BEASTLY HEADS AND HORNS
By Jim Schucker
Probably the most interesting and also the most controversial subjects of the book of Revelation is the seven headed ten horned beasts of revelation 12, 13 and 17. The fact that this beast opens his mouth in blasphemy against God, makes war against the saints, is given power over all kindredís, tongues, nations, and all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life should give us a desire to have an accurate understanding of this subject. Needless to say, most donít, which is why it is possible for this beast to operate. But the one that understands who and what this beast is, will have a much greater faith and appreciation of the intricacy and detail with which God foretold the events that were to occur between Jesusí first and second advents.
In seeking an understanding of this beastly subject, let us first remember that the Bible is written like a mystery novel, in which the answers to the mystery are explained at the end. But alas if you read the conclusion to the novel before reading and understanding the entire novel, the conclusion itself becomes a mystery. So it is with Revelation. If you try to understand the beasts of revelation from Revelation alone, then you are not going to understand this beastly mystery! So what I hope to do in this treaties is to help point out where some of the many bits and pieces are that solve this beastly riddle.
The best place to begin is with #Re 13:1-2 for it is quite apparent, from these two verses, that the Lord is here pointing us to Daniel the 7th chapter for the following reasons: 1. The body parts from the 4 beasts in Daniel go into the makeup of the single beast of Revelation 13. In Daniel 7 we find a Lion, a Bear, a Leopard, and some strange beast, whose description is that of a mythological Dragon. The Rev 13 beast has the mouth of a Lion, the feet of a bear, the body of a leopard, and the dragon gave him his seat, authority and power.
2. The connection goes a step further when we realize that the total combined heads in Danielís 4 beasts is seven. Note- The Lion has 1 head, the Bear, 1 head, the Leopard, 4 heads, and the Dragon, 1 head. Totaling seven heads in both cases.
3. If thatís not enough to secure the connection then lets count the number of horns between Daniel and Revelation. In Johnís Revelation, he sees ten horns. Now in Danielís vision the Lion had no horns, the Bear had no horns, and the Leopard had no horns, but the Dragon has ten horns. Total 10 horns in both cases..From this we can see that God took the strongest body parts of Danielís vision such as the petrifying roar of a Lion, the powerful feet of a bear, the speed and camouflage capability of a leopard, and the mystical power of a furious dragon. These animals were used to describe the military prowess of the associated countries they represented. We are not suggesting that the beast of Revelation 13 is a combination of the four beasts of Daniel, but is another method of describing the horn that had the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things that grew out of the head of the dragon #Da 7:8. Note that the life expectancy of the Horn in Daniel was 1260 years and the Beast described in #Re 13:5 was to continue 1260 years. Also, the description of what the horn in Daniel did and what the beast of Rev does is the same. We are suggesting that the Revelation beast inherits the worldly characteristics (i.e. body parts) from the beasts in Daniel and is not as it claims, the kingdom of God on Earth. With this in mind, let us turn to Daniel 7 to be sure that we understand what the beasts of Daniel represent, and perhaps we will realize some points that are made in Daniel that were hidden until the light of Revelation came.
Most all commentators are agreed as to what the four beasts of Daniel represent the Lion represents Babylon, the bear Persia, the Leopard Greece, and the Dragon represents Rome. It is not my purpose here to go into the reasons why they represent these empires, but the most convincing argument given is that Daniel was concerned about his people (the Jewís), and the Lord was telling Daniel about the result of his anger toward the disobedient nation of Israel which would begin the 7 times punishment toward the Jewish nation for their transgressions of the Law given to them through Moses, mentioned in #Le 26:18-24 "And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins".
In #Le 26 the 7 times are mentioned 4 times. It is more than coincidence that there are 7 heads and 4 beasts in Danielís vision. Note that in the Lev 26 context it is stated "I will send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate." Surely the wild beasts of Daniel are here being referred to, and are not to be understood as literal animals. With this in mind most commentators look for those nations that ruled over Israel to represent the beasts of Danielís vision, hence the Lion represents Babylon, the bear Persia, the Leopard Greece, and the Dragon represents Rome.
