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Revelation 17 and the Number 666

Jesus is coming very, very soon. Much sooner than you think! Are you ready to Meet him?

New edition of this page first posted - 2006-03-22

Last Updated: Monday, November 24, 2014 (Key 1 rewrite, Key 6 earth, water and wilderness rewrite, the first phase of the beast section to explain the Revelation 17 graphic illustration, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 explanation added to Benedict and Francis Update, and miscellaneous changes)

Previous Updates:Tuesday, July 16, 2013 (Benedict and Francis Update)

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Here Is a Very Important Question For You:

What is the connection between this verse:

Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

And These verses:

Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest 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.
Rev 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
Rev 17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

And This Table?

Pius
 1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
78
Leo
 1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
91
Gregory
 1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
+14
+15
+16
136
Benedict
 1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
+14
105
John
 1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
+14
+15
+16
+17
+18
+19
+20
+21
231
Paul
 1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
21
John Paul
 1
+2
 3
Totals as of
John Paul II:

+78
+91
+136
+105
+231
+21
   +3
665

 

Do you know what the connection is?

If you do NOT know what the connection is, then you should read the material presented here. The author will explain the connection AND he will show how the count will be completed to 666.

What happens when the count completes to 666? Read on and find out. You will be amazed. 

 

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Introduction

Skip to Page Index (Keys to Unlock Revelation 17)

An amazing hidden clock has been discovered in Revelation. Silently it began ticking a few days before the arrest of the Pope in 1798. And soon, when the count strikes 666, the final events of the end of the world will begin!

 

Listen! Tick. Tick. Tick....

 

It is vitally important to learn about God's countdown clock to the return of the beast of Revelation 17. God set up this clock just for you, but do not wait too long to learn about it or it will forever be too late.  What you learn here will both surprise and shock you. Yes, the clock is still ticking. Within our lifetime, soon, even sooner than you think, it is going to stop suddenly. Then the end of the world events will begin and the end will come very quickly!  Today, are you ready to meet Jesus when he comes again?

 

Tick. Tick. Tick....

 

The purpose of this web page is to help you clearly understand the true meaning of Revelation 17, which contains some vital information that has remained hidden by the Holy Spirit from the inquisitive minds of even the most brilliant of men for centuries, until now.  Why now?  Because this knowledge could not have been helpful to those living in generations prior to our time.  God intended it only for our time period. It is a sign of God's great love and concern for us that He has fashioned this prophetic method to alert and inform us of what is coming next, all while hiding it from those not needing to know and from those who would have destroyed it had they known of what it prophesied.

The Bible tells us that when God is about to do something important which will have a major impact on his people, he will not leave us in the dark about it. Here is proof of that care and concern for his people:

Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, unless he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Something VERY BIG is about to happen and God has revealed it so you may be prepared for it. On this site, you will learn of the amazing discovery of the hidden connection of the seven heads of the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 with its seven kings and the eighth to the number 666. We will share with you the keys found in the Bible and the history which we used to unlock the mystery of this strange and fascinating chapter, and we will teach you the same keys so you may also understand it. Revelation 13:18 tells us that there is wisdom for anyone able to count the number 666. But there is wisdom ONLY if the counting is done correctly, so not just any method will do. Here you will learn how to correctly count the number, the knowledge of which will reveal to you the clock hidden in Revelation and inform you of where we are in prophetic history.

Specifically, we will show you how the clock accurately predicts certain events to take place between 1798 and the end of the world when Jesus comes again. Most of these predicted events have already taken place, something which allows us to test the validity of the master clock. You will be able to easily see exactly how the clock has counted and measured off the allotted incubation time of the return of the beast before the end begins. It is true no one knows the exact time when Jesus will come, but He has always provided adequate prophetic warning of coming crisis events which will spiritually endanger His followers. So there should be no surprise He has given us this prophetic device, accurately and precisely timed, as a last wake up call before the events strike.

Please consider these verses:

Matthew 18:3 "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."

Matthew 11:25 "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."

It is absolutely vital the Bible be allowed to interpret itself, and when examining the symbolic language of Revelation, this rule becomes absolute. We arrogant humans have a fatal flaw, as we automatically, blindly and even unknowingly, make judgments, close our minds, and blithely assume we know the meaning of some of the words and phrases we are reading in Revelation, to the extent it is actually our voice, rather than God's voice, we hear as our eyes race over the familiar words. Our minds tend to fill in accepted and expected meaning we have been taught in the past. In a very real sense, instead of letting the Bible tell us what it has to say, most people, usually without awareness of what they are really doing, actually read the commentary out of their own minds when they are reading the Bible. This is true! It really happens to many. When doing this, they believe they are reading the Bible and they have understood truth, when in fact they may just be parroting back in their mind things they have read or believed previously concerning the material they are reading. Under such circumstances, people think they have really read and understood the Bible, but have they really done that? Consider that sometimes, to really grasp what the Bible is actually saying to us, it is very important to turn off the verbal commentary and the preconceived ideas in the mind and let the Bible speak for itself.

But tell me, why should we trust a dictionary or our own programmed definitions or preconceived ideas when the Bible is eagerly waiting to tutor us into truth of the real meaning of its symbolisms? The simple realization that even the most innocent looking preconceived accepted assumptions lodged firmly within our minds actually serve to blind the searcher of truth into passing over the true message contained in these texts.  Dropping these preconceived ideas and turning off the commentary in the mind, following the direction of the Holy Spirit, comparing scripture with scripture and using the Bible to carefully define symbols, and dropping expectations of what these things mean so that God could be heard, all of these steps have led to marvelous discoveries by the author (along with a few others who have contributed to this research), all within a chapter the best Bible scholars of the world readily admit befuddles them. But it isn't very large brains, vast amounts of wisdom, a Ph.D. education, or a very high IQ that led to these discoveries.  No, it was hard work, digging deep in the word of God and having an unassuming open minded innocent obedience in accepting and following God's directions that led to these discoveries. In other words, the Holy Spirit was the Wisdom whose guidance led to these discoveries, without which we would most surely have gone far from the real truth. The innocent complete trust and eyes like those of a child. Who would of thought?

Since September of 1999 the author has been studying this single chapter of the Bible, which now has involved years of intensive investigation and collecting hard lessons learned. And now, this exciting study is carefully laid out to logically lead you to a full and complete understanding of Revelation 17, something that has never before been possible until now. And you, with the fruit of that research before you, will not have to spend many years and make many mistakes to learn the same thing. You will be able to do it in a matter of hours!

May God open the eyes of your heart and show you His glory! You need only look with new eyes to see! All else has been laid open for you.

John 16:13 "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."

Daniel 12:4,9,10 "(4) But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (9) And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. (10) Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

Revelation 1:3 "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand."

John 8:32 "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

Let's go look for truth! Are you coming? Set aside the time you need to study this. Someday you will be glad you did.  If not now, don't wait long!  Remember: Tick. Tick. Tick....

 

Unlocking Revelation 17

Introduction

Before you continue reading, be sure you understand how the beasts of Daniel 7 and 8 should be interpreted. 

The learning objectives for Revelation 17 are:

  • You will learn the correct identity of the Revelation 13 beast which comes up out of the sea.
  • You will learn to understand the meaning of the names of blasphemy that appears on the beasts in Revelation 13 and 17.
  • From Revelation 17, you will learn the identity of:
    • the scarlet beast
    • the woman
    • the kings of the earth
    • the woman's daughters
    • the seven heads and the seven kings
    • the eighth
    • the ten kings
  • You will learn what it means that the eighth is "of the seven."
  • You will learn what it means for the beast to be "was," "is not," and "yet is."
  • You will learn the structure of Revelation 17 so that it becomes clear why it was put together the way it was.
  • You will come to understand the ultimate end point of Revelation 17. That is, you will learn just why the woman is punished and how the story in Revelation 17 explains the reason behind her punishment.
  • You will learn how the woman is a city and what this really means.
  • You will learn how to correctly count the number of the beast, the number 666, and how this creates a kind of clock for prophecy. The Bible says there is wisdom in counting the number, so everyone who correctly counts it has that wisdom. There is a reason that the wisdom is connected with counting it, which you will come to understand as you read this page.
  • Finally, based on all of the information presented here, you will see that we are extremely close to the Second Coming of Jesus. While we do not know what year he will come, It is not far off into the future. It is time to get ready!

The ultimate purpose of this web page is to show you proof from the prophecies that Jesus is about to come back and that the time to get ready for that event is NOW, not later. Get ready, for he is coming very soon!

Before we begin , there are a few guiding principles that must be discussed before we progress into studying Revelation 17 itself.

 

Time Perspective of Revelation

With the exception of the introductory vision (the prologue), presented in Revelation 1, we are directly told that most of the remaining visions of Revelation were about the future, the time after John. It directly says as much when John wrote this in Revelation 4:1:

After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up here, and I will show you things which must be hereafter.

People have a strong tendency to forget this, but it is very important because it sets the time perspective of most everything in Revelation. Forgetting this can greatly alter the understanding of Revelation, so it is extremely important that the time perspective be correctly understood. 

The rule for this is very simple:

The material in Revelation is always about the future after John unless there is no other way it can be understood but to be in the past or around the present time of John.

There is evidence within the messages to the seven churches in Revelation 2 - 3 which shows that they also are mostly future relative to John's time. That evidence will not be presented here, but if you wish to learn more about it, read the seven churches of Revelation.

The prophecies of both Daniel and Revelation begin with the prophet's own time and move forward into the future from there.  This pattern is followed repeatedly through the seven churches, the seven seals and the seven trumpets. There are other Bible prophets whose prophecies had little to do with the future, but rather had much to do with the things going on in their own time. However, it is important to remember that Daniel and Revelation are not like most other Bible prophecies. Daniel and Revelation have a message that is about events that were largely future to their own time which run all the way to the end of the world - and even beyond that.

Just keep in mind that most of Revelation is about the future. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but knowing that it is mostly about the future will help you stay out of interpretations methods that are false. Daniel shows us the pattern to follow and as long as we precisely follow it, we will be safe.

 

Methods of Interpreting Revelation

There are several different methods that people have used to interpret Revelation. Due to the obvious evidence that the book of Revelation is built upon the model presented in Daniel, which book presents the historicist method, this web site uses the historicist method for interpreting both Daniel and Revelation. The idea behind the historicist method of interpretation is that the prophecies present history as being continuous and history is shown in symbolic form that reaches from one point in time to another. For example, the image of Daniel 2 presents continuous history that begins in Daniel's own time with King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and reaches all the way to the end of the world, and even beyond. Since Daniel shows us the pattern to be used, we use that same pattern here in Revelation.

If you wish to learn more about the various methods that have been employed by people over the years to interpret Revelation, then see methods of interpreting Revelation.

 

Using Symbolism, Revelation Is Structured Around Jesus

Revelation 1 begins with a vision of Jesus standing among seven golden lamp stands with seven stars in his right hand and a sharp, two-edged sword that came out of his mouth. Though Jesus did not explain the sharp, two-edged sword in Revelation 1 (the Bible tells us elsewhere that it represents the Bible or the Word of God, which is "sharper than a two edged sword" - Hebrews 4:12), he did explain the seven stars and the seven golden lamp stands.

The key points you should understand from the introductory vision in Revelation 1 are these:

  • Revelation is mostly based on symbols, so it should be seen primarily as a book of symbolism. Revelation 1 clearly demonstrates that for us to set the pattern for the remainder of the book.
  • Jesus himself is the heart and soul of those symbols because it directly says it is a revelation of him.  Consequently, studying the symbols IS studying Jesus - always - even if the details are difficult and even if it seems as if he is being left out of it when studying the symbols. He IS revealed there in the message of the symbols, so studying the symbols to understand them is important.
  • Revelation will define most of the symbols for us. Remember that Jesus immediately explained the symbols for John, so likewise, Jesus has arranged that the symbols will usually be explained to us in the material that was given to John.

Therefore, we should almost always see things in Revelation as symbolic unless they clearly are literal. This is just the opposite of Daniel, where things should be seen as literal unless they clearly are symbolic.

Let us make the basic principle of studying Revelation more obvious for you:

Revelation IS a book of symbols, so unless something cannot be anything but literal, it should usually be seen as symbolic.

Some experts in Greek point to a word in Revelation 1:1 as another evidence that Revelation is a book of symbols. Here is the point that they make:

Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

These experts say that the word translated as "signified" means, "this is a book of symbols." This is something that we would do well to remember.

Some people teach that Revelation should not be studied, that it is a closed book. Or, instead they say that people should study only the life of Jesus. Are these claims true? The answer is that no, they are false. Jesus himself said that the scriptures testify of him (John 5:39). When he said that, the only scriptures that existed were the Old Testament, so at least the Old Testament must testify of him. But the New Testament is also all about Jesus, so, if you want to study Jesus, you must study the whole Bible, not just his life only in the gospel books. Your study obviously must include Revelation IF you really want a full picture of Jesus.

Moreover, the argument that the book of Revelation is a closed book is a deception. The book of Revelation, the very name it has, means it is revealed, so it is not a closed book. As history is unveiled, then we come to understand the match between the prophecy and the history it predicts. Much of it has already been fulfilled. Thus, it is not closed, but rather is open.  

Jesus himself said there is a blessing to those who study Revelation (Revelation 1:3). Satan does NOT want you to understand Jesus, so therefore, if someone tells you not to study the book of Revelation for any reason, do not do as they tell you because Satan is speaking through them.  Do you want to listen to Satan?

 

The Core Issue of Revelation: Whom Do You Worship?

The principal issue in the book of Revelation is this: whom do you worship? It presents two clear choices for every person and the consequences of those choices. By choosing whom you will worship, God or the devil or the devil's proxy power, the beast, you choose your ultimate destiny. Eternal life or eternal death is the choice God puts forward in this book for every person on earth.

This also informs us that political powers, their history and activities are not the central message of Revelation. Unfortunately, many think that Revelation's beasts center on political powers. But such a message is largely unneeded in Revelation because the book of Daniel centers much more on political powers and events surrounding them. God revealed that in Daniel because he wanted to reveal how political powers were going to affect his people. In contrast with Daniel, in Revelation God focused more upon religious powers and how they would use political powers to affect God's people. This is especially true in Revelation chapters 12 through 20.

There is some focus upon political powers in Revelation, but this is not the main focus of the book as a whole. It always comes back to the core issue of Revelation: whom will you worship?

 

A Tale of Two Women Who Are Two Cities

The story in Revelation from chapters 12 through 20 is primarily centered around two women, the woman of Revelation 17 who fornicates with the kings of the earth, and the woman of Revelation 12. The woman in Revelation 12 is commonly said to be pure because she does not fornicate with the kings of the earth. The woman of Revelation 17 symbolically is Babylon and the woman of Revelation 12 symbolically is Jerusalem. Revelation could easily have been titled "A Tale of Two Women" or "A Tale of Two Cities." Either title is probably appropriate.

The battle between these two women who are two cities is at the heart of Revelation and is a battle that will continue until God brings this world's current history to a close when Jesus comes again. In a very real sense, Jerusalem, and those who live within it, represents those who serve God, and Babylon represents all others, which are those who by choice or by failing to choose have Satan as their leader and are said to live in Babylon. By choosing which "city" you give allegiance to, you make your choice for God or the devil. This is a battle between good and evil and the consequences for each person's choice on either side are eternal.

For many of the good choices that God has for us, the devil has his false counterpart that is designed to deceive people. The choice of which city one gives allegiance to primarily is a choice between true Christianity, represented by the New Jerusalem, and false, apostate Christianity, represented by Babylon. It is a choice of whom you will worship, God or Satan, and how you will worship, God's way or Satan's way. Satan's way of worship is a counterfeit of true worship and will appear to be the true form of worship. In other words, it will appear to be the true form of Christianity and will even claim it is the true Christian Church, and yet, it is a false church for it is not loyal to God in spite of its claim to the contrary. For many, choosing the false Christian Church will lead to loss of eternal life. Making the choice in the direction of the false Christian Church will appear to most people to be the most logical and right thing in the world to do - but it will still be the wrong choice. Therefore, it is imperative that a person determine exactly how God wants us to worship him and it is imperative to correctly identify the true church. Failure to do so will lead to eternal death

Following God's directions on how to worship him leads to eternal life. You cannot expect God to accept worship done just any way we please, much as we may wish him to, for God has made it plain that we must do it according to his specific instructions, or it is not acceptable to him. If we worship him as we please, we risk losing everything, including our very lives for eternity. That lesson should be clearly evident in the experience of Nadab and Abihu in the Old Testament (see Leviticus 10:1-10) or in the experience of Cain and Abel as recorded in Genesis 4:1-16.  Do it God's way and live, or do it your own way and die. The choice is yours, and soon it will be final for everyone.

 

Who Really Wrote Revelation?

This section is not intended to answer the question of whether the individual who wrote Revelation was John. the disciple of Jesus, or someone else named John. Instead, the issue here has to do with the degree of participation of the author, John, in writing Revelation relative to the degree of participation of God.

Here is why the author brings this up. There are scholars who make comments in their writing such as "John meant _________ when he wrote_________." In light of such thinking, please consider for a minute whether the scholars can truly know what John meant? Consider also that such statements put a lot of emphasis upon what John meant rather than what God intended us to learn. Ultimately, did the vision come from John or God? Is the message of Revelation a message from John (did he make it all up) or is it a message from God? The answers to these questions do make a significant difference to our understanding of the material.

For the most part John acted as a reporter when he wrote Revelation. Generally he was not an interpreter or commentator. He tells us as much when he wrote this:

Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and revealed it by his angel unto his servant John:
Revelation 1:2 Who bore witness of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

Revelation 1:19 Write the things which you have seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

John makes it clear that the message came from God. He merely wrote down what he saw, heard, tasted and felt. We should never forget this simple fact. Remember that a good quality reporter tells you the basic facts without throwing in his own opinion on things - something that is becoming rather rare in news reporting these days.

Just remember that the vision and its design came from God and what John meant when he wrote anything in Revelation is generally much less important than what God meant. Thus, it is generally better to contemplate what God meant rather than what John meant when studying the book of Revelation. To do otherwise will obscure the meaning of the message that God gave and can very subtly mislead our understanding of Revelation. It was not John's message, but rather it was God's message. This is something we must never forget. Keep Christ at the center of the story, not John.

 

The Bible Defines Most Things For Itself

Symbols are things that stand for something else. For example, the flag of a country stands for the country it represents. In mathematics, a letter may represent a number in an equation or formula. Most countries today have paper money which will have some type of symbols on it. Most of us are familiar with symbols because we see them all the time, but we do not tend to think much about them.

Revelation is full of symbols, more so than most other books of the Bible. While studying it you will have to give some careful thought to their actual meaning so that you may discern the real message God intended for you to gain from it. Understanding the symbols of Revelation is not as difficult as you might think because the Bible usually defines the symbols for us in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. If you take time to study it carefully, you should discover that God usually arranged for the symbol definitions to be placed near where the symbol itself occurs so that you need not wonder what it means. Thus, Daniel and Revelation are like a secret coded message from God. To understand it you have to decode it using the embedded symbols. The nice thing is that the key to decode it is usually included.

Be aware that sometimes more than one definition for a symbol is given. Sometimes these definitions occur in the same chapter where the symbol is first found and other times the definitions will be found in entirely different locations within the Bible. For some symbols God intended that we use several different definitions, while for other symbols God intended that only one definition be used.

To understand a symbol which should have only one definition, but for which several definitions are given, you have to figure out which one is the right one to use where the symbol occurs. Rather than doing that randomly, there are a couple of simple rules about how to define symbols so that you do not use the wrong definitions. Let us go over them here.

First, when studying Revelation, if you encounter a new symbol, look nearby for the definition. You will often find it in the same chapter in the same vision. But sometimes it is not nearby in the same chapter, so then you must look elsewhere in Revelation to find it. If you do find it elsewhere in Revelation, then use the definition from wherever you find it in Revelation UNLESS it does not fit, or, in other words, the meaning is not clarified by using that definition.

Second, if it turns out that the definition for a symbol is not in Revelation or does not fit, then you must look in the book of Daniel. It should appear there. Again, if you find it in Daniel, then test it to be sure it fits.

Third, if the definition of the symbol is not found in Daniel or Revelation, or the definition you do find does not work where you found the symbol, then look elsewhere in the Bible for the definition.  If there is more than one definition, use the one that best fits. If several fit, then use all of them applicable.

Fourth, if the symbol definition is not found in the Bible at all or none is found that works, then you must look for sources outside the Bible which explain the symbol, such as history or archeology or some other source. This is not common, but it does happen.  

So, the search order for symbol definitions in Revelation is this:

  1. The book of Revelation. First search nearby and then the rest of the book should be searched.
  2. The book of Daniel.
  3. The remaining parts of the Bible.
  4. History and archeology or other outside sources.

Just don't forget to actually test a definition once you have it to be sure it fits in where you need it. 

If you are studying the book of Daniel the search order for symbol definitions is this:

  1. The book of Daniel. First search nearby and then the rest of the book should be searched.
  2. The book of Revelation.
  3. The remaining parts of the Bible.
  4. History and archeology or some other outside sources.

 

The End Point of Revelation 17

The story in Revelation 17 is all about the woman and why she ends up being punished.   A simple summary of it is this: The story of Revelation 17 begins with the woman fornicating with the kings of the earth. This is symbolism which, if you understand the identity of the players and history, then you know that this picture is about events long ago in the past. During that time she was evil because, through this fornication with the kings of the earth, she was able to harm God's people. But after that time ended she was restrained by being taken away from the kings of the earth so that she could no longer fornicate with them. While she is restrained, she is unable to harm God's people.

During the time of her restraint God gives her a chance to repent. But does she take advantage of her time to learn from her mistakes of the past and to repent of her old, wicked ways? NO! NEVER! Revelation 17 reveals that as soon as the opportunity arises for her to return to her old ways, she quickly reverts to her former behavior of fornicating with the kings of the earth. When that time comes, and it will someday very soon, she will again harm God's people. She does not learn from her mistakes and, as a result, God arranges for her to be punished for the evil she has again done to his people. Revelation 18 gives us the deeper details of the story of her punishment. In Revelation 17 God tells us that the final leader of this power, the eighth, will be personally punished by dying when Jesus comes again. He will be burned up by the brightness of the Second Coming of Jesus (2 Thessalonians 2:4-8).

But there is more.  When the woman resumes persecuting God's people, they will know that this time of persecution will not last long because God gives us the story of the seven kings and the eighth. The time of the eighth is the time when the persecution of God's people will take place, and being that this persecution takes place within his life time, then they know it will not last many years, unlike the way it was the first time she was allowed to harm God's people. The eighth, as you will discover here, is just one man, and the persecution he engages in takes place during the last years of his life. Thus, the time of final persecution will be very short.

So, pay close attention to the seven kings and the eighth if you are one of God's people because you will want to know when the eighth is about to come onto the stage of history.  Revelation 17 tells us how to know when the eighth is about to arrive and how to correctly identify him. Read on and you will be shocked to know just how close we are to the arrival of the eighth. It is this fact which reveals that the Second Coming of Jesus is extremely near, though it does not reveal when he comes. We do not even know the year of his coming, but we do know it is very soon. It is not decades or centuries away. It is only a matter of years.

 

Why Study Daniel and Revelation?

Why did God give us the books of Daniel and Revelation?  This is a serious question and deserves a good answer.

Did God give us the books of Daniel and Revelation merely to satisfy our curiosity about the future?  The answer to that question is, no, he did not do it only for that purpose. It is true that he wants us to know the future of God's people so that we will have hope for the future. He also wants us to know what to expect when we someday arrive at the future he predicts.

The fact is that God gave us these prophesies for a very good reason that goes much deeper than knowing what to expect or having hope, important as those are. The reason God gave us these prophecies is so that we will be able to look back on prophecies that have already been fulfilled and use that to build our faith. Any Christian needs to build faith, and Daniel and Revelation are good tools for doing that. Below is a list of some of the benefits of studying fulfilled prophecy:

  • By studying fulfilled prophecies, a person can see that it is provable to any reasonable mind that is willing to see genuine truth that God actually exists. Only a divine being could accurately predict the future thousands of years in advance. Thus, it helps build our faith in the existence of God.  This gives us more than just a book saying that somebody 2,000 years ago (Jesus) did great miracles that neither you nor I have ever seen done. No, it shows that there is a being who really does know the future, a knowledge that is far beyond human capability. Fulfilled prophecy can give us that necessary confidence which should carry us through any future problems.
  • The prophecies prove that God is not a liar. He tells us the truth. He proves that by revealing the future to us in the Bible and then we see it fulfilled later in actual history. By seeing that we may know that he did not lie to us about what is coming. In fact, the Bible even goes so far as to declare that God determines what the future will be and then carries it out. Here is what the Bible tells us about this:

    Isa_46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

By keeping his word about what will happen in future history, God shows us that he can be trusted. He does not lie to us. This is very important: God is NOT a liar. If you can trust him on prophecy, then can you also trust him in other areas, say, in your personal life? Or, perhaps you have grave doubts about the creation story found in Genesis 1-2? You can trust God's version of the origin of life and this earth even if the scientific evidence seems to point elsewhere.

  • What it comes down to is that fulfilled prophecy helps us build faith in God. It helps us TRUST not just him, but also his word. This means we learn to trust ALL of his word - even the stories that people claim are not true and including the parts where people claim the stories are only allegories and did not really happen. Yes, those parts of the Bible can be trusted to be true because God is not a liar. Remember that Abraham believed God and this belief in God's word to him was counted to him as righteousness (Romans 4:3). Likewise, your belief in the Bible as God's word, all of it, will be counted to you as righteousness. Jesus did say to seek after righteousness (Matthew 6:33), did he not? Then study and trust his word and you will not only seek righteousness, but find it as well. Believing God's word is righteousness by faith in God's word. But do not forget that just as Abraham did certain things in his life because he believed God's word, so likewise, we must do as God asks of us in his word because we believe his word to be true. Sometimes that is VERY difficult for us! But it must be done.

It is for these reasons above that studying all the details of the symbols of Daniel and Revelation is so important. If you avoid doing this because you think you are not studying Jesus, you are making a big mistake because you will lose out on one of the the most important parts of what God requires of us: learning to trust him and trust his word as truth. Your eternal future depends on this.

The Bible tells us that someday very soon, just before Jesus comes again, this world is going to be presented with a great deception. The world will be divided into two sides when this happens. There will be the side which presents the deception, to which most of the world will gather, and another side which will present the truth of God, which most of the world will condemn and to which relatively few in the world will side with.  The word of God, the Bible, will be the ONLY WAY to determine which side is telling the truth when that time comes. Every person will be required to make a decision as to which side they will be on when this event happens. Those who decide to go with the deception will suffer the seven last plagues of Revelation 16 and die in hell fire. That will happen to them because they will choose to believe a deception over the truth of God's word. Those who believe the truth will avoid both of those fates.    

So, which side do you want to be on when that time comes? If you want to be on God's side, then STUDY Daniel and Revelation and BELIEVE it and OBEY it. Keep ALL of God's commandments.  This web site is designed to help you avoid the rapidly approaching deception and the power that is behind it, thus avoiding the fate assigned to that power and all who side with it. Knowledge of this is power, power to save your own life!  

 

 

Keys To Unlock Revelation 17 - Page Index

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There are seven keys that lead to a full understanding of Revelation 17. Below is a numbered list of those keys. Each key will be covered in detail below. Links within this page are included here so that if you have to take a break from your study, you may easily return here and then jump to the section you have been reading. Between keys 6 and 7, the author has inserted an explanation of Revelation 17 that builds on the foundation of the first 6 keys. This is then followed by key 7 to complete the story.

  1. Blasphemy And The Beast's Identification


  2. The three primary powers presented in Revelation 17 and 18




  3. Key #3 - Did The Beast Really Blaspheme God?
  4. The simplified basic rules of interpretation for the beasts of Daniel and Revelation
  5. Basic symbol definitions from Revelation 17 and 18
  6. The 3 main environments of prophetic powers and what they symbolize


  7. Let Us Put It All Together To Understand Revelation 17

  8. The final papal count - 666 - and its connection to Revelation 17

End of Document Comments:

The seventh key completes the understanding of Revelation 17, so you will want to be sure to go through it.

As you read each of the first six keys, they may seem like disconnected pieces of information, but they all come together when they are used to decode the message in Revelation 17. So, if it seems a bit confusing, please be patient and go through each step so that you build a solid foundation. There is no shortcut to a full understanding of Revelation 17 because it is a chapter that has puzzled people for more than 1900 years and it is complex. But with a little effort on your part, learning to understand it will be a fascinating adventure. By starting this adventure, you will learn to understand things that you probably never thought possible to comprehend and you will see Revelation 17 in an entirely different light. Revelation 17 will no longer be an unsolvable puzzle that only the experts can understand. With the tools given to you in the material below, ANYONE can understand Revelation 17! In addition, many find that once they understand Revelation 17, other parts of Revelation begin to reveal themselves right before their very astonished eyes. It is as if a whole new world of understanding has suddenly opened up to them. Thus, there are multiple benefits to the study of Revelation 17. It will be an adventure worth your time.

Are you ready to begin this fascinating adventure?

 

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Key #1 - Blasphemy And The Beast's Identification

 

Introduction

The Woman, the beast and the kings are the central figures of the entire prophecy of Revelation 17. We will carefully identify the woman and the kings later, but for now our most important goal in this section is to identify the beast of Revelation 17. So, this will be our first task.

Why devote an entire section to identifying the beast?  The reason is that we cannot possibly even hope to understand the prophecy correctly unless we know who the prophecy is talking about. Further, the woman's identity is tied up with the beast, so we must identify the beast in order to verify her identity and to understand her relationship to the beast. Consequently, we will first concentrate on identifying the beast before considering other aspects of Revelation 17.

It is very important that you study this section carefully because, if you do not, you will be lost in the material presented later. So, please, take your time to be sure you understand it. 

At first glance the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 appears to have no definable origin. That is, it just appears there in the vision and you cannot directly tell when or where it rises up and you cannot even tell who or what this beast represents because there is no definition of it in Revelation 17. But there are clues available to identify the beast if you know where to look and how to understand them. From Daniel 7 we know that beasts always play an important role and represent powers to be reckoned with, so for this reason the scarlet beast must be correctly identified.

To identify the scarlet beast some people look at the scarlet color of the beast and think they see its origins in Satan because the dragon's color is red, which is similar to scarlet. Consequently, they think the beast itself is Satan. Others look at the seven heads and 10 horns and compare these to the beast from the sea in Revelation 13 which also has seven heads and ten horns. Because of the similarity, whatever they believe about the identity of the sea beast of Revelation 13 is what they choose to believe about the identity of the scarlet beast of Revelation 17.

The one identifying mark that people always forget about or else they ignore is the names of blasphemy that occur all over the scarlet beast. Unfortunately, there is a problem with this that probably explains why most people never bother with it, which is that there appear to be no definitions given in Revelation 17 for the names of blasphemy. The dictionary definition of blasphemy does not really work well here because it does not lead one to an identification of the beast that is unique. So, lacking more information on this, most people just ignore the names of blasphemy and think that the other characteristics of the beast tell them who it is. Even the Revelation experts usually ignore the names of blasphemy because they do not know what to do with it. Because people typically use the other characteristics of the beast to identify it, of which there are several, there are a number of theories out there to explain it and to explain its heads and horns. These explanations can be grouped together into several categories, but each category is contradictory with the others, so they cannot all be right. The author will show you how to determine the correct explanation.

The sea beast of Revelation 13 has the name of blasphemy written on the heads and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 has the names of blasphemy written all over it.  But why is the name of blasphemy on the sea beast of Revelation 13 singular while it is plural on the scarlet beast of Revelation 17?  The answer is that the sea beast represents just one power while the scarlet beast represents two powers, one of which is directly connected with the sea beast power so that if you identify it, you have automatically identified one of the two powers of the scarlet beast.  Once you have identified one of the two powers of the scarlet beast, the text material of Revelation 17 will clearly show you the identity of the other power. The author will explain this in more detail later so that you understand it.

In the Bible prophecies of Daniel and Revelation things placed on the beasts such as words (for example, the names of blasphemy on the scarlet beast), wings (such as those on the leopard of Daniel 7), colors (the red color of the dragon of Revelation 12), ribs in the mouth (the bear of Daniel 7), and even the species of animal used to represent a power (bear, lion, leopard), all represent behaviors of the power a particular beast represents.

Let us make this concept very visible for you to think about and remember. Please make a note of it. The author calls this idea the Characteristics Principle:

Things added onto a beast, such as wings, ribs, words written on the beast, or even its species, are characteristics of the beast placed there to tell us about its behavior.

Let us look at this just a little more closely. For example, the wings of the leopard beast with four heads in Daniel 7 represent the behavior of rapid attack and rapid conquest. History records that this behavior was practiced by Alexander the Great, who deliberately chose this behavior to give himself the advantage over his enemies. It was not at all what his opponents expected and for this reason, it worked very well for him in defeating them. Also, a leopard tends to sit in a tree and watch for prey to go by, and when prey does appear, it studies its prey until it figures out how and when it is vulnerable to attack. And when it attacks, it is very stealthy until it gets near the prey, and then it is very fast. Alexander was like this in several ways because he studied how to attack his enemies in a way that surprised them and he attacked them very rapidly. In essence, he had what we might call a faster and better killing machine with which he surprised his enemies. 

It should be clear to you that understanding the meaning of the symbols on the prophetic beasts can help us better understand the power being represented by a beast and it tells us something of what God saw in a particular power, thus giving us a small window into God's mind and how he views things.  Also, the symbolic things that are added onto a beast can act as a check on our identification of it. Once we think we have identified the power a beast represents, then all of the symbolic things added onto a beast (such as wings) must harmonize in meaning with the power that we have identified that it represents. If any of them are out of harmony with the identification we have made of the beast, then we probably should look to identify the beast with a different power, though we may also need to first check to be sure that we understand how the symbolic thing added onto a beast is to be understood. 

Let us now study the Revelation 13 sea beast with two purposes in mind. First, we must identify the sea beast of Revelation 13. Second, we must identify the behaviors the name of blasphemy represents.Then, knowing that these behaviors represented by the name of blasphemy are, as you will see, unique to only one power in the world, we can define the name of blasphemy which will tell us exactly who both beasts represent. In other words, by defining the Revelation 13 sea beast and the behaviors represented by the name of blasphemy found on it, we will have automatically defined the Revelation 17 scarlet beast as well because of the uniqueness of the behaviors represented by the name of blasphemy. Is this clear to you?

After we have identified the Revelation 17 beast, we may then move forward in our work toward understanding its role in the prophecy given in Revelation 17.

For your information that is related to what we are about to study, years ago the author engaged in a very careful study of the Bible to learn its own specific definitions of blasphemy. One result of study into this issue led the author to discern that there are some 8 different ways that the Bible defines blasphemy (and there may be more), all defined in terms of specific behaviors.  If you wish to read into the details of what the author learned about this, click on this: Blasphemy - How the Bible Defines It , (found at http://www.666man.net/Blasphemy_Bible_Definitions_of.html).  This research ultimately helped lead the author to a correct understanding of the names of blasphemy in Revelation 17.

In our discussion in this section about the Revelation 13 beast which has the seven heads and ten horns, it will usually be referred to as the sea beast.

To help you identify the sea beast, the author will now present several different methods of defining the name of blasphemy found on it and define the behaviors these represent, after which he will discuss several other characteristics of it to give you better information to work with to help identify it. Following that, the sea beast will be identified before proceeding to the next section.

Let us now begin the process of identifying the sea beast. 

 

 

Defining The Name Of Blasphemy Through Rev. 13:6

Many people look at the information about the sea beast and note that it has the name of blasphemy on its heads. They seem to automatically believe that this means the beast speaks blasphemy, so they go look up the meaning of blasphemy in the dictionary. After finding the definition, they believe that they have discovered the meaning of the name of blasphemy. If you talk with them about it afterward, they usually are very certain that they understand the blasphemy on the sea beast.

The intended meaning is related to blasphemy, of that there should be no doubt. But a deeper understanding is needed before one can properly understand just what it is that God wants us to do with it. Looking up the dictionary definition of a symbol sometimes is the correct thing to do when studying Bible prophecy, but not usually.  The dictionary definition is not specific and in the case of the word blasphemy, the Bible normally uses the word blasphemy so that a specific meaning is intended. In other words, the dictionary definition just will not do because you have to be more specific than that.  Consequently, by first going to the dictionary, people will arrive at an incorrect understanding of the name of blasphemy.

Remember that the actual words, "name of blasphemy," were NOT themselves written on the sea beast. These are merely words which John used to describe names that he saw on the sea beast which were blasphemous in nature. In other words, he was telling us that the names he saw on the beast were blasphemous in nature and he informs us of that without actually telling us what those names were.  

Now, it would have been very convenient for us if John had bothered to tell us what those names were!   But, he did not, so that leaves us with what appears to be a big problem. How do we know what was written on the beast since he did not tell us any of the names? Well, surprise!   There is no way to actually know what the names were, but we can know what behaviors they represent. So, let us set about doing just that.

To do this we must use the principle that things added onto a beast represent behaviors of the beast, which idea is the Characteristics Principle mentioned just a few moments ago. To make that practical, we must study to learn about the behaviors of the sea beast and use that information to help us understand the name of blasphemy written on its heads. In other words, we work backwards, meaning that we find the behaviors and use that information to tell us about the name of blasphemy that is found on the sea beast. Its behaviors define the name of blasphemy found on the sea beast even though we cannot know the actual word John saw on it. This is sufficient for our purpose.

You may question that this is the right way to define the name of blasphemy, but in reality there is no other way. We do not know the actual name of blasphemy written on the sea beast, so we have to use the clues that we are given. We can do this and know that we are doing it right because of the Characteristics Principle, that there is a match between things placed on the beast and its behavior. Suppose that the name of blasphemy actually had been revealed by John. If that were the case, then the behaviors described for it would match up with the name of blasphemy written on the heads.

Of course, there may be some behaviors revealed in the description of the sea beast that have nothing to do with the name of blasphemy, so it should be clear that we cannot use just any of the behaviors it engages in. We have to be more specific than that.  So, how do we do that? The answer is very simply this: we look for blasphemous behavior and ignore any other behaviors it is guilty of doing that may be wrong. After all, the words "name of blasphemy" does indicate that blasphemy itself is somehow involved, so we should use that to our advantage. .

If you ask people to define blasphemy, very frequently the answer they give is that blasphemy is speaking against God, cursing God, using the word God or his name or the name of Jesus as a swear word (often using these to express surprise or shock, thereby breaking the commandment that says not to take the name of God in vain), or they define it as taking the prerogatives (or right of authority) of God. These are the commonly understood definitions for blasphemy. The dictionary definition is somewhat similar, but it is very general so that it may cover all possible cases.

The Bible writers very often used the word blasphemy in such a way that a very specific definition is to be understood for it wherever that word appears.   Usually just one or two behaviors are meant when the word blasphemy is used in the Bible and it is also true that not in all cases does the word blasphemy apply to God. Sometimes it was applied to people, as, for example, saying that a king was blasphemed, and, in at least several instances, it was applied to inanimate objects. How on earth do you blaspheme, say, for example, a mountain?

For your consideration here is the author's version of the dictionary definition of blasphemy:

  • Claiming the prerogatives (rights of authority) of God, or another way to say this is to claim the attributes of God
  • Showing contempt for or insulting God
  • Showing irreverence toward God
  • Showing a lack of reverence toward something sacred

It turns out that Revelation 13 does not leave anything to our imagination because God wanted to be absolutely sure that we can understand the definition of the name of blasphemy in the Bible.  It directly tells us about the blasphemous behavior of the sea beast, thus giving us a direct definition of the exact behaviors represented by the name of blasphemy. Consequently, we do not need to have any doubt whatsoever about the exact meaning of the name of blasphemy. This does not deny that the sea beast may have committed other types of blasphemy, but God restricts our definition in Revelation 13 to that which he wants us to consider so that we properly identify the sea beast.

Using the information in Revelation 13, let us now discuss how the Bible provides a definition for the name of blasphemy.  To begin exploring this, please read the following verse:

Rev 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

One may use the standard definition of blasphemy in Revelation 13:6 because in the phrase "blasphemy against God," the word blasphemy clearly is not symbolic and neither is the phrase in which it is contained symbolic.  Therefore, the blasphemy against God in this verse is done by committing acts of insult or contempt or showing a lack of reverence for God or claiming the prerogatives of God, or some combination of these. The same is true of the the word "blaspheme" which occurs in the remaining parts of verse 6. The remaining phrases of verse 6 are symbolic of the actions that constitute blasphemy. We just have to figure out exactly how it does these things.

Fortunately this verse does not leave you to guessing exactly how the beast blasphemes God. The verse tells us that the beast will speak blasphemy against God and then it defines the three specific behaviors through which the beast does this, thus precisely clarifying the blasphemy definition for us. Each of these is a specific and distinct behavior that deserves to be clearly defined so that we can understand precisely how the beast blasphemes God. Once we understand these phrases, then we can put them all together so that we we may have a complete understanding of how the beast commits blasphemy against God as explained in this verse. 

Now remember that our purpose is to define how the beast commits blasphemy which will tell us just what the name of blasphemy on the beast symbolizes. Revelation 13:6 gives us the primary definition of the blasphemy the beast does. We should stick with that which the Bible clearly defines for us rather than bringing in other things that it does not point to. From the Bible we can also bring in verse 5, which can give us additional information about the blasphemy the beast does, but for now, let us first deal with verse 6.

So, let us begin to analyze the three specific ways the beast blasphemes God.

 

Blaspheming God's Name

What does it mean to blaspheme the name of God? The first thing we should understand is that blaspheming the name of God is to destroy his character by words.  This both insults God and shows contempt for him.

Now, why does the author say that blaspheming the name of God is to destroy his character? The answer is that the word name is used both symbolically and literally in Revelation 13, and when used symbolically, it represents the word "character," which is the meaning intended in verse 6  Thus, to blaspheme the name of God is to blaspheme (insult or blacken) the character of God. Is this clear to you?

Well, maybe it is not so clear for you, so to help you be certain that this is true, let us verify it.  To do that the question we must ask is this, how does the author know that the word name represents the word character?  To answer that question, here is the first evidence that the word name can symbolize the word character:

Rev 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
Rev 14:4 These are they who were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.
Rev 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

The Father's name in the forehead is associated with the people of Revelation 14 being very close to the lamb, which animal is often used in the Bible as a symbol of Jesus. You do not get close to Jesus in heaven by being evil because no evil is permitted to exist there. Thus, this tells us that these people have the character of God, a character that God considers to be without sin, or they would not be in this position. Verses 4 and 5 make it very clear for us that these people have a very pure character.

The condition of these people having God's character is symbolized by them having the Father's name in the forehead. The forehead is close to where the decision making and thinking takes place in the brain, so therefore having the father's name on the forehead associates the decision making and thinking with the word name. This is logical, is it not? Continued trends of thinking and decision making and resulting actions that form a consistent, long-term pattern, constitutes character. These people have the character of Jesus or they would not be near him in Jerusalem, so their long term trend in thinking is in right thinking rather than evil thinking. But this constitutes character, so the association of character and name should be clear enough so that they symbolize each other.

But if you think this is insufficient evidence, there is a second evidence that is available because the same association of name and character is found elsewhere in the Bible. Exodus 33:18-23 and 34:1-8 tell the tale on this.  In the story, Moses asked to see God. God told him that he would be hidden in a cleft in the rock and he would then pass by Moses so that he would be able to see the back of God but not see his face. God also told him that while doing this he would proclaim his name and goodness (his character) to Moses. Pay particular attention to the fact that he would proclaim his name and then compare it to what he actually did.

The next day Moses went up on the mountain and there God proclaimed his name and passed by him. If you read the story carefully, what you should see is that he did much more than just say his name as he passed by Moses. He also proclaimed his behavioral characteristics at the same time he proclaimed his name, thus describing his character. Doing both the name proclamation and the character description together associates his name and his character together, thereby making one a symbol of the other. Thus, the words name and character symbolize one another. The same is true in Revelation 13 and 14 wherever the word name is used symbolically, that is, the word name symbolizes character.

Now, back to our question. Just what is blaspheming God's name? Think about that for a minute. When you insult or blacken someone else's character, you degrade their character AND, at the same time, perhaps without realizing it, you are, in effect, saying that you are better than they are. It is an inescapable fact that this is almost always implied when you blacken the character of another person. Even if one does not intend that this idea be gained from the statements made, other thinking people will often understand it that way. When a person degrades the character of another, he is usually just trying to build himself up in his own mind to be bigger and better than the other person and usually does this because he feels inferior. In other words, the real truth down deep inside is the opposite of that which is stated verbally to others. But we are concerned here with what is stated as that is what is heard by others.  

Let us now think this through to its logical conclusion. God is perfect, so if the beast blackens God's character, then it is saying that it, that is, the beast, is even better than and more perfect than God is. By definition, since God is the highest being there is and has the best character of all beings, then for the beast to make itself out to be more perfect than God implies that the beast will, in fact, claim to be better than God, which is a way of saying that it IS God.

In essence, our analysis of blaspheming the name of God tells us that this is a prophecy that the beast will claim to be God. With the facts given in the Bible and the dictionary, this is a logical conclusion, is it not? This does not necessarily mean the beast will directly say that it is better than God, but rather it is predicting that it will say it is God. That is what this prophecy actually means.

Let us make this conclusion more visible for you to think about:

To blaspheme God's name is claiming to be God.

There is other evidence in Revelation 13 that the beast claims to be God, which we will cover later.

So, what this means is that one definition of the name of blasphemy is that this beast claims to be God. That is a rather bold claim, is it not?

 

Blaspheming The Tabernacle

The second way the beast blasphemes God is that it blasphemes the tabernacle. Of course, first we need to know just which tabernacle the beast blasphemes. The tabernacle on earth in the city of Jerusalem that was destroyed in 70 AD has no meaning in the New Testament era after the death of Jesus because the ceremonies came to an end then. The work of the tabernacle then moved to the sanctuary in heaven and is the only tabernacle that has any significant meaning to Christians in the New Testament era after the death of Jesus. Revelation was written for the instruction of Christians, including those who would be living long after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. John was also told that he was to see things of the future (Revelation 4:1), which fact puts the tabernacle in the vision beyond the time of the earthly tabernacle that once existed in Jerusalem. Also, the verse refers to blaspheming God and those who dwell in heaven, which strongly hints that this verse is talking about heavenly things, not earthly things.   Logically then, the earthly tabernacle cannot be the one that Revelation 13:6 refers to. Consequently, the beast must blaspheme the tabernacle in heaven, the place where God lives and where Jesus now works.

So, how does the beast blaspheme the tabernacle?  The tabernacle is an inanimate object and itself has no position or authority of any kind in and of itself because its not a thinking being. So again we have the question, how do you blaspheme an inanimate object?

To answer that question, please recall that one of the definitions of blasphemy is to claim a prerogative that belongs to God, that is, to claim a right of authority that belongs only to God. God only has the right to live and work in his tabernacle in heaven. Therefore, to blaspheme the tabernacle is to claim a right to the tabernacle in heaven, a right that neither the beast nor anyone else but God actually has. But that does not stop the beast from claiming that right. In other words, it pretends it has the right no matter. Literally, blaspheming the tabernacle is claiming a right to the tabernacle held only by God. But what rights does the beast claim to the tabernacle that belong only to God? We can investigate that by studying what God does in his tabernacle. In other words, we need to know what purpose the tabernacle has for God and for us. 

Clearly the beast cannot live in the tabernacle in heaven, so it will not make the claim that it has the right to live there. Also, merely speaking against the tabernacle would not accomplish much other than perhaps to say that the beast has better buildings than the tabernacle of God. It seems very unlikely that anyone would believe such a preposterous claim and it would not accomplish much as it would have little to do with anything that would affect people's salvation. And how would a claim such as this take a prerogative that belongs only to God? It would not seem to accomplish much.

So, if just speaking against the tabernacle does not fit and the beast does not claim the right to live there, then what does fit? One right to the tabernacle that God alone has is to do the same work on earth that God does in the tabernacle in heaven, thus replacing God's work in heaven with its own work here on earth. This is something that the beast may claim for itself, though it has no such right, and can make a believable case out of it with those who do not understand the purpose of the tabernacle and its function.

Let us study the purpose and function of the tabernacle so that we may fill in the details of how the beast blasphemes the tabernacle. To help you understand this, please consider this question: For what principle purpose did people in Old Testament times go to the sanctuary here on earth? The answer to this question is that they went to the earthly sanctuary to obtain forgiveness for their sins. God designed ceremonies for them to do at the sanctuary by which means they obtained forgiveness of their sins. The ceremonies God set up were intended to allow the sinner to express faith in Jesus as the substitute for their own future death in hell, and thus obtain forgiveness for their sins by faith in Jesus. This way they could skip hell in the future and obtain eternal life when Jesus comes again. This act on their part at the tabernacle expressed faith in Jesus who, from the perspective of Old Testament times, was yet to come. 

Remember this:

The function of the tabernacle in Old Testament times was to provide a place and circumstances by which people could obtain forgiveness of their sins by expressing faith in Jesus. They did not then know the name of Jesus, but they knew what he was to do for them.

People who went to the tabernacle in Jerusalem (or wherever it was before it was built in Jerusalem) could not go into the tabernacle to see God directly and ask for forgiveness of their sins, for to do so would mean their instant death. Sinful man cannot survive the presence of the glory of God.  The people certainly did not wish to die and God also did not wish for them to die. But the two still had to somehow get together in order for the sinner to obtain forgiveness of his sins. To solve this problem God provided that an earthly priest was to act as a mediator between the sinner and God. The work of the priest not only symbolized the life and death of Jesus here on earth almost two thousand years ago, but it also symbolized the work that Jesus has been doing in the heavenly sanctuary for every person who comes to God asking forgiveness for his or her sins.

It is important to understand that the priests in the Old Testament sanctuary did NOT forgive the sins of the sinner, for they had no authorization to do that. Only God forgave the sins against his law. The priests merely acted out the part of the intermediary to symbolize the work that Jesus does for us as our mediator in heaven today. It is always God who forgives sins, both in Old Testament times and after the resurrection of Jesus.

The priests of the Old Testament Sanctuary went before God in behalf of the sinner and from God obtained forgiveness for the sins of the sinner. Since the work of the Old Testament priesthood was the model of how we obtain forgiveness of our sins now, then it stands to reason that just as the priests then did not forgive sins, but rather they obtained it from God through their work as priests, likewise Jesus, though he is God and therefore has the authority to forgive sins, does not do the forgiving of sins. Instead, when we ask forgiveness of our sins in his name through prayer, Jesus presents our request before God, who then grants the forgiveness of sins. Jesus acts the part of the priest as the mediator between God and man just as the priests in the Old Testament Sanctuary did. And, instead of offering the blood of a killed lamb as the Old Testament priests used to do, he offers his own blood that he lost onto the ground at the cross where he died. God accepts this and forgives the sinner for his sins for this reason.  

The sanctuary itself in the way it was laid out and the services that were done there symbolized the entire plan of salvation of man, for which reason there were daily ceremonies and yearly ceremonies. The daily ceremonies represented the life and death of Jesus and the work he was to do for man in the heavenly sanctuary after he went to heaven. The yearly ceremony, the Day of Atonement, represented a judgment that is to be done just before Jesus comes again and which will complete the work of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary for man's salvation.

The Jewish Encyclopedia indicates that to the Jews, the yearly ceremony represented a day of judgment by God (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/2093-atonement-day-of). In Old Testament times on the Day of Atonement, only the people who served God were judged and all others were omitted from this judgment. All who refused to participate in the Day of atonement activities were to be cut off from Israel, apparently meaning they were to be exiled from their society and had no right to have sacrifices done for them at the sanctuary. In other words, they lost out on eternal life because this also cut them off from God. On the Day of Atonement they were to spend time looking back on their life over the previous year and ask God to forgive them of any sins not previously forgiven and they were to make right the things that they had done to others and to try to make peace with those who had wronged them, where possible.

Likewise, just before Jesus comes again, God judges all who have ever chosen to serve him so that he may determine their reward before he comes again. This is not done because he does not know the answer (he knows the answer before he even starts), but rather it is done so that everyone else in the universe may see that he has done right, that he has been fair to everyone, and he has been just. Ultimately, even the wicked will admit that he has been fair and just to them.So, it boils down to the fact that all will eventually admit he has done right.   Those not judged during the judgment done before Jesus comes again are reserved for the judgment mentioned in Revelation 20. Their sentence is death in hell, but the degree of punishment they are sentenced to will determine how long they spend in hell before they die, never more to be resurrected again.  You may read more about the judgment done before Jesus comes again here (http://www.666man.net/Investigative_Judgment.html).

You should be aware that because the coming of Jesus is very near, this judgment, which is called the investigative judgment, is now going on in heaven. It will soon end, and when it does, the cases of every person on earth and his or her eternal destiny will have been decided forever more. Then it is that Jesus will speak these words:

Rev 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

Once those words are spoken by Jesus, there is no way to obtain salvation after that. Everyone's destiny will be permanently set forever. Right after he says this, the seven last plagues will fall upon earth and then Jesus will come again. Everyone ready to meet Jesus will go to heaven. Those not ready will die on that day. You must be ready before the judgment closes or you are locked out of salvation. It is comparable to the seven days that Noah spent in the ark, waiting for the flood to begin.  The door to the ark was closed and locked and there was no way in. Those on the outside did not know it, but their doom was sealed. To be safe, you had to get into the ark BEFORE the door was closed. The moral of the story: Be ready BEFORE the judgment closes!

Now, let us continue. In the Old Testament sanctuary, the daily services were done in two parts, which were:

  • Those services that were visible to the sinner because they took place outside the sanctuary building itself
  • Those services that were not visible to the sinner because they took place inside the sanctuary building itself and thus was hidden from their view

The daily work the priest did outside the sanctuary that was directly visible to the sinner symbolized the work that Jesus was to do here on earth when he came to live among men. The work of the priest outside the sanctuary was very visible to everyone just as all those living around Jesus when he was on earth could easily see and hear what he was doing. The ceremonies performed outside the sanctuary were fulfilled when Jesus came and died for our sins.

There were ceremonies performed daily inside the sanctuary that were directly connected with the ceremonies done outside the sanctuary. For example, in Leviticus 4:1-7, we are told that a priest who sinned was required to kill a bullock (a young bull) and then take its blood and sprinkle some of it before the veil (doing this inside the Holy Place in front of the veil that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place) and then place some of it on the horns of the altar of sweet incense that stood before the veil.  The killing of the bullock was done outside the sanctuary building, which represented the sacrifice of Jesus on his behalf. As you can see, those things done inside on a daily basis, as in this example, are connected with those things done outside. So, since the things outside have been fulfilled and and we no longer have to do them AND those things are also connected with the things done inside, we are no longer required to do the ceremonial law either outside or inside the sanctuary. The death of Jesus cancelled the ceremonial law requirements so that we no longer have to do them at all.

The yearly ceremony represents the judgment to be done just before Jesus comes again. And like the original ceremony of the day of atonement in the Old Testament sanctuary, the things done outside the sanctuary represent things that man can see on earth while those things done inside the sanctuary represent things that man cannot see because they are done in the heavenly sanctuary by Jesus. It is the activity that was done inside the Old Testament Sanctuary that represents the actual judgment process that is done in heaven just before Jesus comes again.

You should understand that the ceremonies done inside the Old Testament sanctuary on a daily basis represented the work done by Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary on our behalf after he went to heaven, work which continued to be done until the start of the judgment that is done just before he comes again. In contrast with this, the work done inside the sanctuary on the day of atonement represent the work Jesus does in the judgment just before he comes again, a process that cannot be seen by man because it is done in heaven. Believers may still receive forgiveness of sins during the judgment just as the sinners in the original day of atonement were to confess their sins and make right the wrongs they had done and receive forgiveness for those sins. And, like those who refused to participate in the day of atonement in Old Testament times and were "cut off," likewise those who have sins remaining on the record with God after the judgment that takes place in heaven just before Jesus comes again will be cut off also, meaning they will not receive eternal life, but will be assigned their place in hell along with common sinners.

So, what we have are these principle elements that took place when people went to the earthly sanctuary in Old Testament times, which were:

  • People went to the sanctuary to obtain forgiveness for their sins.
  • A sacrifice of a life was necessary to obtain forgiveness of sins. That is, an animal was killed to start the process.
  • An earthly priest as a member of a priesthood was necessary to act as a mediator between God and man to obtain forgiveness for the sins committed. The priest presented the blood of the sacrificed animal in the sanctuary as the argument to justify the request that the sinner should be forgiven of his sins.
  • God, though unseen by the sinner, was in the sanctuary to grant forgiveness of the sins.
  • The work of the priest outside and inside of the sanctuary represented the work of Jesus here on earth and in the heavenly sanctuary respectively.

The purpose of the tabernacle of God in heaven is like that of the Old Testament sanctuary, that is, just as in Old Testament times people went to the sanctuary to obtain forgiveness for their sins, so today we can, in a sense, "go to the sanctuary" in heaven through prayer to God in the name of Jesus to obtain forgiveness of our sins. Jesus is our high priest in heaven who acts as the mediator between God and the sinner and thereby obtains forgiveness for our sins from God.  As God, Jesus can do this because he can stand in the presence of the glory of God, unlike other men who would die immediately upon exposure to it. He can bring God and man together, which nobody else can do. As a man he knows our weaknesses and can offer the best help to us because of his own very personal experience while living here on earth. Because of the mediatorial work of Jesus on our behalf when we ask forgiveness for our sins, God then exercises his right as God to forgive us of our sins against his law (See Hebrews 4:14-16; 2:17-18). We can summarize this as follows:

  • Through prayer we can reach out to Jesus in the sanctuary in heaven to ask forgiveness for our sins.
  • A sacrifice of a life is necessary to obtain forgiveness of sins. Jesus allowed himself to be killed as the sacrifice for mankind to start the process so that forgiveness is possible.
  • Jesus acts as our intermediary between us and God. On our behalf he asks God to grant forgiveness for our sins and he presents his own blood as the argument as to why we should be forgiven. Thus, Jesus acts as our priest just as happened in Old Testament times through the activity of the priests.
  • God, though unseen by the sinner in the sanctuary in heaven, grants forgiveness based on the request by Jesus.
  • Jesus did the work of coming here to earth to die for our sins. This work is represented by the services done outside the sanctuary in Old Testament Times. He continued his work in heaven, which is represented by the services done inside the sanctuary to obtain forgiveness of our sins.

Understand that the same elements that were present in the Old Testament era with the earthly sanctuary are also present in the New Testament era with the sanctuary in heaven. The ceremonies of the Old Testament are omitted, but the process with God is essentially the same and the results are the same.  

With this background information in place, let us now return to the question of how the sea beast blasphemes the sanctuary. For the sea beast to blaspheme the sanctuary means that it claims the rights of both God and Jesus to the sanctuary in heaven. The claim to both of their rights is necessary because both of them are God and both of them have separate roles to fulfill in obtaining forgiveness of our sins, and both of them work in the tabernacle. The right to do these things in the sanctuary in heaven are rightfully claimed by both Jesus as God and God the Father in heaven, and are not given to anyone else. They live there and their work is done there on our behalf.

Now, the sea beast, as an earthly power, cannot live in the sanctuary in heaven, so it cannot claim that right of God. However, this prophecy actually predicts that the sea beast will claim the right of God to the tabernacle in heaven, which can only mean it will claim to have authority to forgive sins against God's law (thereby taking on God the Father's role) and it will have a priesthood that can acts as mediators for the sinners to obtain forgiveness of sins, thereby taking on the role of Jesus. Of course, the sea beast has to do this here on earth, so of necessity it will have a priesthood with many priests who can dispense forgiveness of sins, just as the Old Testament had many priests at the sanctuary who did their work to carry out God's will in obtaining forgiveness of the sins of the sinners. This is a necessity because the sea beast, which is the human leader of this power, cannot be everywhere at once, so it has authorized agents to do this work for it.

To summarize, what does it mean for the sea beast to blaspheme the tabernacle in heaven? It means two things, which are as follows:

  • First, that this sea beast claims authority to forgive sins against God's law. In doing this the sea beast takes on God the Father's role in the sanctuary in heaven.
  • Second, the sea beast has a priesthood through which it gives forgiveness of sins to those who ask for it. In doing this, the sea beast takes on the role of Jesus as our mediator in the sanctuary in heaven.

Now, again, our purpose is to define the name of blasphemy on the sea beast, which we have now fulfilled. The two definitions above tell us about the things the sea beast does which blasphemes God, so they help define the name of blasphemy on the beast by adding to the previous definition already derived (the beast claims to be God).

 

Blaspheming Those Who Dwell In Heaven

The last way in which the beast blasphemes God in Revelation 13:6 is that it blasphemes "them who dwell in heaven."  Just who are "them who dwell in heaven?" If we can identify them, then we can begin to understand what it means for the beast to blaspheme them and ultimately, how this blasphemes God.

The key to answering this question lies in finding a nearby Biblical definition for "them who dwell in heaven." There is such a definition nearby in Revelation 14:1-5, which presents the 144,000 virgins that John saw standing on mount Zion with the Lamb (the lamb represents Jesus).

In Bible times Mount Zion was in Jerusalem. Here is the evidence from the Bible that this assertion is true. First, please read this verse:

2Sa_6:12 And it was told king David, saying, The LORD has blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that pertains unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness.

The ark of the covenant was carried into the city of David in preparation for moving it into the tabernacle that was to be built later by Solomon.

Next, please read this verse:

1Ki_8:1 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chiefs of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.

Here we are told that the ark of the covenant was taken from the city of David, which it identifies as Zion and Jerusalem. The ark was carried into the tabernacle that was built in Jerusalem.

Next, please read this verse:

Isa_10:32 As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his fist against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.

Here the hill of Jerusalem must be the same as Zion.

And finally, please read this next verse:

2Ki_19:31 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.

Comparing Isaiah 10:32 with 2 Kings 19:31 should make it clear that mount Zion is the same as the hill of Jerusalem, which clearly is Zion. By now, with all this evidence before us, we can safely conclude that Mount Zion was in Jerusalem during Bible times, just as the author stated above.

However, in Revelation 14 Mount Zion must refer to the New Jerusalem, that is, the city of God, which is what we refer to as heaven where God presently lives. It cannot refer to the old city of Jerusalem here on earth because in the vision Jesus is among the people standing on Mount Zion. We should remember that the vision is about the future after John, not his past, and Jesus now lives in heaven. Thus, for Jesus to be seen on Mount Zion, it must refer to the presence of Jesus and the 144,000 virgins in the New Jerusalem after the time of John. This also tells us that there is a Mount Zion in the New Jerusalem and that in Revelation, the New Jerusalem is the equivalent of the old city of Jerusalem. Here is evidence that there is a Mount Zion in the New Jerusalem:

Heb 12:22 But you are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

Consider that in Old Testament times, many, though not all, of the people of God lived inside the city of Jerusalem. Their presence in the city associated them with Jerusalem so that one symbolized the other. Here is a verse which shows that the people of God were associated with the city of Jerusalem:

1Ch_23:25 For David said, The LORD God of Israel has given rest unto his people, that they may dwell in Jerusalem forever:

So, God's people dwell in Jerusalem. In Revelation, God's people symbolically dwell in the New Jerusalem. After Jesus comes again, that will literally become true, but not until then.

Also, the temple of God was built in the city of Jerusalem by Solomon and another temple was built later by the exiles who returned from Babylon. We also know that God manifested his presence within the temple. Here is just one such evidence that God did this:

2Ch 7:1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.
2Ch 7:2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house.

The Bible tells us that God appeared above the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant. Here is the evidence of that:

Exo_25:21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee.
Exo_25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

Once the temple was built within the city of Jerusalem, thereafter logically it was associated with the city of Jerusalem and with the people living there. After all, God's people lived there, the city of Jerusalem was there, and the temple was there, so they were associated together. The temple, with the presence of God, the people of God, the priests and other officials of their religion, and their beliefs, all combined together and associated together in Jerusalem. Taken together, these constituted the Old Testament Church in Jerusalem. Thus, the city of Jerusalem symbolized both the Old Testament church and it also symbolized the people of God. Let us make that more visible for you:

The Old Testament city of Jerusalem symbolized the following things:

  • The Old Testament Jewish Church
  • The people of God

Likewise, in Revelation the word Jerusalem symbolized the following things:

  • The New Testament Church.
  • The people of God

Below are verses which show that this association is found elsewhere in the Bible: 

Heb 12:22 But you are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, who are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

The verses above associate the people of God, those that are coming to the things listed, with Mount Zion, God, the heavenly Jerusalem, the angels, and the church.  It could hardly be more clear that these things are all associated together.

You should be aware that in Old Testament times many of God's people lived in Jerusalem. But some of them lived elsewhere and some of them even lived far away. After the captivity in Babylon, some of them remained in Babylon while others went home to Jerusalem.  From this we should realize that some of God's people actually dwell in Babylon even though the majority live in Jerusalem or in the cities surrounding it that it controls. In the story of Revelation 18 at the beginning of the chapter, the city of Babylon is about to be destroyed. So because some of his people are still living there, God calls them to come out of Babylon. That time is still future to when the author writes this paragraph (2014), but it will not be long before the final call to come out of Babylon is heard. Anyone failing to leave Babylon then will be destroyed along with Babylon soon thereafter.  

Let us take this symbolism a bit farther in a way that will be useful to us later. Jerusalem was the capital city of the nation of Israel until after Solomon, and ruled over the cities and land of the nation of Israel Anyone who lived in any of those other cities was considered to be among God's people and one could say that they were associated with Jerusalem because of its control of them and its association with them. Thus, in a larger sense, Jerusalem symbolized all of the cities it controlled and the people within those cities. This makes sense, does it not? If you question this, then please note this verse:

Dan 9:7 O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.

Notice how Daniel associates the land of both Judah and Israel together with Jerusalem. Both of these territories contained cities of the people of God, so by associating the territories with Jerusalem, then logically Jerusalem is associated with the cities of those territories, albeit indirectly. While speaking to Daniel, the angel implies the same in his explanation of the vision to Daniel, for he says this:

Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Now, think carefully about this. The angel told Daniel there will be a commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem (there were several commandments which were necessary to complete the fulfillment of the prophecy, the last of which was given in 457 BC). Logically, this commandment not only restored the city of Jerusalem, but also restored the surrounding territory AND the surrounding cities so that they were again under the control of Jerusalem. So, in this instance, it should be clear that Jerusalem is used as a symbol of both the land of Judah AND the cities of the land. So, Jerusalem is a symbol of the cities and land it controls which are near to it.

Recall that Revelation is a book of symbols, so not everything is as they appear to be in vision, but rather things symbolize other things to help us understand the message God has for us. The things seen are not necessarily to be taken literally. This is true of the location and time placement of the 144,000, that is, the 144,000 do not actually live in heaven in the New Jerusalem at the time period in which the events of Revelation 14 take place. Them living there is symbolic.

This may not be clear to you, so, how does the author know this to be true? The answer to that question is that the Second Coming of Jesus has not yet happened in the story of Revelation 14. Revelation 14 tells us of events that approach up to the Second Coming of Jesus, but it stops just short of the Second Coming itself.  The Second Coming event is shown in symbols in Revelation 19 and is yet future to Revelation 14. So, that being the case, the 144,000 of Revelation 14 cannot literally be in heaven during the events recorded there, though they will live there someday.

Now, there are those who claim that the 144,000 are living in the New Jerusalem, the city of God, in Revelation 14 before the Second Coming. They have created the Rapture Theory with the pre tribulation Rapture to explain this. However, the Bible contradicts this, for it says this:

1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them who are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also who sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede them who are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Now, it is very clear from the verses above that there are people of God who remain alive and here on earth until Jesus comes again. There is no evidence elsewhere in the Bible that the people of God will be picked up twice by Jesus, so as a consequence, they are not Raptured away beforehand. But what this means is that the 144,000 are not actually living in the New Jerusalem during the time of the Revelation 14 events, but they are said to be there because they are God's people and they will be living there someday.And to fit the symbolism of the story, they have to be in the New Jerusalem because the story is of the battle between Jerusalem and Babylon, God's people versus the people belonging to the sea beast, the true church of God versus the false church.

Therefore, it has to be that the presence of God's people on Mount Zion in Revelation 14 is symbolic. So, just why are they shown in heaven before the Second Coming of Jesus? They are shown to be there to symbolize their righteous condition before God, to symbolize that they belong to God's true church and to symbolize that they will have the right to live in heaven in the New Jerusalem someday even though they are not there now. What gives them that right?  The answer is that they keep ALL of the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus (Revelation 14:12), which is something that the sea beast does not do. 

Let us summarize what we have just learned. In the Bible Jerusalem symbolized the following things:

  • The people of God  
  • The true church of God
  • The true God himself is associated with Jerusalem and therefore can be symbolized by the city  
  • The people of God living in the surrounding cities that Jerusalem had control over are also symbolized by Jerusalem.
  • And finally, the cities that Jerusalem had control over are symbolized by Jerusalem. 

You should understand that in Revelation, the city of Jerusalem may symbolize any or all of the things above.

Of course, both in the book of Revelation and in history, the city opposed to Jerusalem is Babylon. While the city of Jerusalem is the city of God and those who live there are God's people and the people of God with the priests and the presence of God all together constitute God's church, Babylon is described as "fallen" and it attacks, persecutes and kills God's people. As the counterpart of Jerusalem in Revelation, it likewise must represent the counterpart symbols. Consequently, Babylon symbolized the following things:

  • The people of Satan.  
  • The false church.
  • The false gods. 
  • The people of the false gods living in the surrounding cities that Babylon had control over.
  • And finally, the cities that Babylon had control over.

These things must be true because Jerusalem as a city particularly represents the true church. So likewise, Babylon, as a city, must represent a church also, but a fallen church, one that looks like a real Christian Church, but in fact is a false church in spite of appearances. And it is one that will persecute the true church, all done in the name of God, of course.

What we most need to understand at this point is that those who dwell in heaven are the 144,000 described in Revelation 14. The beast blasphemes them as part of blaspheming God. Thus, we know the identity of "them who dwell in heaven." 

Before continuing, let us summarize again the things you need to know about the 144,000 for our purpose here:

  • They are God's people on earth
  • They constitute God's true church on earth
  • The city they live in is associated with them, so the city also represents the true church of God on earth
  • There is nothing false about them in their speech (Rev. 14:5).  They are honest people.
  • They keep all of God's commandments and have the faith of Jesus (Rev. 14:12)

So, back to our original question, just what is meant by the beast blaspheming those who dwell in heaven?

Recall that an important definition of blasphemy is that one claims the rights and privileges that belong to God. Another definition is to show contempt for or insult God, of which a common way to do that is to blacken God's character, something which can be referred to as character assassination. If a person blasphemes another person rather than God (the Bible does make reference to blaspheming persons), the definition should remain essentially the same, except that it applies to a person rather than to God and will often refer either to blackening their name, character assassination, or wrongfully claiming rights that belong to the person blasphemed. Most typically the person blasphemed would be a person who has some kind of authority over others though it does not have to be.

To proceed farther, it is necessary that we understand the sea beast a little more. We know the following about the beast (note that this list is not complete):

  • The beast is a king over a people because beasts are kings over kingdoms (Daniel 7:17) Note that the king does not have to be a political king, though typically he will be. He can be a religious king.
  • The beast is also a kingdom because beasts are also defined as kingdoms (Daniel 7:23). Note again that it does not have to be a political kingdom, but instead it can be a religious kingdom.
  • The beast claims to be God (it blasphemes the name of God, Rev. 13:6)
  • The beast is worshipped (Rev. 13:4), which means men obey it as they would a god and this also tells us that it claims to be God because it accepts their worship (obedience).
  • The beast is an earthly visible power, which we know is true because this beast did not appear in heaven in the vision. Rather, it came up out of water that is present on the earth. Water represents people, kindreds, tongues or nations (Rev. 17:15), so the beast arose from and among these elements of humanity. The best interpretation is that this power rose up among the nations. 
  • The beast claims to have authority to forgive sins against God's law (Rev. 13:6 done by blaspheming the tabernacle)
  • Because of its claim to have authority to forgive sins against God's law, this implies that the beast has a priesthood so that it can make forgiveness of sins against God's law available to men everywhere on earth (Rev. 13:6 done by blaspheming the tabernacle)

If you examine the things in the list above, it should become apparent to you that this beast is a religious power here on earth. Political entities do not claim the kind of authority that this beast claims for itself. There is a religious power in this world which does claim such authority.  It is a Christian Church and it should not be defined as a political entity because its primary purpose of existence is as a religious body. Of course, while the beast represents the religious kingdom of this church, it  is important to realize that the beast also represents the leader or king of this church, with the church being the religious kingdom that the king of this church rules. We will later discuss exactly which church this beast represents, but for now it is sufficient that you recognize it to be a Christian Church.

Now,to help you understand the question of the blasphemy against "them who dwell in heaven," consider this question.  Pretend for a moment that you are living, say, 1,000 years ago. You are the king of the sea beast and you want to blaspheme God's people. How would you go about this based on the list of the characteristics of God's people given in Revelation 14? What could you say about them to blaspheme them?  Here is how you might go about doing that.

First, the people of Revelation 14 have nothing false about them in their speech and they are honest people. This simply means that they speak the truth about God and are honest in their relations with other people.  To blaspheme them for this, the king of the sea beast can claim that they teach false doctrines and are dishonest with others. Make them to look like liars. In other words, falsely misrepresent their character before the world.

