Brief Table of Symbols of Revelation 17
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Revelation 17 and the Number 666
New edition of this page first posted - 2006-03-22
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 16, 2013
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Are you Muslim? Would you like to know about the Bible and how its teachings compare to the Al-Qu'ran? Click here (http://www.asureharvest.com), here (http://www.AyatAllah.net), or here (http://www.strawberrymeadowassociation.com/) and you can embark on an interesting adventure of learning. Also, click here (http://www.666man.net/Jesus In The Koran And The Bible.pdf) to learn of common beliefs about Jesus found in both the Al-Qu'ran and the New Testament of the Bible (this list is published here with permission from the author of the web site http://www.asureharvest.com).
Believers wanting to share Jesus with Muslims, please click here (http://www.666man.net/Jesus In The Koran And The Bible.pdf) for a list of common beliefs about Jesus that are found in both the Al-Qu'ran and the NewTestament. The author of the website http://www.asureharvest.com gave permission for this document to be published on our web site, and he reports that he has used this list of common beliefs about Jesus with great success among Muslims. He spent his childhood in several different Middle Eastern Muslim countries before coming to the United States as a teenager, and today he is a pastor. Because of his childhood experience, he understands the thinking of the Muslims and knows how to lead them to Jesus. This list should be of help to you in witnessing to Muslims.
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Skip to Page Index (Keys to Unlock Revelation 17)
An amazing hidden clock has been discovered in Revelation. Silently it began ticking with the arrest of the Pope in 1798. And soon, when the count strikes 666, the end of the world will begin!
Listen! Tick. Tick. Tick....
It is vitally important to learn about God's countdown to the return of the beast. This clock was created just for you. What you learn here will both surprise and shock you. But don't wait too long. Yes, the clock is still ticking. But within our lifetime, soon, even sooner than you think, it is going to stop suddenly. Then the end of the world events will begin!
Tick. Tick. Tick....
The purpose of this web page is to help you clearly understand the true meaning of Revelation 17, which contains 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 major 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, the 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. 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 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.
But, before reading further, 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. 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. 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 sadly 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, and 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 these steps have led to marvelous discoveries by the author, 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. The innocent complete trust and eyes like those of a child. Who would of thought?
As of May 2009, the author has been studying this single chapter of the Bible for nearly 10 enthralling 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. And you will not have to spend 10 years 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? If not now, don't wait long! Tick. Tick. Tick....
Unlocking Revelation 17
First, there are a few guiding principles that must be discussed before we progress to studying Revelation 17.
Time Perspective of Revelation
With the exception of the introductory vision (the prologue), presented in Revelation 1, we are directly told that 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 everything from Revelation 4:1 onward. Forgetting this can easily 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: it is always about the future unless there is no other way it can be understood but to be in the past or present.
There is evidence within the messages to the seven churches in Revelation 2 - 3 which shows that they also are 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 Daniel and Revelation begin with the prophet's own time and move forward from there. While prophets often deal with subject matter of their own time and their statements from God about these things were considered in Bible times to be prophetic, such prophecies were not a prediction of anything beyond their immediate time in most cases. Where such statements moved beyond the present or immediate near future, then such prophecies clearly take on the nature of predictiong something that cannot be known except by divine revelation. Prophecies involving time elements normally do not go backwards because then it is a revelation of the past and is not a prediction of the future. There is no purpose to that in Revelation because God knows we usually already know the past. Naturally, the past cannot be predicted because it has already happened.
John was told that he was to see things which will be "hereafter", which clearly refers only to his future. Therefore, from Revelation 4:1 onward, it must be understood that everything is about the future of John's time unless it can be absolutely proven to be a review of the past. The only topics which can meet that standard in the book of Revelation after Revelation 4:1 are the verses in Revelation 12 that clearly refers to the birth, life, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus to heaven, and the history of the dragon (who primarily represented Satan) starting with his life in heaven and moving forward to the ascension of Jesus into heaven (which clearly includes the secondary representation of the dragon as Pagan and Papal Rome). Virtually everything else John was shown and recorded from Revelation 4:1 onward was about the future from his point in time. Any claim to the contrary should be looked upon with great suspicion because the angel, being from God, cannot lie to us about this.
Revelation follows a repeated pattern in which John was shown things that represented events beginning roughly in his own time, and then moved into the future. It presents events to the reader as if John was traveling forward through time and stopping at various points to get a view of what was going on. Whatever was happening at each stop was presented to the reader in symbolic form. This is very similar to the visions of Daniel 2, 7, and 8, in which much the same thing is done. The "time travel" continues forward until some important point in the vision is reached, and then the reader is taken back in time again, usually to a point in time shortly after the time of John, after which the entire process repeats. Each time John was taken forward in time, it usually covered roughly the same time period again but from a different perspective. Some shorter time hops are interspersed between the longer ones. The general pattern is that Revelation tells the story repeatedly from different perspectives, starting with John's own time and moving forward towards the future.
The tricky part is correctly discerning the movement through time, both forwards and backwards as the story unfolds, a process that requires a correct understanding of the remainder of the Bible and what it teaches.
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 is the historicist method, this web site uses the Historicist method for interpreting both Daniel and 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.
Revelation Is Structured Around Jesus Using Symbolism
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 of the introductory vision in Revelation 1 are:
Therefore, we should 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. Studying the symbolism of Revelation is a study of Jesus because he is at the center of the symbolism, contrary to the opinion of some people who think that studying the symbolism of Revelation seems to leave Jesus out of it. The book of Revelation is, after all, the Revelation of Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1), so why should Jesus not be at the center of the entire book and the symbols that are included within it?
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:
Some Greek experts say that the word "signified" means "this is a book of symbols." This is something that we would do well to remember because doing so will significantly improve our understanding of Revelation.
Some people teach that Revelation should not be studied, but instead they should study only the life of Jesus. But the book of Revelation is a revelation of Jesus himself, so how can it be that one should not study it if one wants to study and understand Jesus? That makes no sense and contradicts known facts. Jesus himself said there is a blessing to those who study it (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: 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, 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 on political powers and events surrounding them, which was done because God wanted to reveal how political powers were going to affect his people. In contrast with Daniel, in Revelation God principally focused upon religious powers and how they would use political powers to affect God's people. This is especially true in the last half of Revelation.There is some focus upon political powers in Revelation, especially in the first half of it, 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 prostitute woman of Revelation 17 and the woman of Revelation 12 (who is commonly said to be pure because she does not fornicate with the kings of the earth, unlike the prostitute woman of Revelation 17), and the cities each of them represents, which are Babylon and the New Jerusalem respectively. 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 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. 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 cities one gives allegiance to is a choice between true Christianity, which Revelation places you as symbolically living in the New Jerusalem, and false, apostate Christianity, which Revelation places you as symbolically living in 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 b 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. For many, choosing the false Christian Church will lead to loss of eternal life. Therefore, it is imperative that a person determine exactly how God wants us to worship him. Following his directions leads to eternal life. You cannot expect God to accept worship done just any way we please, for God has made it plain that we must do it according to his specific instructions, or it is not acceptable. 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.
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 God.
There are scholars who make comments 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?
First, how do the scholars know what John was thinking as he wrote Revelation? He didn't tell us much of anything about what he was thinking as he wrote and nobody can talk to him today to discover his thinking because he died about 1900 years ago. So, can they really know what he was thinking? The real answer is that truthfully they cannot know. Thus, any statements about what John meant when he wrote certain things in Revelation are almost entirely speculative. We should not be basing our beliefs on what John may or may not have been thinking but rather upon what he actually wrote. The things he wrote are descriptions of things that God showed him and told him to write. Those things should be our focus point.
Second, John acted as a reporter when he wrote Revelation. 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;
He did not make up an explanation to fill in the gap when an explanation was not given to him about certain things.
Third, who scripted the visions John saw? Was it God, or was it John? I think we all know the answer to this question, or, at least, should know it. Absent the visions God created and gave to John, we would never have heard of the book of Revelation. Therefore, God is the author and what his intentions were with regards to any given issue in Revelation should be paramount in our thinking. John's intent anywhere in the book of Revelation is essentially irrelevant. John never said in Revelation that "I think the explanation of _________ is _________". Much of what we have in Revelation is that which he recorded, based on what he saw, heard or experienced in the vision which God showed him, except for those portions where God himself spoke or an angel spoke to him. Therefore, for those portions of Revelation where neither the angels nor God spoke, we should not be basing our understanding of Revelation on what people imagine John meant. Having the letters "Ph.D." or "Th.D." after one's name does not qualify one to know 1900 years after the fact what John meant when such information is not revealed to us (unless that Ph.D. happens to have access to a time machine and can actually go back in time and speak to John!)
Until more recent times, if a newspaper reporter for a major newspaper sprinkled his own commentary among news events he was reporting on, it was considered bad journalism because he was no longer reporting the facts, but was instead trying to sway your thinking in a particular direction. That is usually considered acceptable for a commentary where such is expected, but not in a news story. Since God was the source of the visions given to John, don't you think God would have done something about it if the book that John wrote contained his own ideas and thoughts so as to essentially change the message to fit his own viewpoint?
Some individuals go so far as to build up theological ideas based on what they think John or Daniel meant when they wrote parts of their respective books. However, given that this changes the nature of the message that God intended and either adds to it or removes from it, then in light of the warning that is given about changing the contents of the book of Revelation (Revelation 22:19), this is very serious. Such a warning would also apply to John, for, after all, he was given a message from Jesus to deliver to us. Would it then make sense for him to be adding his own commentary or slant when that very act would in fact alter the book of Revelation, which God directly warns us against doing? Therefore, it seems inconceivable that he was writing a commentary.
In summary, it is better to contemplate what God meant, rather than what John meant when we are 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 Daniel's or John's message in either book, but God's message. This is something we must never forget.
The Bible Defines Most Things For Itself
The last preliminary issue to discuss is that the Bible usually defines things for us, so we should use the Bible as the prime source of information and definitions. If nothing is said in the Bible about a particular thing we are trying to understand, then we must use sources outside the Bible to properly understand them. So, keep in mind that the Bible will be our primary source of information and wherever possible, it will be used to define the meaning of the symbols that appear within it.
Along with this, when studying Revelation, do understand that IF Revelation defines a symbol for you, then that definition of the symbol should always be used in Revelation instead of using a definition from another part of the Bible, unless the definition from Revelation clearly cannot fit in the verse in question.