These were the empires that ruled over the people of Israel during there 7 times punishment that began with Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon #Da 1:1.
Many feel that the reason the Lord used these particular "wild beasts" was to denote the military tactics used by these countries in overcoming their enemies. As the conquering nations overcame there enemies, Israel became part of the plunder. The heads of these beasts would logically represent the ruling cities, and the horns would represent separate powers that are in covenant relation to the head. The United States is a good example i.e. 1 head 50 horns or should we say 13 horns corresponding to the first 13 colonies. I mention the 50 or 13 for the United States to illustrate that during the 1260 years of Papal reign the number of horns that support the Papacy fluctuated, but started with 10. Note also in Daniel 7, three horns were plucked up by the roots by a new horn, leaving eight.
At this point we have indicated what the beasts themselves represent Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. So let us now turn our attention to the heads of these beasts. Three of the beasts heads are pretty simple, in that they have only one head. Babylonís capitol was the city of Babylon, Persiaís Capitol was Shushan (#Da 8:2), and Romeís Capitol was Rome. Greece however is a little more difficult in that it has 4 heads and therefore it is this point that needs to be investigated. The Lord helped us out in our understanding of this Leopard with four heads by giving us Daniel 8 which describes Greece from a slightly different aspect. In the 8th chapter we see two beasts and the lord tells us what they represent. The Ram with two horns is the Medo Persian Empire, and the Goat with the notable horn represents the Grecian Empire #Da 8:20-21. What is interesting between these two chapters is the different ways in which the Lord describes the same countries with two different sets of animals. In the 7th chapter of Daniel, the Persian empire is pictured as a Bear, but in the 8th chapter it is a 2 horned Ram. In the 7th chapter of Daniel, the Grecian empire is pictured as a 4 headed Leopard, but in the 8th chapter it is a 1, 4, or 5 horned Goat depending upon the time that is being described.
It is the dissimilarity between the heads and horns of these two chapters and a key given in Revelation that helps us to identify more closely what the real differences are between heads and horns. Briefly here is a list of the problems that need to be addressed between these two chapters.
1. Why does the Leopard-(Greece) have 4 heads and no horns, where as the Dragon-(Rome) has but one head and 10 horns. Why not 10 heads and 4 horns?
2. In chapter 8 the Ram-(Medo Persia) has one head and two horns. Why didnít the Lord put any horns or heads on the Persian Bear?
3. In chapter 8 the Goat-(Greece) has one head and depending on the timing, one, four, or five horns. Where as in chapter 7 the Leopard has 4 heads and no horns. Why heads in one illustration of Greece and horns in the other?
Obviously the Lord is trying to illustrate different things about the rise to power of these two countries. But what is he trying to illustrate and why did he do it they way he did. I would suggest the following. Chapter 7 is dealing primarily with those 4 beastly nations and the seven ruling cities that the Lord sent in to punish Israel to fulfill the 7 times punishment.
Whereas in chapter 8 he is dealing in greater detail about the Persian and.Grecian Empires, using the animals that those countries minted on their coins, and gives us clues as to what to look for in determining when and which horn on the Grecian Goat later becomes a head. By the way this is also exactly what Daniel the 11th chapter does, and is the reason why in Revelation the 17th chapter the Lord says "Here is the mind which hath wisdom" in other words this is not an easy subject. Daniel 7, 8, 11 & 12, Rev.12, 13, and 17 are all intricately woven together in a most wonderful way. To state it briefly, A head represents a foreign government that was to rule and become head over Israel, where as a horn, represents a division of power in that government.
Everyone recognizes that the 4 beasts rule in succession one after another, but it is a little trickier to name the successive ruling cities, not historically, but from the graphical imagery given here. The problem graphically is that it looks like the cities rule in the following order.