Second, they keep all of God's commandments. How do you blaspheme them for this? This may seem difficult, but one effective way to do this is rather simple, though it does take time to arrange. Merely claim to have changed one (or more) of God's commandments and claim that you have the authority to do this and then get people to believe it. There is the saying that if you say something false long enough and often enough, people will come to believe it is true. There is a degree of truth to this statement. Once people believe you on this, then claim that the people of Revelation 14 are disobedient to God's commandments because they won't keep the commandment that was changed in the way that it was rewritten by the sea beast. Condemn them because they keep the original commandment of God as God wrote it. By doing this, they are blasphemed by falsely making them look as if they are disobedient to God, thus damaging their character before the world.

Third, the people of Revelation 14 are God's true followers on earth. To blaspheme them for this, claim that they are following the devil and claim that their doctrines are those of the devil. This is another form of character assassination. If most of the world does not know the real truth about them, you will appear to get away with it.  

Fourth, the people of Revelation 14 constitute God's true church on earth. To blaspheme them for this, claim that they are not God's true church and that the sea beast's own church is God's true church. Also, claim that the people in the sea beast's church really are the people of God.  The idea is for the beast to switch places in any way possible and thereby claim the rights that belong to God's people.

Fifth, the city of the new Jerusalem represents the future destiny of God's people. To blaspheme the people of Revelation 14 for this, claim that their destiny is hell rather than heaven and that the destiny of the people within the sea beast's own church are actually destined for heaven. Again, switch places with them as far as is possible, thereby claiming the rights of God's people.  

When it is said that the beast blasphemes those who dwell in heaven in Revelation 13:6, it is blasphemy that most effectively does three things.

  • First, the sea beast claims the God given rights of God's people and his church for its own people and its own church.
  • Second, the beast destroys the character of the people of God and inflates the character of itself and its own people.
  • Third, as a result of its own claim to be God, it believes that it has the rights that God has and believes itself to be the true church. Consequently, it persecutes the people of God. The claims of the sea beast is false, but that does not stop it. It takes away their rights.
  • True Christianity in a person will give others the right of a free conscience, but those who follow Satan will force the conscience of others. Churches are no different. This is a form of blasphemy against the people of God. 

Another way to say this is as follows. The blasphemy against those who dwell in heaven symbolizes that the sea beast will claim to be the true church and that the real true church, as defined by God and which is made up of all those who obey ALL of God's commandments, is, according to the sea beast, the false church.  It switches roles and privileges with the true church and switches roles of its people for those of the people of the true church. Consequently, this false church will persecute the true church whenever it can get away with it because it has convinced itself that it is the true church and that its leaders are God on earth and have the rights and privileges of God. From this its leaders conclude that they have the right to punish those who do not obey the beast, including putting them to death. In their minds, they are saving others from hell! Never mind that they really do not know God and are not in fact doing what they think they are doing. They dig themselves into a deep hole of condemnation from God. Thus, it will make war against the people of God whenever it can get away with it.

Is it not clear that any church which uses the law to persecute others for not obeying its doctrines is on the wrong side? It is on Satan's side. Do you want to be on Satan's side?  

 

Revelation 13:6 Summary

Now, for review purposes let us restate Revelation 13:6 and summarize its meaning. Revelation 13:6 says the following:

Rev 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

The meaning of Revelation 13:6 is as follows:

  • Blasphemy against the name of God ultimately is to claim to be God.
  • Blasphemy against God's tabernacle ultimately means the following:
    • Claiming to have authority to forgive sins against God's law
    • Having a priesthood to make forgiveness of sins available to people everywhere
  • Blasphemy against them that dwell in heaven ultimately means that the beast claims it is the true church and that the real true church is the false church. It also claims that its people are God's people and that those who really are God's people are Satan's people. Moreover, it claims that the people of God are deserving of death and will persecute them whenever it is possible for it to do so. Through its claims it switches places with God, his church and his people.

 

 

 

The History Of Jesus And The Beast Compared

Introduction

We just finished defining the blasphemous behavior of the beast by using Revelation 13:6. There is a second way to derive at least part of the same information, which we can do using the life history of the beast and comparing it to the life history of Jesus when he was on earth doing his ministry. There is a reason for doing this because it turns out that in the vision recorded in Revelation 13, God presented the history of the sea beast as being very much like the life history of Jesus. Most people have never noticed this, but it is true and it does provide useful information for us. Let us investigate this here.

When this comparison is done correctly, there are two things that should stand out for you. First, there are things which the beast was predicted to do that are essentially identical to the facts recorded about the life of Jesus when he was on earth doing his ministry and even after that when he is in heaven. Second, there are things the beast was predicted to do that are clearly opposed to Jesus.   That these are opposites may sound irrational, but there is a method to this with an end purpose, which the author will explain. 

 

Historical And Prophetic Similarities

As said before, there are things that are essentially identical in the life of Jesus and in the life of the sea beast. Because of this, we should ask ourselves the following question. Why does God prophecy things about the sea beast that are essentially identical to events in the life of Jesus? What was God trying to say to us by doing this?

The answer is that God wants us to know that the sea beast will substitute itself for Jesus and claim his position, his work, and his authority. In other words, God tells us through prophecy that the sea beast will act as if it is Jesus and as if it has his full authority and his position as God, and it even claims to do the work of Jesus that he does in heaven (something we have already learned). What we should learn from this is that the beast makes itself into a false God. Jesus is God and to claim his position and authority and work is to make oneself into God. Be sure to make a note of this point.

Let us make that more obvious for you to think about:

The sea beast is a false God

In contrast with this, for the things the sea beast does that are opposed to Jesus, this shows that the sea beast is trying to work against him. It may seem contradictory for the sea beast to work both sides like this, but it can be shown to be in harmony with the overall objectives of the sea beast and to be very effective in spite of the apparent contradiction in methods.

Most people in the traditionally Christian countries are familiar with the term Antichrist. The word Antichrist is commonly believed to refer to an individual who opposes Jesus and works against him. While there is truth to this understanding of the meaning of the word Antichrist, there is also a problem with it because the common understanding about that word is incomplete, and therefore it can be misleading. The beliefs of most people about the Antichrist being one who opposes Jesus are true, but this is only part of the real story of the Antichrist. As is typically true in real life, the real story of the Antichrist is much more complex than that which society and some "experts" have reduced it to.

The Bible tells us there are many AntiChrists in the world who deny the Father and the Son or who deny that Jesus came in the flesh. But there is one Antichrist that is considered the most important of them all. This Antichrist, the most important Antichrist, has been around for a very long time, and out of it will come the final and most important Antichrist of all time. He will come just before Jesus comes again. We will refer to this final, most important Antichrist, as the final Antichrist.

There has been a vast array of speculation about who the most important Antichrist is, most of which has been wrong. The first beast of Revelation 13 is all about the most important Antichrist that has been around for a very long time and a correct understanding of its identity will help reveal the final Antichrist. Unfortunately, most people have never correctly understood the first beast of Revelation 13, so, as a result, they cannot correctly understand the most important Antichrist, and especially they cannot understand the final Antichrist who comes from the most important Antichrist. But if the beast is correctly identified and properly understood, then the Bible makes it perfectly clear who the real, ultimate final Antichrist will be.

Let us now improve our understanding of the word Antichrist. The prefix of the word Antichrist is "anti-", which is typically understood to mean one who opposes or works against something or someone, which in the case of the Antichrist means that it works against or opposes Jesus.   This is the commonly understood meaning of the word Antichrist, which is based on the dictionary definition.  Indeed, the most important Antichrist does oppose Jesus and consequently, the author will outline from the Bible the specific actions this power does that opposes Jesus, which will help you identify it.

What is more important and is commonly not understood about the word Antichrist is that the prefix "anti-" can also mean one who substitutes himself for another.  What this means is that the sea beast of Revelation 13:1-10, which is the most important Antichrist, will not only work against Jesus, but more importantly he will substitute himself for Jesus and, in so doing, invest himself with the position, authority and duties of Jesus. This is a profound truth that few understand, but is very real and has immense consequences for identifying the sea beast. 

Let us make the definition of the word Antichrist more prominent for you so you can think about it.   Please make a note of this definition.

The Antichrist is one who does the following:

  • He stands in the place of another, a substitute, which in this case is someone claiming to be Jesus and claiming his authority and position and work
  • He works against Christ and against the interests of Christ

You should understand that the sea beast of Revelation 13 fulfills BOTH definitions of the word Antichrist. We know this to be true because the behavior of the sea beast shows that he both works against Christ and substitutes himself for Christ.

Since the beast substitutes itself for Jesus, then to better understand this we should compare the life of Jesus during his time of power, that is, when he was doing his ministry on earth after his baptism, to the life of the sea beast of Revelation 13:1-10. We should search for things in the life of both Jesus and the beast to see how they are alike. Later we will search for things which show how they are different and study them.

Below is a table which shows the most important and more obvious points we can easily find in the Bible which demonstrate how much the sea beast as the most important Antichrist and Jesus are alike.

Comparison Of Jesus to The Sea Beast - How They Are Alike
Jesus Antichrist
Jesus was baptized by immersion and came up out of water The beast comes up out of water.
Jesus displayed power after coming up out of the water, that is, he worked miracles.  There is no historical record of Jesus working miracles before his baptism, though some traditions claim he did miracles. The Bible tells us nothing of miracles before his baptism, so there is no proof. We must work from what the Bible tells us. The beast was given power after coming up out of the water.
Jesus' ministry lasted for 3-1/2 literal years, which is 42 months The beast was given authority for 3-1/2 "times," that is, 3-1/2 Biblical symbolic years or 42 months.
At the end of the 3-1/2 years, Jesus suffered a deadly wound because he was crucified At the end of the 3-1/2 symbolic years, the beast suffers a deadly wound to one of its heads, a wound as if to death.
Three days after the crucifixion, Jesus was resurrected, so he lived in spite of the deadly wound The beast's head lives in spite of the deadly wound, or you might say it is "resurrected" in spite of the deadly wound.
Jesus was accused by the religious authorities of speaking blasphemy God says this beast speaks blasphemy and has the name of blasphemy written upon its heads, showing that it engages in blasphemous behaviors.

Carefully compare the points in the table above, point by point. Do you see that they are very similar to one another? You see, what God is pointing to through the history of Jesus and the prophecy of the sea beast is that the sea beast is to be seen as a false Christ because the prophecy concerning major events in the life of the sea beast matches major events in the life of Jesus during the time of his ministry. In essence, each mirrors the other in their major life events when they each displayed power. What God is trying to do with this in Revelation 13 is show us that the sea beast is a false God, one who pretends he is Jesus through his claims and actions (such as blaspheming the tabernacle), but in reality, he is not Jesus in spite of his claims to the contrary. He does NOT have the position and authority of Jesus.

In case you are questioning the 3-1/2 literal year ministry of Jesus in the table above, consider that he was baptized in the fall of 27 A.D. (see history books and Luke 3:1-2).  Then consider that he attended his first subsequent Passover six months later, which was in turn followed by three additional Passovers a year apart, with the last one being the point at which he died. What this means is that we know that his baptism was followed by four recorded sequential passover feasts in the book of John (John 2:13; 6:4; 11:55; 18:28), all of which occurred in the spring season.  Thus, his ministry was 3-1/2 literal years or 42 months in length measured on the Jewish calendar.  This matches the specified length in symbolic months of the time of power of the sea beast, which is 42 months. 

The sea beast was said to have power for 42 months, which Revelation 12:6, 14 and 13:5 define to be 42 months of 30 days each (1260/42 = 30), or 3-1/2 "times," where 3-1/2 "times" is Biblical language for 3-1/2 prophetic years. Thus, the literal time in months and years that Jesus ministered and displayed his power was the same as the symbolic time of power of the beast. However, if you measure it in literal days, the life of Jesus probably will not exactly match that of the beast. This is why the Bible gives us the overall time of the life of Jesus through the baptism and subsequent Passovers and the sea beast's time is measured in months so that they match up. The Bible is telling us that they are the same when measured in years and months. They are not exactly the same when measured in days. The real point is that the sea beast is a false Christ and the time period involved help us identify it because of the way it is specified.

The major life events of the beast are essentially the same as those of the major life events of Jesus.   It should be clear to you by now that what God is trying to show us is that the sea beast of Revelation 13 is the Antichrist because it literally substitutes itself for Jesus. This is the most important point that God is trying to help us understand by this comparison he does in Revelation 13. 

Now, let us see the logical conclusions of what it means that the life of Jesus and the life of the sea beast are very much alike and that the sea beast is trying to substitute itself for Jesus. Because the sea beast acts as if it is Jesus as he was on earth during the time of his ministry and it claims to be God, then this implies that the sea beast will also claim authority to do the same work as Jesus does now in heaven. After all, what good is the claim if it does not at least appear to do the same work as Jesus does in heaven? Logically, if it claims to be Jesus, then it must also claim to do the same work that Jesus does now in heaven, or its claim is laid open to being said to be false. So, what work does Jesus do now in heaven? Jesus works in the heavenly sanctuary as our high priest and intermediary between us and God so that we may obtain help from God and forgiveness for our sins. These facts imply that the sea beast will have a priesthood like Jesus does through which a person may obtain forgiveness of sins.

So, let us summarize the things the beast does through its likeness to the life of Jesus and its claim to be him: 

  • By substituting itself for Jesus, it makes itself into God. This makes it into a false God because it is not God in spite of its claim to the contrary.
  • It will claim to have authority from Jesus to forgive sins against God's law. To do this, it must have a priesthood by which forgiveness may be given out.

 

 

Historical and Prophetic Opposites

In contrast with the substitutive aspect of the Antichrist which we just studied, the word Antichrist also means one who opposes Jesus. As it happens, there are things in Revelation 13 which show that the sea beast directly opposes Jesus. Here is a list of those things from Revelation 13 the author could discern:

Comparison Of Jesus to The Beast - How The Beast Opposes Jesus
Jesus Antichrist

Jesus protects his people and does not kill them.  Jesus did not kill people for not following him when he was on earth.

This sea beast is given authority to wage war against the saints of God, a war which allows it to overcome them.  Thus, it persecutes and kills them. The reason it does this is because they will not obey it.  They will not follow the sea beast.
The authority of Jesus comes from God The sea beast was given authority by the dragon, which directly represents Satan, but it also indirectly represents pagan Rome as shown in Revelation 12 (it was under the authority of pagan Rome that king Herod tried to kill Jesus, all done, of course, by inspiration of Satan). Thus, this beast will receive power and authority in its work from Satan, and, the sea beast will be given civil authority over God's people from pagan Rome. 
Jesus has a right to accept worship and obedience from his people, whereas the sea beast does not. The sea beast is worshipped, just as Jesus is worshipped.  But the sea beast claims to be Jesus and, as a result, he is a thief in that he accepts worship that is due only to God. Thus, he works against Jesus by doing this. What this symbolism means is that the sea beast requires obedience to its own law, law that is contrary to God's law.  
Jesus is usually represented in the Bible as a lamb, thus indicating that he is not harmful to God's people, but rather he wants to save them. The sea beast is shown as a predatory animal, which indicates that it will kill those who refuse to accept its authority and power. In so doing, it works contrary to the interests of Jesus.
Jesus was accused of speaking blasphemy.  But the accusations were false because he is God. The sea beast speaks blasphemy against God's name, his tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.  The difference here is that the sea beast does these things to substitute itself for God's church and people and for the positions of God and Jesus in the tabernacle and to destroy God's character.  The sea beast speaks blasphemy because it has no right to these things in spite of its claims.   By this action, it opposes Jesus.
 

In the table above you should be able to see that the sea beast works against Jesus. Why does it do this? It seems contrary to its best interests to act in such a contradictory manner as it would appear that these actions should weaken it.  The answer to why it does this has to do with the perceptions of the sea beast by the on looking public. The sea beast acts as if it is Jesus to cement its claim to authority. If it is to be perceived as a religious authority, then it must have some foundation for its claim to religious power. This foundation is established by claiming both to be God and claiming to have his delegated authority and doing this in a way that is believable to the on looking public. To add credibility, it teaches many true things from the Bible, but not all that it teaches is true, which is why it needs to establish itself as God so that it can claim authority to have changed God's law and other requirements.  

The sea beast acts contrary to Jesus when dealings with those who refuse to accept its authority, which people usually are those who follow God and keep all of his commandments. Again, it acts this way in order to cement its claim to authority before the on looking public. The sea beast knows that anyone who questions its authority based on the Bible can potentially weaken its authority in the mind of the on looking public at large, which it definitely does not want to have happen. Such people can do this by alerting others to the sea beast's false claims and teaching people the real truth from the Bible. To prevent this from happening, there have been times in the past when the sea beast persecuted and killed people in order to force them to stop doing this and to silence them.

Here is the most important point to understand about why the sea beast acts like and claims to be Jesus and, at the same time, it acts contrary to the interests of Jesus.  The whole point of its dual strategy is to do whatever is necessary to build up and maintain its authority. So long as it accomplishes that goal, any strategy, even that which appears on the surface to be contrary to its own interests, is acceptable to the sea beast, including violating God's law. It is very smart and changes its strategy as needed to fit the circumstances and continue forward toward its goal.   

The hidden background reason the Antichrist acts in such a contrary manner is because he receives his power and authority from the dragon.  The dragon is NOT your friend, but rather, he is your mortal enemy, whether you know it or not. Satan wants to destroy you so that he can hurt Christ. By working through the Antichrist in a very deceptive manner, he can most effectively lure you into his trap. But he does not do this openly or you would run away because you would recognize the danger it presents. No, instead, he lays a trap that is disguised to look very good, very Christian, very loving, and yet, having destructive power hidden within it that may very well kill you in the long run, and by the time you discover this, it will be too late to stop it. Some will escape, but many will not. Why take the risk? 

Do understand that there is no direct evidence that the sea beast knows he is being controlled by Satan. Rather, he thinks he is doing God's will and is favored by God. But just the same, the Bible draws aside the curtain and reveals to us the true source of his power.

So, how does Satan hope to destroy you through the beast?  He does so by covertly placing deceptive teachings within the sea beast that contradict the truth given in the Bible, truth that can save you for eternity if understood and obeyed. Those within the beast think the false teachings are true, but they are not. These are teachings that have the potential to destroy you because of the effect they may have upon your relationship with God, your choices in life and ultimately, your salvation. Not everyone is affected in the same way. Some false teachings have little or no effect upon one person but will have a stronger effect upon another person. By placing enough different false teachings within the sea beast's teachings and have them hidden among the true teachings from the Bible (by such means as subtly changing the message of the Bible), Satan hopes that one or another of these will effectively reach their target and thereby cost you your salvation. False teachings can cause you to disbelieve God when he presents real truth to you and cause you to disobey him when obedience is essential to life. Again, the result can be the loss of eternal salvation.

The false teachings are placed among true teachings so as to greatly increase their danger. It works like this. Suppose you are visiting a friend in his or her home and he gives you food because you are hungry. Naturally you think it is good for you and you will probably eat it. But if your friend is actually covertly a malicious, evil person and your friend were to put poison in the food given to you, a poison that could not be tasted or smelled or discerned by sight, then you are in great danger should you eat the food because you cannot detect that it is dangerous. If you eat it, then you may become very sick or even die. Now, think about it. If the poison were obvious in the food, naturally you would not eat it. By making sure it is not detectable, its much more dangerous to you.

Likewise, Satan has worked within the sea beast so as to put false teachings among the true teachings the sea beast has and makes it so that you cannot easily detect that he has done this. These false teachings are like poison in food that you cannot see, smell, or taste. They are just as dangerous as any other false teaching, but because they are hidden among the true teachings, its far more difficult to detect and avoid them. The best way to avoid them is to very carefully study God's word so as to be able to discriminate the false from the true, and even better, avoid the sea beast altogether.

It is very important  that you understand that the Antichrist exists within within the Christian community. He is not a secular political leader nor will he be a future Islamic Antichrist as some have taught more recently.  No, instead, the most important Antichrist is within the Christian community where he can do the most damage against the people of God who reside in all the Christian Churches of the world. He will be able to do this because he will be the most visible and trusted individual for them. He appears to be a good, loving Christian that is trustworthy. Would Christians likely trust an Islamic or secular, clearly evil, Antichrist? Or would they be much more likely to trust a fellow Christian who does not appear to be the most important Antichrist? Think about it carefully.

The important thing for you is to learn how to unmask the most important Antichrist so that you can plainly see who it is and then stay away from him.  That is one of the main reasons this web page was written, to help you unmask the most important Antichrist, and especially the final Antichrist so you can identify him and the danger he presents to you. The second reason is to warn you that the end is extremely near and the deceptions are going to get a whole lot stronger very soon, and soon after that it will include force to back it up and ensure that you go along with the final Antichrist's program. You need to be equipped to correctly identify it. This page is also written to reveal to you the signs that the end is extremely close so that you may know it is time to get ready for the end. With these things in mind, you must identify the sea beast correctly.  

The question remaining about the sea beast as the Antichrist is, which church is he leading?  We will get to that soon.  

Let us briefly summarize the definitions of the blasphemous behaviors we derived in this section. These also define the names of blasphemy seen on the beasts of Revelation 13 and 17. Remember that these definitions given below are there because the beast acts as if it is Jesus and has his position and authority.

  • Claiming to be God
  • Claiming to have authority to forgive sins against God's laws (man's laws or the "laws" of a false god have nothing to do with this claim of authority)
  • Having a priesthood to mediate forgiveness of sins

 

 

The Blasphemy Of A God

In the previous section, we showed that the sea beast is predicted to have a life history that matches that of Jesus, thus showing that God considers it to be a false Christ, which we might also describe as a false God. From that information, we can know what type of blasphemy it speaks.

In this section, we are going to take a look at the blasphemy that Jesus was accused of committing by the Jews. Because the sea beast is a false Christ, we may know that the blasphemy that Jesus was accused of must also be the same blasphemy that God accesses the beast of committing.

There were two very specific behaviors for which Jesus was accused of speaking blasphemy. These events are recorded in Matthew 9:2 - 8, Matthew 26:62 - 65, and John 10:30 - 36. Let us begin with Matthew 9:2 - 8, which says the following about Jesus:

Matthew 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick, a paralytic, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the paralytic; Son, be of good cheer; your sins be forgiven you.
Matthew 9:3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemes.
Matthew 9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Why think you evil in your hearts?
Matthew 9:5 For which is easier, to say, Your sins be forgiven you; or to say, Arise, and walk?
Matthew 9:6 But that you may know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins, (then said he to the paralytic) Arise, take up your bed, and go unto your house.
Matthew 9:7 And he arose, and departed to his house.
Matthew 9:8 But when the multitude saw it, they marveled, and glorified God, who had given such power unto men.

The central issue in the verses above was the claim of Jesus to have authority to forgive sins against God's law. Laws of man or those of another god of the pagans are not involved here. Any person claiming such authority when he is not God is speaking blasphemy because, as the Jews correctly observed, only God can forgive sins against his own law. This observation is true and cannot be changed because God is the supreme lawmaker and the one offended by the breaking of his own law. Another person cannot forgive offenses against God's law for the simple reason that they are not God and they are not the one actually offended by the actions of the sinner in breaking God's law. Only God can release a person from the offense he personally takes through the breaking of his law by the sinner.

Let us make that a little more concrete with perhaps a rather unlikely example that nonetheless teaches something of value here in relation to this topic. Suppose you have a friend who comes to your home for a short visit, and during his visit, unknown to you at the time, he steals your laptop computer. Some hours after he is gone you realize what he has done and you are not at all happy about it. So, you call your friend on the telephone and tell him that you know what he did and you would like him to make it right by returning your computer to you. And you add, the sooner he does that, the better. Later you learn through neighborhood gossip that he felt that yes, he was wrong because of what he did, and yes, he was sorry about it, and yes, he was going to make it right. But strangely, the computer is not returned to you. You wonder, why? Where is it?

But you are patient with your friend and you don't need the computer right away, so you wait a while longer, thinking that if he does not do something within a few days, you are going to call the police and report the theft. You do need it back eventually.  The next day you learn that your friend went to visit your neighbor and he apologized to him for stealing your computer! No, he did not bother to come and ask forgiveness from you, but instead he went to your neighbor and apologize to him! Oh, and you learn that to make things right, he gave your laptop computer to your neighbor!

Now, what would you think of your friend for apologizing to your neighbor instead of coming to you and, to top it off, he gave your computer to your neighbor? You were the one offended and your neighbor had nothing to do with it, so you would have to wonder, why did he go to the neighbor to apologize? Doing that does NOT make any sense! By this time you should think your friend has something wrong with his head and needs to see a doctor about it! And clearly, that he went to the neighbor and apologized does NOT remove the offense you feel.

Now, think about this. Your friend offends you both by stealing your computer during his visit AND he does it twice more by apologizing to the neighbor rather than apologizing to you and giving your computer to your neighbor instead of returning it to you. But this solves nothing between the two of you and actually makes things worse. Your friend, to really make things right, still has to come to you and apologize because he has NOT made things right, much as he might think he did And he has to apologize for giving your computer to your neighbor! Worst of all, you are also stuck with getting your computer back from your neighbor. That may not be so easy! I suspect that you will insist that you friend either get it back from the neighbor or else pay for a new one for you.

The worst aspect of such an event is that it will very likely destroy your relationship with your friend. The healing of it depends on his making things right with YOU personally - and quickly before you decide that you must call the police about this. At this point, it is not going to be easy for your friend.

Now, this may not be the best example to explain the principle involved with forgiveness, but consider how God feels when people go to someone else to get their sins forgiven rather than coming directly to him as he has instructed us to do. When a person sins, God is the one offended because of his broken law and because of the broken relationship between the sinner and God. God is the only one who can forgive people for offending him. Nobody else can do that for God no matter how well intentioned they may be or what authority they claim to have from God. In fact, we know that God will not delegate such authority because he has already ruled out such things in this verse:

Isa_42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.

God will not give his glory to another, that is, he will not make another being  (or even an inanimate object) into another God like himself. Consequently, we can know that he will never give another the ability to feel exactly what he feels when his law is broken and consequently the relationship between him and the sinner is broken by the sin. Sin is lawlessness by definition in the Bible, that is, it is breaking the commandments of God. Another way to say this is that since God will not make another being into a God like himself, then he cannot give another person the ability to feel the same offense. As a result, nobody but God can forgive sins against God's law.

The law of God, in being broken, breaks a relationship the sinner has with God, and nobody but God and the sinner can fix that broken relationship. A pastor or priest can help you learn to know about God so that you know where to go to have your sins forgiven, but only God can forgive those sins. It will always be impossible for anyone else but God to do that for a sinner. No priest, pastor or anyone else can ever do that no matter what their claim of authority is. 

This basic fact of life with God was true in the Old Testament Sanctuary services also. The priest did NOT forgive sins in the performance of the ceremonies he did in the sanctuary. It was always God who forgave the sins. The priest merely acted as an intermediary in the process of the sinner obtaining forgiveness for his sins from God. He symbolized the work that Christ does for us in the sanctuary in heaven, but the human priest could not forgive sins, unlike Christ. Be sure you understand that the Old Testament priests were NEVER instructed to say to the sinner that HE (meaning the priest) forgave the sinner for his sins! If you do not believe this, go read the book of Leviticus in the Old Testament. You will not find such an instruction to the priests, and the instructions that they were given they were to follow explicitly. It is the author's belief that had any priest ever said something to the effect that he personally forgave the sinner for his sins, God would have destroyed him immediately, but we do not know that for sure because no case of any priest ever doing that is recorded in the Bible. But it logically explains precisely why the Jews said that only God can forgive sins. They understood the role of priests and knew that they could not forgive sins.

Jesus was God and also a man, and because he, while being a man, claimed authority to forgive sins, some argue that Jesus gave man authority to forgive sins through the story in Matthew 9. But they ignore the fact that the verses clearly state that only God has that authority and Jesus did not by his statements change that. He did say that the "Son of man" has authority to forgive sins, but those who claim such authority based on this phrase conveniently fail to tell you that this is a term he applied exclusively to himself and not to others. Thus, he was not giving this authority to other men, but he was claiming it because he is God. And as pointed out above, only God can feel the offense he feels because of violations against his law. Thus, no human being but Jesus, who was also God, has such authority. To say otherwise is to twist the very clear meaning of the verses and ignores the basic facts behind such authority and the lack thereof by anyone else because they are not God.

The important point of these verses, of course, is that Jesus was accused of speaking blasphemy because he, whom they thought was a mere man, claimed authority to forgive sins against God's law.  This tells us that one of the behaviors which constitutes blasphemy is for a person to wrongfully claim authority to forgive sins against God's law, something which we already know, but now we have been shown this by a different approach.

The sea beast was predicted in Revelation 13 to have a life that mimics that of Jesus. So, therefore, as a false Christ the sea beast will also claim authority to forgive sins against God's law. God did say that the sea best commits blasphemy, did he not? Now, using this approach, we know one reason for which he said this.

There was a second issue for which Jesus was said to speak blasphemy.  Please read the following verses about the trial of Jesus just before he was crucified:

Matthew 26:62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answer you nothing? what is it which these witness against you?
Matthew 26:63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure you by the living God, that you tell us whether you be the Christ, the Son of God.
Matthew 26:64 Jesus said unto him, You have said so: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall you see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Matthew 26:65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, He has spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now you have heard his blasphemy.

In another incident related to the same issue, John 10:30-33 says this:

John 10:30 I and my Father are one.
John 10:31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
John 10:32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me?
John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God. John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, You are gods?
John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
John 10:36 Say you of him, whom the Father has sanctified, and sent into the world, You blaspheme; because I said, I am the Son of God?

The central issue in these verses was the claim of Jesus to be God. Any person claiming to be God is engaging in blasphemous behavior, unless, of course, he really is God. The only human who ever lived on earth rightfully able to make that claim was Jesus because he is God in human form.

Some might say that the definitions derived here are nothing more than the dictionary definition that blasphemy is the act of claiming the attributes of deity, which, to a degree, is true. However, the Bible almost always uses the word blasphemy to describe specific behaviors, and as a result, if we substitute the dictionary definition in place of the specific definitions we have derived directly from the Bible, the result is that we lose the clarity that should be present with the issue. We cannot merely substitute the dictionary definition because to do so is to seriously risk altering the meaning that God intended for us to understand. To prevent that from happening, it is best to derive the definition from the material presented in Revelation 13 and then stick with that.

Let us summarize what we have learned from our work here.  Because God accused the sea beast of blasphemy and Jesus was also accused of blasphemy and the beast is a false Christ, then, based on the accusations against Jesus, we should understand that the sea beast does these two things, which are:

  • It claims to be God
  • It claims to have authority to forgive sins against God's laws

This approach is helpful to get started in understanding the sea beast, but there is more material available to help us understand its behavior. Let us continue to discover more about it, and, once we have done that, then we will identify the sea beast for you.

 

 

Additional Characteristics Of The Beast

Worship, War And Blasphemy

To begin, please read this verse:

Revelation 13:4 And they worshiped the dragon who 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?

There are two aspects of this verse which we are concerned with here, worship and war. There is a connection between them, but it may not be obvious at first glance. Let us begin with the worship issue.

This verse says that people worshiped the sea beast. The word worship here has both a symbolic and literal meaning. When used symbolically in connection with the sea beast, the word worship means to obey. Here is why that is true. In the Bible, when people literally worshiped something, it was because they considered it to be a god. Because they thought their gods were superior beings, they obeyed the rules of their god. Moreover, in the Bible we see this same association of obedience with worship of the true God because God tells us to worship him and to obey his commandments. He is to be obeyed because he rules the universe, he is our creator (he knows how we are designed to work) and he loves us. Thus, in the Bible we find that worship of God is tethered to, and therefore associated with, obedience. One symbolizes the other.  

Just to be sure that you know this to be true in the Bible, here are several Bible verses which show this to be a true association:

1Ki_9:6 But if you shall at all turn from following me, you or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them:

2Ch_7:19 But if you turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;

Mat_15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

In all three verses above, it is clear that when they worship another god, they also do not keep the commandments of God, which implies that they keep the law of the god they worship. Jesus directly puts these together by saying that they worship him in vain because they teach the commandments of men. It is clear that he equates worship of God with obeying the commandments of God. If this is true about worship of the true god, then it holds that if one worships another god, one will keep the law of that god. Thus, worship and obedience are linked together by these verses. One symbolizes the other.

Remember this important definition for the beasts of Revelation 13 and 17:

Worship primarily symbolizes obedience

The sea beast of Revelation 13 represents a literal earthly power that is very visible to all.  Given the association between worship and obedience in the Bible, then logically because the Bible says that people worship the sea beast, we can conclude that they obey it as if it is a god. In a sense, you can say that they perceive it to actually be a god. Because God tells us that this beast speaks blasphemy against him, meaning it substitutes itself for God, then we know that the perception of people is that this beast IS God, which can happen only because it must claim to be God himself.  It is highly unlikely that they would worship it unless it made such claims for itself.

So, let us make these things clear for you to think about.  To worship the sea beast is:

  • to perceive the sea beast as God
  • to obey the sea beast as if it is God

Revelation 13:4 also says that they worshiped the dragon, who gave power to the beast. Because worship symbolizes obedience, this phrase is telling us that people will obey the dragon, that is, they will obey the Satan. Perhaps not all of them realize they are obeying Satan, but indeed, they will obey him. And because they obey him, they will worship the sea beast, who is given power by the dragon. They do this in obedience to Satan. You can be sure that these people do not know that they are worshiping the dragon by obeying the sea beast, but they indeed are doing just that.

The verse also says that "they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"

What is the connection between worship and an inability to make war with the beast? The connection may not be obvious at first, but think about it carefully and you should see several reasons why this happens. One connection is that they worship the beast because they think of it as God, and you do not make war with God if you believe in him. Another connection is that this beast is given power over all nations to make war against God's people (Revelation 13:7). This refers not to civil power like the common political kings have, but rather that it is given power over the saints of God to make war against them (kill them) and makes no reference whatsoever to it being given power over the kings of the earth in political matters. But you can be sure that some degree of political power does come with this and that fact, along with the fact that the political powers must cooperate with the beast in order for it to be given this power over the saints of God, tells you that there is a greater degree of cooperation than antagonism between them and the sea beast. Because it was predicted to have such widespread authority over God's people and naturally some degree of political power will come with that authority, then if it is attacked, it can call upon other political leaders to come to its defense. After all, what person who believes the sea beast is God is not going to come to his defense when he is attacked?   

There is a final reason the sea beast generally has a degree of protection from war being made against it. Because it is perceived as God, it is perceived as having the moral high ground in its affairs with the nations around it. While this may not protect it from all assaults, it does give it a distinct advantage.   For this reason, people will say, who is like the beast? There indeed is no other like it.

 

 

Who Gives The Sea Beast Its Authority?

Please read this verse:

Rev 13:2 And the beast that I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.

Please recall the Characteristics Principle the author mentioned previously.  Remember that this principle says that things added onto the body of a beast (such as wings) and even the type of beast used (such as a lion) represent behaviors of the kingdom the beast itself represents. Now, the sea beast of Revelation 13 had the feet of a bear, the mouth of a lion, and the body of a leopard. These body parts are from the beasts of Daniel 7, the beasts of which represent the succession of four kingdoms that God told Daniel were to come, meaning that they began then and continued into the future. We know these beasts represent kingdoms which began with Babylon, then Medo-Persia, then Greece, and finally Rome.  Here is why this is true.

First, Daniel 7:17 says this:

Dan 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

The author does not read Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek, but he has a friend with a Ph.D. who knows these languages and teaches in a school of theology. When he was questioned about the original language word translated as the English words "shall arise," used in Daniel 7:17, the author was informed that in the original language the words translated as "shall arise" comes from a verb which means that the action began at the time when Daniel received the vision and then its action continues on into the future. In other words, this is a verb that is to be understood to have an action that begins in the present of the speaker (Daniel) and continues on into the future. We do not have a direct equivalent verb in English, so the words "shall arise" is the closest thing to it. But that choice of words in English implies an action taking place only in the future and does not include the present tense action, unlike the original language verb. Therefore, the original language informs us that the first beast was in Daniel's present time, and the remaining ones are in his future. This rules out that these beasts represent kingdoms or rulers of the modern era, as some suggest, for the kingdoms occur in sequence and the first of them was in Daniel's time when he received the vision and not in modern times. So, just when did Daniel receive this vision? The following verse tells us:

Dan 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.

Belshazzar was the son of Nabonidus, the last king of Babylon. Nabonidus put his son (Belshazzar) in as co-king (he was second in charge, which is why Daniel was offered the third highest position to translate the handwriting on the wall as recorded in Daniel 5 - Belshazzar was not going to give Daniel his own position) while he went away from Babylon to worship the moon god. Clearly then, Daniel had the vision during the time of the Babylonian empire, but near its end because the Medes and Persians came and conquered Babylon soon thereafter.

Second, we know that the beasts of Daniel 7 and all that pertains to the vision precisely parallel the statue of Daniel 2, a symbolic statue which clearly pointed to those same four kingdoms. Daniel 2 foretells a succession of four kingdoms that began with Babylon and continue until God destroys them, not man. The very same story occurs in Daniel 7, which we know to be true because the verb translated as "shall arise" means it began in Daniel's time, thus pointing to Babylon as the first of the four kingdoms represented by the four beasts, and is a verb meaning the action is incomplete in the present, so it continues on into the future. This tells us that the lion of Daniel 7 represents the same kingdom as the gold head on the statue, which pointed to Babylon, and that the other kingdoms of Daniel 7 are the same as the remaining metals of Daniel 2. Thus, the four kingdoms are the same in both visions. Most of the details of the history predicted in Daniel 2 matches that shown to us in Daniel 7, but there are differences too because each dream shows some details not found in the other story. The two visions actually help explain each other and give a more complete picture of history that was future to Daniel. 

The information from Daniel 7 clearly shows us that on the sea beast, the mouth of a lion, the feet of a bear and the body of a leopard represent the behaviors of Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece respectively. The sea beast has at least one of the behaviors of each each of these three kingdoms.

It should be clear that the behaviors of these three kingdoms were shown on the sea beast to help us identify and understand it.  So, the question before us now is this.  What kingdom has the behavioral characteristics of all three of these kingdoms?

Because the behaviors of three of the kingdoms of Daniel 7 are represented on the sea beast, then the answer to the question is that there is only one possibility as to its identity, which is that this is a kingdom derived from the Roman Empire. This is logical because in Daniel 7 there were four beasts in a row and the fourth kingdom in that sequence is known from history to have received the legacy of the three previous kingdoms. To be more specific, the fourth beast of the series of beasts in Daniel 7 represented the Roman Empire and its descendants that remain in power until Jesus comes again. The behaviors represented by the body parts of the beasts of Daniel 7 which are found on the sea beast are those of previous kingdoms of Rome whose behaviors it inherited.

The sea beast cannot be a product of Greece because Greece never received any significant legacy from Babylon, which is included as part of the sea beast's legacy of behaviors (the lion's mouth shows this). However, Rome did receive a significant legacy from Babylon by receiving its religion and incorporating that into its own pantheon of gods and worship, something that most people do not know. What we can say is that the sea beast clearly is a product of Rome. The Roman Empire was both in the present and future to John, so the sea beast must arise either within the Roman Empire or after it among the successor kingdoms that came out of it. The author will explain this later so that you know when the beast rose up out of the water.

Revelation 13 provides other evidence to show that the conclusion that the sea beast is a product of Rome is correct. Revelation 13:2 tells us that "the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority." We are told in Revelation 12 that the dragon primarily represents Satan. Now, obviously, there is no known power in history which actually received a throne, power and great authority directly from Satan, so the dragon must have a secondary meaning for this to be true. This is possible because, like some other symbols in the Bible, the dragon indeed does have a secondary definition, that is, there is something else it represents in the story in addition to Satan. The secondary definition is that the dragon also represents the Roman Empire. This may come as a surprise to you, so how does the author know that this is true?

There are several reasons it is true. The first reason is as follows.  In the story of Revelation 12, the dragon desired to kill the child as soon as it was born of the woman. But it fails to accomplish this and the child is born safely. Later it is caught up to God in heaven and thereafter it is out of reach of Satan altogether. It should not be difficult for you to understand that the woman represents the Jewish religion, which we can think of as the Jewish Church before Christ at the point in the story before the birth of the child. We know from the story that after its birth this child is caught up to God, so since Jesus went to heaven, then we should understand that the child represents Jesus. While we know from the story that Satan desired to kill Jesus, he did not act directly in doing this, but rather he acted through an earthly power in an attempt to accomplish this.  It was King Herod, who ruled under the authority of and at the pleasure of the Romans in the area where Jesus was born, who attempted to kill Jesus (Matthew 2:1-16). Because Rome was the higher power under whose authority he acted to do anything, the dragon secondarily must represent the Roman Empire as the ruling power.

The second reason is as follows. After the child is caught up to God, the dragon began persecuting the woman. Later she went into the wilderness for protection from the ongoing persecution and remained there for a symbolic period of 1260 days or 3-1/2 times, meaning 3-1/2 years. This symbolizes 1260 literal years, a time which extends well beyond the life of the Roman Empire into the time of the political descendants of the Roman Empire.

Now, in the story of Revelation 12 the persecution of the woman by the dragon began after the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. It is true that the Jews persecuted the Christian church early in its history, but thereafter history records that it was Rome which persecuted it. And even when the Jews were persecuting the early Christian Church, the Jewish authorities were acting under the authority of the Roman government. The Jews had no authority to put people to death without permission of the Roman authorities, so Rome was involved one way or another right from the beginning of the persecution.

The following conclusions can now be drawn:

  • After Jesus returned to heaven, the woman represents the Christian Church.
  • It is Rome which persecuted the woman and therefore the dragon MUST secondarily represent the Roman Empire and its political descendants.

It is clear that the woman is persecuted even before she flees into the wilderness.  Here is the evidence that this is true.

Rev 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman who brought forth the male child.
Rev 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

If you read Revelation 12 carefully, you should notice that the dragon is cast out of heaven twice. The first time he was literally cast out (Revelation 12:9). This happened because he was no longer allowed to live there after rebelling against God and causing a war in heaven, the first war ever anywhere in the universe. Literally, after he lost the war, they took him outside the city of God and forced him to leave. This war in heaven occurred some unknown amount of time before the creation of life upon this earth as recorded in Genesis 1 and 2. After his first casting out, Satan was allowed back into heaven from time to time to represent earth in the heavenly councils of representatives of all the worlds of the universe that appear before God from time to time. While this was permitted, he still was not allowed to live there anymore. We know this to be true from the story told in the book of Job, chapters 1 and 2. 

The second time Satan was cast out was both literal and symbolic and took place immediately after the death and resurrection of Jesus. This happened because he instigated the death of Jesus on a cross. The death of Jesus had three immediate consequences for Satan, which were:

  • He lost any remaining sympathy of the angels in heaven, that his, you might say that they cast him out of their minds from having their sympathy for his cause.
  • He lost the right to represent earth in the councils of heaven, which means he was literally barred from heaven after that point in time. Thus, this cast him out quite literally from heaven forever. Jesus took over as the representative of earth in the heavenly meetings that appear before God from time to time.
  • He knew then that his kingdom will be be brought to an end someday very soon. Jesus had won and he had lost. The war was not over at the cross, but the war had been won by Jesus and it is only a matter of time before Satan's kingdom is brought to a permanent end and Satan will die, at which point the war between Christ and Satan ends forever.

When Satan rebelled against God in heaven, the angels in heaven who remained loyal to God had not understood the true nature of his rebellion. But after the death of Jesus, they knew then that Satan was a liar and a murderer and had been that way from the very beginning, something they did not fully perceive until Jesus died. Satan's mask of deceit was taken away at the death of Jesus and all heaven saw him for what he really was when his true nature was revealed by this event. Consequently, after the death of Jesus, they wanted nothing more to do with him. Because of this it is said that he is cast out of heaven a second time, but this time it was much more of a symbolic casting out of the dragon. However, in a sense, he was literally cast out a second time also because from the resurrection onward, Jesus was thereafter the rightful representative of earth in the heavenly councils. Satan previously held that right in the place of Adam, but at the death of Jesus, he lost that right.  This status change barred Satan from having any right to ever enter the city of God from that day forward. Consequently, he will never again set foot within that city, but he will die in hell outside the city while trying to get in one more time.

After Satan was cast out of heaven the second time (Revelation 12:13), he instigated persecution of the woman, symbolizing that the dragon persecutes the Christian Church. We know from history and the Bible that this began with the persecution by the Jews under the authority of Rome, and later by the Roman Empire itself. This persecution is later followed by the woman going into the wilderness for protection from the dragon for 3-1/2 times, which is 1260 days, representing 1260 literal years. As you will see later, this symbolizes that the woman is placed into a symbolic "prison" for the duration of the 1260 symbolic days.

Please take note of the fact that in Revelation 12 the dragon does NOT follow the woman into the wilderness, but instead he stands on the earth where he is at. Sometime near the end of the 1260 days while the woman is still in hiding, the dragon attempts to destroy her by a flood of water that comes out of his mouth, but he fails because the earth opens its mouth and swallows the water (that this happens tells you where he is standing (on the earth) - the water does not even make its way into the wilderness). His failure to destroy the woman makes him very angry and he goes off to make war with the remnant of the woman's offspring at a later time when it is more to his advantage to do so. 

Think about the flood event of Revelation 12 carefully and you should see the hidden picture here. Consider that while the woman is in the wilderness, the dragon spews out water in an attempt to destroy her. This event has to happen during the 1260 days because it occurs while she is still hiding in the wilderness. The flood of water the dragon spews out while he is standing on the earth is directed her way and is just another phase of the same war of persecution against the woman that has been going on ever since the death of Jesus. BUT, notice that after the dragon finishes spewing out the water and fails to destroy her, he goes off to make war against the remnant of her offspring. But wait, was not the dragon already in a war against the woman? Why plan a war when he is already in a war? Why not just continue the war already in progress?  Think about this as it is the key to understanding this more deeply.

Do you get the picture here? The point the author is trying to help you see is that there is an implied break in the story so that it tells us there are actually two major wars of persecution that the dragon carries out. First, the dragon persecutes the woman beginning soon after the death of Jesus and continuing through the 1260 days of her time in the wilderness. Just before the 1260 days ends, he makes one last desperate attempt to destroy the woman, but he fails. So, he takes a break from the persecution of the woman to plan a new war, but this time he will war against the remnant of her offspring rather than against the original woman.  In other words, the war against the woman does stop. Finally, some time after a break, there is a second war of persecution that he carries out. This second war of persecution is yet future to the time when the author is writing this paragraph in August of 2014, but it is not far away. 

There is one more element to add to this picture. Beginning soon after the birth of Jesus, the woman is persecuted off and on until the 1260 days in the wilderness begins. The period of persecution prior to the 1260 days is at times severe but less so than that which comes later during the 1260 days of hiding in the wilderness. Because the persecution worsens, the woman is sent to the wilderness for the duration of the 1260 days for her protection. The persecution before and during the 1260 days is presented in Revelation 12 as one war, but clearly it gets worse as time goes on.

So, the prophecy details of the persecution presented in Revelation 12 actually looks like this:

  1. There is a war of persecution against the woman beginning soon after the death of Jesus. It is sporadic until the beginning of the 1260 days, at which time it becomes worse. For this reason the woman is sent into the wilderness for her protection for the duration of the 1260 days. This does not mean she is out of danger, but it does mean she will survive in spite of the war against her.
  2. Near the end of the 1260 days, the dragon, while standing on the earth, makes one last major effort to destroy the woman, which he does by spewing out water toward her in the wilderness. But, he fails to destroy her because the water does not even enter the wilderness, but instead it is swallowed by the earth.
  3. Because he fails in his last major attempt to destroy the woman, Satan takes a break from his first war of persecution against the woman to plan out a new strategy. He plans a new war to be carried out later against the remnant of the woman's offspring. The fact that he takes a break at this point indicates that the war against the woman stops. That he changes his strategy after this point in the prophecy indicates that he has given up trying to destroy the woman and now thinks he will have better success in destroying some of her children. So, he plans a war of persecution against them.
  4. Finally, after the break, there is a second major war against the remnant of the woman's offspring.
  5. The children he targets are those "which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Revelation 12:17)
  6. That he targets those "which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 12:17) implies that there are other previous children of the woman, some of whom do not keep the commandments of God and do not have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

As said before, to the reader of Revelation 12 it should be clear from the context of the story that before the birth of the child, the woman represents the Jewish religion, which we might call the Jewish church. After the child went to heaven to be with God, the woman represents the Christian Church. Though we might tend to think of them as different groups, it should be clear from the symbolism that God looks upon them as one and the same church, though from different time periods. That this is so is evident from the New Testament because it tells us that after the death of Jesus, God began to include the Gentiles (those not Jewish) in his Jewish church, so that thereafter the church was no longer just the Jewish people, but it also included people from all parts of the world. The Jews lost their exclusive special status with God as a nation, though not individually. God extended their special privileges with him to everyone in the world who would follow him. After the death of Jesus God made no distinction between them (see Galatians 3:28).

The evidence that God opened up the church to the whole world is shown by the events of the New Testament Church in spreading the gospel to the Gentiles according to the command of Jesus. Peter, for example, through a strange vision from God was told that he was not to consider the Gentiles unclean and to teach the gospel to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews (see Acts 10 and do understand that this vision was NOT telling you that you can eat unclean meat). Also, God tells us that he has brought the Gentile believers into the Jewish church as seen in Romans 11 where Paul explained that the Gentiles, symbolized by the branches of a wild olive tree, are grafted onto the Jewish Church, which he symbolized as the branches of a good olive tree (some of which were removed to allow grafting of other branches into the good olive tree). Thus, the branches from the wild olive tree are grafted in and together with the good olive tree branches, they become one and the same tree (church). Thus, in this symbolism, the church is represented by a tree.

This indicates that after the resurrection of Jesus, God took the Jewish Church and merely expanded its reach to include the Gentiles. The combined group became the Christian Church of the New Testament Era. Yet, as God presents it to us in the symbolism of the woman of Revelation 12, the two churches of the two different eras can be considered to be essentially one and the same church.

Let us summarize this. First, the Jewish Church in a symbolic sense gave birth to Christ. All of the Jewish religious beliefs revolved around the coming of Jesus, so that when he came, died, and was resurrected, his life and death fulfilled the prophecies and ceremonies. The ceremonies done at the Jewish temple were themselves an acted out prophecy of him. Second, The Jewish church that existed before the death of Jesus became the Christian Church after his death by inclusion of the Gentiles and exclusion of those who were not believers. Third, the woman is persecuted after the resurrection of Jesus. History records that the Christian Church was persecuted, first by the Jews and later by the Romans. When the Jews persecuted the Christian Church, they did so under Roman authority, for which reason the Bible counts the persecution done by the Jews as having been done by Rome itself and symbolizes it by the dragon persecuting the woman.

As it happens, Revelation 12 contains additional evidence that the woman must symbolize the church. Remember that when defining symbols, we should always first look nearby for our definition before looking elsewhere, and Revelation 12 does not disappoint us on this. Here is how it provides evidence for us that the woman is the church.

Consider that in Revelation 12:9 - 12 there is a pointed warning to the Christians that the devil has come down to earth, meaning he has been cast out a second and final time. He knows that he has been defeated by Christ and that consequently his end is near, so he focuses his wrath on the followers of Jesus. Here is the important part of those verses for our purpose here:

Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

In the verses above, we can see that the "brethren," which word clearly is a reference to individual persons within the church, are persecuted by Satan, bringing some even to their death. What this means is that in Revelation 12 we can see that individuals (the "brethren") within the church are persecuted AND we also see that the woman is persecuted. Now, it should be very clear that by targeting the individuals within the church, in effect Satan is targeting the church itself. If he were targeting people outside of the church, this would not be so.  Thus, it is made clear that we can safely conclude that the woman and the church are essentially one and the same thing. This tell us that the woman represents the Christian Church in the story of Revelation 12. This is also true elsewhere in Revelation, that is, a woman represents a Christian Church. 

Both the Old and New Testaments give us a similar definition through the symbolism of the people of Israel being the bride of God, whom he will marry. For evidence of this, see Hosea 2:19 - 20, Isaiah 54:1 - 8, Ezekiel 16:8 - 14, 2 Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:21 - 23. In this usage, the people are the church and symbolically are the bride of God. In these verses, God is not talking about them as a political nation, but rather as his church on earth.

Now, please read this verse:

Rev 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Something to take note of in the story of Revelation 12 is that verse 17 identifies the remnant that the dragon makes war with as those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. There are other descendants of the woman, but it is this particular group that Satan targets for destruction just before Jesus comes again.

Consider that if the woman is a church, then it is logical that her descendants are daughters, granddaughters or even later order female descendants. These descendants must also represent churches just as the woman represents a church. The symbolism must be consistent, so after the birth of Jesus her descendants are female rather than male. 

The wording of Revelation 12:17 implies that the woman has other descendants besides the remnant.  These represent churches, some of which may have originated with the true original church, but were separated from her because of various circumstances.   By so doing they have become children, grandchildren or even later order descendants. Historically most churches have originated from descendants of the original church, or, in other words, they did not separate themselves from the original church, but instead the modern churches separated from a descendant church of the original church so that they are a granddaughter or later order descendant of the woman. 

Separation gives birth to a daughter church and can occur for a number of specific reasons. Among the more common reasons for separation are two processes that give birth to a daughter church, which are as follows. First, separation can occur where a daughter church discovers greater truth in the Bible, but the mother church refuses to accept it, so they separate into two different churches. This process has been demonstrated many times in Protestant Churches as they have fragmented into still smaller descendant groups. But sometimes the reverse has happened, that is, the daughter apostatizes from known revealed Bible truth which the mother church holds and continues to hold. This creates a situation that forces a separation between the mother and daughter churches. There are many variations of this that exist in history and there are additional reasons that explain the existence of descendant churches which we will not discuss.

You should understand that there are descendants of the woman that Satan does NOT target at the end. Since he targets those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus, then it should be clear that those descendants he does not target do not keep the commandments of God and do not have the testimony of Jesus.

Now that we know the dragon secondarily represents the Roman Empire, then we can readily see just who it is in Revelation 13:2 that gives the sea beast its throne, power and great authority. This should not at all be a mystery to us because it clearly represents that the Roman Empire gave the sea beast its power, throne and great authority and tells us that this sea beast is to be considered a descendant of the Roman Empire. This conclusion matches the symbolism present on the sea beast itself because it had the feet of a bear, the mouth of a lion, and the body of a leopard, clearly indicating that it inherited the legacy of Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece, which Rome did do. So, the authority which the sea beast receives from the dragon represents that this power must come from the Roman Empire and cannot come from another power. 

While it is true that Rome gave the sea beast its power, we should never forget that it is Satan that is behind the activity of the sea beast, especially when it is persecuting people.   

Just exactly who the sea beast represents will be discussed soon. We will also discuss the identity of the first daughter of the woman and the relationship between the daughter and the sea beast and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17. In order to do this the author will more carefully define the sea beast so that the relationship becomes clear. You will probably be surprised when you learn just who the woman of Revelation 17 represents.

 

 

Some Basic Facts About The Roman Empire

Before Rome fell in 476, the entire Roman Empire was repeatedly divided into as many as three parts and then reunited. The final division saw it divide into two parts in the year 395, dividing it into an Eastern Roman Empire, called Byzantium by modern day historians, and a Western Roman Empire. These divisions never again reunited. When the final division took place, two brothers divided the empire and took the throne of each of the divisions and began lines of rulers that ruled their respective halves of the empire until the empires fell. Now a question arises here. Why should the fourth beast of Daniel 7, the beast which represents the Roman Empire, have only one head on it, thus making it unlike the leopard beast of Daniel 7, which was also divided and had four heads on it to show that fact? Here is the explanation. The leopard beast of Daniel 7 had four heads on it because four unrelated men divided the kingdom into four parts and took the throne of each of the divisions. Had two unrelated men divided Rome into two parts in 395, then there would have been two heads on the fourth dreadful beast of Daniel 7. But because brothers divided the empire, there was only one head on that beast. This does make sense, does it not?

What may surprise you is that when Germany first came into existence in 843, it was in fact a part of the division of France by a decree in which two brothers kept the thrones available to them. One kept his throne in France and the other kept his throne in what later became Germany. But previous to that point in time, what became Germany was in fact a part of the French kingdom. When the previous king who ruled all of it died, his three sons split the kingdom. The one in the middle was weak and the other two preyed on his kingdom, took it and divided it among themselves (hence, the frequent wars between the French and Germans over that territory between them over the last thousand years). Quite literally, this means that Germany is, by Biblical standards of symbolic representation, a French kingdom. They never again joined together just as Byzantium and the Western Roman Empire were never again joined together. So, just as the Roman beast had one head on it because two brothers split it the kingdom into two parts, likewise the French kingdom division should be represented by just one horn on the fourth beast of Daniel 7 because two brothers split the kingdom of France in the year 843. 

Byzantium remained in place until 1453 when the Muslim Ottoman Turks conquered the city of Constantinople, the last remaining part of the Byzantium Empire. The conquest of Byzantium began hundreds of years earlier when the Saracens, Muslim fighters of Mohammed's time and thereafter, began conquering its territory. You can read more details of this at this web site (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine-Arab_Wars). Virtually all of the territory of Byzantium was long gone before the final conquest of Constantinople centuries later by the Turks. The important point here is that because Byzantium was conquered, there were no divisions of it. No nations came out of it as a result of it being divided by rulers from within the empire, so the ten horns on the fourth beast of Daniel 7, which are the divisions of Rome at its fall, MUST come from the Western Roman Empire rather than the Eastern Roman Empire.

The Western Roman Empire was not conquered by an outside power, but rather it just fell apart because of internal revolt, insufficient funds due to major war losses, moral decay, uncontrolled immigration, an entitlement mentality of its citizens (plenty of free food and entertainment at government expense - meaning the taxpayers paid for it all), all of which resulted in a change of government in 476 when Rome fell. The man who took over the throne in Rome (his name was Odoacer) in 476 by his own choice simply ceased to govern the other nations over which Rome previously had authority, and he allowed them to go their separate ways and be independent of Rome.

Soon after Odoacer took the throne, he wrote a letter to the leader of the Eastern Roman Empire and told him that he did not want to rule the remaining nations of the Western Roman Empire. He wanted only to rule Italy and no more than that. Essentially, this was an official declaration or decree that those nations were free to go their separate ways, which they did. You can think of his letter as being equivalent to a decree. In Bible times a king's word was law and this was Odoacer's word as king (therefore, a law) on his intentions and was expressed in what he actually did. At that time the Eastern Roman Empire did nothing to stop the nations of Europe from becoming independent. It certainly had the opportunity to do something about it, if it wished. Apparently its emperor did not care what happened or lacked the power or money to do something about it. 

In the nations set free from Rome, leading men within each kingdom took over the leadership previously provided by Rome. They inherited the bureaucracy of the Roman government and continued on as if nothing much had really changed except for who was giving the orders at the top. Local governments continued to function just as they had before and life continued on with the same institutions in place.  Very little changed. Thus, the divisions of Rome literally were a continuation of the Western Roman Empire in more ways than one, and yet they were not Rome itself, for it was gone.

The leading men which took over for Rome in the various nations were around previously, but most of them had no independent government prior to the fall of Rome. Thus, in some sense, the ten horns of the Daniel 7 fourth beast were potentially there (and in some cases, they were actually there) prior to the fall of Rome, but until they were independent of Rome by a decree, they did not officially exist.

You may question that God saw it this way, so please remember that the leopard beast of Daniel 7 showed only four heads on it. There could have been five, but God chose four because he wanted to recognize only the division that occurred in 301 BC. The divisions of Alexander's kingdom had in fact already been acting independently prior to the final division by decree is 301 BC, but as God saw it, they were not to be recognized as divisions until the decree of 301 BC when it became clear to all living in that year that the divisions were never going to be put back together again. The four heads on the leopard beast prove the point that God recognized the division of the kingdom only when there was a decree and when the future of the empire was settled for the foreseeable future, conditions that did not exist prior to 301 BC. It should be clear that in showing us the leopard beast with only four heads, God ignored the reality of the division of Alexander's kingdom that prior to 301 BC.

The same thing is true of the divisions of the Roman Empire. There were divisions which existed prior to 476 as Rome began to deteriorate as an empire, but God recognizes the division of the empire only with the decree in 476. The reason this is true is that only in 476 do you have both a decree authorizing the division of the empire AND only then does it become clear to those living in 476 that for the foreseeable future, the nations were to remain free. Their future was settled for the foreseeable future. Thus, God recognizes the divisions of the Roman Empire as having occurred in 476 because of the decree of Odoacer. Is this clear to you?

The decree of Odoacer as a king marks the official point at which the divisions came into existence, after which the Western Roman Empire was gone. Thus, it could not give authority to any of the successor powers that came out of it. The various political kingdoms became independent and even the church essentially became independent because Odoacer granted religious freedom to everyone and the church was no longer tied to the government in Rome. 

Now, how does this help us understand the sea beast? The sea beast of Revelation 13 rose up out of the water. Water has this symbolic meaning in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation when beasts are involved:

Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

That the sea beast rises up out of the water of the sea means that it rises up among the nations which came out of the Western Roman Empire and became independent by the decree of Odoacer. In other words, it rises up at or after Rome fell, but not before. The author will explain why this is true later.

Because beasts usually rise out of water when they gain power, then we can consider that when the sea beast rose up out of the water it was given power by Rome. Many people favor the idea that it rose up out of the sea when it was given power by Rome and the author agrees with this position, for reasons that will become clear later when the author discusses the three main symbolic environments and focuses in on the earth. There it will become very clear that when the sea beast begins to walk upon the earth, then it was given power. 

After the nations that came out of Rome gained independence and political authority, the sea beast was given power, authority and a throne by Rome. But since the Western Roman Empire was dead when this happened, the authority was given to it by the Eastern Roman Empire. It had to be this way because by then the Western Roman Empire was extinct. The beast rising up out of the water indicates that this is true.

The author will have more to say about the transfer of power to the sea beast later, but for now, let us continue with other topics. 

 

For How Long Does The Sea Beast Have Authority?

Let us now look at another set of characteristics of the beast. There are several important differences between the sea beast and the other kings that came out of the Roman Empire. These differences have to do with the type of power they had and where they had the right to exercise their authority, that is, the territory over which they had authority and for how long they were predicted to have authority. Most people never notice this, but we should consider these things for a few moments. Let us now discuss these differences to help us improve our understanding of the sea beast.

The first difference has to do with how long the sea beast was predicted to remain in power after it rose up out of the water. As already mentioned, in Revelation 13:5, the beast is given the ability to remain in power for a period of 42 months, which, if you compare it to Revelation 12:6, 14, tells you that this is a period of 1260 symbolic days or 3-1/2 years using twelve 30 day months for each year. Here is the verse below which tells us about this.

Rev 13:5 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.

The 1260 days then represent 1260 literal years. The counting off of these years began AFTER the Western Roman Empire fell at the time that the sea beast was given authority. This has to be true because the beast rose up out of the water after the Western Roman Empire fell. Since it did not exist before then as a beast, it cannot have been given authority for the 1260 years before Rome fell.

In contrast with this, the other divisions of the Roman Empire had their authority only as long as they or their descendants could hang onto their kingdoms. Their kingdoms ended if and when they and their kingdom were conquered and absorbed into another kingdom. If you look at a map of the divisions of the Roman Empire in 476, you should be able to count at least 46 different kingdoms which emerged. Many of these did not last very long because there was consolidation by conquest that happened soon after the fall of Rome. The stronger kingdoms conquered the weaker kingdoms and simply absorbed them.

The conquered kingdoms normally never reappeared at a later date. So far the author has been able to find only one kingdom, other than the sea beast itself, that came out of the Roman Empire that has not been permanently absorbed by another kingdom at some point. All but one never reappeared with their original government reconstituted by their own people.

Here is something that is very significant. There was no prophecy giving a specific time for the political kingdoms or their descendants to have authority except that all of them and their descendants will eventually be terminated at the Second Coming of Jesus. History shows that for the majority of the kingdoms which came out of Rome, their time was relatively short.

 

Precisely What Authority Is The Sea Beast Predicted To Have?

Let us now look at another characteristic of the sea beast by comparing the authority it was given to the authority of the political kings. The first part of Revelation 13:7 tells us the kind of power the sea beast was given, as shown below:

Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: ....

This is very clear. The power it was given is the authority to make war against the saints of God and overcome them, which is a way of saying that it will be given the legal right to kill them at will and it will pursue them with this objective in mind. This makes the sea beast very dangerous for God's people. They will have no choice but to run and hide as best they are able when it has authority over them.

The sea beast is a king (remember that Daniel 7:17 defines beasts as kings) and the authority it was predicted to have over the people of God is the authority of a king as defined in Daniel 5:19, which says this:

Dan 5:19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.

The sea beast, however, while having the power of a king over God's people, could exercise this kind of authority only over the people of God and it could do this only for the duration of the 42 months. We already know that this sea beast is a religious power rather than a political king, so its law is religious law rather than civil law. Consequently, it enforces religious law rather than civil law. Kings exercise their authority against lawbreakers based on the laws they have made and this sea beast is no different because, like a political king, it prosecutes and punishes people for breaking its religious law. Of course, since it is not a civil power, it has to prosecute them through the civil government, which means the civil government give this authority to the sea beast or else it could do nothing.

If you think about it, you should realize we are told that the sea beast could punish people ONLY for breaking its religious law. It did not have authority to punish people who stole from their neighbors or people who lied about others or committed fraud in business transactions. Remember that when the sea beast punished, it punishes God's people for breaking its religious law.

We should take careful note of the fact that the Bible says nothing about the sea beast receiving any other type of authority, so we cannot assume it has any civil authority whatsoever beyond that necessary to prosecute the people of God. And even if at times it did have other types of authority, those types of authority is not what was predicted for the 1260 days. God predicted that which was of concern to him of the 42 months, that is, he predicted that the sea beast would make war against his people for a period of 42 months. He did not say that the sea beast would have political power over the kings of the earth for 42 months. There is a difference.

In contrast with this, the other divisions of the Roman Empire after 476 were political kings who had the authority of a king over everyone within their kingdoms who broke any of their civil government laws. So, for example, should a person break the law against stealing, then he could be punished by the king for theft. The political kings have such authority over them because that kind of authority naturally goes with the position of being a political king, a position which is based on the use of force, or in other words, they have the power of the sword. They are the leaders of their nations and as such are responsible to maintain the peace among their peoples. This means that they can make all laws having to do with normal, everyday living, and they can enforce those laws. We can see in history that political kings may sometimes have had religious laws that they enforced, but they always had civil laws that they enforced because that is their basic role as the political leaders of their kingdom. Primarily they are not, by nature, religious kings.

Just so the difference between the two is clear, the political kings usually have civil laws and sometimes they also have religious laws, and they can punish those who break both types of law, though their main concern is the enforcement of civil law. But the sea beast was predicted to be given authority to enforce only religious law during the 1260 days. This does not preclude the sea beast from having any civil authority at any point in time, but rather it is telling us that the only predicted authority for the 1260 days was that having to do with religious law. Thus, the political kings and the sea beast are not one and the same in nature. The primarily role of the sea beast is as a religious king.

 

Where Does The Sea Beast Have Authority?

Let us now discuss just where the sea beast was predicted to have authority, that is, over what territory it was predicted to exercise its authority over the people of God during the 1260 symbolic days.  The second half of Revelation 13:7 tells us where it will have its authority. See this verse below.

Rev 13:7 ...and power was given him over all tribes, and tongues, and nations.

Having authority over all tribes, tongues and nations means that its authority extended beyond the border of any one particular nation, which is unlike the authority of a common political king of a nation whose authority normally extends only to the borders of his kingdom, though in some cases a king's authority might extend over another king he has conquered or through an agreement with another king.

We know that in the history of Europe since the fall of Rome in 476, there has been no replacement political empire that ruled over all the kings of Europe in a manner like that of the Roman Empire which preceded its division. Some time after the fall of Rome there was the Holy Roman Empire, which, as has been observed by someone, was neither Roman nor holy, but it was not the same thing as the Roman Empire and it did not have the same authority over the territory of Europe as Rome did. The European Union is also not like the Roman Empire, so it does not rule Europe like Rome did. The Bible tells us that the nations of Europe will not ever again all be ruled by one empire like Rome and that Europe will remain divided until the Second Coming of Jesus. So, how does the author know that this is true? The answer is that there were only four beasts in Daniel 7 and there were only four metals in Daniel 2, thus making it abundantly clear for us that there would be a succession of only four political kingdoms, and no more. Those have all come and gone. This also means that, contrary to popular opinion, there will be no one world government until Jesus comes again.

Now, when it says that the sea beast will have authority over all tribes and tongues and nations, you should understand that in spite of common opinion to the contrary, this does not mean the entire globe will be ruled by it during the 42 months it has power. Then, just what does verse 7 mean when it said "all tribes, and tongues, and nations?" Historians record that there are examples known in the writing of people living during the time of the Roman Empire in which they wrote about "the world." Now, people living today might think that these writers meant the entire globe when they said this, but people who have studied these writings say that the writers actually meant the Roman Empire when they said "the world."  Therefore, to say that the sea beast has authority over all tribes, and tongues, and nations, likely seems to mean that it will have authority over all of the territory of the Roman Empire rather than having authority over the whole world. Once you understand the identity of the sea beast, it should become clear for you that history shows this understanding to be correct. Also, once you understand the the symbolic meaning of the earth in Revelation, then you will see additional verification that this understanding is correct.

There is one other reason why the sea beast has authority during the 1260 days only over territory that once belonged to Rome. This beast receives power from Rome. Rome never ruled the entire globe. This beast is considered by God to be an extension of the Roman Empire that it came from, and thus when Rome was divided, it cannot rule a territory that extends beyond that which it came from. Any appearance of what looks like the beast in territory outside the territory once held by the Roman Empire is an image of the original beast, one that looks like it but is not the original sea beast. This is by the definition of the sea beast in Revelation 13. Daniel 7 shows us the same thing. The leopard beast represents the empire of Alexander the Great, as you already know. When it was divided into four parts, they were carved out of the territory that was once held by the entire empire. The four divisions did not get their territory from outside of that area. The same is true of the sea beast. It gets its religious territory that it rules over from the territory of the Roman Empire that was divided.

The territory over which the political kings had authority was their own nations that they ruled. The sea beast, in contrast with this, was predicted to have authority over all of the territory that the Roman Empire once ruled, which authority it would be able to exercise during the 1260 symbolic days. The authority it was given for the 1260 symbolic days was to make war against the people of God. In effect this means that the sea beast establishes a religious empire over what was once the territory of the Roman Empire. Keep this idea in mind of it having a religious empire over all of the territory that was once Rome because it is an important concept.

However, while the prophecy clearly indicates that the sea beast would have authority for 42 months over all of what used to be Roman territory, it also indicates that it will not have its empire over ALL of this territory for the entire 42 months. It loses some of it before the 1260 days is over. How does the author know that this is true? 

The answer is that Revelation 12 shows us that near the end of the 1260 days, the dragon will spew water out of its mouth in an attempt to destroy the woman in her hiding place in the wilderness. But the earth upon which the dragon is standing opens its mouth and swallows the water before it can reach the woman in the wilderness, and thus she is safe. Without going into details right now about the earth and what it symbolizes, understand that this prophecy tells us that near the end of the 1260 days the dragon, working through the sea beast during that time, will lose some of the territory over which it has the power to persecute the people of God. The author will explain this more fully after we have explained the earth as a symbol. Just remember that it does not have power over the entire territory of the former Roman Empire for the entire 1260 days, but loses some of it before that time is up.

 

 

Worship And Law

To begin, please read this verse:

Rev 13:8 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.

Here the word worship means to obey. Thus, this verse is saying is that everyone whose name is not written in the book of life of the lamb will obey the sea beast. Said another way, everyone who is not one of God's people will obey the sea beast, but those who are God's people will NOT obey the sea beast.

The refusal of God's people to obey the sea beast angers it and causes it to engage in a war against the people of God. It hates the fact that there is a class of people that refuse to obey it.  It hates the fact that its authority is challenged by those who obey God rather than obey it.  The sea beast is like this because it is controlled by Satan and it desires to control everyone else. Please read and remember the following very important basic principle:

True religion causes a person to give freedom of conscience to all people, for only God has the right to control the conscience because he is the creator of mankind and he is God. He owns us by right of being the creator and by right of the death of Jesus who died for us. But false religion causes a person to resort even to desperate measures to control the conscience of others around him. Those who do this are controlled by Satan. They convince themselves they are working for God and doing a wonderful work for God and even preventing the eternal loss of others by persecuting them for obeying God, but in reality, they are NOT doing service for God. Instead, in reality, they are doing Satan's work. They do not know God at all. Satan will work with them in doing this and may even perform miracles for them to convince others around them that God is with them. But the reality is that they are working for Satan and do not know it. 

This has always been so from the very beginning (think of the story of Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve). When the sea beast has the authority of a king, then men must make a choice to either obey it and disobey God OR they must obey God and disobey the sea beast. These are the only two choices open to them and they cannot do both. There will be no neutral ground open to them.

Something that is often not thought about is that God has a government over the entire universe. Of course, we all know this (or should know), but typically we do not stop to think of the implications of it, probably because we tend to be most concerned with our own little lives here on earth and we do not think about the universe at large.  To keep the peace among the beings scattered throughout the universe that he governs, God has a law that regulates them just as any government in this world has laws that regulate its citizens. God's law instructs us on how we are to relate to God and also on how we are to relate to our fellow man.  Importantly, the principles of law involved are fundamentally the same, both for God's law and the laws of the nations here on earth.  Most nations have laws that tell you things such as, do not steal from your neighbor, do not tell lies about your neighbor, do not defraud your neighbor in business transactions, do honor your parents, and do not kill your neighbor.   These laws are based on the law of God, whether national leaders admit to it or not.