For an example of how drastically the meaning of a vision can change if you fail to use the proper definitions the Bible gives for the symbols, consider that one symbolic meaning of waters is the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-38). Now, if you use this interpretation for the waters in Daniel 7, then you would have the four beasts arising from the Holy Spirit. Obviously, that does not make much sense, does it? Of course not! So, you should be able to see the point, which is that the symbolic meaning given in Revelation 17 for waters should always be applied first to both Daniel and Revelation to see if it makes sense before other possible symbolic definitions from other parts of the Bible are applied and tested to see if they make sense. The same is true for other symbols of Revelation, that is, use the definition given in Revelation first, if one exists, before turning to other parts of the Bible for a definition.
The search order for symbol definitions in Revelation is this:
Just don't forget to actually use the definitions once you have them to test them out to be sure they fit in where you need them. Use the definitions that fit and discard the remaining ones.
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.
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?
The sea beast of Revelation 13 and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 both have names of blasphemy written on them. In Bible prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, things placed on the beasts such as words, wings, colors, and even the species of animal used to represent a power, always refers to behaviors of the powers the beasts represent. Use of such things can be a very effective means of facilitating identification of the power represented by a given beast. Therefore, since names of blasphemy are written upon both of these beasts and this refers to their behaviors, a good understanding of blasphemy should facilitate proper identification of the power represented by these beasts.
In Revelation 13:1, it says that there were names of blasphemy written upon the sea beast. Remember that Revelation is a book of symbols, so the word "name" in Revelation 13:1 almost certainly has symbolic meaning attached to it and is not literal. It turns out there is a symbolic meaning for the word "name" in Revelation which is consistent with the message of Revelation 13 and 14. The word "name" symbolizes "character" in Revelation 14:1, 5, so when it says that the sea beast of Revelation 13 and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 have names of blasphemy written upon them, this tells you that these beasts have the character of blasphemy, or in other words, they consistently behave in a blasphemous manner.
If you ask people to define blasphemy, very frequently the answer they give is that blasphemy is "speaking against God" or "taking the prerogatives of God". But in essence this is the modern definition from the dictionary and is not fully representative of the definition given in the Bible. For comparison, here is the dictionary definition of blasphemy taken from the Merriam-Webster's year 2000 Collegiate Dictionary, computer edition:
1 a : the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God b : the act of claiming the attributes of deity
2 : irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable
The Bible defines blasphemy in terms of very specific behaviors and does not "generalize" the definition to cover all possible cases, unlike the dictionary definition. There is nothing wrong with generalizing the definition of most words, but that does not work where the beasts of Revelation 13 and 17 are concerned, for good reasons. It appears that God intended us to use a very carefully constructed Bible definition of blasphemy to help us better understand the behavior of the powers represented by these beasts.
The author began to question the use of the dictionary definition of blasphemy when he noticed that most of the beasts of Daniel and Revelation have no names of blasphemy written on them and were not said to speak blasphemy. Yet, the beast from the sea of Revelation 13 and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 have names of blasphemy upon them. Whether the words are actually written on the beast or the beast is said to speak blasphemy, the result is the same: it describes the behavior of the beast in question.
The obvious question the author asked himself is this: Why do some beasts have blasphemy on them and others do not? Think about this for a minute. How does the dictionary definition answer this question? Perhaps the author is a little more dense than the average reader, but when the author first asked himself this question after attempting to apply the dictionary definition of blasphemy to understand the prophetic beasts, he discovered he could not differentiate between those beasts which had and those beasts which did not have names of blasphemy on them. In other words, some beast had names of blasphemy written upon them, while others did not and the dictionary definition did not make clear why the difference. The author found this rather disturbing as it is clear that God put the names of blasphemy on some of the beasts for a good reason. But what was that reason? And why leave it off from other beasts?
If you read the vision recorded in Daniel 7 and then compare the behavior of the empires the beasts represented to the dictionary definition of blasphemy, it seems that three of the four empires represented in Daniel 7 should have names of blasphemy written on them, or they should have been said to speak blasphemy. Oddly enough, none of those beasts had blasphemy written on them nor were they said to have spoken blasphemy. Why?
Let us take a few paragraphs and examine why it is that the beasts of Daniel 7 should have names of blasphemy written upon them based upon the dictionary definition of blasphemy.
In the case of Babylon, the elements of blasphemy have their roots in the dream recorded in Daniel 2. In that dream, God showed Nebuchadnezzar the future of that area of the world by means of an image in which the head was gold, which represented Babylon, the chest and arms were silver, which represented the Medes and Persians, the belly and thighs were bronze (an alloy of copper and usually tin, but may have little or no tin and instead has other elements), which represented the Macedonian-Greek Empire of Alexander the Great, the legs were of iron, which represented Rome, and the feet were made of a mix of iron and clay, which represented a number of kingdoms that came into existence after the breakup of Rome. In the explanation, Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that the head of gold represented him. Apparently, being associated with gold went to Nebuchadnezzar's head and he began to have some ideas of his own concerning the future rather than listening to God's declarations....
Due in part to a rebellion in his own palace, Nebuchadnezzar had an image constructed that was made of gold from top to bottom. He then had it erected and after gathering all his officials together, he ordered that they bow down and worship the image he had made. This became a test of loyalty to him. If you bowed down to the image, you were to be considered loyal to Nebuchadnezzar. But if you refused, you were considered disloyal to Nebuchadnezzar and you were destined to become like burnt toast. Definitely not a pleasant prospect for anyone's future who would not bow down to the image!
For Nebuchadnezzar to build an image all of gold plainly indicated that he believed that his kingdom would not be replaced by others and would last until the end of time. This was done in defiance of God's declaration to the contrary. In Nebuchadnezzar's thinking, clearly, God had not gotten with Nebuchadnezzar's program! His kingdom would last at least until the end of this world and maybe, he perhaps hoped, just maybe forever! Can you imagine Nebuchadnezzar might have said, "God, I am in charge down here and you will have to go along with my improved plan!"
It seems Nebuchadnezzar thought he could order God around, which made him at least equal to, if not greater than God. Did that make Nebuchadnezzar into a deity in his own thinking? The author believes it does. Making the image of all gold and then ordering that everyone bow down and worship it strongly suggests that symbolically, they were worshipping Nebuchadnezzar when they bowed to it and worshipped it. After all, was he not said to be the head of gold? Then make it all of gold and make everyone worship it! A great loyalty test for those he governed and a great way to boost his own ego, all at the same time. He surely was brilliant - in his opinion of himself.
Therefore, the image of gold, while it represented the gods of Babylon (Daniel 3:18), also apparently represented Nebuchadnezzar as a god. If nothing else, he did show insulting behavior towards God by making the image all of gold and by that very act, putting himself at the center of worship rather than putting the true God at the center of worship and it put his plan ahead of God's plan for the world. According to the dictionary definition, this behavior is blasphemy. It is showing contempt for God because Nebuchadnezzar defied God's declaration that his kingdom would be replaced by another. As far as Nebuchadnezzar was concerned, that was not going to happen.
Therefore, because Nebuchadnezzar committed blasphemy, as defined by the dictionary, the lion of Daniel 7, which also represented Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon, should have had names of blasphemy placed on it. Yet, strangely, there are no names of blasphemy on the lion. We are not told of any blasphemous behaviors it engaged in. Why? Did God forget something important? Or is it that there is something about blasphemy in the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation that we have not understood in the past because we were too busy trying to apply the dictionary definition and not paying attention to the fact that it really did not fit? Perhaps we should permit blasphemy to be defined by the the books of Daniel and Revelation for their own special purposes rather than trying to fit in a definition that is misleading because it was never intended to be used here?
Now let us move on to the kingdom of Alexander the Great. According to a program aired on the History Channel (http://www.history.com/), Alexander the Great was a self-proclaimed god. According to the dictionary definition, this is blasphemy because it is taking on the attributes of deity. Yet the four headed leopard beast of Daniel 7 did not show names of blasphemy upon it and it did not show blasphemous behaviors in the vision. Why should this power in real life openly engage in behaviors that according to the dictionary are clearly blasphemous and yet not be shown with blasphemy upon it in the vision? Clearly, Alexander's behavior fitted the dictionary definition of blasphemy, so why is the beast that represented him and his kingdom not shown with names of blasphemy upon it? What decides that a beast is to be shown with names of blasphemy upon it in a vision while another has no names of blasphemy upon it?
Pagan Rome certainly committed blasphemy according to the dictionary definition. At least some of the emperors claimed to be gods. Some emperors did not claim this publicly but still permitted or required the public to worship them, sometimes on the penalty of death if people did not comply. Some required that they be directly worshipped. According to the dictionary definition, such behavior is blasphemy. And yet, again, like the lion of Daniel 7, the dreadful fourth beast of Daniel 7 did not have names of blasphemy upon it. Why not?
The Medes and Persians did not claim to be gods so they probably should not be said to have committed blasphemy. They were monotheistic in their beliefs and did not permit worship to be directed towards themselves. It is probably for this reason, among others, that the beast which represented them, the bear of Daniel 7, was not shown with names of blasphemy upon it and we have no record that they engaged in blasphemous behaviors according to the dictionary definition.
Given that God is omniscient (He knows everything there is to know), it became clear to the author that God would not have failed to tell Daniel and John something so important as whether or not a beast should have names of blasphemy upon it. So, the author concluded that using the dictionary definition of blasphemy does not work when it is used to explain the names of blasphemy upon the sea beast of Revelation 13 and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17, and the lack thereof upon other beasts. To put it simply, the dictionary definition simply does not work because it cannot properly distinguish between why some beasts have names of blasphemy on them and others do not.
The author concluded that in order to properly understand the symbolic meaning of the names of blasphemy on the beasts, it is necessary to understand exactly how God himself defines blasphemy for the beasts of Daniel and Revelation. Forget about the dictionary definition. Forget about other definitions in the Bible that apply elsewhere. Just find the definition used for Daniel and Revelation. Once that is understood, then the reasons for showing some beasts with names of blasphemy while other beasts do not have blasphemy upon them should become very clear.
This led the author into a very careful study of the Bible to learn its own definitions of blasphemy. There are some 8 different ways that the Bible defines blasphemy that the author was able to discern, all in terms of specific behaviors (if you wish to read into the details of this, click on this: Blasphemy - How the Bible Defines It , http://www.666man.net/Blasphemy_Bible_Definitions_of.html).
