Who is the beast with 7 heads and 10 horns in Revelation?

Scripture: Revelation 17:3, Revelation 13:3
Revelation chapter 17 describes a woman riding this strange beast that's full of blasphemy. What does this mean, who is this beast, and who is the woman?
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Caller: Doug I was interested in Revelation chapter 17 verse 3 where John says, 'so he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness.' I heard a Minister once say, or actually a Revelation Seminar once say that John's viewpoint here is at the end of the wilderness period, which was like 1798 - and he was looking back. And the five that were fallen were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Pagan Rome, Papal Rome. All of those had fallen and this scarlet-colored beast was something other than what most people say because the woman sits and rides it. I was just wondering if you think that this scarlet beast here is the same composite beast of Revelation 13?

Pastor Doug: All right. Well the beast in Revelation 13 is the same beast you find in Revelation 17. The big difference is there's a woman sitting on the beast in Revelation 17. That beast in Revelation 13 is the devil working through the Roman Empire ruled by Caesars. Same beast. There aren't too many beasts floating around with seven heads and ten horns that are that color.

The difference is now you've got a woman - a woman is a symbol of a church - that is controlling the government of Rome. Because when you sit on a horse, the rider should be controlling the horse. This woman is sitting on or riding the beast. Now you've got a church controlling a government. And there's no question about the beast in Revelation 12, because it tells us that that beast tries to devour the Baby Jesus when He's born. Well that was King Herod using Roman soldiers and the Roman government to try and destroy the Child.

So now you get to Revelation 17 and it's a woman sitting on that beast. Now a church has become involved in manipulating the Roman government. But let me share something with you it may be a little different view. It talks about the different heads. It says these are seven mountains. Of course, Rome is called the city of seven hills. And it says there are seven kings - five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come.

Now do you have a pencil?

Caller: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Ok. This is Pastor Doug's slant on this. I used to do seminars on Revelation. These heads not only represent the seven hills, they represent kings as well that persecuted God's people. You've got Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. Five that were in the past when John has this vision, all five of those powers occupied the children of Israel and persecuted them.

Those are all in the past. It says five are fallen. It says one is - that was Rome, Pagan Rome ruled by the Caesars. And it says the other is not yet come, and when he is come, he must continue a short space. That's Papal Rome ruled by the church and it says he's also the eighth. Why? You go to Revelation 13, it says he gets a deadly wound but he comes back again. For me, this has been very satisfying. When I matched it with everything else in Bible history and the Old Testament, it fits. These are the powers that persecuted God's people all through time, and all the way to the end actually.

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