Babylon, Persia, the 4 divisions of Greece i.e. Macedonia, Egypt, Syria, and Thrace, and last but certainly not least Rome. But what do we find historically? Babylon at Babylon in BC 607 (the 1st head) began the gentile dominion over Israel, Persia at Shushan in BC 536 (the 2nd head), Greece at Pella under Alexander the Great in BC 336 (the 3rd head) (Dan, 11:3-4). After Alexander dies, his kingdom is divided to his four Generals, and General Ptolemy Soter of Egypt rules from Alexandria and obtains Israel in BC 323 (the 4th head) (note Dan:11:5-9). There is civil war in Greece between the north and the south and the Syrian King Antiochus the King of the north takes Israel in BC 198 (and becomes the 5th head) (note #Da 11:10-15).
At this point in time 3 of the 4 Grecian heads have successively ruled Israel i.e. Macedonia, Egypt, and Syria. There is but one Grecian head left, Thrace, the 4th division of the Grecian empire. Therefore, you would think at first glance that the next in line to take Israel would be Thrace, but the problem is as described in #Da 11:16 "he that cometh against him" (that is against the King of the North Syria) is not Grecian at all. "He that cometh against him" is a Roman (the 6th head) in BC 64. At this point many feel that maybe the four heads are only referring to the 4 divisions that Greece was divided into after Alexander, or maybe we missed Thraces rule. But let us not be so hasty, if this were the case there would be no difference between a head and a horn. Lets dig a little further. Maybe Revelation can shed a little light on this subject. Lets turn to Rev 17 and read versus 9-10. "And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 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". Wow!!, this must be the answer to our dilemma... "Five heads are fallen" Babylon at Babylon, Persia at Shushan, Greece at Pella, Greece at Alexandria, Greece at Antioch. At the time Revelation was given to the Apostle Paul, Rome the 6th head was ruling. That only leaves one head left Greece at where??? But wait a minute was there a Grecian kingdom left after Rome Conquered? Yes and no. Most of the Grecian Empire was absorbed.into or under the power of Rome, but as it is stated in #Da 7:12 "they had there dominion (over Israel) taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time."
So back to our question. When did the Thracian portion of the Grecian empire rule over Israel as a Grecian power? And the answer is never. So are we to look to the future? No!!! the answer is held in #Da 8:24 where it states that "his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power:" the idea being described is that of another country coming and setting up their seat of power in a foreign land. This is exactly what Rome did! So then this horn is not a grecian power it is a Roman power being excersised from a grecian land.
It is referring to the "little horn which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land" (Israel verse 9).
it is stated in verse 23 "in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power." Well then whose power was it? It was a Roman power! When? In AD 330 Constantine moved his capitol to Constantinople which is in Thrace and the kingdom began to be called the Greek Roman Empire or the Eastern Empire. Thus in AD 330 Constantinople in the Grecian land of Thrace became the 7th head or capital to Rule over Israel.
At this point we have dealt with a basic understanding of the 4 beasts and the 7 heads. The next item of concern is what are the 10 horns? Obviously the 10 horns are on the Dragon which is Rome, so naturally we want to look at the structure of the Roman empire. If we look at Rome at the time it conquered Israel through the time of the Apostles we find nothing that would be considered a division of the Empire into 10. That is probably why in #Da 7:24 it states "And the ten horns out of the kingdom are ten kings that shall arise", giving the idea that they are not there at the beginning. #Re 17:12 Confirms this thought as the Angel explains to John around AD 90 that "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." We will deal with the reason it says "one hour" a little latter.