The clue to the definition of blasphemy that distinguishes between the beasts with blasphemy on them and those without it is found in Revelation 13:4, which says this:
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?
This verse says that people worshiped the beast. In the Bible, when people worshiped something, it was because they considered it to be a god of some kind. Because people worshiped the sea beast, they must perceive it to be a god of some sort. Now, we know that the true God accused it of blasphemous behaviors. To understand this accusation lodged against it by God, please ask yourself the following questions: elsewhere in the Bible, is there a record of a god being accused of blasphemy and, if so, why was this god accused of blasphemy? What specific behaviors was this god accused of that constituted blasphemy?
Do you remember reading in the Bible that Jesus was accused of blasphemy? It is true! But, because he is God, this means we can look to his experience to help explain why the sea beast in Revelation 13, which people have perceived as a god, is accused of blasphemy.
After very careful study in the Bible, the author found that two specific behaviors, when used together, were sufficient to differentiate between prophetic beasts with and without names of blasphemy upon them. These two definitions come from Matthew 9:2 - 8, Matthew 26:62 - 65, and John 10:30-36.
Matthew 9:2 - 8 says the following:
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.
Note that the central issue in the verses above was the claim of Jesus to have the authority to forgive sins against God's laws. Any person claiming such powers when he is not God is speaking blasphemy.
There was a second issue for which Jesus was said to speak blasphemy. Please read the following:
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.
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 blasphemy, 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 say that this is nothing more than the dictionary definition that says blasphemy is "the act of claiming the attributes of deity", which, to a degree, is true. However, using this dictionary definition alone to define the blasphemy on the beasts does not work to determine why some beasts have names of blasphemy on them and others do not. More is necessary to properly make the distinction. If you do not believe the author, then try it for yourself. The author has done this and found that you cannot tell why the beasts with blasphemy on them should have it and the others do not when you use the dictionary definition of blasphemy.
Some people have claimed to be the true God himself. The author is not speaking of insane people here, but rather of influential, powerful, religious figures of past history, and even some in the world today. How do we know whether they speak the truth or not?
To help us understand whether or not they speak the truth, the Bible tells us the following in Isaiah 42:
Isaiah 42:5 Thus says God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which comes out of it; he that gives breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk in it:
Isaiah 42:6 I the LORD have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant to the people, for a light to the Gentiles;
Isaiah 42:7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
Isaiah 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.
Isaiah 42:9 Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
It should be noted that these verses plainly speak of the things that God has done, his creative ability, and the ability to predict the future. By doing this, God is speaking of his position as God and his natural ability to be God because of the kind of being he is. But very significant is that in verse 8 he makes it plain that he will not give his glory to another. He says that just after saying his name is the Lord, which is another way of saying that he is God. In essence, he is making it very plain that he will never make another created being into a God like himself AND he will never give or delegate his authority as God to another being. Nothing in all the universe in all of eternity can ever reverse this declaration of God.
As a direct result of this, anyone on earth, other than Jesus, who claims to be God OR who claims God has delegated his authority as God to him is, in fact, a liar. God will never contradict himself in regards to this issue. The Bible says that it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18). Inasmuch as God says that he does not change (Malachi 3:6), you can know he will never give his authority as God to any other being, no matter who they claim to be.
Thus, if someone tells you that their church leader has been given authority as God directly from God or Jesus, or even indirectly through an apostolic line of authority, to act in place of God himself with God's full authority, don't believe it because God has already told us he will never grant such authority to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Even if they produce a text from the Bible that appears to substantiate their claim, do not believe it because the text is being used to contradict what God has already said. Such an act attempts to make a liar out of God even if the person making the claim does not realize it. They are twisting scripture to make it say that which God never inte
nded it to say. God will not lie and will never contradict himself.
In summary, here are the working definitions of blasphemy from the Bible in Revelation which, when used together, allow you to correctly explain why some beasts have blasphemy upon them and why others do not:
It would be a very good idea to make a note of these two definitions as it will help in your study of the beasts of Daniel and Revelation. Remember that both definitions must be applied to a beast to be able to determine why it has or does not have names of blasphemy on it.
The beasts of Daniel 7 did not have names of blasphemy upon them because their leaders did not claim both to be God and to have authority to forgive sins against God's laws. For the same reasons, the dragon of Revelation 12 and the earth beast of Revelation 13 were not shown with words or names of blasphemy upon them. But, because the sea beast of Revelation 13 and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 did have blasphemy upon them, then you can know that they claimed both of these powers. There is more discussion of the implications of this later on this page.
There is a second way to know that the blasphemy definition given above is correct. Many claim that the definition of blasphemy given in the dictionary is the only one that applies, so the definition given above is not valid. However, that is a false claim because Revelation takes care of that claim and shows that the definition above is in fact correct. Here is how it does that through the use of the dictionary definition to lead us back to the definitions just given.
To show that the definition derived here is correct, we must look at a second way to define Blasphemy from Revelation 13. To do that, let us do a little comparison. Consider the comparison of the first beast beast of Revelation 13 to Jesus. Note the things in the following table:
|Rise out of water||At his baptism||When it was coming to power|
|Ministry time when power is shown||3-1/2 years||1260 prophetic days, or 3-1/2 symbolic years of power|
|Blasphemy||Was accused of speaking blasphemy in 2 specific ways||God accuses it of speaking blasphemy and listed 3 specific ways it did this|
|Position||Will be king of the world when the kingdom is given to Jesus (Daniel 7:13-14)||Is said to be a king because beasts are kings (along with heads and horns, Daniel 7:6, 17; 8:21-23), and its leaders claim to be kings|
|Death||Was crucified||Given a head wound that was as if to death|
|Resurrection||Was resurrected from the dead||It lives after the head wound, so is symbolically "resurrected"|
|Territory of rule||Will rule all nations||Will have power over all nations|
|Special ministry and location||In the heavenly sanctuary at present where he forgives sins against God's law by presenting his one time sacrifice for our sins||Blasphemes the tabernacle in heaven, which means he creates a priesthood that pretends to substitute for the ministry of Jesus in heaven. The beast claims to obtain forgiveness for sins against God's law in this ministry.|
|Worship||Was worshipped by people||
Was worshipped (symbolically, but means to obey) by people
|Power over saints||Jesus has power over the saints of God but uses it to lead people to worship and obey God through persuasion||The beast was handed power over the saints, and used it to persecute and kill the people of God (Daniel 7:25) so used force to accomplish this|
|Removes governments||Jesus will remove all earthly governments when he comes the second time||Will claim the power to rule the governments of this world, including the power to remove governments, governments find difficulty in opposing this power (Daniel 7:24, Revelation 13:4)|
|Obedience of people||All will obey and serve in the new earth (Daniel 7:27)||Demands that all obey the him (Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:8)|
|Makes war||Jesus will make war against the wicked when he comes the second time (Revelation 19:11-15)||The beast makes war against the people of God (Daniel 7:25 and Revelation 13:7)|
|Exalts God||Jesus was God and glorified God's name||The beast blasphemes the name of God, meaning it damages God's name and substitutes itself in his place - claims to be God. What better way to destroy God's reputation than to claim to be God (in a way that others do not know that it is a false representation) and then act in a very evil way, contrary to the character and way of God? The beast did not exalt God's name, but debased it instead.|
|Behavioral characteristics||Character of God||Behaves like the four kingdoms did, that is, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and pagan Rome. Babylon took the people of God captive, Medo-Persia controlled their government though they were freed to go home from Babylon, the Greek kingdoms fought over them and took away their freedom and worship, Rome destroyed their city and took away their freedom and their nation and taxed them to death.|
|Government foundation||Love||Hate, intolerance (opposites here, Revelation 13:6)|
|Representational beasts||Usually a lamb which is not a predator||Leopard-like beast, a predatory animal (opposites here)|
|Source of authority||God||Satan through pagan Rome (the dragon represents both Satan and pagan Rome)|
In case you are questioning the 3-1/2 year ministry of Jesus shown 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 this was followed by four recorded passover feasts in the book of John, all of which occurred in the spring (John 2:13, John 6:4, John 11:55, John 18:28). This means that between his baptism and the first of the four passovers, approximately six months elapsed. The first passover was then followed by three more, each a year apart. Thus, his ministroy was approximately 3-1/2 years in length, or 1260 days.
As you should be able to see in the table above, there are things that the beast does to emulate Jesus, but in some things, the beast does exactly the opposite of what Jesus does. Now, the Antichrist is someone that people think will be against Christ because the prefix "anti-" means "against". Thus, they think he will be a Godless ruler or charismatic leader of some type who will rise up against Christ. Some even think he is a Muslim. This concept that he will act against Christ is entirely true, but is not the whole story of what this prefix means.
Let us illustrate this to help you understand the full concept of what the word Antichrist really means, so please consider this: Suppose someone hands you a tray with two drinking glasses with liquid in them on the tray. Both have a liquid in them for you to drink, and you are very thirsty so you want to drink one of them immediately. You can take your pick of either one to drink. But before you pick up either glass of liquid, you notice something very disturbing about one of them. One glass of liquid on the tray appears to be just plain water, but it has a label on it that causes your heart to skip a few beats because the label clearly says in very obvious, big letters, "POISON". Yikes! You don't want to drink that glass of liquid! So you look at the other glass on the tray. This glass has no label saying that it is poison and it is a drink that looks very delicious. Unfortunately, unknown to you, it also has a poison in it. Naturally, you might be a bit suspicious of this one, but it looks very good and does not say it is poison and you are extremely thirsty and hot (it is a hot day), so you pick it up and drink it down. And you drop dead later because this drink also was poisoned, but was disguised to make it look very good and innocent. It looked so good, tasted so good, was cool and refreshing because it had a few ice cubes in it, and you were as good as dead the moment you finished it!
Of course, both glasses of drink will kill you if you drink either of them, but it should not be hard to understand that the glass with the delicious looking liquid in it WITHOUT a label that says "Poison", is far more dangerous to anyone because it fools you. It looks to be very good for you, but is actually poison and will kill you. Because you are so thirsty and hot, it is very enticing. For that reason, you will very likely drink it and then die. It should not be hard to understand that you would not drink the glass containing the drink which is clearly labeled poison.
