Showing posts with the label Beast

No Neutrality

In the book of Revelation , humanity is divided into two and only two camps – those who follow Jesus “ wherever he goes ,” and those who give their allegiance to the “ Beast from the Sea .” Members of the former group will not participate in the “ Second Death ,” but everyone without exception who takes the beastly mark will experience it in the “ Lake of Fire .” THERE IS NO THIRD OPTION .

Beast Goes to War

The book of Revelation uses “ war ” and related terms to illustrate Satan’s attacks against the followers of the “ Lamb .” The book shows no interest in conventional or nuclear warfare between nation-states. Instead, the “ Dragon ” strives mightily to annihilate the church before his allotted time expires, and to do so, he employs deception, compromise, and outright persecution.

The Choice

In Revelation , every man and woman is either “ tabernacling in heaven ” or included among the “ inhabitants of the earth .” These descriptions are NOT geographical or spatial. Instead, they reflect the allegiance of either group. A man or woman either belongs to “ heaven ” or to the “ earth .” Those who “ tabernacle in heaven ” elect to “ follow the Lamb wherever he goes ” no matter the cost.

Little Horn - Interpretation

The second half of the seventh chapter interprets the vision that concluded in a judgment and with a declaration. The one “ like a Son of Man ” received the kingship from the “ Ancient of Days ” so now “ all peoples, races, and tongues should render homage to him; his dominion was an everlasting dominion, which should not pass away ” - (Daniel 7:9-14).

Babel Lives

Babylon is both a historic political entity and a symbol of the recurring rise of empires and self-appointed world rulers .  There is a larger and older story behind the visions of  Daniel  than meets the eye, one that remains relevant to this day. The book focuses on the  Empire  that has been attempting to rule the world since the dawn of human history.

Beastly Number

The number of the beast, 666, is based on the dimensions of the great image erected by Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon .  The “ Beast from the earth ,” the “ False Prophet ,” uses economic coercion and religious deception to induce men and women to “ render homage to the beast ,” and to erect an image to honor it. All who give allegiance to the “ Beast ” take its “ mark ” and “ number .” In the book of  Revelation , this description uses language and imagery from the third chapter of  Daniel .

Fifth Bowl

The first “ four bowls ” destroyed the economic infrastructure used by the  World Empire  to dominate the “ inhabitants of the earth ” and wage war on the “ saints .” This undermined the very global commerce on which the “ Beast ” system depends for wealth and power. Now, the “ fifth bowl ” targets its political power and prestige.

Lamb or Beast

In Revelation, humanity is divided into two and only two groups – followers of the Lamb and subjects of the Beast .  Every man and woman either “ tabernacles in heaven ” or is included among the “ inhabitants of the earth .” These descriptions are  NOT  geographical or spatial. Instead, they reflect the  ALLEGIANCE OF EITHER GROUP .

Two Beasts Destroyed

The Rider on the White Horse destroys the beasts from the sea and the earth at the last battle, Armageddon  – Revelation 19:17-21.  In chapter 19 of  Revelation , John sees the destruction of the “ Beast from the sea ” and the “ false prophet ” at the final battle when the “ rider on the white horse ” overthrows the forces of “ Gog and Magog .” The passage does not state where this occurs other than on planet earth. The focus is on the destruction of the two beasts and their consignment to the “ Lake of Fire. ”

Lamb Overcomes the Beast

The Lamb overcomes the Beast and Babylon because he is the “Lord of lords, and King of kings”  –  Revelation 17:14-18 .  Next, John was provided with the interpretation of what he saw - “ Babylon ” is the “ great city ” that sways the political powers of the earth in alliance with the “ beast ,” and her persecution of the “ saints ” is an extension of the Dragon’s “ war ” against them. But Jesus overcomes the “ beast ” and “ Babylon ,” though he does so in unexpected and paradoxical ways.

Babylon Rides the Beast

Babylon, the Great Harlot, for centuries has ridden the Beast from the Sea and its seven heads and ten horns  – Revelation 17:7-13.  Cosmic “ Babylon ” sits on the same malignant creature that John saw earlier “ ascending from the sea .” It combines the four “ beasts from the sea ” presented in the book of  Daniel . Now, we discover its “lineage” and preview its destruction described with language from Daniel’s vision of the “ fourth beast ” and the “ little horn .”

Beastly Economics

The second Beast employs economic pressure to coerce men so they swear allegiance to the Beast from the sea .  The “ False Prophet ” uses the economic power of the “ Beast ” against anyone who refuses to render homage to the  World Empire , and the “ mark of the Beast ” enforces submission. The ability to impose monetary penalties on nations, communities, and individuals is key to the Beast’s power.

Beast Rising

The subject of the “ Antichrist ” raises many questions. Who is he? When will he appear? How will we recognize him? What is his “ mark ”? In popular preaching, he is a global political leader who uses military might to subjugate other nations and attack Israel. But if Satan is truly clever and cunning, why would he do the very things that we expect?

Ancient Serpent

The Beast from the sea is the latest incarnation of the ancient creature that has stalked the seed of the woman since the sin of Adam .  History repeats itself. Its landscape is littered with efforts by tyrants and empires to dominate large populations and even the entire planet. They may experience success for a time, but so far, every self-appointed world ruler has floundered in the end. The empires of Nebuchadnezzar, Caesar, and Charlemagne have all been confined to history’s dustbin.

Beast from the Abyss

The “ Abyss ” was introduced when the “ fifth trumpet ” sounded and demonic hordes “ ascended ” from it. It is referred to next after the “ Two Witnesses ” complete their “ testimony .” On cue, the “ Beast ascends from the Abyss ” to attack and slay them, but only after they finish their prophetic mission.

Boastful Mouth

In  Revelation , the “ little horn ” is  NOT  explicitly named but its characteristics are present in the “ Beast from the sea .” But the book does not retell the same story without changes. Instead, it modifies and repurposes it to tell  ITS  story. The “ Beast ” is based on Daniel’s “ little horn ,” but it also is something beyond it, and arguably, far worse.

Fourth Beast

The fourth beast is the focus of the vision, especially its little horn with a mouth speaking great things .  The fourth “ beast ” is presented in more detail than the first three.  It is the center of the vision. The other “ beasts ” provide background information for the rise of this kingdom. Unlike the first three, it has no analog in the animal kingdom. It is an unnatural creature with “ iron teeth ” and “ ten horns .”

Bear and Leopard - Identities

In Daniel’s vision, how do we identify the second and third kingdoms, the Bear and the Leopard ?  In his vision, Daniel saw “ four beasts   ascending ” from the sea. The first three featured characteristics from the animal kingdom - the winged lion, the bear, and the leopard with two pairs of wings.

Beast's Global Dominion

The kings and the inhabitants of the earth refuse to follow the Lamb. Instead, they give homage to the beast .  In  Revelation , there are no geographic restrictions on the reign of the “ beast .”  ALL  the “ inhabitants of the earth ” take its “ mark ” and bow to its “ image .” Not a single government resists the final incarnation of the “ ancient serpent ,” for it is granted “ authority over every tribe, people, tongue and nation .”

Counterfeit Christ

In chapter 13, John sees a “ Beast ascending from the Earth ,” the “ False Prophet .” His intent is to deceive the “ inhabitants of the earth .” The first “ Beast ” that John saw “ ascending from the sea ” is characterized by its political power. In contrast, the “ False Prophet ” uses religion and propaganda to deceive, and economic control to suppress anyone who does not submit to the beastly agenda.