An important characteristic of all governments is that they require all their citizens to be loyal to them. Governments require loyalty for two principle reasons. First, to protect themselves. Second, to know that their citizens will keep the peace with other citizens they govern. The sea beast is no different from political governments because it too has a law, a religious law that it requires those under its authority to obey. And if it has authority over you and you do not obey it, then like all governments, it will become angry with you and you can be sure that it will do something about it. 

But, how does a government know that a person is loyal to it?  The answer is that if a person keeps the laws of a nation, then this signals loyalty to the government in power. This is a fundamental principle that has been known since ancient times by all governments. Refusal to obey the law signals that one refuses to be loyal to the government in charge, something that usually results in the government becoming rather upset with the citizen that refuses to comply and which will likely result in the citizen being punished or possibly killed. 

The very same principles are true with the law of the sea beast and with the law of God. Both of them require loyalty from those under their power. Those who choose to obey the sea beast signal loyalty to it and, unfortunately, by so doing, they signal to God that they will not be loyal to him. Those who choose to obey God signal loyalty to him and signal to the sea beast that they will not be loyal to it. The most obvious conclusion is that you signal which side you are on by which set of laws you abide by. The set of laws that you obey "marks" you so that each government may know which side you are on.

Please make a note of this principle for it is very important and you most certainly will see it again in our study here:

A person signals loyalty to a government by obeying its law. Refusal to obey its law signals disloyalty. Thus, with the sea beast and God, you will signal which side you are on by which set of law you obey, God's law or the sea beast's law.

In the battle for loyalty between God and the sea beast, the mind of the average person is the real battlefield for it is there that decisions for loyalty are made. There is a war for the mind going on in the story about the sea beast versus God in Revelation 13 and 17, and both sides are determined to win. Life and death are the rewards and punishments they give out, so it is extremely serious business. There is no third option, so you are stuck when the time comes to make this decision.   You will be forced to choose to obey the sea beast or to obey God. Not specifically choosing for God will automatically mean that you will have chosen for the sea beast.

The sea beast enforces religious law, which we know is true because of the blasphemy it speaks (claiming to be God and claiming to have authority to forgive sins against God's law, the combination of which makes it a religious power) and for those who break its law, death will be the ultimate punishment (it cannot do that now, but it has done so in the past and it will do so again in the near future). God requires obedience to his religious law and eternal death is the punishment for breaking his law. If you are obedient to God and the sea beast puts you to death, that death is only temporary because God will resurrect you later and give you eternal life, something that the sea beast cannot prevent. But if you are loyal to the sea beast, you will be resurrected, but this will be followed by death with the sea beast in hell (the second time to die for people who do evil). This death will be eternal for it will be a death from which there will be no resurrection for all of eternity thereafter.

God's law is the ten commandments and loyalty to God is shown by obedience to the ten commandments.  But please pause to think about that for a minute. To have a conflict based on obedience to either God or the sea beast, logically there must be a difference between the ten commandments that God has and the religious law which the sea beast has.  This implies that the sea beast has its own version of the ten commandments that are not identical to those which God has. If this were not so, there would be no conflict between their laws and thus, no conflict between the sea beast and God would exist.

But just what are the differences in their laws that are in conflict with one another? The answers to this question will be covered later after we have identified the sea beast.

 

Why Does The Sea Beast Have The Name Of Blasphemy On it And The Beasts Of Daniel 7 Do Not?

Were you aware that the beasts of Daniel 7 represent powers that committed blasphemy against God? It is a fact that those powers did commit blasphemy. Yet, there are no names of blasphemy written upon the beasts of Daniel 7. Most people probably know that the powers represented by the four beasts committed blasphemy and they may know that the beasts of Revelation 13 and 17 with seven heads and ten horns have name or names of blasphemy on them, but they do not know that there is a difference between the blasphemy done by the sea beast and that done by the four beasts of Daniel 7.

So, just WHY did God put the name of blasphemy upon the sea beast and not upon the beasts of Daniel 7? The answer is very simple. He put the name of blasphemy on the sea beast and he provided a definition for it in Revelation 13 in order to define the specific actions that constituted blasphemy for the sea beast. But he did not do this for the Daniel 7 beasts because they did not commit all of the same forms of blasphemy that the sea beast did. In other words, the blasphemy that the sea beast did is unique and is shared by no other beasts except the Revelation 17 scarlet beast. The powers represented by the beasts of Daniel 7 did indeed commit blasphemy, but the forms of blasphemy they committed are not identical with those of the beasts in Revelation 13 and 17 which have the name of blasphemy on them. God did this to help us distinguish the blasphemy of the sea beast from the blasphemy which the beasts of Daniel 7 committed. If the differences are not properly understood, then it is almost certain that you will fail to properly understand the beasts of Revelation 13 and 17.

Here is what the powers represented by the beasts of Daniel 7 did that constitutes blasphemy.  The beasts of Daniel 7 all committed blasphemy by claiming, either by words or actions, that they were God.  BUT, not a single one of them ever claimed to have authority to forgive sins against God's law. Oh, one might say that they could forgive sins against their own law, but they never claimed authority to forgive sins against God's law. The forgiveness of sins issue is the major difference between the blasphemy spoken by the sea beast and that done by the four beasts of Daniel 7.

Let us reiterate these points for you to think about:

  • The beasts of Daniel 7 ALL committed blasphemy by claiming, either by words or actions, that they were God.
  • NONE of the beasts of Daniel 7 ever claimed that they could forgive sins against God's law.
  • The beasts of Revelation 13 and 17 which had seven heads and ten horns claimed to have authority to forgive sins against God's law in addition to claiming to be God.

 

 

So, Just Who Is The Sea Beast Of Revelation 13?

We have enough information to identify the sea beast, so let us set about doing just that. To begin, let us summarize most everything that we know about it:

  • The blasphemous names on the beast (representing the blasphemous behaviors the beast engages in) are:
    • Blasphemy against the name of God ultimately is to claim to be God.
    • Blasphemy against God's tabernacle ultimately means the following:
      • Claiming to have authority to forgive sins against God's law
      • Having a priesthood to make forgiveness of sins available to people everywhere
    • Blasphemy against them that dwell in heaven ultimately means that the beast claims it is the true church and that the true church is the false church. It also claims that its people are God's people and that those who really are God's people are Satan's people. Moreover, it claims that the people of God are deserving of death and it will persecute them whenever it is possible to do so. Through its claims it switches places with God, his church and his people.
  • The beast is the Antichrist because it does both of the following things:
    • It stands in the place of another, that is, it makes itself a substitute for another, which in this case is someone claiming to be Jesus and claiming his authority and position and work
    • It works against Christ and against the interests of Christ by such things as persecuting God's people
  • The sea beast receives the legacy and behaviors of historical Babylon, Medo-Persia and the Greek kingdom of Alexander the Great and his successors.
  • The sea beast has power to persecute the people of God for a period of 42 months of 30 days each, or 1260 symbolic days representing 1260 literal years.
  • The sea beast rises from among the descendants of the Western Roman Empire. Note that this does not mean that this religious power did not exist previous to the fall of the Western Roman Empire, but rather that it will rise up as a separate, independent power after Rome's fall. Rising out of the water means that it becomes a religious power that stands apart from any one nation or empire, unlike conditions that existed before Rome fell.
  • The sea beast is worshiped, which means that it has a religious law that people are required to obey, or else suffer the penalty. This law in some respects is contrary to the law of God, the ten commandments and the difference between them is the foundation for the conflict between God's people and the people that obey the sea beast.
  • The sea beast will have authority over all of Europe that once belonged to the Roman Empire. This is one important element which defines it as the sea beast, that it must have such widespread authority for at least a while to make it the sea beast. 
  • Near the end of the 1260 days, there is a revolt based on religion against the authority of the sea beast and some of the nations the sea beast rules come to the defense of God's people. In other words, it does not have authority over all of the former Roman Empire for the entire 1260 prophetic days. Eventually it loses some of the nations to this revolt that is based on religion.

Now let us put a name to this power. Consider this question. What religious power that existed in Europe beginning in the time of Rome do all of these characteristics listed above point to?  Please think about that carefully. Consider that no civil or political authority in Europe from the time of Rome onward claimed both to be God and to have authority to forgive sins against God's law. Thus, this sea beast power cannot be a political authority. And it certainly is not a business interest. The only possible remaining answer is that it must be a religious power. The truthful answer to the question of its true identity which matches ALL of these characteristics above is that of Papal Rome, the Roman Catholic Church and its popes which came out of the Roman Empire and remains in the world today. Nowhere else in history or in any other power (political or religious) can you find all of these characteristics.

The Roman Empire did in fact receive the legacy and the behaviors of the previous empires and passed those down to the Catholic Church, which legacy had a big impact on the hierarchal government structure that we see today in the Catholic Church. Papal Rome claims authority to forgive sins against God's law and it has a priesthood by which forgiveness of sins against God's law is dispensed.  And Papal Rome did receive authority to persecute the people of God in all nations from the Eastern Roman Empire some years after the fall of Western Rome, an authority which was continued in various forms by other nations for 1260 years, long after the Roman Empire itself was gone. The time of the 1260 years began in 538, which the author will explain in detail later so that you will know this is true in spite of claims to the contrary. Factually, something very significant did happen in 538.

One of the most significant aspects of the 1260 year prophecy of the sea beast is that the Catholic Church is the only significant Christian Institution in Europe that has been around for more than 500 years. Since the sea beast was predicted to have authority over God's people for a period of 1260 years, this makes it abundantly clear that no other church in Europe can fulfill the prophecy because none of them have been around for anywhere close to 1260 years. Moreover, none of the other Christian Institutions of Europe were given power by the Roman Empire.  Thus, the other Christian Institutions of Europe cannot fulfill the prophecy. And even if you refuse to believe the 538 to 1798 dates for the 1260 year prophecy, you cannot deny that the Catholic Church is the only Christian Institution of Europe that has been around at least that long (and obviously, much longer), which means it is the sea beast. There is no way around that fact.

Now, you may think that the Catholic Church did not do the things that the sea beast was predicted to do as discussed here. So, to help you see that it is true that they did do these things, in a later section we will look at questions such as those listed below:

  • Did the popes actually speak blasphemy by claiming to be God? 
  • Did the officials of the Catholic Church speak blasphemy by claiming to have authority to forgive sins against God's law?
  • Did the Catholic Church really have religious authority over the people of God for 1260 years that began in 538, or, is it as some claim, nothing significant happened then? What is the truth about this? What really happened, if anything?
  • Did the Catholic Church really carry out a war against the people of God while claiming to be the true church? In other words, did the Catholic Church speak blasphemy against God by blaspheming those who dwell in heaven?
  • Does the Catholic Church have a version of the Ten Commandments that conflicts with God's version of the Ten Commandments? Did the Catholic Church claim to have changed some of the 10 commandments of God and does it require people to obey them according to the way it changed them?

When you finish reading, you should have no doubt that the Catholic Church is the sea beast of Revelation 13.

 

Now, Who Is The Scarlet Beast Of Revelation 17?

Recall that we began this by trying to identify the beast in Revelation 17. The author stated that in order to do so, we need to identify the names of blasphemy that appear all over the beast. No definition of the names of blasphemy is given in Revelation 17 that is obvious, but the name of blasphemy is found on the sea beast of Revelation 13, which, in fact, is the only other beast on which a name of blasphemy is found. The information in Revelation 13 tells you what the name of blasphemy means, so that information is the definition for the name of blasphemy that must be used to identify the sea beast. 

By defining the name of blasphemy on the sea beast and using that information to identify it, this allows us to automatically identify the primary power of the scarlet beast in Revelation 17.  They must represent essentially the same power because the name of blasphemy is found on the Revelation 13 sea beast and on the Revelation 17 scarlet beast and no other beasts. We have identified the beast of Revelation 13 as the Roman Catholic Church and its popes, so logically the beast of Revelation 17 must also be the Roman Catholic Church and its popes as the primary power, both kingdom and king where these definitions apply, though there are slight differences to be explained yet.

While the two beasts with seven heads and ten horns of Revelation 13 and 17 are based on the same primary authority, the popes and the Catholic Church, they are NOT exactly identical in what they each represent. The sea beast of Revelation 13 represents both the popes and the religious kingdom they rule, the Catholic Church.  The Revelation 13 sea beast itself is not the combination of church and state that many think it is, for it represents only the kings of the Catholic Church, the popes, or it can also represent their kingdom, the Catholic Church, but it does NOT include the state as part of the beast itself. The state comes into the picture for a time, during the 42 months of persecuting power when this beast covers itself with "clothing," if you will, of the authority of the state. It puts this power on externally, but this power itself does not became a part of the beast itself as a symbol that was seen in the vision by John. Consequently, the sea beast represents the popes and the church only.

Now, you may have been taught that the sea beast represents the combination of church and state. The author was also taught that long ago, but more recent research into this has revealed that this teaching is not true. To understand why it represents one power rather than two, analyze the blasphemy that the sea beast is said to commit and consider which of the two powers, church and state, did those things.  With careful thought on this, you should realize that the kings of the earth would NOT do all of those things. The things that were done were all done by the Catholic Church, but they were not all done by the kings of the earth. Consequently, the sea beast cannot represent the combination of the Catholic Church and state, but instead it must represent the Catholic Church and its popes only. Therefore the kings of the earth are not included as a part of the sea beast itself.

The kings of the earth that the woman fornicated with and was a harlot with beginning in 538 never claimed to have authority to forgive sins and they never claimed to be God. Since there is only one name of blasphemy on the sea beast, which name represents the blasphemy done by the Catholic Church and the popes just as we have previous shown to be the case, then there can be only one power that the beast itself represents - the popes and the Catholic Church. Thus, the power to persecute and carry out a war against the people of God that the beast does is like the sea beast putting on clothing to cover itself, with the authority to carry out a war against God's people comparable to the clothing it might put on. When "clothing" of this nature is put on, the beast underneath is still the church and its popes.

The beast in Revelation 17, however, is very similar to the sea beast and yet it is different. It includes the state as a part of the beast itself during part of the time of its existence, so it is the combination of church and state. Yet the primary power of the scarlet beast is the popes and the Catholic Church, just like the sea beast. We will discuss more details of it later so that you fully understand the differences between it and the sea beast of Revelation 13.

Please note that at present the author has not yet had time to correct all statements in this document about the sea beast being just one power, so you may still find some statements which say that the sea beast is the combination of church and state. If you see such statements, just remember that the sea beast is the church and its popes only. Eventually, when the author has time, the other incorrect statements will all be corrected.

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Key #2 - The Three Primary Powers of Revelation 17 and 18

Revelation 17 and 18 describe events that lead right up to the second coming of Jesus. As that event approaches, Satan will do all in his power to influence the powers that be on this earth to bring pressure against anyone not in conformity with his wishes. He will do this because it is in his own best interest. Of course, Satan's own best interest is not really in the best interests of any person on earth, but Satan does not care about that because he is thinking only of himself. The nature of sin is to do whatever it takes to get what you want without consideration for others, a principle which will ultimately control you if you ever give in to it. Sin controls Satan, so he will do whatever he needs to accomplish his objective.

Because all major forms of power that occur in societies will play a part in the final events of earth's history, it is logical that they should be presented as players in the events described in Revelation 17 and 18. And it turns out that they are part of the story told there. Most people do not realize this, but it is true. If you don't understand who the players are in this vision, how can you possibly understand it? Therefore, it is a good idea to learn about them and how they are presented.

Virtually every society on earth is run by three primary powers, which are:

  • Political powers
  • Economic or business powers
  • Religious powers

There are exceptions, but over the course of human history, these three primary powers are quite evident in nearly all human societies. This ranges from small villages to the largest nations and empires on earth.

Let us now define the three primary powers listed in Revelation 17 and 18 directly from the Bible. They are as follows:

  • The political powers, the Kings of the earth
  • The business or economic powers, the Merchants of the earth
  • The religious powers, the Kings and queens

Let us now discuss them.

 

The Political Powers, The Kings Of The Earth

Daniel 7:17 explains the kings of the earth. It says:

These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

This verse informs the reader that the leaders of the four beasts of Daniel 7 were "kings" who "arise out of the earth". There once was a time when the author read this verse, he wondered what the phrase "arise out of the earth" actually meant. The meaning is neither obvious nor intuitive by itself. Clearly, the phrase cannot be literal because kings don't literally come up out of the ground to rule a kingdom, so it must be symbolic of something. The four beasts of Daniel 7 were said to rise from the waters, so the four kings rising from the earth certainly cannot be the same thing and the earth cannot be the same as the waters. The earth must be symbolic just as the waters are symbolic. Yet the kings are connected to the beasts by the verse in Daniel 7:17. So, what does the phrase "arise out of the earth" symbolize?

One day, while studying Revelation 17, the author noted the phrase "kings of the earth" (Revelation 17:2, 18) and remembered the nearly identical phrase from Daniel 7:17. After some study of the function of these two phrases in Daniel 7:17 and Revelation 17:2, 18, it became obvious that the kings of Daniel 7 which rise out of the earth of Daniel 7 are the same type of thing as kings of the earth in Revelation 17. This can be summarized as:

kings of the earth = kings which arise from the earth

After additional careful study, It became abundantly clear to the author that the two nearly identical phrases are a literary device by which God intended the reader to link the two phrases together, which in turn should cause the reader to link the two verses together. God's apparent intent is that the phrases and associated verses should help explain each other.

It should be obvious that the kings who ruled the four kingdoms represented by the four beasts were political rulers of political kingdoms. Therefore, the kings of the earth in Revelation 17 are political rulers of political kingdoms. Nothing in Revelation 17 contradicts that conclusion.

Now let us increase our understanding of the meaning behind the phrase "kings which shall arise out of the earth". Read Daniel 7:17 and the first part of Daniel 7:24:

Daniel 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
Daniel 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise
. . . .
In Daniel 7:24, the 10 horns are called "kings", just like those of Daniel 7:17. The definition of the word king is not changed anywhere between Daniel 7:17 and Daniel 7:24. Therefore, the term kings in Daniel 7:17 for the four beasts and the first half of Daniel 7:24 for the 10 horns has an identical meaning - they are "kings . . . which shall arise out of the earth", meaning that the kings in both of these verses were the political leaders of their respective empires and nations.

However, we have not considered the second half of Daniel 7:24. What does it say and what does it mean?

Daniel 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
Daniel 7:24 . . .and another shall rise after them [the ten horns]; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
Note that there is a big difference between the "kings . . . which shall arise out of the earth" in verse 17 and the "diverse king" that follows in the second half of Daniel 7:24. The fact that it is diverse (which means "different") from the 10 kings and the four beasts changes the definition of the word king. This means there are two types of kings in Daniel 7, which are:

  • Political Kings of the nations, the kings who arise out of the earth
  • Kings who are not political leaders of the nations. These must be a religious king, the diverse king.


The kings of the earth of Revelation 17:2, 18, which are linked to the "kings . . . which shall arise out of the earth" of Daniel 7:17, must be political leaders of the nations. There is no difference between them. Remember this:

Kings of the earth = Political leaders of the nations

The political kings of Daniel 7 are said to arise out of the earth for several reasons, among them being that the political leaders do not normally lead the Christian churches (there are a few exceptions to this). Their main task in life is more earthly instead of heavenly. Moreover, the earth in Daniel 7 and 8 symbolizes both nations and a stable, established government in most cases. This can be contrasted to the environment of the woman of Revelation 12, a symbol of a religious power, who is placed in the heavens to indicate that her standing in the sight of God is like that of Jesus and her main task in life is of a heavenly nature rather than merely a mundane earthly nature. This symbolism also indicates that her origin is with God rather than earthly, or in other words, she came about because of an action that God did directly rather than by the will and action of man. Therefore, she is religious in nature rather than political.

The kings do not rise out of the waters because they are not peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. They are individuals who, together with those who inherit their thrones, help form lines of kings that lead each of the nations or empires that they rule. Kings always represent lines of kings rather than individual kings. That kings are lines of kings is demonstrated by the simple fact that King Nebuchadnezzar was said to be the head of gold in Daniel 2, but the gold head also represented continuous time from his time until the end of the Babylonian empire. Nebuchadnezzar was not the first and last king of Babylon, but rather he founded a line of several kings who ruled Babylon until the Medes and Persians conquered and occupied Babylon. Therefore, he represented the entire line of kings who ruled Babylon from his time until its fall to the Medes and Persians years later.

The earth, which the beasts of Daniel 7 and 8 walked upon after they came out of the waters, symbolized the "nations" (the word "kingdom" can also be used in place of "nations") and secondarily can represent established, stable governments that usually settled in once an empire was formed. Therefore, the kings of the earth rise out of the earth because they rise out of their nations and also because they rose out of their stable, established governments. The latter should be logical because they inherited their positions in most cases from their fathers.

 

The Business Or Economic Powers, The Merchants Of The Earth

Revelation 18 refers to the "merchants of the earth," who it says are the "great men of the earth" (Revelation 18:23) and that they buy and sell goods and convey them to and from Babylon (Revelation 18:11-19) using their ships. This clearly implies that Babylon is on the waters when this activity is being carried out. These verses refer to them as "your merchants," meaning they are merchants who sell for or also to the woman. This phrase does not restrict them to selling only for the woman and the fact that they have ships implies that they transport "goods" to other cities as well as bring goods to Babylon for sale there. Remember that Revelation 17 says that the woman has daughters. If she is a city, then they too are cities, so the merchant's goods could also be bought and sold by them.

Because the word earth is symbolic in the phrase "merchants of the earth," then this is saying that these are "merchants of the nations." This is probably symbolic of large business enterprises that do business with the woman.

Evidence that they sell things to the woman is found in the list of goods they have for sale and in the things she has. For example, they have scarlet and fine linen to sell and the woman is clothed with scarlet and fine linen. This implies that she obtains these things from the merchants of the earth.

The Bible says in Revelation 18:23 that the merchants of the earth are the "great men of the earth." This clearly does not refer to the political leaders because those are already labeled as kings of the earth. Because these are obviously merchants, they are not religious leaders. Remember that the definition from Revelation must take precedence over any other definition elsewhere in the Bible, so the information given in Revelation 18 clearly tells us that these men who buy, sell and transport goods must be leading business men. They are the leading economic and business powers of societies and the nations.

 

 

The Religious Powers, The KIngs And Queens

Everybody assumes that the "kings" of Revelation 17 (verses 10-14, 16, and 17) should be placed in the same category as the "kings of the earth". They believe that the kings are the same as the kings of the earth and that both are political leaders. But that belief is in fact nothing more than an assumption and is incorrect. People often tend to believe this assumption because they have certain preconceived ideas of interpretation of Revelation 17 that requires the kings to be the same as the kings of the earth. But, that sets the outcome before they have even examined the evidence for the identity of these powers, which is a bias that is faulty from the outset. If a person is genuinely looking for truth, one must be open to examining the evidence before one's mind is made up.

So, what is the evidence regarding the identity of the kings? To understand their identity, a comparison of terms must be done. Here is how to do that. Many people believe that the woman represents a religious power, which the author will show evidence for elsewhere. The woman says that she is a queen (Revelation 18:7). But nobody ever notices that she does NOT call herself a "queen of the earth" (Revelation 18:7). IF she had called herself a "queen of the earth," this would mean that she is a political queen of a nation (remember that the phrase "of the earth" in the phrase "kings of the earth" means "of the nations" or "of the stable, established governments" ). Because she titles herself a "queen" instead of "queen of the earth", this tells us her role is that of a religious queen, which is consistent with other evidence that her primary role is that of a religious power rather than a political power.

This does not deny that the woman has political power, but rather it is taking the evidence that God gives us at face value. He considers her primary role to be a a religious power and we should leave it at that rather than trying to reconfigure her into a political power. Remember that the woman fornicates with the kings of the earth, which is how she obtains political power - she uses the political power of others for her own ends. If she were primarily a political power, she would not need to do that.

Now, what bearing does this have on understanding the identity of the kings? Note that the phrase "kings of the earth" makes these kings political kings of the nations and the term "queen" makes the woman a religious power rather than a political queen of a nation. The fact that the woman is called a queen rather than a queen of the earth which helps identify her as a religious power, informs us that likewise the "kings" must be religious kings (leaders of religions) rather than political kings of the nations. This is true for the very same reason that the woman is not a political queen - the "kings" lack the attached phrase "of the earth" as part of their title. As a result, the kings cannot be the same as the kings of the earth. It is impossible. The kings are religious kings or religious leaders rather than political kings. That being the case, we should not look to the leaders of the nations to see these kings for they will not be found there. We must look to the leadership of the various Christian religions to find them. The author will deal with their more specific identity later, but the information here is sufficient to let us know that the kings and queens are religious in nature rather than political. This drastically changes how we perceive Revelation 17.

Note that the woman has daughters and, because she is a religious queen, they too are religious queens and therefore are religious powers. More on this later.

Here is a summary table to help you picture this information.

Three Primary Powers Table
Powers Found in Nearly All Societies Masculine Form in Revelation 17 and 18 Feminine Form in Revelation 17 and 18
Government or Political Kings of the earth (Rev. 17:2, 18; Rev. 18:3. 9, 10). Are political leaders. None stated in the Bible, but IF it had been, she would be a queen of the earth and political in nature.
Religious Kings (Rev. 17:10-14, 16-17), 7 kings + 8th, and 10 kings. Are religious leaders. Queens: prostitute woman (Rev. 18:7) and daughters (by deduction). Are religious powers.
Business or Economic Merchants of the earth (Rev. 18:3, 11, 23). Are business and economic leaders. No equivalent stated in the Bible

 

Primary Powers Summary

Remember these three important points:

  • Kings of the earth = political leaders of the nations or stable, established governments
  • kings and queens = religious leaders or powers
  • Merchants of the earth = business leaders of the nations

Many individuals think that the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 is another primary power, so they will think that the author has omitted an important category of power. But, while it is a power to be reckoned with, it is a composite power made up from several other powers, so is not a primary power. Therefore, it will be covered in the next section.

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Key #3 - Did The Beast Really Blaspheme God?

In Revelation 13 the sea beast was said to do several things that blasphemed God. The author has shown that the Catholic Church is the only power which fulfills the criteria given by God in Revelation 13 and therefore it is the power represented by the sea beast. This means that the popes and the Catholic Church are represented by the sea beast of Revelation 13 and likewise the popes and the Catholic Church are the primary power of the beast of Revelation 17. As stated before, the church is not the only power represented in the beast of Revelation 17, but the details of that will be discussed later.

Because the beasts with seven heads and ten horns of Revelation 13 and 17 clearly represent the popes and the Catholic Church, then this means that the popes and the Catholic Church have blasphemed God in the ways described in Revelation 13:6.  Of course, there are those who think we are wrong about the popes and the Catholic Church being the sea beast because they cannot believe that the popes blasphemed God. The author has received letters from people questioning that the popes really did these things. They are shocked to think that these things could ever have been done by the popes or their church!

This is an understandable reaction on their part because these people love their Catholic Church and have a difficult time accepting that their popes would do such a thing. So, to be fair and honest, we should ask the question, did the popes really do those things or not? The answer to this question, and more, will be discussed in this section so that you may be sure to know the truth about this.

One thing that you should understand is that while the Bible says that the popes and the Catholic Church did blaspheme God, this in no way puts guilt for doing this upon the average members of the Catholic Church. God loves them just as much as he loves everyone else in this world and he does not hold them guilty of the sins of their leaders at this time. There will come a time in the future when they will be held guilty, but that time as of the writing of this paragraph in 2014 has not yet arrived. The time when that occurs will be during the time when the seven last plagues are falling.

Let us briefly review blasphemy as it is defined in the Bible for the beasts of Revelation 13 and 17 which have seven heads and ten horns. Blasphemy is defined to be:

  • Claiming to be God
  • Claiming to have authority to forgive sins against God's laws (remember that neither man's laws nor the "laws" of a false god have anything to do with this)
  • Falsely claiming to be the truth church and calling the true church the false church. It switches places with the true church.

Claiming to be God and claiming to have authority to forgive sins against God's law are the most useful of the definitions given above. 

For centuries the Catholic Church has claimed to have the authority and power to forgive sins against God's law. Catholics are required to confess their sins to a priest to obtain forgiveness for them. So far as the author is able to discern, this is supposed to be based on the teaching in the Bible that we are to confess our sins to Jesus in order to obtain forgiveness, but it is perverted from that which God says ought to be done. The Bible says that Jesus is our high priest in heaven (Hebrews 2:17, 4:15-16) and that we are to confess our sins to Jesus and he will forgive us for them (1 John 1:9). Nowhere does it teach that we are to confess our sins to a priest and that the priest is actually authorized to forgive those sins. Only God can forgive sins against his law. Even in the Old Testament Sanctuary service, the priests acted as intermediaries between the sinner and God, but they were never authorized to forgive sins. Just as it was in Old Testament times, that only God can forgave sins, that still remains true today. No church can change that.  

So, in order to make sure that the Catholic believer is confessing his sins to Christ, the Catholics claim that the priests are another Christ. But there are many priests in the Catholic Church, so think of how many Christs this makes walking around on earth, all at the same time! Does not the Bible tell us there is only one Christ? This is just something to think about. 

Some may have doubts that the Catholic Church claims the authority to forgive sins against God's law, so for evidence that they really do claim this power, here are some statements of authoritative Catholic sources to show that this is true:

"And God himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of his priest and either not to pardon or to pardon, according as they refuse to give absolution, provided the penitent is capable of it." -Liguori, «Duties and Dignities of the Priest», p.27

"This judicial authority will even include the power to forgive sin." [The Catholic Encyclopaedia Vol xii, article ‘Pope’ pg 265]

"the poor sinner kneels at his confessor's feet. He KNOWS he is not speaking to an ordinary man but to 'ANOTHER CHRIST,' He hears the words: 'I absolve thy sins..." and the HIDEOUS LOAD OF SINS DROPS FROM HIS SOUL FOREVER." -William Doyle "Shall I be a priest" pp 14, 15

The basis for this is that the priest is "another Christ." This is a declaration that they, as Christ, are the forgiver of sins. In some more recent Catholic statements the author has seen, it appears that they try to explain this away by saying that the forgiveness of sins is ultimately still done by Christ, but interposing an earthly priest seems to take the duty away from Jesus and clearly is contrary to the Bible because it does not teach that we need an intercessor other than Jesus to obtain forgiveness of sins after the death of Jesus.

In the New Testament, there is no authority for positioning an earthly priest between the sinner and God like there was in the Old Testament. In fact, we are told to come directly to God to obtain mercy and forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 4:15-16), so placing a priest in the pathway violates what God has already commanded. Moreover, since they teach the priest that he is another Christ, then it seems that if Christ does the forgiveness of sins, the priest is the Christ who forgives the sins of the sinner. Truthfully, there is only one Christ, so saying that the priest is another Christ is to say that he is Christ himself, unless, of course, they want to introduce more Gods beyond the trinity than they say they believe in. It appears they cannot escape this simple fact of logic.

Saying that the forgiveness of sins is still ultimately done by Christ seems to confuse the issue and contradicts their statement that the priest is another Christ and logically should remove the need for confession of sins to the priest. Either the priest is or he is not another Christ and the real Christ does the forgiveness of sins ultimately. If the priest is the real Christ, then the forgiveness must be done by him according to their beliefs and Jesus in heaven has nothing further to do with it. Otherwise the priest has no such authority. To say that Jesus in heaven ultimately does the forgiveness of sins seems to say that the priest is not a real Christ and therefore not needed. So, which is it?

Clearly, from their own educational text for the priests, this is not a duty passed off to God. The priest is not a mere conduit for the forgiveness of sins, but is an active participant and is taught that God is obligated to obey the decision of the priest to grant or not grant forgiveness of sins. Clearly, this sidesteps the authority and active participation of Jesus, for if the priest has these powers and actually is another Christ, then there is no need for Jesus in the process. The power to forgive sins is explained to be a direct power that the priest possesses. It can hardly be plainer as to who is actually supposed to be doing the forgiveness of sins in these situations. Clearly, they teach that It is actually the priest who obtains it from God instead of Jesus obtaining it.

The Bible says that only God has the power to forgive sins. Here is what it says:

Mark 2:7 Why does this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

The Bible also says that we may come directly before God (obviously through prayer) to obtain mercy from God. We need mercy when we have sinned, so this is saying that we may go directly before God to obtain forgiveness for our sins. We do not need to go through an earthly priest. We have direct access to God. Here is what the Bible has to say about this:

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our weaknesses; but was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

The Bible plainly says that Jesus is our advocate before God. This disallows an earthly priest because it says that there is only one who is able to go before God, and that person is the one and only Jesus in heaven. Consider that Jesus in heaven is the only one who has access to the literal presence of God. There is no other.

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

Any way you look at it, IF the Catholic priests can indeed effect forgiveness of sins, then the Bible, which is God's word, is a liar. Does God lie? Something to think about, is it not? If he does lie, then he is not trustworthy. But, if he tells us the truth, then those who claim that they can do what God says they cannot, are not telling us the truth.

The Catholic Church has also claimed that the Pope and the priests are God.

Perhaps you don't believe that this is true. You may say, "That is blasphemy, so surely they would not be guilty of such a claim!" Indeed, we have received letters from individuals stating that this cannot possibly be true because to make such a claim is blasphemy. Unfortunately, it is true. Just so you know, here are several statements by their own officials and popes about this (color coding of certain phrases done by the web site author):

"The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, he is Jesus Christ himself, hidden under the veil of flesh." Catholic National July 1895.

"We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty" ...Pope Leo XIII Encyclical Letter of June 20, 1894,

"For thou art the shepherd, thou art the physician, thou art the director, thou art the husbandman, finally thou art another God on earth." Labbe and Cossart's "History of the Councils." Vol. XIV, col. 109

The title "Lord God the Pope" is found within a gloss of Extravagantes of Pope John XXII, title 14, chapter 4,

"The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth." Pope Pius V, quoted in Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, "Cities Petrus Bertanous".

"Of what sublime dignity is the office of the Christian priest who is thus privileged to act as the ambassador and the vicegerent of Christ on earth! He continues the essential ministry of Christ; he teaches the faithful with the authority of Christ, he pardons the penitent sinner with the power of Christ, he offers up again the same sacrifice of adoration and atonement which Christ offered on Calvary. No wonder that the name which spiritual writers are especially found of applying to the priest is that of 'alter Christus.' For the priest is and should be another Christ" (Faith of Millions, John O'Brien, Ph.D., LL.D., 268-269, "nihil obstat" by Rev. T. E. Dillon-Censor Librorum and "imprimatur" by John Francis Noll, D.D. -Bishop of Fort Wayne).

Remember what Jesus said about such claims? Here is his statement:

Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Matthew 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Matthew 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Matthew 24:25 Behold, I have told you before.
Matthew 24:26 Therefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
Matthew 24:27 For as the lightning came out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Remember what God says about this claim to be God? He said he will NOT give his glory to another, meaning that he won't make any created being into a God AND he will never delegate his authority as God to another created being. If God tells us the truth (remember that the Bible says it is impossible for God to lie and God says he will never change), then no pope and no priest is God and none of them is another Christ. It simply is not possible, in spite of their claims.

Please do not misunderstand our altitudes towards Catholics because we show you evidence of their claims. There are many good, wonderful people in the Catholic Church whom the author believes will be in heaven. God loves these people just as much as anyone else in this world. God is very much in the business of saving people, not destroying them. But we also know that the Catholic Church hierarchy is teaching things that the Bible directly contradicts. Either they are right and God is wrong, or else they are wrong and God is telling the truth. You get to make the choice about which you want to believe.

All Christians owe much to the Catholic Church because they did preserve the Bible and knowledge of God during the dark ages. The also set up many of the educational institutions in Europe that over the centuries have helped many through life. And even today, they carry out humanitarian work that does a lot of needed good for people all around the world. We believe that God will take note of these things in the judgment and will not forget them. Many within that church are living up to the light they have on the truth about God to the best of their ability. God knows this and will take that into consideration when deciding their future.

The Catholics teach that truth is based on both the Bible AND tradition. But the Bible gives the basic standard by which all truth (old and new) and all tradition is to be tested, regardless of the source. It says:

Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Therefore, any tradition or new truth must conform to what has previously been said by God in his word - the Bible. If it does not conform to what God has already said, then it is false information and is not to be believed. Any tradition of ANY church that does not conform to this standard is not to be believed regardless of who it comes from or the circumstances under which it arises. God is the final authority in this universe and has already said that he will not delegate his authority to anyone else (Isaiah 42:8). Therefore, NOBODY can change the standard God has set up in Isaiah 8:20. That means that no pope or priest can change the standard and no tradition of the church can change it either. Neither can a church president, prophet, or anyone else change the standard that God has set up in Isaiah 8:20. Remember, God says "I change not" (Malachi 3:6), so this disallows changes to his laws or pronouncements of truth. Therefore, church traditions cannot change what God has already said in the Bible, a fact which can NEVER be changed by anyone in all of eternity.

It should be very clear to you by now that both the body and heads of the sea beast of Revelation 13 and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 are primarily Papal. There should be no question about their identity. The names of blasphemy on them make it clear that the Catholic Church is the dominant power represented by the body and heads of both beasts.

 

What Type of Power Was Given To the Beast?

The sea beast of Revelation 13 has been seen by many researchers over the centuries as a symbol of the Papacy. Given that the names of blasphemy on the beast plainly points only to the Papacy, this is a logical deduction. The Papacy is the dominant power of the beast. But, there is more to it than that. For good reasons, the sea beast of Revelation 13 is believed by many to be identical to the horn power on the head of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, the horn that talked and had eyes and a mouth like a man. The behavioral characteristics of both powers are the same because they both make war against the people of God, both have power for the same length of time (42 months of 30 days = 1260 days), and their origins are identical - both received power after Rome fell in 476 AD. On this web site, we refer to this horn power of Daniel 7 as the talking horn because it talked, unlike any of the other horns, heads or beasts shown to Daniel.

As it happens, both the talking horn of Daniel 7 and the sea beast of Revelation 13 were given power over the people of God for 1260 prophetic days, which is the same as 1260 literal years. In Daniel 7:25, it says that the people of God were handed over to the talking horn. Here is the evidence:

Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

In the Bible, when you were given into the hands of a power, it meant this power was able to control you, imprison you, or even to kill you. They were given the power of a king, meaning they had the power of life and death over a person. They could do with you as they wished. First, let us go over evidence of what it means to be handed over to someone in power over you:

Joshua 21:43 And the LORD gave unto Israel all the land which he swore to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt there.
Joshua 21:44 And the LORD gave them rest round about, according to all that he swore unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the LORD delivered all their enemies into their hand.

Joshua 24:8 And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, who dwelt on the other side of Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that you might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.

Ezra 5:11 And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house that was built these many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished.
Ezra 5:12 But after that our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house, and carried the people away into Babylon.

Nehemiah 9:27 Therefore you delivered them into the hand of their enemies, who oppressed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto you, you heard them from heaven; and according to your manifold mercies you gave them saviors, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies.

Jeremiah 44:30 Thus says the LORD; Behold, I will give Pharaoh-hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life.

Daniel 1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
Daniel 1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

Next, the book of Daniel provides the definition of the power of a king. Here is what Daniel said about that:

Daniel 5:18 O king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honor:
Daniel 5:19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.

Nebuchadnezzar was given complete power over those under him, including the power of life or death. That is a rather dangerous power to have in the hands of one man, but that is the power that God gave to him. It was the power of a king in those days.

Therefore, the fact that the people of God were handed over to the talking horn of Daniel 7 indicates that this power got the authority of a king over the people of God. He was given power of life or death over them. This means he had the power to drag people into court and then punish them as he wished. Today, the equivalent power is called civil power, which is the power through the law to take people to court and then punish them according to the law. For the talking horn, this could only have happened in 538 AD when the Papacy was given the legal power, through the decree of Justinian, to prosecute the people of God for anything which the Catholic Church deemed to be heresy. Eventually this power was extended into all the nations of what was once the Western Roman Empire (Daniel 7:20-26, Revelation 13:7). Justinian put the authority of the state behind Catholic Church laws, which in essence gave the pope the power to prosecute people for heresy.

In summary, there are three things to remember from this:

  • To be handed over to someone is to be put completely at their mercy. As the Bible defines it, they have the power of life and death over a person under such circumstances.
  • The power of a king is the power of life and death over a person.
  • The Papacy received the power of a king through the decree of Justinian in 538 AD. It is at that point in time that the talking horn was said to have arisen from the head of the fourth dreadful beast of Daniel 7.

 

The sea beast of Revelation 13 and the talking horn of Daniel 7 made war against the saints of God during the 1260 prophetic days it had power. In war, your enemy is usually out to kill you, so this is very clear about what it means.

This power of life or death over the people of God, the power of a king in those days, is the power that defined when the talking horn gained power and later lost it. In essence, it defined when the 1260 days began and ended, something that many do not understand. Many believe that the Papacy receiving political power is the event that defined the talking horn as a king, which they may date to as early as the time when Constantine the Great gave the Roman Church considerable political power around 310 AD. But this is a misconception that is unbiblical and does not match the facts of history. Here is the evidence:

In Daniel 7:24, it says this:

Dan 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

Now, if receiving political power is the rise of the talking horn and knowing that such power was given to the Catholic Church at the time of Constantine, then logically the talking horn had to rise at the time of Constantine. That is logical, is it not? But, then why does the Bible say that the talking horn rises AFTER the ten horns, which clearly rise after the fall of the Western Roman Empire? Clearly, while to say that political power being received by the Catholic Church is the rise of the talking horn and that such power was received at the time of Constantine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I) may appear logical, the problem is that it does not match the description given in the Bible of the rise of the talking horn. In the Bible, the talking horn got its power AFTER the rise of the nations which come out of the Western Roman Empire in 476, so the talking horn rising cannot be the same as receiving political power. It must instead refer to its receipt of power over the people of God. It is not logical any other way.

It is very important not to mix up the concepts of political power, temporal power (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporal_power) , and power over the people of God (a form of civil power). These are all separate concepts and rose at different times for the Papacy. Political power first came to the Catholic Church in about 310 AD when Constantine first mixed up church and state affairs. Power over the people of God came in 538 AD when the decrees of Justinian became legally effective in Rome, enabling the Catholic Church to use civil power to prosecute people for heresy. Temporal power came to the popes when they received the gift of the Papal States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_States) in 756.

In summary, the types of power the Papacy has had are as follows:

  • Temporal Power - Power to rule the Papal States using both political and civil powers
  • Political Power - Power to influence or determine political events, policies and influence important persons; of or relating to government and the making of government policies, but is separate from the actual administration of government
  • Civil Power - Power to use the courts to prosecute and punish people for crimes committed and is essentially the power of the state
  • Power over the people of God - A special type of civil power used specifically against heretics

We know from history that the ten horns of Daniel 7 came up at the fall of Rome in 476 AD, at which time they obtained power. What many do not realize is that the ten horns were kings long before they obtained power. This is true for several reasons. First, there were tribes among them which had invaded Western Roman territory and eventually settled in to stay. These became subject to Rome so lost their independence. Later they regained their independence as Rome began to fall apart. Second, leaders existed among them even when Rome ruled them. These leaders were the "kings" who had not yet received a kingdom prior to 476 AD, but did receive a kingdom when Rome fell. These leaders naturally asserted themselves when Rome fell and became evident at that point in time.

Daniel 7:24 says that the talking horn came up after the rise of the ten horns. This should not be understood to say that the Catholic Church came into existence after the ten horns came up because it obviously existed long before then, but rather God is defining when he recognized that this power got the authority to persecute the people of God. Only then does God say that this power arises. Only then does it receive a kingdom.

To summarize, the ten horns of Daniel 7 obtained power after Rome fell in 476 AD, while the Papacy got power in 538 AD when it was given authority over the people of God. In both instances, the following points apply:

  • When they obtained power, they received the legal power of a king over his subjects, which means they obtained the power of life and death over them.
  • The civil governments received the power of life and death over their subjects and primarily applied that based on civil laws.
  • The Papal government received the power of life and death over its subjects and primarily applied that based on its religious laws. It used the civil governments to enforce the religious laws as it could not do this on its own without their permission. Thus, they cooperated with the beast (aka the talking horn) and thereby became part of the talking horn or beast.

From history we know that the Papacy gained considerable political power when Constantine the Great moved the capital of the Roman Empire to Constantinople. Because of the change in Capitals, a power vacuum was created in Rome which was largely filled by the Papacy. This was especially important because the barbarian invasions were a source of great distress to the Romans and the Papacy acted as a center of power through which the Romans could hopefully deal with the Barbarians. However, note that this is not the same as civil power. Civil power came only through power granted to them by decrees of the Roman government.

Note the following that is said in Revelation 13:7, which says this:

Revelation 13:7 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.

This power is given power "over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations". Some insist this means that it would dominate the entire world, but that is not what is portrayed in Daniel 7 in regards to the domain of this power. This power is shown to come up among the 10 horns, showing that its domain is among them and not elsewhere. It also comes up out of the head of the dreadful beast, indicating that its power and origins would be from the Western Roman Empire. Therefore, the domain referred to in Revelation 13:7 cannot refer to all the world, but rather applies to all nations of what was once the Western Roman Empire. This limits its domain to Christendom during the 1260 prophetic days.

To summarize, the talking horn would be given:

  • power to make war against the saints of God, meaning it would be given the power of a king over them
  • A domain would be given to it, meaning it would have power over all the nations of what had once been the Western Roman Empire during the 1260 prophetic days

So, just how and when did the Catholic Church receive the power of a king?

 

How and When Was Power Given to the Beast?

The Bible says that the talking horn power would arise after the 10 horns came up out of Rome. The following information, quoted from this other web site (http://www.biblelight.net/dragon.htm#PiusIX) , indicates that the Bible was right about this and tells us very plainly that they got the power of a king (civil authority) at that time:


 Pope Pius IX gave this remarkable testimony:

"It is, therefore, by a particular decree of Divine Providence that, at the fall of the Roman Empire and its partition into separate kingdoms, the Roman Pontiff, whom Christ made the head and center of his entire Church, acquired civil power." − Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Cum Catholica Ecclesia (http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ITA0493/_P2.HTM), March 26, 1860).

Source: Papal Teachings: The Church, selected and arranged by the Benedictine Monks of Solesmes, translated by Mother E. O'Gorman, R.S.C.J., Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart, St. Paul Editions, Boston, © 1980, 1962 by Daughters of St. Paul, Library of Congress catalog card number 62-12454, par. #225, page 160 (http://biblelight.net/Sources/Papal-Teachings-Church-pgs160-161.gif).


This shows that one of their own popes officially recognized that they gained civil power after the fall of Rome. While the statement of Pius IX does not place receiving civil power in the year 538 AD (the year when this actually occurred), It does restrict the time to just after the division of the Roman Empire into separate kingdoms. Pope Pius IX's statement that the Catholic Church received civil power matches the statement in Daniel 7:24 that this power would rise after the 10 horns and that its power would be that the people of God would be handed over to it (the civil power they received gave them power over the people of God).

Civil power is the power of a king because that is the power that legal authorities have that allows them to use the courts to prosecute and punish people for violation of the law. This can include the power of life or death over a convicted person. Thus, when Pius IX said that they received civil power, he confirmed that they did in fact receive at least the same power that the Bible predicted that they would receive in Daniel 7:25. In fact, they evidently received more than just the power over the heretics, but that is not really relevant for the prophecy. The author believes that the popes certainly would know their history better than anyone else, so this a rather remarkable statement that accurately matches the facts of history and prophecy.

It is clear that Pius IX (1846-1878) was not referring to the temporal power (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporal_power) of the Papacy that was acquired through the Papacy being given the Papal States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papal_States) in 756, but refers instead to the power given to them by Justinian, which included power for enforcement of church doctrines. There are several reasons this must be so, which are as follows:

  • Pius IX said that this occurred just after the fall of Rome, which happened in 476. But it could not have happened immediately after the fall of Rome. Here is why from history:

    • The Western Roman Empire in was succeeded in 476 by the government run by Odoacer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odoacer), who was king of Italy from 476 until 493. There is no evidence that any civil powers were transferred to the Catholic Church by the government of Odoacer. Odoacer's government was Arian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arianism) so it would not have had any interest in giving the Papacy civil powers. They were not generally antagonistic towards the Catholic Church and granted everyone religious freedom, but they would never have given them such powers because to do so might have subjected Arian believers to persecution by the Catholic Church, which was trinitarian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinitarianism).

    • The Ostrogoths went to war against the government of Odoacer in 488 and after a five year war, they took over Italy in 493. Like the members of the government of Odoacer, they were Arians and, while they also granted everyone religious freedom, there is no evidence that any civil powers were transferred to the Catholic Church by their government. Because the Ostrogoths were Arians, they also would not have had any interest in transferring civil powers to the Papacy because that might have subjected the Arian believers to persecution by the Catholics.

    Just based on the known events of history in Italy immediately following the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, the earliest time that the popes could have acquired civil power was during the invasion of Italy begun in 535 by the Eastern Roman Empire, then ruled by Emperor Justinian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justinian).

  • The Bible says that the talking horn, which is the same power as the sea beast of Revelation 13, had the people of God handed over to him. The Bible defines beasts, heads, and horns all the same way. The first and primary definition for all of them is that they are kings. Thus, according to the prophecy of the talking horn, this applies to the Pope, that it was he who was to receive this power because he is the king of the Catholic Church. That matches precisely with the statement of Pope Pius IX, because he said that "the Roman Pontiff, ..., acquired civil power." Thus, the pope, as head or king of the Catholic Church, received civil power, thereby fulfilling prophecy.

  • The Bible says that pagan Rome would hand its power over to the sea beast of Revelation 13. It says this by saying that the dragon gave the beast its power, throne, and great authority (Revelation 13:2). The dragon primarily represents the devil (Revelation 12:9) but secondarily it also represents pagan Rome (if you question this, then ask yourself this question: who tried to have Christ destroyed when he was born? see Revelation 12:4 and Matthew 2). Therefore, the civil power that the popes acquired after the fall of Rome could not have been handed to them by anyone but the Roman government. Because the Western Roman Empire fell in 476, any civil power the popes might have acquired prior to that time was immediately lost because the new government was not going to allow the Papacy to exercise civil power. Therefore, for it to have acquired civil power after this time, it had to have been acquired from the Eastern Roman Empire. This means that sometime during the invasion or occupation of Italy by the troops of the Eastern Roman Empire, the popes were given civil power. According to the statement of Pius IX, this happened shortly after the fall of Rome, so it almost certainly had to be very early in the invasion of Italy by the troops of Justinian that the popes acquired civil power. To have the transfer occur years later would seem to nullify the statement of Pius IX.

  • Because Pius IX was pope from 1846 to 1878, he could not possibly have been referring to the civil power popes acquired by being given the Papal States. These were not given to the papacy until 756, which clearly is long after 476. Also, the Papal States were given to the Papacy by Pepin the Short (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepin_the_Short), not by the Eastern Roman Empire. Someone wrote up a fraudulent document shortly after the Papal States were first given to the Papacy (which was called the Donation of Constantine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donation_of_Constantine) and used by the Papacy at times during the Dark and Middle Ages to justify Papal temporal power), in which it was claimed that Constantine had given the Papal States to the Papacy (remember that Constantine [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I] died in 337, so this was a long time before the fall of Rome), but that document was later proved to be a forgery in the 1400s. Because Pius IX lived in the 1800s, he had to have known that it was a forgery so would not have been referring to this document. Plus, his own statement is evidence against that being what he was referring to because he said that the civil power was acquired shortly after the fall of Rome, which was a long time after Constantine and long before the Papal States were given to them.

  • The prophecy itself in Daniel 7:25 was not about temporal power in general, but only civil power as it related to the people of God. Thus, if the pope had been given civil power ONLY over the people of God and had not been given any other civil powers, that would have been sufficient to fulfill the prophecy. There is evidence he was actually given more, but that is irrelevant for the purposes of the prophecy.

Justinian, the Eastern Roman Emperor, wrote a decree in the year 533 AD giving the pope in Rome the following powers:

  • The right to be head bishop over all bishops in Christian lands.

  • The legal right to punish heresy, which the Catholic Church defined as it wished. This meant people could be arrested, tried, and burned at the stake or any other punishment the Catholic Church wanted to hand out just because they believed differently than the Catholic Church said they should.

The legal right to punish heresy had been decreed prior to the fall of the Western Roman Empire by Roman emperors prior to Justinian and there are recorded instances in which the Catholic Church certainly used it. However, that authority vanished when Rome fell in 476. The reason it vanished was not just because of the fall of Rome, but ultimately because of what replaced Rome. The Arian governments of Odoacer and the Ostrogoths did not recognize any such previously existing authority of the Papacy and never extended such authority to it on their own. Therefore, the Eastern Roman Empire had to be placed into a position such that it could legally reinstate this authority to the Catholic Church in order for it to have received it as Pius IX said happened. That was done and this authority continued to be recognized by future governments all over Europe, thus extending and perpetuating the civil authority of the Papacy all over Europe for over a thousand years.

The point the Bible was making with the prediction of the 1260 prophetic days is two fold:

  • First, the civil power over the people of God had to be given to the Papacy again because any civil power the Papacy had prior to the fall of the Western Roman Empire ceased to exist at the fall of the Rome in 476. These civil powers were never restored by either of the governments of Odoacer or the Ostrogoths.
  • Second, the fact that the civil power over the people of God was given after the ten horns rose to power and remained in force until the end of the 1260 prophetic days is a marker that can be used to identify the Papacy as the talking horn. The Papacy is the only religious authority that had civil power handed to it over the people of God that would last for exactly 1260 prophetic days, or 1260 literal years. That does not mean the Papacy would not get that power given to it at other times (such as prior to the fall of Rome or after the end of the 1260 days), but those times are irrelevant to the 1260 day prophecy. The point is that there would be a specific time period of 1260 years when it would have that power which would be given to it shortly after the fall of Rome and no other religious authority would have civil power handed to it for this exact time period and at the time specified. Therefore, this is an identifier of this power that separates it from other religious powers. This rules out the Muslims, the Protestants, or variations of the Catholic Religion (such as the Coptic Church of Egypt) as the talking horn. None of them were given this power by Rome shortly after the fall of Rome and which lasted for exactly 1260 prophetic days.

As it happens, in 529 Justinian appointed a group of lawyers to compile Roman laws into one set of books so that lawyers and judges would have better resources to know, use and understand Roman law. In that law, Justinian included some laws concerning the Catholic Church and also heretics, which became the decrees restating the Catholic Church's civil authority.

The laws that were compiled and issued, which were referred to as the Corpus Iurus Civilis, were done in three main steps, which are:

  • The first was the Codex Justinianus (529), which gathered together and organized all Roman law from the time of Hadrian onward. These were referred to as the imperial constitutiones.
  • In the second step, completed in 533, the Digest, or Pandects was issued. This compiled the works of great Roman judges in such a way as to organize the case law of the time into an organized law structure.
  • The third step, referred to as Novels, were a set of laws issued by Justinian in years after the laws compiled in 533 were issued. The Novels were issued over a period of years and usually were written in Greek, whereas the first two steps of law compilation was written mostly in Latin.

The source for this information is: Medieval Sourcebook - Roman Law(http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook-law.html#ROMAN%20LAW).

Some people conclude that because the decrees restating the civil authority of the Catholic church were done in 533, that is the year when the talking horn rose to power. But, like all governments and their laws, the decrees of Justinian were subject to the issue of jurisdiction. Because the prophecy concerning the talking horn must apply to the pope (the pope is the king of the Catholic Church and the talking horn is symbolic of a king), this means that in order for Justinian's decrees concerning the authority of the pope to be legally effective, he (Justinian) had to have undisputed (uncontested) authority over Rome. That was where the pope had his headquarters and throne, so that is where Justinian had to have uncontested jurisdiction in order for his decrees to be legally effective over the pope.

The BIG PROBLEM that Justinian had in 533 was that he did not have any jurisdiction over Rome at all. Quite literally, he did not own Rome. Consequently, his decrees were powerless, null and void in Rome and Italy when written and would have remained that way until such time as the Eastern Roman Empire could come into possession of Rome. If that had taken a hundred years, it would not have made any difference because, until that condition was satisfied, he had no ability or authority to impose a law upon the pope - even a law that the pope wanted to obey! No nation on earth can enforce its own laws in territory that it does not have uncontested jurisdiction over and under normal conditions, no other nation on earth will recognize its laws under such conditions. Wishing it to be otherwise will not make it so. All governments are concerned with the issue of jurisdiction and uncontested jurisdiction is a fundamental requirement to implement and enforce any law over a given territory. This is a basic fact of government and there is no way around this.

Some individuals claim that Justinian did rule Italy before the invasion of 535 because the Ostrogoths nominally recognized Justinian's right to rule. The facts of history are that they gave lip service to his nominal rule, but in actuality they ruled it and ignored him. As a result, he really didn't own any of it. If he had truly ruled Italy, then it would not have been necessary to use military force to drive them out of Italy. All that would have been necessary was for him to have issued any order he wanted them to obey and it would have been done. The simple fact that it was necessary for him to drive them out proves that he didn't own it and had no control over it. The Ostrogoths totally owned and controlled Italy and Justinian owned nothing and had no authority over anything in Italy. Justinian was powerless in Italy prior to his invasion.

In order to bring the pope under his jurisdiction, Justinian had to have control of the city of Rome. Justinian's army began invading Italy in 535 and they marched into Rome in December of 536, while at the same time the Ostrogothic troops were marching out of Rome on the opposite side of the city. The Ostrogothic troops left Rome out the other gate because they did not believe that they had enough troops to defend Rome against Justinian's army. Therefore, they went for reinforcements and evidently made it plain as they were leaving that they were going to return and defend their claim to Rome. It was clear to Justinian's army that they could not claim undisputed ownership of Rome, so, they immediately set about preparing for the siege they knew was coming, which began soon after in March of 537.

Following a year long siege, the Ostrogoths gave up in March of 538. Resistance against the siege was successful largely because of the stubborn resistance of Justinian's troops, the cooperation of the people of Rome, and the great fortune Justinian's troops had when the Ostrogoths tried to drive them out of the city by breaking open the aqueducts that brought water into Rome. The Ostrogoths were hoping to deprive them of water, which failed because Rome had an internal source of water and the people were able to make do with the supplies that they had. This act only succeeded in creating large pools of water near Rome that created ideal conditions for millions of mosquitoes to breed, which in turn became infected with malaria. These millions of malaria infected mosquitoes went looking for blood when it came time for breeding and the largest nearby sources of that were the Ostrogothic soldiers outside the city of Rome. The mosquitoes infected, sickened, and may have killed many of the Ostrogothic troops. Whatever happened to them, they were in no condition to fight any war. This was quite possibly the main factor in the defeat of the Ostrogoths at Rome (cited by C. Mervyn Maxwell, God Cares, page 146, volume 1, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Nampa, Idaho, USA). The author's guess is that some of Justinian's troops also became infected, but they were apparently farther away so evidently were not nearly as much affected by them as the Ostrogoths were.

Once the city was freed from the threat of the Ostrogoths, then the decrees of 533 concerning the Pope and the Catholic Church became enforceable because, as they saw it then from their vantage point in history, there was uncontested jurisdiction over Rome in the foreseeable future. From that point forward, the decree was eventually recognized by all the nations of Europe.

By driving the Ostrogoths away from Rome, Justinian gained undisputed jurisdiction over Rome and thereby started the clock ticking on the 1260 day/year prophecy. There are no statements in either Daniel or Revelation that specifies how the clock on the 1260 literal years may be interrupted, so logically, once it started, nothing could stop it until 1260 years later in 1798 when Napoleon's army decreed the Papal government at an end. A decree started the clock, so logically a decree was necessary to stop the clock. Nothing but another decree, one which reversed the original decree, could stop it. A decree is a law and, like all laws that are put into effect with no expiration date on them, only another law by an equal authority can stop them.

Therefore, when people argue that because the Ostrogothic troops returned to recapture Rome a few years later and that this means the 1260 day/year prophecy did not start in 538 AD, the argument is wrong because the clock had already started ticking on the 1260 day/year prophecy and the Ostrogothic recapture of Rome could not by any means change that. The clock had already started because the decrees of Justinian had already gone into effect and nothing in the Bible permits it to be interrupted. All that God specified in Daniel 7:25 was that the people of God would be handed over to the talking horn. Once that condition was met, which did happen in 538, the clock started ticking. Therefore, the prophecy was fulfilled then, not later. Once the decree could go into effect, it went into effect. Rome changed hands several times starting in 540 but eventually Justinian's troops got it back and kept it.

After jurisdiction was firmly established over Rome by Justinian's troops and the decree was implemented, Justinian further prepared the way for the pope by continuing his warfare with the Ostrogoths. His army was able to permanently defeat the main Ostrogothic forces in either 554 or 556 AD and captured the last of their cities in 561. It was a 26 year long war, which one can be sure was much longer than Justinian ever anticipated. Much changed during that time and Justinian was never able to go on to recreate the Western Roman Empire as he intended to accomplish when he first started his conquests in 533 by attacking the Vandals in North Africa. His plan was continued in 535 by his attacks against the Ostrogoths. He did capture a small amount of territory elsewhere but never was able to bring his plan to fulfillment. Click here (http://historyhuntersinternational.org/index.php?page=244) for a map which shows the territory over which Justinian was eventually able to establish control (scroll down to see the map).

Later the pope was able to take advantage of the fact that the French, beginning in 508 with the conversion to Catholicism of the French king Clovis, had already built an empire and facilitated converting the people within the conquered empire to Catholicism. This did much towards the eventual conversion of all of Europe to Catholicism so that they eventually came under the religious control of the pope. According to historians, the events of 538 AD set the pattern governing the relationship between the Roman Church and the European governments for the next 1260 years. But it is equally clear that Clovis did a great deal to help that process along. Without his conquests, the pope may never have established religious control of all of Europe.

While we do have the direct testimony of Pope Pius IX that they got civil authority after the fall of Rome, it would be nice to know more about the decrees that gave them that authority, so what do we know from Roman law concerning the decrees that Justinian wrote giving the pope the two powers of being head bishop over all Christian Churches and being able to prosecute heretics? To answer that question, a little information about the Roman law that Justinian issued may be helpful.

Here is a compilation on the Internet of an English translation of the Corpus Iurus Civilis laws issued by Justinian: The Civil Law (http://www.constitution.org/sps/sps.htm). The law compilation page which is most relevant to our question about the powers given to the church is Codex Books I - III (http://www.constitution.org/sps/sps12.htm). Once you have opened that page, you have to scroll down the page to reach the relevant material because it is not indexed. Note that their home page (http://www.constitution.org/liberlib.htm) listed at the bottom of the page for volume 12 (Codex Books I - III) contains some very interesting historical materials. You may enjoy browsing through some of their documents when you have some free time.

Now, here are several relevant statements concerning the powers given to the pope as quoted from the Codex Books I - III (http://www.constitution.org/sps/sps12.htm).

"Among the conspicuous reasons for praising your wisdom and gentleness, Most Christian of Emperors, and one which radiates light as a star, is the fact that through love of the Faith, and actuated by zeal for charity, you, learned in ecclesiastical discipline, have preserved reverence for the See of Rome, and have subjected all things to its authority, and have given it unity."

(Corpus Iurus Civilis, Codex Books I - III (http://www.constitution.org/sps/sps12.htm). BOOK I, TITLE I. CONCERNING THE MOST EXALTED TRINITY AND THE CATHOLIC FAITH, AND PROVIDING THAT No ONE SHALL DARE TO PUBLICLY OPPOSE THEM, part 4. [letter of Pope] John [II, 533-535], Bishop of the City of Rome, to his most Illustrious and Merciful Son Justinian.)

This was a letter from Pope John II to Justinian. Because it was added to the civil code, it was intended therefore to become part of the law of Justinian.

But what is significant about the statement quoted above is that it said that Justinian had "subjected all things to its" (the pope in Rome) "authority". This indicates that there was a prior decree which gave the pope civil authority and he was very much aware of its existence. Some might argue then that this does not constitute anything but authority over religious matters, but additional thought on this and additional statements indicate otherwise. This must have referred to civil authority. Here is why.

The statement of Pius IX indicates that they received civil authority relatively shortly after the fall of Rome. Since that could not have happened during the governments of Odoacer or the Ostrogoths, the decrees of Justinian have to be the source of the civil authority he referred to. This statement of Pope John II can hardly be taken any other way than a recognition of this fact, though it does not cite the specific decree that Justinian wrote giving the pope this authority. Yet it makes it clear that such a decree existed. We may not have a historical record of that decree, but again it is possible that such a record exists. The author has not found it to date.

When the pope wrote this statement, it seems extremely unlikely that he was referring to local religious authority. Such authority would not have mattered to him because he already had that type of power over his own religious territory with or without Justinian's approval by virtue of being the bishop over his church. It came with the territory. This power was extended by a decree of Justinian, which we know because he specifically mentioned this fact a little farther into the letter. He said that the decrees of previous emperors and Justinian had given him authority as head bishop over all other bishops, something that apparently Justinian included in his compilation of the law so as to put them back into effect. Here is the statement of the pope concerning this:

"This See is indeed the head of all churches, as the rules of the Fathers and the decrees of Emperors assert, and the words of your most reverend piety testify."

Justinian included a letter which he sent to the pope as part of this law. In this letter, he said the following:

"For we do not suffer anything which has reference to the state of the Church, even though what causes the difficulty may be clear and free from doubt, to be discussed without being brought to the notice of Your Holiness, because you are the head of all the Holy Churches, for We shall exert Ourselves in every way (as has already been stated), to increase the honor and authority of your See." (Title I, part 4)

The fact that Justinian included this as part of the compilation of Roman law indicated that he meant for this to be a law.

It is interesting that Justinian restated this law in Novel 131 issued in 545 in which he said the following:

"Hence, in accordance with the provisions of these Councils, We order that the Most Holy Pope of ancient Rome shall hold the first rank of all the Pontiffs, but the Most Blessed Archbishop of Constantinople, or New Rome, shall occupy the second place after the Holy Apostolic See of ancient Rome, which shall take precedence over all other sees."

(Corpus Iurus Civilis, New Constitutions (Novels) Collections VIII-IX; Constitutions of Leo; General Index, (http://www.constitution.org/sps/sps17.htm), TITLE XIV, CONCERNING ECCLESIASTICAL TITLES AND PRIVILEGES, AND VARIOUS OTHER MATTERS, ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIRST NEW CONSTITUTION, CHAPTER II, CONCERNING THE PRECEDENCE OP PATRIARCHS.)

As you should be able to see, the statements indicate that the power to be head bishop was stated separately from the statement that the pope got civil power. This makes it rather clear that they considered these powers as separate issues. Thus, the authorization to have civil power or having all things put under his (the pope's) authority would have very likely been called "head bishop" if that is what is intended. Instead, there are references to two different forms of power.

As you should be able to see from their laws and the statement of Pope John II, the pope was given civil power as well as power to be head bishop.

On February 10, 1798, Napoleon's army took the city of Rome and became the government in control of that city. At that point, they had uncontested jurisdiction over it. Five days later, on February 15, 1798, the 1260 prophetic days ended when the French General Berthier in Rome, under the authority of the French government, wrote a decree ending the Papal government. The French troops conquered Rome on February 10, 1798. A decree written by the Eastern Roman Emperor had created the power of the Papal authorities over the people of God, an authority that was greatly extended because of the French government of Clovis. Ironically, it was a decree by the French government in 1798 which ended it. This stopped the clock 1260 years after it started in March of 538 AD.

Five days after the decree ended the authority of the beast (aka the talking horn of Daniel 7), the French authorities were concerned that the pope might create a rebellion against the French government because he had been deposed from his role as head of a civil government. So, on February 20, 1798, five days after the beast was already gone, they arrested the pope and hauled him off to France, where he died in prison during August of 1799.  He was given good living conditions while in prison and was allowed to receive visitors.

Note that political control over the nations was NOT the important issue (it really is totally irrelevant to the prophecy) but rather the ability to carry out a war against the people of God in all nations of the former Western Roman Empire is the important issue according to Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:7. All actions of the beast spoken of in the Bible ultimately centered upon control of Christian behavior, beliefs, and thinking. The political activities of the popes was ignored by God in these prophecies because they were irrelevant to his message, which centered on the power of the beast over God's people. There are two principal concerns in the book of Revelation, which are:

  • whom will you worship?
  • the welfare and safety of God's people.

In the book of Daniel, it says the following about the talking horn:

Daniel 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

To summarize, three main factors brought about the rise of the talking horn of Daniel 7, or what Revelation 13 calls the beast that rises from the sea. These were:

  • The decree written by Justinian in 533 AD, which included the power to hire/fire bishops and authority to prosecute heresy. The decrees, once they could be implemented, eventually led to the pope having complete control over all of Christianity. This united the churches under the authority of the pope.
  • Justinian gained jurisdiction over Rome which allowed the decrees of Justinian to be implemented.
  • The conversion of the remaining nations to Catholicism (Trinitarian) through the efforts of Clovis and others

 

The Scarlet Beast Formula

The scarlet beast formula is really very simple. When church and state are combined, as explained in Revelation 17, this combination constitutes the scarlet beast of Revelation 17. This can be written like a very simple mathematical formula.  To tell us about this, the Bible uses rather strange symbolism, harlotry and fornication, but which reveals the relationship between the woman and the kings of the earth very clearly. We will now study this a little more deeply.

Let us begin with three practical definitions to work from:

  • Fornication is to join oneself to another to whom you are not married. This classification is without regard to whether the fornicator is married or not.
  • Adultery - If a person fornicating is also married, then the fornication is also adultery.
  • Harlotry is to join oneself to another to whom you are not married for mutual gain.

The fornication of the woman with the kings of the earth is the act of joining herself to the kings of the earth. In other words, church and state get together.  It is her continued reliance upon the kings of the earth for something that she wants which constitutes the harlotry that she engages in with the kings of the earth. Harlotry results in mutual benefits for both of the involved parties. Harlots fornicate for their own benefit (usually money, but it can be other things) and the person she fornicates with uses her services for his own purpose. Both gain something from the transaction which they believe makes it worth doing, even if it is morally wrong. They do not care about that, but they should.

But how does the author know that harlotry is a symbol for reliance upon the kings of the earth? Let us look at the evidence in the Bible for this:

Exodus 34:15 Lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go play the harlot after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call you, and you eat of his sacrifice;

Exodus 34:16 And you take of their daughters unto your sons, and their daughters go play the harlot after their gods, and make your sons go play the harlot after their gods.

Leviticus 20:6 And the soul that turns after mediums, and after wizards, to play the harlot after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people.

Judges 2:17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they played the harlot with other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.

Judges 8:27 And Gideon made an ephod of it, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went there and played the harlot with it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.

The last verse is quite revealing. The ephod was a garment for the high priest to wear which had certain precious stones on the front of it, two of which were called the Urim and Thummim. Here is what the Bible tells us about these two stones and their purpose and use:

Exodus 28:30 And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goes in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

Numbers 27:18 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take you Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay your hand upon him;
Numbers 27:19 And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight.
Numbers 27:20 And you shall put some of your honor upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.
Numbers 27:21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.

1 Samuel 28:6 And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.

The main purpose of the Urim and Thummim stones was to act as a means of communication between God and man. In some way, God used these stones to indicate his will in regards to certain questions put to him. Men RELIED upon God to guide them through the use of the Urim and Thummim by answering their important questions. If God approved of a certain plan of action, then these stones became a means of communicating to the leaders that power would be supplied to accomplish whatever had been proposed. Thus, the statement in Judges 8:37 that the people played the harlot with the ephod in Gideon's home, which he had made, indicates that the people were using it to guide their lives. Therefore, they were in RELIANCE upon it and ultimately they relied upon a foreign god, which the people believed answered their questions through the Urim and Thummim on the ephod Gideon had made. The people hoped to obtain divine answers to the most deep questions of their hearts.

The "god" answering questions through this ephod could not have been the true God because this was an ephod neither authorized by nor brought into the presence of the true God and used in the approved way. The author's best guess is that people's imaginations got carried away so that they thought that their questions had been answered or else one of Satan's angels made sure these people got answers to their questions. Exactly how their questions were answered through the use of these stones perhaps is not known for sure, but the author has heard it said that a light would appear over one of the stones in answer to a question. Perhaps that is true.

When the Bible refers to the fornication of the woman with the kings of the earth, she is combining herself with the kings of the earth. When she continues to do this for gain so that she obtains the desires of her heart, which was the eradication of any opposition to her way of thinking and control over peoples' spiritual lives, and the kings of the earth gained what they wanted by being joined to the woman, then this constituted harlotry on the part of the woman. The end justifies the means in her way of thinking so that even killing the people of God is justified to obtain that which she wanted more than anything else.

Make a note of this Bible based definition, please:

harlotry or prostitution as a symbol = RELIANCE upon another power to obtain your greatest wishes which you are unable to obtain otherwise from God

From history we know that the Roman Church has been the greatest user by far of such power by relying upon the state to meet its wishes for the purpose of prosecuting heretics. It has done so far more and far longer than any other Christian Church. Therefore, for this and other reasons, the woman is representative of the Roman Catholic Church. And we know from history that the church used the power of the kings of the earth to prosecute heretics. As a result, the scarlet beast formula can be stated like this:

 

The Scarlet Beast Formula

Revelation 17 Scarlet Beast = Woman (Catholic Church) + National Government Leaders

This formula is valid ONLY when the Roman Church is the beneficiary of a decree by nations other than Italy which gives it the legal right to punish heresy. The Papacy cannot give itself this right over other nations all by itself. Even if it is a king over its own territory (the Vatican) where it is its own nation (church + state), it is not the scarlet beast because that does not give it the right to punish heresy in other nations. Remember that one of the conditions to create the church-state beast that arose in 538 AD was that the Papacy was given control of all of the Christians in all the nations of Europe. Until that condition arose, the church-state beast was not yet present even though there was a pope in Rome. The legal right to prosecute for heresy is a power that must be given to the Papacy by other nations. Without it, there is no jurisdiction over the people of God in other nations, a legal fact that limits their power. There is no way around this simple fact. No jurisdiction means no prosecution for heresy.