Now, this illustration is not perfect. One look at the first glass should be enough to tell you that you don't want to drink anything at this place, so most people know that they should leave immediately and find water elsewhere where it is safe. But the illustration teaches a lesson that is important. A similar thing is true about the Antichrist. If he were some charasmatic leader who is clearly not a Christian and acts directly against Christ, much of the Christian world would probably see this person for who he really is because he is what you see. They would not be fooled by him and would stay away from him, charisma or not. But the Antichrist is much smarter than that. He can best destroy you by appearing to be a good Christian while at the same time working to destroy the work of Christ in a hidden manner so that you don't see it, but are harmed by it nonetheless. Impossible, you say, because the prefix "anti-" means "against"? Well, yes it does mean that but, think again! It means a whole lot more!
The prefix "anti-" also means "to stand in the place of another". It should be clear from the comparison above that God sees this power, the beast, as standing in the place of Christ because there are many characteristics of both that are like one another, such as the 3-1/2 year ministry, the baptism, the "death", the rising from "death", and so on, and God is trying to make that point abundantly clear to us. Where it matters most is where the beast is trying to do the things that Jesus does which make our salvation possible. The beast claims to have the sanctuary service, meaning that it creates its own sacrifice, obtains forgiveness for our sins, and substitutes itself in place of God as God and as the forgiver of sins. Thus, it is substituting itself in place of Christ. It can fool the best, but there is no salvation in this. Some of its behaviors are clearly against Christ, but that does not stop it from substituting itself in place of Christ as well, all the while fooling you in the process concerning its identity. Many have been fooled by it, so that is not unusual. The important thing is to learn how to unmask the Antichriast so that you can plainly see who it is. That is the reason this web page was written, to help you unmask the Antchrist so you can identify him and avoid him and the danger he presents to you.
You see, it is like the delicious looking drink that was not labeled "poison". Such a drink is very dangerous to you because it can fool you into drinking it and yet kill you. The beast is like that because it looks Christian, it has many of the teachings of Christ, claims to be the true church and even has evidence that it has the authority of Christ, and yet it has teachings that are poisonous to your salvation. The Antichrist will do this. Therefore, the Antichrist will come from within the Christian community.
This is why the Bible gives such strong warnings against the beast. You can easily recognize a drink labeled "POISON" if you see the label, but not one that looks good and is poisonous and is not labeled. Likewise with the beast.
Do understand that the Bible says there are many Antichrists, which is true. But there is the final and most important one that will occur just before Jesus comes again. This final Antichrist will be more dangerous than the others, so he and all who follow him (including churches who follow him), must be avoided. This means you must avoid the mark of the beast and learn to identify the image of the beast as well, because if you do not, you will lose your salvation. The Bible makes that very plain. Great deception will be used to deprive you of your salvation. For reasons not explained here, it is of the highest interest of Satan to make sure that happens to you.
The beast is not just against Christ, but it IS the Antichrist because it puts itself in place of Christ. That is well within the dictionary definition of blasphemy, which says that blasphemy is
1 a : the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God b : the act of claiming the attributes of deity
2 : irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable
Source: Merriam-Webster's 2000 Collegiate Computer Dictionary.
Clearly, the beast claims the attributes of deity because it is said to be worshipped AND the evidence of the table above shows that it clearly stands in the place of Christ in the way that God presents it to us. We should be able to see that God is trying to tell us that it will claim to be God and to have authority to forgive sins against God's laws just as Jesus did while on earth and continues to do in heaven through his ministry in the heavenly sanctuary. This supports the definition of blasphemy given in Revelation 13 for the words of blasphemy written on the beasts (or spoken) being that it is the claim to both be God AND to be able to forgive sins against Gods laws. The Catholic Church in the person of the popes completely fulfills these requirements.
Finally, there is a third way to define blasphemy in Revelation 13 using the standard dictionary definition of blasphemy which leads back to the definitions given above. 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.
Here John was told first that the beast will speak blasphemy against God.
To understand this one may use the standard definition of blasphemy. Specifically the blasphemy in this verse is done by committing acts of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God and claiming the attributes of deity.
To blaspheme the name of God is to destroy his character by words or actions. Since the beast clearly is a false Christ (it is clearly the Antichrist), this means it claims to actually be God (in particular, it claims to be Jesus) and destroys the character of God by falsely representing God's character before unsuspecting believers. Note that in the table above there are several things where the characteristics are opposites, such as the foundation of God's government being love and the foundation of the beast's kingdom being hate (this assertion is true because they have in the past persecuted people, for which there is no authority from God in the New Testament). By claiming to actually be God, it can easily destroy God's character of love because of misrepresentation of God's character which it displays before the world.
To merely attack God's character or falsely describe his character is never as powerful as actually claiming to be God and then falsely representing the character of God before unsuspecting people through words and actions. Actions are especially powerful because, as the saying goes, action speaks a thousand words.
The core of this blasphemy is that this power claims to actually be God himself. Doing this gives it the ability to destroy the true character of God with greater power than by any other means. This is true whether intended or not. The popes meet this requirement because they have claimed God's power and authority and some of them have actually claimed to be God himself (never refuted by any of the other popes, so stands), so this does apply to the Catholic Church.
But there is more for it says that the beast blasphemes those who dwell in heaven. In Revelation 14 John wrote that the virgins were standing in heaven on mount Zion. This cannot be the earthly mount Zion because it says that they follow the Lamb wherever he goes, which refers to them following Jesus. Since Jesus is in heaven, this scene must have been presented from the holy city of God, the New Jerusalem. Of course, this is symbolic because the idea here is that these people are those who keep all of God's commandments and are God's last days church on earth, and are thereby represented as being in the New Jerusalem, which clearly associates the church with the city itself. The symbolic city of the New Jerusalem is the people of the church plus the "king", Jesus, and the beliefs that they have which sets them apart from other churches just as the people of Babylon with their king and beliefs sets them up as the symbolic city of Babylon. But more on that symbolism later.
The point of this phrase, those who "dwell in heaven", is to point the reader to those who symbolically dwell in heaven, which is clearly explained in Revelation 14:1-6. Therefore, when it is said that the beast blasphemes those who dwell in heaven in Revelation 13:6, it was destroying the character of those who dwell in heaven and keep the commandments of God. The beast not only destroyed their character, but also asserted that only its own people can "dwell in heaven" and that those whose characters it has destroyed are worthy of death, and instead it is THEY, the people of God, who are Babylon. It forces a swap of the people of symbolic Babylon with the people of symbolic Jerusalem. Of course, this points the guilt at those who are guiltless and places those who are actually guilty of sin in their place in the New Jerusalem, which is clearly wrong. God will not recognize this swap, of course, when he makes up his list of those who will live in his eternal kingdom, but in the meantime they'll still make the claim and appear to get away with it until God reveals the truth at the end.
The core is that this beast will claim to be the only true church. The Catholic Church meets this requirement. It will claim to be the mother church and therefore the only true church out there in the Christian world. If you read the documents of the last several popes about Protestants, it is not hard to discern that they do see things this way. Strange, is it not, that God foresaw this?
These three things explain the blasphemy that appears on the beast in Revelation 13. The Catholic Church did all of these. It should be clear that the blasphemy as we have outlined it in this page is also outlined using the dictionary definition in Revelation 13:6, so there is no way that one can avoid it.
The nations of the world have sometimes destroyed the character and lives of those who keep the commandments of God. Some of them have had leaders who claimed to be gods (such as Alexander the Great, who was a self-proclaimed god), but NEVER have political leaders claimed that they could forgive sins against God's laws. Therefore, the definition of blasphemy can only apply to a religious entity, in which the Catholic Church meets all the requirements.
To reiterate, here are the definitions that are most pertinent once again.
Definition of blasphemy:
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:
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:
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?
Daniel 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.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.
Daniel 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise . . . .
Daniel 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.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:
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.
Here is a summary table to help you picture this information.
|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 king, 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|
Remember these three important points:
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.
There is a general misunderstanding of the exact identity of the sea beast of Revelation 13. The same is even more true of the scarlet beast of Revelation 17. This section will show you how the Bible actually defines the beasts for you so that there need be no question about the identity of either beast. That way, if you find a web site that, for example, says Prince Charles of Great Britain is the sea beast of Revelation 13 (there is, or at least has been in the past, such a web site!), you know they guessed and did not study their Bible carefully enough.
The reason the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 is not listed as one of the three primary powers is that the Bible defines the scarlet beast as a composite power, meaning that it is a combination of two primary powers, with one of them as the dominant power. Most people never notice this and think of the scarlet beast as a single, primary power. It is also true that there are those who do understand that the Revelation 13 sea beast is a composite power, but have never come to understand that this is also true of the Revelation 17 scarlet beast. Many also do not realize that the sea beast of Revelation 13 and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 represent the same power. Evidence for all of this is presented in this section.
Something that often happens when discussion of the scarlet beast comes up is that when people are told that the sea beast of Revelation 13 and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 represent the same composite power, they tend to get hung up on the fact that the sea beast of Revelation 13 looks very different than the scarlet beast of Revelation 17. They believe that if these beasts represent the same power, then they should look the same. Because of the difference in appearances of the two beasts, they conclude that they represent different powers.
Those who cannot seem to get past the different appearance of the two beasts usually forget that God showed Daniel different beasts in Daniel 7 and 8 to represent the same powers. For example, the goat of Daniel 8 represents the same power as the four headed leopard of Daniel 7. Obviously, there is a huge difference in appearance between a leopard and a goat! Therefore, there is precedent for God to show different beasts to represent the same power. Consequently, if the two beasts in Revelation 13 and 17 look different, that does not mean they necessarily represent different powers. One must determine their identity by other means, such as their behavior.
On the other hand, there are those who notice the apparently identical set of 7 heads and 10 horns on both beasts. From this they conclude that these beasts are the same or that at least the heads and horns are the same. This observation is correct and is helpful to such individuals.
To begin the exploration of the Beast Formula, please note that both the sea beast of Revelation 13 and the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 have names of blasphemy on them. Many people take note of this and sometimes conclude that the names of blasphemy are literal. However, Revelation is a book of symbolism, something that Jesus demonstrates at the very beginning of the book in chapter 1. The word name usually symbolizes the word character in Revelation (see Revelation 14:1, 5). Consequently, the names of blasphemy on the body and heads of both beasts indicates that a fundamental character trait of these powers is to commit blasphemy. Remember that things placed on beasts (such as wings, for example) indicates their behavior, so names of blasphemy placed on any given beast indicates its behavior traits.