It was in AD 476 that Odoacer, king of the Heruli, conquered Rome and terminated the West Roman Empire. In the wake of the fall of Rome, those who were under its dominion divided, creating 10 smaller kingdoms i.e.: Heruli, Ostrogothes, Lombards, Allemanni, Anglo Saxons, Franks, Burgundians, Visigoths, Suevi, and Vandals. But the fall of the Roman Empire was not the end of Romeís role in history by a long shot. With the fall of the Pagan Roman empire, the most powerful organization left in Rome was Papacy. In AD 539 the Heruli, Ostrogoth, and Lombards the three horns of #Da 7:8, 24 became incorporated into the Rome-dominated Kingdom of Italy. So the city of Rome had a new rise to power and eventually all the nations of Europe (the 10 horns) gave their strength and power to Rome to fulfill #Da 7:8 & 24..The rise to power of these horns are graphically illustrated when contrasting the crowns on the Dragon of Rev chapter 12 and the crowns on the beast of Rev chapter 13. In #Re 12:3 there are 7 crowns on the seven heads, but no crowns on the ten horns. The crowns denote having received their power. Again, Rev 12 is describing when all 7 heads have received their power, and when the 10 horns are just beginning to form, but before they had received power. In #Re 13:1 the crowns appear on the horns, showing that the 10 horns have now received their power. This same point is stated again in Rev 17:12 when it says "the 10 horns have received no kingdom as yet (note this is at the time of John the Revelator in A.D. 90) but receive power as kings one hour with the beast when the beast comes back to power in A.D. 539.
Now, I will grant you that an hour (greek hour) sounds like a short period of time. But, is it???!!! Turn with me to #1Jo 2:18 "Little children, it is the last time (greek hour) and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time (greek hour)." Note that the use of the word time here is translated from the same word that is used be John in #Re 17:12. hence could just as well be translated "Little children, it is the last hour: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last hour." I ask you then how long is this hour?? Well, so far it is 1900 years long. Again, Jesus said in #Joh 5:28 and 29 "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice And shall come forth." Now how long is this hour??? The use of the term hour in the scripture does not denote a short time but just a "period of time" with no implicit length of time other than what is implied from the context. If John had used anything else such as day we would think a year was meant. If he had used a year we would think that 360 years were meant... hence an hour is the only word that describes a time period that you arrive at from the context of the discussion. The discussion here is that of the beast that was to continue 1260 years from the healing of it deadly wound.
Now that we have uncovered the mystery of the 7 heads and 10 horns of Danielís 4 beasts, I think it is time to turn our attention back to the Apostle Johns Revelation, as I am sure some feel that there are many points that need to be explained in the light of what has been stated so far. We wish to deal with all the areas that some may feel are weak points in this interpretation and show that there really is not a single weak point, just some points hard to be understood due to the massive amount of detail given with so few words. We believe that a true interpretation is seen by the number of connections that are made throughout the bible. To my knowledge there is no other interpretation that even comes close to the number of connections that is being displayed here.
Let us begin by stating what most bible student viewpoints are agree on, and what this interpretation does not change. In the broadest sense all three beasts represent the Roman Empire from different time and vantage points.
Starting in Rev 12 the vision is that of the struggle between Christianity and Paganism in the Roman halls of power. Revelation 13ís vision is that of the Papal Roman empire the war between Christian and Pagan is over. Pagan Rome has just been baptized Christian??? in the sea. The time is beginning AD 539 and Rome under Papacy is to continue in this condition for another 1260 years.
#Re 17:1-6introduces us to the woman i.e. the Catholic Church, the false Jerusalem (#Re 17:18) that rides the Roman Empire during the wilderness condition of the church. Starting in #Re 17:7 the angel talks to John about the many individual pieces that make up the Roman Empire. Some feel that the angel is speaking to the John Class at the end of the age which is how the Lord hid the true understanding of the beast, because until you are at the end of the age you canít get the right perspective. The problem with this kind of reasoning is that it leads to the conclusion that if you donít understand it, it is because it is yet future. I would propose a more stable standpoint i.e. that the angel is speaking to the apostle John in AD 90.
Sometimes in Revelation understanding whoís viewpoint the vision is taking is a big part of the battle to understand the vision. A key to this understand is found in #2Co 2:15 & 16, here the churches preaching of the Gospel is spoken of as being viewed from two standpoints. From Godís standpoint the gospel is a sweet aroma of "life unto life", from the unbelievers standpoint it is a horrible smell of "death unto death." When the children of Israel were in the wilderness and were disobedient, the Lord sent in among them serpents, and then instructed Moses to make a brazen serpent on a pole and to instructed the people that if they were bitten by a serpent, they should look upon the brazen serpent, to be healed. Jesus said that he was the antitype of the brazen serpent. The meaning of all this is that if you have strayed from the ways of the Lord as the children of Israel had, then those who speak the truth to you will appear as the deceivers. And if you have strayed from the truth, the truth will bite you and be a plague upon you. In order to be healed you must look upon that truth and recognize that it hurts because it is the truth and you have indeed gone astray.