And that is The Scarlet Beast Formula. Very simple, isn't it?

Of course, the combination of church and state was done to enforce church law upon all. This resulted in persecution, including death to many.  As a matter of history, the Catholic Church points out that they really didn't execute that many heretics. Instead, most of the heretics were killed by the national governments of the time, an argument which appears to be true. The strength of this argument, of course, hinges on their effort to get you to focus on the comparison of the numbers they killed to those killed by the national governments. It is a distraction argument, to be sure, because the Catholic Church wants you to minimize the deaths of those they killed, even one of which is extremely serious. By comparison, they hope to look better in your mind by having killed fewer heretics. But think about it. If you were one of those "heretics" who was burned at the stake, how would you feel about it? How do you think God feels about it when he tells us that what they do in prosecuting and punishing heretics is wrong?

One very important thing their argument does point out, however, and for which we can be thankful because of the insight it gives us, is that there indeed was a cooperative relationship that existed between the Papacy and the national governments of the day for the express purpose of prosecution of the people of God as heretics. By attempting to deflect the criticism rightfully aimed at them for their bloody past history, they have in fact validated exactly that which the Bible predicted: the two powers cooperated together for a common purpose, which was to war against the people of God. You might say they were political and religious "bedfellows." 

The Papacy had the leading role as part of the the scarlet beast because the church taught the national leaders that the Pope is God and is to be obeyed, so they are primarily responsible for what was done. For this reason, Revelation 17 does call the pope the beast (this is especially done for the 8th king). The fact that the national governments engaged in persecution alongside the Catholic Church authorities does not absolve the national leaders from their own responsibility for their own acts. They did take part in the war against the people of God and that is what the Bible said the beast would do (Revelation 13:7), so one can be sure that God will hold them responsible. God even says as much by saying that the beast will be thrown into the lake of fire at the end. That has to include the national leaders who cooperated with the popes in causing persecution against the people of God.

At this point, the author believes it important to clarify a few things. The Bible condemns not just the leadership of the Catholic Church for having used state power to enforce church doctrine, but also the Protestant Churches that will soon do the same thing. Any religious organization that uses state power to enforce its teachings is condemned by God for such action because it results from what God calls harlotry, combining church and state for mutual benefit. So, please, don't think we are just picking on the Catholics.

For those who insist that they do right by using the state to enforce church doctrine, they should seriously consider what Jesus had to say about this issue. Here is what he said:

John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time comes, that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service.
John 16:3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

Remember that this was a prediction of persecution based on church doctrine issues, not civil issues such as murder or theft. The initial part of this was addressed to the disciples in regards to what the Jews would do to them, but it clearly is applicable anywhere, anytime in the world because it plainly says "whosoever kills you." This means anyone, not just the Jews who might do these things to the disciples or their followers. Thus, no religious group should be killing others because their religious beliefs are different or "heretical." Anyone doing so proves they do not know God and therefore have not the truth in them. They also prove they are the ones lost to salvation.

One other thing you may be sure of. Whether the Catholic Church killed only a few thousand heretics (as the Catholic Church claims) or millions of heretics (as the Protestants used to claim), just one such death is sufficient to prove that the Catholic Church leaders who did such things did not know God. Of course, some say that the Catholic Church would never do such things today because they have apologized for their past actions and appear to have changed. Unfortunately, the truth is otherwise. The author has seen recent statements on the Internet by Catholic theologians justifying the killing of heretics even today were the power to do so returned to them. Therefore, nothing has changed with Rome even though their behavior is restrained at this time. They have been very successful in convincing people that they have changed, but the sad reality is that they have not. When given the opportunity again, they will revert to their former behavior. And the Protestant Churches will eventually join them in doing this next time around.

In the New Testament, you find plenty of evidence that the Christian Church had the right to remove heretics from among the members. But that never extended to punishment by the civil authorities on behalf of the church. Doing so always leads to trouble in paradise. It leads to absolute power and the abuse of it. And it leads to condemnation by God, which is by far the worst thing that can happen to the church. Of course, God's judgment of such actions will not be evident until the end of the world and after the millennium, but that does not mean he will not condemn such actions and eventually punish it. He keeps his word so you can be sure he will punish those who do this. 

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Key #4 - Basic Rules of Prophetic Beast Interpretation

There are basic rules by which the beasts of both Daniel and Revelation can be understood. The short list here is not complete and is meant as a summary only, but should give you an idea of the most important rules of interpretation. A complete list with more information about how the rules work and how they are derived may be seen by clicking here or go to the Main Menu at the top of this page and click on Prophetic Rules of Interpretation.

Note that these rules apply ONLY to the prophetic beasts of Daniel and Revelation and do NOT apply to non prophetic beasts or other things such as the Euphrates River, which occurs in Revelation 16. However, anything attached or directly related to a prophetic beast will follow these rules. For example, the woman of Revelation 17 sits on the seven heads of the scarlet beast. Because of her position on the beast, her clothing certainly falls under the Characteristics Principle, and her location certainly falls under the Environment Principle as well as the Miller Principle.

Characteristics Principle -

This rule is very simple. It merely says that things attached to a beast, for example, wings, or ribs in the mouth of a beast, represent behaviors of the power represented. This also applies to the species of the beast or even if a beast is made up of several types of beasts (for example, the sea beast of Revelation 13). Even the woman sitting on the scarlet beast is an "attachment" on a beast and so somehow affects the behavior of the scarlet beast's seven heads. Behaviors are always implied by such things. The body, heads, and horns of a beast in and of themselves represent different stages of the history of a kingdom and so do not represent descriptions of behaviors. Verbal descriptions of the behavior of a beast may sometimes substitute for something attached to or written on a beast. For example, the ten horns in Revelation 13 on the sea beast have ten crowns, which tells us that they are kings, while in Revelation 17, there are no crowns on the ten horns because the angel verbally explains that they are kings. It does not need to show crowns on the horns in Revelation 17.

Concurrency Principle -

If a beast has multiple heads, then all the heads represent kings that have divided from the same original kingdom and usually become separate powers. Alternatively, they may represent divisions of kings WITHIN the SAME kingdom. In either case, all of the heads on a beast represent powers that rule together, meaning that they all rule at the same time as one another, a principle from which this rule takes its name. This naturally should follow logically because heads represent divisions of a previously existing kingdom (or divisions within the same kingdom that follows a previously existing kingdom) so the heads MUST come after the original kingdom existed and therefore coexist with one another. The only way to change this is through a statement that conforms to the Exception Principle (explained below), and then it applies only from that point forward in the prophecy.

The classic example of this principle is the four headed leopard of Daniel 7. The four heads represent the four kings that divided Alexander's kingdom 23 years after his death. The four kings arose together and ruled together until, one by one, they were destroyed. Three of them were destroyed by the Romans.

The same rule applies to a beast with several horns on its head(s). The horns represent kings that arise together and rule at the same time. This rule applies until a statement is made in the prophecy which conforms to the Exception Principle. However, an Exception Principle statement in the prophecy changes this rule only from that point forwards in the prophecy. It does not work backwards in time.

Definition Principle -

This principle is also very simple. The idea behind it is that Revelation often, though not always, contains its own definitions for the symbols used in it. These definitions should be used whenever possible before a search is made into other parts of the Bible. Therefore, when the student of Revelation encounters a symbol, the first thing he should do is find other examples of that symbol in Revelation and study how it is used in an attempt to understand the definition of the symbol. If no such symbols are found in Revelation or there is no definition of the symbol that is useful in Revelation (perhaps because it does not fit into the context of the verse one is studying), then the book of Daniel should be consulted. If no symbol definition is found in the book of Daniel, then other parts of the Bible should be investigated. Once a symbol definition is found, use the one definition (there may be more than one) that best explains the symbolism in the verse in question in Revelation. If nothing is found in the Bible, then and only then go to history or archeology.

An example of this is the symbol formed by the word water. This occurs in several places in Revelation. As the angel was showing John the vision in Revelation 17-18, he gave the definition for waters, which is as follows:

Revelation 17:15 And he said unto me, The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

This definition will most likely work anywhere in Revelation where water is used as a symbol in a similar context. If you search in another book of the Bible, you may indeed find a symbolic definition of water, but you will likely find that it does not work well in Revelation because it was not designed for it.

Environment Principle -

This rule says that the environment a beast is placed in during the vision or dream of the prophet tells you either the origins of the power or else something about its current condition. A beast rising up out of waters, for example, tells you that it arises from among the nations around it. Staying near the waters after it arises out of the waters tells you that it continues to have dominion so long as it is said to have been given dominion from the beginning. A beast walking about on the earth after it arises out of the waters says that it has formed an established, stable government, and is now a power to be reckoned with. The earth symbolizes "nations" or "kingdoms" in these instances but can also symbolize a stable, established government.

Exception Principle -

This rule states that exceptions to the previously stated or existing rules of interpretation may be stated for particular parts of a beast. This plainly means that the usual rules will be followed until a statement is made that constitutes the exception to the previously existing rule, after which the previously stated rule will not be followed for that part of the beast from that time forward. Instead, the rule implemented by the exception will be followed.

For an example of this, in Daniel 7 the talking horn on the fourth dreadful beast was said to be diverse from those before it, a statement that is an exception to the previously existing rule. The previously stated rule was that those kings which came before the talking horn, specifically the kings who were the four beasts (Daniel 7:17) and the 10 kings on the fourth dreadful beast of Daniel 7 (Daniel 7:24), were all kings who arose from the earth, symbolizing that these kings were political kings and they inherited their thrones from their fathers. Therefore, because the talking horn is said to be diverse from those immediately around it (who were the 10 horns), this implies that the individual kings represented by the talking horn would not be kings who arose from the earth (would not be political kings) and would not inherit their thrones from their fathers. It is a fact that the popes did not inherit their thrones from their fathers.

The word diverse means "different", so this tells you that this particular king will not have the same characteristics as those which came before it. However, this also means it does not follow the same rule as the others that immediately preceded it, specifically, the 10 horns follow a different rule. The rule changes when it comes to the talking horn and remains that way from that point forward FOR THE TALKING HORN ONLY. The other horns continue to follow the rule they started under.
Therefore, the talking horn was the "exception" to the normal rule that kings arose from the earth.

Miller Principle -

For lack of a better name when the author came to understand this rule, it was named after William Miller, a man who taught the Bible prophecies of Daniel in the 1830s and 1840s in the Northeastern United States. The rule stated here has nothing whatsoever to do with the rules of interpretation that William Miller wrote out for himself. The Miller Principle was simply named after him and nothing more.

This rule is about progression through time of different stages of the history of a kingdom from one stage to the next. Some kingdoms of both Daniel and Revelation have several different stages to their history, which is represented by having a body and multiple heads or even multiple horns on them. Those kingdoms represented by a beast with only one head and no horns have only one stage to their history and this rule does not apply to them.

An example of a kingdom which had more than one stage to its history is the leopard beast with four heads that occurs in Daniel 7. It represented a power with two stages to its history. The first stage, shown as the body of the leopard, represented Alexander the Great and his immediate successors to his throne in Babylon after his death. The second stage, represented by the four heads of the leopard, represented the four kings who divided Alexander's kingdom four ways some 23 years after his death.

A beast with several heads and several horns will have 3 stages to its history. The sea beast of Revelation 13 is a good example of a power having 3 stages to its history. The first stage, represented by the body of the sea beast, took place from March of 538 to February 15, 1798, which occupied the 1260 prophetic days of time. The second stage, represented by the 7 heads, began immediately after the end of the 1260 prophetic days and will run until the 7 heads are finished and the 8th, who will be the returned beast, is revealed to the world. Then the third stage, represented by the 10 horns, will begin immediately and run until Jesus comes again.

This rule also implies that heads and horns normally are an outgrowth of the body they are attached to. This means they come after the body has existed and then is gone.For example, the leopard beast had heads on it that represented that the kingdom was divided in some way after Alexander the Great's death. These heads did NOT represent kings that came from a time before Alexander the Great even existed. Instead, the heads were leopard heads, just like the body was that of a leopard, which tells you that the succeeding kingdoms were very much like the original kingdom they came from and they were derived from the original "leopard" kingdom (the kingdom of Alexander the Great).

This implies that the heads cannot be kingdoms that are derived from another kingdom. The leopard heads were divisions of the kingdom represented by the body of the leopard and not that of, for example, the bear or the lion.

Ownership Principle -

This principle says that God is the owner of the kingdoms of this world. Daniel 2, 4 and 5 make that abundantly clear. Therefore, Satan is not the owner of the world's kingdoms. When Satan was offering to give Jesus the world's kingdoms during his temptation in the wilderness, Satan was a liar because he did not own that which he was offering. He could not give that which he did not own.

Separate Powers Principle -

Within the same vision, separate kingdoms that arise independently of each other will be represented by separate beasts. This also means that heads on a beast do NOT represent separate kingdoms that arise independently of each other, but instead arise from a common previously existing kingdom. There are those who suggest that the heads on the scarlet beast are a series of seven ancient kingdoms, all of which arise separately from one another, but this rule, along with the Miller Principle, make it very clear that this idea is incorrect and not possible. Heads on a beast NEVER represent kingdoms that arise independently of one another. They must ALWAYS result from divisions of one kingdom only, the one they come from - the heads always grow out from the body they are attached to! The same principle applies to the horns that grow out of the same beast's heads. Ultimately, the heads on a beast trace their origins back to a common kingdom.

Similarity Principle -

This principle is really very simple. If a beast has several heads or several horns, then if the body represents a political power, the heads or horns will also represent political powers UNLESS an Exception Principle statement occurs to change that. If the body represents a religious power, then the heads or horns will also be like that of the body and will be religious powers UNLESS an Exception Principle statement occurs to change that. Thus, the leopard beast of Daniel 7 was a political power and the heads also were political powers. They were similar to each other in the nature of their power. The body of the dreadful fourth beast of Daniel 7 was a political power and the ten horns were like the body because they were political powers. However, the talking horn had an Exception Principle Statement attached to it: the Bible said that it was diverse from the others, which meant it was not like the others. It was primarily a religious power rather than a political power, though it is true that there were political powers subordinate to the Papacy that were part of it.

The dragon of Revelation 12 is an interesting case because there are those who claim that the heads on the dragon are a series of ancient political kingdoms. Unfortunately (or otherwise), that is not possible. The dragon is not the owner of any kingdoms on earth. Daniel 2 and 5 make it very clear that it is God who owns all the kingdoms of this world. Therefore, the dragon is a spiritual power only, not a political power. As a result, the heads of the dragon cannot be political kingdoms but must primarily be spiritual kingdoms in nature. They must be similar to the body of the beast they are attached to. Because it is not a political power, they cannot be primarily political powers, but instead must be religious powers.

 

 

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Key #5 - The Symbol Definitions

Note: The author has moved the symbol definitions that were once here, which gave complete details, to another web page. These will be made available at a later date when the new page is ready.

The table below gives brief definitions of most of the symbols found in Revelation 17. Some, but not all, of the definitions are complete, though brief, meaning that some of the symbolic interpretations are not necessarily applicable to Revelation, but are included so you can see how to compare the definitions to their usage in Revelation.

The author has prepared another table that has symbol definition for many of the symbols found throughout Revelation, which will be made available here if and when the author has time to finish it. Sorry about that!

Print the Table below: HTML (on the new page, click on File and then Print) PDF

Brief Table of Symbols of Revelation 17

Symbol Interpretation References
Abyss It symbolizes a Prison. Note that the abyss is the same as the bottomless pit. Revelation 9:1-3; 20:1-3, 7; note that the bottomless pit is defined in Revelation 9 as a prison and this is clarified and reinforced in Revelation 20.
Angel Messenger of God Daniel 8:16; 9:21; Luke 1:19, 26; Hebrews 1:14; Revelation 14:6-11, 22:16
Ministers of the churches (human) Revelation 2:1, 8, 12, 18, 3:1, 7, 14
Jesus Revelation 10:1
Deliverers of God's judgments Revelation 16:2, 4
Protectors of God's people Daniel 6:22; Revelation 7:1-2
Satan Revelation 9:11
Destructive men Revelation 9:15
Babylon False, apostate Christian Religion Genesis 10:8-10, 11:6-9; Jeremiah 51:44, 47, 52; Revelation 18:2, 3, 17:1-5, 4:1 (Babylon of Revelation must be about the future after John's time, so must be Christian and cannot refer to just any false, apostate religion or religions prior to the rise of Christianity)
Beast (the body of a beast, not including its heads and horns)

Symbolic meaning of the body of a beast:

  1. king (see king definition),
  2. kingdom,
  3. nation

Note that a beast can be either religious or political in nature.  A political beast holds the power of the sword.  A religious beast has the power of moral persuasion. A religious beast may also have the power of the sword given to it by the state to use for enforcing its religious law. 

Daniel 2:37-39; 7:17, 23-24; 8:20-22 (note the priority order in which the definitions occur - it is consistent). See notes for references of the heads and horns. Heads, horns, and beasts all represent exactly the same things. The only difference is that the body of a beast represents history before the heads, and heads represents history before that of horns, so the horns come last in history.
Daughters (implied in Revelation 17) The woman of Revelation 17 is a mother of harlots, which implies that she has daughters. When applied to churches, it represents Christian Churches that have split from another church for reasons usually involving differences in beliefs. If the woman is a church, then the daughters must also be churches. Since daughters are born from the mother, this implies that the churches have split, most logically because of differences in beliefs.
Desert (usually translated as wilderness) A type of symbolic prison in which a power is restrained. It is not a literal, physical prison with actual bars and locked doors. Revelation 9:1-3; 20:1-3, 7, 17:3, 8; note that the woman and the beast are in the wilderness and come out of the bottomless pit (a prison), so the wilderness is a bottomless pit or a prison
Desolate To be stripped of wealth and destroyed Revelation 18:19
Earth The territory ruled by an empire and the territory, nations, peoples, multitudes, tongues ruled by that empire. For the dragon of Revelation 12, that it stands on the earth indicates that it is ruling its spiritual empire. Compare Revelation 17:2 with Daniel 7:17 and realize that the kings in Daniel 7:17 are the political leaders of the nations. Therefore, they are the kings of the nations or kingdoms and earth symbolizes nations or kingdoms ruled by the kings of the empires. In the case of a beast which represents a nation rather than an empire, the earth represents its territory and the people and multitudes and tongues within its territory ruled by that nation.
Specifically for the earth beast of Revelation 13, it rose up from the earth, which means it rose up from nations, multitudes and peoples that are ruled by an empire.  This fits the rise of the United States because it rose out of the British Empire that had established a colony on the North American Continent. The North American colonies of what became the United States were a part of the larger British Empire.  That the earth beast did not rise out of waters with winds blowing on it indicates that it did not fight against nations around it to rise, but the fact that it rose out of territory controlled by an empire tells us that it did have to fight against the empire to rise to power. Revelation 13:11-17
When a beast represents a nation rather than an empire, the earth under it represents the territory of that nation, its people, its multitude and its tongue(s).  In the case of the earth beast of Revelation 13, once it had established power, then the earth under it no longer represented the territory and government ruled by an empire, but that territory became its own.  Then the earth under it represents its own territory, people, multitude and tongue.  It does NOT represent the entire globe as some think it does. Revelation 13:11-17
Eat her flesh Take her things from her and destroy whatever remains, normally done only in desperate circumstances Revelation 19:18 - is literal, but the woman is not literal, so must refer to symbolic eating of her flesh, the things she consists of, so must refer to the taking of these things from her and destruction of anything else remaining
Fallen A line of kings is no longer in power because a city has fallen into enemy hands Isaiah 21:9 - used to describe the fall of Babylon and as with any city that has fallen, its king is no longer in power. This means that no more kings of that line will die.
Christ has been replaced as the head of a Christian Church by Satan and, as as a visible sign of this change, the church turns to legal means to prosecute people for "heresy" Revelation 18:1-3 - Babylon (representing the Christian Churches, becomes the habitation of demons, so no longer follow Christ and begin to persecute as a result)
Fire, burn her with To destroy those who are the leaders of the woman (the city she represents) and to destroy their property. Fire destroys so this is death for those who are "burned". Revelation 18:8; 20:9
Forehead Mind Romans 7:25; Ezekiel 3:8, 9
Fornication Improper reliance of the church upon the civil leaders for things the church should not have, illicit connection between leaders of church & leaders of government Ezekiel 16:15, 26; Isaiah 23:17; James 4:4; Revelation 14:4
Garments Covering of righteousness from God Genesis 35:2, Isaiah 61:10: Isaiah 52:1; Zechariah 3:3-5; Romans 13:14
Covering of our own righteousness which is as filthy rags (if the covering is not from God) Isaiah 64:6, Matthew 22 (will not get us into heaven)
Harlot False, apostate Christian Church (this cannot refer to just any religion at any point in time but must refer to the future of John's time - see Revelation 4:1) Isaiah 1:21; Jeremiah 3:1-3, 6-9; Ezekiel 16
Heads
  1. king,
  2. kingdom,
  3. nation

Again, heads can be political or religious in nature just like the body of a beast.

Daniel 2:37-39; 7:17, 23-24; 8:20-22 (note the priority order in which the definitions occur - it is consistent and for a reason - the king definition should always be considered first). Compare Daniel 8:20 to Daniel 7:5 and note that the horns of the ram in Daniel 8:20 are the same as the bear of Daniel 7:5. Also, compare Daniel 8:21 to Daniel 7:6 and note that the great horn of the goat is the same as the body of the leopard in Daniel 7:6. Thus, heads, horns, and beasts represent the same thing, so the horns come last in history.
Horns
  1. king,
  2. kingdom,
  3. nation

Again, horns can be political or religious in nature just like the body of a beast.

Daniel 2:37-39; 7:17, 23-24; 8:20-22 (note the priority order in which the definitions occur - it is consistent and for a reason - the king definition should always be considered first). Compare Daniel 8:22 to 7:6 and note that the four horns of the goat in Daniel 8 are the same as the four leopard heads in Daniel 7. Thus, heads, horns, and beasts represent the same thing, so the horns come last in history.
Is of the seven (Revelation 17:11) The word "of" in this phrase means "to come out of or from," so because the seven heads are the seven kings (representing the founders of each line of kings by name) and are Papal, this means that the 8th will start as one of the seven kings (one of the seven names) and will become the 8th (a completely new Papal name) when he gets the power to be the beast (meaning he gets the legal power to prosecute people for heresy) and changes his name, apparently as a result of his new status that will come to him then. Revelation 17:11; Daniel 7:6, 17, 23 - 25; 8:21 - 22 (consider that the four heads of the leopard or the four horns of the goat are four kings, and they represent the four generals, by name, who took over Alexander's kingdom).
Judgment

Investigations in courts of law are normally done in three steps:

  1. Investigate the facts of the case
  2. Make a decision based on the facts and announce the reward for the case
  3. Carry out the reward mandated by the decision (perhaps execute the person or set them free).

The woman is judged as a harlot and is destroyed by burning, which can only be done for the daughter of a priest who turns to harlotry. Therefore, she is the daughter of a priest.

The Bible shows examples of God investigating things for the benefit of the angels and beings on other worlds, such as personally questioning Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eve. He knew what had happened and did not need to do this, so could only have done so for the benefit of others in heaven and on other worlds, and it benefited Adam and Eve because he investigated them and then pronounced his decision on what to do. They could NOT have seen this as being an arbitrary decision concerning their future..

Leviticus 21:9; Revelation 17:1, 16
Kings Daniel - Kings who arise from the earth Political kings, leaders of the nations
Daniel - Diverse King Religious kings, meaning their primarily purpose of existence is in the religious sphere of things rather than in the exercise of civil power
Revelation 17 - Kings of the earth Political kings, leaders of the nations
Revelation 17 - Kings Religious kings, meaning their authority is primarily in the religious sphere of things rather than civil power
Lamb Jesus, sacrifice John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Genesis 22:7, 8
Merchants of the earth Business Leaders who promote the interests of the woman of Revelation 17 and sell things to her Revelation 18:11-13, 14-19, 23
Mountains Many in the days of Babylon considered a mountain to be a symbol of the dwelling place of the gods. Similar ideas were held by the Jews because many references to mountains in the Bible are associated with gods or their worship. The mountain that the stone of Daniel 2 grows into contains 3 real divine beings, so it can be seen both as a religious kingdom and as a symbol of a dwelling place for the divine beings. Daniel 2:34, 35, 44, 9:16, 20; Jeremiah 51:25, 44, 47
Religious kingdom - God's kingdom is primarily religious in nature rather than nonreligious because it originates with God, not man, and is governed exclusively by God himself. His laws are religious in nature rather than nonreligious and originate with him rather than with man. Daniel 2:34, 35, 44
Nakedness Natural, sinful state Matthew 22:1-14, Ezekiel 16:36-43; Revelation 3:17-18, 16:15
One hour This seems to refer to a short time period and is neither literal time nor symbolic prophetic time (which would be about 15 days). Literal time makes no sense and neither does symbolic prophetic time because both are too short to accomplish the stated purpose for them to have power and finally realize that they need the help of the beast to accomplish their objective (which is the reason they turn their power and authority over to the beast - they realize they are not doing the job well enough). Their objective is to force the people of God to worship the beast (obey the beast). They will do anything to accomplish that objective, including inflicting torture and death. Revelation 18:17, 19
Pearls Things of God Revelation 21:21
Gospel Matthew 13:45-46
Precious stones Things of God (such as the city of God or the temple of God) or appertaining to God himself Exodus 24:10, 25:7, 28:17-21, Revelation 4:3, 21:11, 19
Royalty (crowns of kings) 2 Samuel 12:30
Great wealth 2 Chronicles 32:27
Works of a person 1 Corinthians 3:11-12
prostitute Same as a harlot. False, apostate Christian Church (this cannot refer to just any religion at any point in time but must refer to the future of John's time - see Revelation 4:1) Isaiah 1:21; Jeremiah 3:1-3, 6-9; Ezekiel 16
Purple (color) Things of God, temple of God, God's presence, access to God and access to salvation Exodus 26:36, 28:6, 8, 15, 36:37
Receive power A church obtains legal authority to prosecute people for heresy. Note that the 10 horns receive power with the beast, meaning they have power at the same time. Thus, when the beast rises again by receiving legal power to prosecute people for heresy, the 10 horns should come to power soon after by the same means and for a while both of them will have power at the same time. Daniel 7:25 (they shall be given into his hand)
Scarlet (color) Things of God, temple of God, God's presence, access to God and access to salvation Exodus 26:36, 28:6, 8, 15, 36:37
Seven Heads (of the sea beast of Revelation 13 and scarlet beast of Revelation 17) and seven heads of the dragon Seven Papal lines of kings occurring after 1798. The seven heads on the beasts in Revelation 13 and 17 are divided by name (Gregory, Leo, Benedict, Pius, John, Paul, John Paul) just as the four heads of the leopard in Daniel 7 are divided by the names of their founders (Cassander, Lysimachus. Seleucus, Ptolemy) The seven heads have blasphemy on them, which means they claim to be God and claim to be able to forgive sins against God's laws, both of which only the Papacy claims to have the power to do. The body represents time from 538 to 1798, so the seven heads must represent time beginning in 1798. See Matthew 9:1-8, 26:61-66. The dragon's seven heads are the same as those of the sea beast of Revelation 13 and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 (the dragon secondarily represents Rome so the heads and horns on it must be an outgrowth of Rome)
Sit (or sitteth in the KJV) or sitting This indicates to sit in a position of authority or power over others. When the woman sits upon the waters, she sits in power and authority over the nations because Revelation 17:18 says she has a kingdom over the kings of the earth, who, as rulers over the nations, thereby give her authority over the people within the nations. This is true only so long as she sits upon the waters AND fornicates with the kings of the earth because her authority really is that of the kings.  She does not inherently have the power of the sword, unlike the kings of the earth. When she goes to the desert and sits upon the 7 heads of the beast, she is no longer sitting on the waters and the 7 heads are said to be kings, not kings of the earth. Thus, during this time in the desert, she no longer has authority over either the kings of the earth or the people of the nations. Proverbs 21:23 is an example of sitting in a position in authority. 1 Kings 1:35 is an example of a king sitting on his throne, which is a symbol of his position and authority. Revelation 18:7; 19:4; 20:4, 11; 21:5
Waters Peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues Revelation 17:15
Whore Same as a harlot. False, apostate Christian Church (this cannot refer to just any religion at any point in time but must refer to the future of John's time - see Revelation 4:1) Isaiah 1:21; Jeremiah 3:1-3, 6-9; Ezekiel 16
Wilderness Prison Revelation 9:1-3; 20:1-3, 7, 17:3, 8; note that the woman and the beast are in the wilderness and come out of the bottomless pit (a prison), so the wilderness is a bottomless pit or a prison
Wine False doctrines or teachings Daniel 5:2-4, 23; Jeremiah 25:15-18, 51:7
Jesus' blood of atonement Matthew 26:21-29
Wine of her fornication As a phrase, it means false teachings, especially her doctrine that she has the right to punish those who disobey her religious laws which leads nations to like what she has to offer so that they become "drunk" (this means they are deceived by her and do not think straight so that they cannot properly discern right from wrong) on it and do not use good judgment in how they treat the people of God. Revelation 17:2, 6, 14; 18:23 (note especially the phrase "for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived")
Wine of the wrath of God As a phrase, it means punishment God inflicts on sinners Revelation 14:10-11
Wine of the wrath of her fornication As a phrase, it means the punishment or persecution which the woman of Revelation 17 inflicts on others Revelation 14:8 compared to similar phrase in Revelation 14:10 shows it means punishment
Woman, impure, of Revelation 17 False, apostate Christian Church of the New Testament era Ezekiel 23:2-21; Revelation 14:4; Hosea 2:5; Hosea 3:1; Ezekiel 16:15-58
She is the symbolic "daughter" of the pure woman of Revelation 12 because she is burned for harlotry, which can only be done if she is the daughter of a priest.  Jesus is the only priest in Revelation and the woman of Revelation is the symbolic wife of Jesus (as the church she is his wife), so this woman must be her daughter.  History proves that this is accurate for the Catholic Church did originate with the original true church, but it apostatized and therefore became a daughter of the original woman of Revelation 12..

Revelation 17:1, 16; Leviticus 21:9; ask yourself these questions: she is burned because she is a prostitute which is prescribed in the law is if she is the daughter of a priest. Who is the nearest priest in Revelation (which answers the question of who is her father)? Who is his symbolic "wife" (which answers the question of who is her mother)? Therefore, the woman of Revelation 17 is the daughter of the woman of Revelation 12.

 

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Key #6 - The Three Symbolic Environments

Prophetic beasts or powers usually occur in any of three symbolic earthly environments in both Daniel and Revelation, even if just briefly. Some of these appear in several of these earthly environments. To better understand what this tells us about the powers involved, it would be a good idea to study the symbolic meaning of these symbolic environments. The three major environments are as follows:

  • above waters or coming out of waters
  • on the earth
  • in the desert or wilderness

There are 2 other environments in which powers are shown besides the earthly environments just mentioned. These are the heavens where the dragon of Revelation 12 first appears, and the moon upon which the woman of Revelation 12 is initially presented standing on. However, both of these symbolic powers end up in one or more of the three earthly environments, just like all the others.

Let us now discuss the symbolic meaning of each of the three earthly environments. 

 

The waters - What Do They Mean Symbolically?

Please read the verse below:

Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

The waters represent "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues," (Revelation 17:15). The author has read quotes of this verse by many authors, but the explanation they give of the water as it is applied to the different visions of Daniel and Revelation does not usually tell you very much. It is a rather simple symbol, but it also is a fact that authors tend to leave out the details of the waters.

Just so you understand how the author will communicate with you here about the waters, for our purpose here the author may use the word "water" (the singular form of the word), but you can think of it as "waters" (the plural form of the word).  Also, the beasts of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 (except the earth beast) came up out of the sea. You should consider the sea to be equivalent to the word "waters" because they essentially symbolize the same thing. And the woman of Revelation 17 sits on "many waters" which essentially symbolizes the same thing also.

The first thing to notice about the definition is that all definitions given for the water in Revelation 17:15 are in the plural form. This indicates that water does not represent just one nation, or multitudes, or peoples or tongues, but always represents more than one.   This is useful because it tells us that several nations, peoples, multitudes and tongues (languages) are represented by the water. Thus, when a beast rises up out of the water, it is coming up from among a group of nations. The beast itself is not the only occupant of the water when it rises, but we must understand that there are numerous others around it.

This makes sense because in Daniel 7 the beasts rose up from the sea upon which the wind was blowing and stirring up the water, causing waves, and we know that this means the beasts are having to fight against several other nations around them in order to rise to power. Significant for us is that the history of each of the beasts of Daniel 7 proves there are at least several other nations represented by the water, thus lending support to the idea that the definition given in Revelation 17:15 is correctly done in the plural form.

But we should understand that there are more nations in the water that a beast rises out of than just those which it fights against in order to become an empire. Other nations should also be present in the water, which represents those around the empire which a beast did not fight against to become an empire.

Now let us discuss the four winds that blow upon the sea in Daniel 7 because it has an effect upon the water. In the Bible the four winds taken by themselves represent the four directions of the compass, that is, north, south, east, and west, essentially meaning, from all directions. These directions may also be referred to in the Bible as the "four corners of the earth." Here is an example in the Bible where the four winds are used as a symbol of the four directions of the compass:

Mat_24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The four winds can also be used in the Bible to represent strife and warfare among the nations. Here is an example where such usage occurs:

Jer_49:36 And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation where the outcasts of Elam shall not come.

It is an obvious conclusion from this verse that warfare will be used to take the Elamites and scatter them everywhere on the earth. You can be certain that warfare will be used because they would not go voluntarily. Thus, due to implied warfare being associated with the four winds, it becomes clear that they are symbols of warfare and strife among the nations, and in this verse, they were to be directed toward one nation in particular.

Now, in Daniel 7, the four winds blow upon the water, stirring it up. Because the beasts rise up out of the water with the wind blowing upon it and stirring it up, it should be clear that in Daniel 7 the four winds represents strife and warfare among the nations out of which each of the four beasts rises to power. In essence, warfare is used to bring about the rise of each of these beasts. Given the facts of Daniel 7 and their actual history, it is not sensible to think that the four winds blowing upon the sea merely means "from all directions," but must mean warfare and strife instead. Thus, the four winds blowing upon the sea represents the warfare and strife which troubles the nations, and out of this empires rise.

Let us now look at the rise of a beast out of water without wind blowing upon it. In Revelation 13 the sea beast rises out of water that has no wind blowing over it. The lack of the four winds means the sea beast does not itself fight against another power to gain authority over them. As we have discussed previously, rising out of water tells us that it rises among the nations that came out of the fall of Rome. As you know, this beast represents the popes and the Catholic Church.

But what are the facts of history about its rise to power? History shows that when it rose to power, it faced opposition from other Christian religious groups and even was directly restrained by two of them (the Ostrogoths and the Rugians, allies of the Ostrogoths which had a small kingdom within Italy along with the Ostrogoths), but the church did not go directly to war against the opposition. Instead, the Eastern Roman Empire removed the opposition largely for their own purposes, but there is evidence that they also did this in behalf of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church did not itself fight against the opposing Christian powers to rise to authority, but their hands were not clean on this. History records that the church was involved in motivating the Eastern Roman Empire to go to war against those Christian nations that opposed Catholicism, thus eliminating them. This explains the removal of the three horns from the head of the dreadful fourth beast in Daniel 7.

The Bible directly tells us that Rome gave the sea beast power, a throne and great authority, so that its rise to power technically is by a decree of Rome. This is unlike the rise to power of the four empires of Daniel 7 which had to directly fight against other powers to rise to authority. The nations around the empires certainly did not create the empires by a decree!  They went to war to prevent it, but lost. 

As a religious power the sea beast rose out of the sea to indicate that it gains a position of dominance over all churches and rules them (these churches become its religious kingdom that it rules over) and it is given authority over the people of God in all nations of the former Roman Empire. Its church is its religious kingdom, but when it obtained power over the people of God in 538, in a sense it was given a second kingdom to rule.  Consider that in 1798 the Papacy formally lost the right to persecute. In other words, it no longer had the power of a king over God's people. Yet, after that date, the popes still remained as kings over their church and thus they had a kingdom within their church to rule just like they had before 1798. We can conclude from this that there is a religious kingdom of the church which the popes rule at all times, and when they have the power to persecute, there is a second kingdom given them by the kings of the earth which extends to any person who claims to be a Christian, whether Catholic or not. This kingdom may extend outside the church.

The Bible actually backs up the idea of a second kingdom for it tells us that the dragon gave the sea beast a throne and great authority and power. A throne implies a kingdom to rule over. If you understand the pattern of the sea beast, you know that the 7 heads represent the time after the Catholic Church lost its authority over the people of God. And yet, even though the heads no longer have civil authority over the people of God after the events of 1798 when they lost that power, the seven heads are referred to as kings. What are they kings of when they have no civil power? Well, they have to be the kings of their church. The church is the first kingdom and it is the one they always have. But this means that before the sea beast rose up out of the water, the popes already had a kingdom to rule, a religious kingdom only with no civil power over all nations. The second kingdom that was acquired in 538 was civil power over the people of God wherever they were within the confines of the former Roman Empire. Note that not all of them were within the Catholic Church. History attests that this is true because there were individuals and churches outside the Catholic Church which were prosecuted for heresy and persecuted by the Catholic Church during the dark ages. The Waldenses of Northern Italy are an example of such a situation. The Catholic popes were given authority to persecute them and thus, they had the power of a civil king over them even though the Waldenses were outside the Catholic Church.

Something that you should understand is that a beast can represent a nation as well as an empire, both of which are kingdoms. Remember that beasts are kingdoms as defined in Daniel 7:23. This will become important for you in Revelation 13 if you study the earth beast. That a beast can represent a nation as well as an empire is based on evidence found in Daniel 8 where the angel told Daniel that the horns represented kings, kingdoms and nations, in that order. Kingdoms can refer to either an empire or just a nation that is not an empire. Of course, the word nation suggests a kingdom without an empire.

One other aspect of a beast that you should understand is that a beast represents a religious or political kingdom that exercises some kind of power over a group of people. Beasts are kings and kings hold the power of control in their hands, which they exercise over those who are subject to them. Political beast hold the power of the sword in their hands. Religious beasts hold the power of moral persuasion in their hands and, if also the kings of the earth give them civil power over people, they may also hold the sword in their hand as well. The dragon is a spiritual power, which is a type of religious power, and it holds the power of control over the mind in the moral realm of life.

Let us go a little deeper by considering the beasts of Daniel 7 and analyze the water from which they came. The point here is to study what is in the water and what is NOT in the water at certain time points. First the lion came up out of the the sea as the four winds blew upon it and stirred it up. As you know, the lion represented the empire of Babylon. Now, Babylon was an empire because it ruled not only its own territory, but it also ruled the territories and peoples of other nations. Note that when it finished coming up out of the sea, it stood upon the earth where it remained throughout the remainder of Daniel's dream from God, thus standing there even as other beasts rose up.

Now, please give this some thought. That it continued to stand there even after its empire was conquered obviously does not mean that the empire of Babylon continued to rule its empire, for it lost its dominion to the Medes and Persians. But rather, its continued presence as other beasts rose up functions to preserves the sequence, and shows that the legacy of Babylon continues down through time in the form of the peoples, multitudes, tongues (languages), and even some of its culture and religion is preserved. These things continue on even though they will be governed by other powers at later time points.

When Babylon rose to power, there were numerous small nations around it that it conquered. All of these were in the water as it rose out of the water, and you can consider it reasonable to think that the water contained many other nations around those nations that Babylon did not conquer which were a part of the overall political environment of Babylon. Thus, the water represented more than just the nations that Babylon conquered, but must have included others around them as well.

The next beast that came up out of the water in Daniel 7 after the lion was the bear, which represented the empire of the Medes and Persians. Just as it was with the lion's rise out of the water, as the bear came up the wind blew upon the water to stir it up. The bear had three ribs in its mouth, which is believed to represent the three steps of conquest it engaged in to create its empire. In the first step, the Persians conquered the kingdom of the Medes. These two then got together and formed a combined army that went out and did further conquest two more times. In the second step of conquest, the Medes and Persians conquered the Lydian kingdom north and northwest of Babylon. In the third step, they conquered the Babylonian Empire. This completed their empire as far as God was concerned. However, at a later time, the Medes and Persians went into Egypt and conquered it.

Now, while the bear was coming up out of the sea and the wind was blowing upon the water to stir it up, the lion continued to stand upon the earth. Until the bear was fully out of the water and standing upon the earth, its conquest to complete its empire was not finished because the previous empire, Babylon, was still in power and remained so until the last moment. Just as Babylon fell, the bear stepped out of the water. Does this make sense to you? 

Let us analyze what is in the sea as the bear came up out of it. As the bear came up out of the sea, the symbolism in the dream shows us that the lion, representing Babylon, continued to stand on the earth. It did not disappear or fall over or collapse after the bear came up out of the water in order to tell us that the Babylonian Empire was gone, but rather it continued to stand. Something not considered by most people is that as the bear rose up out of the sea, the empire of Babylon was represented both by the lion standing on the earth AND as part of the water of the sea out of which the bear came up next. In other words, as the bear rises up out of the sea, Babylon is represented in two places in the dream at the same time, both as the lion and as a part of the water. But once the bear was out of the water, the water no longer included Babylon because it had just been conquered.  It makes sense for it to be this way though this is something that people do not think about when they read Daniel 7.

If you question that Babylon was in the water as the bear rose up out of it, consider that Babylon was one of several kingdoms against which the Medes and Persians did battle to complete their empire, which is the whole point of having the four winds blowing upon the sea - there is warfare through which an empire rises to power. Any kingdoms against which the Medes and Persians had to fight against to create their empire must be included in the water of the sea, and thus Babylon must also be included along with all the other nations. And the lion must remain standing on the earth as this battle takes place to indicate that it continues to have dominion until it is defeated. Thereafter, it remains standing for other purposes as previously mentioned. Remember that these are symbolic things, not literal places, so it is not impossible for Babylon to be represented both as the lion and to be included as part of the water of the sea at the same time when the bear rises up out of it. Had you ever thought about this before?

We find a similar pattern with the leopard beast of Daniel 7, which, as you know, represented the kingdom of Alexander the Great. He conquered the empire of the Medes and Persians and then went on beyond that to the east to conquer kingdoms in what is today India. It is clear that in the water as the leopard roes up out of it, God included the empire of the Medes and Persians along with the other kingdoms Alexander conquered - and more beyond and around them. Moreover, the bear continued to stand on the earth as it rose up out of the water and it did not fall over, collapse, or disappear when the leopard got out of the water. So, like the lion, the bear is represented in two places at the same time as the leopard came up out of the water. However, there is one difference. When the leopard came up out of the water, Babylon, as an empire, was no longer included in the water because it had long before disappeared. However, its peoples, multitudes and tongues it had previously ruled remained as part of the water as a part of the Persian and Median Empire. Once the leopard left the water, the water no longer included the kingdom of the Medes and Persians. 

A similar pattern emerges when the fourth beast comes up out of the sea.

If you carefully think about this, you should realize that while nations may be represented by the water as defined in Revelation 17:15, it is clear that God also treats empires as if they are nations for his purpose in Daniel 7 in the symbolism of the water out of which the beasts rise. This must be so because these empires are part of the powers against which three of the beasts had to fight in order to create their empires.

Remember that in Daniel 7 the four winds blew upon the water, stirring them up. It did not blow upon the beasts and stir them up in anger against one another (or something on that order). In Daniel 7, Daniel did not see the beasts fighting one another to create their empires, unlike what he saw and recorded in Daniel 8. In Daniel 7 all the fighting to create the empires, symbolically speaking, was done within the waters by the four winds as the beasts rose up out of the sea. Does this make sense to you? 

Let us summarize for you what we have learned so far:

  • The waters (plural form) symbolizes:
    • "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues," (Revelation 17:15).
    • God included empires in the waters as if they are nations.
  • Each previous empire is included in the water when it is being conquered by the next power, but not afterward.
  • The four winds blowing upon the waters symbolizes warfare and strife among the nations, peoples, multitudes and tongues (languages).
  • The sea beast of Revelation 13 rose up out of water which did not have the four winds blowing upon it to indicate that it does not itself carry out a war to rise to power. When it rose up out of the sea (after the fall of Rome), it had no army of its own with which to fight a war. But it gained authority anyway because it was given power by Rome. Be aware, however, that it gained this authority by helping to instigate the wars which removed its own opposition.

The beasts of Daniel 7 rose from the waters to indicate their origin, that it was from among the nations and the four winds blowing on the water and stirring it up tells us that it was by strife and warfare that they rose above the others. Rising out of the water without the four winds blowing on it implies that the sea beast rises up from among the nations, just as the beasts of Daniel 7 did, so this action tells us its origin. That it receives its throne, authority and power from Rome tells us that it rose up from among the nations that came out of Rome. But it also is implied, just as it was with the Daniel 7 beasts, that it rises above the others around it, which may involve some means of causing others to submit to its authority, but this is done without it engaging in direct warfare against its opposition. The sea beast primarily is a religious empire, so those that opposed it were religious powers as well. The subsequent condition of the beasts of Daniel 7 and the sea beast is shown by the beasts remaining on the earth, usually in close proximity to the water from which they arose.

Something interesting about the Revelation 13 sea beast is that it rises up out of the sea. The Bible does not actually say that it stands upon the sea shore after it rises up out of the sea. The author used to think that it did not go out to the shore but rather rose up and floated above the sea, but the author has changed his mind on this and has concluded that it does come onto the shore and stand there even though it does not directly say so. The reason the author has changed his thinking on this has to do with developing a better understanding of the meaning of the earth as a symbol that has been gained in the years since last writing about this. The correct conclusion is that the beast does rise out of the sea and then it stands upon the sea shore, the earth. In that position it will have civil power over its religious kingdom that it rules. For 1260 prophetic days, it also will have authority over God's people to make war against them. When you study the symbolic meaning of the earth soon, then you will see why this is true.

The sea beast is both a king (the popes) and the kingdom that they rule (the church). So, in and of itself, the sea beast represents the popes and the kingdom they rule. Heads (where there is more than one on a beast and where they all come up at the same time) also are both kings and kingdoms just as the body of the beast represents a king and a kingdom. And horns also are both kings and kingdoms.  These are clearly defined this way in Daniel 7 and 8.

The popes always have a kingdom to rule at all times, which is the church they rule over. in a sense during the 1260 days, the sea beast was given a second kingdom to rule, a combined religious and civil kingdom of authority over the people of God in all nations. In other words, it is given the power of the civil government to enforce its church religious law against anyone who it disagrees with. This power is exercised against all who refuse to obey the law of the church and instead choose to obey God's law. It lost that authority in 1798, but in the near future it will once again have this authority returned to it.

Next we will discuss the wilderness.

 

The Desert Or Wilderness - What Does It Mean Symbolically?

A strange thing often happens when the subject of either the desert (wilderness) or abyss (bottomless pit) comes up in a study of Revelation. The first thing that most people do is go to the Greek-English dictionary and look up the Greek definitions for the abyss. This action is very strange, indeed, because most everything else in Revelation 17 is symbolic and people go looking in the Bible to find the symbolic meaning. So why should it be that when it come to the wilderness, they suddenly decide that, unlike everything else, the abyss is literal so that it must be defined by the dictionary? Is it that they think the Bible has no definition for the abyss? The author is uncertain of the reason why this happens, but it need not be done this way.  What they apparently do not realize is that the Bible defines the symbolic meaning of these words very clearly. All they have to do is use the definition and the meaning of the symbols and the story told in Revelation 17 will be clearer than it is by running to the dictionary for its definition of the wilderness.

Here is how the Bible defines the abyss for us. Please compare the following verses from Revelation 17 to those from Revelation 20:

Rev. 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
Rev. 17:8 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.

Rev. 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev. 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, who is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev. 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little while.
Rev. 20:7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

In the case of the scarlet beast of Revelation 17, John first sees it in the wilderness and then the angel explains that it will come out of the bottomless pit. In the case of the dragon (Satan) in Revelation 20, he is first locked in the bottomless pit and a thousand years later is let out of his prison.

Do you see what the angel did here by his statements in Revelation 17 and 20 regarding the desert, the bottomless pit and the prison? You should be able to see that the angel gave definitions that when logically linked together give you something very useful. Think about it carefully, if you will, and you should see the end result the angel was trying to get us to understand. 

Do you see it? If not, then here is the explanation. In effect, the angel said in Revelation 17:3, 8, that the wilderness is the same as the bottomless pit. And in Revelation 20:1-3, 7, in effect, he said that the bottomless pit is the same as a prison. We can write it out for each of these chapters like this:

Revelation 17:3, 8 - wilderness = bottomless pit

Revelation 20:1-3,7, - bottomless pit = prison

Now, let us put this together so that we see where he was going with this. Logically, this is the ultimate goal:

Wilderness (desert) = Bottomless pit (abyss) = Prison

Which can be reduced to:

Wilderness = Prison

Do you understand why this is true?

Let us reason this out so that you are sure to see that this really is true. First, in Revelation 17 the angel showed John the woman sitting on the seven heads of the beast while they are in the wilderness. Then a little later it says that the beast comes up out of the bottomless pit. Now, think about this for a moment.  Where in the story did the angel say that the beast went to the bottomless pit? You should realize that the angel never said that the beast left the wilderness and went down into the bottomless pit.  Why would he leave out such an important detail?

But, in spite of what things look like, did he really leave that detail out of the story?  The author contends that he did not do that in spite of appearances to the contrary. Here is why. The story IS incomplete as written just as the author has shown UNLESS you assume the angel is telling us that the wilderness is symbolic of the bottomless pit. By substituting in the words bottomless pit for the word wilderness, the story becomes complete because then the woman and the beast actually started out in the bottomless pit (symbolized by the wilderness) and later come up out of the bottomless pit. This makes better sense of it and clears up the omitted details, does it not?

Another way to look at this is to realize that when we read that the beast and the woman were in the wilderness, we should then understand that the beast and the woman were already in the bottomless pit. The story actually begins there. And later the beast, with the woman sitting on its seven heads, will come up out of the bottomless pit.

IF you do NOT accept this explanation of the wilderness and bottomless pit in Revelation 17, then you are still left with the problem of answering the question of, when did the beast leave the wilderness and when did it go to the bottomless pit? Where did it go, if anywhere, in between the two times? And WHY did the angel conveniently seemingly leave that little detail out of the story? It is a very important detail and the story is not complete without it.

In Revelation 20, an identical pattern is followed. First, we learn that the dragon is put into the bottomless pit and is to remain there for a thousand years. Later it is said that he comes out of his prison. Again the problem arises that the angel never told us that the dragon left the bottomless pit and we are never told anything about when he goes into into prison.  Some solve this problem by claiming that there was a scribal error in Revelation 20 somewhere back in the mists of time and that we cannot trust the word prison to be what John actually wrote. According to them, he actually wrote bottomless pit. But this explanation is a mistake. We can trust the words to be correct. In a few moments, the author will show other evidence that the bottomless pit actually does symbolize a prison, so we can trust that there was no scribal error here. The symbolism is correct.

Now, to complete the story, we can again solve the problem the angel appears to introduce by understanding that the bottomless pit and prison symbolize one another. Thus the dragon is put into the bottomless pit, but in so doing, he is actually put into prison and later he comes out of prison. It makes good sense of the story this way and does not assume mistakes somewhere far back in time that cannot be proven. Revelation is a book of symbols, after all, so it is consistent with its theme to tell us about symbols in this way. Why fight it?

IF you do NOT accept this explanation, then you are still left with the problem of answering the question of, when did the dragon leave the bottomless pit? When did the dragon go into the prison? And where did he go, if he went anywhere, in the time between these two places?  And WHY did the angel conveniently leave that little detail out of the story? It is a very important detail and the story is not complete without it. Moreover, you are still left with the problem of explaining just why the angel said prison when, without the explanation given to you here, he should have said bottomless pit.  Do you still want to rely upon an unproven idea that there was a scribal mistake somewhere way back in the mists of time? Good luck with that one!

Let us now put the information from both places together and you have the equation above. That is, the wilderness is the bottomless pit which is a prison. Said more simply, the wilderness IS a prison. Thus, when the woman is in the wilderness with the beast, she is in a prison. She is restrained from doing what she wants to do. She has had power taken away from her. The fact that she is no longer sitting on the waters fornicating with the kings of the. earth should tell you that she no longer has power. Think about it. She cannot influence the kings of the earth to do as she wishes when she is on the beast in the wilderness. Symbolically, they stay on the waters and she goes to the wilderness, which you might think of as symbolically being far from the waters.

If you put this same information (wilderness = prison) into the wilderness in Revelation 12, it makes good sense that the woman of Revelation 12 goes to prison in going to the wilderness because all it says is that the woman is put into a prison for her protection during the 1260 years, or you might say that she is hidden during that time. It does not mean that she is safe for there is persecution during the 1260 prophetic days, but she will survive.  Also, in Revelation 12 when the dragon spews water out of his mouth in an attempt to destroy the woman, the dragon (the devil) does NOT follow her into the wilderness during the 1260 years because if he did, that would say he went into prison. We know that he does not go to prison until the Second Coming of Jesus occurs and then he remains in prison for a thousand years. Thus, in Revelation 12, when he is spewing water out of his mouth, he remains on the earth, something that he has to do to remain in charge of his spiritual kingdom, which consists of the nations, peoples, multitudes and tongues that he rules.

This same information that the wilderness symbolizes a prison works in Leviticus 16 with the scapegoat. When the scapegoat is sent to the wilderness, it symbolizes that Satan will be put into the abyss or bottomless pit just after Jesus comes again and he will remain there during the next thousand years.

Some have argued with the author that the wilderness of Leviticus 16 or Revelation 12 is not the same as the wilderness of Revelation 17. The burden of proof is upon them because there is no statement in the Bible saying that they are different. Therefore, that is their opinion and nothing more than that. Let us stick with the Biblical definition.

So, whenever you see the symbolic words wilderness or desert, abyss or bottomless pit in Revelation, be sure to think "PRISON"!

The abyss or bottomless pit of Revelation 9 uses the literal definition of the abyss in a way which shows it is a prison. The idea of the bottomless pit is that it was supposedly bottomless (this should be obvious from the name given to it) and it has a door at the top that is locked, but with a key it can be opened. In this vision smoke was held in the bottomless pit until the door is unlocked and opened. The smoke rises out of it, and out of the smoke come grasshoppers which are released upon the world. The grasshoppers as a group symbolize a religious power that was released upon the world after the year 538 (the Muslim religion fits). Thus, by holding them in until they were released by the key that unlocks the door, it functioned as a prison. In general, you can think of the bottomless pit as a condition that restrains any power contained within it.

If a power is put into the abyss, then it is put into restraint and it can no longer exercise its power over those who were subject to it before.  If the door to the abyss is opened and the powers inside are released, then they can exercise their power freely.

The star of the abyss of Revelation 9 (representing an angel, specifically Satan) is given a key to unlock the door to the abyss. Prisons are normally locked. This key obviously had to have been given to him by God because Satan is not the ruler of the bottomless pit. The story symbolizes that the key is "permission" to start a new religion at that time, the Muslim religion, and all Satan does is release this into the world. Obviously releasing the Muslim religion upon the world has had a big impact ever since it rose up in 622. And it will continue to do so until the very end of this world's history.

Now, since Revelation 9 uses the bottomless pit as a symbol of a prison, which is shown by powers being released when the locked door is opened, then in Revelation 17 and 20 it is logical that the bottomless pit is also a prison. Therefore, when the word prison occurs in Revelation 20, it is NOT a scribal mistake in spite of claims to the contrary. You can trust that it is the correct word that John was told to write.

There is one more question that should be asked. Since the wilderness is a prison and the story of the woman and the beast essentially begins with the beast in prison, then when did it go there? The answer is that it went there in 1798. The body of the scarlet beast represents the combination of both church and state during the 1260 days of prophetic time which ended in 1798. After 1798 the Catholic Church was officially greatly restricted in its ability to persecute people. That does not mean there were no exceptions to that, for there were, but over most of Europe in the territory of the former Roman Empire, it had lost its persecuting power. It will remain in this condition until the authority to persecute over that territory is once again restored to the pope, an event which is soon to happen. This tells us that the sea beast of Revelation 13 also went to the wilderness when it lost its persecuting power in 1798. It represents the church and the popes. Remember that in 538 it put on the persecuting power like clothing, so when it was stripped of that authority in 1798, it was put into restraint and therefore it went into a type of prison. Thus, to put it into symbolic terms, it went to the wilderness. So, likewise, the scarlet beast went to the wilderness in 1798.

 

The Earth - What Does It Mean Symbolically?

Definition Derivation

The water the beasts rise out of in some of the visions of Daniel and Revelation is usually not understood by most people to be literal. After all, did Rome literally rise up out of the sea like the fourth beast of Daniel 7, which represents Rome? Did Babylon rise up out of the sea? History shows that these empires did not do that, so we understand that the water has to be symbolic. And the Bible helps us with this by providing a direct definition for the waters in Revelation 17:15.

We have just studied the wilderness where John saw the scarlet beast and we learned that it is symbolic of a prison.  Unlike the water, the Bible does not provide us with a direct definition for the wilderness, but rather we have to derive its definition by simple logic, but the definition derived by that method is just as valid as if we had been given a direct definition by the angel. But what about the earth that the beasts stand upon or even rise up out of? Is it symbolic or is it literal? Or can it be both?

As you will soon see, the earth has a symbolic meaning and it sometimes also has a literal meaning as well. For example, the dragon in Revelation 12 is said to have been cast to the earth (Revelation 12:9, 12, 13). The word earth in these verses has both a literal and symbolic meaning. Literally it means he was cast to our planet, the earth, something that should be rather intuitive. While this shows us the literal meaning of the word earth, there is a symbolic meaning also that is very useful once you understand it. So that you also may use it to help your understanding of Daniel and Revelation, we will now study to understand the definition of the earth as a symbol. 

Before we begin, bear in mind that many think that in these visions, the earth is only literal and they may become incensed when anyone suggests there may be more to it than that. If this idea of the earth being symbolic in addition to it being literal bothers you, think about the fact that in the dream recorded in Daniel 7, the beasts were symbolic, the water was symbolic, the species, and the wings and other such things added onto the beasts were also symbolic. In other words, almost everything in the dream was symbolic. So, why is it that the mere suggestion that the earth may be symbolic in a way that is in addition to its literal meaning suddenly causes people to become angry? If you are among those who become upset at the idea that the earth can be symbolic, please consider what the author has to say about this and think about it. You may be surprised by what you learn!

To begin, consider the following verses.

Dan 7:2 Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
Dan 7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
Dan 7:4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.
Dan 7:5 And behold another beast, a second, like a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
Dan 7:6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon its back four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
Dan 7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

Dan 7:23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

The pattern to notice for our purpose here is as follows.

  • The four beasts rose up out of the sea
  • The four winds were blowing upon the sea and stirring it up
  • After each beast rose up out of the sea, it stood upon the earth
  • The fourth beast devoured and broke in pieces the whole earth and stamped the residue with its feet and tread it down.

Now, if you think carefully about the symbolism involved, you should understand that when a beast is rising up out of the sea, this represents a time when the empire that it will become is being formed through warfare against those around it. The waters it is rising out of represents nations, peoples, multitudes and tongues (languages). It has to fight against other nations and possibly other empires in order to create its own empire. When the empire is created, it will have established a stable government over the territory that it rules. This does make sense to you, does it not?

But once it has formed that empire, THEN the beast will have finished coming up out of the sea and will begin standing upon and perhaps walking around on the earth. It will no longer be in the water, meaning that the warfare to create the empire is over. Consider that this must be true because the four winds were blowing upon the sea and not upon the earth. The four winds represent the warfare and strife among the nations, peoples, multitudes and languages through which the empire rises to power.  Since it blows only upon the sea, then while the beast is in the sea, it is busy forming its empire through warfare. Once it is out of the water, that process has ended.

However, you should understand that even after an empire has been formed, this does not mean there is never any additional future warfare by the empire in an attempt to enlarge its empire. But when that happens, a different symbolism is used in the Bible to indicate this where needed, which we will study next.

Let us look at the following verses:

Dan 8:2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
Dan 8:3 Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
Dan 8:4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.
Dan 8:5 And as I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
Dan 8:6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran at him in the fury of his power.
Dan 8:7 And I saw him come close to the ram, and he was moved with rage against him, and struck the ram, and broke his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.
Dan 8:8 Therefore the male goat grew very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and instead of it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.
Dan 8:9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which grew exceedingly great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the glorious land.

Now, in the story above the ram was near to the water, so it is reasonable to believe that it had previously come out of water, which lines it up with the story in Daniel 7. Factually, we know that the ram is equivalent to the bear of Daniel 7 because both symbols represent the Medes and Persians. That the ram is on the earth tells us that its empire was already created from the time perspective of the vision when it began for Daniel (though you should note that the vision was given near the end of the Babylonian Empire rather than during the time of the Mede and Persian Empire, which empire was then in the process of being formed, but was not complete). What we should take special notice of here is that at times the ram was busy walking around on the earth and at times it was even pushing against other beasts to the west, north and south. The other beasts could not stand before it, but fell to its attacks.

We can make the following observations about the facts in the story from Daniel 8, which are as follows.

  • The time of empire formation for the ram was already past, which we know because it was standing and walking around on the earth. The vision did not show it coming up out of the water.
  • It is clear that while walking around on the earth, it went even so far away as its boundaries. 
  • When it went to its boundaries, it sometimes crossed them and pushed against other beasts, which beasts represent other nations and empires just outside of its boundaries in the directions of west, north and south. Those beasts fell to its attacks. These activities enlarged its boundaries.

So please think carefully about this for a moment, if you will. After the ram created its empire but before it went on the attack against other beasts, it was both standing and walking around on the earth. Since there are other beasts nearby, then we should conclude that at times it is walking around within the boundaries of its own empire, while the other beasts occupied their own territory and sometimes were probably walking around on their territory. Based upon what we are told, this is reasonable and logical, is it not?

It should be clear from the story that the earth the ram stood on and walked around on represents the territory of its empire. The ram walked around and went to its boundary and then crossed it and pushed against other beasts. Logically each beast within the vision has a space it occupies and this space represents the beast's territory.  That it walks around and goes into the territory of other beasts and pushes against them is a clear indication that the earth does represent its own territory, for it is clearly shown to encroach upon the territory of other beasts and take their territory from them by killing them (other beasts cannot stand before it). It should also be clear that because each of the empires represented in Daniel 7 by the four beasts were composed of nations ruled by a stronger nation, then the earth that these beasts stood on must also represent the nations ruled by an empire.  We can say that in the case of a political beast, it is ruling a political empire and in the case of a religious beast, it rules a religious empire. A beast standing or walking around on the earth within its own territory without moving into the territory of another beast is the action of the beast ruling its own territory. It does appear that when it is walking around or even running, it may be in either attack or defense mode with another beast.  Does this make sense to you?  

Do bear in mind that not all bests represent an empire. A beast may represent a nation or kingdom which is not an empire. It too will have earth that it stands on or walks around on, and in this case, the earth represents the territory and people that it governs. Such a beast does not rule other nations, so the beast only rules the people within its power that are within its own boundaries, which are its own citizens within its territory. 

Let us take this a little farther to its logical conclusion and make it more useful to us. Please recall the definition of waters, that it represents nations, peoples, multitudes and tongues (languages). Remember that moments ago the author pointed out that the earth, in addition to representing the territory a beast rules, it also represents the nations an empire rules. This is true because an empire usually rules other nations.  Now, if the nations subject to an empire are represented by the earth that it stands on or walks around on (remember this condition happens only after it has risen out of the waters), then so also are the peoples, multitudes and tongues within all those nations represented by the earth. Does this make sense to you?

What this boils down to is that the earth in Daniel 7 and 8 is similar to the water in the dream God gave Daniel, but with several differences. The first difference is that the earth represents the territory that an empire rules, which the water does not represent.  The second difference is that while the water represents nations (or empires), multitudes, peoples and tongues, the earth likewise represents nations, multitudes, peoples and tongues, but these definitions apply only to those that are ruled by an empire. Where earth occurs under a beast that represents a nation that is not an empire, it represents only the people, language (usually there is just one) and territory that it rules. Let us make this more visible for you to think about:

Definitions:

Water - represents independent nations (or empires), multitudes, peoples, or tongues.

Earth under a beast that represents an empire - represents the territory of an empire and within it the earth also represents the nations, multitudes, peoples, or tongues that are ruled by it. The nations represented by the earth are not independent because they are ruled by an empire.

Earth under a beast that represents a nation - represents the territory, the language it has AND the people that it governs.

A beast standing - this represents that a power is ruling its empire or nation. This probably represent a time of relative peace in which the power represented is not likely attacking another nation or empire at the moment represented in the vision or dream.

A beast walking around - this represents that a power is on the move somehow to protect its interests. It still is ruling its empire or nation. It may be moving to put down a rebellion within its own empire (we will study this soon). It may be moving to attack another beast, either to stop an invasion by another beast power or to go across the border and invade the other beast's territory and take it from the other beast.

A beast running - such a beast is probably on the attack against another beast, which we assume may occur within or outside of its own territory. It may still be governing its own territory in spite of this condition.

Does these definitions make sense to you? If not, please reread the material above and then think carefully about it. You should be able to understand this and see that it is true.  Take careful note of the addition of the word "independent" to the definition for the water. That word is important.

We have a few more things to study and then we will apply what we have learned.

Recall that the beasts of Daniel 7 all stood on the earth when they came up out of the water. In Daniel 7, the only beast which subsequently walked around on the earth was the dreadful looking fourth beast, the one that represented Rome. However, in Daniel 8, we learn that both the ram and the goat walked around within their own territory and the goat even ran when it was in the attack mode outside of its own territory. When a battle is going on between the beasts, it is very reasonable to surmise that a beast may also run within its own territory in order to defend it against an attacking beast. In Daniel 8, the goat ran so fast its feet did not seem to touch the ground, which is representative of the great speed of conquest of Alexander the Great. The ram and goat represented the same powers as the bear and leopard of Daniel 7 respectively, so, though the bear and leopard were not shown to walk around, in Daniel 8 we learn that they did not just stand there and do nothing, but they were actively engaged in creating, expanding and defending their empires. And we know they were governing their territory as well.

What we should understand from all of this is that when a beast is standing, it is merely governing its own territory, peoples, nations, multitudes and languages if it is an empire and if it is a nation, it is governing its territory and people. When it is walking around, it is either protecting its own territory from potential or actual attack by another beast or getting ready to protect itself from rebellions within its empire. Walking around can also signal that it is getting ready to attack another beast. In any of these instances of behavior, it is still governing the nations, peoples, multitudes and languages within its own border if it is an empire, and it will continue to do this until it is defeated and killed and another empire takes over for it, or else it falls apart (as in the case of Rome).  When a beast is walking around, consider that war may, or may not, be imminent.

The fourth beast of Daniel 7 walked around its territory and was said to devour the whole earth. Now, the term earth here meant its own territory, which we know is true because it is not said to attack another beast during the time it is walking around and it devours the earth. IF the earth is literal, would a beast eat it? This beast is said to eat dirt (we assume it does not have a strange nutritional deficiency which causes it to eat dirt), so does this not suggest to us that the earth itself is symbolic rather than literal? Think about it.

Had this beast been said to be attacking other beasts when walking around, then we should say that it was going outside of its own territory. But it is not doing that and we have no other evidence of it attacking other beasts when walking around, so we can conclude that it stays within its own territory as it walks around (factually, we know that Rome did attack to expand its empire sometimes, but the story as told in Daniel 7 is emphasizing what happens within its own territory rather than its attacks to expand its empire). As it walks around, it devours the earth. What strange behavior this is! It takes big bites of dirt, chews the dirt, swallows part of it, spits out the reside (the rocks perhaps?), stamps upon the residue and treads it down.  This clearly indicates that it is doing something to the earth that God wants us to pay attention to or he would not draw our attention to it. Therefore, its behavior must be understood.  So, how can you understand what this strange behavior means? 

Let us analyze it to understand it. We are told that the beast devours the earth. This means it literally eats at least some of the earth near to where it is standing. Also, since we know that this beast is not said to have left its own territory before eating the dirt (or, at least, we have no evidence that it leaves its own territory before eating the dirt), then the dirt it is eating must occur within its own territory. This tells us something important that we can use.

Eating dirt like this suggests that it has a very big mouth with which to eat things. Do recall that it was said to have iron teeth, which it would need to do this, so clearly it is very dangerous because it has a big mouth with iron teeth and it is a very large and very powerful beast. One can be sure it was a fearsome sight to Daniel. The beast represents a government and governments are, at their most basic level, all about force.

Now let us learn what it means for this beast to eat dirt within its own territory. Recall that the earth represents the territory and the peoples, nations, multitudes and languages under the control of an empire. That this beast takes big bites of dirt and chews it up tells you that there is a need for it to use force on the dirt to break it up and essentially destroy it and destroy its cohesiveness. Part of what it chews up is swallowed and the rest is spit out, stamped upon and tread down. That which it swallows disappears altogether from the view of outside observers. The fact that it attacks and eats the dirt means that nations, peoples and multitudes within its own territory will be attacked by this beast. Swallowing them means that at least some of them will disappear when this beast goes on the attack. They are destroyed.

Predatory beasts typically use their mouths for attacking other animals and we know from history that in some instances this beast does that. But when it does that, note that it does NOT eat the dirt under the other animal. There is no evidence that it does this.  No, instead, it attacks the other animal and kills or somehow subdues it. But the behavior described for this beast is different because, instead of attacking another beast outside of its boundaries, meaning it is attacking the government of another nation or empire outside of its own empire, this beast eats dirt that is found within its own territory, meaning it is attacking the nations, peoples, multitudes within its own territory. By spitting out what it was unable to chew up and swallow, stamping on the residue and treading it down, this beast rearranges the dirt, or rather what is left of it, to its own satisfaction.

The meaning of the symbolism is as follows. Rome had a some rebellions within its realm for which it sent armies to put them down (thus, chewing up the earth). It was very deadly in its use of force to subdue rebellions. After subduing them, it set up the governments of those nations as it saw fit. In some cases Rome imposed direct governance upon subject peoples, but in other cases, it allowed the national governments to remain in place and they governed under Rome's control. As we know from history, eventually Rome established a relative peace among most of the nations it governed and those nations eventually came to value this because it favored wealth creation for all of them. It seems reasonable that once that occurred, the beast did much less chewing up and swallowing of the dirt. Thereafter the weird behavior largely ceased.

In essence, biting into the dirt, swallowing it and spitting out the residue is Rome sending an army to attack and deal with rebellions within its own empire. Another way to look at it is that this is about two armies fighting against one another, with Rome usually winning. The swallowing of the dirt action symbolizes the destruction of the enemy armies.  They disappear from view, so they are dead. You should understand that all of these battles occur within Rome's own territory so it is not describing attacks on nations or empires outside of its own territory.

Does this make sense to you? 

 

The Dragon, The Woman And The Earth

Now, let us take the things you have learned here and apply them to the the dragon in Revelation 12 and see what we can learn about it. Perhaps this will help you better understand the value of what we have been doing here.

In Revelation 12, the dragon first appears in heaven, which indicates that his origin is in heaven, where God is. But the dragon is cast to the earth, which means he is removed from heaven and then comes to our planet (Rev. 12:9), planet earth.

In Revelation 12 the woman stands upon the moon and is clothed with the sun. The sun represents Jesus (Rev. 1:16) and we all know that the moon reflects light from the sun, which tells us that the moon symbolizes something which reflects knowledge of Jesus (it cannot literally reflect him, so it has to be knowledge of him that is reflected, or in other words, it brings knowledge of him to our minds). This symbolism clearly points to the Bible because the Bible points to Jesus (John 5:39). It provides knowledge of Jesus that comes from God.

Putting this back into the story tells us that the woman is to stand on Bible truth which gives knowledge of Jesus. She does not stand on falsehood. The foundation of the Bible is truth as it is in Jesus, which is absolute truth, for God does not lie.

As strange as it may seem, the dragon stands on the earth in front of the woman to devour her child as soon as it is born. Be very sure that you understand that when this happens, she is on the moon and he is on the earth. The dragon is NOT on the moon. You read that right!  You may think the author is crazy to suggest this, but bear with him and you will see that it must be true even though it seems very counterintuitive. Remember that these are symbols, so they can be in close proximity to one another in the vision even though they could not be this way in real life. There is a purpose that God had in doing it this way.