The sea beast spoke blasphemy during the 1260 days it had power (Revelation. 13:5), which refers to its behavior during that time. Its heads also had names of blasphemy upon them, which refers again to the behaviors of the heads when they are in power. The horns were not said to have blasphemy upon them for either beast, so they behave in such a way that God does not mark them with names of blasphemy. In addition, the scarlet beast is said to have names of blasphemy all over it (the body and heads but not on the horns). What does this mean? Does the blasphemy somehow tie these two beasts together?
Let us review blasphemy as it is defined in the Bible to enable us to discern the identity of the beasts which have names of blasphemy upon them. Blasphemy is defined in the Bible to be:
Consider this, please: what significant power has existed on earth beginning relatively soon after the time of John (say, within a few hundred years) and remains until the present day and which has claimed both of these powers during most of its existence?
There is only one such power known in history: the Roman Catholic Church.
The beasts which have blasphemy on them point directly to the Roman Catholic Church. This absolutely must be true because there is only one significant power on earth that claims both powers which define blasphemy. Thus, whether we like it on not, they are "it".
The Catholic Church claims to be able to forgive sins against God's laws. Catholics are required to confess their sins to a priest to obtain forgiveness for them. This is based on the priests' claim to be able to forgive sins and that the Bible tells us that we are to confess our sins to Jesus in order to obtain forgiveness. The Bible says that Jesus is our high priest in heaven (Hebrews 2:17, 4:15-16), so to make sure that the Catholic believer is confessing his sins to Christ, the Catholics claim that the priests are another Christ (think of how many Christs this makes walking around on earth, all at the same time).
Some may have doubts that the Catholics claim this power, so for evidence that they 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 the Bible does not teach that we need an intercessor 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. 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 the priest who obtains it from God instead of Jesus.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
Justinian, the Eastern Roman Emperor, wrote a decree in the year 533 AD giving the pope in Rome the following powers:
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:
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 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 web 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) authoritywould 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), 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.
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:
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 Beast Formula Continued
Now that you have the historical background, here are the Bible verses in Revelation 13 that are the basis for the beast formula:
Revelation 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.
Revelation 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
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 tribes, and tongues, and nations.
Notice that verse 5 distinguishes between saying "great things" and "blasphemies". Apparently God considers them different things. Have you ever before noticed this? If you want more information about this, compare Revelation 13:5 with Daniel 7:25. Line up the corresponding parts of the two verses next to each other and compare what you find. You might be surprised by what you learn.
Observe also that Revelation 13:7 says the beast was given power to make war against the saints, which is essentially the same as was done in Daniel 7:25. Notice the blasphemy mentioned in Revelation 13:5. Which power is it that we have identified that (1) claims to be God and (2) claims to be able to forgive sins against God's law? Answer: the Catholic Church. So, the Catholic Church is part of the beast, the leading part at that. But there is a second power hidden in these verses which helps make up the beast. Can you find it? Please think about it for a minute before continuing to read.
Here is the identity of the second power that helps make up the beast. Note that in verse 7 it says "power was given him over all tribes, and tongues and nations." Consider this for a minute, if you will. To understand this better, imagine for a minute that you are the pope in say, for example, the year 1200 AD, and heard about a group of Christians living in say, France, who were refusing to give allegiance to you as the pope and you wanted to stop that or punish them if they refused to surrender to you. How would you go about it? Would you march in with an army gathered from other countries to arrest these people? What if the French decided that they didn't want you doing this? They might come out and fight you with an army (maybe even a much BIGGER army) and maybe even kill you! Well! You certainly cannot risk that happening, can you?
So, what to do? You use your brain and realize that if you could just get the French to believe that you were God or that your word was as good as God's word or that anything you said was based on authority delegated to you by God, then you could simply ask the French to take care of the problem for you and you would not have to take any risk upon yourself! Very smart idea! So, you approach the French and over time you convince them that your word must be obeyed because your word is as good as God's word, or maybe you even convince them you are God. You certainly remind them that their salvation depends on obedience to your word because you claim to have God's authority passed down from Peter, who you claim got it from Jesus, and you remind them of the "unbroken" line of succession of the popes, an argument which you hope is convincing enough in their minds to back up your claim to have God's authority. Then you simply ask them to take care of the heretics for you. To back it up, perhaps you bring out a copy of Justinian's decree just to be sure they get the point, a decree which they respect. And, it works! It is usually a risk free power play. You win, while the other Christians lose. Its sort of like the old cartoon joke about the Coliseum in Rome: Lions - 10, Christians - 0! Its all about power and YOU have the power!
In fact, this is somewhat like how it actually happened. The pope (and others certainly helped the process along) used persuasive powers based on religion and the pope's position to win over the governments of the day so that the political leaders of the time gave their allegiance to the pope and prosecuted almost anyone for heresy upon the request of the church. They dared not refuse him because they knew that if they did, the pope probably would excommunicate them from the church, which the Catholic Church had taught meant no salvation for them. It was a mind game, no doubt about it, but the difference was that the pope knew what he was really doing, while the leaders of the nations usually did not because they didn't know the Bible well enough to realize that salvation comes only through Jesus, not the church (Acts 4:12). This thought terrified many rulers into obeying the pope no matter the cost to justice and truth. Of course, as the power of the popes increased, eventually there was the additional threat that the pope might be able to bring a large army against any king who dared to oppose him. That threat had the effect of preventing too much deviance from the will of the pope most of the time.
The result was that the leaders of the French government and the leaders of other Christian nations of Europe all became part of the beast because they chose to cooperate with the pope. They threw their political power and authority behind the wishes of the pope. Therefore, the second power that constitutes the beast is the leaders of the nations who cooperated with the Papacy during the 1260 days. The Roman Church was the dominant power of the beast when it came to the issue of Christian beliefs and how it was defined, with the nations playing a generally subordinate, though not unimportant role, to empower the wishes of the pope to accomplish his will against the people of God. Without this cooperation, the pope could do very little in other nations to persecute the people of God because then he would lack the legal authority to act against them.
As a result, you can define the beast in this fashion, something we call The Beast Formula:
This formula is valid ONLY when the Roman Church is the beneficiary of a decree by other nations which gives it the legal right to punish heresy. This, of course, requires the ongoing cooperation of the leaders of OTHER NATIONS of Europe. 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) because that does not give it the right to punish heresy in other nations. Remember that one of the conditions to create the beast that arose in 538 AD was that the Papacy was given control of all of the Christians in the nations of Europe. Until that condition arose, the beast was not yet present even though there was a pope in Rome and he certainly was a ruler over some territory at that time. The legal right to persecute 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. And it means there is no beast until there is jurisdiction over the people of God in other nations based on their religious beliefs, beliefs that the Catholic Church says are heresy. It is that simple.
And that is The Beast Formula. Very simple, isn't it?
This also exposes an inconsistent belief common among those who believe that the sea beast of Revelation 13 is the Papacy alone. Such a belief is not consistent because there was a pope in Rome before 538 AD, and even before 476 AD, and there still is a pope in Rome long after 1798. If the beast is the Papacy alone, then there was a beast long before 538 AD and a beast should remain even today. But that contradicts the Bible because it says the talking horn power would arise AFTER the 10 horns of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, which we know could not possibly have arisen before 476 AD when Rome fell. Because the talking horn arose AFTER the 10 horns of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, then the conclusion is that the beast is a composite power rather than a single power, consisting of the Papacy combined with the nations in a war against the people of God that has been authorized by a decree. If it were not a composite power, then it would have existed long before 538 AD and would exist even today, long after 1798.
There are some who think that the sea beast is a political power alone, but this too is inconsistent with the evidence at hand in Revelation 13. Consider the blasphemy present upon the sea beast. That points directly to the Catholic Church and not to the nations because the nations and their leaders do not claim both to be God and to be able to forgive sins against God's laws. Therefore, the sea beast of Revelation 13 is not a political power alone, but instead is a composite power, albeit primarily a religious power.
If you understand that the cooperating leaders of the nations became part of the beast, then both the talking horn of Daniel 7 and the sea beast of Revelation 13 begin to make a lot more sense. The beast arose because of the decree which placed the people of God under the Pope's jurisdiction, which could only be implemented if the leaders of the nations cooperated with the pope in persecuting the people of God. Because the leaders of the nations did choose to cooperate with the pope, they were part of the beast. There is no other conclusion that can be drawn from history.
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 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 also killed, even one of which is extremely serious. By comparison, they hope to look better in your mind. 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?
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 persecution of the people of God. 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: 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 sea beast because it 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, the Bible does call the pope the beast (this is especially done for the 8th king), but one must understand that this refers to his leadership role of the beast and still includes other powers as part of the beast. The 8th king will not be the beast without the decree in place giving him the powers that creates the beast. 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. 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 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 they have not. When given the opportunity again, they will revert to their former behavior. And the Protestant Churches will 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.
Let us continue with learning about The Beast Formula. The Beast Formula is actually stated in two different places in Revelation, once in Revelation 13 and the other in Revelation 17. Revelation 13 states it differently than Revelation 17, but it means the same thing. The fact that the Beast Formula is stated twice in two different ways demonstrates its validity.
Here is how Revelation 17 explains the Beast Formula:
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.
Notice that the prostitute is said to sit upon the waters and fornicate with the kings of the earth. Do you remember that in the Three Primary Powers Table the kings of the earth belonged to the political powers category and the prostitute woman belonged to the religious powers category? If you look at the Beast Formula, you should notice that it also consisted of powers from the same two categories, the Roman Church being a religious power and the national political leaders being political powers. As you can see, the same two categories of power occur together in Revelation 17:1-2. Therefore, one should conclude that the same two powers that occur in the beast formula are represented by the woman and the kings of the earth in Revelation 17:1-2. The following table should make it easier to remember this:
|Category of Power||Revelation 13||Revelation 17|
Cooperative National Leaders (Revelation 13:5-7)
|Kings of the Earth|
|Religious Powers||Roman Catholic Church leaders||Woman|
The obvious question is whether the woman symbolizes the Roman Catholic Church, particularly its leaders. If she is, then you know that the beast is the same as the woman + kings of the earth. History and the Bible answer this question because from the Bible we know that fornication is symbolic of reliance upon powers other than God for the needs and wishes of the church, including dealing with heresy. It can also be defined as an improper relationship between the leaders of political powers and religious leaders, but in the final analysis, this is based on her reliance upon them to do something that she does not have the power to do on her own, something that God never gave her the right to do but she is determined to have anyway. Here are several Bible verses that show this to be true:
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 ehpod 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 Thummin. 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 Thummin 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 Thummin by answering their important questions. 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 a god, which the people believed answered their questions through the Urim and Thummin 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.
