The Beast of Revelation 13, Pt. 1

The Beast of Revelation 13, Pt. 1

Now friends, Daniel had never seen anything like this animal. He knew exactly what a bear, and a lion, and a leopard look like, but we call this fellow the nondescript beast.

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Joe Crews: Now friends, Daniel had never seen anything like this animal. He knew exactly what a bear, and a lion, and a leopard look like, but we call this fellow the nondescript beast. Cruel, bloodthirsty, tramples down, destroys everything that gets to the way of it. Now here is the ...

Moderator: Amazing facts speaker, Joe Cruz, deals with one of the most outstanding prophecies ever written. Stay tuned for the Crusade subject, The Beast of Revelation 13.

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Joe: I'd like to make a little statement tonight as we get into this special series of studies on Daniel and Revelation. Now, I'm sure many of you have heard Amazing Facts either on radio or television. I'm sure you have because we were on the air right here in this area. You probably know that we at Amazing Facts have a little reputation and speaking out very strong and very straight when it comes to the truth. Now, I believe, friends, that we're living so late in time, we're right down at the very end of this world history and we can't afford to just beat around the bush and talk in generalities our platitudes. I believe the time has come for us to address things directly, and to speak out and draw straight lines, and to tell the truth in a very straightforward manner.

Now, I believe we're living in a world when people want it that way because everybody seems to sense that things are running out and unraveling. Whatever we're going to learn, we better learn it fast. Whatever we're going to do, we better do it fast, because the end of all things is approaching.

We are going to be speaking very strong and straight here concerning truth in these meetings. I can almost guarantee that any of you who are here right now will get your toes stepped on, you'll get hit over the head, or something will happen that will be a little bit painful concerning truth, because, listen, the truth hurts, doesn't it? The truth is painful sometimes for us to accept and that's why I'm telling you in advance and I'm warning you that we're going to be saying some things here that may be just a little bit painful, but still, they need to be sad.

I think you want them to be said, I think that's why you're here. You're not here to be entertained, you're here to learn the truth out of this Book, friends. God has revealed a lot of things in this book, His blessed will is unfolded here in the pages of this Bible and I'm going to be speaking very strong and very straight about it. I believe you want it that way. I hope you do anyway. Now, maybe or not, let me ask you, let me be sure of this before we go any further here. How many of you really want me to speak out and tell it like it is and speak the truth, even if it hurts you? Let me see your hands. All right.

Now, let me tell you something, I was going to do that anyway, but I'm glad you feel that way because now I know that you won't get up and walk out just because you hear something, maybe, that you've never heard in your life before. I'll tell you something else folks, when God speaks in this Book, He also lays it on the line and speaks very strong and direct, doesn't he? Especially when it comes to these great prophecies. I might as well tell you right now that when we get into these tremendous lines of Bible prophecy, God will be speaking out and identifying nations and even great religious system, sometimes. He really does.

In fact, we're going to find that all of the great systems of religion have been identified in Bible prophecy. Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism. Sometimes, God speaks in correction and judgment. I just want you to understand that when we come to it because don't take anything personally as we study here because God is talking about systems. He's not talking about individuals but let's be ready for it. Whatever God has to say to us out of the Bible, if we can prove it there in the word of God, let's not get discouraged or upset by it. Let's accept it and know that God is speaking something that will be very helpful for us in our preparation for his soon coming kingdom.

I just gave this as a little bit of background as we enter our study now and turn for our first text tonight, to Revelation 14:9-10. This, by the way, is one of the most fearful texts to be found in the entire Bible, because it describes the most awful punishment that will come to anybody in human history. It says, "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, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture, and to 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."

Now, there it is, that is the worst thing that will ever happen to anybody. Those who follow the beast, those who receive the mark of the beast. The Bible says that these people will be cast into the lake of fire, they'll be destroyed, they'll have no hope, whatsoever, or salvation. Now, friends, I tell you tonight, that this is the most serious topic that I could ever be presenting to you. There is a terrible responsibility placed upon me to make this clear to you so that when you walk out of here, you will know who this beast is, and how to avoid this terrible mark of the beast. Now, I might as well say also that the majority of Christians today have no idea at all as to what this beast really is.

