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The Beast, Pt. 2

Scripture: Revelation 13:, Revelation 14:9-10, Daniel 7:24
Yesterday we introduced one of the most interesting and urgent prophecies in the Bible revolving around the activities of the beast of Revelation 13. The most terrible punishment of all time is pronounced against any who follow the beast power.
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Yesterday we introduced one of the most interesting and urgent prophecies in the Bible revolving around the activities of the beast of Revelation 13. The most terrible punishment of all time is pronounced against any who follow the beast power. Listen once more to the solemn words of warning in Revelation 14:9, 10, “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 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.”

There it is in language so clear that none need fail to see its vital importance. Now let’s read the Bible description of that beast in Revelation 13:1-3. “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 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.” Now you will immediately recognize that this is not a literal animal but a symbolic prophetic representation. But the Scriptures provide the key of interpreting the different symbols. For instance, the animal comes up out of water. Revelation 17:15 tells us, “The waters which thou sawest are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”

Now this helps, but what about the other strange parts of this beast? It has the body of leopard and the mouth of a lion and the feet of a bear. Going back to Daniel 7:2, 3 we read that a similar vision was seen by the prophet Daniel. He saw the same water which symbolizes people, but notice what came up out of the water. “And four great beasts came up from the seam diverse one from another.” Daniel saw four animals instead of just one as John did in Revelation. And the angel explains another key to Daniel about animals and prophecy. Notice verse 17 in chapter 7, “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.” And verse 23 says, “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon the earth.” Friends, here are the only four world empires of history represented by animals. Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece and Rome, arising one after another from 606 BC right on through till 476 AD when western Rome collapsed. The lion, bear, leopard and terrible nondescript beast symbolized those great pagan kingdoms which ruled the earth during those years. The last kingdom of Rome was to be divided into ten parts. Listen, it had ten horns and it was described like this in Daniel 7:24, “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise.” And sure enough history records that when the Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476 AD that territory was divided into exactly ten parts. Now this is amazing, friends. These ten parts were those northern tribes; the Anglo-Saxons, Huns, Heruli, Vandals, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Suevi, Lombards, Burgundians and Franks. And by the way, seven of them survive until this very day in the form of modern nations.

Now we are prepared to read verse 8 of this prophecy. “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” Friends, here we must be very careful indeed. We must not make a mistake about the identity of this little horn because it will prove to be the great anti-Christ power of history. In order to avoid all mistakes of identity, I will read nine identifying characteristic right out of the Bible.

These characteristics will apply to only one power, so we can be sure of the interpretation. First, the little horn came up among the ten, we are told plainly. This places it geographically in Western Europe. Second, it came up after the ten arose, because it came up “among the ten.” And since the ten came up in 476 AD, the little horn would have to arise sometime after 476 AD. Third, it would uproot three of the ten tribes when it would come forth. Verse 8 says that before the little horn, “there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots.” And sure enough, three of them were plucked up and disappeared completely- the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths.

Next point, point number four, it says that this little horn would have “eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things.” (verse 8). This means a man would be at the head of the power. Fifth, “he shall be diverse from the first (horns).” Verse 24. This means that the little horn would be a different kind of power from the political powers which preceded it. Now let’s go on to the sixth characteristic in the first part of verse 25, “And he shall speak great words against the most High.” Another text says, “great words and blasphemies.”

Here we ought to define from the Bible the meaning of blasphemy. In John 10:30-33, Jesus was about to be stoned for claiming to be One with the Father. The Jews who were about to kill Him said, “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” According to this text then it is blasphemy for a man to be accorded the place of God. Of course Jesus was God, and it was not blasphemy for Him. Now read Mark 2:7 for another definition of this word; Jesus had forgiven a man his sins, and the scribes said, “Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?” Now, clearly Jesus was not a blasphemer because He was God, but for a man to make such claims would constitute blasphemy. And so we see then how these identifying marks were so clearly given in the Bible.

Now we move on to the seventh point of identity in verse 25 “and shall wear out the saints of the Most High.” This tells us that the little horn is a persecuting power. Let’s remember that, as we begin to seek for the identity. The eighth mark is also given in verse 25, “and think to change times and laws.” Let me say this, friends, God’s law can’t be changed, but this power would try to do it. That’s identifying point number eight. But now ninth, we read in verse 25 just how long this little horn would exercise power in the earth, “and they shall be given into his had until a time and times and the dividing of time.” How long is that? This is a strange prophetic way of speaking. How long is a “time”?

The answer is found by comparing Revelation 12:6 with Revelation 12:14. These tow verses speak of the same event, but they us different descriptions of the time involved. Verse 14 says, “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times and half a time.” That’s the same period that the little horn is going to rule the earth. But verse 6 says, “And the woman fled into the wilderness, a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” In other words, friends, “a time times and half of times” is equal to 1260 days. This means that a “time” is a year, and a “half of time” is a half year, and that’s three and a half years. That is equal to 1260 days exactly-giving the Bible year of 360 days to a year.

Now, we must apply the prophetic rule of a day for a year. Please take note, that always in prophetic reckoning, a day represents a year. This is not true in history or narrative, it’s only true in the prophetic parts of the Bible. In Ezekiel 4:6 we read that a rule or that key, “I have appointed thee each day for a year.” God spoke these words to the prophet. Further support for this is found in Numbers 14:34. This method of reckoning time must always be applied in the study of the Bible prophecy. This means that the little horn power would rule for 1260 years, instead of 1260 days.

Now we’ve completed the nine points of identity. There they are, friends. If you’ve marked them down you have an impressive list with the Bible’s own word, the description of God concerning the identification of this power. Now you may be wondering what this has to do with the beast of Revelation 13. We’re now ready to identify that strange composite symbol. Let’s read the description of that beast again with the body of the leopard, the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion in Revelation 13:5: “And there were given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies.” Notice that this beast of Revelation does exactly the same thing as the little horn of Daniel 7.

Revelation 13:5 continues, “and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” Friends that is exactly 1260 days-the same as the little horn of Daniel. They rule for the same period, they do the same thing, so they are one and the same. Then in verse 7, “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.” The beast would be a persecuting power, and we read in Daniel 7 that the little horn would be a persecuting power as well. They both do the same things, and they rule for the same period. Both are symbolic of the very same power.

Now notice one further thing in closing today, friends. The beast of Revelation 13 is made up of the four beasts that Daniel saw in his vision. The lion, the bear, the leopard and the nondescript animal of Daniel are all brought into that beast of Revelation 13. What does that signify? Why did God put all of those pagan kingdoms into that one animal that John saw in Revelation 13? Now, we’ve identified the animal, of course. We’ve given you the list. And do you know that you could take that list right down to the library tomorrow morning and look into the history and find what it represents, because there’s only one power in history to which all this could apply. You have nine marks there that could tell you exactly where to look and how to find the answer. So in our next broadcast we are going to continue this very fascinating study, and find out why the beast of Revelation 13 is made up of those four beasts of Daniel 7, the lion, the bear, the leopard and the fourth nondescript animal.

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