Now you may want to insist that because the woman stands on the moon and the dragon stands in front of her, then he cannot stand on the earth and he must stand on the moon also. This may seem very logical to you and the author understands why it seems that way. But remember the symbolism and what it means. Think it through, carefully.  If the dragon stands on the moon in front of the woman waiting for the child to be born, then that position symbolizes that he is also standing on Bible truth as it is in Jesus. Does the devil stand on truth in support of Christ or does he stand on falsehood against Christ? You should know the answer to this question and know that it tells us that the dragon CANNOT ever stand on the moon at any time. He has to stand on the earth while she stands on the moon and is about to give birth. Yet, in the story, he stands in front of her, a fact which certainly makes it seem as though he stands with her on the moon also. But you should now be able to see that he cannot do that for it would place Satan in harmony with Jesus and Bible truth, which he will NEVER do. Apparently in the vision, these things were placed close together. Remember that these things are symbols using literal things to represent other things, so they can be used in ways that cannot in reality be done. It may be a little difficult to understand this, but it is true.

Revelation 12:13 tells us that when the dragon saw that he was cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman. We know from history that this went on for some time and then finally the woman went into the wilderness for 1260 prophetic days. Notice that while the dragon persecutes the woman, he stands on the earth. When you fully understand the symbolism employed here, you will know that from the time of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, the dragon has to be symbolized as standing on the earth. We will soon see why that is true.

When the woman is being persecuted after the birth of her child, she continues to stand on the moon. This has to be so because she cannot yet stand in the wilderness nor can she stand on the earth. You will soon understand why it has to be this way.

During the 1260 prophetic days, the dragon continues to stand on the earth. There is no evidence that he changes position to the sea or to the wilderness or to heaven (he cannot live there anyway) or to the moon (which position he would NEVER do anyway because he is not going to stand on truth!)   No, he remains on the earth.

During the 1260 days, the woman is in the wilderness. As we have studied before she goes there because she is placed in a type of prison during this time. To get to the wilderness, she has to stop standing on the moon and flee to the wilderness. Remember, these are symbols so she can do this.

Finally, as mentioned before, near the end of the 1260 days, the dragon spews water out of his mouth toward the woman in the wilderness in an attempt to destroy her. But the earth upon which the dragon stands opens its mouth and swallows the water and the woman remains safe. The dragon fails to harm her. So, after this the dragon becomes frustrated and he quits the war against the woman and goes off to plan a new war against the remnant of her children. Maybe he will have better luck against them, or so he thinks.

Now let us do a little analysis of this. We know that the earth under the dragon symbolizes the territory of a religious empire (because he is a religious beast) and it also symbolizes the nations, peoples, multitudes and tongues within that territory. The dragon has a spiritual empire over the whole globe. This tells us that the dragon spiritually rules the nations, multitudes, peoples and tongues within his territory, which territory is the entire globe. Does this make sense to you so far?

Now what many do at this point is say that yes, Satan rules the nations. He owns them! But not so fast! Satan's empire is NOT a political empire and he does NOT own the nations or empires of the world. The Bible tells us that God owns the political kingdoms.  Here is the evidence of that.

Dan 2:37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
Dan 2:38 And whatsoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

More than that, he controls them as evidenced in Daniel 2 in the sequence of nations that God said would happen, and which did happen just as he said. He even controls who leads the kingdoms, for he says this: 

Dan 4:31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken; The kingdom has departed from you.
Dan 4:32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make you to eat grass like oxen, and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.

You should understand that God cannot give what he does not own. So, because God gave Nebuchadnezzar a kingdom, the only logical conclusion is that only God owns the political kingdoms. So, since Satan cannot own the political kingdoms, then what kind of kingdom does Satan own? He owns a religious or spiritual kingdom, a kingdom of the heart (the will of a person is what the heart symbolizes in the Bible). Until the Investigative Judgment is done, Jesus also has a kingdom in the heart just as Satan's kingdom is a kingdom in the heart. Most have given their hearts to Satan, maybe without even knowing it, so he rules almost the entire globe in the spiritual realm. 

When Revelation 12 says that the dragon is upon the earth, this means more than just that he is on this planet. It means he is ruling his kingdom, the kingdom of the heart of man, just as the beasts ruled their kingdoms by standing on the earth. Satan does not own the nations because those are owned by God, but he can rule in the hearts of the leaders of the kingdoms. He rules in the minds of the peoples and multitudes. In short, he rules a religious kingdom over almost all men (the exceptions are those who serve God). The earth symbolizes the territory of his spiritual empire and it also symbolizes the nations, peoples, multitudes and tongues over which he rules spiritually within that territory. 

So, just what does it means that the dragon spews water out of his mouth in an attempt to sweep the woman away from where she is at in the wilderness? The answer, in short, is that he is trying to kill her.  You should understand that he spews water out while he is standing upon the earth. He cannot go to the wilderness and spew out water there, but he must do this from the earth. Remember these are symbols, not literal places. The reason he cannot go to the wilderness is that the wilderness represents a type of prison or a place and time of restraint of his power (it is a prison for any power placed there) were he to go there. We also know from the Bible that the dragon does not go to prison until the coming millennium after Jesus comes again. Thus, he has to remain upon the earth where he continues to rule his religious kingdom while he spews water out of his mouth toward the woman in the wilderness, who is in the condition of being restrained, being in a type of prison.

What does it mean for the earth to help the woman by swallowing the water that the dragon spews out? The woman is in the wilderness for her protection during the 1260 prophetic days so that she is not completely destroyed by the persecution of the dragon. The earth the dragon stands on represents the territory, nations, tongues and peoples that are subject to an his spiritual empire.  When the dragon spews out water, note that the water comes from the dragon's mouth where he is standing on the earth and goes toward the woman in the wilderness. The dragon hopes the water will destroy her by sweeping her away through the flood of water.  The water represents nations and peoples and multitudes and tongues, but since this water comes out of the dragon's mouth, it should represent those nations, peoples, multitudes and tongues that are sent by Satan to persecute or destroy the woman in her hiding place. In other words, the water represents evil people, not good people, and these evil people are being sent on a destructive mission, to destroy the woman, if possible. Whoever the water represents, they are NOT good people! Be sure you understand this.

But let us take this deeper. The dragon hopes that the water will sweep her away and destroy her by reason of the flood. The only way the dragon can hope to kill her is through the action caused by a flood because he cannot go to the wilderness to persecute her directly and kill her there. Floods are destructive and act with extreme force and can cause people to be swept away and drowned, thereby killing them.

Now, here is where things get interesting. Did you know that the Bible uses the picture of a flood to symbolize the action of an army sweeping through an area and killing people? It is true for it does use such imagery. Here is the evidence.

Isa 8:7 Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks:
Isa 8:8 And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.

Jer 47:2 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land, and all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein: then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl.
Jer 47:3 At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his strong horses, at the rushing of his chariots, and at the rumbling of his wheels, the fathers shall not look back to their children for feebleness of hands;
Jer 47:4 Because of the day that cometh to spoil all the Philistines, and to cut off from Tyrus and Zidon every helper that remaineth: for the LORD will spoil the Philistines, the remnant of the country of Caphtor.
Jer 47:5 Baldness is come upon Gaza; Ashkelon is cut off with the remnant of their valley: how long wilt thou cut thyself?
Jer 47:6 O thou sword of the LORD, how long will it be ere thou be quiet? put up thyself into thy scabbard, rest, and be still.
Jer 47:7 How can it be quiet, seeing the LORD hath given it a charge against Ashkelon, and against the sea shore? there hath he appointed it.

Dan_11:10 But his sons shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces: and one shall certainly come, and overflow, and pass through: then shall he return, and be stirred up, even to his fortress.
Dan_11:26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.
Dan_11:40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.

The verses above show us that God symbolizes an invasion of an army by a flood of water that comes in and sweeps away many by the flood. Here the flood of water represents nations, peoples, or multitudes which form an invading army that are being sent to destroy the woman. This does make sense, does it not?

When we apply this to the flood of water that is directed toward the woman in the wilderness, it tells us that an army is sent to kill the woman in the wilderness through an invasion.  But the earth helps the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the water, an action which prevents the flood from reaching and destroying the woman.

For the earth to open its mouth and swallow the water, this represents that the nations which are invaded must somehow block the efforts of the invading army to destroy the woman. An army is coming at them, so how do they swallow that water? They make it of none effect. In other words, they fight back against the invading army and they prevent the success of the invasion and block it, effectively "swallowing" the flood of water by defeating the invading army.

Remember the fourth beast of Daniel 7 and that it chewed up and swallowed dirt? You should recall that this symbolized that this beast made peoples, nations. languages and multitudes disappear because of its army going to fight their rebellions. Swallowing dirt is an army of the victor fighting against another army and defeating them, killing them and thus, making them "disappear." Likewise, the earth swallowing water is essentially nations, peoples, or multitudes doing the same thing, that is, it represents an army that fights back against the invading armies and succeeds in their efforts to block the success of the invasion. Do you see the parallel here and the meaning given by it?

Now, think carefully about this and consider just when did this event occur in history and what does it represent. We know that the dragon attempts to spew the water out near the end of the 1260 days. When he is finished, he gives up on his war against the woman and takes a break for a while. During the break, he goes off to plan a new war against the children of the woman. This means that at, or relatively soon after these invasion wars, the persecution against the woman largely ceases.  

So, when did this happen in history before 1798? Well, if you go back in history and study it carefully, you should discover that when the Protestant Reformation took place, there were wars which occurred between the Catholic and Protestant nations in which the Catholic nations sent armies against the Protestant nations in an attempt to force them to give up their Protestant faith and rejoin the Catholic Church (there were some other issues involved as well, but this was one of the biggest issues for which they were sent). These invasions were certainly encouraged by the Catholic Church. On a smaller scale within some of these countries, there were battles between groups allied with the Protestant Churches and the Catholic Church.

In the end, the death toll was very high, but the Protestants fought back and held out and eventually a peace agreement was signed which largely ended the wars. While the Protestants were not entirely successful, they did prevent the attainment of the goal of the Catholic armies to force the Protestant Churches to surrender and return to the Catholic Church. Thereafter, Europe was divided between Catholic and Protestant spheres of control, and even within at least one country there were similar divisions. The territory between them was divided by treaty. For more information, see the Treaty Of Westphalia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_of_Westphalia), signed in 1648.  Persecution dwindled thereafter and eventually was stopped. The event of 1798 in which the power to persecute was removed from the pope had already largely been effectively accomplished previously, but the 1798 event was the formal removal of that power. The popes have been struggling to recover that power ever since then. They will get it back and they will use it, but then soon thereafter God will have his say on what they will do and he will punish them for it.

One result of such persecution was that many pilgrims came to the territory that later became the United States of America. Others went to South Africa and perhaps some went elsewhere to places such as Canada. Do bear in mind that probably most of these pilgrims were God's people (not all of them were), so there is no way that the water coming out of the mouth of the dragon represents the coming of the pilgrims to America. The water as a flood represents an army sent on a mission and the pilgrims were not coming as an army to destroy the true church (represented by the woman of Revelation 12). Cause and effect are related but they are two different things. Remember that the water coming out of the dragon's mouth represents those coming for an evil purpose - to kill and persecute others, something which they had no legitimate right to do in the eyes of God. The pilgrims did not come to America for an evil purpose such as to kill and persecute others and they certainly were mostly good people rather than evil people. Many of them came wanting religious freedom, to worship God as God dictated to their consciences. So, the water coming out of the dragon's mouth CANNOT possibly represent the pilgrims coming to America as some have taught. But it is true that one result of the persecution was that pilgrims came to America and some went elsewhere. Keep the difference between the cause and subsequent results in mind so that you do not get the symbols mixed up with events that they do not represent.

Probably the reason some people think that the water coming out of the dragon's mouth represents the coming of the pilgrims to America is that some people interpret the earth under the earth beast in Revelation 13 to be America, especially meaning the United States of America, and then, to be consistent, they choose to say that the earth in Revelation 12 upon which the dragon spews out water is also America and therefore the water coming out of the dragon's mouth must be the pilgrims coming to America! It all sounds very logical, but they have things backwards here and get the symbolism wrong, which results in a wrong interpretation. Let us analyze that a little more.

It is true that the earth under the earth beast in Revelation 13 represents the territory, nation and people of the United States of America, but that is true only within its own territory. In other words, the earth under another beast represents its own nation, territory and people and does NOT represent the nation, territory and people of the United States of America.  That each beast has its own nation, territory and people is demonstrated by the beasts of Daniel 8 where the ram had its own territory and then it went beyond its own boundary and pushed against other beasts. Obviously, it crossed into their territory on their earth, fought with them and defeated them. Thus, the earth under each beast represents its own nation, people and territory. 

That being the case, then the dragon must be standing on its own territory and you cannot say that it is standing on the territory of the United states of America. But think about it. IF he really were standing only there, then evil resides only in the United States. There is plenty of evil all over the world in all nations, so it should be clear that Satan has the whole world as his territory, not just the United States of America. Thus, the idea that the dragon spewing water out onto the earth is the same as the pilgrims coming to America is dead wrong.

Once the earth beast of Revelation 13 has been identified as the United States of America, then the earth it stands upon takes on the specific characteristic of being related to a specific territory, people and nation, but not before then.  And it is true ONLY for this beast. You cannot look at the earth under any other beast and claim that it is the United States, for to do so will most certainly mislead you.

The author has come up with two different ways to understand the earth under the earth beast using the definitions presented here. Here is the first method. Consider the earth out of which the earth beast will rise, but think of it before the earth beast rises out of the earth. The earth appears to be just bare earth as John saw it. Remember that the earth represents the territory and nations, multitudes, peoples and tongues over which an empire rules. In this particular case in Revelation 13 the earth represents the territory of an empire out of which the earth beast will later rise. The United States of America rose up out of territory that the empire of Great Britain ruled at that time. It did not rise out of warfare against several nations around it in order to rise to power, for if it had needed to do that, then it would have risen up out of waters. But by rising out of the earth this indicates that it had only to fight against the empire which ruled the land in order to rise to power. Its rise in this respect was relatively more peaceful compared to the rise of the beasts of Daniel 7. This approach matches the history of the rise of the United States of America.

An alternate way to view this is to say that the earth represents a people and multitude and language, but they have no identified ruler over them because there is no beast standing over or near them. The beast rises up from among them and becomes their leader. Such a rise is peaceful and does not involve war.  Unfortunately, this does not really match the American experience.

Here is another alternate way that some people have looked at the earth under the earth beast. The earth is not the sea, so it appears that it cannot represent a condition where there are significant previously organized peoples, nations, languages, or multitudes. In other words, it is the lack of water that is significant here to define the earth for they consider the earth to be "dry." The earth is also not the wilderness, so is not a prison. To summarize, the earth is not a prison and is not a condition where there are significant previously organized nations. Then what is it?

We find the earth beast of Revelation 13 in this condition. The earth represents that this beast power arose in a location where there were no significant previously organized nations. This is a reasonable conclusion because the earth is "dry," the opposite of having water. And it would also imply that its population was relatively low, but not necessarily devoid of people. Think about the beasts of Daniel 7 and how they rose up among peoples and nations. It is estimated by historians that the population in the Roman empire at its height was about 120 million people (Thomas J. Craughwell, How the Barbarian Invasions Shaped the Modern World, Fair Winds Press, Beverly, Massachusetts, USA, copyright 2008, page 14), and since it rose to power by conquest of many nations, it certainly did not rise from a "dry" area. The idea for the earth beast is that it had no nations around it to fight against and probably a relatively low population, but not necessarily zero population. Without people there is no nation to form, so there had to be people there.

The fact that the earth beast arose at all indicates that it clearly is not in a prison. Combining the condition under which it arose and the approximate date, about 1798 (it is near the end of the 1260 prophetic days of the sea beast because it comes after the sea beast's time of power), and the fact that it will have the power of the vote (it advocates to the people that they should make an image to the first beast - which represent a free choice - the power of the vote) along with religious liberty (this power has religion for it brings down fire from heaven, a clear reference to God as the source of it, so making an image to the first beast is making an image to the first beast when it has the power of the state put on it so that it can enforce its religious law - in other words, this beast will combine the church with the state), leads one to conclude that this beast represents the United States in prophecy. The United States did not have major nations around it to fight against in order for it to rise to power, which supports the hypothesis that the earth beast is the United States in prophecy.

The facts of history are that for the earth beast to rise to power, it required a revolution against the British colonial government. No war was required against other major nations because they just were not there. Thus, the rising to power of this beast represents the revolution that brought it to power and independence from the previous colonial government that remained in place until the signing of the treaty between the United States and Great Britain that granted the United States independence in 1783.

The problem with this last method of identifying the earth beast is that it gives the idea that there was not much population where the earth beast rose to power. After all, if water is peoples and multitudes and tongues, then logically a dry condition (earth) is a lack of peoples and multitudes and tongues.  In actuality, the territory of the United States of America had a significant population of indigenous peoples before the American Revolution against Great Britain, so this idea is often argued against for this reason. That same population had been greater at one time, but it declined before the arrival of the settlers from Europe. However, its population density when the settlers arrived from Europe apparently was considerably less than was the case in Europe of that time, so by comparison, it was indeed "dry."

There is one ancient version of the Bible in which Revelation 13:1 says that the dragon (Satan) stands upon the sea shore as the sea beast rises out of the water. This in no way should be construed to say that Satan has dominion over the waters because it does not say that he has such power. God own the nations, so it is he who ultimately rules them. Instead, in this instance, this is a position of influence on the part of Satan. Standing there as the dragon indicates that he is ruling his religious or spiritual empire, but he does not own the political kingdoms. There is a difference. Satan instigated the Eastern Roman Empire to create the church-state combination with the Papacy by a decree that went into effect in 538. Satan is responsible, to be sure, but it was through influence, not direct control, that he accomplished this. We can say he has been given credit by responsibility because he is the hidden agent responsible for instigating this event in history. Therefore, he is given credit for it.  But remember that God has the ultimate veto power over him and anything he does. 

In the next section we will begin to put all the information we have studied before this into a complete picture of Revelation 17 so that you can fully understand it.

 

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Let Us Put It All Together To Understand Revelation 17

Revelation 17 in a Picture

Now that you have studied the first 6 keys to understanding Revelation 17, let us begin to put this all together so that you can see the big picture. First, while you may not understand it now, please examine the picture below and then we will discuss the meaning of it in relation to Revelation 17. This is a pictorial summary of the story of Revelation 17 in connection with the woman, the scarlet beast, the kings of the earth, the daughters of the woman and the three phases of the papacy as described and also shown on the beast in Revelation 17.

Time Moves To the Right Towards the Future

Note: licensors of the pictures in the graphic above include Microsoft Corporation (for the water background). Other licensors are: http://www.novadevelopment.com (the desert background) and http://www.hemera.com (the daughters). Some pictures obtained from http://www.krohneFamilyMedia.com (prostitute woman and kings of the earth), a source we found to be excellent.

Here are the important points of the graphic above:

  1. The prostitute woman's history begins with her sitting on the water fornicating with the kings of the earth (remember the Scarlet Beast Formula), then she moves to the wilderness (or desert) where she sits on the seven heads of the scarlet beast, and finally she moves back to the waters and resumes fornicating with the kings of the earth for the second time (the beast returns). These are the same as the three phases of the Papacy during its history. Note that the woman in the illustration above is sitting upon the seven necks of the seven heads. It would be nearly impossible to show her sitting directly upon the seven heads and for you to see that they are seven heads, so the author placed them on the necks. That is not totally accurate, but is much better than placing her on the back of the beast, which is where artists usually place her and which is totally inaccurate and misrepresents things completely.

  2. There are three phases to the history of the Papacy, which match up with the body of the beast, the seven heads, and the ten horns. The three phases are the "was" phase of the beast, the seven heads phase during which the "one is" occurs, and the "yet is" phase of the beast (the return of the beast during the time of the 10 horns). The table below shows the correspondence between the three phases and the three body parts of the beast which match up with the phases of the history of the church-state combination.

    Time Period Papacy History Phase Beast History
    538 - 1798 The woman sits on the water fornicating with the kings of the earth for 1260 prophetic days Body of the beast
    1798 - ? The woman sits on the seven heads in the wilderness Seven heads/seven mountains
    ? - Second Coming of Jesus The woman sits on the water fornicating with the kings of the earth until Jesus comes again The time of the ten horns during which time church-state beast returns

  3. The kings of the earth stay on the water at all times. They NEVER leave the waters to go anywhere else. Thus, they cannot be in the wilderness with the woman because IF they went there, then they have lost their power and anarchy prevails in the nations that they once ruled (meaning that they have no government).

  4. The daughters of the woman are born during the first phase of the Papacy or shortly after, and then grow up during the time of the 7 heads. During the time of the 10 horns, they will join their mother in fornication and harlotry with a king of the earth (but they will not do this with the same kings their mother fornicates with - to be explained elsewhere).

  5. The 7 kings which match up with the 7 heads and 7 mountains represents a time when they have power only over their church when they and the woman are together in the desert during the second phase of the beast's history. This time began in 1798 and will run until the church-state beast returns to power (the power to persecute is returned to the church). The power of the 7 kings is severely restrained because they are in the desert, which symbolizes a prison or a time of restraint upon their power. Their power is religious only because they have no kings of the earth through which to legally leverage power against the people of God. The seven kings are not the kings of the earth and must not be confused with them. Even though during the desert or wilderness scene the seven heads are the only part of the beast which actually exist, for completeness the body of the beast and its 10 horns are also shown to show the past and the future relative to the time frame of the desert scene. It would look very strange to John if only the 7 heads were shown with the woman sitting upon them while they are in the wilderness and there was no body or ten horns attached to them.

  6. When the prostitute woman returns to sitting upon the waters during the third phase, this allows her to resume fornicating with the kings of the earth, the combination of which is the scarlet beast, or the church-state beast as the author sometimes calls it, and is identified with the 8th of Revelation 17:11.

Of all the things to learn from the graphic illustration above, the following two facts are probably more important than anything else:

  • the woman's history starts on the waters fornicating with the kings of the earth, then moves to the wilderness, where she is alone with the 7 heads, then it moves back to the waters with the kings of the earth.
  • The kings of the earth NEVER leave the waters because they are always ruling the nations. Thus, they are NEVER in the wilderness. 

Do understand that the vision recorded in Revelation 17 and 18 is one vision because they are about the same subject, the judgment or punishment of the prostitute woman. Unfortunately, those who divided the Bible into chapters failed to leave the two parts together as one. The story in Revelation 18 is not as difficult to understand as Revelation 17, whereas the story in Revelation 17 is the mysterious part that needs to be understood. So, we will concentrate on that.

Before explaining the graphic above, it is important to first outline exactly what John actually saw and did not see. So far as we can tell, in the vision of Revelation 17 and 18 John actually saw the following:

  1. the prostitute woman's clothing, her jewelry, the golden cup and the things in it
  2. the desert or wilderness
  3. the scarlet colored beast with 7 heads and 10 horns
  4. the names of blasphemy on the body and the 7 heads of the beast
  5. the prostitute woman sitting on the 7 heads of the beast (this was explained in detail, probably because John merely noted she sat on the seven heads of the beast)
  6. the drunk state of the woman
  7. the destruction of the woman (merely explained but not seen in Revelation. 17. However, it apparently was seen in Revelation. 18.)

John did NOT actually see the following:

  1. the woman fornicating with the kings of the earth, though this was explained to be going on
  2. the kings of the earth
  3. in Revelation 17 he did not see the waters where the woman sits (he saw these previously elsewhere), but he may have seen the waters again in Revelation 18, though that is not certain
  4. the daughters of the woman, though these are explained
  5. the seven kings
  6. the 10 kings (but he did see the 10 horns)
  7. the war against the saints of God

Now , let us explain why the graphic above that shows the three phase overview of the Papacy was designed as you see it. Certainly the understanding we have of Revelation 17 is not like any other, and some would say we are wrong simply because we see it differently. But, there are very good Biblical reasons why the graphic was designed this way. It explains Revelation 17 in considerable detail.

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The First Phase of the Papacy

Defining The Two Powers Of The Scarlet Beast In Its First Phase

What the author is going to do here is go over Revelation 17 more carefully so that you learn to understand the picture above and understand why it was designed as you see it.

Here is what the angel said at the beginning of Revelation 17 which give us the first phase of the papacy:

Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come here; I will show unto you the judgment of the great harlot that sits upon many waters:
Revelation 17:2 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.

In the picture above on the left side of the graphic illustration, you should see the woman seated on the water and the kings of the earth standing around her (the author could not find any good pictures of kings sitting that were usable in this setting, so he settled for these). Of course, we won't show her fornicating with the kings of the earth, but the angel does explain that this is the activity that the woman and the kings of the earth engage in while they are together on the waters. Naturally, in keeping with the pattern of Revelation, the fornication is symbolic of something else. 

The author put the woman with the kings of the earth on the left side of the picture and the timeline at the bottom shows that this is the first part of the story (time moves to the right). How does the author know that the woman first sits on the water before going to the wilderness? To many people who read Revelation 17, the real story appears to actually begin with the woman sitting on the seven heads of the beast in the wilderness and consequently, they focus on that and believe it to be the starting point. But if you understand the symbolism, then you will know that the woman actually sits on the water first and later moves to the wilderness. So, how does the author know that the woman first sits on the water?

Let us briefly outline the symbolism that reveals the timeline sequence. Then, as you continue to read here and in later sections, the various elements will be explained more deeply so that you will understand them. You may not understand all of the brief explanation given here, but continue reading and you will eventually understand it all. 

To begin, the woman sits on the water and fornicates with the kings of the earth in verses 1 and 2. This symbolism means that church and state get together for a time. But that activity eventually comes to an end and then, in verse 3, the second phase of the papacy is shown in which the woman appears sitting on the seven heads of the scarlet beast in the wilderness. Finally, in verse 8, we are told that the beast was, and is not, and yet will be and that it will ascend out of the abyss.  So, what the connection between the woman and the scarlet beast and what does this mean?

In concept it really is quite simple. The word beast in Revelation 17 refers to the scarlet beast only, so you should not get it mixed up with the sea beast of Revelation 13. The scarlet beast represents the combination of the Catholic Church and the state. When the beast appears later in the wilderness, which represents a type of prison or time of restraint of its power, then the church and state are no longer together during this time. This means that the woman (the Catholic Church) and the beast (during the time of the seven heads, these are the seven heads/kings) go to the wilderness because the power to persecute people has been removed from the church.

During the wilderness time, the kings of the earth remain on the water because they continue to rule the nations even while the woman goes away to the wilderness to sit on the seven heads of the scarlet beast. The kings of the earth do NOT ever go to the wilderness because IF they leave the water at any point in time, then there is anarchy in the nations for the rulers have left their posts and the nations have no rulers. We know that has not happened, so they have never left the water, symbolically speaking.  So, what this means is that the woman CANNOT be fornicating in harlotry with the kings of the earth when she is sitting on the seven heads of the beast because there is no way that they are in the wilderness with her. Thus, the seven heads cannot be political kings no matter how appealing that idea may seem to be.

Because the kings of the earth can never leave the water, then the logical conclusion is that the woman MUST fornicate with the kings of the earth before her time in the wilderness. Because Revelation 17:8 tells us that "the beast that was and is not and yet is" (paraphrase the author's) and we know that the beast represents the combination of church and state, then logically, this means that the woman sits on the water twice. First, she sits on it for the 1260 prophetic days and then she goes to the wilderness to sit on the seven heads, during which time the beast "is not."  When it says that the beast "is not," it means that the combination of church and state does not exist during this time, and therefore the heads represent only the popes during the "is not" time of the scarlet beast. When the "is not" time is finished, that is, when she time of sitting on the seven heads in the wilderness is finished, she returns to the water to fornicate with the kings of the earth and continues to do so until Jesus comes again. This tells you that the woman must be shown sitting on the water both before her time in the wilderness and after as well. Therefore, the illustration above is correct in showing the woman on the far left of the picture when the story begins. And it is correct in showing that she returns to the water on the right side of the illustration.

What you have just read forms the foundation for the important points connected with the graphic illustration above. Does this all make sense to you? Perhaps not, but we will study the details so that you understand it.

What is most important for our purpose here is that you know the following:

  • The scarlet beast's body represents the combination of the Catholic Church with the kings of the earth
  • The woman fornicating with the kings of the earth is the combination of the Catholic Church with the kings of the earth
  • The 1260 prophetic days is the time when the woman fornicates with the kings of the earth, which began in 538
  • The fornication comes first, then the time in the wilderness comes next and finally the fornication resumes
  • When the beast and the woman are in the wilderness, the kings of the earth remain on the water. This rules out that the seven heads represents political kingdoms of any kind.

Because the fornication of the woman with the kings of the earth is the first phase of the papacy, we will study it next.

 

Fornication Of The Woman In Deeper Detail

Let us now discuss more deeply the fornication the woman and the kings of the earth engage in because there is a connection between that and the identification of the powers that make up the scarlet beast. In the Bible, if you marry someone, the two individuals become one (Matthew 19:5-6). This is not the same as becoming one person or one being, but rather it gives you the idea of one in purpose, one in general goals, one in way of life, one in sharing most everything, one in going through life together, and yet remaining separate individuals. In marriage you should not and do not merge the personalities into one nor do you surrender the personhood of either individual to the other. God never intended that this be the case in marriage, but rather, he meant that through the expression of two personalities in marriage as one foundational unit of society, the image of the character of God will be revealed more fully than either one alone could do. This is one of several reasons why he placed man and woman together in marriage. This was a union of divine origin and of divine action.

The ideal in the Garden of Eden was that one man and one woman who are married to one another will most fully reflect the image of the character of God. He declared them one for this purpose. But in the Bible joining together as one can happen outside marriage as well. According to 1 Corinthians 6:16, one who joins himself to a harlot also becomes one just as two people who marry become one.

Also, in the Bible there is such a thing as polygamy, which means that a man marries more than one wife. While there is no direct commandment against polygamy (exception: church elders must be the husband of one wife), such an arrangement clearly is not the Biblical ideal (there was only one man with one woman in the Garden of Eden) and the evidence in the Bible from the experience of those who did practice polygamy is that where polygamy was practiced, it created a large range of problems that would not otherwise occur in a non polygamous marriage. So clearly it is not a good idea to engage in a polygamous marriage. It often is selfish too because in most societies there is approximately one man for each woman, so for each extra woman a man has, there probably is going to be a man who is unable to find a wife. 

Polygamy may have originated from selfishness on the part of some men, but it may also have had a practical aspect to it because wars in those days often killed many of the men within societies so that the women remaining had no husband and consequently, lacking the economic rights of the men and the physical strength to do the manual labor needed to survive, they usually had no means of support and died. This fate could be avoided if someone took them in as an extra wife. Thus, both selfishness and selflessness may have played a part in originating and continued the practice of polygamy.

The author cannot at the moment think of any examples in the Bible where polyandry was practiced, the practice of one woman having more than one husband. Women do not usually go off to war and so do not die as frequently from war injuries and the men remaining from war usually have the economic rights and the physical strength to do the manual labor needed to survive. Thus, there would not have been any reason practical or otherwise, for women to practice polyandry.

Now, here is the element that is significant for the author's purpose. Because the Bible defines the joining of one man and one woman in marriage as making them one and joining to a harlot does the same thing, then it stands to reason that from a Biblical standpoint, in a polygamous marriage they are all to be considered one in the Biblical sense of marriage making one out of several people joining into the marriage. In other words, a man with say 10 wives has a marriage in which, by Biblical definitions, all together are to be considered as one. This is not unreasonable given the Biblical definitions just discussed.

So, in Revelation 17, the kings of the earth engage in a fornicating relationship with a harlot. In this relationship ALL of them join themselves to her. They are not married to her nor are they married to one another, so it is fornication. But as the Bible defines it, irrespective of the lack of marriage, by joining themselves to her in a fornicating relationship with a harlot, they have all become one. It is essentially no different as far as the Biblical definitions are concerned than what happens with a polygamous marriage.  Is this clear to you?

So, what does this mean in Revelation 17? Well, The kings of the earth fornicate with the woman, which joins them all together as one just as the Bible defines it for us.  Fornication is the unlawful joining (according to God's law) of one person to another who are not married to each other. As said before, the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 IS the combination of the woman fornicating with the kings of the earth. The scarlet beast represents two powers combined together for a common purpose. The scarlet beast does not represent just one power even though some people think it does (those who do this usually think it is the devil). As you know, most other beasts represent just one power. Does this make sense to you?

How does the author know that this beast represents these two powers in combination?

In Daniel 2 the metals are defined by their relationship to one another (they occur in sequence) and we know that the sequence begins with Babylon. In Daniel 7, we have the same four kingdoms in sequence, which we know to be true because we know when Daniel had the dream and we know that the kingdoms began in Daniel's time and that they continued on in sequence. In Revelation 12 we know who the dragon is because it directly tells us that it represents Satan and, by describing its behavior, we also know that it secondarily represents the Roman Empire. In Revelation 13 we know who the sea beast is because it tells us who gives this beast its power, authority and position and it describes its behavior so that we can identify it if we know something about history.  The Bible also tells us that this sea beast has a name of blasphemy upon it which we have been able to show represents a set of specific blasphemous behaviors of the sea beast.

What this boils down to is that we use information surrounding the beast in each chapter to derive the identity of each beast, which includes using some history. It is a rather simple process when it is fully understood.

But when it comes to the beast in Revelation 17, we have only a vague description of a beast which has seven heads and ten horns, that it has the woman sitting on the seven heads, that there are names of blasphemy upon the beast, that it is in the wilderness when John sees it, that it will come up out of the abyss, and finally that this beast will make war against God's people at the end. Surrounding it we have information about the harlot woman sitting on water and fornicating with the kings of the earth and then she suddenly is no longer doing that and instead she is sitting on the seven heads of the scarlet beast in the wilderness. Oh, and we also know that the ten horns will someday turn on the woman and destroy her.

The answer to the question of how can the author knows that this beast is the combination of church and state is rather simple. First, we have already identified the blasphemous behavior represented by the name of blasphemy on the Revelation 13 sea beast. This same name must also appear as one of the names of blasphemy on the scarlet beast, which tells us that this beast is partly Papal, which directly connects it with the Catholic Church. Thus, the Catholic Church MUST be one of the powers that this beast represents. However, we know that this woman fornicates with and is a harlot with the kings of the earth, which, as we just saw above, defines them as one. This tells us that the scarlet beast is not just the woman, but must also include the kings of the earth as a part of it.

Because the angel's explanation of this vision starts with the woman on the waters fornicating with the kings of the earth, we make this the first picture on the left side of the graphic above because that is where the chapter begins the story. Because the beast is the combination of church and state and runs until Jesus comes again, then this beast did not begin during the time of the Roman Empire, but rather it appears when persecution authority resumed after a break in persecution authority that occurred when Rome broke up into various nations in the year 476. The authority to persecute resumed in the year 538.

The woman sitting on the water while fornicating with the kings of the earth corresponds to the body of the scarlet beast, which represents the 1260 prophetic days time beginning in 538 and ending in 1798. The seven heads represents the time of the Catholic Church after it officially lost authority to persecute in 1798, the subject we will study soon. 

 

Why Does The Sea Beast Have a Name Of Blasphemy On it While The Scarlet Beast Is Full Of Names Of Blasphemy?

This topic is something that you should find of interest because it explains a rather puzzling aspect of the beasts of Revelation 13 and 17 which have the seven heads and ten horns. People generally have not known why the sea beast has just one name of blasphemy on it (note that this one name of blasphemy may have been repeated several times on the seven heads of the sea beast) while the scarlet beast is full of names of blasphemy, clearly indicating that there were numerous names that were all different from one another. Until recently the author also did not understand the reason for this and he thought that they were essentially the same thing, but that view has now changed due to things recently learned. This topic is about the things that have been learned so that you may also understand the reason for this. Looking back in time, perhaps this should have been obvious from the beginning, but it was not. However, the reason for this is very clearly explained here, so you should not be ignorant about it after you read this material.

Remember that in previous study it was concluded that the name of blasphemy which appears on the sea beast symbolizes the blasphemous behaviors of the Papacy and we were able to define precisely what those behaviors were based on the blasphemy the Bible tells us the sea beast commits. The author has come to understand that the same name of blasphemy which John saw on the heads of the sea beast also is found among the many names of blasphemy that he saw on the scarlet beast. But the name of blasphemy that is found on the sea beast is not the only one found on the scarlet beast.  There are others with it.

But, you may say, how does the author know the name of blasphemy that John saw on the heads of the sea beast of Revelation 13 is also be found on the Revelation 17 scarlet beast?  The answer to this question is relatively simple, but it cannot be said in just one sentence.

The author will answer this in a practical way so that you understand what the author is saying. To do that, please consider the Revelation 13 sea beast.  It represents just one power and there is just one name of blasphemy written on its seven heads. This name of blasphemy may have been written several times, perhaps once on each head, but it was the same name of blasphemy that John saw on all seven of them. There were no differences between them. If you think about it, what this tells you is that there is just one name of blasphemy for the one power represented by the sea beast. Also, there is one set of blasphemous behaviors that are associated with the one name of blasphemy which appears on the seven heads of the sea beast. You should recall that we carefully studied the entire set of blasphemous behaviors of the sea beast previously, so you should be familiar with them by now.

So let us make the important point of the last paragraph more visible for you to think about:

The one name of blasphemy is associated with one set of blasphemous behaviors which is associated with the one power that the beast represents.

Of course, because John did not tell us, we do not know what the blasphemous name was that John saw on the sea beast, but we do know the blasphemous behaviors it represents very well so that it is not really important to know the actual name of blasphemy itself. All we really need to know is the set of behaviors and the power these behaviors are identified with and that these are in turn associated with a unique name of blasphemy, which does not really have to be identified.

Since the scarlet beast represents both church and state, then the church, which is also represented by the sea beast of Revelation 13, must have the same name of blasphemy associated with it on the scarlet beast that is found on the seven heads of the sea beast. This is very logical and reasonable and accounts for one of the names of blasphemy seen by John on the scarlet beast.

But what about the remaining names of blasphemy John saw all over the scarlet beast? How do we account for them? That is easy to explain. We know that the scarlet beast represents both church and state. We have already accounted for the one name of blasphemy associated with the church. Logically, all remaining names seen on the scarlet beast are associated with the state. But the state is a word which represents the kings of the earth and with which the woman fornicates. Therefore, all remaining names of blasphemy must be associated with the kings of the earth. And, since we know from the example of the Revelation 13 sea beast that there is one name of blasphemy per power represented by a beast, then there will be one name of blasphemy which appears on the scarlet beast for each of the kings of the earth with which the woman fornicates. This accounts for the many names of blasphemy which appear all over the scarlet beast. However, you will need to understand more before this last statement is correctly understood.

Does this make it more clear for you?

In a few moments we will get around to identifying the blasphemous behaviors that the kings of the earth engage in which qualifies them to have names of blasphemy written on the scarlet beast for them. It is easier than you think to identify this.

But first, let us summarize what we know to this point:

  • The Revelation 13 sea beast represents just one power, it has one name of blasphemy on it for that power, and this one name of blasphemy represents a set of behaviors it engages in that applies to no other power.
  • The Revelation 17 scarlet beast has two general classes of powers which it represents, which are:
    • The Catholic Church, which symbolically is the harlot woman
    • The state, also known as the kings of the earth, of which there are many
  • The Revelation 17 scarlet beast has many names of blasphemy seen on it by John. Here is how they are assigned to the powers represented by it:
    • One of the names of blasphemy belongs to the woman
    • All remaining names of blasphemy belong to the kings of the earth, of which there is one name of blasphemy for each king of the earth represented by the beast. Since there are many kings of the earth, there are many names of blasphemy upon the scarlet beast.

Does this make sense to you? Hopefully it does.

After we have accounted for the name of blasphemy assigned to the woman on the scarlet beast by using the name of blasphemy found on the sea beast's heads, what we need to do next is determine the set of behaviors that are represented by the remaining names of blasphemy found on the scarlet beast. But how do we find the definitions for the behaviors represented by the other names of blasphemy which occur on the scarlet beast? The answer is found in the following verses.

Rev 13:5 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.

Dan 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

The author will not explain the details here, but the Talking Horn in Daniel 7:25 (this is the author's pet name for the horn on the fourth beast of Daniel 7 which had a mouth like a man and spoke) represents the same power as the sea beast of Revelation 13. Since that is true, let us line up the three parts of both of these verses so that the behavior which constitutes blasphemy in Daniel 7:25 becomes evident.

Revelation 13:5 Compared To Daniel 7:25
Revelation 13:5
Daniel 7:25
And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things (these would be boastful words that do not constitute blasphemy) And he shall speak great words against the most High,
and blasphemies; and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws:
and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.  (this is the same as the 42 months or 1260 prophetic days)

You should particularly notice the middle row. The blasphemies in Revelation 13:5 is defined in Daniel 7:25 to be wearing out the saints of God and thinking to change times and laws, which specifically means the times and laws of God. This is in the plural form in Revelation 13:5, so it makes sense that each of the things done in Daniel 7:25 constitutes a form of blasphemy and there are several of them as you will note. 

What we need to pay particular attention to is the issue of wearing out the saints of the most high. What this means is that the people of God were persecuted and sometimes killed by this power. Since this is one of the forms of blasphemy, then we should understand that God does not approve of this power killing his people. To kill them is to claim God's authority to judge and sentence them to death and execute them. In effect, in these verses, God says that doing this is blasphemy. This is true without regard to their excuse for doing it.

Now what does this have to do with the names of blasphemy in Revelation 17 on the scarlet beast? Well, as you already know, one of those names of blasphemy is the same as the definition of blasphemous behaviors we derived for the sea beast, but the definitions of the behaviors for the other names of blasphemy has remained undefined until now. The following verses give us a definition for the blasphemous behaviors of the scarlet beast:

Rev 17:12 And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
Rev 17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

The scarlet beast will make war with the Lamb, meaning that it will persecute and kill God's people. Remember that the people of God are associated with the lamb in Revelation 14:1, so when the scarlet beast makes war with the Lamb, which represents Jesus and he is in heaven so they cannot directly make war against him, it symbolizes that it makes war against the people of God. But as demonstrated above, killing the people of God is claiming God's authority and therefore is a form of blasphemy.

As shown in Revelation 17, the earthly legal authority to kill God's people does not actually reside naturally with the Catholic Church, but rather it is authority that comes from the kings of the earth with which the woman fornicated in order to persuade the kings of the earth to use their power as she wished on her behalf. The woman does not have such civil law authority of her own self because her primary reason for existence is to be a religious power, not a civil power (one exception: the Papal States of Italy which they lost in 1870). But the kings of the earth that she fornicates with, as stated in Revelation 17, do have that authority and they act on her behalf to persecute and kill the people of God. Thus, it is the kings of the earth which kill the people of God and therefore commit blasphemy by so doing.

The kings of the earth also loaned their civil law authority to the Catholic Church so that they too could prosecute people for heresy. However, the blasphemy of persecuting and killing God's people is credited only to the kings of the earth because it is their authority through which this is done and without which, no persecution could take place. It is true that the sea beast is given authority to persecute and kill the people of God in Revelation 13 for the 1260 prophetic days, but that beast has only one name of blasphemy on it which indicates that the popes and the church alone are represented by the sea beast. Therefore, the blasphemy it commits can only be that done the popes and the Catholic Church that they rule. Each different name of blasphemy on a beast represents the blasphemy done by each power represented by a beast and since there is only one name of blasphemy on the sea beast, there is only one power within the sea beast. Hence, blasphemy done by the kings of the earth or through their authority, will not be symbolized by the name of blasphemy upon the sea beast. God gives the credit where it is due in the issue of speaking or acting out blasphemy. Does this make sense to you?

The blasphemy of thinking to change God's laws and times was done by the papacy, but the kings of the earth enforced church law on these matters and certainly agreed wholeheartedly with it. But they are not guilty of thinking to change God's laws and times.  The Catholic Church claims to have changed the day of God's Sabbath from the seventh day of the week, Saturday, to the first day of the week, Sunday.  God never authorized or approved of this change, but the Catholic Church officials have stated that on their own authority it was changed. They speak the truth when they say this, though they were not alone in doing it. In 321, the Roman Emperor Constantine wrote the first Sunday law in history, which he did under the influence of a Catholic bishop. Because the dragon secondarily represents the Roman Empire and when a beast speaks, this represents that it is making law and judging by that law, then this action of Constantine represents the dragon speaking.  At a later time when the kings of the earth enforced religious law through civil law and persecuted and killed God's people, this became a form of blasphemy of their own doing because, in doing this, the kings of the earth take on the authority of God and trample on the conscience, which God alone has the right to control.

While the kings of the earth did kill God's people, there are two other forms of blasphemy of which they should be deemed not guilty. The Papacy directly claimed that the popes are God. When the kings of the earth became Christians after 538, so far as the author has been able to determine, none of them ever made this claim for themselves that they were God. Also the Papacy claimed that it had the right to forgive sins against God's law and even had a priesthood to dispense forgiveness of sins against that law. The kings of the earth may have enforced the church law backing this up, but they themselves NEVER made such claims for themselves and always referred this matter to the church and the popes. As Christians, it seems the kings of the earth knew better than to claim this authority for themselves. So, the kings of the earth are not guilty of claiming to have authority to forgive sins against God's law.  

So, to summarize, we have the following:

  • Killing the people of God is blasphemy according to Daniel 7:25 compared to Revelation 13:5
  • The name of blasphemy found on the sea beast and also on the scarlet beast represents the following behaviors which the Catholic Church engages in (we have covered this before):
    • Claiming to be God
    • Claiming authority to forgive sins against God's law and having a priesthood to dispense this forgiveness
    • Switching places with the people of God and their church
    • Thinking to change times and laws of God
  • The names of blasphemy found only on the scarlet beast represent the following behaviors which all of the kings of the earth engaged in:
    • Persecuting the people of God
    • Killing the people of God

Now, how does this apply to the first phase of the scarlet beast? Well, actually, this gives us information about all three phases, so we will cover them all right here with this particular information.

What you should understand is that the names of blasphemy are found on the body of the sea beast only. The body of the scarlet beast represents the time of the 1260 prophetic days when the church and state were combined, a time that ran from 538 until 1798. The body of the scarlet beast has both the name of blasphemy for the church and also the names of blasphemy of the kings of the earth written on it. Thus, it is full of names of blasphemy because there are many of them. This constitutes the first phase of the Papacy.

The seven heads, which began their time of power in 1798, have only one name of blasphemy on it, the name of blasphemy for the church, though this one name of blasphemy may have been repeated on the different heads. The reason is that during the time of the seven heads, the beast "is not," which means the church-state combination does not exist during this time. While the seven heads will be explained in more detail later, you should understand that the kings of the earth are not represented by the seven heads, in spite of opinion by many to the contrary, because the beast literally "is not." This means that due to the absence of the kings of the earth in the seven heads, there cannot be many names of blasphemy on the seven heads. In fact, there can be only one name of blasphemy on the seven heads, that of the church. The reason is that the church is present during that time while the kings of the earth are not there, and with the church present in the seven heads in the form of the popes, then the name of blasphemy for the church can be on the seven heads. Also, the one name of blasphemy found on the seven heads of the scarlet beast is the same name of blasphemy found on the seven heads of the sea beast. You will understand this later after more of this has been explained and then it should make better sense. 

Let us now talk about the ten horns of the scarlet beast.  The sea beast of Revelation 13 is about the church and its behavior while the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 is about the behavior of both church and state. Now, the ten horns of the sea beast in Revelation 13 do not have any names of blasphemy on them and there is no evidence that they commit any blasphemous behavior in the text material of Revelation 13:1-10. The reason is that the ten horns found on the sea beast represent the Protestant Churches and their leaders, something which we have not yet covered, but which will be explained in more detail later. Please take the author's word for it for now that this is their correct identity.

Verses 11-17 of Revelation 13 are a different story in that it tells us that the earth beast will persecute and even kill the people of God. As you know, the authority to kill resides with the state, so when this is being done, it is the state which does this and, as we have seen before, this behavior is a form of blasphemy. While the author will not go into the explanation for it now, the ten horns of the sea beast represent the same power as one of the two horns on the earth beast (the Protestant Churches and their leaders). The earth beast represents the United States in prophecy and the two horns on it represent church and state as separate powers. The Protestant Churches in America will combine with the state to persecute God's people and consequently, the state will will be guilty of the blasphemy of persecuting and killing God's people.  Thus, there will be one power which commits this blasphemy and because the ten horns of the scarlet beast represent this combined church and state power which will someday occur in the United States of America, there will be one name of blasphemy that is written on the ten horns of the scarlet beast. 

This explanation may seem very strange to you because you have never heard of it before, but the ten horns will be explained in more detail later and you should then understand why this really is true.  For now, understand that the ten horns have one name of blasphemy written on them because as a combination of church and state, with the word state here representing only one king of the earth, there is one name of blasphemy written on the ten horns to represent its blasphemous behavior of killing God's people.

You may question all this, but recall that John said that the scarlet beast was full of names of blasphemy. His description is especially accurate for the body of the scarlet beast. With numerous names of blasphemy, it is doubtful that he would have noted the one name of the seven heads and the one name of the ten horns separately from many names of blasphemy observed on the body of the scarlet beast. Saying that the beast was full of names of blasphemy tells us that all three body parts have one or more names of blasphemy on them.

Note that the author used to think that the ten horns of the scarlet beast had no name of blasphemy upon it, but a different conclusion has recently been reached. As you read farther in this document, you may find the author saying something to the effect that the ten horns of the scarlet beast have no names of blasphemy on them. Ignore those statements if you run into them because the evidence indicates otherwise. Please note that the author has not yet had enough time to go through and correct every statement about this. The statement here is the correct understanding of it as of November of 2014.

The church-state beast will return at the beginning of the time of the ten horns, but the prophet John was not shown anything which represents it. The ten horns represent Protestant religious powers which grow out of the Papacy and are given power then. Nevertheless, the church-state combination of the woman fornicating with the kings of the earth will come back at that time. Because nothing was shown to John to represent the returned church-state beast of Revelation 17 during the time of the ten horns, John was unable to see any names of blasphemy for the Catholic Church and the kings of the earth combination even though they would have been there had something shown to represent it.

In summary, you should now understand that the scarlet beast is full of names of blasphemy on its body. The seven heads have one name of blasphemy on them, a name which represents the blasphemous behavior of the popes and the church. The ten horns have one name of blasphemy upon them, which is that of the blasphemy done by the state in killing the people of God. Thus, the scarlet beast was literally full of names of blasphemy.

Does this make sense to you? 

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The Second Phase of the Papacy

The Desert Scene and the Kings of the Earth

There are two pictures in the middle part of the graphic. The top picture is of the woman with the beast and the young daughters in the desert. The bottom picture is of the kings of the earth standing alone on the waters. What is the rational behind these two pictures?

Revelation 17:3 and 8 say the following:

Revelation 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
Revelation 17:8 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.

Now, notice verse 8 begins with the phrase " The beast that you saw was, and is not". This should be very clear. The scarlet beast itself is primarily Papal, but is a combined power which God said in Daniel 7 would not exist until after Rome fell, which we know from history began in 538 AD and would remain until 1798 (1260 years later). But the angel says here that it "was, and is not." This makes it very clear that the angel is speaking from a time after 1798 because he says that one of the heads "is."

Many suppose that the angel's statement that one of the seven heads of the scarlet beast "is" makes it perfectly clear that the angel is speaking from John's own time. But because the scarlet beast is Papal, that is an impossibility. God clearly indicated in Daniel 7 that the scarlet beast power arises after 476 AD, so there is no way that the angel's statement could possibly refer to John's own time. Those who assume that the angel is speaking from John's time have failed to properly identify the beast, which in turn leads them to incorrectly date the time from which the angel is speaking to John.

The things to remember from this is that when the woman is in the wilderness, she is NOT sitting on the kings of the earth in spite of what many would have you believe. They say that since she sits on the seven heads and people commonly believe that they are the kings of the earth (the political leaders), then she must be sitting on them. But, not so!,  She sits on the seven kings, which in this usage are representing the popes. So, where are the kings of the earth when she sits on the seven heads?

 

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The Kings of the Earth

The kings of the earth are a bit of a problem. What happens to them after February 15, 1798 when the woman ceases to sit on the waters and moves to sitting on the seven heads of the scarlet beast in the wilderness? Did they go into prison (the wilderness or desert) with the woman also or did they remain upon the waters?

To answer this question, think carefully about the symbolism. The kings of the earth are upon the waters during the 1260 prophetic days when the woman is there in fornication and harlotry with them. The kings of the earth are there because they are the legal, rightful rulers of the nations, so they automatically have dominion over the nations. On February 15, 1798, the Papal power had its legal right to persecute taken away from it. This forcibly separated the Roman Church from the leaders of the nations so that the Roman Church could no longer use the leaders of the nations to enforce its rules against heresy. Thus, symbolically, the Roman Church, as the woman, was removed from the waters to indicate that she no longer ruled the nations through the kings of the earth. Immediately, she went to the wilderness to sit on the seven heads of the scarlet beast.

But the kings of the earth are a different matter. Whereas the Papacy lost its legal rights to prosecute heresy, the legal right of the kings of the earth to rule over the nations was not in any way impacted by the decree of the French government on February 15, 1798. Therefore, they continued to rule, which means that symbolically they remained upon the waters. If they had been taken away from the waters to the wilderness in the vision, then such an act would tell us that after the decree of the French government, we would have no governments at all, but rather we would have anarchy. If you don't believe this, think through the symbolism and you should see that this is the correct conclusion. Thus, the kings of the earth remain upon the waters after February 15, 1798. They are still there and they will remain there until the Second Coming of Jesus.

It is for this reason that the kings of the earth are standing alone on the waters in the middle of the graphic illustration shown above. The woman cannot be there with them because she has lost her power over them and they must remain upon the waters to indicate that they are still ruling the nations after February 15, 1798.

So, do remember this: the kings of the earth NEVER leave the waters.

 

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The Desert Or Wilderness Scene

Now, if you were God and designing this vision for John, how would you show the history of the Roman Church AFTER February 15, 1798? Would you place the woman on the waters? Careful! If you leave her on the waters this would indicate that she can still fornicate with the kings of the earth because that is where they always stay. So, what would you do?

What God did was move her to the desert or wilderness to indicate that she is no longer able to rule the nations through the kings of the earth and to indicate that the church-state beast no longer exists as a power on earth because it is in prison. The kings of the earth remain upon the waters and the woman moves to the desert. Consequently, they are symbolically separated, meaning they can no longer legally interact to effect persecution. They no longer fornicate together for mutual gain - the harlotry ceases.

Therefore, the woman sitting upon the 7 heads of the scarlet beast in the desert is symbolic of the history of the Catholic Church beginning on February 15, 1798, and running until the beast returns someday, as is explained in verse 11. The kings of the earth remain upon the waters while the woman remains in the wilderness until the woman is done sitting upon the 7 heads of the scarlet beast, which will happen when the seven heads are finished. Then she will move back to the waters and resume the fornication and harlotry with the kings of the earth, which means that the church-state beast returns at that moment.

Obviously, when the woman is sitting upon the seven heads, she is no longer over waters. This means she is ruling over nobody except her own church. The waters represent nations, languages, multitudes, and peoples, and without waters under her, none of these symbolic conditions are present. Therefore, when she is in the desert, she has no power over the nations. Plus, there is no statement giving her dominion over other nations in the desert scene. There can be no fornication going on there because the kings of the earth are not in the desert due to the fact that they stay on the waters when she moves to the desert. The kings/heads/mountains she sits on are not kings of the earth, so they have no political power and no access to it either (and even if you think they are the kings of the earth, because they are in the wilderness, they have no authority at all because it has been removed from them).

There is one other aspect of the desert picture in the middle section of the graphic overview of Revelation 17. Did you notice the young girls in the left side foreground of the picture? These represent the daughters of the prostitute woman (we only had room for a couple of them but there really are more). They are not babies here because they were born near the end of the 1260 days when the woman was busy with fornication and harlotry with the kings of the earth (illegitimate births do occur sometimes because of fornication and harlotry, and these are no exception to that). We chose to represent them as young girls because at this stage of history, they are growing and have not yet reached the age when they will turn to prostitution.

Because the prostitute woman represents the Catholic Church, from history we know that the Catholic Church gave birth to the Protestant Churches. Clearly then, the daughters represent the Protestant Churches.

Some say that the term "mother of harlots" in Revelation 17:5 is more like a madam of a whore house. That may be true, but we do know that in history, the Catholic Church gave birth to the Protestant Churches. Therefore, it is the mother of the Protestant Churches in a very real sense, madam or not.

 

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The Separate Parts of the Beast and the Miller Principle

The scarlet beast of Revelation 17 obeys the rules of Daniel 7 in which the body comes first, then the heads, and finally the horns - the rule the author named the Miller Principle. The fact is the angel spoke of the different parts as if they were separate. Here is the evidence of this:

Revelation 17:8 says the following:

Revelation 17:8 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.

Notice that the angel says that the "beast...was". The angel is clearly referring to the beast as in the past relative to the time from where he is speaking.

Revelation 17:10 says the following:

Revelation 17:9 And here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits.

Revelation 17:10 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 time.

Notice that the angel next introduces the seven heads, which verse 10 explains are seven kings. This shows a movement in history from the time period of the body of the beast, explained in verse 8, to the seven heads.  Notice he says that "one is." This is the moment from which he was speaking to John within the time frame of the seven heads. Based on the evidence demonstrated so far, it should be clear that this is sometime after February 15, 1798. We will explain just when it is later.

To reiterate, what is important here is that after having said that the "beast...was", he then says there are seven heads. Obviously, he considers the heads to be separate from the "beast," which means that the term "beast" in verse 8 must refer to the body of the beast, and for his purpose of explaining the vision, it did not include the heads and horns because that is explained in verses 9 and 10. 

Revelation 17:12 says the following:

Revelation 17:12 And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

Notice the use of future language. The ten horns "have received no kingdom as yet". In other words, their day of power is yet future from the point in time from which the angel is speaking.

But again, here he clearly refers to the horns as if they are separate from the beast and separate from the seven heads.

The angel has already said that the beast was and then explains the heads and says the horns are yet future. This tells you several things:

  • The beast is considered to be separate from the heads and horns by the angel for the purposes of the explanation of the vision recorded in Revelation 17 and 18.

  • Because we know that the beast (meaning the body of the beast) is the combination of the woman with the leaders of other nations, and the woman is sitting on the seven heads, then the heads and horns CANNOT be the same thing as the body of the beast or they would not be considered separately from the body. The presence of the woman on the seven heads shows that she is no longer combined with the state.

  • Note that the angel did NOT say that "the beast and five heads were," but rather instead he said the "beast...was...five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come...And the ten horns...have received no kingdom as yet" (Revelation. 17: 8, 10, 12). By doing this, he makes it clear that the time frames for each of the body parts (body, heads, and horns) are separate from one another.

Does it not strike you that this is an identical pattern to that displayed in Daniel 7? The beast's body comes first and represents the Papacy combined with other nations for the legally authorized purpose of persecution during the 1260 prophetic days. Then the 7 heads occur, and finally the horns come last. This shows the same basic pattern followed in Daniel 7. Daniel 7 showed two different 2-phase beasts. Revelation has several 3-phase beasts, but the principle of interpretation is identical. The Miller Principle was demonstrated in Daniel 7 through the design and understanding of the beasts and how they showed future history. Nowhere in Daniel or Revelation is the Miller Principle revoked by an Exception Principle statement, so it still holds true in Revelation 17.

When the prostitute woman is sitting on the seven heads of the beast in the desert, this appears to represent that she is sitting upon all of them at once. However, one of them is said to rise after the fall of the others, so, because she is there after February 15, 1798, this means that all seven of those heads must exist during the same time frame. However, based on the explanation, it appears that the woman sits on six of those heads from the date of February 15, 1798, and gradually they fall.  Then the seventh one comes up after the other six have already fallen. So, she never sits on all seven of them at one time.

Be very careful to take note of the fact that the woman does NOT sit on the back of the scarlet beast. You may object to this, but your objection is based on the artist's renditions of the woman sitting on the back of a scarlet colored beast - and those are almost all inaccurate representations. The truth is that the woman NEVER sits on the back of the scarlet colored beast. If you do not believe this, then go read Revelation 17 carefully again. The angel tells us only that the woman sits on the seven heads.

The fact that the woman does not sit upon the back of the beast and does not sit upon the horns reinforces that each part of the beast represents a separate time period.

The three phases can be summarized like this:

Three Phases of Papal History
Phase "was" phase "is not" phase "yet Is" phase
Body Part Body of the beast 7 Heads of the beast 10 horns of the beast
Time Period 538 - 1798 1798 - end of 7 heads beast returns, 10 horns have power, 8th comes
Prostitute Woman's Activities woman sits on the waters fornicating with the kings of the earth, the combined powers of which is the beast women sits on 7 heads/7 kings/7 mountains (not upon the kings of the earth) in the desert Woman returns to sitting on waters fornicating with the kings of the earth - the beast returns
Kings of the Earth Activities Kings of the earth/leaders of nations of Europe fornicate with the woman while upon the waters Kings of the earth are NOT fornicating with the woman but remain upon the waters to rule the nations. Kings of the earth/leaders of nations of Europe resume fornicating with the woman and the woman's daughters join her with them in this activity (they too are prostitutes).

 

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The 7 Heads

Let us now identify the 7 heads.

The seven heads are said to be seven kings (Revelation 17:10). They are not kings of the earth and are not merchants of the earth, so the only category left for them is religious kings. But who are these religious kings? John said that the beast had blasphemy all over it. This means that both the body and the heads have blasphemy on them (recall that in Revelation 13 the seven heads of the sea beast had blasphemy upon them and the body spoke blasphemy, so this marks them as the same power). The blasphemy on the heads points directly to the Catholic Church. Therefore, the heads must be the religious kings of the Catholic Church, or in other words, they are the popes.

The heads somehow represent the popes. But how? Each head must be a line of kings and cannot be individual popes because in Daniel 7, kings are lines of kings. Take a look at the list of popes below that have been in office beginning in 1798. Try to figure out how you would divide them 7 ways.

  • Pius VI (1775-1799)
  • Pius VII (1800-1823)
  • Leo XII (1823-1829)
  • Pius VIII (1829-1830)
  • Gregory XVI (1831-1846)
  • Blessed Pius IX (1846-1878)
  • Leo XIII (1878-1903)
  • St. Pius X (1903-1914)
  • Benedict XV (1914-1922)
  • Pius XI (1922-1939)
  • Pius XII (1939-1958)
  • Blessed John XXIII (1958-1963)
  • Paul VI (1963-78)
  • John Paul I (1978)
  • John Paul II (1978-2005)
  • Benedict XVI (2005-)

So, how would you divide them seven ways?

Do you give up?

 

Try dividing them by name (ignore the Roman numerals after their names). In other words, group them by their name lines (such as Paul or Pius).

 

Now, do you see how this works? There are in fact seven name lines of popes (such as Paul or John Paul) that have occurred after 1798 and all but one of them began before 1798. Those name lines are:

  1. Gregory (fell in 1846)
  2. Leo (fell in 1903)
  3. Benedict (fell in 1922 - there is an explanation for this one!)
  4. Pius (fell in 1958)
  5. John (fell in 1963)
  6. Paul (fell in 1978) - the "one is" of Revelation 17:10
  7. John Paul (fell in 2005) - the one "not yet come"

A name line is considered on this web site to exist until it falls, which means a given line exists until the last member of that line dies. All of the name lines listed above are considered to exist until each of them falls, one by one. Now, obviously, the individual popes of all the name lines do not rule at the same time, for that not possible.  But just because they don't rule at the same time does not mean that each name line does not form a line.   Understand that the author may illustrate these lines as if they exist continuously until they fall and will show a continuous line on the illustration, but in actuality, the name lines are more like dashed lines which do form lines because, like a real line, you can tell where they are going. Like any dashed line, they are not continuous. With these dashed lines, the dashes occur irregularly. The popes themselves and their name lines alternate with one another as time goes forward. The idea of the continuous name line is an artificial construct to help you understand the ideas presented here and is the idea that God also presents in Revelation 17 because he is using name lines rather than individual popes. In the construct that God used it is apparent that it is the name lines which fall, not the individual popes.

Now, how do the name lines of the popes fulfill Revelation 17:10 (recall: "five are fallen, one is ...")?   If you look at the name Paul in the list above, the last pope of which occurred as Paul VI from 1963 to 1978, there were five Papal name lines that had died out before him (Gregory, Leo, Benedict, Pius, and John) and there was a new name who was to come after him (John Paul), who had never been before and was to remain only a short while. The John Paul line did in fact remain (or hold office) the least amount of time of any of the seven names. Some get upset at this because they know that Pope John Paul's II time in office was one of the longest in Papal history, but the total time of reign of both John Paul's was about 26 years or so, far less than the total time in office for any of the name lines among the seven. For more information about this, click here and look at the table near the bottom of the page.

Now, here is an illustration to show you the name lines and how the popes fulfilled Revelation 17:10:

Sequential Falls Of The seven kingcs of Revelation 17Notice in the illustration above that Pope Paul VI ruled immediately after the John line fell in 1963, and he ruled until 1978, after which the John Paul line rose up to power.  Notice that five of the lines had indeed fallen before pope Paul VI ruled. This fulfills Revelation 17:10. Pope Paul VI was the "one is" of that verse. The name line of John Paul rose to power immediately after the fall of the Pope Paul line (which fell because Pope Paul VI was the last of that line) and he remained in power for a short while compared to the other six name lines. Thus, all of Revelation 17:10 was fulfilled by the name lines of popes when Pope Paul VI is seen to be the "one is."  Does this help you understand this idea?

A very important point not to miss is that the "one is" of Revelation 17:10 is Pope Paul because that name line coexisted with the others before John Paul (this is because there were other Popes Paul that existed before 1798, so his name line was established long before 1798), and remained after the first five names had died out before him, for which reason the angel could say that five had fallen before him and he was the "one is." This is logical, is it not? The last member of that line was Pope Paul VI who was on the Papal throne from 1963 to 1978.

You may question about Benedict because Benedict appears to have returned. This will be explained in the section about the identification of the eighth.

To see a more detailed graphical representation of the lines of popes and when they reigned, click here.

For a quick review, if you think about this scenario, you have the woman seated on the 7 heads, who are seven mountains and seven kings. She sits on all of them at once that are up at any given time. She does this during the entire time that she is not sitting upon the waters. Since this must occur after February 15, 1798, this shows that the heads must also occur after that same date. They have to be there at the same time the woman is present or she could not sit upon all seven of them. Because she sits upon the heads and not upon the body and not upon the horns, this also indicates that she is there only during the time of the heads. Of course, being in the desert symbolizes that she is in restraint during that time and that the beast and all its heads and horns are also under restraint. At all other times, she is back on the waters fornicating with the kings of the earth. This also tells you that the heads are a separate time period from either the body or the horns.

Significantly, as you should now know, by her action of sitting on the seven heads of the beast, she is sitting upon the kings who rule her city, who are the lines of popes by name. This does NOT symbolize that she sits on the kings of the earth! But recall that she is drunk and the animal on whose seven heads she rides on is a wild, venomous, dangerous beast as the original language indicates. Thus, she has no control. Her sitting position here does not indicate control, but rather surrounding circumstances indicates the complete absence of control. The beast takes her where it pleases and she is just along for the wild ride, like it or not.  The actions of the popes since 1798 certainly match this. There are known, documented incidences where the popes took the church where they wanted it to go, just as this prophecy indicates.

Some have argued with the author that the woman sits only upon one head at a time, all in sequence. The burden of proof is upon them, however, because there is no verse that says any such thing in Revelation 17 or even implies it. This is true because the pattern in Daniel is that all heads rise up at once, though this beast has an exception to that rule in Daniel so that we know the seventh one comes up after the others, which is the only such exception in Revelation 17.

But do understand, however, that the heads do "fall" as time moves forward and the original language is indicative that they literally fall to the ground. So, once they have fallen, she technically cannot sit on them. If you think about it carefully, she actually starts out the time period in 1798 sitting on the heads and only six of the seven heads/kings exist at that time, so technically she can sit on only six of the heads then because the seventh has not yet come.

Furthermore, it does seem plausible that as time goes on and some of them fall, it would make it very difficult for her to sit on the ones that have fallen, so perhaps it is reasonable to believe that as they fall, she stops sitting on them and continues to sit only on the heads that remain up. In fact, it would seem that at the end, the angel sits only on one head, the seventh head, because only it remains up then because the other six have previously fallen. The angel did not explain this aspect of it, so we have to use our imagination and the information we are given as best we can on this.

But do understand this: so far as we know, God showed her sitting on all seven heads, apparently at the same time, and we do not know that John was ever actually shown that any of them fell in the vision. It is only in the explanation that we find these details. Just remember that the vision shows her sitting on all seven heads. The author will normally state on this web site that she sits on all seven heads because that is what John was shown in the vision.

Some will also object by saying that the seven heads are also seven mountains, and because Daniel defines mountains to be political kingdoms, we are totally wrong.

Such an objection appears reasonable because Daniel indeed does define mountains to be kingdoms. However, what they do not realize is that the actually definition in Daniel is that mountains are religious kingdoms and also refers to gods. These people ASSUME that the definition is that of a political kingdom. But think about it carefully. This definition comes from Daniel 2 where a rock is out out without hands from a mountain, which then flies through the air and strikes the image on its feet, destroying it completely.   What does that rock really represent? Does it really represent a political kingdom? The answer is a resounding NO!

The rock represents several things, including the Second Coming of Jesus. But it also represents the kingdom of God, which is not at all a political kingdom. Rather, it is a religious kingdom because it is set up by God and ruled by him. Man does not rule this kingdom, which, if he did rule it, would make it a political kingdom of men.   The rock is taken from a mountain, which indicates that the rock is merely a small part of a much larger religious kingdom, the universal kingdom run by God.  The mountain does NOT represent a political kingdom, but rather it represents the universal religious kingdom run by God. Thus, the fundamental nature of this "mountain" kingdom is completely different from that which they assume it to be.   Assumptions can be dangerous sometimes because they can badly mislead you.

They also forget that Daniel has a second definition of the symbolism by association (remember that symbols are defined by several methods, including by association - as long as it was recognized by the people of the times in which it was written). Take a look at these verses from Daniel:

Daniel 9:16 O Lord, according to all your righteousness, I beseech you, let your anger and your fury be turned away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a reproach to all that are about us.

Daniel 9:20 And while I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;

Daniel 11:45 And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the sea and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

As you read these verses, you should realize that Daniel associated a mountain with God (Daniel 9:16 also associated it with the city of Jerusalem). Don't forget that most Christians believe that God actually is a Godhead with three divine beings working together as one, so as a result they have one government and constitute one God. Thus, this mountain of God that Daniel refers to is in fact a dwelling place for a group of Gods, just like the Babylonians defined a mountain as a symbol for the dwelling place for a group of gods. The important differences are that God is not a figment of the imagination as were the pagan gods and the Godhead members work together as one, instead of independently as the pagan gods were supposed to do (so he indeed is "one" as he says). These are not the only places in the Bible where mountains are associated with gods. For further information about this issue, click here.

So, as you should now see, the definition of mountains as religious kingdoms AND the fact that the beast and all seven of its heads are Papal AND that the 7 kings are not kings of the earth, meaning that they are not political kings but instead must be religious kings, all of these facts point to the seven heads being religious kings and religious kingdoms. These facts negate the idea that the mountains are political kingdoms because all the facts have to fit together as a consistent whole. Remember that it says that heads are mountains and are kings. The symbols must match together. The facts are that the heads are papal and so you cannot then say that they are political kingdoms. That does not match the symbols together coherently.

Here are the points you should understand from this section:

  • The seven kings/heads are the seven lines of popes which are identified by the lines of popes that have ruled since 1798.
  • Five of those lines fell before the "one is". These were the lines of: Gregory, Leo, Benedict, Pius, John.
  • The "one is" is the papal line of Paul, and the last member ruled from 1963 until 1978.
  • The one "not yet come" is the line of John Paul, which line ruled from 1978 until 2005.
  • Mountains represents religious kingdoms, not political kingdoms, and may also represent groups of gods.
  • The woman is NOT in control of the seven heads even though she sits on them.  History shows that the lines of popes (the seven heads) during the years 1798 until today have taken the church where they want it to go, not the other way around.

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The Third Phase of the Papacy

The 10 Horns

Let us now look at the 10 horns.

If you carefully read Revelation 13 and 17, you should notice that nothing is said about the horns having blasphemy on them. The body of the sea beast speaks blasphemy (clearly a behavior) and the heads have names of blasphemy written on them in Revelation 13 (remember the Characteristics Principle which says that things attached to beasts or other powers, such as words written on them, refers to behaviors). The horns of the sea beast of Revelation 13 are not mentioned to have names of blasphemy on them so the only conclusion we can draw is that there is none. John was quite careful to record details like this, so if he didn't say the horns had blasphemy upon them, you can be quite certain that they didn't.

In Revelation 17, the scarlet beast has blasphemy all over it. The fact that the scarlet beast and the sea beast of Revelation 13 represent the same combined powers means that the body, heads, and horns of both beasts correspond to one another. This means the horns on the scarlet beast do not have blasphemy on them while the body and heads do have blasphemy on them just like the heads of the Revelation 13 sea beast had blasphemy on it and the body spoke blasphemy (it did say that during the 1260 days, the beast would speak blasphemy so that has to mean that the body did this).

The lack of blasphemy on the horns indicates that they do not claim to be God and do not claim to be able to forgive sins. That clearly indicates that the horns cannot be Papal. So, what are they?

From the rules of interpretation derived from Daniel (the Miller Principle), we know that the heads of a beast must come from the body and the horns from the heads. In other words, the power the heads represent come from the power represented by the body of a beast. Since the body and seven heads of the scarlet beast are Papal, this means the horns on the scarlet beast MUST represent powers that come from the Catholic Church. However, the lack of blasphemy on the horns tells us that the horns are not Catholic. Historically, what religious organizations have come out of the Catholic Church and yet are not Catholic? From history, it is obvious that the Protestant Churches fit this criteria. Therefore, the 10 horns are connected with the Protestant Churches.