You meet an average Christian on the street today and ask him the question, say, "Can you tell me, friends, what is that beast over there in Revelation, what is that mark of the beast, which is going to cause millions of people to be destroyed?" Well, this average Christian will say, "I'm sorry, I don't know that. I know that it comes out of the book of Revelation and that's a very strange mixed-up book. It's all scrambled up with a lot of symbols and I really don't understand it, and I don't know very many people that do." Now folks, if we don't know what the mark of the beast is, then, we don't even know whether we have it or not, do we? We've got to find out.

God is not going to warn us about something that would be absolutely fatal and cause us to be lost and then turn around and say, "No, I'm not going to tell you what it is. If you happen to have it down at the end of the road, too bad for you, into the fire you go." Now, God is not like that. If he warns us about something, He's also going to tell us how to avoid it. That's what we're going to be finding out here in the next few nights. Now, when I was growing up in North Carolina, I remember every evangelist who came along had a different idea, a different interpretation about the beast. I can still remember them saying that it was Mussolini and Hitler, back in those days.

Then later, they said, it was Stalin and Khrushchev, and then, more recently, they said, it was Henry Kissinger, and even Ronald Reagan, and all kinds of personal interpretations. Well now, we're not here to guess or speculate, tonight, friends. You're not going to be exposed to any kind of guesswork, it's all going to come right out of this Book. Not because Joe Cruz has any wisdom but because this book is going to reveal to us, without any question, as to the identity of this strange beast. Now, let's turn to Revelation 13, and read the actual description of this animal. Revelation 13 and we're going to read verses 1-3.

"And I stood upon the sand of the sea and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having 7 heads and 10 horns, and upon his horns, 10 crowns, and upon his heads, a name of blasphemy. 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. 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." Now friends, here it is, one of the strangest animals that John sees here, coming up out of the sea.

I want you to notice something about this strange composite animal, it is not literal at all. It is impossible, for it to be a real creature, no one ever saw an animal with the body of a leopard, and the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion, and with 7 heads and 10 horns. This is symbolism, in other words, it represents something. Now, I could stand here all night and guess about who this beast might represent, and we gain nothing. We must not guess, we must let the Bible explain what all the parts of this animal really represent. Each part is symbolic. The water, for example, notice, the animal comes up out of the water. Well, now, that is symbolic of something.

What does it represent? Well, look at Revelation 17:15, and we're plainly told, "He said unto me, the waters which thou sawest are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tombs." Now, there it is, friends, anytime that you read, in the symbolic parts of the Bible, about water, this definition will prevail. It represents people, a lot of people. We speak about a sea of faces, symbolically then, the water or the sea represents a lot of people. Whatever this animal represents, it will be coming up in an area that's very heavily populated with a lot of people because it comes up out of the water.

Now, what about the other parts of the strange animal, the feet, the heads, and the horns, and so forth, what do they represent? In order to find that, we must go back to the Old Testament book of Daniel. In fact, we'll find here that these two books of the Bible are actually complementary to each other. They explain each other. You cannot understand one of them without also understanding the other one. Then, the seventh chapter of Daniel, we find that he had a very similar vision to the one John had in the book of Revelation. In verse two of Daniel 7, notice these words. "Daniel speak and said, "I saw, in my vision by night, and behold the four winds of the heavens strove upon the great see."

Now, there's the same water that John saw in the book of Revelation. What does water represent? It represents people. What does he see, friends? Instead of just one animal coming up out of that water, he sees four of them. Verse 3 says, "And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another." Now, what do these animals represent? Let's drop down to verse 17 and find out what these things mean. Verse 17 says, "These great beasts which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth." All right now, these four animals represent what? Four kings, or four kingdoms, or nations.

Now, this is not unusual, friends, because we have this even in our modern political vocabulary, don't we? We have the American eagle and we have the Russian bear and so forth. Well now, God did this long before man ever thought of doing it. He said, "I'm going to use animals to represent countries or nations," and he said, "These four animals that are coming up out of the sea, are four kingdoms or four nations that will come up." Well now, it is very interesting, friends, that, since the days of Daniel, there have only been four world empires, and here, God uses these animals to symbolize their appearance on the scene of history and their march across the stage.