This explains the meaning of the word "harlot" which God applied to the people of Israel in the event they worshipped a false god. Examples of such usages were cited above. In those verses, the word harlot means reliance upon another power (a god in these instances) to obtain the desires of their hearts.
Therefore, when the Bible refers to the fornication of the woman with the kings of the earth, she is in reliance upon these kings of the earth to obtain the desires of her heart, which was the eradication of any opposition to her way of thinking and control over peoples' spiritual lives. 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 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 church. Therefore, for this and other reasons, the woman is representative of the Roman Catholic Church.
To be sure of that identification so that we don't incorrectly label the woman, remember that the Bible says the woman is Babylon. In the Bible as a whole, Babylon represents false, apostate religions. Now, this means that there must be major deviation away from what God instructs us in the Bible is truth. Otherwise, a religion cannot qualify as a false, apostate religion. Is the popes' claim to be God such a major deviation? Is the claim of the priests and popes to be able to forgive sins against God's laws a major deviation away from God's statement of the truth? You will have to decide the answer to that for yourself, but at this web site, we believe it is because the Bible says that both of these acts are blasphemy. Remember that the Bible is the gold standard of truth because it is based on the word of the eternal God who will never make another being into a God like himself and will never delegate his authority as God to another created being. Therefore, we conclude that Babylon in Revelation 17 is representative of the Roman Catholic Church.
The scarlet beast of Revelation 17 has blasphemy all over it. That means this beast power claims to be God and to be able to forgive sins against God's laws. Therefore, this means the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 is identical with the sea beast of Revelation 13 because the blasphemy is the same in both verses and must point to the same power.
As a result, the beast formula can be stated like this:
The Complete Beast Formula
Scarlet Beast of Revelation 17 = Woman + Kings of the Earth = Roman Church leaders + National Government Leaders = Sea Beast of Revelation 13
This is the complete Beast Formula. It tells you that the woman combined with the kings of the earth in Revelation 17 is the scarlet beast and is the same as the Roman Church leaders combined with national government leaders, which is the sea beast of Revelation 13. Both beasts are composite powers, made up of the same two other primary powers, the leaders of the Roman Church and the leaders of the nations, in a cooperative relationship for the purpose of legal prosecution of heresy.
There are a couple of additional things to understand about this. In Revelation 17, the angel spoke about the woman sitting upon the waters fornicating with the kings of the earth. From The Beast Formula, you now know that when this activity between the two powers is going on, it is the same thing as the scarlet beast. But, it is very important to notice that the angel makes a distinction between the beast and its heads and horns. In verse 8, he says that the beast "was", which means that the body of the beast (which is the same as the woman engaged in sitting with the kings of the earth and fornicating with them) is something in the past relative to the time from which the angel is speaking. Of course, the beast itself was yet future to John's time because it didn't begin to exist until 538 AD.
Because the beast did not yet exist, the angel is speaking as if he is far into the future relative to John's time. Many think he was speaking as if he were in John's time, but that is because they do not understand the beast nor do they correctly understand the explanation of the beast and the heads and horns.
Note carefully what the angel tells us about his explanation. He does NOT say that he is going to explain the woman, the beast, its heads or its horns, but rather he says that he is going to tell us the mystery of the woman and the beast that carries her. He has given us a puzzle, not an explanation. Many fail to understand this important point: The angel gives us a puzzle to be deciphered only when the time comes that God wants it known. Until that time, nobody will be able to decipher it. What many do not know is that time is NOW.
The angel mentions that one head exists at the exact moment from which he is speaking. After he explains the 7 kings/7 heads, he tells the mystery of the horns and mentions that they are yet future, which obviously means that when the ten horns arrive, the seven heads are done. By explaining things in this manner, he is indicating that for the explanation he gives, we are to consider the beast to be the body of the beast, which is to be thought of as existing in a separate time period that comes before the 7 kings/7 heads, which in turn come before the 10 horns. Thus, the body occurs first, then the seven heads, then the ten horns occur last. As he presented it, the 7 heads/7 kings have to represent the relative present from the time from which the angel was speaking AND they represent history that will occur between the body of the beast (which was already in the past according to the angel) and the horns (which he indicates are yet future). Just remember that the angel had to be speaking as if he were in the future because this beast did not begin to exist until 538 AD, long after John was dead. More on this later.
As you now know, both beasts represent the same two combined powers. Yet there are significant differences between them as they were presented to John. One has the general appearance of a leopard, with body parts of a bear and a lion on it, while the other is scarlet in color, is an unknown species and has no body parts from other animals on it, or at least, none were noted. One has the prostitute woman sitting on the seven heads, while the other has no woman on it at all. One is first seen in the wilderness, while the other arises from the sea and is never said to go to the wilderness. These very significant differences creates an obvious question, which is this: Even though the two beasts represent the same combination of powers, why do they present such a different appearance of one compared to the other?
There are several answers to this question , which are:
The appearance of the sea beast of Revelation 13 primarily emphasizes the beast as it appears during the 1260 days. This beast is shown as a predator because of its nature in hunting down any people who held Christian beliefs that differed from it. It was explained that it would have power over God's people for a period of 1260 prophetic days.
The woman is not shown in Revelation 13 because God intended to explain the remaining history of the heads and horns of the beast in Revelation 17, so the woman would only have been a distraction in Revelation 13 were she presented but not explained. Just as was the case in Revelation 17, had she been shown in Revelation 13, she would have been shown sitting upon the seven heads.
The appearance of the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 primarily emphasizes the beast as it appears AFTER the 1260 days. The scarlet appearance of this beast can certainly suggest that this beast is covered with blood because of the warfare it had previously carried out against the people of God. This is certainly true as is demonstrated by history and by the fact that Pope John Paul II apologized for the atrocities that the Catholic Church carried out during the dark ages. Thus, this beast is seen from a historical perspective as being very guilty of the blood of many.
The presence of the woman on the seven heads of the scarlet beast in teh wilderness (clearly far away from the waters) emphasizes the fact that she is not combined with the kings of the earth during that time period. Because the body of the scarlet beast must represent conditions during the 1260 prophetic days, then the 7 heads represent conditions AFTER the 1260 days are over and done with. The kings of the earth are nowhere in the picture when she is in the wilderness. It also shows her condition - she is drunk which clearly means she is not much in control of the beast or herself during this time - and it helps demonstrate many of her characteristics by the things she is wearing (thereby giving more clues to her identity). And the beast she rides on is described in the original Greek as a "wild beast", meaning she has little control over it. Being drunk and riding a wild beast sounds like a prescription for disaster for her, but the Bible says that the beast will come out of the abyss - out of the wilderness - and this implies that she will return to fornicating with the kings of the earth once again. She will combine with them and return to power once again.
It is especially important to note that Revelation 17 does NOT say that the woman sits on the BACK of the scarlet beast at any time. This idea is common in the minds of many, but this idea exists because the back of an animal is where a person normally rides on a beast and also because artists commonly place her on the back of the scarlet beast. However, nowhere in Revelation 17 does it say that the woman rides (or sits) anywhere but upon the seven heads, which it says are also seven mountains. Of course, because the Bible defines heads as kings, then the woman also sits upon the seven kings.
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 king, 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.
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 soon.
Brief Table of Symbols of Revelation 17
|Abyss||Prison - 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|
|Deliverers of God's judgments||Revelation 16:2, 4|
|Protectors of God's people||Daniel 6:22; Revelation 7:1-2|
|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)||
||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 prison in which a power is restrained. 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||Nations or kingdoms (either is acceptable). For the dragon and woman of Revelation 12, this means they are among the nations, not that they control them or own them.||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 which the kings lead.|
|Specifically for the earth beast of Revelation 13, it rises from the earth, which still means nations or kingdoms in that application. The earth beast does not rise out of waters, meaning that it does not rise from where nations, peoples, tongues, and multitudes are, but rather where there is an absence of them. Yet earth means nations, so it rises from the nations. This may not seem logical because how can there be nations without the other things? But, it can be if the nations come from elsewhere. Thus, this is telling us that the earth beast rises in a place without prior nations against which this power must struggle to come into existence. It indirectly tells us that it arises through immigration. This can apply only to America because of the timing and the mode of rise of it.||Revelation 13|
|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|
||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.|
||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 king will start as one of the seven kings (one of the seven names) and will become the 8th king (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, so are the four generals, by name, who took over Alexander's kingdom).|
Investigations in courts of law are normally done in three steps:
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 world, including those he investigated.
|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 authority is primarily in the religious sphere of things rather than 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.||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|
|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 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 at the same time by the same means.||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. 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) on it and do not use good judgment.||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 punishment or persecution 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||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.||
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.
Prophetic beasts or powers usually occur in any of three symbolic earthly environments in both Daniel and Revelation. Two of these occur for the woman in Revelation 17, so it would be a good idea to better understand their symbolic meanings. The three environments are:
There are 2 exceptions to this, which are the dragon and the woman of Revelation 12 who are initially presented in the heavens. However, both of these powers end up in one or more of the three environments in the world, just like all others.
The symbolic location of a beast can indicate its origin and subsequent condition, or it may not indicate its origin at all, but rather indicates its current condition for the point in time represented for that power in the vision.
Let us begin a short discussion of the symbolic meaning of each of these three environments.
The waters - What Do They Mean Symbolically?
The sea or waters represent "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." (Revelation 17:15) The author has heard and read many people quote this verse, but most never follow that up with a real analysis of exactly what it means.
The beasts of Daniel 7 rose from the waters to indicate their origins AND their subsequent condition. Because they rise up from the waters, this indicates that they rise from among the nations and then rise above those around them. This implies that they cannot do this freely without a struggle, and indeed, in Daniel 7, winds were shown blowing over the waters to indicate the warfare and struggle for the empires to rise from among the nations and gain power over the others. They had to struggle against those around them. Their subsequent condition is shown by having the beasts remain either above or next to the waters from which they arose, which, at a minimum, indicates that these powers have influence over the nations from among which they arose. Daniel 7:12 says that each of those powers was given dominion (it states this by saying that they had it taken away from them, thereby implying that they had it given to them in the first place except for the leopard which was specifically stated to have been given dominion in the beginning), so as long as they remained next to the waters and were given dominion, they had controlling power over the nations , peoples, multitudes, and languages around them within their domain.