Revelation 17:12 says the 10 horns are 10 kings who have not yet received a kingdom. This should lead you to some interesting parallels with the prostitute woman and some reasonable deductions. The Bible says that the prostitute woman is a city. It also tells us that this city is named Babylon because that name is on her forehead. In cities of ancient times, it was not uncommon for them to have a king ruling the city and its residents.

The woman in Revelation 17 is said to be a city, so it should be apparent that the Bible is trying to get us to compare the woman to this common theme from ancient times. In this comparison, we can say that she is a city which has a king who rules the city and residents that live inside the city. Since the woman is a symbol of the Catholic Church, we can conclude that the kings who rule the city are the popes and the citizens are the members of the Catholic Church who believe in and follow the pope. You can take this one step further because cities in those days had walls around them. The walls correspond to the beliefs of the church and serves to distinguish between those on the inside from those on the outside. The walls served also to protect those inside from those outside who would do them harm, at least, in the view of those in authority in the Catholic Church.

Now, because the woman is the Catholic Church, then her daughters must be the Protestant Churches because the Protestant Churches came out of the Catholic Church towards the end of the 1260 days of prophetic time (1260 literal years). Think comparison and parallels here. The prostitute woman is a queen, a prostitute, a church, a city called Babylon, has kings that rule her city, and has citizens living inside that city. Since her daughters are churches, are prostitutes also, and also have kings (the 10 horns are the Protestant Church leaders who are 10 kings that according to the angel had not yet received a kingdom), then the following can be reasonably concluded:

  • the daughters are also cities
  • the daughters have kings who rule their cities, so the kings are Protestant Church leaders just like the prostitute woman has seven kings that rule her city
  • those cities have residents who are members of the Protestant Churches
  • The daughters are also queens like their mother
  • The walls around each daughter city corresponds to the individual beliefs of each Protestant Church which serve to define who is and who is not a member of each church. In other words, the beliefs of each church, like a wall, determines who is inside a given city and who is on the outside.
  • In ancient times, walls around cities helped protect those inside from those outside. Likewise, the beliefs of each of these churches will help protect their residents inside from those outside.
  • We don't know for sure but it appears that there is one king for each Protestant Religion and 10 cities, so there probably are 10 daughters that represent all Protestant denominations. It is reasonable to conclude that there is one king for each Protestant Religion when the 10 horns receive power because they will have it only a short time.

The cities of the daughters are unnamed in the Bible but it is not at all unreasonable to conclude these ideas. It really helps to understand Revelation 17 by considering the woman and her daughters to be comparable to cities of ancient times. It explains where the kings come from and it helps us understand their role.

The Bible has this to say about the 10 kings:

Revelation 17:12 And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
Revelation 17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

The 10 horns receive power with the beast for one hour. Remember that the beast will return when the woman goes back to the water and begins fornicating with the kings of the earth. Receiving power with the beast strongly suggests that the 10 horns receive power at the same time as the beast, and will have it on their own for a short time but then give their power over to the beast. By doing this, they make the beast their master. He will control and rule over them eventually.

 

Crowns on Heads and Horns - What Are They?

It is interesting that in Revelation 13, the sea beast has 10 horns which have 10 crowns upon them. In Revelation 12, it is the 7 heads of the dragon who have 7 crowns.

To understand the relationship of the beasts to the crowns in Revelation 12 and 13, consider these facts. The dragon, the sea beast, and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 all have 7 heads and 10 horns. There is only one explanation in all of the Bible for the 7 heads and 10 horns of all three beasts of Revelation 12, 13, and 17: that explanation is found in Revelation 17 (we really don't care where the explanation is given as there is no rule that says the explanation must occur after Revelation 12 and 13 - all that really matters is that there is one beast with 7 heads and 10 horns with an explanation for the heads and horns). Therefore, the explanation found in Revelation 17 MUST explain the 7 heads and 10 horns upon all three beasts. That means the 7 heads and 10 horns upon all three beasts must represent the same powers.

Many writers claim that the crowns on the heads and horns indicate that the horns and heads are political kings. Actually, that is nonsense. By DEFINITION, the body of any beast, its heads and its horns, are kings.  You do not need crowns to tell you that they are kings because the definition in Daniel 7 clearly informs you of this simple fact. 

But what this tells you is that either God was being redundant in tech symbolism or else the crowns indicates something else to the reader. Since John was extremely frugal with words in Revelation and God was also very much that way in the things that he told John, it makes no sense to say that God was being redundant.  Therefore, the crowns tell you something other than that the heads and horns are kings. So, what is it that the crowns actually tell you?

The crowns on the horns of the sea beast indicate that the sea beast will dominate the ten horns when they are kings, that is, when they exist the beast will be their master. Remember that in Revelation 17, the beast will return during the time of the ten horns, so indeed they can be dominated by the beast because it will b around then. An actuality, the ten horns and the beast will have power separately for a short time, after which the ten horns will hand their power and authority over to the beast, thereby making the beast their master. So, in the end they will be ruled by the beast.

The seven crowns upon the dragon's heads indicate that the seven heads of the dragon will be controlled by Satan during the time of the 7 heads. Recall that the seven head s of the dragon are the same as the seven heads of the first beast of Revelation 13 and the same as the seven heads of the scarlet beast of Revelation 17.Those seven heads, of course, are the name lines of the popes during the time after February 15, 1798, who remain until the beast returns someday soon. The dragon will effectively own and control the seven lines of popes during the time of the seven heads.

 

The Seven Heads of the Dragon - What Are they?

A related issue is this: There is a common theory that the 7 heads of the dragon represent a series of ancient kingdoms, usually, but not always, beginning with Egypt, then Assyria, then the four empires of Daniel 7, and finally either the Papacy or the final Antichrist, depending on who is proposing the theory. We call this the sequential ancient kingdoms theory.

For this theory to be true, the world's kingdoms must be under the ownership and control of Satan. This is an unavoidable requirement demonstrated by the leopard beast of Daniel 7. The four heads of the leopard were created entirely from the territory and kingdom that Alexander the Great controlled and owned before his death. They were not created from territory outside of his kingdom or control. The same is true of the 10 horns on the fourth dreadful beast, which were entirely under the control and ownership of the Western Roman Empire. When Rome broke up, the 10 largest tribes created their territories from the territory formerly owned and controlled by the Western Roman Empire.

In essence, everyone who believes in this theory must ultimately believe that Satan owns and controls the world's kingdoms. Saying that Satan merely influences these kingdoms won't do by the Bible standard as demonstrated in Daniel 7 through the leopard beast and its four heads, and also by the 10 horns on the fourth dreadful beast of Daniel 7. Satan either controls and owns the world's kingdoms, which makes the theory true that the seven heads of the dragon are a series of ancient kingdoms, or else Satan does not own and control the world's kingdoms, in which case the seven ancient kingdoms theory is totally false. There is no middle ground. Which is right?

The authors have studied into this issue to determine the truth about it. Here is some of what was found: For the seven ancient kingdoms theory to be true, it hinges entirely upon Satan owning and controlling the kingdoms of this world and their physical domain so that the kingdoms the seven heads represent can be created entirely from territory which he owns and controls. This condition must be met to meet the Bible standard or else it is a false theory. In other words, if Satan fails to own and control the kingdoms of this world, then the seven ancient kingdoms theory to explain the heads of the dragon is totally false.

So, what does the Bible say about who owns and controls the kingdoms of this world? Study of the Bible shows that God directly owns and controls the kingdoms of this world, not Satan. Here is proof of that:

Daniel 2:37 You, O king, are a king of kings: for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
Daniel 2:38 And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven has he given into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all. You are this head of gold.

God could not give Nebuchadnezzar a political kingdom unless he (God) was the legal owner of it. God cannot just arbitrarily change the rules of the contest between him and Satan because then Satan would charge that God is arbitrary and unfair. The rest of the universe that is watching would likely agree with that. So, for God to do this, he has to be the legal, original, rightful owner before he can give out a kingdom to anybody, including to Nebuchadnezzar. This must be the state of things both before and after the cross of Jesus. If Satan was the legal owner of the kingdoms of this world and God arbitrarily gave it to Nebuchadnezzar, taking control of it away from Satan, then Satan could easily have shown up at the meetings that periodically go on in heaven (see Job 1 and 2) and declared that God was a thief! And he would have proof. Therefore, Satan never gained control or ownership of the kingdoms of this world. God is the legal, rightful owner of the world's kingdoms. Here is more evidence that this is true:

Daniel 5:21 And he (Nebuchadnezzar) was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appoints over it whomever he will.

Daniel 5:26 This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE; God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it.

These verses are very clear about this matter. The political kingdoms of this world do not belong to Satan but instead belong to God. Always have and always will. They are not Satan's to own or control. Satan claims them (see Matthew 4:8-9) but in truth, they are not his to give to anyone, so his claim is irrelevant. What matters is that God owns and controls the political kingdoms of this world.

Because God owns and controls the political kingdoms of this world, the conclusion of the whole matter is that the seven heads on Satan cannot possibly represent a series of ancient kingdoms. This is true because the seven heads cannot be created out of political kingdoms that Satan does not own.

One author has suggested that God owns the kingdoms, while Satan actually controls them (Ted Noel, The Controversy Over Worship, Part II). His justification for asserting that Satan is in control of this world is found in these verses:

John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

John 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

However, he forgot several other very important verses that completely change the meaning of these verses, the first of which is:

Eph 2:2 In which in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:

This tells you that Satan is allowed to control the forces of nature as well as those who choose disobedience to God.

There is a verse that is the "coffin nail" for the idea that Satan controls the world's kingdoms even if he does not own them:

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loves us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

This plainly tells us that it is Jesus who is the leader of the kings of the earth, the political leaders of the nations. There is no mistaking that Jesus is in control of the political leaders of the kingdoms of this world. Therefore, God not only owns the kingdoms, but through Jesus, he controls them as well. Satan neither owns nor controls the kingdoms of this world. Satan can and does influence them to do evil, for sure, but Jesus is in charge ultimately and Satan can do no more than permitted. This concept is plainly taught by the situation that Job faced because Satan challenged God (see Job 1-2).

One must conclude from this evidence that the seven heads of the dragon cannot possibly represent seven ancient kingdoms because Satan does not own them and does not even control them. Further, he cannot possibly possess the territory of the previous kingdoms to pass onto the seven ancient kingdoms that are supposedly represented by the heads of the dragon, something that is absolutely required as shown by the examples in Daniel 7 and 8 with the leopard, the dreadful beast, and the ram and goat. Satan is the prince of many individuals and many things of nature in this world, but God is the ruler over the kingdoms.

A second reason why the sequential ancient kingdoms theory is incorrect is this: Heads that represent kingdoms on a beast must be of a similar nature to the body which came before them (the Similarity Principle), which means that if the body represents a political kingdom, then the heads also must be political in nature. If the body represents a religious kingdom, then the heads likewise must be religious kingdoms. This is always true unless there is an Exception Principle statement allowing an exception to this rule. The problem is that Satan (represented by the body of the dragon) has a spiritual kingdom and there is no Exception Principle statement to allow the heads of the dragon to be political kingdoms. Therefore, any heads and horns on him have to be primarily spiritual in nature and cannot be political kingdoms.

Consider that Satan does not need or want a kingdom of this world. He wants the hearts and minds of everyone because he believes that this will give him bargaining power with God. He is trying to hold us hostage so as to force God to give him the world for his own permanent home. Therefore, the hearts and minds of everyone on this planet is far more important to him than having a throne or having earthly kingdoms in his possession. He wants to take it all, not just part of it. He is the ultimate terrorist.

In the entire Bible, there is only one visible earthly kingdom of which Satan is said to have been given control. This kingdom is a spiritual kingdom like Satan's own kingdom, so it meets the requirements of the Similarity Principle. This kingdom is the one represented by the sea beast of Revelation 13. Here is the statement of the Bible about that:

Revelation 13:2 And the beast that I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.

The sea beast is primarily a spiritual kingdom (the blasphemy on it tells you this), just like the kingdom Satan has. Revelation 13:2 clearly gives the dragon ownership and control of the sea beast spiritual kingdom. Therefore, the heads are created out of the sea beast kingdom, which Satan already owns and controls. This meets the requirements of Daniel 7 that the heads must be created out of the territory and kingdom of the previous or current owner, which in this case is Satan. Clearly, the seven heads and ten horns of the dragon represent the same powers as the seven heads and ten horns of the sea beast.

There are no political kingdoms mentioned anywhere in the Bible over which Satan has ownership so that he can have them for his heads or horns. Therefore, the only logical explanation of the seven heads and the ten horns of the dragon is that they represent identical powers to those explained in Revelation 17.

There is a third reason why the heads cannot be a series of ancient kingdoms. The Concurrency Principle from Daniel 7 shows us that heads always rule at the same time and come after the kingdom represented by the body of the beast they are on. Unless there is an Exception Principle statement allowing some or all of the heads to be in sequence, they must all rule at the same time. Unfortunately, there is no such exception statement in Revelation 12. Therefore, the heads of the dragon must all occur at about the same relative time and cannot be a series of ancient political kingdoms.

In summary, what this means is that the heads of the dragon must come from the sea beast. Satan is not the ruler of this world's political kingdoms and the dragon heads cannot be political kingdoms. Heads also have to rule together, at the same time, unlike the series of ancient kingdoms. The Bible directly says that there is only one spiritual kingdom like his own of which he has been given control, the sea beast of Revelation 13, so the dragon's heads and horns must be the same as those of the sea beast. Since the Bible has clearly been fulfilled by this, why look for any other interpretation?

 

How Do the 10 Horns Receive a Kingdom?

Revelation 17:12 says this:

And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

According to this verse, the ten kings have not yet received their kingdoms, which implies that eventually they do receive kingdoms. Logically, you might ask what it means for the 10 horns/kings to receive a kingdom? To answer this, consider this question. Do you remember that the prostitute woman has a kingdom over the kings of the earth (Revelation 17:18)? How did she get this kingdom? The answer is that she got it by fornicating with the kings of the earth and has it only so long as she continues this activity. 

This is an analogy that God introduces here that is not unlike a real relationship between two fornicators.  They are not married to each other, but each desires to please the other in some way or another because of what they get from the fornication. They want this exchange to continue. It is sort of an "I will scratch your back if you will scratch my back" type of situation in connection with an illicit relationship. There is an exchange between them that the Bible also compares to that of a whore and her lovers.  Now, think about this. Who is really in control in the relationship between a whore and her lovers? The whore? The lover?  The answer is that it is not the whore who really is in control in spite of appearances to the contrary.    In such a relationship it is the MONEY that is in control for it is that which the whore desires most and for which she sells her body to the lover. Since the lover has the money, he really is in control of the situation. She will do whatever he wants to get that money he has.

But it is true that from the relationship she has with her partner, she gains a measure of control over them because of the fornication that she engages in with them, and it is for this reason that the woman of Revelation 17 gains a kingdom from them and is also said to have a kingdom over them.  That kingdom is what she gets in exchange for what she gives them.  The kingdom she gets is the equivalent of the money that a whore gets from her lover in exchange for selling her body to him.

When the Roman government in the person of Constantine went to the church and essentially said, "let us get together," it was not without an exchange of some type that took place from then on. The Roman government got some stability in the empire because it brought more people into a relationship with it that supported the government.  In exchange for this, the state gave the church access to its power so that the church developed and maintained a monopoly on religion.  This gave the popes their second kingdom, the church-state kingdom over the heretics. 

But it cost the church a great deal to do this because the government also gained a great deal of control over the church and used that to bring a lange amount of paganism into the church. The church agreed to this and supported it in order to gain what it wanted. This move integrated the pagans and the church into one organization that the government then had control over and also gave it unity in its empire, which gave it a measure of political stability that it desperately needed in that time.

But in time the nations grew tired of their relationship with the woman and stopped fornication with her.  In other words, they took away her power and separated from her so that church and state were more separate. This is represented by the woman moving to the desert, which symbolically is a prison, meaning that her power to persecute has been put into prison. Understand that after she moved to the desert, she could no longer be fornicating with them because the kings of the earth remained on the waters to symbolize that they continue to govern the nations. They have never left that position.  In the symbolism, to be logical and true to the nature of the symbols, they cannot go to the desert with her. They must stay on the water.

So, In order to receive a kingdom, the woman fornicated with the kings of the earth. In so doing, the kings of the earth gave her a kingdom over the heretics, the church-state kingdom spoken of in Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:5, 7.

Remember that the woman is a city and has kings that rule within that city. Since the woman symbolizes the Catholic Church, the church is being compared to being a city. Thus, when her kings bear rule over the city, they are ruling the church and only the church.That constitutes a kingdom over her church which she always has at all times. But this kingdom of her city is NOT the kingdom that God refers to when he says that she has a kingdom over the kings of the earth. The one referred to when she is ruling over the kings of the earth is the power she gains over the leaders of the nations by fornication with them, or in other words, by having an improper alliance with them. By this means she obtains power over the people of God through the kings of the earth. This kingdom over the people of God, a kingdom over the so-called heretics, is the kingdom that God refers indirectly to by saying that she has a kingdom over the kings of the earth.

Just as the woman is said to be a city because she represents a religion, then her daughters must also represent various religious that come out of the woman. She gave "birth" to them.  And, just as she has a city, which represents the kingdom she has over her church, likewise logically the daughters each have their own cities and kings that rule over them, with each city being a separate Protestant Religion that came from the Catholic Church and the kings being the leaders of these religious bodies. The kings of these Protestant "cities" are the ten horns spoken of in Revelation 17. Here the number ten is symbolic of many just as Daniel 1:19-20 defines the number ten to be symbolic of "many" or "much."  Consequently, there are many more than just ten Protestant Churches involved here.

Now, for the ten horns to receive the kingdom that God is talking about in Revelation 17:12, they must gain the same type of kingdom that the prostitute woman gained previously by fornicating with the kings of the earth.  The daughters are like the mother (she is a prostitute and is the mother of prostitutes, so mother and daughters are alike) and eventually they will do the same thing she did, so the kingdoms are of the same type. The ten daughters are not at this time fornicating with the kings of the earth (March of 2006), but someday soon they will choose to follow the same path of their mother, the Catholic Church, and will do as she did in the past. That day is fast approaching as the Protestant Churches are already making compromises with the Catholic Church and working to join forces with it. Many of the Protestant Church members, especially among the younger generation, have no idea why they are Protestant and believe that they should go back to the mother church. There are many among them who do not believe in separation of church and state, which is a very dangerous belief. Clearly they do not understand the danger of such a belief nor the final end result that it will lead to. By so doing, they destroy all that the Protestant Churches gained by leaving the Catholic Church in the beginning and compromise their integrity. This is a move that they will deeply regret someday, but by the time they realize that simple fact, it will be too late to undo the terrible consequences that will come to them.

Understand that the ten horns are representative of many Protestant Churches, and are not just ten literal churches. Daniel 1:20 clearly teaches that the number ten can be symbolic of "many." The Protestant Churches have existed for 500 years or less (most of them far less than 500 years). They are noted on the head of the beasts with seven heads and ten horns in Revelation 13 and 17 because they will someday gain a kingdom over the kings of the earth. Keep in mind that they have existed from long before the time represented by their appearance on the head of those beasts in Revelation 13 and 17, which, as of July of 2013, is yet future.  More will be said about the ten kings in the overview section.

 

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The 8th Is the Beast - But, Who Is He?

Introduction

If you have never read this web page before, please begin at the top and read the previous material. If you have not done that, you may not understand this section.

The material in this section is new as of July 16, 2013.

Here are the verses which introduce us to the eighth and his position in history:

Rev 17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

From these two verses, we know that there are seven kings and an eighth that appears to be separate from or somehow different than the seven.  And we know the eighth is the beast that was and is of the seven and goes into perdition.

What a great puzzle!  People have been trying to understand this and the seven heads for centuries, with little success.  But, what does it really mean?  Can it really be understood?  The answer is, yes, it can be understood, and very clearly too. 

We will get to the explanation of the eighth, but before we begin, let us talk about where we are going so you have some idea of what our ultimate goal is here.  After much study and research, we have reached the following conclusions about the eighth:

  1. He will become pope with one of the seven names of the lines of popes which have existed since 1798.
  2. He will remain in office for a while and then he will resign from office.  He will cease to be pope, but that happens because of his resignation rather than death as is typical of popes.
  3. He will be gone for a while and then he will return to office, meaning that he will become pope again.  Something causes him to return to being pope.
  4. Some time after he returns to office (how much time, we are not told), he will be given the power to persecute just as popes had before the events of February of 1798.  The last pope being given the power to persecute heretics is the return of the church-state beast.
  5. Immediately upon receiving the power to persecute, he will change his Papal name to a new name never used before in Papal history.   This act will make him the eighth.
  6. He remains in office as a persecuting pope and he dies the very day that Jesus comes again.  You should understand that as a persecuting pope, he cannot go to heaven.

How the author arrives at these conclusions is the main subject here.  The specific identification of who the author believes the eighth to be will be left to later.  We must build a background first. 

"For you to clearly understand how these conclusions are reached, please read this section very carefully as it has a lot of detail, however the good news is, this entire section is built upon simple principles that anyone can understand. You only need an honest searching heart and to your delight as we explore these texts together you will discover why this book, this letter written directly to us by Jesus Himself, is named 'Revelation!' - For we are going to watch the most mysterious and sought after prophecy of the entire bible now magically unfold before your very eyes!

Why now and not in the endless centuries which came before? Because it is time! You see, it is our very own time period this section of Revelation is addressed to. Which means, once you have opened the letter and decoded the contents, you can see it's predictions happening in the world around you. In fact, you can see it is already in progress at this very moment! You can watch it's steps falling one right after another in the comfort of your living room on your television set! There is no time to waste. Let us open and read Christ's letter to us!"

 

The Eighth - What You Need To Know First

In Revelation 17:11, it says:

Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

This verse directly introduces us to the eighth, a term not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible in connection with the beast. We will get to work on identifying it later, but first, a few facts for review. The seven heads of the beast, as discussed before, are the seven kings (recall that beasts and their heads and horns are kings - see Daniel 7) and they are also the seven mountains on which the woman sits.  Daniel subtly demonstrates for us that kings are lines of individual kings, usually grouped together by the name of the founder of the line.  So, in Revelation 17 the seven kings are lines of popes grouped together by name, and specifically they are the seven lines which occur after 1798.  Daniel also shows us that the seven mountains are seven groups of gods grouped together by name, all of which began to become evident after 1798. Today we know the identity of all seven heads/kings/mountains, all of which have been discussed previously. So you should already know who they are before you read the material in this section.

Of course, everyone wants to know, who is the eighth?  This is an important question because he is the last, after whom there are no more, which indicates that Jesus comes when he is finished.  Thus, when you have identified the eighth, you can know that the coming of Jesus is very near.  The identification of the eighth thus serves as a way mark, like a signpost going by on a road on which you are traveling.   It is put there to let you know something about how near you are to your destination.  Of course, since we cannot know the day and hour of the coming of Jesus, then identifying the eighth does not give you exact distance (think: time) to your destination, but knowing who the eighth is tells you that you are now very close.  That information is important to know because it changes your perspective on your own life and its relationship to the world around you and can change your relationship to God.

To ascertain the identity of the eighth requires some deduction from what at first impression appears to be only a small number of facts that we are given.  But, in spite this faulty first impression, it is possible to deduce the correct identity of the eighth. In fact, there is plenty of information available to us which points precisely to the eighth. The identification is accomplished by using a few Bible definitions, utilizing the rules of interpretation of the beasts gleaned from the book of Daniel and then applying these intended interpretation tools given by God in a logical approach that amounts to using a formula or pattern. And last, but certainly not least, we must recognize that Revelation 17 supplies a very detailed prophecy that stretches over centuries and matches the exact pattern found in Daniel. Once this is done and understood, the pattern can then be reapplied to a verse which points at only one specific man in all time! There can be only one! Thus, with the Bible opening our understanding for us, we discover God has actually supplied a plethora of information about identifying this singled out 666 man, such that he sticks out like a sore thumb! And all this knowledge we shall expose here as we proceed into our study of the eighth. 

Probably the most important definitions to remember are these:

  • Kings connected with prophetic beasts are lines of individual kings that are named for their founder
  • Beasts are kings
  • Beasts are also kingdoms

Many scholars will tell you that beasts are kingdoms only and many of them argue that specifically they are political kingdoms only. They will argue that it is logically so in Daniel 7 that they are kingdoms only because kings and kingdoms are associated together, so you can just reduce it to kingdoms. That may be logically true, but recall that the angel said that they are both kings and kingdoms. He gave both definitions and he did not logically reduce them to just one definition, even though he could have done so. The fact that he did not should tell us that we are not to do that. So, who are the scholars to contradict the words of the angel to Daniel? Since when are they a higher authority? The angel gave us both definitions and did so for a very good reason. While you can learn much from the scholars, never make the mistake of believing the scholars on this. God intended that both definitions be used, depending on the context to determine which definition to apply, or else he would have had the angel reduce them to just one definition. In the case of political beasts (not all beasts are political beasts in spite of the arguments to the contrary), beasts can also be nations.

The eighth is different from the seven in several ways.  Most importantly, that he is not a head on the beast.  There is no eighth head on the beast in spite of what some sources will tell you.  The simple fact is that John said he saw only seven heads, no more and no less.  The seven heads are, by definition, both kings and kingdoms.  However, the angel changed things with this information.  John is told that there is an additional definition being added to our knowledge base.  Do you see what that is in this verse?

Rev. 17:9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
The new additional definition to our prophesy interpretation rules concerning heads, is that the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. 

Right here is a clue that the mountains should NOT be interpreted to be kingdoms. Daniel has already given us the definition that beasts, heads and horns are kingdoms as well as kings.  What scholars say is that the seven heads are seven kings, which is true, and the seven mountains are seven kingdoms (sometimes true, but not so here).  But they forget the definition given by the angel in Daniel is that the heads are both kings and kingdoms. When you take what the scholars say the mountains are, that they are kingdoms, and then add in that the angel defined the heads to also be kingdoms, then what it boils down to is that they are saying, without realizing it, is that the mountains are kingdoms and the the seven heads are kingdoms and kings.  Thus, the seven mountains are kingdoms and the seven heads are kingdoms also.  This is redundant, is it not?

This over simplification which negates the Angel's statements should send up a red flag and clearly tell you that the seven mountains are to be interpreted to be something other than kingdoms. Even the verse itself shouts at the scholars: HERE IS NEW "WISDOM!" OPEN YOUR EYES! THESE HEADS ARE TO BE SEEN FIRST AS MOUNTAINS! The Bible clearly shows that mountains in this case are to be interpreted as groups of gods rather than as political kingdoms.  So this is the definition we shall indeed use here because God's Messenger, the prophets Daniel and John, directly told us to do so.  Don't worry, we will bring in the kingdom aspect of the seven heads later as kingdoms must now be used only as a secondary coloring characteristic as we build the picture we are constructing. This is so because the Angel precisely specified the mountains must take primacy in the picture being portrayed in this section. We haven't tossed out any of our biblical tools. Daniel defined mountains in several different ways, one is that they are a religious kingdom and the other way associates them with gods, the later of which is exactly what we have done here. Doing this is entirely consistent with Daniel's definitions.

The seven are both seven kings and seven mountains.  So the eighth, because he is not a head, is not a king and is not a mountain.  If you think about it, this should make good sense to you. Remember that the woman did not sit on eight heads, but rather she sat only on seven heads.  Let us make these ideas about the eighth more visible for you so you can think about it for a moment:

Because the eighth is not a head, then he is neither a king nor a mountain.

But what does it mean that he is not a king?  Some people speculate about this and sometimes they come to strange conclusions as a result.  But rather than do that, let us go back to the definition and use it to help us understand what it means. By the definition in Daniel kings are lines of individual kings, so not being a king clearly means the eighth cannot be a line of individual kings. This means, for example, that the eighth is not among the lines of either Popes Pius or Paul, each of which has more than one pope in his respective line.  In fact, he is not among any of the papal lines that have existed any time in the past and neither does he create a new line by being the second pope to use a name that has previously been used just once in Papal history. 

Not being a king can simply mean he is just one individual king.  It does not imply that he is Satan or any other nonhuman being. An individual king who is not part of a line would not be called a king in Daniel or Revelation in connection with the prophetic beasts simply because he does not fit the definition of a symbolic king.  However, he would be called a king in any other circumstance. This is logical, is it not?

The fact that he is not a mountain clearly means he is not a group of gods.   Recall that a mountain represents a group of gods.  This definition by itself can apply to any group of men claiming to be God, such as the popes, and here each mountain is grouped by its founder's name.  The point here is that not being a mountain clearly means the eighth is not a group of gods grouped together by name. Let us make these points more visible for you to think about:

Because the eighth is not a mountain, then he is not a group of gods grouped by their common founder's name.

Not being a mountain merely means he is not a group of gods. This implies that he is a single individual claiming to be God.  Is this logical to you?

Let us summarize what we have thus far:

Because the eighth is not a king and is not a mountain, then he is not a line of individual kings grouped together by the founder's name and he is not a group of gods that are also grouped together by their founder's name.  He is just one single individual king (pope) claiming to be God.

For the eighth to be called the eighth, logically there must be seven before him. Calling him the eighth without seven before him really makes no sense as this situation clearly is a count of something .  Anyone who knows how to count knows that eight comes after seven in the counting sequence.  And since there are eight of them, then there must be something which logically groups them together into a group of eight.  We know that the seven are papal heads, but the eighth is not a head and therefore it is also not a mountain and not a king.  It follows that the eighth is quite unlike the others and yet, it must have something in common with them to be grouped with and counted as part of the seven.. The seven do have one thing that is in common other than them being heads, which is that they are all Papal because they all have blasphemy upon them.  Logically, in order to put the eighth with the seven, there must be something in common with the seven. The most logical thing is that the eighth must also be papal. 

But how can we know that for sure that this is true?  Well, it says this, "the beast that was ... even he is the eighth" (Rev. 17:11), which tells you that the beast is the eighth.  The word beast means different things at different times, something we will discuss later, but ultimately, it ALWAYS relates to the popes or their kingdom(s), or both.  Thus, one way or another, the eighth is papal.

So, what we can be certain of is that the eighth is papal just as the seven are papal. So this is the common element that groups them all together as eight even though one of them is not a head.

The fact that the eighth is counted as coming after the seven suggests to many that he is in sequence with them. Indeed, in a way he is in sequence with them, but not in the way that people have been taught.  If you have been taught that the seven heads are a sequence of seven political kingdoms or seven popes or seven governments of Rome or seven emperors of Rome or even a series of seven religions, then you have been taught incorrectly.  Let us review the facts to correctly understand the 7 kings/7 heads of Revelation 17.  From this the author will explain how the 7 heads/7 kings are in sequence.

Consider the leopard with four heads in Daniel 7. There are two very important points to understand from them which applies here in Revelation 17. Those very important points are as follows:

  • The four heads rose up to power together on the very same same day because of a decree or law dividing the empire four ways in 301 BC. 
  • After they rose to power, one by one they fell.

So, what you see here is that the heads all rose to power on the very same day and then one by one they fell.  Be sure you understand these two points because they are the entire foundation for correctly interpreting beasts which have several heads or several horns (or both).  The heads on a beast ALWAYS rise up together because there is always a decree or law that causes them to rise to power. 

If there is an exception given in the text of the prophecy describing them, the exception applies ONLY to the head for which the exception is stated and never applies retroactively to previous heads because the law or decree previously caused them to rise together before the exception occurs. For this reason you cannot apply the exception to previous heads and interpret the heads correctly. Those are just the facts.

As you should know by now, there is an exception stated in Revelation 17:10 for the seven kings, which says "...one is, and the other is not yet come, and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. "  Previous to this stated exception five kings had fallen, and the last of them remained in place after them, which is the "one is."  After the "one is" fell, then the "one [that] is not yet come" arrives, stays here a short while, and then falls.  The important point to understand here is that six of those kings rose up on the same day because of a decree or law.  One by one they FELL SEQUENTIALLY , and finally there was just one left - the "one is."  The "one is" just happened to survive longer than the others. After him, the exception occurs, and he remains only a short space.

We know the 7 kings are seven lines of popes which occur after 1798, so the events that Revelation 17:10 tells us looks like this in history in the illustration below:

Note that Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis are not included above, but there is a reason for that which will be explained later.

If you look at the illustration above, you should observe that of the lines of popes which became evident in 1798, the line of Popes Paul survived longer than any of the others. During the years 1963 until 1978, Pope Paul VI was on the papal throne, so he was the representative of his line during that time. He was the only Pope Paul after 1798 and he was the "one is." You should also see that indeed five lines of popes had fallen before Pope Pail VI came (Gregory, Leo, Benedict, Pius, John) and one more was yet to come after him, thereby fulfilling the prophecy. That there was one more yet to come in no way determined that the five which had fallen before the "one is" (Pope Paul VI) rose and fell in sequence, but rather they merely fell in sequence. The starting point for each of them as visible heads is in 1798, but in reality each line had its start way back in history.

So, Since six of the seven heads rise together, then WHY does the author say that the eighth is in sequence with the seven?  Because the emphasis of the angel in describing the seven kings AND the eighth is not upon their sequential rise and fall as many people incorrectly believe it to be, but rather upon their sequential fall alone.  The angel is counting falls, and is not counting sequential rises to power and subsequent falls. The angel must follow the pattern in Daniel, which is that the heads all rise to power together (with the exception accounted for) and then fall sequentially.   Indeed, he does tell you that they fall in sequence, but nobody seems to believe him. Strange, is it not? If he did not follow the pattern, he would not be consistent with Daniel.     The angel ASSUMED that you have studied Daniel and already KNOW the pattern he is using.   If you do not know this, then perhaps you should go back and study Daniel 7 more carefully, especially noting the four heads of the leopard and how they fell in sequence. 

The counting of falls by the angel is true even of the seventh and eighth, which is evidenced by the fact that even with the eighth, the angel counted the number of falls of kings before him, of which there were seven.  Note the language of Revelation 17:10, which says "Five have fallen, one is, ...."  You should see very clearly that he counted the falls and that is what he continues to do for all of them.  The "one is" falls and then the seventh comes and then he too falls. Then comes the eighth.    What this tells you is that by the time the eighth arrives, the seven have all fallen.  The eighth will also fall when Jesus comes again, so likewise the fall of the eighth is counted.  Let us make this point more visible so you can think about it:

When the eighth arrives, seven will have fallen before him. The angel counted the number of falls of the kings to determine the sequence. The eighth will also fall and his fall counted.

Just so we are clear, when does a line of kings fall?  The fall occurs when an individual king of a given line dies. Each time a king dies who is part of a line, the line falls then. But if later another of that same name line comes along, the line name ceases to be fallen when he begins his reign and it will fall again when he dies.  When he dies, you can say that the fall point moves to his death and he will at that point be the the last pope of the line. Does this make sense to you?

But here is an exception that you should understand.  Suppose a pope starts his reign with one name line, but before his death he changes his papal name line to another name line.  This has never happened before in papal history, but there is a reason why the author brings this up.  To make this more concrete, let us use a made up example. Suppose there was a Pope John X who reigned for a while and then changed his name to the Benedict line name. Understand that this did NOT actually happen, but it should give you the idea of what the the author is talking about here.  Now, when the pope who has changed his papal name dies later, what line of papal names does he fall under?  Does he fall under the first papal name he had at the beginning of his reign or does he fall under the last papal name he had?  Using our example and assuming that pope has died, did he fall as a Pope John or as a Pope Benedict? The answer to this question is that the name he had at death determines which line name he falls under. So, using our example again, the pope died and fell as a Pope Benedict, not as a Pope John.  When he first became Pope John, the papal name Pope John became "un fallen" (the name John had fallen when Pope John IX died, but revives when Pope John X comes along) and remains un fallen so long as he continues as Pope John X.  But because he drops the papal name John before death, that makes it so that the Pope John name line had actually fallen when the previous pope of that line name died, in other words, it fell when Pope John IX died.  The name change make things so that it is as if he never was pope under the Pope John name line.  He never falls under the pope John name line. He only falls under the name he has at death, so he falls as Pope Benedict (plus whatever number he might have had).  Does this make things clear to you?

Just so you know, in addition to the fact that the angel is counting falls, there is one other fact which shows us that the "one is" and the one who was to come after him "fall". Neither the "one is" nor the one who follows him are ever mentioned again. They just disappear. As a result, there is no one else in either of these lines which will sit on the Papal throne again and die so that they fall later under either one of those names. The result is that they MUST fall when last mentioned and followed by another name line (the "one is" is followed by the seventh) or by the coming of Jesus even though they are not specifically said to fall. Remember, the angel counted falls in sequence, not sequential rises to power followed by falls.  Therefore, when the eighth arrives, seven of them MUST have fallen previously.

It is clear that the angel expected that you, as the reader of John's description of the things he saw in vision, are to understand the correct pattern of how heads on a beast are to be understood from your knowledge of Daniel.  If you have studied Daniel 7 very carefully, particularly the leopard beast with four heads and understand the proper way to interpret it, you should have no trouble understanding this.  If you do not understand it, then go back and much more carefully read about the leopard with four heads on it in Daniel 7 and study very carefully how history fulfilled it. Also, note how the gold head in Daniel 2 was named for its founder (Nebuchadnezzar) and was not named for some king who followed the founder (say, for example, Belshazzar). Also, note that the four heads of the leopard show that there are specific and clear lines based upon the founders of those separate lines. They are not mixed in together based upon somebody farther down the line. Note especially when the four heads of the leopard rose to power (they all rose together) and especially when they fell.  These same principles apply in Revelation 12, 13 and 17.  If you fail to correctly understand and apply these principles, you will not properly interpret Revelation 17.  You will reach the wrong conclusions.  And that is guaranteed!

The six kings which rose up in 1798 became prominent after the church no longer had the legal right to persecute and it is this which marks their rise to power.  These six kings actually existed from long before 1798 and just continued on past 1798 and became obvious because they were the only name lines remaining. History shows us who they are.  The change in the power of the papacy is what marked their rise to power because they became merely religious kings over a religious kingdom in 1798, an event that occurred as a result of a decree of the French government.  All other previous papal king lines died out before 1798.  There are now a total of 36 lines of popes by their names in Papal history, and all but one of them came into existence before 1798. There are some 45 or so Papal names for which there was but one pope to each name.

Let us make this information more visible so you can think about it:

Six of the seven king lines existing since 1798 existed long before they became evident beginning in 1798. A decree marked their rise to prominence. Only one of the seven came into being AND then rose to power after 1798. To be clear, this line of gods would be the seventh king we today know as the Pope John Paul's.

Because all seven heads/kings are papal, we know they are all popes. Now we know that all popes of the seven are very much human (if you doubt this, then please name one pope from the lines of Gregory, Leo, Benedict, Pius, Paul, John or John Paul who was clearly NOT human).  The eighth is said to be out of the seven, so therefore it is logical that the eighth is also human.  He cannot come from the seven and not be human.  Because the eighth is human, this rules out Satan or any other type of alien being to be the eighth.  Let us make that more visible for you to think about:

The eight is human just as the seven are human because he comes from the seven lines of popes, which are all known to be human. There are no popes in history which were not human.  Every one of them was born of a human mother, grew up, became pope, and later died.  There is no evidence to the contrary.

The seven are Papal names that we now know.  But what of the eighth?  He is not a head, so he is not a king and he is not a mountain, so does that mean he has no Papal name?  The answer is that we know he is Papal and he is human and all popes have a name, so the eighth must also have a Papal name.  This name will be unique in Papal history (meaning it has never occurred before).  If there were another with the same name who came before, then he would have been a head, thus making him a line of popes with the same name, and there would have been 8 heads on the beast. But there are only 7 heads, so the 8th is unique to Papal history.  Let us make this more visible for you to think about:

The eighth name comes after the seven names have fallen and is Papal just as the seven are Papal.  Moreover, this name is unique in Papal history - there has never been and will never be another one identical to it.

The eighth is not said to be "of the seven" merely because he worked around the popes who were of the seven.  The phrase that he is "of the seven" does not mean that, but rather the phrase means that he actually is one of the popes of the seven names.  The original language says that "even he is the eighth and is out of [also it can mean "from" or "of"] the seven, ("out of" is probably the best meaning based on the context of the beast and its seven heads) clearly showing that the eighth has his origin as part of the seven and is not just someone associated with the various popes in the time of the seven.  The seven are just popes and this group does not include other types of Papal officials.  To understand this better, consider that the seven heads are both kings and kingdoms and mountains. The kings of the Papacy are the popes and nobody else is included in this group. To be a mountain means he claims to be God.   Catholic officials who are not popes do not make this claim in any direct way, unlike the popes, some of whom have directly said that they are God or Jesus. No subsequent pope has ever refuted those claims, so they still stand and apply to all of them.  Thus, to be "of the seven" means he must be one of the popes from among the seven names. He cannot just be another Catholic official who is not a pope.  And since the eight comes out of them, he MUST be a pope. There is no other logical conclusion that can be reached.

Because the eighth is not a line of individual kings by name and he is not a group of gods by name and he is human and he is Papal (meaning he is a pope) and he has a unique name, then the most logical conclusion is that he must be just one single individual pope with a unique name . Let us make this more visible for you:

The eight is just one single individual pope with a unique name.

Another important point to note is that because he is the eighth and there is none listed after him, then he is the last pope. There will never be another pope after him.  This means that Jesus comes and the last pope dies.

The pope who is the eighth (that is, after he becomes the eighth) will have the power to prosecute people through the law for what he claims is heresy, an authority just like the popes had before the events of 1798.  Recall that the word heresy merely means a teaching is not accepted by the established church and they think that a person is deciding only for himself how to understand the Bible.  This is just another way of saying that only the church has the right to decide how to interpret the Bible.  But what is an individual's responsibility to God when the church mistakenly or falsely interprets the Bible?  Should a person follow error just because the church says so when they know from the Bible that the church is in error?  Think about it!

Combining church and state is where persecution begins and leads to the torture and death of God's people and is one of several reasons why God condemns any church involved in such a relationship with the state.  God considers this to be an attack on himself.  Such a church tramples upon the conscience that only God has the right to control.  In persecuting people through the law, the church substitutes itself for the authority of the Holy Spirit and the Bible, which is God's word.  When the Church and the Bible are at odds with one another, one of them is usually not telling the truth. You get to decide which one you will believe, but you should know that you would be very wise to believe God rather than the church whenever they and the Bible are at odds with one another. God is the final authority in this universe and no pope, no church president or any other official can overrule God or his word.  The judgment and punishment to follow at the end will make that very clear.

We do not know how long the persecution at the end will go on, but given that the pope who receives persecuting power dies the day that Jesus comes and, since most popes are relatively old when they take office, it cannot last many years. Still, it will not be light persecution. The papacy will do the same kind of things it did before 1798 and with renewed vigor.  It is a church that the Bible represents as a woman in Revelation 17. The church believes that it has been slighted in the past even since the events of 1798 and that it has been scorned.  Do not forget the saying which goes, "there is no fury like that of a woman scorned."  It will be out for revenge where it can exact it.

And finally, as said before, the eighth will have a new name never used before in Papal history and he will be just one individual pope.   Since the eighth is out of the seven, meaning the same man takes office with one of the seven names and later takes on a new name, then this means he must begin his reign as a pope with one of the seven names and later (get this!), he changes his Papal name to a new name never used before in papal history to become the eighth.  This happens when he receives the power from the nations of Europe to prosecute people for heresy 

Be sure to note that NO POPE IN HISTORY HAS EVER CHANGED HIS PAPAL NAME AND NO POPE HAS EVER WANTED TO CHANGE HIS PAPAL NAME - UNTIL RECENTLY.  More on this later.  Let us make this much more visible for you so that you can think about it a while:

The eighth will begin his reign as one of the seven names and then later he will change it to a new name never used before in Papal history.  This happens when he receives the power to persecute heretics.

The name change of the last pope will be a result of his ongoing desire to change his name which begins long before the name change actually happens. The name change will also reflect the change in status the last pope will experience in receiving the power to persecute, something that they have desperately desired to have returned to them ever since they last had it in 1798.

New Papal Names are VERY RARE anymore!  New names were common in early Papal history, but are extremely rare now.  John Paul was the first new name to occur in Papal history since Pope Lando, who was elected in 913 AD.  That means that when the name John Paul came (1978), it had been about 1,165 years since the last new Papal name was announced! More recently Pope Francis is a new name, which certainly is a surprise to everyone. Click here to see a list of first occurrence of all new pope names throughout Papal history and their numeric rank in the whole list of pope names.

Let us summarize the most important points:

  • The angel counted the sequential fall of the kings. Six of the seven heads/kings rose to power on the same day, which was February 15, 1798. Only the seventh to fall rose to power in sequence with the "one is," so only he rose to power after 1798.
  • The seven heads exist and then fall before the one who is to become the eighth actually becomes the eighth, and the seven are all in the past (all have fallen) at the moment the eighth comes.  In other words, the eighth comes after the seven are done and he is the eighth because he is Papal and seven will have fallen before him and he will be the eighth to fall.
  • The eighth is human.  He is not a head on the beast and he is just one individual pope.
  • The eighth begins his reign as one of the seven, meaning he has one of the seven names when he starts his reign. The eighth will later change his Papal name to a new name never used before in Papal history when he receives the power to persecute people.  A name change has NEVER happened before in Papal history and no pope in history has ever even so much as wanted to change his papal name.

There is more to learn about the eighth, but before we do that, let us first take some time to study other material that will make it easier for you to understand the eighth and the conclusions we have reached.  This material  will cover the power of kings, and it also covers the religious and political kings and their corresponding kingdoms. Some of this information was previously discussed when the author introduced the three types of kings found in Revelation 17 and 18, which are the religious kings, the kings of the earth and the merchants of the earth. So there may be some review here, but there also is some new material.

 

Kings And Their Kingdoms

In previous sections the author said that the three phases of the beast are the "was" phase, which took place when the church had the power of the state at its disposal to punish those it claimed were heretics, the "is not" phase that began in 1798, which is the time of the seven heads and seven kings and during which time the church has no authority to prosecute those it claims are heretics, and finally, the future phase of the beast when the last pope will again receive the power to persecute those the church claims are heretics.  Thus, the word beast meant the combination of the church and state for the purpose of persecuting those the church does not like.

This representation is reasonably accurate, but not perfectly so because God actually used the word beast to mean several different things in Revelation 13 and 17.  The different meanings of the word beast changes the meaning and time interval for the three phases of the beast and changes the interpretation to more accurately represent what God was trying to tell us.  As we progress, the details of this should become clear to you.  Then you will have a more accurate picture of what is to come, a more accurate understanding of the three phases of the beast, and, in addition to giving you a better understanding of the eighth, you will have an easier time understanding the overall picture presented by Revelation 17.

Notice that the seven kings of Revelation 17 are called kings even though none of them have the authority of the state to prosecute people for heresy.  Without the authority of the state, does it not seem strange that they should be called kings? Do not kings run political kingdoms only?  Why did God do that?

To help answer this last question, let us begin by asking this question.  What precisely is the power of a political king according to the Bible?

Daniel defined the authority of a king like this: 

Dan 5:19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.

Daniel defined the power of a king to be that a king has the authority to kill or let live as he wishes.  During the "was" time of the beast the popes had such authority and they will again receive such power in the future.  However, it is clear that when the popes had such authority, they were limited in what they could do.  The church government as the projected power of the popes could prosecute people only for heresy.  The church could not prosecute people for such things as thievery, murder or adultery.    Common crimes were generally prosecuted only by the state, but religious crimes were prosecuted both by the church and by the state.  The Bible actually predicted that the church under the authority of the popes would have authority to punish the people of God. Here is what the Bible said about the Roman Catholic Church and the power it would have:

Dan 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Rev 13:5 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.

Rev 13:7 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.

These verses say that the saints, the people of God, would be given into its hand for a time, times, and the dividing of time (3-1/2 times = 3.5 X 360 days = 1260 prophetic symbolic days = 42 months X 30 days = 1260 symbolic days).  It did NOT say that the kings would be given over to its authority nor did it say that common criminals would be given over to the authority of the church, but rather the people of God will be given over to its hand UNTIL this time would be completed.  The fact that it is given power over the people of God and that it thinks to change the times and laws, which are God's laws and times, indicates that the crimes it was permitted to prosecute were religious in nature and not common crimes. Thus, even the predicted power it had was restricted to religious crimes.

This power was said to think to change times and laws, which means it would be concerned with changing God's laws and times, not with changing civil laws. God is very concerned with violations of his law and he is not concerned much about violations of man's laws. Daniel 7:25 subtly indicates that this power would be in the business of prosecuting crimes against laws that it has made up on its own authority and not by the authority of God.  After all, it can only "think" to change the times and laws, which indicates that it believes it has actually changed them, thus making its own man-made laws supreme above God's laws. But it cannot really change God's law because there is a copy of God's law which is kept in the sanctuary in the ark in heaven (Revelation 11:19).  No pope has ever been allowed into heaven to change the copy kept there!  Additionally, God is the highest authority and he says his law will stand forever.  It will not be changed - ever (see Matthew 5:18)  By this prophecy we know that when the Catholic Church had this power it was predicted to be a church-state power and the civil power it was given was restricted to enforcement of religious law matters. 

But in contrast to the time of the 1260 prophetic symbolic days (538 AD to 1798 AD = 1260 years), it is clear that the seven kings of Revelation 17 have no such kingly authority for they come after the time when this authority would be taken away from the Catholic Church.  As a result of this, it might seem to some as if the seven heads have no kingdom to rule.   So, how can they be called kings?  To understand this, we need to dig deeper into the types of authority the kings have and the nature of their kingdoms.

Daniel 5:19 defines for us the authority of a political king.  A political king has the natural legal authority to use the sword against those he rules over in his kingdom should they break the civil law.  This authority extends over all forms of lawbreaking in the civil government area, so it means that the government can prosecute people for common thievery or any other such crimes.  Another way to say this is that a political king has the natural right to discipline and punish those under his authority for any type of criminal activity that violate civil laws. 

In contrast with this, a religious king, a person who is a ruler or leader of a religious organization such as the pope, does not inherently have the authority to use the sword against those he leads or rules over in religious matters should they break religious law (this is true in spite of their claim to the contrary). For a religious king to have the authority to use the sword against those who break religious law, he must be given it by the state.  Thus, when a religious king has the authority to use the sword against those who break religious law, it is always borrowed authority that he wields and it is not derived from his own naturally existing religious authority over people in his church. 

To make things a little clearer, you should understand that the person of highest rank who leads or rules over a religious body of any type is a religious king.  He is the king of a religious kingdom because the individual members of his religious organization constitute his kingdom just like the citizens of a nation constitute the kingdom ruled by their political leader or king.  The members obey the king of their religious organization just as they will obey their political leader, though the degree of obedience does vary from one religious organization to another, depending on their teachings on the authority of a church leader.  A kingdom typically has a specific geographic territory over which they have authority, and likewise religious kingdoms also have a territory over which they have authority. The territory where this religious authority exists is determined by where the members of his religious group live. For a small religious organization, this may be a very small territory, but for a world wide organization such as the Catholic Church, the territory over which it has religious authority extends over most countries of the world.  

There are specific requirements for a religious kingdom to exist. Let us summarize the requirements as follows:

  • a highest ranking religious leader
  • a people who follow and obey the leader 
  • a territory over which the leader's religious authority extends, which is determined by where his church members live

Do understand that the king of a religious kingdom has only religious authority.  He has no authority to persecute those within his church or others.  More on this later.

A religious king who does not have use of the sword to punish those who break religious law still has other tools available to discipline members, tools which can often be rather effective.  For example, one commonly used ultimate tool in many churches is the removal of a person from among the congregation, thus taking away his or her right of fellowship with those within the church.  This means the person so removed, at a minimum, no longer has the right to associate with the church members as an equal with the same rights and privileges the members have. He is not considered to be a member of the church. At most, he is considered a visitor should he come to church, and in some cases he may even be barred from church grounds.  This form of discipline typically is just about the most severe form of punishment that a church can legally give.  However, some denominations do go a bit farther and practice shunning, in which a person being disciplined is ostracized from the entire group and nobody is allowed to even speak to the person. 

The exact form discipline takes depends on the denomination in question.  If the person being disciplined has any desire to remain within the church group, these methods may be reasonably effective as a disciplinary tool.  It certainly is much better than burning a person at the stake, which is Satan's method and not God's method.  God never forces the conscience, but Satan loves doing that.  Any church organization that wants to do what Satan wants has a major problem.

We can say that from 476 until 538 the Catholic Church was a religious kingdom.  But things changed.  In 538, you could say that it received a new kingdom, after which point in time it was no longer only a religious kingdom. The best way to understand this is to think of the popes, beginning in 538, as having two kingdoms, one a religious kingdom, which was the religious authority he had over his church and its members, and the other as a religious-political kingdom, which was the authority of the popes wielded through the borrowed authority of the state over the people of God, and anyone else it claimed were heretics. Of course, for all those it claimed were heretics, it could then prosecute them through the law. 

What the popes were given is somewhat similar to a political kingdom because they received the power of a political king to kill or let live as they wished, but that power was not identical to that of a political king because the power of the popes was restricted to being applied only against those it deemed to be heretics.  So, the kingdom it received was not the same as a political kingdom.  And since it was given the right to discipline through the civil law only heretics and this discipline was exercised by religious kings, this means that the kingdom it received really was more like a religious kingdom than a political kingdom.   You can think of the kingdom they received in 538 as a church-state kingdom or a religious-political kingdom.  The political king-like power over the heretics was an add-on kingdom to their religious kingdom. These kingdoms can and should be considered to be separate kingdoms because the heretics they were given the right to punish were not necessarily members of the Catholic Church. They may have been members or may once have been members (perhaps they left the Catholic Church), or they never were members. The Waldenses of Northern Italy during the dark ages are an example of a people who were Christians, but who were not members of the Catholic Church.   They were often heavily persecuted by the Catholic Church.

Let us summarize this in a little different way.  Understand that the popes have always had a religious kingdom since the early beginning of the Catholic Church and this religious kingdom will be under their authority until the end of the world without interruption.  But in 538, the popes were given another kingdom so that from 538 until 1798, the popes actually had two different kingdoms under their control, which were as follows:

  • The first kingdom was their religious kingdom (or church kingdom) with authority over their church members which continued to exist through the 1260 days and will remain in place until Jesus comes again
  • The second kingdom was their church-state kingdom which gave them authority over those it deemed to be heretics. Heretics were often members of the Catholic Church, but not always.  This power existed from 538 until 1798 and will be given to the pope again during the reign of the last pope.

The reason the author divides them into two different kingdoms is that the popes had two separate lines of authority over two different groups of people.  Though there was overlap between the two different groups of people, they were not identical groups so that the lines of authority were also not identical, and consequently, the kingdoms were different. In case you question that they were different groups of people, consider that God considered them to be different. One group constituted his people and the other group constituted the people belonging to Satan. Please do not misunderstand that statement to be saying all Catholics are Satan's people, as there were plenty of God's people trapped or misled inside the Catholic Church then, and for that matter, they still exist in there today as good Christians doing their best to follow God as they understand His ways, but those are being and will be called out in the future. And when the beast returns, this will be their last chance to make a hard decision, if they haven't already discovered the truth for themselves by that time. We are all responsible to God for living what He shows us! And for having a searching heart for the truth no matter where it leads us!

In Daniel 7 the Talking Horn was just one king which remained until the beast was destroyed.  This one king represented the line of individual popes that rule the church until the end.  If you question that this is so, then consider that the small horn which Daniel saw in vision as recorded in Daniel 8 and which followed the ram and the goat represented the leaders of the Roman Empire AND also represented the popes until the end of the world.  This was just one king, but obviously, that one king could not be around from the time of the conquests by Rome of the Greek kingdoms until the end of the world when it is destroyed without hand (meaning that God destroys it).  Thus, the one king represents the line of government leaders of the Roman Empire followed by the popes who succeeded them.  That this is so should be logical because that one king cannot live over 2,000 years!

From 1798 until the church-state beast returns in our future, the popes have only their religious kingdom to rule.  Of course, on the beasts of Revelation 12, 13 and 17, the 7 heads represent  the time after 1798 during which God divided the one king that existed before 1798 into 7 lines of kings that exist after 1798.  So one can logically think of the one religious kingdom which existed before 1798 being divided into 7 different divisions or religious kingdoms after 1798, each ruled by one of the seven lines of popes. This is an artificial division that God created in Revelation 12, 13 and 17 for purposes of helping us understand where we are at in history. We tend to see it as one line of popes and one kingdom, which is not inaccurate. But apparently that would not have been sufficient to point out where we are at in history and representing it that way would not have accomplished God's purposes, so God created artificial divisions among the popes in the symbols which represent them.  Those divisions are the seven kings and the seven mountains of Revelation 17:10.  Correctly understood, it works very well.  It has also very effectively hidden the meaning of this chapter for centuries, but God wanted it that way

The church-state kingdom of the Catholic Church should never be confused with a political kingdom because its authority and purpose of existence was very different from that of a political kingdom. Thus, the beasts of Revelation 12, 13 and 17 with the 7 heads and 10 horns are NOT political beasts and should not be labeled as such. This remains true even for the body of the Revelation 17 beast, which is the combination of church and state, because even in this combination, the primary controller of the kings is the church. Thus, it is not a political beast.  Anyone who does label them as political beasts does not understand their primary purpose for being, their nature and authority, does not understand the different definitions of the word beast, and is usually incorrectly applying lessons from Daniel 7 and 8 to these beasts.  Those who do this typically think that ALL beasts are political, which is not at all true.

The seven kings of Revelation 17 are called kings because they are the highest ranking leaders of their church (they are popes) and have a religious kingdom that they rule.  It is this which qualifies them to be classified as kings by God in Revelation 17 even though they are without civil power during their time.  

Do remember that the prostitute woman is said to have a kingdom over the kings of the earth, but she is never said to have a kingdom over the seven kings. There is a difference and history bears out that she has not had a kingdom over the seven kings during the time of the seven heads since 1798. The popes take the church where they will and not the other way around. The woman is said to be a queen in Revelation 18:7, which indicates that she is the ruler of a religious kingdom rather than a political kingdom. Were she a ruler over a political kingdom, she would have been called a "queen of the earth." Interestingly, during the time when the woman is burned in Revelation 18, she will have power over the people of God to persecute them, and yet it says that she labels herself as a queen, not a queen of the earth.   This tells you that God does not consider that the kingdom she has over the kings of the earth (Rev. 17:18) at that time to be a political kingdom. It will be more than a religious kingdom, but its more like a religious kingdom than a political kingdom, so her title is not changed to "queen of the earth."  It remains as "queen." 

 

When Is The Beast The Church-State Beast?

When is "the beast" of Revelation 13 and 17 the church-state beast?  The reason for discussing this topic is that there are people who claim that the Vatican as it is constituted today (since 1929, and when this is being written, it is 2013) is the beast because it is a church and it is an independent nation, all in one, so they say the beast, meaning that the church-state beast, has returned.  Is this true?  The Biblical answer is no.  The Bible does not recognize their definition as valid. 

While this topic may seem tangentially related to the main topic of this section, it does have bearing on the main topic because it helps determine when to recognize the beast as the church-state beast and when not to do that.  Read on for more details.

When the Catholic Church has received the power of the sword from the state to punish heresy, this gives the popes a church-state kingdom with authority over the heretics and this kingdom can be thought of as the church-state beast.  But not just any church-state combination with that power makes it the church-state beast of the Bible because the Bible says that there are conditions for calling it "the beast," meaning the church-state beast.  What this means is that unless certain conditions are met, then the beast is not the church-state beast and is something else. 

It is very Important to understand that the church-state beast is defined to exist ONLY when it has the authority from European governments of nations outside Italy to persecute heretics.  Thus, as of the writing of this paragraph in March of 2013, the Vatican is a church that has its own state per the Lateran Treaty agreement with Italy in 1929, but it is not the church-state beast of Revelation 17 that we expect to return someday.  The reason it is not the church-state beast recognized by the Bible is that the Vatican currently generally has NO AUTHORITY to persecute heretics in countries outside the borders of Italy.  It is merely a religious-state kingdom within its own borders - and no more than that.  

There has been one temporary exception to that which occurred during World War II in Croatia (for more information on this, click here), but that did not lead to the last pope coming to power. For some reason, God does not recognize that as the church-state beast either even though the Vatican was given the power of the sword during that time.  It appears that it is not recognized because it did not lead to the general persecution of God's people that was widespread throughout Europe which will occur under the last pope.  So, evidently, until the last pope arrives, any such persecution phases the Catholic Church manages to engage in are not recognized by the Bible as the church-state beast, but instead come under the cover of the seven heads which generally do not have such authority.  If the author eventually learns a more accurate reason for this, then this paragraph will be updated.

At this point some object, saying that the Vatican is a church-state kingdom, so is the beast.  Well, suppose that you visit the Vatican and, while you are within their borders, you do something which they consider to be heresy.  They can prosecute you for doing this, meaning they can literally persecute you as they wish because you did that within their borders, which they have jurisdiction over. But they cannot now do this for doing something which they claim is heresy that is committed elsewhere in Europe, territory over which they have no jurisdiction.  The Bible requires that it have jurisdiction over the heretics outside its own borders and outside Italy for it to be called "the beast," meaning the church-state beast.  Consequently, even though it has the power as a church-state kingdom to persecute you for heresy committed within its own borders, it is still not "the beast," meaning it is not the church-state kingdom that had authority like it did during the 1260 days of Revelation 13 over the whole of Europe.  Is this clear?

What many do not realize is that the Papal States were returned to the control of the Papacy in the year 1815 and there was heavy persecution within the Papal States from then until the death of Pope Gregory XVI in 1846, after which there was much less persecution.  Yet persecution still persisted until the Papal States were taken away from the Papacy in 1870.  During this time the popes had the power of the sword and they were sovereign over their own territory, including the Papal States, but not elsewhere in Europe.  But consider that this was the time of the seven heads and the church-state beast clearly was not here. 

We know this is true because during the time of the seven heads in Revelation 17, the beast was in the wilderness, representing that it is in prison during the time of the seven heads. We know that this time began in 1798, which clearly tells us that at present there is no church-state beast.  Consequently, even though there was some persecution within the borders of the papal states after 1815, the church-state beast was not here.  This teaches that God does not consider that church and state being together, as is true today with the Vatican being its own nation, is sufficient to call it "the beast" when the church-state beast is meant, but, instead, there are conditions.  The condition is that the authority to persecute must be that granted by another nation outside Italy so that the church can persecute in the territory of the nation which granted this authority AND that the last pope has arrived. When the conditions are met, then the church-state beast is not in prison and has returned.  With the material we will cover shortly, you will better understand this.

But where in the Bible is this condition given? To answer that, please read the following verses, which tell the facts about this:

Rev 13:5 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.
Rev 13:7 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.

Verse 5 tells us that the beast will have authority for 42 months, which is the 1260 symbolic days that are 1260 literal years which began in 538 and ended in 1798.  The first part of verse 7 tells us the specific authority the king of the beast will be given, that when this beast (papal king) has the power of the sword from the nations, it will have authority to make war against the saints of God.  The end of verse 7 tells us WHERE it will have that authority over the people of God during the 1260 prophetic days - it will have it in ALL nations, meaning all nations that were at any time under the authority of the Roman Empire.  It does NOT mean it has this authority over all nations of the entire globe.  It also does NOT tell you that it will have political authority over the nations of the world.  Rather the authority it will have will be authority from the state to persecute the people of God, which the Catholic Church considers heretics because they obey God rather than the pope. 

This is probably the answer of why the persecution that went on during World War II is not recognized as the beast. The authority was only in that one particular area and was not widespread in the majority of the nations of Europe, unlike the original beast that persecuted under the authority granted it by Justinian and later by the nations of Europe.

The important point to get from this is that it must have authority over several nations outside Italy for it to be the church-state beast.  Without such authority there is no church-state beast regardless of whether it has the power of the sword within its own territory or within Italy.  The reason it must have the power of the sword in several nations outside Italy is that God designated the beast as a successor of the Roman Empire, so having authority in Italy alone is equivalent to having power over its own original territory but not significantly beyond.  Having such authority over other heretics in several other nations marks it to be like the Rome when it was an empire over other nations.  Thus, it must have authority outside Italy in at least several nations to be the church-state beast.  A clear consequence of this is that it having authority only over its own territory, such as the Vatican state, does not make it the church-state beast.  Is this clear to you?

 

Different Interpretations of The Word Beast In Revelation 13 and 17

Let us now turn to study the meaning of the word beast in Revelation 13 and 17.  The beasts of Revelation 13 and 17 with seven heads and ten horns are essentially identical, though not exactly so. The differences will be made clear as we study this topic more deeply. Most people think that the word beast in both of these chapters has only one meaning, that it is the church-state beast. But actually there are several different meanings to the word beast and it is not obvious which definition applies in each instance of use of that word in each of these chapters.  In order to clarify this, the meaning of the word beast in both chapters is covered here and examples are given to help you see how it is used. This will improve your understanding of the prophecy. 

Let us begin by talking about the definition of the Talking Horn in Daniel.  In Daniel 7, we are told about the Talking Horn on the fourth dreadful beast, the horn with a mouth and eyes of a man. This horn is implied to be just one king (take note of this idea of the "one king", you will see it again) , which we know represents a single line of individual kings that rule the Catholic Church from the beginning of the Talking Horn in 533, when Justinian decreed the Catholic Church to be the head of all churches, which was followed in 538 with the beginning of the 1260 symbolic days began. This horn continues to exist until the end of the world when the beast is destroyed. Daniel heard it talking all the way until the end when it was destroyed, representing that it continues to exist as a king without a break until the very end.  The important point to take notice of here is that the Talking Horn represents one king that symbolizes a single line of individual papal kings who rule the church from the beginning until the end of the world. In this usage, obviously the king cannot represent just one individual papal king because nobody has lived some 1480 plus literal years in this world's history (533-2013, or more).  Thus, it must represent a line of individual papal kings.

In Revelation 13, God sometimes used the same idea for the word beast, that is, the beast represents a king, which is a single line of individual kings (the popes) who rule the Catholic Church until the very end.   But unlike Daniel 7, in Revelation 13 God did not always do this.  In some instances he changed how he did things just a little to help us understand things better.  The nuances of the word beast is based on the definitions he gives us in Daniel 2, 7, and 8, that is, beasts, and also their heads and horns, are all defined as kings, kingdoms, or nations.  You now know these can be farther defined as either political or religious kings and kingdoms (nations is not generally applicable with religious kings and kingdoms). The context of a verse should tell us which of these definitions to use.  That God did this allowed him to give us a much better picture of what was going on in future history as he saw it.  This makes the prophecy more complicated in some ways, but with the right understanding of the definitions, one can correctly deduce what God is trying to tell us.

God actually used the word beast in 4 different ways in Revelation 13, which fact may be a surprise to you. Perhaps you have never before thought of the word "beast" in Revelation 13 having several different definitions, but surprise!  It is true.  What makes it difficult is that most people have never been taught about this, and consequently, they often have a confused picture of the meaning of the word beast in Revelation 13 and 17. Books they may read about this usually do not help clear up the confusion, which makes it difficult for them to unravel the full meaning God intended us to glean and recognize.

To improve your understanding of the word beast, the different ways God used this word In Revelation 13 are shown in the table below with an example verse for that usage in the column on the right.  The word beast is underlined in the example verse so that you can see where it is applied as described on that row.

The Word Beast - Usage In Revelation 13
General Usage Specific Usage Example
Animal The word beast is used in connection with the description of the beast that John saw. In this usage, it is an animal and John is merely describing how it looked. Rev 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
King The word beast is used to mean a single line of individual kings, the popes, who rule the church from beginning to end. 

Rev 13:3 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.

Last Pope

(also an individual king)

The word beast is used to represent the last pope.  This occurs in only one verse in Revelation 13. Rev 13:18 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 six hundred three score and six.
Kingdom The word beast is used to mean the church-state kingdom ruled by the popes when it had the power to persecute. When the earth beast makes an image to the beast, it is copying the church-state kingdom of the beast for its own kingdom.  It literally reinvents itself from a republic into a church-state kingdom. Rev 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the 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.

In some instances in Revelation 13:1-10, God used the word "he" as a pronoun for the word beast.  An example of this is found in Revelation 13:5.  In this instance, the word he symbolizes the king, the one line of individual papal kings.  That this is true should be evident from history, for specifically it was the popes who received and exercised the power specified in the verse, authority that was handed to him through the decree written in 533 by the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian and implemented in 538 in Rome.

Let us discuss the beast as an animal.  In Revelation 13 God showed John the beast as an animal which had the seven heads and ten horns. He showed him a picture of the beast so that it was more than just an abstraction that the angel described to John, which made it more concrete for him.  We know the heads and horns are actually on the beast that he discusses in the chapter because John said that he actually saw and counted them.  The picture God created in the vision which John described to us as the beast with the seven heads and ten horns was presented primarily to inform us of its history in picture form just as is done with the beasts in Daniel 7 and 8.  It also helps in the identification of the beast and aligns its heads and horns with the history of the beasts in Revelation 12 and 17.  

As an animal, the body of the beast represents the one line of popes who rule the Catholic Church from 538 until 1798. After 1798, the seven heads represent the seven lines of papal kings who rule the church during the time from 1798 until the power to persecute is again handed to the papacy. The ten horns represent the many Protestant Churches that have their roots in the Catholic Church. They will soon rise to prominence and power and at the same time, the church-state beast will return to power.

Let us now discuss the beast as a king. It is interesting that in describing the behavior of the beast in Revelation 13:3-10, 14, God describes it as just one king for almost all of its entire history.  God does this both for things that happen during the 1260 symbolic days and for things that take place afterwards during the time of the seven heads.  In the descriptive text he seems to completely ignore the seven kings during the time of the seven heads and says little about them after they are described as being on the animal by John in the early parts of the chapter and mentioning that one of them receives a deadly head wound.. Thus, we are told almost nothing about the history of the seven heads or who they are until Revelation 17.

What God did in Revelation 13 in discussing the popes as one line of kings for almost all of its history and seemingly ignoring the seven kings is entirely consistent with how he did things in Daniel 7 where there is one line of individual kings that make up the one king of the Talking Horn on the fourth dreadful beast. But it does make things a bit confusing because in Revelation 17 God introduced the seven kings. Because of the way that he did things in Revelation 13, it could appear as if they are not related to the beast in Revelation 13, but that is not true.  They are very much connected.

So far at this point we have two different definitions for the word beast in Revelation 13:1-10, which are:

  • The beast is an animal
  • The beast is one line of individual papal kings which rule the church from beginning to end.

God also makes it clear that the word beast in Revelation 13 has two other meanings.   These are the church-state kingdom and the last pope.

Let us first talk about the beast as the church-state kingdom.  When the earth beast makes a copy or an image of the first beast, Revelation 13 is then using the word beast to refer to the church-state beast (kingdom) that the popes were given originally by the emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, Justinian.  To make an image beast the earth beast copies the idea of combining church and state and by so doing, it transforms itself into a likeness of the original church-state beast.  By the time the earth beast changes itself into an image beast, the Catholic Church-state beast will have already returned in Europe so that the copy is actually a replica of a beast that is right there before them. The powers that be in the earth beast of Revelation 13 will like what they see in the returned church-state beast in Europe and will determine to copy that in their land, right here in America.

You should understand that it will be the Protestant Churches of America which will combine with the state to create the image beast. The purpose of this union is to give it, the image beast, the power to prosecute for heresy anyone not obeying it, which means it will persecute the people of God and anyone else not recognizing its authority over their thinking and lives.   The people of God will not obey the image beast because they will recognize that the image beast is ordering them to disobey God.  That they cannot do and honor God.  The Bible makes it very clear that we are to obey God before we obey men (Acts 5:29, and note that it was Peter, along with the other apostles who said this). In other words, God's law and word takes precedence above the man's law, traditions, practices and words of men. So long as man's laws conform to God's law or do not contradict it, we should obey man's laws, but not so when there is a contradiction. Then we must obey God's law only.

The word beast takes on still another meaning in Revelation 13:18 because there the word beast refers to the last pope.  It does not refer to the line of popes that rule the church throughout its long history. Many think it applies to the whole line, but that is not really so in spite of appearances to the contrary.  Here is why.   First, recall that the original church-state beast is here a while, then gone, and then returns just before Jesus comes again. Second, consider that Revelation 13 is a prophecy that can be roughly divided into three major sequential periods of history.

In the first historical division in verses 1 through 10, it tells the story of the first beast during the 1260 symbolic days that end in 1798 and a little bit of time afterward. Specifically, verses 1-3 give the description and general history of the beast and verses 7-10 give the details of the 1260 symbolic days plus a short time afterward.  Events within these verses are generally not described in sequence.

The beast in verses 11-17 is the beast that rises from the earth, so it will be here referred to as the earth beast. The beast in verse 18 is the first beast of verses 1-10 which rises out of the sea. To completely and properly understand the sequence of events in these verses, one must understand how to interpret the pattern of the beasts like is done in Daniel 7.  

Verses 11-18 tells us the story of two additional major sequential time periods, the first of which begins at about the end of the 1260 symbolic days and the second of which begins near the end of time of this world's history just before Jesus comes again.   The first of these two additional time periods is the time of the earth beast and the second time period is the time of the image beast.  The organization of verses 11-17 is such that the entire history of the earth beast is symbolized and partially explained in verses 11-15, and the details of the image beast are given in verses 15-17.  The image beast really is the earth beast that has been transformed into another type of power, but it represents the same people and geographic territory.