Now, let's look at them one by one. Beginning there in verse 4 it says, "The first was like a lion and had eagle's wings." All right, this would be then, the first world empire back there in the days of Daniel. We know who that was, of course, every schoolboy who studied any kind of ancient history knows that Babylon The Great came up back there in 606 BC. This lion, the king of beast. By the way, that's a very fit symbol for the grand nation of Babylon. It had one of the wonders of the world in it. The walls of Babylon, 200 feet tall, 75-feet-wide. Chariots could race along on top of those walls. God used the king of beasts to represent that tremendous grand Kingdom of Babylon.

Now, notice this animal has wings on its back. Now, this is a symbol for speed in the Bible and prophecy. Babylon came up, very quickly, to begin ruling the world in 606 BC and continued right on down to 538 BC. Then, folks, the second world power came forth in the form of another beast and we read about that in verse 5. It says, "And behold another beast, a second like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it." Now, as soon as Babylon went down in 538 BC, the second world empire came up, and that one was represented by this bear raised up on one side.

Now, I want you to see how exact God is in defining these details of prophecy for us and of history. The old bear raised up on one side. Now, who was the second world empire that followed hard on the heels of Babylon the great? Well, that was Medo-Persia, friends. Medo-Persia came up with that year, and Persians were stronger than the Medes, and God represented that by a bear that's humped up on one side representing the strength of the Persians on one side because they were stronger than the other. The three ribs here in the mouth of this bear representing, no doubt, the three provinces of that kingdom, Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt.

Now, Medo-Persia continued from 538 until 331. Now, you ought to be very thankful that I'm such a good teacher tonight that I'm not going to require you to learn, to memorize all these dates. Now, I will require you to remember one or two as we move further along, but I'm not requiring it right now. Medo-Persia ruled from 538 to 331 and then, we find another beast coming up another animal here described in Daniel 7:6. "After this, I beheld, and lo, another like a leopard, which had upon the back of it, four wings of a fowl." Now, here comes a leopard beast on the scene, friends, completely different from those other two beasts before it, and it would be representative of the third world empire.

Sure enough, when Medo-Persia went down, the Grecian Empire came up in 331 BC. Notice this animal's got four wings on the back of it.

In other words, it has double wings, representing tremendous rapidity. You see, Alexander the Great who was the first king of the Grecian Empire, travel fast, and he fought hard and conquered the world in just eight years. That's why you've got those double wings, representing the power and speed with which he conquered the entire world, but then, he could not conquer himself. He died as a young man.

Then, his kingdom was divided among his four generals, Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus, and Ptolemy, and you have them, symbolized in this picture, by the four heads, you see. Alexander dies, his four generals take over and you've got those four heads representing that succession of power among these four generals. This Kingdom of Greece continued on to 168, from 331 to 168 BC. We're back there now, before Christ, remember that, coming down nearer to his birth, but now, friends, we come to the fourth and final of the world empires described for us in verse 7.

He says, "After this, I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful, and terrible, and strong exceedingly, and it had great iron teeth.

It devoured, and break into pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it, and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it, and it had 10 horns." Now, friends, Daniel had never seen anything like this animal. He knew exactly what a bear, and a lion, and leopard look like, but we call this fellow the nondescript beast. Cruel, bloodthirsty, tramples down, destroys everything to get to the way of it.

Now, here is the fourth beast, friends, but now, what does the fourth beast represent? Come down with me to verse 23, I want you to see something very interesting. Now, in Daniel 7:23, it says, "Thus he said, the fourth Beast shall be the fourth Kingdom upon the earth." Now, tell me, what was the fourth world empire?

Congregation: Roman.

Joe: The Roman Empire. Every schoolboy knows that and yet, the Bible here described it and it said the fourth beast will be the fourth kingdom. There it is, the iron monarchy of Rome, that's a way Gibbon described it in his history book. This beast has great iron teeth. We have no other way to describe him except just a nondescript animal. Violent, fierce, and deadly to everyone and everything that it comes in contact with. All right, the Roman Empire then came up in 168 BC and continued ruling right on down past the birth of Jesus, unto 476 AD.

Now, friends, here's where you're going to have to remember a date. That date of the fall of the Roman Empire, you're going to have to put it down up here and remember it, 476 AD. You're a big class now and you're old enough now and big enough that you ought to be able to remember, at least, one date tonight. 476 AD is a fall of Western Rome. Say it with me so that I know you've got it 476 AD, what is that? That's the fall of Rome. Remember that now, we'll come back and quiz you on that as we get a little further along here in our study tonight, but let's come back to this, again, and look at those 10 horns.