It is very important to note that when the Bible says that a power is next to or over water, it must also in some way indicate that this power has been given dominion over the nations. If a beast is over or next to waters but has not been said to be given dominion over the waters, then that beast has influence only and no control over the waters. Do understand that the kings of the earth are an exception to this because they automatically have dominion over the nations that they rule simply because they are the direct rulers of those nations.
Conversely, any power NOT placed on or near waters automatically DOES NOT HAVE dominion over the nations. It is simple based on the symbolism: no water = no peoples = no nations = no kingdom = no rulership. Think through the symbolism if you don't see this immediately.
The origins of the woman of Revelation 17 is never shown in that chapter. However, placing her over or next to the waters shows her condition when she is busy fornicating with the kings of the earth (remember that the combination of these two powers, the woman and the kings of the earth in fornication, is the beast according to the Beast Formula). This says that she is in a position of dominance over the nations because it directly says she has a kingdom over the kings of the earth in Revelation 17:18, so she can rule the nations through leveraged power over the kings of the earth. On this web page, we will represent the woman as sitting directly upon the waters, which is the same as her sitting next to the waters.
Something interesting about the Revelation 13 sea beast is that the Bible never says it goes ashore during the 1260 days once it rises out of the water. It was given dominion over the nations because it is said to have power over the nations (Revelation 13:7). It may have simply risen directly out of the water and remained above them or may have gone to shore. We simply are not told. But either way, the beast remains on or near the water. If it left the vicinity of the waters, such an action would represent that it no longer ruled the nations. Because its power ended in 1798, Revelation 13 could have said that it left the vicinity of the waters at that time, but did not do so because that detail was left to be explained in Revelation 17. However, it did say that its dominion ended in 1798 (that is when its time of power terminated, which is the same as ending its dominion), so this implies that it left the vicinity of the waters in 1798.
Where multiple kings or governments are indicated to exist, they must be over water, not earth, to be ruling over their nations. That is a situation like the kings of the earth, who are over water to symbolize that they are ruling their respective nations. Take them away from the water and the result is that they have nobody to rule. Anarchy prevails in the wake of removing them from the waters if another king is not put in place.
The Desert - 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. People often run to the Greek-English dictionary and look up the Greek definitions. Very strange, indeed, because they don't need to do that. The Bible defines the symbolic meaning of these words very clearly. Here is how.
Compare the following verses:
|Revelation 17:3, 8||Revelation 20:1-3, 7|
|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.
|Revelation 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from
heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in
Revelation 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, who is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Revelation 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.
Revelation 20:7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
Note the beast starts in the desert and comes out of the bottomless pit
|Note that the dragon is put into the bottomless pit, locked in, and later he comes out of a 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 devil, he is first locked in the bottomless pit and a thousand years later is let out of his prison.
The essence of his prison is that he cannot tempt the nations for a thousand years. He is almost literally bored stiff because he has nothing at all to do but think over what he has done and what he is facing because of his actions.
But do you see what is done here by the statements of the angel? He says that the bottomless pit is the same as a prison in Revelation 20:1-3, 7, and also says that the desert is the same as the bottomless pit in Revelation 17:3, 8. Therefore, he makes this equation:
|Desert (wilderness) = abyss (bottomless pit) = prison|
If you put this information into the wilderness in Revelation 12, it makes good sense because all it says is that the woman is put into a prison for protective custody for her protection during the 1260 years. Also, the dragon (devil) does NOT follow her into the wilderness during the 1260 years because if he did, that would say that he went into prison also. Thus, he remains on the earth.
This same information works in Leviticus 16 with the scape goat, who is a symbol of Satan being put into the abyss during the thousand years.
Some have argued 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. We must not allow our opinions to define the symbols for us but allow the Bible to clarify the meaning for us. There is no redefinition of the wilderness between Revelation 12 and Revelation 20 so the symbolic meaning is identical.
So, whenever you see the symbolic words wilderness or desert, abyss or bottomless pit in Revelation, think "PRISON"!
The abyss or bottomless pit of Revelation 9 uses the literal definition of the abyss in a symbolic way as a prison. After all, the angel of the abyss (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. God rules all domains and Satan does not rule any. The key is "permission" to start a new religion at that time, the Muslim religion, and all he does is release this into the world, which has a big impact and will continue to do so until the very end of this world's history.
The Earth - What Does It Mean Symbolically?
Where used alone without naturally occurring water nearby, the earth should be considered to be different than either the water or desert. It is not the sea, so cannot represent a condition where there are significant previously organized peoples, nations, languages, or multitudes. It is also not the desert, so is not a prison. 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. The fact that it 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 days of the sea beast because it comes after the sea beast's time of power), and the fact that it will have great power, leads one to conclude that this beast represents the United States in prophecy.
A power rising out of the earth will not have a significant struggle against other nations because they simply are not there to create any significant opposition, or else are small enough that they are not significant.
Do remember that the earth represents a condition and usually does not represent a specific country. The devil also is said to be upon the earth, so if the earth is a specific country, that country certainly has the devil in them! Of course, that is not true because the earth represents a condition, not a specific country. But just don't be fooled if someone claims that the earth represents a specific country. Used in the way it is in Revelation and Daniel, it cannot do that. However, it can represent a stable, established, secular government of a specific country, but cannot represent the country itself.
The devil is said to be upon the earth because he is not in prison and he has no significant opposition from earthly powers. In addition, God is said to be the ruler of the nations (see Daniel 2:37, 5:18), so Satan is not said to have dominion over the nations.
There is one ancient version of the Bible in which Revelation 13:1 says that he (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. Instead, in this instance, this is a position of influence on the part of Satan. He instigated the Eastern Roman Empire to create the Papacy by a decree. 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.
Any beast representing a visible earthly power which is over the earth has control only over the people within its own domain. It has no control over other nations. However, whenever two or more kingdoms are involved, then waters must be under them. At least, that is how God seems to have designed the visions.
In Daniel 7, we are presented the picture of the fourth dreadful beast walking about on the land, treading it down (Daniel 7:23). This beast clearly represented Rome, but if we say that the earth represents unpopulated areas (as is commonly done with the earth beast of Revelation 13), then we have a problem because Rome certainly did not generally rule over unpopulated areas. 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), so it certainly was not a "dry" area. So, why is the fourth dreadful looking beast said to walk about on dry land and tread it down?
If you take time to examine Daniel 7, you should note that there are four beasts that come out of the water. As each beast in turn comes out of the water, each one of them goes up onto dry land near the water from which they came. We know that the waters represent nations, languages, multitudes and peoples, and when you add winds blowing upon the waters, which represent warfare and strife among the nations, then you get the picture that the four empires rise because of warfare among the nations, out of which one of them rises to dominance over the others. The rising of the beasts out of the waters represents this ascension to dominance over the other nations. Once the dominance is achieved, a stable, established government is fixed in place. The earth represents the stable, established government that rules over the nations once the main conquest is finished.
Therefore, the four beasts achieve dominance over other nations, which is represented by their rising from the waters. Next, they establish a stable government that rules over the conquered nations, which is represented by each of the four beasts walking about on the land around the waters from which they arose. The waters continue to represent the nations that they conquered, while the dry land that they walk about represents the stable, established government that rules over the conquered nations. This is the only way to make sense of the symbolic earth that the four beasts walk on after they rise out of the waters.
Some have suggested that the earth is literal, but why would it be that everything else in the vision, such as the waters the beasts rise from and the beasts themselves are symbolic, and yet the earth is literal? That does not make much sense. It is better to see the earth as symbolic for then it fits in with the other symbols and explains the entire vision better.
In the case of the earth beast of Revelation 13, the beast rising from the earth represents that this new power rose out of a stable, established government that was already in place. The earth beast represents the United States in prophecy, so the stable, established government out of which it arose is that of Great Britain because it was the ruler of much of the Eastern North American Continent when the United States arose. Thus, in the prophecy of Revelation 13 for the earth beast, the earth itself represents the stable established colonial government of Great Britain. It represents only the government in place, not the nation of Great Britain. They are not identical things. of course, for the earth beast to rise to power, it required a revolution against the British colonial government. 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.
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, examine the picture below. This is a pictorial summary of Revelation 17.
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:
Of all the things to learn from the graphic, the following two facts are probably more important than anything else:
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 relatively straightforward 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:
John did NOT see the following:
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.
Here is what the angel said at the beginning of Revelation 17:
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 on the left side of the graphic, you should see the woman seated on the waters and the kings of the earth standing around her (we could not find any good pictures of kings sitting that were usable, so settled for these). Of course, we won't actually 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.
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 because we believe that the history of the prostitute woman begins at that point in time. We believe this because of several reasons, which are as follows:
The key to understanding this idea is to understand the Beast Formula. If you understand the beast formula, then you should have no difficulty seeing that the woman fornicating with the kings of the earth upon the waters is the same thing as the beast itself.
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 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 composite 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.
According to the Beast Formula, the Beast = Prostitute Woman + Kings of the Earth = Roman Church + Leaders of Other Nations. Think about this in relation to what the angel told John at the beginning of the vision where the woman and the kings of the earth are mentioned. It clearly is Papal because this is the same exact makeup of the sea beast in Revelation 13, which is also clearly Papal.
The kings of the earth are a bit of a problem. What happens to them after February 15, 1798? Did they go into prison (the desert) 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 fornicating with them. The kings of the earth are there because they are the legal, rightful rulers of the nations so 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.
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 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 would have anarchy. If you don't believe this, think through the symbolism and you should see that this is the correct conclusion.
It is for this reason that the kings of the earth are shown in the middle of the graphic standing alone on the waters. The woman cannot be there with 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.
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 suggest 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 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.
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 desert until the woman is done sitting upon the 7 heads of the scarlet beast. Then she will move back to the waters and resume fornicating with the kings of the earth, which means that the 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. 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 have no political power and no access to it either. Plus, they are not over water either, so rule over nobody. Their power is religious power only and have no dominion over the nations during this time.
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 fornicating with the kings of the earth (illegitimate births do occur sometimes because of fornication, 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.
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 we call 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 says that "one is". This is the moment from which he was speaking to John. Based on the evidence demonstrated so far, it should be clear that this is sometime after February 15, 1798.
But 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" must refer to the body of the beast, and for his purposes of explaining the vision, it did not include the heads and horns.
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".