In the second historical division of Revelation 13, verses 11-15 tell us of the history of the earth beast prior to changing itself into an image beast. This period can also be further subdivided into three sequential time periods, which are the rise of the beast, the time represented by its body, and finally the time of the two horns. 

In the third historical division of Revelation 13, verses 11-18 tell us of events that happen at and after the earth beast is transformed into the image beast.  There is overlap of the third division of Revelation 13 with the story of the earth beast before it transforms itself into an image beast, a story which is told in verses 11-15.  Understand that the third time period is briefly explained in the text of verses 11-15 and the details of this are given in verses 15-18.

What is very important to understand is that the number of the beast that is given in verse 18 is clearly placed in the time period after the earth beast has transformed itself into an image beast, which is the time of the last pope.  By doing this the angel is giving us a broad hint that the number 666 rises up near the very end of the world, the time of the image beast and the time of the last pope, and not before, which you will also see explained in Revelation 17. Since it appears during the time of the last pope, then it is clear that the word beast in verse 18 represents the last pope only.

If the angel had given the number of the beast, 666, within verses 1-10, then we should understand that the number applies to the whole beast and the papal king that it represents for at least the 1260 symbolic days, and probably the entire period of its existence, including the time of the last pope. But that is not the case here because of the placement of the number at the end of the chapter.  Also, had the number been placed within verses 11-15, we would then have strong reason to believe that it should be applied to all popes before the last pope so that it would be during the seven heads/kings of the beast.

Because 666 applies to the last pope, the word beast can represent the church-state kingdom that returns at the very end. The number then cannot apply to the seven heads which occur before the last pope. This is logical since we know that the number sum of the seven kings plus the eight will come to 666.  None of the seven kings will have that number, but the last pope will have it.   Consequently, the number 666 applies to the last pope/final church-state kingdom and applies neither to any other pope nor to the previous church-state kingdom of the 1260 symbolic days. 

The point of this is that the time of the image beast is very near to the end of the world and it is at this point at which verse 18 is introduced into the discussion in Revelation 13.  This tells you that the word beast must apply to the last pope and to the church-state beast that exists at the end of the world.

The general historical structure of Revelation 13 is outlined in the table below:

Period Subdivision Of Period (if applicable) Verse
First (1260 days) Time of the First Beast 1-10
Second (starting about 1798) Rise of the Earth Beast 11-15
Time of the body of the Earth Beast
Time of the 2 horns of the Earth Beast
Third (begins at or after the church-state kingdom of the Catholic Church returns in Europe) Time of the Image beast 11-18, details in 15-18

The detailed explanation of these divisions are to be covered in the page about Revelation 13, so we will not go into deeper details of this here.  

Let us now turn to study the word beast as it is used in Revelation 17.  As we do this, keep uppermost in mind the definitions given in Daniel, that beasts are kings and kingdoms. Our goal here will be to explain how the word "beast" is used and ultimately to explain and identify the eighth. 

Here are all the verses in Revelation 17 which have the word beast included:

Rev 17:3 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.

Rev 17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest 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.

Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
Rev 17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
Rev 17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

Rev 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest 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.
Rev 17:17 For God hath 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.

Just as God used the word beast in several different ways in Revelation 13, in Revelation 17 God used the word beast four different ways.  Look at the different ways of usage of the word beast shown in the table below and then we will discuss the information. 

The Word Beast - Usage In Revelation 17
General Usage Specific Usage Example
Animal The word beast is used in connection with the description of the beast that John saw. In this usage, it is an animal and John is merely describing it for us. Rev 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
King (as a line of kings) The word beast is used to mean a single line of kings who rule the church from 538 until 1798.  it is the popes who received the power from Justinian's government to persecute, an authority which was later extended to the Papacy by all governments of Europe.  Thus, the word beast here refers to this line of popes who received this power. Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: ....
King (as the one final pope) The 8th is the beast.  Since he is just one individual, then this redefines the word beast to be just one person and likewise, the word king now refers to just one person rather than a line of kings. Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
Kingdom The word beast is used to mean the church-state kingdom of the popes when it had the power to persecute. This power existed from 538 until 1798.  Since then the church-state beast has been in "prison" (the desert symbolically), but when it gets out of prison, then it will have been given this power again.  Thus, the beast (the church-state beast) "was, is not, and shall ascend out of the abyss." Rev 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: ....

Let us focus our attention on verses 8 and 11.   Our immediate goal is to understand the meaning of the word "beast" in those verses, and ultimately use that to explain the eighth.  

We will begin with verse 8. To improve your understanding, the author has divided Revelation 17:8 into two parts because the word beast in each part has a different meaning, depending on how it is used.  Here is the divided verse 8:

Rev 17:8 [part a] The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition:

Rev 17:8 [part b] 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.

In part a of verse 8, the primary meaning of the word beast (the beast that was) is that it represents the church-state beast. Secondarily, it is also the king of the kingdom it rules, but this requires some explanation to correctly understand it.

Let us start with the church-state kingdom.  The logical question is this: how does the author know that the beast in verse 8, part a, is the church-state kingdom?

The answer is rather simple. First, the beast is papal because of the blasphemy upon it, which eliminates all other powers from consideration.  Second, once the church in Rome got together with the Roman government under Constantine, this greatly corrupted the church, which event essentially marks the real starting point for the Catholic Church.   You might say that event is its real birth.  The Catholic Church has been there ever since then and has never disappeared. 

But in Revelation 17:8, part a, this beast is there for a while, then gone for a while, and then returns.  When the beast "is not," quite literally that means it has disappeared.  That cannot be true of the Catholic Church itself nor is it at all likely of the popes because the popes have been there almost continuously since the time of Constantine, with only very small breaks. Further, this beast returns just before the end. The popes have not disappeared and continued to remain gone so they cannot be the power that returns just before Jesus comes again.  Those popes who went away for various reasons were replaced fairly quickly in all of Catholic history.  Thus, neither the church nor the popes can be the beast that disappears for a while. 

So, what is this beast?  We know it is papal and it disappears for a while, and yet it is not the church disappearing nor is it the popes that disappear. So, how do we solve this?  Recall that the popes always have a church kingdom to rule because they are the highest ranked leader of their church.  The church members are supposed to obey them, so the church members are the church kingdom they rule.  That kingdom has never disappeared ever since the Catholic church came to be the apostate church of prophecy.  Now, beginning in 538, the popes were given another kingdom that was in addition to their church kingdom.  This new kingdom was the church-state kingdom, and, as you know, it remained theirs for 1260 years until 1798 when the French government took it away from them. The church-state kingdom was the kingdom they had over the heretics. 

The important point about this is that the church-state kingdom officially went away in 1798 and has been mostly gone ever since then.  Because it went away, it meets the requirement of the prophecy, that the beast has to go away for a while.  Since neither the popes nor the church kingdom went away, then we can safely conclude that the beast of Revelation 17:8, part a, is the church-state kingdom of the popes which they have when they have the power to persecute. When they do not have that power, then the beast has gone away and disappeared.

Another evidence that the beast is the church-state kingdom is that when the church-state beast returns in the future just before Jesus returns, this beast will have persecuting power because it says in Revelation 17:14 that the beast, along with the 10 horns, will make war against the lamb, meaning it will persecute, which it cannot do unless that authority has been returned to it. The conclusion has been reached that the church-state kingdom is the beast that went away in 1798. The fact that the beast which returns in the future behaves like the beast we have concluded went away shows that the conclusion about what went away is correct.  They are one and the same in power and behavior, though not in time.

So, the logical conclusion is that the church-state beast is the beast of Revelation 17:8, part a.

Just so you know, the primary meaning of the beast as an animal that John was shown in the wilderness in Revelation 17 is to represent the church-state beast and all of its history, just as was done for John in Revelation 13.  When John saw the beast in the wilderness, he saw a representation of the church-state beast in which the different body parts (body, heads, horns) are used to tell us about its history just as was done with the beasts in Daniel 7. In both Revelation 13 and 17 for the beasts with seven heads and ten horns, the body of both beasts represents the time of the 1260 symbolic days when the church had the power to persecute. 

When it came to the seven heads, God did things differently in each chapter. In Revelation 13, though God showed John the 7 heads of the beast to represent the history of the seven lines of popes and their kingdom, in the text of Revelation 13 God explained almost nothing of the history of the seven heads, except for the head wound.  Furthermore, in the text of Revelation 13, God spoke of the beast as the one king of the church, that is, the one line of individual papal kings who rule the church until the very end.  He almost totally ignored the 7 heads in describing the leadership of the church, with the exception of the head wound.  What he did in Revelation 13 is consistent with how he did things in Daniel 7 where the one king of the Talking Horn on the fourth dreadful beast ruled the church from the beginning to its final end. 

However, in Revelation 17 God did things differently than he did in Revelation 13 when he described the "is not" time, which is also the time of the seven heads.  Here he presented the entire history of the beast through the animal he showed John and he discussed the history of the seven kings through the angel.  In essence, what he did in the text material when discussing the seven heads/kings is take the one line of kings who rule the Catholic Church during that time and he made an artificial construct out of it, that is, he divided the one line of papal kings of Revelation 13 that rule the church during the time of the seven papal kings into seven lines of popes by name.  This is an artificial division.  We see it as one line of individual papal kings to the end, which is completely true, but for his own purposes, God divided this one king into seven lines of kings.  It is as if the one king that was there before during this time period in Revelation 13 now simply disappeared in Revelation 17.  This enabled him to better explain future history to us. 

By replacing the one king Revelation 13 with the seven kings of Revelation 17 for the "is not" time, we might say that the one king of Revelation 13 during the time of the "is not" simply disappears in Revelation 17 just like the church-state beast disappears.  So, in a sense, the one king definition of Revelation 13 for the popes during the time of the seven heads is replaced by the seven kings of Revelation 17.

When the angel said that the beast will ascend out of the bottomless pit, he summarizes a process in which the persecuting power of the Papacy is ultimately given back to it.  It seems highly unlikely that the angel's words were describing the long process the Papacy has engaged in for many years, a process which began in 1800, where it was always working toward and hoping that it will someday receive that power to persecute once again.  Rather, these words are used to describe the final process in which negotiations and legislative action take place to actually return the persecuting power to the last pope. The reason this is true is that the Papacy has been trying to get that power back for over 200 years and has so far failed.  The world remembers what they did, though that memory is fading.  But someday soon political leaders in Europe will choose to forget and will once again go to the papacy and, just as they did in Constantine's time and thus as they have done in the past, say, "let us get together!"  Until this happens, the beast is not really ascending out of the abyss.  Only when the leaders of the nations go to the Papacy and say, "let us get together," does the ascent out of the abyss actually begin. Then it will actually begin to get out of the prison that it has been in for over 200 years. Remember that this power must be returned to the papacy by the nations of Europe outside of Italy for the church-state beast to really be there.

As of the writing of this paragraph in 2013, this process has not yet begun, but evidence indicates it is not far in the future.  Daniel 2:43 tells us that when persecuting power was handed to the church the first time around beginning in the year 321 (the first Sunday worship law of the Roman government was issued in the year 321), the government went to the church and in effect said, "let us get together!"  This happened a second time in 538 when the Roman government of the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian handed it persecuting power again.  There is good reason to believe that it will happen again much the same way in the future. 

The beast will return and the power to persecute will be returned to it. This will give the popes the church-state kingdom once again.  Meanwhile, as God presents it to us, the seven kings of the "is not" time will, in the time of the final persecution just before Jesus comes again, be replaced with the one king again, but this time this one king will be redefined to be the final pope, so in this instance, it will be just one pope rather than a line of popes.  More on this next in verse 11. Below is an illustration to summarize this for you.  It shows the church-state beast timeline (not to scale) and the king and kings of the beast. Note that Pope Francis is omitted and the details of pope Benedict XVI are not shown, for reasons which will be explained later:

To help you understand the three phases of the church-state beast described in Revelation 17:8, part a, and the major events associated with it, the author has inserted a timeline below for your convenience:

The illustration above should be relatively self-explanatory.  There is a timeline at the bottom that is color coded to match the phases of the church-state beast which are shown in colored bars above the time line.  Flags above the timeline show major events of the church-state beast.  On the left the "was" phase of the church-state beast is shown, which ran for 1260 literal years and ended in 1798.  This was followed by the "is not" phase of the church-state beast, which is still going on at present.  But soon the church-state beast will make its ascent out of its prison (the bottomless pit), which is represented by the pale green bar above the "is not" phase on its right side.  It is short, thus showing that the ascent of the church-state beast out of the abyss is a very short time. We have not yet entered this time, but soon will. Finally, on the right side the "yet is" or "exists again" phase of the church-state beast is shown in the colored bar.  We do not know how long this time will last, but it will end when Jesus comes again.

Verse 8, part b, will be better understood if we first cover verse 11, so, we will now study verse 11.  For your convenience, here it is again:

Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

This has been a very difficult verse for many, but it can be understood. The word beast in this verse does NOT refer to the church-state beast at all, contrary to popular opinion (in the past, even the author misunderstood this), but rather it applies to the king of the beast at the end, the last pope.  Here is why that is true.

We already know that the eighth is just one individual pope who begins his time in office by taking one of the seven names which he later changes to the eighth papal name.  Now, in light of that, here is what is interesting. Verse 11 says, "And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, ... " which we can reduce to, "the beast that was ... is the eighth...."  For a minute, please stop and think about what that really means when it is reduced like this.

Do you see the point of this when it is reduced? This verse plainly tells us that the beast that was is the eighth!  That is very plain and very simple.  Because the eighth is the very last pope, then it must be true that the beast that was is also just one pope.  And it is also true that the beast that was and the eighth are one and the same person!  Let us make that very clear to you so you can think about it:

The eighth is just one pope, the last pope, and the beast that was IS the eighth. This clearly means that the beast that was IS the last pope.  They are one and the same person. 

A beast in Daniel 7:17 is defined to be a king, which represents a line of individual kings (a line of popes for the papacy) which rule a kingdom.  But here in Revelation 17:11, it says that "the beast that was ... is the eighth", so the beast is here redefined to be just one individual pope rather than a whole line of them by name, making this an exception to the rule that beasts are defined as a king which represents a line of individual kings.  This also means that for the eighth, the word king means just one individual king, unlike the definition in Daniel 7.  This redefinition is important because it changes the definition for subsequent verses where the last pope beast is discussed.  Let us make that more visible for you to think about:

Revelation 17:11 redefines the beast to be the eighth, which is just one individual pope.   This also redefines the word king so that it represents a single individual pope/king rather than a line of kings/popes as is usual per the definition in Daniel 7.

That the beast that was is one and the same person as the eighth, puts a whole different perspective on verse 11. The first thing this tells us is that what the beast that was is commonly believed to be, is, in fact, NOT what it really is. Specifically it tells us that the beast that was in this verse is not the church-state beast of the time period from 538 until 1798.  It just cannot be that the beast that was which existed from 538 until 1798 is one and the same as the last pope because the last pope arrives several hundred years later (do understand that the author himself failed to notice this until Benedict resigned, so it is easy to miss this point).  It is true that the power of the church-state beast that existed from 538 until 1798 will be in the hands of the last pope because he will be its king, but you should also understand that the primary purpose of verse 11 is to talk about the last pope rather than the church-state beast of the time period from 538 until 1798.  Verse 8 gives the information you need about the church-state beast.

So, what exactly is it that this verse is saying to us?  You will be surprised by the answer!  What it actually tells us is much more surprising than what this beast is not.  What this is telling us is that the last pope, the eighth, will begin as one of the seven lines of popes (he is "of the seven") and stays in office for a while.  Then he resigns from office and he becomes the beast that "was."  After resigning, he is gone for a while, meaning that he "is not" while he is gone.   After being gone for a while, he later returns to be pope again, and when he does this, he comes back with the same name he had before.  Some time after he returns, he is given the power to persecute, and it is then that he changes his name to a new name never used before (thus, literally, he is "out of " the seven).  From then on until Jesus returns, he will be a persecuting pope.

Are you surprised at this?  You should be. Nobody expected this.

Let us summarize these points about the last pope.  Characteristics of the last pope are:

  • He comes with one of the seven names and remains for a while.
  • He resigns from office and becomes "the beast that was."
  • He is gone for a while, so during that time, he "is not."
  • He returns to the papal office with the same name he had before.
  • He later gets the power to persecute.
  • When he gets the power to persecute, he changes his papal name to a new name never used before in papal history.
  • Ultimately, he goes to perdition.

So, how does the author know that the last pope beast will return with the same name and then change it later rather than changing it when he returns?  Look at the pattern in the table below and you should see the answer to this question.

Verse Past  Present Future
Revelation 17:8, part a the beast that was is not shall ascend out of the abyss and go to perdition
Revelation 17:11 the beast that was is not
  • he is out of the seven
  • he is the eighth

As you look at the table above, it should be clear to you that the angel set up a pattern of things past (the beast that was), things present (the beast is not), and things future. If the pattern holds, then in verse 11, the beast is of the seven when he comes back because being of the seven is listed in the future part of the verse. Thus, the last pope comes back with the same name he had before and later changes it to the new name that he will die with.

When Jesus returns, the last pope goes to perdition, meaning he dies on that very day.  No other pope is said to go to perdition except this one. The same pope is spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8, which says:

2Th 2:3 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;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

These verses clearly tell us that there is one who sits in the temple of God (after Jesus died, this refers only to the Christian Church) and is busy showing himself that he is God. In other words, he claims to actually be God himself.  This description applies only to the pope of the Roman Catholic church because he is the only major power within the Christian Church Community which claims to be God.  It clearly says that he will be destroyed by the brightness of the coming of Jesus, which can only apply to the last pope. Interestingly, it also says he is a man, which clearly rules out the final pope being a devil or some other non-human being.  It calls him the son of perdition, which links the perdition in this verse to the perdition that the eighth goes to.  This means the final pope dies the day that Jesus comes.  Saying that he goes to perdition does NOT refer to him going to hell at the end of the thousand years.

There is no pope predicted to exist after the eighth in Revelation 17, so the eighth is the last pope.  This also tells you that once you have identified the eighth, then you know that the Second Coming of Jesus is extremely close. This information does NOT tell you the day and hour of the coming of Jesus and is NOT setting dates for the Second Coming of Jesus.  In fact, it does not even tell you the year of his coming, but it does say that it is very close. 

Do not forget that Jesus said that we should read the signs of the times and know when his coming is close and watch for it. Those who argue that reading such signs in the prophecies and in events going by, which they call "soft time setting," are  making themselves blood guilty for purposefully blinding and stealing away the last chances of many sleeping Christians in the Church to urgently prepare for the coming test and Christ's return.   It does not take an Einstein genius to see that logic dictates that if you have identified the eighth, the last pope that rises up just before the Second Coming of Jesus, you have knowledge that the coming of Jesus is very soon.  It is a logically inescapable conclusion. To conclude otherwise is to deny the prophecy and its author - God. 

Why is that so?  Carefully consider that there are other prophecies in the Bible which we know will be fulfilled just before the Second Coming of Jesus, some of them perhaps just weeks before.  When we see them fulfilled, are we to deny that we now know the Second Coming is very near just because we are told by the experts that we are not to do what they call "soft time setting?"  They say that all we can know is the age in which Jesus will come.  How so?  Think about it!  Are they leading you down the right path by arguing against recognizing the signs of the rapid approach of the Second Coming?  

Caution is usually wisdom, but ignoring events that are clearly predicted and clearly fulfilled is not the wisdom God gives, but rather, it is the Biblically defined wisdom of the fools, and worse yet, it was and is the prophesied echo of Satan's whisperings through trusted people to all those doomed souls lounging around outside the ark before it started to rain, "Relax. 'Everything continues as it always has from the beginning'. So go back to sleep! Nothing to see here!" But there is much God does indeed intend you to see here and realize, that is, if you have eyes to see and ears to hear.

Let us make that practical with an example   Revelation 16 tells us of a series of seven last plagues that will fall on the earth within a very short time just before Jesus comes. The Bible does not say how long they last, but some experts have ventured to speculate that they may last a year.   Whatever time it takes, we do know that it will not take long for all of them to fall.  Now, for just a moment, pretend that you are actually living in that time in the future and you have just seen the first of the seven last plagues fall. You know what it is and you know that this event is to occur just before Jesus comes again. You tell a friend, "Now that I have seen this event, I know that Jesus is coming very soon.  I don't know exactly how soon, but it will definitely not be decades away."  According to those who argue against "soft time setting," you should be condemned for saying this when that event happens.  But according to the Bible, they are dead wrong.  Its very clear these things take place just a very short time before the Second Coming of Jesus, so saying that his coming is then very near when you see one of the seven last plagues fall is NOT wrong.  In fact, its wrong to do otherwise because that places you in the class with the wicked who will not recognize the signs of the approach of the Second Coming and will think it very far away into the future, if they even think it is coming at all. 

So, likewise, neither is it wrong to say that the eighth has been identified and, therefore, the Second Coming of Jesus is very near so long as the eighth has been properly identified.  But please, do not try to pin it down to the year of the Second Coming. That information is not revealed by this prophecy.

Let us outline the main events of the last pope as given to us by Revelation 17:11:

  • He comes into the papal office with one of the seven names (the beast that was is "of the seven").
  • He remains in office for a while. During this time this pope is "the beast that was," but he will not be seen that way until he resigns.
  • He then resigns from office so that he becomes "is not," meaning he is not pope anymore.   For sure, at this point he will be "the beast that was."
  • After some time has gone by (we do not know how long) and he remains "is not" (meaning he has no authority during this time because he is no longer pope, his power could be said to be in "prison"), then for reasons not directly stated, he returns to his papal office to be pope again (there is an indirect hint in Revelation 17 and 18, which we will cover later).  It does not say how he returns to office, only that he does come back.
  • When he returns to his office as pope, he retains the same name he had when he was pope previously.  This is because he is still "of the seven" even after the "is not" time period.
  • Some time after he returns to office as pope, he is given the power to persecute those the Catholic Church claims are heretics.
  • When he receives the power to persecute, it is then that he changes his Papal name to the eighth papal name, a name never used before in Papal history.
  • He remains in power as a persecuting pope until the end, the last day of earth's current history.
  • Finally, Jesus comes again and the eighth, the last pope ever, dies on that very day.  As a persecutor, he cannot go to heaven.

For your convenience, below is a timeline showing the main events of the last pope.  This visual illustration should help you better understand the eighth. Note that the timeline is NOT to scale.  Also, note that the word "past" at the bottom left refers to the past relative to the time this pope first spends in office.  It should NOT be taken to mean the past relative to your own present, immediate time.

a

As you can see, there are three phases in the reign of the last pope, the "was" phase, the "is not" phase, and the "yet is" phase.  The colors of the three phases match the timeline at the bottom so you can easily see where they occur.  As you should observe, there are six major events of the last pope, which are shown above the timeline next to the flags on the lines extending above the timeline. 

Let us now turn to the pattern of the repeated phrases found in Revelation 17:8, parts a and b, and Revelation 17:11 and see what we can learn from them.  There are three similar phrases repeated three times in these two verses   For your convenience, here again are those three sets of phrases taken from the two verses:

Rev. 17:8, part a: The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit

Rev. 17:8, part b: the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Rev. 17:11: The beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven

To help you see the apparent line-up of the phrases better, look at them in the table below:

verse Past Present Future
Rev. 17:8, part a The beast that you saw was and is not and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition
Rev. 17:8, part b the beast that was and is not and yet is
Rev. 17:11 The beast that was and is not even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition

Now, as you look at these three sets of phrases, notice that in Revelation 17:8, part a, it divides the time of the beast into three phases, the "was," the "is not," and the beast "shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition."  This clearly is past tense, present tense, with the present tense being the "is not" time of this beast, and finally, the future tense.  In the future, it says that the beast will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition.  Notice that all three sets of phrases in both verses follow the same basic pattern of past, present, and future.

For verse 8, part a, You should perceive that there is a time period that exists between the beast's ascent out of the bottomless pit and the beast going to perdition. In other words, it does not come out of the bottomless pit only to immediately go to perdition as that would not really be significant due to its immediate destruction, which would seem to negate its usefulness for its relationship to the other two sets of three phrases.   There must be some time for it to actually do something against God and his people between the time it gets out of the bottomless pit and when it is destroyed, or else its return would be irrelevant except to note its destruction.  Revelation 17:12-14 make it clear that after its return, this beast will be busy conducting a war against God, meaning it will be trying to destroy God's people. 

Other places in Revelation tell of the same war. For example, Revelation 14:20 tells us that during the seven last plagues, the wicked will be destroyed outside the city. This symbolically describes events that take place during the seven last plagues rather than at hell a thousand years later, so the city referred to in this verse must be symbolic of the city of Jerusalem. It does not refer to the events of Revelation 20. 

Recall that until Jesus comes, the righteous are symbolically said to be in Jerusalem (Revelation 14:1), which represents the true church in this vision.  Thus, Revelation 14:20 tells us that the righteous in the symbolic city of the new Jerusalem, the true church, the people of God, are under attack by the wicked who are said to be outside the city.  The wicked being outside the city merely represents that it is those from outside the church who attack and try to kill them.  The idea is that the wicked will lay siege to the symbolic city of Jerusalem, the true church, the people of God, to destroy them.  This is modeled after Babylon coming to attack Jerusalem and laying siege to it to destroy it. 

What we know from Revelation 14:19-20 is the following. During the seven last plagues, none of the people of God will be killed by the church-state beast for they have God's protection. The proof of this is found in Revelation 14:19, which tells us that the vine of the earth is gathered and thrown into the great winepress of the wrath of God. The wrath of God is the seven last plagues (Revelation 15:1). When this happens, it occurs outside the city of Jerusalem. In other words, the wicked die outside the city, symbolizing that those inside are safe, but those outside are dying in large numbers. The city represents the true church, so this tells you that during the seven last plagues the roles are reversed. Previous to this time, the righteous will be dying because of persecution. But once the seven last plagues begin, it will be the righteous who will be safe and the wicked will be dying in very large numbers. Their death will be the first death. They will experience the second death in hell, a death from which there will never be a resurrection. 

In summary, Revelation 14:20 merely tells us that the wicked will be trying to kill the righteous at the end during the seven last plagues before Jesus comes again, but God intervenes and kills them in order to protect his people AND the wicked will die without hope of salvation. 

Let us back up a bit to see a bigger picture here.  Before the end, there is a war against God's people. This war starts before the seven last plagues begin to fall. Before the seven last plagues begin to fall, many of God's people will be killed, but none of the wicked will be killed by this war because it is a war against God's people, not against the wicked.  The wicked are not targeted.  But after the seven last plagues begin to fall, not a single one of the people of God will be killed. However, the seven last plagues are God's war against the wicked for having killed his people.  It is God's way of protecting his people so that they are not killed after that. So, as a result, vast numbers of the wicked will die in those plagues. It is a war after all, and people do die in war. 

But why does God wait until some time after the war against his people begins before he starts to protect his own people? Why does he not begin to protect them right from the beginning of the war, thus frustrating the purpose of the wicked and giving his people assured safety?  This is a good question and deserves a good answer. The answer is that God does not begin his war against the wicked until everyone has permanently made up their mind which side they are going to be on for eternity. Until that point is reached, God holds back and allows the wicked to win against his people. He knows he will resurrect his people who die, so their death is only temporary and they will rise to eternal life.The reason God does not stop the killing is that he knows there are some among the persecutors who will be converted and will change sides. If he destroyed them before they could kill his people, he knows their death will result in their being resurrected for hell and eternal death. He would like to give them a chance at eternal life, so he holds back. 

Another reason he hold back is that this forces everyone to make decisions as to whose side they will be on. With maximum pressure on everyone, there will be no middle ground. This forces everyone, good, bad, or in between, to choose sides for eternity.  These decisions will be permanent.  It also forces everyone to judge themselves for eternity by their decision. 

Another reason God holds back his retribution is that he wants the universe to have a chance to see the final development of sin and its results in this world. The universe is watching and judging God and his government by the things they see. He wants to be sure they make the right decision.

Another reason God holds back his retribution against the wicked is that he wants the people of God to have their characters purified and made ready for heaven.  This means the character of God will be brought out in the life of his people so that the world and the rest of the watching universe will see the great contrast between the wicked and the righteous, between God's character and Satan's character as manifested by the behavior of both sides. In many respects, it will be like the contrast manifested between those on Satan's side and Jesus when he hung on the cross.

Some time after this war begins, the Investigative Judgment of God is completed.   In case you do not know what the Investigative Judgment is, understand that God judges everyone, but there are two judgments that takes place. 

There are those who claim that there is no judgment of Christians, but this is false. here is what the Bible tells us about this:

2 Cor_5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may be recompensed for the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether it be good or bad.

Those Christians who have been faithful to God will not be condemned, while those who have turned away from Christ will be condemned. There are no exceptions. All, even all Christians, will be judged by Christ.

The first judgment is done for those who have claimed Jesus as their Savior which takes place before Jesus comes the second time, and the second judgment is that of the wicked after the millennium who have never claimed Jesus or they left God after claiming salvation.  Remember that Jesus said that he comes with his reward (Revelation 22:12), so a judgment process must precede the Second Coming of Jesus.  Once the Investigative Judgment is finished, everyone will have permanently made up their minds to be either on God's side or Satan's side.  It is then that God intervenes and he sends the seven last plagues in responses to the war against his people.  When those are finished, then Jesus comes again and takes his people back to heaven to be with him.

The purpose of the plagues is to protect his people from those who would destroy them. God kills so many of the wicked that they are unable to kill God's people once the seven last plagues have begun.  That does not stop them from trying, of course, but after the seven last plagues begin, they will fail to kill any of them.  Ultimately Jesus comes in order to deliver his people from their enemies and put an end to the whole mess.

Now, we know that the church-state beast will come back because Revelation 17:8, part a, tells us that it will return.  Imagine the shock and surprise that comes over most people when that happens. Most people will NOT be expecting this to happen. They think the church-state combination that existed before 1798 in Europe is a relic of the far distant past and they will never need to worry about it happening again.  But when it comes back anyway, that event will be a terrible shock to them. 

The church-state beast went away in 1798 and has been gone ever since then. Europe is quite secular these days and in modern times, the world is NOT at all expecting that the church-state beast will return.  And yet, it will return to power and will resume doing all that it once did during medieval times (torturing and killing people).  Everyone in the world will wonder at the return of the beast that once was, has been gone a good long time ("is not"), and yet returns to power again.  How unexpected!!  This will be a most shocking and unexpected event that will cause great consternation among many who will be living under its power once again, something that they never imagined would ever happen. 

Did you know that the Bible actually tells us that they will be shocked about the return of the church-state beast?  It also tells us that those who have studied and understood the prophecies will not be shocked by its return because they will be expecting it to happen.  They know it is coming sooner or later. All they have to do is wait for it to happen and, when it does, then check it off on their list of things to happen before Jesus comes again.  They will know then that they are just one step closer to heaven.

Here is how the Bible tells us this information.  Here is Revelation 17:8 in its original form:

Rev 17:8 [part a] The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition:

Rev 17:8 [part b] 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.

In part b of verse 8, "they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is."  Recall that the word beast in part a of the same verse means the church-state beast so that it can be worded as shown below (please remember that this is an interpreted version of verse 8, but is NOT how John actually worded it, so do not write me and complain about it):

Rev 17:8 [part a] The church-state beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition:

Rev 17:8 [part b] 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.

Now, part b of verse 8 can also mean the church-state beast. Here is what verse 8 looks like when the words "church-state beast" is substituted for the word beast in all of verse 8:

Rev 17:8 [part a] The church-state beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition:

Rev 17:8 [part b] 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 church-state beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Do you see how this explains that those who have not studied and understood the prophecies will be shocked when the church-state beast returns?  It is very clear what this means. 

But the word beast in part b of verse 8 can also mean the last pope beast and the same result will follow. This is true because the word beast in part b of verse 8 can literally have either meaning of being the church-state beast, taken from part a of verse 8, or the last pope beast, taken from verse 11.  Here is what verse 8 looks like with the words last pope beast substituted for the word beast:

Rev 17:8 [part a] The church-state beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition:

Rev 17:8 [part b] 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 last pope beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

You hopefully see that the word beast in verse 8, part b, can take on the meaning of the word beast in verse 8, part a, which is that it is the church-state beast.  Or it can take on the meaning of the word beast in verse 11, which is that it is the last pope beast.  When it has the meaning of the last pope beast taken from verse 11, what God is telling us is that when the last pope beast returns from retirement, this event will be a big shock to those people in the world who have not studied and understood the prophecies.  Those who have not studied and understood the prophecies are not expecting that he will return from retirement. They will also be shocked because of what he does in order to get his papal throne returned to him. More on this subject later, but be aware that there is shock both for his return and how he accomplishes it.

Now, you may say that this seems confusing and too complicated! Why would God do something this complicated?  The answer is that because there are two different definitions for the word beast in verses 8 and 11, then there are two different beasts which return at two different points in time, both returns of which shock the world that is not expecting either of these to happen.  What is important is to realize that they return at two different times in these verses. God worded verse 8, part b, in such a way that it can match both beasts in verse 8, part a, or verse 11, and still be correct.  It is done this way to help express something important in a minimum number of words while also hiding the meaning until the time is right for it to be revealed in full. That time is now.

So that you understand fully, there are two different kinds of beasts, the church-state kingdom and the last pope. Both of these will return to power after having been out of power for a time.  In both instances, there will be astonishment at their return.  Logically they do not both return at the same time, but their return will be very close together.  Each time this happens the world will be astonished.  Thus, the word beast in verse 8, part b, matches up with both verse 8, part a, where the word beast means church-state kingdom and it also matches up with verse 11 when the word beast means last pope. 

It is at this point, as the reader ponders the marvel of the inherent duality of these verses, he/she may begin to experience a new appreciation for the sheer magnificence of Gods ability to see all time and from all perspectives laid out before Him and how in His great love for us He has taken special care to specifically capture and communicate the historical view of the beast phases of the Catholic Church in such a way as to display and underline the existence of this exact same mirrored sequence of phases also being lived out in miniature within the time frame of the last Pope's career. The pattern of the fully grown tree is indeed written in the life of the seed! The phase patterns of the apostate church and beast man match exactly and are true for both in these verses! Why is this? The author would strongly suggest this is a sign given to us by God to show us that we have the prophesy correctly interpreted, for it is a way of cross checking our work. We have a solid match! God also appears to be revealing this man, the last pope beast, that he will ultimately embody the total manifestation of the true reflection of Satan's vile and evil character as the 8th brings the fullness of the beast's true fruit into being for all to eventually see the horror thereof. Participants in the beasts's plans or behaviors ultimately will be totally shocked at the results. 

For those who study Bible prophecy and correctly understand it, the return of the beast (either the church-state kingdom or the last pope beast) will not be such a big surprise because they have already been warned by the Bible that this will happen.  When either of these does happen, those who have studied the prophecies will see this as a signpost on the way to the future telling us that the end is extremely close.  The obvious message of these events to them will be: Get ready to meet Jesus AND tell everyone else to get ready also!  Time will be seen to be EXTREMELY SHORT because the last pope will be old and they will know that he dies the day that Jesus comes again.  This will bring about finishing the work of spreading the gospel in the world.  It will have a very powerful impact on the world and will give great power to the messages of the first three angels of Revelation 14, particularly the third angel's message.  But the world will not accept the true gospel.  Rather they will hate it.

The message you are reading on this web page is the fourth angel's message of Revelation 14 which brings about the final harvest of people into God's true church, which is composed of those who keep ALL of God's commandments, not just nine of them. Those who keep only nine of God's commandments may really believe that they are keeping all ten of the commandments or they may just pretend to keep this particular commandment and know better. However, in the final analysis, those who keep only nine of the commandments of God really obey the pope on that commandment so that they do not really keep the it. The commandment they do not really keep is the fourth commandment of God's law, you know, the one where God tells us to keep the seventh day of the week as a day of rest. The world obeys the pope on this and substitutes the pope's commandment, which is to keep Sunday.  This is not God's will and will be the dividing point between those who obey God and those who will not at the end.  Ask yourself, "Why is it that the only commandment that begins with the command to "Remember" is the one that we are told is not important and/or has also somehow been changed to Sunday?"

Let us put the information of the matching of verse 8, part b (the "yet is" beast) with verse 8, part a (the church-state beast), into a table so that you can see how things line up. Note the background color of the cells.  The time when the church-state beast is not around has a light turquoise background color, whereas the time when the church-state beast is in power has a yellow background.  This should help you understand the table a little more clearly.

Comparison Of The Three Phases Of The Kingdom Of The Church-State Beast To The "yet is" Beast (Rev. 17:8, part a, Versus Rev. 17:8, part b)
Verse Past Present Future More Future
Rev. 17:8, part a, the church-state beast The beast [the church-state kingdom] that you saw was and [the church-state kingdom] is not and [the church-state kingdom] shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (it is in the process of getting out of prison but is not quite there yet, so still "is not") The church-state beast returns (it actually gets out of prison) and exists until it is destroyed at the Second Coming of Jesus
Rev. 17:8, part b the beast [the church-state kingdom] that was and [the church-state kingdom] is not [the church-state kingdom] yet is

Now let us create another table which shows the line up of verse 8, part b (the "yet is" beast), with the history of the last pope in Revelation 17:11.  The same background color coding used above is used in the table below.

Comparison Of The Three Phases Of The Kingdom Of The Last Pope Beast to the "yet is" beast (Rev. 17:11 Versus Rev 17:8, part b)
Verse Past Present Future More Future
Rev. 17:8, part b (the "yet is" beast) the beast [the last pope] that was and [the last pope beast] is not (he is not in the papal office} [the last pope beast] yet is [meaning that he has returned to the papal office]
Rev. 17:11 (the last pope beast) the beast [the last pope] that was and [the last pope beast] is not - he is not in the papal office because he resigned He (the last pope beast) has returned and "is of the seven" (meaning he has the same name that he had before leaving office when he resigned)

"even he [the last pope beast] is the eighth" (meaning he now has the power to persecute and a new name to go with it)

Do you see how the word beast in verse 8, part b (the "yet is" beast), is somewhat like a chameleon because the meaning of the word "beast" shifts to mean either the church-state beast of Revelation 17:8, part a, or to mean the last pope beast in Revelation 17:11?  The meaning changes to fit either beast in order to explain something that is going to happen when either of these beasts returns to power.  What this boils down to is that God even revealed the reaction of the world to the return of the two different beasts.

Let us now study the "is not" time of both beasts (the church-state beast and the last pope beast) and how they relate to one another.  The "is not" time of the last pope is contained entirely within the "is not" time of the church-state kingdom.  Clearly the "is not" time of the last pope is a much smaller time period because the "is not" time of the church-state beast has been ongoing for more than 200 years, while the "is not" time of the last pope begins long after 1798 and continues for only a very short time, probably somewhere between 2-4 years, though we are not specifically told how long it will last.   Popes generally tend to be older, so it cannot be many years in length. 

The "is not" time of the last pope begins and ends near the end of the church-state beast's "is not" time.  Do understand that they end close together because the last pope comes back before the church-state beast comes back, thus terminating his "is not" time, and soon thereafter he receives the power to persecute, at which time the church-state beast's "is not" time also ends.   Perhaps the illustration below will help you understand this more clearly.  Note that the illustration below is not to scale.

in the illustration above, to the right of the words "Church-State Beast Phases" shown on the left side, is a colored bar with three colored divisions. The leftmost yellow colored division represents the "was" phase (phase I) of the church-state beast which began in 538 and ended in 1798. To the right of this in blue is the "Is not" phase (phase II) of the church-state beast. To the right of this in yellow is the "Yet Is" phase (phase III) of the church-state beast.  Everything below this three colored bar has to do with the Last Pope Beast rather than the Church-State Beast. 

The Last Pope beast time is directly below and to the right end of the church-state beast phases, and is represented by a green bar with the words "Last Pope" written over it with arrows showing the full extent of his reign.  Below the green bar is another bar with four colors which represent the phases of the last pope.  Recall that there are three phases for the last pope.  These consist of phase 1, which is colored yellow and is the "was" phase.  To the right of that is phase 2, which is shown in blue and is the "is not" phase of the last pope. And finally, farther to the right of that is phase 3, which is farther broken into two divisions, which are phase 3a (in yellow-brown color) and 3b (in yellow).  Both of these colored divisions, 3a and 3b, represent two divisions the "yet is" phase of the last pope.

The "yet is" phase, that is, phase 3, is broken into phases 3a and 3b because after the last pope returns to power, he can be said to be "yet is," but there are actually two different phases to this time for him.  Phase 3a represents the time after the pope has returned to power, but for a while he will not have the power to persecute. Phase 3b represents the time later still during which the returned last pope will have the power to persecute.  Of course, this all terminates when Jesus comes again.

You can follow the colors down the illustration of the last pope beast to see the breakout of the individual phases. This should help you understand the last pope beast phases completely.

Observe the last phase of the church-state beast on the right side of the illustration. Then go directly below that to the last pope phases and notice that phase 3b of the last pope beast lines up with the "yet is" phase (phase III) of the church-state beast. This represents that they start and end at exactly the same time.  This is intentional because phase 3b of the last pope beast is the time when the pope has the authority to persecute and is the time when the church-state beast has returned because having the authority to persecute gives the pope the church-state kingdom.

 

Who Is The Last Pope And What Happens During The "Is Not" Time Of The Last Pope?

Let us now turn to what is probably the most important question at this time: Who is the last pope?  Do we know who he is at this time or is he yet to be revealed?

We know that the count total of the seven kings plus the eighth has exceeded 666 (this will be explained later in this document), so the last pope is either here now or will be here in the not far distant future.  Because the count total has exceeded 666, time will not go on much longer in this world before Jesus comes again. Thus, the last pope must already be here or soon will be because, in the end, the count comes out to 666.

So, how do we answer the question?  Think about what we have said here concerning the history the Bible gives us for the last pope, that he comes, resigns, then returns, and finally changes his papal name to the eighth papal name.  Then consider this: which pope now living has resigned and wants to change his Papal name?  Do you guess Pope Benedict XVI?  If so, you guessed right.  Here are the facts about Pope Benedict XVI as we know them in 2013.

Benedict XVI was elected as pope on April 19, 2005.  Then, on February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation from the office of pope of the Roman Catholic Church in Rome.  The resignation was set to be effective at 8 PM, Rome time, on the 28th of February, 2013.  That time has come and gone, and he has now been replaced by the newly elected Pope Francis, a Jesuit pope, formerly a cardinal in Argentina.  There has never been a Pope Francis before.

Now consider the criteria of what the last pope is predicted to do. The Bible predicts that the last pope must resign.  Fact: Benedict has resigned.  That matches one of the criteria for him to be the eighth. But he has not yet returned to the papal office, so based on this information we do not know for absolutely sure that the eighth is him.  But there is more evidence pointing to him as the last pope.

Here is that evidence.  On the very day that Pope Benedict XVI became pope, the author discovered that Revelation 17:11 predicts that the last pope will change his Papal name someday.  Based on the fact that the count total of the seven kings exceeds 666 with Benedict XVI and that deposing popes is not easily done, then I, the author, concluded that Benedict XVI is to be the last pope and it is he that will change his papal name.  The author has good reason (but not absolute proof at present) to believe that Pope Benedict XVI actually wants to change his Papal name. Here is why the author says this. 

Sometime in September or October of 2011, the author and his web partner made a conference telephone call to a woman known to both of us to discuss the Revelation 17 study you are now reading.  In the middle of the conversation with her, the woman said, "Oh, I want to tell you something.  I was listening to a television program about 2 months ago on the Discovery Channel.  She said the Discovery Channel, but I have wondered if she got that mixed up with the History Channel. This is something easily done, but I do not know that to be the case.  She said that during the program they interviewed a Vatican official.  In the interview he said the following: 'Pope Benedict XVI has been very badly damaged by the sexual molestation scandals that have hit the Catholic Church in recent years, and as a result, he wants to change his Papal name.' " 

Now think about this.  The author discovered the prophecy of the name change of the last pope on the very day that Pope Benedict XVI became pope on April 19, 2005. The statement of the Vatican official was a surprise because it had been thought that Pope Benedict XVI probably would keep his intent quiet until he changed his papal name.   But it was nice to hear 5-1/2 years after my discovery of the prediction of a name change for the last pope that he was already thinking of changing his name and was already making his thoughts on this known.  Unfortunately, the woman we called could not recall the name of the television program on which this statement was made, so since the author has been unable to find the program, the author cannot prove it at present.

However, reasonable evidence that the statement as presented was accurate is still possible IF another person were to independently verify this statement due to having also heard the same program.  It turns out that the author was recently in a health food store (during December of 2012) for the purpose of purchasing a couple of needed items and happened to strike up a conversation with another shopper over some items on the store shelves.  During the conversation, the author mentioned the discovery of the prophecy of the name change of the pope and started to tell the other shopper about the statement of the Vatican official concerning Pope Benedict XVI.  As the author began to quote the Vatican official's statement about Pope Benedict's XVI desire to change his papal name, the other shopper finished the statement for the author before he was even half way through it.  The other shopper could have done this only if he had previously heard the broadcast of the interview and recalled it. He and the woman the author heard this same information from in 2011 do not know each other, so there is no possible collusion between them.  Thus, the statement apparently is reasonably accurate as originally presented to the author and did in fact actually happen.  The shopper told the author that the statement was made in an interview being done by an Italian TV station for broadcast in Italy.

The author considers this to be reasonable evidence that Benedict has said he wants to change his name and, therefore, believe it is essentially factually correct.

So, what this boils down to is that we know the following about Pope Benedict XVI:

  • He came with one of the seven papal names.
  • He has resigned as required by the prophecy for the one who will become the eighth.
  • Reportedly he has said that he wishes to change his Papal name, which is necessary if he is to actually change it later as required by the prophecy for the one who will become the eighth.
  • The count total of the seven kings exceeds 666

Does this make it absolutely certain that Pope Benedict XVI will someday return to the papal office and be the eighth?  It seems very likely he will be the eighth, but until he returns as pope, we have no absolute proof of it. 

That business as usual is absolutely not the pattern we observe in relationship to Pope Benedict is undeniable. Consider that no pope has resigned since the year 1415. This hasn't happened for 598 years (relative to 2013)! Popes want to die in office. Further no pope in history has EVER, before Benedict, said that he wanted to change his Papal name and none have ever changed their chosen Papal name in history. And notice the surprise of the Catholic Church that Pope Francis goes out of his way to treat Pope Benedict as his own superior in deference to him when they are together, such as offering him first place in ceremonies they have conducted together. The word for this period of time is, unusual is the rule! -And the bible says there is more of that to come.

So, go figure this.  How likely is it that any other future pope will fit these requirements in the foreseeable future, or even within, say, the next thousand years? Do not forget that the count of the seven kings plus the eighth exceeds 666 at present and must be brought back to 666, so if the eighth is far off in the future, you should understand that all popes in office from Benedict XVI until the eighth will have to be deposed for the count to work out.  How likely is that? Thus, this also points to Benedict XVI.

We know that because the count total of the 7 kings now exceeds 666 with Pope Benedict XVI, then there are only two options open for him, which are:

  1. He can be deposed, either before or after his death.
  2. He can return to the papal office and change his Papal name to a new name and become the eighth - the last pope - which he will do when he receives the power to persecute.

Because Pope Benedict XVI has resigned, the biblically unenlightened public believe he surely must be done as pope and therefore can never come back and will never change his name in the future.  One person wrote the author and said that "his mind cracked" (referring to Benedict XVI) so that he cannot come back as pope.   Well, maybe so, but the prophecy still points to him.

If Pope Benedict XVI never returns to the papal office, then there remains only the option that he will be deposed and another succeeding pope after him will come in with one of the seven names and it will be him that will later change his papal name to a new name never used before, thus completing the total to 666.   If this happens, then as stated before, all popes from Benedict XVI until the eighth will have to be deposed. But given the facts, it is extremely unlikely that this will happen.

Be aware that Pope Benedict XVI, as of the writing of this paragraph in 2013, is NOT dead just yet.  In theory, he could come back again to be pope and then change his name. We think it highly unlikely that Pope Benedict XVI will be deposed.  Consider the facts concerning this.  There are presently about 115 voting cardinals in the college of cardinals and Pope Benedict XVI before his resignation appointed about 61 cardinals of those 115.  Now, how likely is it that he will be deposed anytime soon by the cardinals given that 61 or more of them owe him for their position as cardinals?  Before you say its highly likely, do not forget that besides the 61 cardinals Benedict XVI appointed, there are other cardinals that Benedict XVI did not appoint that favor him and would be extremely unlikely to vote to depose him. 

The chances of getting a vote to depose him is highly unlikely at present and will remain that way for a number of years into the future. How long would it take for those who either owe him for their position or otherwise favor him to either be aged out of voting or else die?  The author's guess is probably at least 15 years, so that means it would probably take at least 15 years before there would even be a chance to get enough votes to depose him - if that is what is to happen to his name.  Given the state of the world, that we have plenty of evidence that Jesus is coming very soon, then need we wait around for Pope Benedict XVI to be deposed and then expect the eighth to come much later?   The author thinks not, that waiting for another in the future would be a mistake.

We believe that Pope Benedict XVI is the last pope. Since he is presently 86 years of age (in 2013), this tells us that we do not have many years left in this present world.  This does NOT tell us when Jesus is coming, not even the year of his coming is known from this information, but it does tell us it is going to be soon.  It is not likely numerous decades away. Though we do not know how long Benedict's natural life span is, (hey, he might live until he is perhaps, say, 105, though that is very unlikely), we do believe that he will live long enough to do the job of the last pope, however long that is, until Jesus comes again.

You should understand that as soon as Benedict XVI announced his resignation, we knew that he would return to office someday.  We knew that because the Bible predicts that the last pope will change his name and Benedict XVI is the only pope in history to reportedly say that he wants to change his Papal name.

But now that we have identified the last pope, on to the next big question: Where does Pope Francis fit into the prophecy?  Many are now convinced that he is the eighth.  Is he really the eighth? Or is he a false eighth?

Those who believe Francis is the eighth are usually basing this belief upon either the 1929 seven popes theory (they see Pope Francis as the eighth of that series) or the St. Malachy prophecy (they think he is the Petrus Romanus though recently there is evidence that some of them have changed their minds because they see that Francis does not fit).  As we understand it, Francis is not the eight (nor is he Petrus Romanus), but we do understand that some others think he is the eighth.  We see him as a false eighth, one who to many appears to be the eighth, but actually is not the real eighth.  Revelation 17:11 says regarding the eighth that "even he is the eighth," which the word "even" suggests that there may be another who appears to be an eighth, but is not, that will come before the real eighth arrives. 

The big question then is, what happens to Pope Francis?  The short answer is that he will be deposed.  He sticks out like a sore thumb on Sesame Street because he is the one that is not a thing of this group! Why?    His papal name is NOT one of the seven, so he can never be "of the seven" to become the eighth.  In other words, he began as pope with a name that he will almost certainly not change and it is not one of the seven.  Thus, he cannot ever become the eighth.  However, there is one exception which theoretically could make Francis the eighth, but we consider the probability of this to be zero.  IF he were to change his name twice - once to one of the seven names and then later change it again to the eighth name AND this requires that Pope Benedict XVI be deposed.  Only then could Pope Francis become the eighth.  How likely is THAT? 

To be straightforward with you, we do not believe Pope Francis will ever become the 8th.  The probability of that happening is virtually zero. Whereas, it is very hard for a man to just sit on the sidelines watching the action and given the chance, Benedict XVI is ready and willing to change his name, which we know is true because we know he has said he wants to change his Papal name. What this means is that we have a very good chance that he will be the eighth.   Pope Francis is very happy with his name, which makes it virtually impossible that he will ever change it. Thus, he will never be the eighth. He has only one destiny as pope, which is that he will ultimately be deposed or somehow removed from the papal record as a legitimate pope.  You should understand that we knew immediately that he would be deposed when his name was announced at his election because we knew that his name is not one of the seven.  Being deposed or somehow removed from the papal record as a legitimate pope is virtually guaranteed to happen. 

Pope Francis is not specifically mentioned in the prophecy, but instead he fits into the gap when Pope Benedict XVI, as the last pope, "is not." After all, somebody has to be pope when Benedict XVI is not in office and Pope Francis is the man who fills in that gap.  The illustration below shows where Pope Francis belongs within the timeline of the last pope:

Benedict and Francis Rule Time Relationship

But how does it happen that Francis will be deposed?  We do not know the specific details of why or even how this happens, but we believe that Revelation 17:4, and 18:16 provide a clue concerning the motivation for this to happen.  History provides the answer as to how this probably happens.  Here are those verses, plus a few other related verses to make this plain to you;

Rev 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

Rev 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

Rev 18:16 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!

The woman, which represents the Catholic Church, has the name Babylon the Great across her forehead in verse 5, which gives her the name of a city and also symbolizes that she will somehow behave like Babylon did in Bible times.  Revelation 17:18 tells us that the woman is a city.  Now, obviously, a woman is not literally a city, so it must be that symbolically she is the city of Babylon. What this means is that in Revelation 18:16 when Babylon (the woman) is destroyed and the merchants of the earth are lamenting her passing, they are lamenting the destruction that comes to the Catholic Church which takes place very near the end just before Jesus comes again.  The pope dies later on the day that Jesus comes again, so he escapes the destruction predicted in Revelation 18, but his destruction comes soon after when Jesus comes again.

Now, in light of this information, compare the things the woman is wearing in Revelation 17:4 with the things she is wearing (as the city of Babylon) in Revelation 18:16.  Do you see that they are the same EXCEPT for one thing: the fine linen is included as part of her clothing in Revelation 18:16 but she is not wearing the fine linen in Revelation 17:4.  These descriptions represent two different points in time. The description of the woman in Revelation 17:4 is during the time of the seven heads/kings, while the description of the woman in Revelation 18:16 is during the seven last plagues, which is during the time of the last pope - and clearly after the 7 kings are gone. 

But what does it mean that she has fine linen on her?  The fine linen is defined by the following verse:

Rev 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

So, the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. Now, we know that the Catholic Church, along with the ten horns, will carry out a war against the people of God when the last pope has the power to persecute.  During the time of the seven last plagues, they will not successfully kill the people of God for Jesus will bring on the plagues to protect his people from the warfare against them.  But what is abundantly clear is that killing people, especially killing the people of God, is NOT at all righteous!  So, HOW could there be fine linen on the woman in Revelation 18?  That does not seem to make any sense!!

So, how do we understand this obvious contradiction? It should be clear that the fine linen is NOT portraying that the Catholic Church has suddenly reformed and is now obeying God and teaching others to obey God. They have taught false doctrines ever since their apostasy within a few hundred years of Jesus and we know that will not change until the end. So, what does this mean?

The author believes that the answer is found in the events of recent years in the Catholic Church in connection with Revelation 17:4 and 18:16.  In recent years there have been many cases of sexual molestation of children by Catholic Church officials that have been brought out into the public consciousness all over the world by news organizations and lawsuits have been filed seeking compensation for the damage done by the molesters.  The press has widely covered this and even governments have become involved in uncovering these unfortunate events (Ireland).  Do understand that some Protestant pastors have also been guilty of molestation, but they do not draw the kind of media attention that has been given to these events within the Catholic Church, most likely because they are not part of the large and powerful Catholic Church.  Large size can sometimes bring extra scrutiny.

Pope Benedict XVI has felt that he has been badly damaged by these events because, before he became pope, for about 24 years he was in charge of the office within the Catholic Church Curia (the bureaucracy of the Catholic Church at the Vatican) that, among its duties, set the policies of how to deal with church officials who molested children.  Because the church often hid these molesters and protected them from justice, naturally those suing the church look to the policies the church set to explain how this could happen.  They believe, justifiably or not, that policies set up high in the church hierarchy are responsible for protecting the molesters.  Thus, because Benedict set the policies on how the church was to deal with the molesters, he has felt blamed for the way the church handled the molesters and he wants to change his Papal name as a result. 

Of course, many who hear this think that changing his name will not solve the problem, and indeed, that is completely true.  But Benedict wants to change his name because he wants a new beginning.  Apparently he thinks changing his name will create a break with the past, a re branding as it were like companies do all over the world from time to time to get a fresh start and leave the past behind. Often such companies come out with new products when they change their names as a way of saying that we are now new and improved and the past is gone and we are not associated with the past.  Unlike companies, however, Benedict XVI will not have a new product to promote. He will continue teaching the same things he has taught in the past, so a name change will not solve the problem for him.  But he still thinks it will and that is all that is necessary for him to change his name someday.

We know that he will return to the papal office and soon after he will receive the power to persecute. This will provide the excuse he wants to make a break with the past because receiving the power to persecute will give him new powers, which will provide him cover to make a new start.  So it is then that he changes his Papal name. He may not have a new product to promote, but he will have new powers that will certainly give him authority he has never had before. This will create respect for him unlike what he had before. This will be the break that he is looking for, as he will see it.   Watch for him take to advantage of it when the opportunity arises.

The sexual molestation scandals are a big blot on the Catholic Church that they very badly want to remove because of all the bad press about it.  Apparently Pope Benedict XVI did not feel he was able to effectively deal with it and this was one of the reasons he resigned.  Also, there is an interesting little known side effect that is likely a significant contributing reason for Benedict's resignation. By resigning, this action automatically fired the entire Curia.  Whenever a pope dies or resigns, the Curia is always automatically fired, which allows the next pope to rehire them all again if he wants or to hire new people as he wishes.  Typically the new pope rehires all the old workers of the previous pope in the Curia, but he is not required to do so.  He can leave them all fired from their jobs and hire new people, if he so chooses.  He can also rehire conditionally, pending review of their work.  The idea is that firing all the Curia allows the next pope to clean house if he wants to do so or to change the Curia to suit himself.  It is believed by some church watchers that this is one major reason that Pope Benedict XVI resigned, though it is not the reason he publicly stated for resigning..

Of course, firing the Curia allows Pope Francis to clean house, if he wishes, but only in the Curia.  There remains the church at large to deal with, and there are plenty of priests and other officials about whom Pope Francis will have to make decisions about their future with the church because of their involvement in the sexual molestation scandals.  This will take much more time to get done than merely rehiring the Curie or hiring new people for it. Steps have already been started by Pope Francis to begin the longer term process of dealing with the molesting priests and other officials, but it is likely to be a long road to the end that may take several years to complete.  The Catholic Church is a big, worldwide organization and it will not be an easy task.

Now, what does this have to do with the fine linen? Well, the church has a big blot on its record that it very badly wants to remove.  Of course, it cannot eliminate the past, but it can change the current focus of people and what they are thinking about.  The church wants to look good to the public, so if it cleans up its act, or at least, appears to clean house and stops protecting the molesters (or, at least, appears to do so), then it will look very righteous before the world.  Never mind that the city of Babylon (the woman) continues to have on her all the things she had in Revelation 17, such as the scarlet and purple clothing, which represent ecclesiastical authority along with sin, or in other words, sin with ecclesiastical authority backing it (they teach doctrines contrary to the Bible and place traditions above the Bible, contrary to the instructions of Jesus).  If they can make the church look good to the world, then to them, that is all that will count.  They will have accomplished their objective.  Once the church has cleaned up its act, many who have left the church over the problems will be attracted back and the outside world will see the church as righteous for having done the right thing.  Thus, the fine linen on the woman is very likely explained by this.  It is a matter of appearance to the world rather than real righteousness.

Now, when does this woman appear to have been cleaned up?  During the time of the 7 heads she does not have the fine linen, and yet she has it on her during the 7 last plagues when the church is finally destroyed.  Logically, then, sometime between the two times she must have been cleaned up.  Evidence points to Pope Francis as their clean up man because none of the seven names are associated with the white linen and Francis is NOT one of the seven.  Also, by the time the eighth is here, the clean up is apparently complete.  Pope Francis determined to clean up the church from the beginning and has already made a start on that process.  So it appears that he is the pope who will go through and clean up the problems and he will make the Catholic Church look very good to the world.  This prepares the way for the final return of the last pope who is in his "is not" time at present, and after he returns, he will become the eighth.  The clean up will already be finished by the time Benedict XVI returns to the papal office, which will make the church look very good to the world. Thus, when he receives the power to persecute, it will be to the leader of the "righteous church" (in the eyes of the world) to which the nations of Europe will give the power to persecute.

But in the process of doing the clean up, Pope Francis is going to step on the toes of some very powerful people within the Catholic Church.  Very likely this will cause anger and resentment unlike anything before.  Along with that, he has already proven to be a pope who has broken the mold for popes.  For example, he recently washed the feet of several young women at a Good Friday service (in 2013) for prisoners.  This breaks Catholic Church law, but as the supreme authority of their church, he can do whatever he wants.  This has conservatives within the Catholic Church quite angry.  They have a pope who will not follow church law and he will not involve himself in the pomp and circumstance of their church in the way that they expect.  He does as he pleases.  You can be sure that this will cause trouble for him in the long run and this will contribute to him being deposed eventually.  

While we know that Pope Francis will be deposed, we do not know from the prophecy the means by which this will happen.  But we do have a clue from Catholic Church history.  What we know is that according to their rules, a pope may be deposed only for an invalid election.  However, in some sense, there is one exception to this rule, which is that, based on their history, a pope's election when a previous pope is still alive can provide the grounds for having his election overturned without regard for whether his election was valid.  They apparently consider that when a previous pope decides to reclaim the papal throne, that automatically invalidates his successor's election, even if it was done in a valid manner by all other of their standards.  We do not know from the prophecy that this will be the claim made to depose him, but it seems very likely that this will be the means by which Pope Francis will be deposed.  In other words, it is very likely that Pope Francis will be deposed by Pope Benedict XVI reclaiming his throne.  The end result is that Benedict reclaiming his throne will cause Pope Francis to be removed from the papal office by the cardinals.  It is very unlikely that Pope Francis will be deposed for any other reason because their rules state that he may be deposed only for an invalid election. It is extremely unlikely that anyone will prevail with such a charge against him. So, all Catholics will have to put up with him, like him or not unless Benedict XVI reclaims his throne.. 

The precedence for this in papal history is found in the case of Benedict IX (it is interesting that this is one of Benedict's XVI predecessors in his name line) and his successor, Sylvester III, who the cardinals deposed when Benedict IX came back some time after resigning and demanded that he be returned to his throne.  They held a formal hearing to depose the successor pope (the one after Benedict's IX first reign as pope) and Benedict IX was returned to the papal throne.  What this means for Francis and Pope Benedict XVI is that should Benedict XVI demand the return of his throne, he can have Francis deposed for no other reason than that he (Benedict XVI) wants his throne returned to him.  He has prior claim and a higher claim because he was there first.  Whether Francis is removed from the papal office by this means is not specified in the prophecy, but it seems this is by far the most likely route for it to happen.  it would be nearly impossible for Francis to be deposed by any other means because his election was valid so far as is known.

Our best guess is that eventually there will be something which Pope Francis will do which will cause Benedict XVI to decide that he must undo what Francis has done and this will motivate Benedict XVI to return to the papal throne.  We have our suspicions as to what that act will be, but since there is nothing in the prophecies about it, we really will not know until it happens.  A hint to you of what we suspect Francis will do that will be the final straw that breaks the camel's back is that it will have to do with cleaning up the problems within the Catholic Church, that Francis will change something that is a long standing important tradition and this change will greatly anger most of the church hierarchy, but which change will very much please the world and the membership of the church as the right step to take because they will see it as striking at the root of the problems that Francis is trying to clean up.  Francis has already said some things in the past that hint at what this will be. 

So, we wait to see what and how it happens, but we know that over the long run Francis will not be on the records as anything but an antipope because he will be deposed. He cannot be otherwise. We know he cannot be the last pope because he came with a new name, and not one of the seven names.  Because the count will exceed 666 if he is included along with the real eighth, then he must be removed by being deposed so that he does not count.   Since there is just one Francis, he does have a count of 1. This is true irregardless of whether Francis officially has a "1" after his name or not. Remember, we count the popes and we do not use the numbers after their name. Because he has a count of one (there is one Pope Francis), he can appear to be a false eighth, but he is not the real eighth.

The bottom line is that when all is said and done, the count total will come out to 666 and the eighth will be "out of the seven." We believe that Pope Benedict XVI is to be the last pope, that he will return to the papal office, he will change his name after he returns and at the same time he will receive the power to persecute, and he will die the day that Jesus comes again.  The count total of the seven kings plus the eighth will then come out to 666 with the new name that Benedict XVI chooses.  Pope Francis will be deposed, the church will appear to be "clean," and the end will come under the last pope.

Summary Points To Understand:

  • The word beast has several different interpretations in both Revelation 13 and 17.
  • The church-state beast will:
    • Be here for 1260 symbolic days (538-1798).
    • Go away for a while (so far its been gone more than 215 years (as of 2013). This is its "is not" time.
    • Come back again just before Jesus comes again and persecute as before.
  • The last pope, which evidence points to being Pope Benedict XVI, will:
    • Come with one of the seven names and remain a while.
    • Resign and go away for a while (his "is not" time).
    • Come back again just before Jesus comes again with the same name he had before.
    • Later he receives the power to persecute and then he changes his papal name.
    • He dies the day that Jesus comes again.
  • During the "is not" time of the last pope, another pope reigns, which we believe is Pope Francis. Pope Francis will:
    • Clean up the Curia of the church
    • Clean up the molestation scandals of the church, dealing with them as well as he can,
    • His clean up efforts will anger many within the church while also pleasing many in the church membership and the world at large.
    • Be deposed when Pope Benedict XVI demands his throne be returned to him.

 

2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 And The Two Last Popes

Years ago the author was told that in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8, the power who restrains is understood to be the Roman Empire because, after it fell in 476, then in 538 it was clearly revealed as the Papacy.  At the time this explanation seemed reasonable, but more recently the author has come to realize that it is a flawed explanation and that these verses actually reveal the removal of the next to the last pope (he is deposed) and that he holds back the coming of the eighth until he is removed, after which the eighth is revealed to the world. Coming to understand this was a surprise, but it is true. The next to the last pope prevents the world from realizing just who the eighth is by trying to prevent his return to the papal throne.  But he is removed and the eighth is then revealed to the world at last. He is later destroyed by the Second Coming of Jesus.

Here is the evidence that this is so.  Let us begin by quoting the verses in question for your convenience:

2Th 2:3  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;
2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
2Th 2:5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

The idea that it is the Roman Empire which restrains is not accurate.  The church and the empire got together in the early 300s, so it certainly was not restraining it once that happened.  It did restrain previous to that point, but not after. 

But there is an even bigger flaw. Verse 8 rules out that is is referring to the coming of the church-state combination that arrived in 538. Instead, it clearly refers only to the arrival of the last pope as the eighth.  After all, the person in verse 8 that is revealed is burned up when Jesus comes again. That CANNOT refer to every pope since 538 because all of them but the last pope are dead when Jesus comes again.  Further, verse 3 tells us plainly that it is the incomplete process of apostasy that is in progression which restrains rather than an empire that does the restraining. 

 
In verse 3, it is quite obvious that Paul says the Second Coming will not come until there is a major apostasy first.  Verse 3 also refers to revealing the man of sin, the son of perdition, which verse 8 explains to be the one person who is destroyed when Jesus comes again.  Verse 8 can only refer to the last pope as the eighth because there is normally only one pope in power at a time and this guy is burned up when Jesus comes again.  Revelation 17:8 and 11 tell us that the last pope will “go to perdition,” which it tells us ONLY for the final pope and not for all previous popes.  To go to perdition means to go to destruction, but in this context of 2 Thessalonians 2, it refers only to destruction at the Second Coming because the final pope is burned up by the brightness of the Second Coming of Jesus.  We know that all popes who have persecuted will be destroyed in hell, so the destruction predicted in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 8, can only happen when Jesus comes again and destroys the pope then in power. 
 
Verse 4 is critical for identifying this power because it’s a person who sits in the temple of God (the church) and shows himself that he is God (he claims to be God).  This very clearly points only to the popes within the Catholic Church. 
 
In verse 5 Paul reminds them that he had previously explained this to them. 
 
Verse 6 tells us that there is something which withholds until he might be revealed in his time.  The idea that it withholds must be consistent with the same idea of withholding until the last pope is revealed that is found in verse 3.  Withholding here simply means time must elapse and the apostasy must be completed before the last pope will be revealed, so it is largely the degree of apostasy that withholds.  So, in this verse, when it is complete, then the last pope as the eighth will be revealed.
 
However, Paul then gets more specific and personal in verse 7.  First, he tells us that sin was already at work on this process in his day, or, in other words, apostasy was already starting to happen then.  Then he tells us that “only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. ”  This rendition of the Greek word is something that scholars apparently do not agree upon because other versions render the word translated as “let” or “letteth” as "restrains" or "withholds."  The latter is the correct translation because it must be consistent with the idea of the final pope being withheld until the apostasy is complete as presented in verse 3.  To say that he lets or letteth is contradictory to that idea.  Thus, the words “let” and “letteth” should be “restrain” and “restrains” or “withhold” and “withholds” respectively.  The next phrase is most critical.  Here he says that this process of withholding continues “until he be taken out of the way. ” This gets personal and right down to one man at the end of this apostasy process.   In verse 8 he says that when this event happens, then the final pope will be revealed, the pope who dies on the day that Jesus comes again. 
 
So, what this means is that in verse 7, Paul tells us that there is a pope just before the last pope who is taken out of the way, but before he does that, he restrains UNTIL he is taken out of the way.  I don’t think this refers merely to his death because that would be the normal course of events for the Papacy and would not be particularly significant and certainly would have nothing to do with their apostasy.  It has to have a direct connection with their apostasy because of what he says earlier in verse 7 about the process of apostasy.  Clearly, to follow Paul’s line of thinking, it must lead directly into his statement about the removal of the next to the last pope.  Those things are directly related.  This refers to him actually being removed, or, in other words, he will be deposed so that the last pope will then be revealed.  His being deposed reveals that their apostasy is complete and his being removed is a direct result of their apostasy.  This suggests that the next to the last pope will be doing something that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church will not like and they remove him because of it.  Yet he fights them to try to prevent his own removal, but the hierarchy finally wins out and he is removed. Then the one who will become the eighth will be revealed.
 
This appears to be consistent with the things the woman is wearing in Revelation 17:4 compared to Revelation 18:16.  In Rev. 18:16, she has one thing added: fine linen.  Fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints in Revelation.  Now, in Revelation 17:4 she has no fine linen on her, which means she does not look that good, but in Revelation 18:16, she has it added on, which means that between the time of the 7 heads and the 8th, the fine linen is put on the woman, thus making her look very good to the world.  This won’t be the reality, of course, because they will not have changed their false doctrines, but what it does mean is that during the time between the 7 heads and the coming of the 8th, there will be a clean up of some of the major problems within the Catholic Church.  Pope Francis is trying to clean up the church, just as predicted, but what Paul says is that because of his efforts to clean it up and because they don’t like what he does due to their corruption and apostasy, they’ll remove him.  Francis is trying to clean up the problems, but they will not have it and they will remove him because of his attempts to clean it up.  By doing that, it will bring in the final pope, Benedict XVI, who returns to power and becomes the son of perdition, dying on the day that Jesus comes again.  2 Thessalonians 2:8 calls him the wicked one because he will go on to become a persecutor. This is one of the most important reasons why he will die on the day that Jesus comes again rather than going to heaven. Those who support him and help get him returned to power are supporting this wickedness.
 
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An Overview of Revelation 17

Before beginning the study of the 7th key to understanding Revelation 17, let us explain Revelation 17 in its entirety. We'll go through it a few verses at a time. Some of what is said in this section will repeat what you have read in the sections just above.

Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come here; I will show unto you the judgment of the great harlot that sits upon many waters:
Revelation 17:2 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.

This is a brief review of the history of the 1260 prophetic days of the sea beast in Revelation 13. During the 1260 prophetic days in Revelation 13, the sea beast, the Roman Church popes, is given the power by cooperative nations to legally persecute the people of God. In the two verses above, the exact same thing is shown because the woman is a symbol of the Roman Church and the kings of the earth are the political leaders of the nations.  The woman fornicating with the kings of the earth IS the scarlet beast.  The scarlet beast represents these two powers working together to persecute those the church claims are heretics.  As mentioned before, the fornication is a symbol of a prohibited relationship in which the Roman Church relies upon the authorities to punish those it does not agree with. It relies upon the nations to enforce church teachings instead of relying upon God for its needs and wishes.

Remember this: The woman fornicating with the kings of the earth IS the scarlet beast. The scarlet beast represents the popes working in cooperation with at least several other nations of Europe to persecute those the church claims are heretics. 

The judgment referred to in the verses above is more than the punishment of the woman that is seen in Revelation 18, but also includes the Investigative Judgment in heaven of all who have ever claimed the name of Jesus, which certainly includes the Catholic Church and its members. This judgment takes place before Jesus comes again, it is going on right now, and it will be completed before Jesus comes again.  Then, and only then, will the Catholic Church be punished for persecuting the people of God. There is no punishment without a previous judgment of investigation into its activities.

Let us continue.

Revelation 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
Revelation 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
Revelation 17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Revelation 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great wonder.

