroy it.

IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS


1) THE BEAST (Daniel 7, Revelation 13:1-10, Revelation 16:13, Revelation 17:3-18, Revelation 19:19-20)

The Beast first appears as the fourth beast of Daniel 7, having one head and 10 horns. In the New Testament it becomes a Beast having 7 heads and 10 horns. The Beast is militant, organized, God-opposing humanity. We are told that the Beast of Revelation has been authorized by God to continue throughout the second half of the 70th Week of Daniel; in other words from 70 AD until the present. For a fuller explanation of the Beast, I refer my reader to my web page titled The Beast and the False Prophet.


2) THE FALSE PROPHET (Revelation 13:11-18, Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10)

This is the second Beast described in Revelation 13. It is described as coming up out of the earth or land. It possesses the traits of a false prophet, appearing like a lamb while speaking like a dragon (Satan). The False Prophet does not experience the long lifespan of the Beast; from 70 AD until the present. The False Prophet is a product of our modern times. It performs three miracles, corresponding to today's technology. It brings down fire from heaven through the technology of airplanes and powered flight. It causes an image to come alive and speak, through the technology of movies, television and smart phones. It will impose the 'Mark of the Beast' upon the world through Block Chain technology; a 'distributed ledger' computer system that will revolutionize the economy and the administration of the world in the immediate future.


3) THE WOMAN, HARLOT, WHORE, BABYLON (Revelation chapters 17 & 18)

This is the city of Rome, confirmed for us in Revelation 17:9,18 where she is described as being seated upon seven hills, and as 'that great city' which was ruling over the kings of the earth when John received the book of Revelation.

I have discussed the city of Rome, and its transition from being the seat of Roman power prior to 69 A.D. to being a religious center after 69 A.D., in my web page titled The Beast and the False Prophet. I explain Bible prophecy regarding the religion of Rome in my web page titled The City of Rome in Prophecy.


4) THE APOSTLE PAUL'S 'MAN OF SIN' (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

The apostle Paul's 'Man of Sin' is described in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2.

Let no man deceive you by any means. For that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first. And that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped. So that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Paul was not describing a single man, but a unique class of men; the Roman Catholic priesthood. How is this true? The Roman Catholic priest claims that, in the Roman Catholic sacrament of the Mass, he is literally reconstituting the very body and blood of Jesus Christ at his altar, and is re-offering it to God on behalf of mankind as an atonement for sins. In addition, the Roman Catholic Church claims to be Christ's 'vicar' or representative upon earth, exercising His authority to interpret the Bible and add to it, and exercising His authority to authorize holy wars.

This is how Rome's priests portray themselves to the world as God, seated in the Temple of God. The only Persons who can rightfully make that claim are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Mary is not one of these divine Persons. The Roman Catholic Church has usurped the Biblical offices of the Lord Jesus Christ; that of Prophet, Priest and King. And so while God tells people to come directly to His Son by faith, hearing Him by reading their Bibles and speaking to Him by prayer, Rome says that we must come to Rome. Rather than represent Jesus Christ before the world, Rome competes directly against Him for the souls of men. For further information about Rome, I refer my reader to my web pages titled 'The City of Rome in Prophecy', 'The Beast and the False Prophet', and 'The United States in Prophecy'.


5) THE ANTICHRIST

The Antichrist is mentioned in only four verses, all written by the apostle John, and found only in his letters. The word 'antichrist' never appears anywhere else in the scriptures. It means what it appears to mean; one who is against or opposed to Christ.

Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

1 John 2:18-19

Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 2:22

And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

1 John 4:3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

2 John 8

As we examine John's words, the one thing that defines the antichrist is false doctrine. More specifically, John defines antichrists as

    A) Those who once professed faith in Christ, but have departed from biblical Christianity.
    B) Those who deny the Father and the Son.
    C) Those who deny that the Son of God has come into the world in human flesh.

John's description of an antichrist could apply to any one of a number of people, religions or cults that have claimed to be Christian or to respect Christ, but have departed from the true Christian faith.

It should be observed that John never says anything about the Antichrist establishing covenants, ending sacrifices, claiming to be God, having miraculous powers, cooperating with the Beast or being destroyed at the second coming of Christ. Nor does he link 'the Antichrist' with any other passage of scripture. The term 'antichrist' is not even found in that greatest of all prophetic books, Revelation, which John himself wrote.

Rather than take caution from this, Dispensationalists have taken advantage of it. Because of his sinister name, and because so little is known about him, Dispensationalists have felt free to plug the Antichrist into their end-times scenario. For them the Antichrist is 'the Prince who is to come' (of Daniel 9:26), the 'Abomination of Desolation', Paul's 'man of sin', and 'the Beast' that gets thrown into the Lake of Fire (along with the False Prophet). One cannot count all of the books, articles and movies that have flowed out of John's very limited words about 'the Antichrist'.

Although John says that there are many antichrists, in 1 John 2:18 he seems to refer to one specific person, 'the Antichrist', who surpasses all other antichrists in his opposition to God. So who is this Antichrist? I do not know. One candidate to consider would be Mohammed. Islam claims Biblical roots, but fiercely denies that God has a Son, and that Christ was 'Emmanuel'; 'God with us' in a human body. There is no other religion that more directly and forcefully denies the deity of Christ today than Islam.

Muslims have written 'God has no son' inside their mosque, the 'Dome of the Rock', sitting on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This will ultimately prove to be a profound embarrassment to them. It was this One who declared Himself to be the Son of God, and who predicted the desolation of the Temple and its possession by the Gentiles until His second coming, whose words they now fulfill with their mosque on the Temple Mount.


6) THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, Mark 13:14) The Roman general Titus and his army, which destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD (see The Olivet Discourse for an explanation of this fact, and see The Timetable for Jesus' Return for a discussion of Titus).


7) THE 'PRINCE WHO IS TO COME' OF DANIEL 9:26 - also the Roman general Titus.


8) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 7:8 The United States of America (see The United States in Bible Prophecy)


9) THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 8:9 The City of Rome, beginning as a very small power on the edge of the Greek Empire. Rome first expelled Greece from the Italian peninsula in the Pyrrhic War, defeated its southern enemy Carthage in the Punic Wars, and then proceeded to move east, conquering Greece, Asia Minor (defeating Antiochus the Great) and eventually the rest of the Middle East (including Israel).

This Little Horn exalted itself against the Prince of God's host, the Lord Jesus Christ. It then brought an end to the daily sacrifices, destroying Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 AD. Because of Israel's transgressions the Roman Empire was allowed to continue its dominance over the Jews, and to establish a religion (Roman Catholicism) that casts truth to the ground. No better combination of brevity and accuracy regarding Rome's complete history can be found.


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(Bible quotations are from the old King James version, with modifications by the author.)