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:
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, just like is done 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 7 heads of the beast in the desert, this represents that she is sitting upon all of them at once. Thus, because she is there after February 15, 1798, this means that all 7 of those heads must exist during the same time frame. This means the heads cannot exist prior to that time.
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 king 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).|
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.
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:
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 tha tis 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 artifical 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:
Notice 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, venemous, 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, iIt 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 actualy 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:
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 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.
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 teh 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 ehorns 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.
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 and control 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?
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 seling 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 monoply 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 powver 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 eleft 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 orrder to receive a kingdom, the woman fornicatied 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 Revelatino 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 Revelatin 13 and 17, which, as of July of 2013, is yet future. More will be said about the ten kings in the overview section.
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.
I have updated the web page on July 16, 2013, and may make a few more changes over the next few days, after which I'll remove this paragraph. Just expect that there might be a few changes over the next few days, but do understand that the material which needs to be there is written here.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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 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 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. 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.
|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.
(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:
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)||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.
|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:
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.
|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||
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:
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.
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:
|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 here must be symbolic rather than the literal city of God that will come down from heaven after the millennium is finished. Recall that until Jesus comes, the righteous are symbolically said to be in Jerusalem (Revelation 14:1), which apparently 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 outside the city. Or in other words, the wicked and wolves in sheep's clothing are seen by God as being outside the true church and are not counted among God's people, and they are laying siege to the symbolic city, 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. Revelation 14:20 merely tells us that the wicked will be trying to kill the righteous at the end before Jesus comes again, but God intervenes and kills them in order to protect his people. .
So, before the end, there is a war against God's people. This war starts before the seven last plagues begin to fall and many of God's people will be killed. It is a war after all, and people do die in a war. 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. The first one is done for those who have claimed Jesus as their Saviour 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 preced 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.
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.
|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.
|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:
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:
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). 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 already ready to change his name jas we know he has said he wants to change his Papal name, which means we have a very good chance that he will be the eighth. But 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. 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 is automatic for him.
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:
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:
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 (which is what we call the Beast formula where the Revelation 13 sea beast = Roman Church + Leaders of the Nations). In these two verses, 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 same as the beast working in cooperation with the nations to persecute those the church claims are heretics. 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 same as the beast (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 here 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 showed the woman 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 6 heads running together or in parallel with one another.
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 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:
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. Unfortunately, people tend to think of the word king as referring to just one individual king, which causes confusion when reading the prophecies. 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.
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:
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 fornicating with the kings of the earth. Therefore, her history begins by being upon the many waters fornicating with the kings of the earth, then she moves to sit upon the 7 heads of the beast in the desert, and finally, she moves back to sitting on the waters and is busy fornicating 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 will 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.
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 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 he 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. 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 have their power and authority over to the beast. Only outside of Europe could that happen.
Now the question is, where would 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 our 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 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 it 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? 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 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 in the end, the eighth becomes their master and only then 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. 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 almost all 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 apparently 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 then this is done.
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. The beast formula, which is stated in both Revelation 13 AND in Revelation 17 (stated two different places and two different ways), indicates that the 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. Because it is stated twice in two different ways in two different chapters, you can be quite certain that it is not a copy mistake.
Now, consider this question carefully: how likely is it that the returned beast will turn on the woman when the Bible makes it plain that the woman herself is part of the beast? For this to happen means that the woman turns on herself, which makes no sense whatsoever. 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 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 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 indirectly telling us that the woman has power over the nations by leveraging it through their kings.
Again, 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. 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 it 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. BUT, she does not learn from the opportunity given to her. 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.
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 undrestanding 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 sono 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.
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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.
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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 find out how the number 666 was originally calculated and how it was understood in John's day. This does NOT mean finding out how John saw it, but rather finding out how those in John's day who understood and calculated the number saw it. Because the woman in Revelation 17 is part of the church-state beast (you should remember this from the Beast Formula) and she is said to be Babylon and the number 666 is the number of the church-state beast, we believe it is reasonable to look to ancient Babylon to find out how this was number was originally calculated.
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 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.
Because the woman is said to be Babylon, 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 t olook to ancient Babylon for the source of the number and the method of calculation. This then becomes the model for how to 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 applied it to their gods. This gets interesting when one realizes that the mountains of Revelation 17 clearly symbolizes the lines of kings who claim to be Gods. So, though the Bible gives no specific instruction about how the number is to be calculated, it almost certainly must come from Babylon because of the following facts and clues:
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 teh 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:
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 te 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||
|Benedict XVI (remember, he is actually the 15th Benedict because there was no Benedict X)||
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.
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 thoses events have happened, here is what the math will look like after the eighth has come:
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:
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 afer Francis and that Benedict XVI will not come back. Well, nobody can be forced to believe that he wil 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.
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:
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. Sncie it arrives only when the last line fell becasue 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|
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:
By the name line count, Benedict XVI has the number 666 now. But by the 7+8th ount, 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?
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.
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 Revelatino 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 die.
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 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. 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 does begin to do this, 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 Unitetd 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. 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 governmnet 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 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 been replaced by 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 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 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 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. 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. 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.
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 will 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. But that is a question we probably will have to ask God about someday.
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 loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
Revelation 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Revelation 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
These messages can be summarized briefly like this:
Just before Jesus comes, during the time of the 8th, but before the close of the investigative judgment in heaven, two additional messages of the angels of Revelation 14 will join with the first three angels' messages, the first of which will especially empower the third angel's message, and will help finish the work of spreading the gospel of Jesus to the whole world. After the gospel has spread to the whole world and all have made their final decisions as to whose side they will be on, God's side or Satan's side, the judgment by God of all who have ever claimed Christ will be finished. Soon after that, the seven last plagues will occur and then the end will come! Human history on this earth with all of its wars, death, disease, famine, hururicanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and myriad other destroying things, will be over as we know it at that point. for the next thousand years everyone will either be dead or living in heaven.
It can be shown that the last two angels of Revelation 14 have messages which are essentially the same as the two messages given in Revelation 18:1-3 and 18:4. Here are the last two messages the world is to ever hear:
Here is predicted a time when all nations collaborate with the Papal power and earth beast (USA) by enforcement of Christian Sunday worship rather than obey God who says we must worship on Saturday, the 7th day of the week according to the 4th commandment. God sends a powerful message world wide to warn them of their mistake in choosing to obey the pope, and those not responding to the last warning to this earth will be subjected to the 7 vials of God's wrath described in Revelation 16 AND the Bible says they will die in hell fire (Revelation 14:10) . Thus, there is a double punishment that God has in store for those who do not choose for God when this time comes. God wants us to understand just how important it is to make the right choice because it is literally the last chance.
Do understand that one reason the nations of earth, including the United States, will almost certainly choose to combine church and state near the end is because it will appear to the people and leaders of the nations that this is the only course of action that they can take to prevent a much greater danger they will be facing. Nations do not normally act without good reasons, but rather they usually make their choices because of "good reasons" perceived to be in their own best interest. In the future (as of march of 2006), something that they perceive as a threat (maybe several such things) causes them to see combining with the power of the churches as the only logical course open to them. Thus, to the nations, the religious leaders, and the civilians, it will appear to be the right course of action. But God has a different opinion of their choices and says it is diametrically opposed to God's will and is a terrible mistake. If you want to understand one of the major forces that drives the nations towards this type of choice, see the section called Muslims in Bible Prophecy.
Revelation 1612-16 - The Protestant Churches discover that they have been deceived by the beast (the last pope beast) and withdraw their support for him. Still, they and the beast want to destroy God's people, so they gather together in preparation to kill them.
Revelation 16:17-21 - They move forward to kill God's people, but God intervenes and he destroys them as he comes to rescue his people. He destroys the wicked because that is the only way to protect his people. The end arrives. Human history as we know it will end on that day. Christ comes to the earth
under the 7th vial and the battle of
Armageddon takes place.
Revelation 11:19 - As Christ returns to the earth, in the sky God displays the ark of the testimony. The 10 commandments written with God's own finger will appear in the sky for all to see. Then the inhabitants of the earth will see God never changed His 10 laws that He wrote out for Moses. Man will see that he has been fighting God by enforcing the system of worship in which church and state are combined and Sunday worship is enforced against God's express will. They will think they have been doing God's bidding, but in reality they have been enforcing man's laws and traditions, an action instigated by Satan. As they gaze into the sky and read these 10 precepts, they see the 4th commandment is still binding, which says:
Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exodus 20:9 Six days shall you labor, and do all your work:
Exodus 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates:
Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day: therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
"...for God blessed it and sanctified it" (Gen 2:3). God's Sabbath is the Seal of God that is placed on the foreheads of God's people (Revelation 14), the counterpart of the Mark of the BEAST that is placed on the Apostate people's foreheads in Revelation 13 (which is another reason that we know that enforcement of Sunday worship will occur under the combined church and state system). This reflects issues of character because those who have the character of God will keep ALL of God's laws, including the Sabbath Commandment of the Ten Commandments. Therefore, the seal of God placed in the forehead of God's people, is the character of God and is the keeping of the true Sabbath.
Enforced worship by any government will only end up in failure. God wants service to Him from love, not force. God is love. Force is a principle of the evil one (Satan). Force of government will never change the human heart. It will strike fear in the mind, to be sure, and may force a change in outward behavior, but it cannot change the inner mind.
Throughout history man has sought to appease the gods when disaster strikes. As the judgments of God come upon the earth, as the end approaches, in the forms of fire, flood, earthquake, famine, hurricanes, cyclones or typhoons, tsunamis, etc., and as these judgments affect our lives and comfort, man will eventually seek to appease God by enforcing Sunday laws (these will be laws not just prohibiting you from buying or selling on Sunday, but will eventually legally require that you keep Sunday as a holy day, and death if you do not do so), thinking these laws will stop these divine judgments, when in reality the judgments are intended to cause the people to study and search the scriptures to find the true cause of divine judgment.
Most will not bother to do this and of those relatively few who do, many of them will not search for real truth, but only read it to support that which they want to believe and to support their own opinions. If they search the Bible this way, they will never find the real truth. They must be willing to obey ALL of God's commandments and they must be willing to lay aside their own opinions and let God's word speak for itself through the aid of the holy Spirit of God. Only then will they find real truth. It would be wonderful if all people were that way, but it is not to be. Satan controls many and they won't break free.
But how about you? Where will you be when that time comes? Whose side will you take? God's side or Satan's side? Your eternal destiny depends on your choice. Make it a good one!
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