In verse 3, John becomes a time traveler of sorts because he is carried into the wilderness to see the woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast. What actually happens is that he seems to have been symbolically taken into the future after the 1260 days to see the condition of the beast and the woman as she is after February 15, 1798, when the Roman Church popes were no longer legally combined with the leaders of the nations. How do we know it is after the 1260 days? Because the beast and the woman are in the desert and the woman is not engaging in fornication with the kings of the earth during this time.  The kings of the earth remain on the waters because being there represents that they continue to rule the nations, and obviously they have never stopped ruling their kingdoms.  But in contrast, the woman goes to the wilderness and leaves the kings of the earth behind. Since the power of the sword that goes with the political leaders is with the kings of the earth and she leaves them during this time, then it should be very clear that she no longer has the power from the kings of the earth to persecute those she claims are heretics.  And, obviously, that she leaves them behind while she goes to the wilderness indicates that she and the kings of the earth are no longer together fornicating.

John is told that the beast has names of blasphemy all over it. Because Revelation 13 defines blasphemy when it is a symbol written on the beast. He defines it as claiming to be God and claiming to be able to forgive sins against God's laws, this exclusively points to the Roman Catholic Church. Both the body and heads must have blasphemy on them because this beast of Revelation 17 is the same as the sea beast of Revelation 13, which spoke blasphemy during the the time represented by the body and blasphemy was also written on the heads.  But no blasphemy was written upon the horns. So, the scarlet beast has blasphemy on both the body and heads but not on the horns.

The fornication between the woman and the kings of the earth only took place between 538 and 1798, so this desert scene cannot be the 538 - 1798 time period and must occur afterwards. Also, remember that the pattern set down in Daniel shows us the same thing. According to the pattern, the body occurs first in history, which was from 538 to 1798. Then the heads occur in history, which started in 1798 and continues to the present day. The ten horns will begin soon when the beast returns.

Keep the Characteristics Principle in mind as you read the next paragraph. Remember that a symbol of a power that has things attached to it, such as wings, ribs in the mouth (of the bear of Daniel 7), clothing (on the woman), and so on, represent BEHAVIORS. These things should almost always be interpreted with this idea in mind.

John was shown that the prostitute woman is corrupt because she fornicates with the kings of the earth and has killed the people of God in the past. She even got drunk on their blood. When a person loves killing, we often say they are bloodthirsty, so it seems drinking their blood may hint at that idea. But it also hints at the desire of the popes to have control over those who refuse to obey the Catholic Church.  John was also told that she symbolizes a city called Babylon and is a prostitute with prostitute daughters. The golden cup is a reminder of the golden vessels taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem during the time of Daniel (see Daniel 5). The cup itself is a symbol of punishment. The things about her person, such as her clothing and jewelry, are things that symbolize her connection with or claim to be God, but since she is not clothed with the sun, we can know that this connection is pretense. It is not real. The jewelry is found on the city of God (see Revelation 21:18-21), while the clothing suggests that she is royalty, which makes sense because she claims to be a queen. However, this is religious royalty, not political royalty because this symbol must match her character of pretending to be the true Christian Church. The purple clothing can also represent ecclesiastical authority, while the scarlet clothing symbolizes sin.  Thus, the purple and scarlet together represent ecclesiastical authority coexisting with and supporting sin.  Also, the woman of Revelation 12 has a crown, which is a symbol of religious royalty, so the prostitute woman wants to project the same image. Therefore, she calls herself a queen (Rev. 18:7). The claim of being a queen is a claim of religious authority that is in contrast to the claim of political authority.  Were she claiming political authority, then she would have been called a queen of the earth, to correspond with the kings of the earth who are political leaders of the nations. Since she is merely called a queen, this is like being called a king in this chapter, but not a king of the earth, which indicates religious authority rather than political authority.

The author has encountered people who claim the woman is in great control of the beast whose heads she sits upon. They will wax very eloquent as they describe the great power she has over the beast.  But they fail to really notice that it says she is drunk, though they may parrot it back to you that she is drunk and then talk about the great control she has over the beast, somehow never realizing the huge contradiction they create this way. If you have ever followed a drunk driver on the road, you know that a drunk frequently don't have much control of his or her vehicle. Likewise, this woman does not have much control because she is drunk.

In addition, the word translated as "beast" in this chapter in the original Greek is a "dangerous or venomous, wild beast." If you have ever tried to ride a wild horse, how much control do you have over it? Probably not much! How about trying to ride a wild horse when you are drunk? How much control will you have then? It is very doubtful that you would have much control. Now imagine riding a dangerous or venomous wild beast.  What would that be like? How much do you think the woman is even going to try to control such a beast since she knows it is dangerous to her?  Hence, the real issue is the lack of control that she experiences during this time. Plus, it does not say that the woman has dominion over the heads or the nations in this part of the chapter, so she has no dominion over anybody during this time. She has been stripped of her legal power over the people of God in other nations.

Revelation 17:7 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.
Revelation 17:8 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.

Here the angel announces that he will tell you the mystery. He does not say that he is going to explain the mystery to you. He tells you what the mystery is and then you have to figure out how to solve the mystery. Of course, he does not bother to tell John that nobody would understand this until near the second coming of Jesus. The explanation was given so that those just before the second coming of Jesus would be able to understand the hidden message contained within.

The angel then announces that the beast "was". He even reinforces this by saying that the beast "is not".  Since the woman is in the wilderness and has left the kings of the earth behind on the waters, then it should be clear that the angel is telling John that he (the angel) is speaking to him as if he were at a point in time after February 15, 1798. The church-state beast is gone.

The angel plainly tells John that the beast which was and isn't, will come back someday by coming out of its prison - the bottomless pit (which is the same as the desert). And people who don't know God or the prophecies will be astonished at its return. Still, that beast will eventually be destroyed.  And they will also be astonished when the last pope comes back. They certainly will NOT expect either of these events to happen!

Verse 8 is very important because without it we would not know for sure that the beast was in the past from the standpoint of the angel and it would be almost impossible to determine where in time the angel was actually at.

Revelation 17:9 And here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits.
Revelation 17:10 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 time.

Here the angel tells us that the seven heads are seven mountains and are seven kings. The woman sits on the seven heads, not on the back of the animal as many artists depict in their illustrations. Nowhere in Revelation 17 does it say that the woman sits on the back of the animal. People only imagine that is where she sits because they think it is logical and that is consistent with the artists' renditions of where she sits - but they are all wrong because every one the author has ever seen has shown the woman sitting on the back of the beast - the wrong place.  If you don't believe this, go read the chapter very carefully for yourself.

Take careful notice of this: The woman sits on the seven heads, and she does NOT sit on the back of the animal

Verse 10 is probably the most misunderstood verse in the whole chapter. It says that "one is" and "the other is not yet come," which clearly is in sequence, so, everybody ASSUMES that this means the first five that have fallen are also in sequence. They will claim that context proves them to be in sequence. Actually, it is an assumption that they make here and they mistake an assumption for fact and proof, which it isn't. Believing that context here proves all are in sequence actually proves nothing. But they are free to believe anything they want. They also fail to consider all possible alternatives, which is never a good idea because failure to correctly understand something is likely to occur if all possibilities are not considered. In this case, they have failed to consider that there is a way to explain this verse with the first six heads running together or in parallel with one another and the seventh one following the fall of the six.

Both the books of Daniel and Revelation have a tendency to be very exact books in that the authors wrote precisely what was to be understood and didn't deviate from that goal. Thus, if something is NOT said, one needs to be very sure that any assumptions one makes regarding the issue which the Bible does not address are well founded, backed up by other data, and not contradicted by other things. In the case of verse 10, to assume that the first five heads are a sequence of a kingdom rising and then falling, followed by rise and fall of the next kingdom and so on for all seven of them, is something which creates problems. Here are the problems briefly:

  • The angel separates the heads and horns from the body of the beast. He says it "was". He then discusses the heads, noting that "one is" at the moment he is speaking from and then says that the ten horns have not yet received a kingdom, which plainly tells you that the horns are yet future, almost certainly after the seven heads. Thus, by doing this, the angel describes the three phase history of this beast in keeping with the pattern that occurs in Daniel where the body of a beast represents the first phase of the history of a power, and then either the heads or horns represented the second phase of the history of a power.

  • The angel did NOT say the following in verse 8, but could and should have IF he had wanted us to understand that the heads were all in sequence: "The beast AND THE FIVE HEADS that you saw WERE, and are not and all rule one after the other.... " Also, in verse 10, he should have said that each head ruled after the previous head. The fact that he did NOT say these things is very important because this was a golden opportunity for the angel to show that the rules of Daniel were to be ignored and that he was setting up a new set of rules. Failure to do this speaks volumes. The rules of Daniel remain in effect in Revelation. That fact is virtually unavoidable.

  • If the heads are a series of ancient kingdoms as many believe, which usually (but not always) begin with ancient Egypt, then consider that the beast and all of its seven heads have blasphemy on them, which points only to the Catholic Church and makes it abundantly clear that the beast cannot occur before 538 AD. In addition, that means even the heads cannot occur until after the body of the beast is finished. You cannot have the heads occurring parallel to the time of the body nor can any of them predate the body of the beast.  To claim otherwise is to violate the pattern in Daniel regardless of who claims it is true that the heads can be a sequence of political kingdoms.

The angel said that the seven heads are seven mountains and are seven kings. Daniel 7 demonstrates that when a beast has more than one head on it, the heads are to be understood to be divisions of a power which are successors of the kingdom represented by the body of the beast and the heads all have power at the same time as one another. These will be either of two forms of divisions: they may be divisions within the same kingdom (such as is done with the 2 horns of the earth beast of Revelation 13), or it may be complete divisions of the kingdom into multiple separate kingdoms (Alexander the Great and the divisions of his kingdom). Kings are NOT kings of the earth, which are political leaders, and are not merchants of the earth, which are business leaders, so the kings must be religious leaders. This means that the mountains cannot possibly be political kingdoms because the heads are said to also be mountains and there is no connection between such things. Political kings can only match up with political kingdoms, but since the kings cannot be political leaders, the mountains therefore cannot be political kingdoms. Therefore, mountains must have another meaning found in the Bible. There are several such possible symbols in the Bible for mountains, but the one that fits here is that a mountain is a dwelling place for a group of gods. In other words, the mountains represent a group of gods. 

Since the beast of Revelation 17 has blasphemy upon the body and all seven heads, then we can conclude that the heads are divisions within the same religious kingdom that follow the time represented by the body, each head of which are religious leaders and each of which represents a group of gods. This last point is very logical because the popes have claimed to be God.  Divide the heads into groups by name and you have the seven divisions. Here are the seven divisions:

  1. Gregory (fell in 1846)
  2. Leo (fell in 1903)
  3. Benedict (fell in 1922 - there is an explanation for this one!)
  4. Pius (fell in 1958)
  5. John (fell in 1963)
  6. Paul (fell in 1978) - he is the "one is" of Revelation 17:10
  7. John Paul (fell in 2005) - the one "not yet come"

Let us move on to the next verse, which is:

Revelation 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition.

Since there are only seven heads on the beast, the eighth cannot be an eighth head in spite of claims by some to the contrary. Greek experts say that the context and grammar of the original text points towards understanding the eighth to be a king, and not a head and not a mountain. Unfortunately, this leads to confusion because the word "king" by the definition in Daniel is more than one individual king in a line, or in other words, a king is a line of individual kings.  Because people tend to think of the word king as referring to just one individual king, this causes confusion when reading this verse.  If you absolutely MUST think of the word king as an individual king, then think of the founder of each line who represents the whole line and remember that he represents the entire line of kings that follow him. 

That the eighth is not a head says that he is not a king, so he cannot be a line of individual kings.  Also, he is not said to be a mountain, so he cannot be a group of gods.  The fact that the eighth is neither a mountain nor a king says that he is a single individual, unlike the other kings who are mountains and therefore a group of gods. The eighth is one man. and the fact that he is the eighth means he has to be grouped with and follow seven of something.  The immediately preceding seven kings must be that which he is grouped with and follows, so he is like them but is only a single individual, unlike the seven who are groups of gods and are also lines of individual kings.

Verse 11 says that "the beast ... is the eighth...." This plainly means that they are one and the same person. The last pope is the beast that was in verse 11.  The eighth will have a new name and it says that he is of the seven, which tells you that he will start his time in office with the name of one of the seven kings. When the power to be the beast comes to him, he changes names to become the eighth.  We now know that this change will be for several reasons, which are that he changes his papal name because:

  • He will want to commemorate the new power he will have acquired, which we recognize will be the return of the church-state beast.
  • Because we have good reason to believe that it will be Pope Benedict XVI who will become the eighth, then we can know that he will want to make a break from the past.  He has been blamed for the policies he created before he was pope which dealt with the child sexual molesters in the Catholic Church that did not work well and seemed to protect the molesters from removal or prosecution.

There may be additional reasons of which we are not now aware and may never know, but these appear to be the main reasons this will happen.

Do remember this one simple fact: when the beast returns, this means that the woman is once again sitting upon the many waters and is in fornication and harlotry with the kings of the earth. Therefore, her history begins by being upon the many waters in fornication and harlotry with the kings of the earth, then she moves to sit upon the 7 heads of the beast in the wilderness, and finally, she moves back to sitting on the waters and is busy with fornication and harlotry with the kings of the earth once more. Her history occurs in three phases.

Let us now discuss the 10 kings/horns. Please read the following verses:

Rev 17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
Rev 17:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

The ten kings of verse 12 get their kingdom the same way the woman, their mother, receives her kingdom: they begin to fornicate with the kings of the earth and through that relationship, they obtain their kingdom over the so-called heretics. So, we know how they will get it.  But WHEN do they get it?  Who is the beast in these verses? And when and why do they hand their power over to this beast?

Let us first answer the questions of when and who.  In verse 11, the angel tells us that the beast "is not." In verse 12 there is no evidence that the angel has moved to a later date, so when he says, "And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet," he is still talking about the time when the last pope beast "is not."  This is the point in time he refers to when he tells us in verse 12 that the ten kings have not yet received a kingdom. This is logical because during the "is not" time of the last pope, the church-state kingdom of the eighth has not yet returned, which also means the ten horns have not yet risen to power and we can say that they have not yet received their kingdom. The ten horns will become notable in prophecy when the church-state kingdom of the last pope beast has returned, which we know will happen after the last pope has returned to the papal office.  In other words, the ten horns rise up at that point in time when the last pope beast is given a kingdom over the so-called heretics.  But do the ten horns obtain their kingdom when they are noted to rise up, or do they get their kingdom later?

Before answering that question, let us first consider just WHERE the ten horns reside.  Most people think they are ten nations of Europe, but that cannot be true because the ten horns are an outgrowth of the Papacy.  we know the nations of Europe did not originate from the Catholic Church.  So, the ten horns are religious kingdoms rather than political kingdoms.  We know that only the Protestant Churches fit because they grew out of the Catholic Church, so the leaders of the Protestant Churches are the ten horns.

But just where are these ten horns located? Are they located in Europe, or are they located elsewhere?  Remember that the Catholic Church is a worldwide church, so these ten horns could arise from most anywhere.  So, where do they rise up?

The ten horns will rise up at the same time as the church-state kingdom of the last pope beast returns to power.  When this happens, it is theoretically possible for the ten horns to receive their kingdom. But, more likely, they will receive it after the last pope receives his kingdom over the people of God.  You can know for certain that the ten horns cannot receive their kingdom before the church-state beast returns to power because they must come up after the seven heads are in the past, which will happen when Benedict XVI changes his name to the eight papal name.  

Let us further consider the question of where the ten horns rises up.  To understand why the ten horns cannot rise in Europe, consider that IF the ten horns are Protestant Churches of Europe, then when the last pope beast receives his kingdom to persecute, just as happened in 538, he will again become the head of all churches, even head over the Protestant Churches. In essence, the Protestant Churches of Europe will effectively be forced to become part of the Catholic Church.  Thus, at a later date they will have nothing to give to the Catholic Church in the way of power and authority because they will not have any to give.  And the Catholic Church then will already have all the power anyway.

But for arguments' sake, let us assume that the Protestant Churches are not forced to answer to the last pope. Let us assume that they are allowed to continue to exist and be independent of the eighth so long as they agree on certain doctrines and are willing to also persecute the heretics.  The result would still be that the Protestant Churches of Europe cannot be the ten horns. Here is why. 

Consider that even if the Protestant Churches of Europe also receive the same power as the eighth, later they will have nothing to give to the eighth.  The reason this is true is that the eighth will have all the power he will need and the ten horns will have the exact same authority and no more authority, though they might have even less authority, meaning they will have no authority that the beast will not already have. Thus, in verse 13 where it says that the ten horns will be of one mind and will give their power and authority to the eighth, because their authority to persecute the heretics will be not more than equal to that of the eighth  (they also can do the same things, such as torture and kill them), then there will be nothing they can give that the beast does not already have.  This plainly means that there really is nothing to give to the eighth and therefore their will be no point in handing their power and authority over to the church-state beast at a later time.  There has to be something which they can give which the eighth will not at that time have.  Otherwise, there is no point to their giving him their authority and power.  

So, what does this tell us?  Well, the logical conclusion is that the ten horns cannot be the Protestant Churches in Europe, so they must rise up somewhere else other than Europe and have persecuting power that the church-state beast of Europe will not have in the location where the ten horns are at.   In this way the ten horns will have something of value to give to the eighth when they decided to hand their power and authority over to the beast. Only outside of Europe could that happen.

Now the question is, where will the ten horns rise up?  Think about America, which is represented by the earth beast.  It is a country in which Protestantism has been the dominant power ever since the current Constitution was adopted in 1789 and it also has freedom, both political and religious freedom. It is in America that the ten horns, the Protestant Churches, are located. 

We know from Revelation 13 that America will someday join church and state together and it will be the Protestant Churches of America which will cause this to happen.  Freedom will disappear in America.  Once that combination is accomplished, it transforms America (represented by the earth beast of Revelation 13) into an image beast, which is a likeness of the church-state combination that once existed in Europe and will exist again by the time the image beast is created.  When the image beast is created, the Protestant Churches of America will have the same persecuting authority as the eighth of Revelation 17 will then have in Europe, that is, the power to prosecute the heretics for heresy and either let the heretics live or cause them to die, all as they wish. 

Once the Protestant Churches of America obtain the power to persecute for heresy, the Catholic Church at that time will have no such power in America. But it will certainly want it.  After the Protestant Churches obtain this power, they will keep their kingdom over the so-called heretics for a short time, but after that they will decide to act as one and they will hand their power and authority over to the eighth, the last pope beast.  Thus, at the end in America, the Protestant Churches will, at first, have persecuting power that the Catholic Church will not at that time have in America, though the Catholic Church will have that authority in Europe.  Later, for some reason not stated in the Bible, the Protestant Churches of America will hand their persecuting authority over to the eighth.  When this happens, the image beast will be transformed from a Protestant church-state kingdom into a Catholic church-state kingdom with the pope running it instead of the Protestant Churches. Because it is in America, it will still be an image beast rather than the church-state beast of the last pope, which comes only in Europe.

You may ask, Why do the ten horns turn over their power and authority to the eighth? The Bible does not say, but, apparently the ten horns will decide that they can better accomplish their goal of persecuting the heretics by working with the eighth rather than working without him. So they hand their power and authority over to him so that he can persecute the heretics for them - and for himself as well. The ten horns will realize that the eighth has a great deal more experience and knowledge persecuting heretics than they do and is better suited for persecution than they are. Apparently their efforts at persecution do not work all that well, so they start looking for a better way to make it work.  Once they have turned over their power and authority to the eighth, the war against God's people continues to progress.

The problem for the ten horns is that the eighth becomes their master and only sometime later will they discover that he has deceived them. Only then do the ten horns finally realize that doing this was a terrible mistake. By the time they discover their error, it will be far too late for them because the Investigative Judgment will have ended and they will discover that they will all be lost for eternity. They will not be in God's kingdom. Their anger will be unbounded.

In contrast with the first war of the first beast in Revelation 13 against God's people during the 1260 prophetic days, the beast and 10 horns lose this war. Jesus wins against them and they all die when he comes again (see Revelation 19).

Let us now move to the next verse in Revelation 17.

Revelation 17:15 And he said unto me, The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

This is a definition for water as a symbol and is applicable to the beasts in Daniel 7 and Revelation 13.  It should be fairly self-explanatory at this point.

Revelation 17:16 And the ten horns which you saw upon the beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
Revelation 17:17 For God has put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

The ten horns who have received their kingdom, represent the Protestant Churches of America in combination with the kings of the earth. These will work with the Papacy until all has been accomplished that they are to do, and then they discover her deception and discovery they are all lost eternally.  As a result, they turn upon the prostitute woman and destroy her. This seems to correspond to the 6th and 7th plagues of Revelation 16. This clearly means that they eventually realize that they have made a terrible mistake in joining with the beast to accomplish their common goal of persecuting the heretics, which will be the people of God that they will be persecuting. But it will be far too late to be saved.

Some versions of the Bible state verse 16 to say that the ten horns and the beast will hate the harlot and will turn on her and destroy her.  Here is one such example:

Rev 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest, and the beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her with fire;

Many other versions say something like the King James Version, which says this:

Revelation 17:16 And the ten horns which you saw upon the beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

So, which translation is right?

We at 666man.net web site have no ax to grind with respect to promoting one version of the Bible over another, for most of them are reasonably well translated. Some clearly are better than others, but much can be learned from any one of them. But, in the instance of the translation of verse 16 where both the 10 horns and the beast turn on the woman, we have good reason to believe that this is due to a copying mistake done sometime early in the history of this particular version. Apparently scholars believe that the original manuscript that is the source for this translation is older than the one used for creating most other Bible translations, which includes the King James Version. But, greater age with a mistake in it usually is no better than a younger document without the same mistake. Remember that they were all copied by hand and mistakes can occur when this is done. The earlier document could contain one of these mistakes and the later document does not have it because the same copy mistake was not made with it.

Now, here is why we believe there is a mistake in the copying process of this verse sometime in the past in versions where it says that the ten horns and the beast will both turn on the woman and destroy her. As you know, the scarlet beast is made up of the woman combined with the kings of the earth, which is the Roman Church combined with the leaders of other nations. In other words, it is the church-state beast that this refers to. The symbolism makes it very clear that the beast represents these two powers in combination. 

Now, consider this question carefully: how likely is it that when the church-state combination returns in the future (which is the scarlet beast that comes back up out of the abyss - in other words, its power to persecute is returned to it), it will turn on the woman when the Bible makes it plain that the woman herself is part of the scarlet beast? For this to happen means that the woman turns on herself, which makes no sense whatsoever. It is very clear from Revelation 18:7 that she is not suicidal, so she is not going to turn on herself.  Therefore, there has to have been a copy mistake made sometime early in the history of the Bible versions which say that the ten horns and the beast will turn on the woman and destroy here.

There is another reason to doubt the version in which both the scarlet beast and the ten horns turn upon the woman. Verse 17 says that God will put it into the hearts of the ten horns to give their kingdom to the scarlet beast until God's prophecies concerning them and the beast will be fulfilled. Now, this implies that at some point in time after they have given their power and authority over to the beast, they will withdraw their kingdom from the control of the beast. This is logical, is it not?  Note that God did not imply that the ten horns and the beast split away from the woman, but instead, the 10 horns withdraw their power and authority from the beast. At a minimum, this means they withdraw their support for the beast, which includes the woman, but more likely it means they turn on the woman. Ultimately, If verse 16 actually says that the 10 horns AND the beast turn on the woman, then there is inconsistency between verses 16 and 17.

Therefore, as stated by the King James Version, the correct translation is:

Revelation 17:16 And the ten horns which you saw upon the beast, these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

This translation would be consistent with the facts in both Revelation 13 and 17.

Revelation 17:17 For God has put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

The ten horns will allow the beast to be their master until God's prophecies concerning their power combination is fulfilled. Then they withdraw from this alliance. This seems to match up with the 6th plague in Revelation 16 in which the waters dry up for Babylon, which is symbolism saying that the people withdraw their support for Babylon. In the 7th plague of Revelation 16, it says that God remembers Babylon and gives "her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath" (Revelation 16:19) , which is saying that she will be punished. It appears that this coincides with the woman being burned with fire in Revelation 17:16 so these are very likely one and the same event.

Let us now turn to the last verse of Revelation 17.

Revelation 17:18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.

This is a clear allusion to Babylon as a symbol of Rome. From sources we have, it appears that the original Greek says that the woman has a kingdom over the kings of the earth, a slightly different way of saying it. This, of course, is telling us that the woman has no power of her own over the nations, but by virtue of her having a religious kingdom over the kings of the earth, she is able to get them to do as she wishes. Recall that she makes the nations drunk with the wine of her fornication, which means she has a doctrine that she has a God-given right to rule the kings of the earth. She confuses the nation so that they cannot tell right from wrong because of this teaching.

What happens here is that there is mutual "back scratching" going on here. The woman is said to fornicate with the kings of the earth, but she does not come away empty handed. Remember that a prostitute gives her services, usually in exchange for money, so like all trading transactions, she gets something she wants in exchange for giving something that the kings of the earth want.  When Constantine first went to the Catholic Church and said, "Let us get together!," he wanted something from her, which was a more stable empire and a more monolithic population with which he could deal and control.  His empire was becoming unstable and he was looking for some way to stabilize and control it and saw the church as a means of doing this.  The church got access to the power of the state to destroy all opposition, of which it certainly availed itself. The Catholic Church compromised itself and sold itself to paganism in the process, thereby corrupting itself and destroying truth.  The woman also gained some degree of control over the kings of the earth through this mutual exchange, and it is this control which is referred to as a kingdom over the kings of the earth.

One last observation about Revelation 17. The chapter begins with an announcement that John was to see the punishment, or judgment, of the woman.  The angel then went on and described the mystery of the seven heads, the woman and the ten horns.  Only after that was done is it announced that the woman is punished in the end. 

Now, the author has to ask, why is the story of the punishment of the woman at the end after all the information about the seven heads, ten horns and the woman is given, when the angel had announced at the beginning that he was to see the punishment or judgment of the woman?  Why did John not see her punishment right then?

The author has concluded that what is being revealed is not just a prophecy about the future, though it is that, but it is more than that.  The overarching theme is that the intervening time before the punishment is administered is a time when the Catholic Church is being given a second chance to repent of her evil ways, to learn from her mistakes of the past and not prostitute herself with the kings of the earth when the opportunity to do so arises again. God knows that she will get that second chance and he is giving her every opportunity to repent of the evil that she has done in the past and make sure she does not do it again.  BUT, God also foresees that she will not learn from the opportunity given to her. Because of what God does before punishing her, in the end she cannot argue that she was not given every possible chance by God to be saved.  Unfortunately, like a woman who has been scorned by her lovers, when given a chance to once again join with the state and persecute the people of God, she readily returns to the same practices of the past like what she did when she persecuted during the 1260 prophetic days. She just does not learn. She does not use her opportunity to repent of her evil ways and resumes the same practices when she is given the same opportunity again. Thus, in the end, when she is punished by being destroyed, she will have earned her punishment.  Revelation 18 gives us a more full description of her destruction and tells us it will be very thorough because it will be sent by God, who is all powerful.  She will fully deserve what she gets in the end. God promises her a double punishment.   There will be no appeal. She will be destroyed and never exist again.

But there is one final message God sends to the world before she is destroyed. In Revelation 18:1-4, the following message will be given to those in Babylon, which will include those within the Catholic Church at that time when it comes:

Rev 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was made bright with his glory.
Rev 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of demons, and the haunt of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
Rev 18:3 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 have grown rich through the abundance of her luxury.
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.

The last verse will be the final appeal. The message will be very simple: Get out before destruction comes, for it most certainly will come. God's word never fails because he always keeps his promises.  If you are in Babylon, what will you do when that time comes?

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Key #7 - The Final Papal Count - 666 - and Its Connection to Revelation 17

Introduction

We have already gone over the general outline of Revelation 13, so that will not be repeated here.

The number 666 has probably generated far more speculation over the years than any other number in the Bible. Much of the speculation has led people in the wrong direction, but typically that is because they have not correctly understood the identity of the beast.  Since you now know the identity of the beast in Revelation 13, we can discuss the details of the number 666, what it is and how it is to be correctly understood.

What is important to realize is that the number 666 is presented in the second section of Revelation 13, during the time of the image beast, which indicates that this number comes about at the end of the world at the time of the returned church-state beast, and not before then. Because Revelation 13:18 says that 666 is the number of the beast, clearly meaning the returned church-state beast, it is not possible, as of the writing of this paragraph in 2013, for the number to be applied to the beast because there is no returned church-state beast right now. When the church-state beast returns, then the number may be applied.  It will apply to the last pope beast.  How that happens is the subject of this section.

The reason this is important is because it helps confirm our understanding of Revelation 17, that the last pope has almost certainly been in office and is out of office for now (Referring to Pope Benedict XVI). He will soon return and when he does, son afterwards you may expect the church and state to unite in Europe.  Soon after that, the Protestant Churches and the government of the United States will unite, which is soon to be followed by other traditionally Christian nations doing the same thing.  There will be nowhere to hide from it.

Revelation 13 tends to be very concise. God gave John very few words to say, but each word carried a lot of weight. John was very thorough and yet very frugal with the words he used to describe that which God was showing him. There is a lot of meaning in the symbolism so one must be very careful to properly understand the symbolism in order to correctly understand the chapter. A complete understanding can only be obtained if one has a thorough understanding of Daniel (particularly Daniel 2, 7, and 8) and the rules of interpretation based on Daniel. The last half of Revelation 13 has many things in it that have a great deal to do with events that are soon to take place, so it is important to understand it.

 

What Do We Know About 666 From the Bible?

To reduce the size of the home page, this section has been moved to another page.  To read it, please click here.

There are several methods that have been proposed to explain the number 666.  Let us examine several of them and then finish with the best methods.

 

 

The Papal Title Theory - Vicarius Filii Dei

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The Triple Six Theory - 6-6-6

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The Papal Name Count Discovery

So, what is the correct way to count the number of the beast, 666? The only way to know is to look back into history and learn how the number 666 was originally calculated and why it was calculated that way. This gives us a very strong clue as to how it should be calculated in the Bible. The number 666 originated with ancient Babylon.  The pagan priests of ancient Babylon (apparently around the time of the prophet Daniel) devised a method of calculating the number 666, a system that was later well known in Rome and some other parts of the world in John's time. To read about the history of the number 666 from ancient Babylon, including how the pagan priests counted their gods to arrive at the number 666, click here (http://www.666man.net/666ReligionHistoryOverview.html).

Because the woman is said to be Babylon, this gives us a very strong clue from the Bible that the number must come from the way the Babylonians calculated the number. One would not do it the way the Gnostics or others of John's time did it because they are not mentioned as the model upon which this is to be calculated. There is no other way that truly fits all the conditions in the Bible except to look to ancient Babylon for the source of the number and the method of calculation. This then becomes the model for how we derive the number for symbolic Babylon, the Catholic Church.

Remember that Babylon was associated with false, apostate religions in the Bible as a whole, so this number should also be associated with the false, apostate religion of Babylon. The way the pagan priests of ancient Babylon calculated the number 666 clearly pointed to counting their gods. This gets interesting when one realizes that the mountains of Revelation 17 clearly symbolizes the lines of papal kings who claim to be God. So, though the Bible gives no exact instruction about how the number is to be calculated, it almost certainly must come from the method used in ancient Babylon.

Please consider the following facts as the historical basis for the count and the application of it in symbolic Babylon. First, the historical basis for the count:

  • In ancient Babylon the pagan priests calculated the number by counting their 36 gods and adding up the count to 666 (to be discussed shortly)
  • God called ancient Babylon a mountain in Jeremiah 51:25
  • A mountain represents a group of gods (to be discussed)
  • Consequently, in the one mountain of ancient Babylon, the number 666 was calculated by adding up the count of the gods

Next, the application of the historical method to symbolic Babylon:

  • In Revelation 17, the seven heads, which clearly are the seven kings, are seven mountains, which means they are seven groups of gods
  • The seven kings are the kings of the city of symbolic Babylon
  • Count the gods in each of the seven mountains and add up the total in each mountain, which must total to 666.

How is the method of ancient Babylon for calculation of the number 666 applied to the popes? Well, the priests of ancient Babylon had 36 chief pagan gods, with the sun god over the other 35 of them (they had many others that were not included in their method of calculating 666). They counted the 36 gods, assigning them count numbers in the process, and created the total, 666, by counting their gods and adding up the count numbers. The number 666 was assigned to the first god, the sun god, who was also given the count value of one. The sun god was considered the father of all the other gods (the moon god was the wife of the sun god), so the sun god was given the count of one. The moon god was considered the wife of the sun god, so was given a count value of 2. All the other gods were given count numbers from 3 through 36.

In the case of the 7 lines of popes and the 8th, a very similar but not exactly identical pattern is outlined in the Bible. In Revelation 13 the number 666 comes up at the time of the image beast, but arrives only when the 8th, the returned beast, has come. The 8th has the final number, 666. The number 666 has to arise at the time of the image beast because the number cannot apply to the beast time during the 1260 days due to the fact that this number is stated in the section of Revelation 13 which gives the history of the earth beast and the image beast. Since there is no beast now, it can only apply during the image beast time.

God called Babylon one mountain in Jeremiah 51:25. God used mountains as symbols of kingdoms, so this is consistent with that symbolism.  It is also possible that another reason he called it a mountain is because the Babylonians saw their ziggurat as a symbolic mountain in which their gods lived. In the symbolic one "mountain" (kingdom) of ancient Babylon, the pagan priests counted each of their gods and added up the count to arrive at a total, which was 666. The total was for all the mountains available, which in the case of babylon was just one mountain. The method can be generalized and summarized as follows:

  • Count all the gods in each mountain
  • Sum the count of the gods in each mountain
  • Sum the mountains to reach the total of 666

In the case of Babylon, there was only one mountain and the total was 666. They wanted the total of 666 so that their "magic squares" of numbers would work out correctly. For more information about the magic squares, click here.

In the case of the seven heads of the beast of Revelation 17, one should count the gods for each mountain and then add up all the count numbers to reach 666. This is exactly as was done in Babylon, except that you count the gods in seven mountains instead of just one. This means you count the gods within each mountain and then add them together to reach the total. When this is done, the following table can be created to show the results:

Pius
 1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
78
Leo
 1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
91
Gregory
 1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
+14
+15
+16
136
Benedict
 1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
+14
105
John
 1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
+7
+8
+9
+10
+11
+12
+13
+14
+15
+16
+17
+18
+19
+20
+21
231
Paul
 1
+2
+3
+4
+5
+6
21
John Paul
 1
+2
 3
Totals as of
John Paul II:

+78
+91
+136
+105
+231
+21
   +3
665

But, what about the eighth? Where does he fit into this and how is the total 666 arrived at? As of John Paul II, the total is 665, so only a count of 1 is needed to reach the total of 666. But how does this happen, especially given that Benedict and Francis have sat on the papal throne after John Paul II?

A count of one can only come from a pope who is the first pope of a new line which obviously has a completely new name. Since 1798 we have already gone through seven Papal names, which fulfills all of Revelation 17:10. We know that Benedict XVI has resigned, but he will return to become the final pope. 

When Benedict XVI was still pope there were people who argued that he had obviously returned, so he has not fallen. So, has Benedict really fallen and how do we complete the count? The answer is found in Revelation 17:10-11, which says:

Revelation 17:10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

Revelation 17:11 - And the beast which was, and is not, and he the eighth is, and out of the seven he is, and unto destruction he departs (verse 11 is the author's direct almost word for word paraphrasing of the translation of the parsed Greek New Testament taken from 26th ed. Nestles, Allen Text, American Bible Society; New York and Gramcord Institute, 2218 NE Brookview Dr.; Vancouver WA 98686, posted on the web site at http://www.gracebiblechurch.us/).

In the past when Benedict XVI was in office, the author took the position that the Benedict line had indeed fallen.  We knew that the "one is" time must be preceded by the fall of the Benedict line, so it seemed logical that when Benedict XVI came to the papal office, this was true no matter.  But the author has concluded that while it was true that the name Benedict had fallen during the time of the "one is" of the seven kings, because all of them had fallen prior to his time, once a Benedict returned in 2005, that was no longer true at that time.  And yet, when it is all over, it will be seen that the Benedict line had indeed fallen before the "one is" even though it seemed true that he had not fallen when he was in office as Benedict XVI.  Here is how that happens.

Recall that a king or pope line falls when the king or pope dies.  From the time in 1922 when the last Benedict, Benedict XV, was in office prior to Benedict XVI, until the time came for Benedict XVI to occupy the papal office, the line of Benedict had indeed fallen.  Now, Benedict XVI came into office in 2005, so at that time, it was true that he existed as a Benedict and therefore was no longer fallen, even though it was a fallen line before he arrived.  Since then Benedict XVI has resigned, which means his reign is considered legitimate so that it is equivalent to him having died, only he is not yet dead. He stays on the papal record as a legitimate pope.  So, it appears as though he fell, and yet, in the final analysis, he has not yet fallen in spite of appearances to the contrary.  

Benedict XVI will someday return to office as Benedict XVI once again when Pope Francis is deposed.  Sometime after that he returns to the papal throne, he will receive the power to persecute and it is at that time that he will change his papal name.  Now, the instant he changes his name, this eliminates any possibility that he will "fall" (die) as a Benedict because he will never go back to the name Benedict and he will die with another name attached to him.  In other words, the pope known today as Benedict XVI will someday change his papal name and once he does that, he will die at a later date and will fall under his newly chosen name.  He will not fall under the name Benedict.  What this means is that at the instant Benedict XVI changes his name, the line of Benedict will have still fallen in 1922 and no pope will ever fall with that name attached to him again. 

Thus, in the end, people will be able to look back over history and they will see that the line of Benedict indeed fell with the death of Benedict XV in 1922.  The fact that during the time that Benedict XVI was in office was a time when his name line appeared to have not fallen will prove to be irrelevant because the name line will have actually fallen previously. 

Revelation 17:11 indicates that the final count of 1 needed to complete the count total to 666 comes from an individual with a count of 1 after the seven names have already passed into history. He will start with one of the seven names, which we now believe to be Benedict, and will change it to a new name. A new name always has a count of 1, even if the pope with a new name does not put a 1 after his name.  For example, Pope Francis does not put a 1 after his name.  So, where does the 1 come from?  To answer that, just ask yourself this question, "How many Popes Francis are there?"  The answer is just one.  Thus, he has a count of 1 whether he puts a 1 after his name or not.  We count the popes. we do not go by the Roman Numerals after their names.  What this means is that a new name will have a count value of one and so when the final pope changes his papal name from one of the seven names to the new name, he will then have a count value of 1, which will complete the count total to 666.

This means that the count will be completed to 666 by an individual who the Bible says is not a mountain (a group of gods) and not a king (line of individual kings), the eighth. All of the count numbers except for that of the eighth will be done by those who are classified as mountains and kings. The eighth is the last pope beast and the king of the church-state beast because the Bible defines him as the last pope and as the head of the church-state beast. Remember that Revelation 13:18 says that the number 666 is the number of the beast and a man, so this fulfills both aspects of this because the eighth will be one individual and will head the church-state beast.

Right now, with the name Benedict XVI having resigned and Pope Francis having taken the Papal throne, the count total stands as follows:

Count Total of 7 Kings As Of John Paul II
665
Benedict XVI (remember, he is actually the 15th Benedict because there was no Benedict X)
15
Francis
1
 
-------------
Total
681

The count total of the seven kings plus the 8th (which we could abbreviate as 7+8th) now stands above 666, so how does the count total end up at 666?  It seems impossible for it to return to 666.  But, not so!  First , Pope Francis will be deposed, which will decrease the count total to 680 after he is deposed.  Popes who are deposed are not counted.  Afterward Benedict XVI will return to the papal throne and some time later he will change his papal name to a new name, after which the name Benedict will not count towards the total and it will be as if he never was as far as the count total is concerned. This is true because in Revelation 17 a name only counts toward the total of the name he dies with. In other words, the name he dies with is the name he is counted under, which contributes to the total of that name, and he can die only under one name and die only once, so he is counted only once, not twice.  Since Pope Benedict XVI will not die with the name Benedict, then the name Benedict won't count in the end even though it does count right now when this paragraph is being written in July of 2013. Instead, the new papal name that he will choose when he receives the power to persecute is the name under which he will be counted. Therefore, the name Benedict indeed fell in 1922 even though Benedict XVI seems to be a return of the name Benedict at present and appears not to have fallen at the moment.  Nobody yet knows what the new name will be and we probably will not know until he announces it to the world.

Click here to see the years the popes reigned and how totals are calculated

Here are the totals as of Pope John Paul II:

78 + 91 + 136 + 105 + 231 +21 + 3 = 665 as of John Paul II

The 8th new Papal name since 1798 makes a count of 1 + 665 = 666.

Because the count total is above 666, there are adjustments that will occur when Pope Francis is deposed and Pope Benedict XVI changes his papal name to make him the eighth.  Once those events have happened, here is what the math will look like after the eighth has come:

Papal Name
Count Added
Total of Count
John Paul II 663 + 2 = 665
Benedict XVI, add 15, later he resigns but the count total remains in place for him

665 + 15 = 680

Francis, add 1, then some time passes 680 + 1  = 681
Francis, subtract 1 because Francis will be deposed 681 - 1 = 680
Benedict XVI changes his name, so subtract 15 for removing Benedict XVI name from the count total 680 - 15 = 665
Add 1 for a new Papal name 1 that Benedict XVI will choose, thus making him the eighth 665 + 1 = 666

The Bible does not provide direct instructions as to how 666 is to be counted. However, God makes it sufficiently clear that the the woman of Revelation 17, which symbolizes the Catholic Church, is symbolic Babylon, which shows us that the number should be calculated using the methods developed in ancient Babylon.  The method of calculating 666 shown here is the only one that follows the pattern of the ancient Babylonians in calculating that number.. 

So, what is the significance of the number 666 based on how we calculate it?  When that number is reached by Pope Benedict XVI at the point where he changes his name, it will do the following:

  • Help identify the last pope
  • Add proof to the identity of the first beast of Revelation 13
  • Help people understand that time is extremely short, which presses home the necessity of preparing for the coming of Jesus.  There is going to be nothing like knowing that the last pope really is in place, that he is very advanced in age, and that he dies the day that Jesus comes the second time.
  • The understanding that the last pope is in place will force many to make a decision that will be final as to whether they will be on God's side and obey him or whether they will be on Satan's side and obey his representative on earth, the pope. The way a person will indicate which side they will be on is by which day of worship they obey.  If you obey God, you will keep the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath.  If you obey the pope and Satan, you will keep the first day of the week.  This will be similar to Noah's time when a person had to get on the boat to be saved.  One single, very simple test, but all was riding on it.  Only eight people believed Noah and God, and only they lived.  All others died.
  • Give great power to the three angels' messages of Revelation 14 so that the gospel will finally be given to the whole world.  This message will be an incredibly strong motivator to finish the gospel work.  Then the end will come.

Given the advanced age of Pope Benedict XVI (in July of 2013, he is 86) and the events yet to happen before he dies, one must ask: Are you ready to meet Jesus? He is coming soon after the eighth comes! If not, then take time to get to know Jesus now before it is too late. He says that knowing him and obeying him is the criteria for entrance to heaven (Matthew 7:23, John 14:15).

Benedict will not die a natural death. When Jesus comes, the Bible says that the final Antichrist will be destroyed by the brightness of his coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8). Revelation 19:20 adds the detail that there will be a lake of fine that he is put into when Jesus comes again to take his people to safety in heaven.  Thus, he will die this way instead of by way of a natural death. But this means that with Benedict's advanced age, there is not much time left before the end of the world.   It is definitely time to get ready to meet Jesus.

Do note that this prophecy will be fulfilled and yet it does NOT predict the day or hour of the coming of Jesus, which Jesus said we would not know. The fact is, it does not even predict the year of the coming of Jesus, let alone the day and hour of his coming. We don't know how long Benedict may potentially live were he to live out his full natural life span. To top it off, there are new technologies coming that may extend life some for him, though how much extension will be available is unknown. Likely it will be only a few years with the early versions of this technology. Whatever happens, we cannot know when Jesus will come except that it will be sometime during the life span of the pope now known as benedict XVI.

The name Benedict is one of the names that "have been" or "have fallen", depending on the translation, even before Benedict XVI was elected pope. This remains true because Benedict XVI's name and number is not counted in the final end of things from the perspective of how God counts things in the Bible. What the Papacy would do with it were time to last beyond Benedict XVI is another issue altogether, but God did not consult their wishes about this. He defined how he wanted it counted and that is really all that matters.

Given the advanced age of Pope Benedict XVI and the events yet to happen before he dies, one must ask: Are you ready to meet Jesus? He is coming soon after the eighth comes! If not, then take time to get to know Jesus. He says that this is the criteria for entrance to heaven (Matthew 7:23).

Some people may argue that there are going to be more popes after Francis and that Benedict XVI will not come back.  Well, nobody can be forced to believe that he will come back or that we are right.  But do consider this.  If we are right, then the following must be true.  The count total will come back to 666.  We know that Francis will be deposed.  If Benedict is not going to return, then there must be another pope after Pope Francis who will have the count total of 666.  In order for that to happen, both Benedict XVI and Francis will have to be deposed.  AND, every additional pope until the last one will have to be deposed for the count to total 666.  Do you honestly think that is going to happen?  Think about it, please.

 

The Papal Mountain Count - A New Discovery

In the section just above you should have read about the Papal Name Count method of adding up the number 666.  It has recently again come to our attention (in August, 2010) that there is another way to verify that the Papal count completes to 666 with Benedict XVI, which will be referred to as the Papal Mountain Count method or alternately as the Papal Name Line Count method.  The idea behind this was actually discovered by the author about 7 or 8 years ago, but due to a simple math mistake, it was not completed until another person recently discovered the same idea independently, made a similar but not identical math mistake, and brought it to the author's attention and the correction was found.  The author much appreciates the notice given to him by a certain reader, who contributed something important to this research.  The author believes that this particular astute reader should receive half the credit for this discovery because had he not notified the author, the discovery would never have been completed because the author had completely forgotten about it.  Fortunately, it was found again, completed and is now fully understood.  It is time to let you know about it. 

Some of you may think that what you are about to learn in this section is mere coincidence, but even if so, its an amazing one.  But IF it is a coincidence, then after you have read and understood it, please explain how both count methods come to the same number for the same man, or at least in the same time point!  

To understand this discovery fully, it would probably be helpful if you first read the 666 Number History page, the link to which is available at the top of this page in the Main Menu

A review of a few other basic definitions is also necessary:

  • Mountains are groups of gods (see Jeremiah 50:2 and 51:24-25, think through the associations).
  • Kings are defined in Daniel as lines of individual kings named for their founder.
  • Revelation 17 says that 7 heads = 7 mountains, so this says that the 7 are lines of individual kings who are named for their founders and who are also groups of gods.

Let us now begin.

The seven lines of popes divided by name (such as Popes Paul or Popes John Paul) are seven mountains.  These occurred after 1798.  Now, you might ask yourself this very simple question: Are there other "mountains" of popes that occurred before 1798?  The answer to this question is a definite yes.

The reason this is true is very simple.  First, heads are kings and are said to be mountains.  But the body of beasts are defined as kings also (see Daniel 7:17).  So, if heads, which are kings, can be mountains, then beasts, which are also kings, can also be mountains.  Now, the angel in Revelation 17 did not tell us that there are mountains that represent the body of the beasts, but they are irrelevant to the story he was telling so did not bother to inform us about it.  But logically it has to be true.  And we all know that there are a number of lines of popes by their names who reigned during the 1260 days of prophetic time before 1798.  Since they claimed to have the power of God, they were groups of gods, divided by name.  Therefore, there were mountains prior to 1798.

Let us study some information about the names in these mountains for a few moments to gain a better understanding of them.

There are a total of 266 individual popes (in 2013) and a total of 82 Papal names that have occurred over Papal history if you believe their story that Peter was a pope.  The author does not believe that Peter was ever a pope, but for the moment, lets go along with their idea. So, including Peter, there have been 82 different Papal names.  Now, among the 82 Papal names for the 266 individual popes are 46 names (as of 2013) that were used just once.  The individual pope names that were never repeated cannot qualify as mountains because each individual pope among this group is not a group of gods.  However, there are 36 names that have been used repeatedly and they do qualify as mountains for this reason. Because of the information in the paragraphs above, we can equate the groups of gods to their names.  This means there are 36 mountains of gods by name in the Papal list of names in its history. 

In Revelation 17, God classified the 7 lines of popes, divided by name, that have occurred since 1798 as 7 mountains.  Thus, while there are 36 mountains in the entire Papal name list, 29 occurred before 1798 and 7 after 1798.

As it turns out, there are some interesting numbers that have relationships that are applicable here.  Now let us look at the following numbers that relate to 666 in order to better understand what God did in Revelation 17.  Notice the following sum of numbers:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 = 36

The sum of the numbers from 1 to 8 is 36, which is the sum of the numbers of the count of the 7 kings, which are mountains, plus the 8th, which is not a mountain.  The 8th seems to be an exception to the rule. 

As we have already seen, if you add up the count of the individual kings within each name line, that is, each king, and then add the 8th, which will have a count value of 1, then you should arrive at 666.  Thus, 8 is related in this way to the total of 666 because it is used to help arrive at the total and is a hint of what underlies the method used to count the number.

Now, what is interesting is this: what if you counted ALL 36 of the "mountains" of names in the Papal record and then added up the count numbers?  What happens?  Take a look at the numbers and see for yourself:

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + . . . + 33 + 34 + 35 + 36 = 666

The point is that if you add the numbers 1 through 8, you get 36, and if you add the numbers 1 through 36, they sum to 666.  Thus, both 8 and 36 are in this way related to 666.   

The Babylonian priests who taught their pagan religious system were well aware of the relationship of these numbers and used them as part of their worship system, particularly when it came to the 36 gods they used for their amulets to protect them from the gods and to have power over them. 

So, it should be clear that if you count the 36 lines of popes, the sum is 666.  The fact that it sums to 666 is very significant, but there is more significance to it than the mere arithmetic reveals.

Before the extra significance is explained, there is an important question that must be answered concerning these papal name lines.  When do you count them?  Is it when it becomes obvious that they are becoming a line of popes as you trace their names through history?  Or, is it when each potential name line is known for sure to be a name line? 

This is an important question because it determines when the count is complete.  The correct answer is that a name line is counted only when it is known for sure to actually be a name line rather than one that is only potentially a name line, one that will end up with just one pope to that name.  You do not count a name line that you are not sure is a name line because that does not make good sense. 

Now, it is a fact that of the 36 name lines, 29 fell before 1798.  Since then, all seven of the remaining name lines have fallen, but Benedict appears to have been resuscitated for now, but in the end it will be proven that his line fell in 1922 because he will not die under the name of Benedict. 

Below is the complete list of the 36 papal name lines or mountains.  Note that they are in order by the year they were completed, or fell.  Note particularly the last papal name line.  That line is very significant because only when the last of the lines fell or was completed does the number 666 arrive.  Since it arrives only when the last line fell because only then do you know that you have a name line, then the number 666 applies to the next pope after the last name line has been proven to be a name line.

Papal Mountain Table In Fall Order

Mountain Number Running Total Mountain Name First Year Completion Year
1
1
Felix
269
530
2
3
Pelagius
556
590
3
6
Theodore
642
897
4
10
Marinus
882
946
5
15
Agapetus
535
955
6
21
Sergius
687
1012
7
28
Sylvester
314
1045
8
36
Damasus
366
1048
9
45
Stephen
254
1058
10
55
Victor
189
1087
11
66
Paschal
817
1118
12
78
Gelasius
492
1119
13
91
Anastasius
399
1154
14
105
Lucius
253
1185
15
120
Honorius
625
1287
16
136
Celestine
422
1294
17
153
Boniface
418
1303
18
171
Eugene
655
1431
19
190
Martin
649
1431
20
210
Nicholas
858
1455
21
231
Callistus
217
1458
22
253
Adrian
772
1523
23
276
Julius
337
1555
24
300
Marcellus
308
1555
25
325
Sixtus
115
1590
26
351
Urban
222
1644
27
378
Alexander
105
1691
28
406
Innocent
401
1724
29
435
Clement
88
1774
30
465
Gregory
590
1846
31
496
Leo
440
1903
32
528
Benedict
575
1922
33
561
Pius
140
1958
34
595
John
523
1963
35
630
Paul
757
1978
36
666
John Paul
1978
2005

Total = 666

The name line called John Paul added a value of 36 to the running total of 630 to bring it to 666 at the point when John Paul II died.  Then and only then count total reach 666.  The reason this is true is that in theory it could have turned out that John Paul II would have been deposed, which could be true at any point in time during his reign, so you have to wait until he dies to know for sure that the name John Paul is a name line.  Because the papal name count was completed at his death, the very next pope after him, Benedict XVI, has the count of 666 by this method.  This method does not take into account the count of the individual popes within each name line, unlike the 7+8th count method, but is dependent only upon counting the papal names that are certain to be name lines.  

Let me reiterate this: John Paul II died in April of 2005.  The moment he was dead, the total of the papal name line count rose to 666.  This count applies to the next pope to take office after John Paul II died, which is Benedict XVI.  

These points are relevant:

  • The 7+8th count (7 kings + the eighth) of Revelation 13 and 17 that we studied earlier (counting individual kings within each king line) on this web page = 665 as of John Paul II, so the 8th should have a count of one.  When Benedict changes his name, this will complete the count of the individual kings of the seven heads/gods of the seven mountains to 666.
  • The Papal Mountain Count (count only the mountains) or name line count also totals to 666 and points to Benedict right now because he was the pope who came immediately after John Paul II.
  • It is interesting that both methods point to Pope Benedict XVI as the final pope if one understands that Pope Benedict XVI will return to office and will change his name later and Pope Francis will be deposed.  Both will come to 666 with Pope Benedict XVI.

By the name line count, Benedict XVI has the number 666 now.  But by the 7+8th count, Benedict will receive the number 666 only when he changes his name.  The important point is that both methods point to the same man as the one who has the number 666.  This means he is the final pope by both methods.

Is this just a coincidence that both of these point directly to Benedict XVI?  Not likely.  How probable is it that the count of the mountains would also equal the count total of the Papal names in the 7 kings plus the 8th for the very same man and arrive at about the same total at the same time?  It seems there are very low odds of it happening by chance.  Their history goes back at least to the time of Constantine, so has gone on for over the last 1700 years.  The probability of having more than 36 name lines or mountains long before our time seems very good given the number of names that the popes have used over the last 1700 some years.  Yet it works out that the count of the name lines comes to 666 only with Benedict XVI.  

This is definitely something to think about quite seriously.  Benedict XVI is the last pope.  Jesus is coming again very soon.  Benedict XVI is, in July of 2013 when this is being written, now 86 years of age.  God will keep Benedict alive until Jesus comes again, but you know it cannot be many years away. As Jesus said, when you see the signs of the end take place, look up because your salvation is coming close.  This is one of those signs.  Did you know it was this close?

 

Several Objections and Answers

In this section, when the author refers to literal Babylon, he is referring to the original Babylon of the time of Daniel.  When he refers to symbolic Babylon, he is referring to the Catholic Church.

  • Some people will say that there is no example of a count of kings in the Bible similar to how we count the popes, and no instructions to do the counting this way.  They are correct in saying that there is no example of the count of the popes in the way that we do it in the Bible, but that does not mean it is wrong. 

    The fact is that there is enough information in Revelation 13 and 17 and in history that one should correctly deduce that the way the counting is done on this web site is the correct way that it should be done. Here is the easy explanation of why this is true.

    Consider that the woman is said to be a city.  This means that she is a church that is comparable to a city, one built in Bible times in their style.  The walls around the outside of the city represent the beliefs of the church which separates the believers inside from the non-believers outside and from other churches.  The residents inside of the city represent the members of the church.  The king inside of the city represents the leader of the church, which in the case of the Catholic Church is the pope.  The popes claim to be God, so they form a collective group of gods.  The woman is further said to be Babylon, which tells us that she both behaves as literal Babylon once did and that her name is Babylon, meaning she is symbolic Babylon. In the city of literal Babylon, the king was the ruler of the city.  In symbolic Babylon, the pope is the king of the city. Because literal Babylon is the model for the woman as symbolic Babylon, then the number to be calculated in symbolic Babylon should also be found in literal Babylon and the same methods of calculation should be done.  In fact, the number 666 can be found in literal Babylon and using the same methods, the same number can be calculated in symbolic Babylon. It is only natural and consistent with the evidence given that this should be the case.

    Now, ask yourself these simple questions: in literal Babylon, did they count the letters of any of the titles of the king to find the number 666? There is absolutely no evidence that they even did this.  Did they count the Babylonian gods to find the number 666?  Yes, they did.  In Symbolic Babylon, the kings of the city, the popes, are also the gods of the city.  In symbolic Babylon to correctly derive the number you must count the gods and add up their numbers until the total is 666 just as was once done in literal Babylon. It really is very simple.

    And likewise, you should count the mountains (the groups of gods by name) in Babylon to derive 666. This was not a known method among the Babylonians, but it makes sense because they did consider the mountains as an abode for the gods. And since we are clearly given information that leads to counting the gods to give us the Papal Name Count, counting the mountains is the logical progression of that.  Further, consider that John himself did count the mountains in Revelation 17.  He said that the scarlet beast had "seven heads", which means he had counted them. The angel then told him that the 7 heads are 7 mountains, so, logically, in counting the heads, he also counted the mountains. Therefore, since the body can also represent mountains just as much as the 7 heads can, the idea of counting the mountains is there.  Thus, it makes sense to count all the mountains and add up their numbers to reach 666.

    The methods shown here, the Papal Name Count and the Papal Mountain Count are the only methods that are valid and consistent with God's stated intentions for us in regards to this number.


  • Some object by saying that counting the Papal gods (popes) is nothing more than numerology, which they believe is a form of sympathy or cooperation with Satan.   While some may honestly believe this, they are either very uninformed or else they are just trying to scare you before you even have a chance to find out what it is all about.

    Is this a form of sympathy or cooperation with Satan?  NO! If it were, we would have nothing to do with it.  The information leading to our way of counting is found in the Bible and history.  God is using the pagan system that was absorbed into the Roman Catholic Church as a signpost to mark the beginning of the end.  Who are we to say what type of signpost God should use?

    Consider that God used the rise and fall of nations to mark certain other signposts along the line of history for his people. Satan certainly was involved in the events in the nations of prophecy (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome)
    by motivating men to do many very evil acts. Because of Satan's involvement in these events of history, should we say that studying those nations whose acts marked the signposts is a form of cooperation or sympathy with Satan?  I think not!  Then why should they say that what we are doing is a form of sympathy with Satan?  There is no difference. 

    God himself used the prophetic things of the nations for his own purpose even thought there was inherent evil in many of the acts of the nations of the past which were part of Bible prophecy   Therefore, it would be a serious mistake to dictate to God what he can and cannot do in the way of making a signpost along the path of time for us so that we know were we are at.   Let's not limit God to only that which we conceive of being possible.

    Do understand that unlike the original Babylonians who believed that the numbers of the gods gave them power and authority over the gods, WE KNOW THAT THERE IS NO POWER IN THE NUMBERS THEMSELVES.  

    So, why bother to add up the count of the gods? We do this because there is a purpose to adding up the numbers of the Papal gods, which is that it helps us identify the one pope who will receive the number 666, the final pope.  The end of the world comes then.  God is giving this warning so that you may know that the end is about to happen.  Hey, folks!  The curtains are about to close for the final act of this world's history.  Are you ready for that?  I have to ask myself that question sometimes also!  Do you not want warning that it is coming?  I know that I certainly want adequate warning.  This IS God's way to warn you of its approach.   Are you listening to God or are you listening to your friends?

    The objectors correctly perceive that counting the gods is based on a pagan system, but they incorrectly associate this with Satan.  By so doing, they turn this upside down from what it was intended to be.  God is the source of this because it is done in accordance with what he declares about the beast in the Bible.  It is he who said that the woman of revelation 17 is Babylon.  It is he who decided that we should count the number of the beast.  It is he who set up the definitions of beasts, kings, mountains, and so on that directly leads to this system.  Though it is based on a pagan thing, it is the very means by which God is doing everything he can to point you to the Satanic origin of the power and authority of the beast.  God is trying to get your attention to help you realize that the beast is a very dangerous power and is to be regarded with suspicion and apprehension, especially at the end.  It is dangerous because it came from and still is of Satan.  God wants those in Babylon to leave it because it is soon to be destroyed, and those remaining in it will be destroyed with it.  And finally, it is being used by God to accomplish several very important tasks:


    • The cumulative count up to the last pope is there to let Satan know that his time is getting shorter as the count goes up.  We believe that he has long been aware of this.
    • Satan will know that the last pope is here when the time comes, and will exert his greatest effort against the people of God during this time. 
    • The count of the popes is there to notify us of the arrival of the last pope so that we can prepare for the terrible things that are coming just before the end of the world.  God wants us to be ready to meet the challenge that Satan will present to us.

    Do understand that it is God who has set this count system up so that we can take advantage of the warning. The Babylonians invented the count through the influence of Satan, but God is taking advantage of it to inform us of the nature of the beast and the approach of the final end. He is in control, much more than the Papacy realizes.  It is clear that he foreknew the naming of the popes (he almost certainly controlled it) and is using it to warn us of the danger of this power and that its end is near.

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What is Ahead for America and the World?

Many of the founders of this country came to America, specifically what is now the United States, to escape religious persecution then prevalent in Europe. Of course, there were opportunists along with them, but all were welcome.

In Revelation 13, the earth beast represents the United States in Prophecy. John noted that this beast had lamb-like horns on it. The lamb represents Christ, so the lamb-like horns on this earth beast suggests a likeness to Jesus when this country came into power. Note that John said that only the horns were like those of the lamb and did not say that the beast itself was like a lamb - we don't know what the beast itself looked like.

In Revelation 13, the earth beast comes up after the description of the 1260 prophetic days of the first beast, which strongly indicates that historically, the earth beast came up roughly around the same time the Papal sea beast of Revelation 13 was decreed dead by the French government in 1797, a decree that was finally put into effect by General Berthier of the French Army on February 15, 1798, which ended the 42 months of power of the sea beast on that very day. 

While Bible prophecy says the earth beast would have lamb-like horns, it also predicts a change in the behavior of the horns of the earth beast for it says:

Revelation 13:11 "...and he spoke as a dragon."

Certainly, this is a change from having lamb-like qualities, a symbolic characteristic of Jesus. The dragon primarily represents Satan, so somewhere along the line, things have changed - a great deal of change has taken place. The two horns stop acting like Jesus and get together and begin to act like the devil himself. This is NOT saying that the earth beast IS the dragon, only that he speaks like one. Some make the mistake of thinking that speaking as a dragon makes this beast just another form of the dragon, but the description of the earth beast and its behavior does not match the dragon, so they cannot be the same beast. Revelation 13:15 tells us that when the two horns get together and transform themselves into an image beast, everyone will be required to worship (meaning obey) the earth beast.  Nothing is said at that time about anyone being required to obey the first beast. But, somewhere along the line some time later, the ten horns, the Protestant Churches of America that will have combined with the government then, will decide that they prefer that the church-state beast (the pope will be the king of that kingdom in Europe) take over dealing with the heretics, so they will hand their power and authority over to the first beast here in America.  From then on, everyone will be required to worship the first beast. The image beast will enforce worship of the (Papal) sea beast. This will be enforced worship, and it will not be voluntary! You will worship (obey) the first beast, or you will be punished.  At first, there will be small punishments, and then larger, more significant punishmnts will be administered. But eventually the death penalty will be applied.  The author thinks that by the time the Protestant Churches give their power and authority over to the beast, the death penalty will be the more likely punishment that will be handed out to those they deem to be heretics.  However, do understand that right from the beginning, the authority to impose the death penalty will be available.

Many misunderstand what the Bible means by saying that the earth beast speaks as a dragon. In Daniel 7:17 it tells us that the four beasts are four kings, so one beast is one king. Now, if the earth beast speaks as a dragon, this means that the earth beast, which is also classified as a king, speaks as a king but does so in a manner like that of the dragon. In Bible times, when a king spoke, his word was the law and he as the supreme judge, judged by his laws. Therefore, for a beast to speak symbolizes that it is passing laws and judging according to those laws.

Applying this to the earth beast speaking like a dragon is to say that the earth beast will pass laws like those the dragon wants them to pass. Now, you may wonder what that means. To understand this, consider that in Revelation 12, John was shown the dragon pursuing the woman, which is a symbol of the persecutions of pagan Rome against the true church of God. This clearly was an action instigated by Satan himself through pagan Rome. He instigated pagan Rome to pass laws forbidding Christians from practicing their religion and forcing them to pray to an image of the emperors, something that a conscientious Christian could not do because it was against the commandments of God to worship or even bow down to an image of any sort. Pagan Rome forced people to disobey God's commandments through its laws. The United States will do likewise.  This means that the power the earth beast represents, the United States, will someday compel people, through its laws, to disobey God's commandments.

There are those who think that because this country has gone to war against other countries that this means the United States is speaking like a dragon. While it is understandable why they think this way, that does not match what the Bible is talking about. To date (spring of 2009), the United States has not yet begun to compel people to disobey God's commandments. When it passes a law requiring that people disobey God and compels people to disobey God, then it will be speaking like a dragon.

The earth beast, like all other beasts with several heads or several horns, obeys the Miller Principle, which you will find listed on the page about the rules of interpretation at the top of this web page. First the beast rose up out of the earth.  This represents the rise of the United States.  The body of the earth beast represents the United States just after it became a nation by a treaty with Great Britain that was signed and became effective in 1783. For a few years, the United States was governed by the Articles of Confederation, but these proved inadequate for the task. So, the federal government asked the states to amend the Articles of Confederation so as to improve upon the ability of the federal government to do its job. The men who met to do this task decided that amending the document would not be sufficient, so set about writing an entirely new Constitution. The result was the current Constitution of the United States government that went into effect in 1789..

The two horns on the earth beast represent the time since the current Constitution of the United States was implemented into law. The current Constitution was amended to include a bill of rights, among which was the First Amendment that stipulated Congress could not make any laws respecting a religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion. What this did, in effect, was stipulate that the church and state were to operate separately from one another. Nowhere in the Constitution does it give permission for the church to dominate or control the government, and the First Amendment prohibits the government from involving itself with the churches. Thus, the two horns on the earth beast represent the time when church and state would be separated from one another and represents each of those separate powers. This time began March 4, 1789. Click here for a summary of the details. Historically, this country has been governed by two powers, Protestantism (church) and Republicanism (state), ever since the current Constitution of the United States was implemented.

it is unfortunate that in more recent years some individuals have taken it upon themselves to make sure that the government is totally uninvolved with religion. Others think that the government and the churches should be involved.  They preach that the phrase "separation of church and state" is not in the United States' Constitution (which is technically true, but the principle is clearly there) and so we should get the church and the government together.  Some say that the Constitution does not prohibit state churches but only prohibits a combination of the federal government and the churches.  And some government leaders have thought that the government should promote what is essentially atheism.  Neither of these extremes is not what the founders had in mind.  But they also did not have in mind that the church should dominate the government as some religious leaders urge.  Such leaders make a terrible mistake by promoting such an idea, but someday their chance to do this will come and they will do it anyway.  The consequences at the end will be unimaginably awful for themselves and for the whole nation because of what they will do when they have such power.

It will be the two horns that will cooperate in bringing about the creation of the image beast, which will be state enforcement of religious doctrines, though it will be the religious horn that will promote this idea. The state horn will put it into law and will implement regulations and laws for it, which the image beast will then enforce once it is brought to power. Click here for more information about the earth beast.

The USA began and even today remains in many ways a Christian nation, but someday very soon it will choose to make that a matter of law and force. This will be fulfilled when the United States of America makes as image (copy) to the Papal sea beast, and church and state will be combined. The USA will enforce worship, and if you don't obey the law, you will not be able to buy or sell. Finally a death penalty will be imposed by law if you don't obey.

What is strange about this is that at this very time (March of 2006) there is a movement going on in this country to bring the 10 commandments back into the court houses. Supposedly this will change America. But, will it really do that? Who changes the heart of man? God through the power of his word and the Holy Spirit, or the 10 commandments posted on a courthouse wall? Many courthouses have had the 10 commandments embedded in their architecture for decades, and yet America has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. So, has it made any difference? The authors think not. The only way change can take place is if God himself changes the deepest parts of the mind of man. Posting the 10 commandments in a courthouse will not and has not ever changed most of this country. Only a willingness of men to get to know God will ever bring the kind of change needed. You can attempt to legislate morality, but no law can change the mind of man, so legislating morality will never change the mind of man. No law can make man truly willing to serve God and morally upright. But, unfortunately, the people and leaders of this country fail to grasp this lesson and will give up our Constitutional rights someday. When they do that and combine church and state, the earth beast will have made the image beast.

What many do not realize is that the campaign to form the image to the beast has already started in America. There are televangelists who are preaching against the First Amendment of the American Constitution. Some of them are soliciting money with which they can fight to get rid of that amendment. The ultimate results of this will be nothing less than disastrous for this country because it will lead us away from the path that God has given for this nation. It will lead the churches into prostituting themselves with the government to form the image of the beast. God has special warnings about that happening in Revelation 14:8-12, the most severe warnings in the Bible, so this is something that we must put off as long as possible.

The world, other than Europe, will follow in the footsteps of America. Europe will have previously recreated the church-state beast, so it will be the United States following in the footsteps of the European nations when they make an image to the first beast.  The US Supreme Court is often quoted in legislatures around the world, which affects decisions made worldwide. When this country deviates away from religious freedom, it will be noted and followed around the world, of that you may be certain.

The Bible says that the church-state beast will return, so somehow the governments of Europe will return the power to persecute to the pope. Therefore, in the New World, the Protestant countries will form an image to the church-state beast and the ten horns will gain their kingdom, and in the Old World, the beast will return. This is all part of what will happen at the end in which the whole world will be divided into two groups: those who choose to obey God's commandments exactly as he specifies, and those who decide that obeying the traditions of man, the commandments of the pope, are just as good - and maybe better. However, God has a different opinion of such a poor choice.

When the Investigative Judgment is finished in heaven, the gospel will have gone to the whole world. At that point in time, the seven last plagues will begin to fall and there will be no salvation given to anyone once those plagues start. The second coming of Jesus will occur at the end of the seven last plagues. The people of God will be taken to heaven to investigate the cases of those who chose not to follow God. This will be an opportunity for them to learn why some friends and family members may not be in heaven. God has promised that he will open the counsels of the heart for investigation during the millennium (1Co 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.) They will have a thousand years in which to do this and to enjoy heaven. Following that, the New Jerusalem will come back to earth, the dead in the graves will be called back to life and will get to see what they missed out on and learn why they were not taken to heaven. They will know that their end has come. Fire comes down from God out of heaven and destroys them completely, including Satan and all of his angels (the devil is NOT in charge of hell). They will never exist again. The earth will be re-created and sin, death, pain, disease and hell will never exist again.

There will be no eternal hell as some claim. Revelation 20:9 says that those thrown into hell will be "devoured," which is not possible if hell continues to burn them forever. Once they are consumed, the fire must go out. Besides, consider that the Bible says that hell takes place just outside the walls of the New Jerusalem, which will have descended out of heaven from God and landed on the earth. Logically, then, hell is just outside the city gates. The Bible says that God will make the earth new and that the former things will have passed away. What former things? Death. Sin. Sickness. Hell. All these things will be but a memory for those who live inside the city and will never more be again. God cannot be telling the truth about that if hell continues to burn people forever and ever.  Thus, the wicked, along with Satan and his evil angels, will be completely destroyed and sin and sinners will never exist again. Hell and death will also be destroyed in the fire that cannot be put out until it has completely destroyed all sin and sinners. Then hell will burn itself out, never more to be rekindled.

The Bible says that the smoke of their burning ascends upwards forever (Revelation 14:11). Smoke ascending upwards forever is not the same as having fire forever, which some, unfortunately, erroneously conclude. This symbolism simply means that the scene the people of God see when hell occurs will remain forever in their memories and they will never forget the final consequences of sin. Sin will never rise up again.

Satan is an extortionist, the ultimate terrorist. He is trying to blackmail God into giving him this world to live upon for a permanent home, sin and all. However, sin ultimately leads to death of its own accord because sin separates us from God, who is the only real source of life. Without that source, life eventually ceases on its own for only God can maintain life forever, unless you have access to the tree of life. Sin, of its own nature, is a destroyer, so man will destroy his world and ultimately himself eventually if just given enough time. And, just as man would eventually destroy himself because of his own nature, it is virtually certain that once man is gone, the devils would destroy themselves if given enough time because of the sinful nature that exists in them also.

Thus, if God gave in to Satan and gave him this world as a permanent possession, then if you were to come back, say, perhaps a hundred million years later, the authors doubt that you would find any life upon this world. Man would have either been destroyed by Satan or would have destroyed himself. And once man was gone, the devils would turn upon each other and would destroy themselves. Nobody would be around. Thus, perhaps it is best that God destroys sin at hell so that sin does not drag on for thousands or tens of thousands of years before it destroys itself and causes terrible misery for the inhabitants of this world in the meantime. Because of this, hell may end up being an act of mercy in a way, even if it seems otherwise at the time to those who are put into it. But that is a question we probably will have to ask God about someday.

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God's Final Warnings to Man

Revelation 14 tells us the messages that God wants delivered to the world during the time of the end, a time which began in 1798 when the beast was declared dead. Most have believed that there are three such messages, but there are actually five. The first three are the most important messages and are the core of what is to be said in these messages. If you want more details of this, see the Five Angels' Messages of Revelation 14. Briefly, here are the first three angels' messages:

First Angel's Message: Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
Revelation 14:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.



Second Angel's Message:
Revelation 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.


Third Angel's Message:
Revelation 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a lou