You notice it says that it had 10 horns and you can see this in the picture in front of you. Now, what do these 10 horns represent? That's our next question. Come to verse 24 and we have the answer to the question. In verse 24 of Daniel 7. It says, "And The 10 horns out of this kingdom are 10 kings that shall arise." Now, follow this, how simple it is, how clear, how plain God makes these things. He says that 10 other kingdoms are going to come out of that Kingdom of Rome. He says these 10 horns are going to come up out of it and they will be 10 kings or divisions that will come from the old Roman Empire.

Now, did this actually happen, friends? Can we go to the pages of history and read anything about a division that took place there in 476 AD of that territory of Western Europe that had been controlled by the Roman Empire? Indeed, we can? You recall that those northern tribes came sweeping down and divided up that territory into, exactly, 10 parts. Now, I'm sure anybody here could stand up and give me the names of those 10 tribes, couldn't you? Well, I see some heads shaking. Some of you may remember some of them, at least, as I give them to you.

It'll all come back in your head, and you'll remember well, that's the one you missed on that test when you were in the seventh-grade, probably. Here they are now, these are the divisions that, actually, fell into place there after 476, A.D. The Vandals, the Ostrogoths, and the Heruli. The Anglo-Saxons, the Lombards, the Visigoths, the Suevi, the Alemanni, and the Burgundians. Now, those are familiar to you. Remember those names of those tribes that took over there when Rome fell? Now, friends, seven of those tribes are still with us tonight. They grew up into nations, changed their names and they're right there on the map of Europe to this very day.

The Anglo-Saxons became what country? England, of course. The Franks became France. The Lombards became Italy. The Visigoths became Spain. Suevi became Portugal. Alemanni became Germany. The Burgundians became Switzerland. Seven of them are still there with us. Three of them disappeared. They were destroyed and never grew up again. They are not represented tonight by any nation on the face of the earth. The Vandals, the Ostrogoths, and the Heruli were uprooted. They disappeared, and so, they are not in existence now. The next question, of course, is this, what happened to those three that they simply disappeared?

We find the answer, now, in verse 8. Look at verse eight carefully with me. "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." Now, the prophet looks at these ten horns, which came up in what year? 476 A.D and he says that a little horn came up among them and destroyed those three, completely uprooted them, and that's why we don't have them in the world today. That's why they disappeared from the pages of history.

They were destroyed by the little horn, which came up and destroyed them. Now, the next question that we're very interested in at this point, who is this little horn? Imagine a tiny-little horn, coming forth, that has such authority and such power, that it can simply wipe out three of these countries. My next question is this, what is the little horn? Who is the little horn? Because this, my friends, is going to fit in very, very, closely with our continued study here concerning the Antichrist? We want to make sure and certain that we have the right identification. We dare not guess or speculate about this, but I'm glad to tell you that we don't have to guess or speculate about it.

God, actually, gives us the identification of this little horn power. Now, He doesn't do it by just naming it here in black and white in the pages of the Bible. What He really does is to give us nine identifying marks, or characteristics, and He tells us that all of these characteristics will have to be possessed by the power that fulfills this sign. In other words, friends, whoever the little horn represents, it would have to do these nine things that are brought forth here in the Bible.

Moderator: Friends, Joe's message today, on the Beast of Revelation 13, is not only fascinating and interesting, it is critical for every Christian to understand and to know. We'd like to send you a copy of Joe's message today in print, but before I tell you the address and how to receive that, I'd like you to hear the Messengers sing, Looking For A City. It's taken from the idea in Hebrews of Abraham looking for a place that could be his eternal home, messengers.

Messengers:

I look for that city, down where the Jordan, down where the Jordan rolls.

I look for that haven, where we shall never grow old.

That city of light, down where the Jordan, down where the Jordan rolls.

Where angels are waiting, and we shall never grow old.

In the heavenly beauty, my heart is filled with, my heart's filled with love.

Oh, Mighty Redeemer, who lives and reigns above.

That city of light, down where the Jordan, down where the Jordan rolls.

Where angels are waiting, and we shall never grow old.

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