A good part of Revelation is written with graphical imagery from the standpoint of those that have erred from the truth. This is why so much of revelation sounds bad. In reality it is depicting the spread of the gospel by the messengers of the Lord. Let me give illustration: in Revelation there are seven messengers to the seven stages of the church. There are also seven trumpets that cause death and havoc in the earth. In reality, the trumpeters are the seven messengers speaking the same thing but viewed from the standpoint of those that have erred from the truth.
Let us now begin to look at chapters 12, 13 and 17 from the stand point of the foundation that that we have been attempting to lay, i.e. that the heads and.ten horns of these three beasts are the same seven heads and ten horns as those in Daniel seven. We are not saying that this beast is all those Daniel beast rolled together as one rather what we are saying is that the Papal Roman Empire inherited the way it thinks and acts from the empires that went before.
Stated another way, there are not seven different forms of Roman government, but Rome uses the combined wisdom of the previous empires to subdue its enemies making it by far the most powerful of all. As it says in #Re 17:11 "And the Beast that was and is not, even he is the eight, and is of the seven." And it is most closely connected to the 6th head which was Pagan Rome.
#Re 12:1The true church is pictured clothed with the gospel having the old testament as her foundation and Jesus and the 12 apostles as her authority.
There is another viewpoint of the woman that is held by some which see the woman as the Sarah covenant. though this view point has merit, I donít believe that it is what is being referred to here, and as we go through the verses, I will mention the points that I believe favor the woman representing the church. There are two women in Revelation, the one mentioned here and the one in Rev. 17. I believe the two are meant to be contrasted to each other, one as the true church, and one as the false church, as follows.
In #Re 17:3 the false church sits (is supported) by the beast i.e. earthly government. She also sits i.e. is supported by the seven heads in #Re 17:9 which gives the thought that she is supported by all the false religions that were held by those previous empires. An excellent book that has been written on this subject is the Two Babylons by Hislop. She also sits, is supported by the waters #Re 17:15 which are defined as peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues. The true church is not supported by any of these worldly powers, as Jesus said think it not strange if the world hate you. If it hated me it will hate you. But the Church is supported by the Moon ie the Old Testament, and her authority comes from the Gospel and 12 Apostles. In #Re 17:3 the false church is clothed with scarlet... earthly royalty and splendor. The true is clothed with the gospel. In #Re 17:18 the false is defined as the great city (Rome) which reigns over the kings of the earth. The true waits for the marriage of the lamb before it begins its reign as the (New Jerusalem). As the apostle Paul says "and I would to god that ye did reign that we might reign with you."
2) And she was with child i.e. the "mystery of iniquity" was working within the church. And she cried out specially during the ten years of Diocletions Christian persecutions 303-313 for deliverance.
It is interesting to note that the normal gestation period of a womanís pregnancy is around 280 days. As the Apostle Paul points out, the "mystery of iniquity" was already at work in the days of the apostles. Therefore I believe it is safe to assume that it began at the beginning of the church in AD 33.
Adding 280 years to AD 33 brings us to AD 303 the beginning of the Diocletion persecution and thus the beginning of the labor pains. After 10 days of labor, Constantine the first Christian Emperor came to the throne and the persecution (labor pain) ends (at least from the false churches standpoint).
This we believe marks the birth of the manchild, the Antichrist system, the beginning of Church State abominations.
The Sara covenant viewpoint says that the child is Jesus and that she was in pain with his suffering. The problem with this viewpoint is found in ##Isa 66:7 where it is says "Before she (the Sarah Covenant) travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child." This is in stark contrast to the Revelation picture. When we find things that are in conflict as this seems to be, then I believe we must adjust our viewpoint.
Here the revelator is looking at history from the nominal standpoint that is that Christianity under the pope the manchild had come to power. And the "Christian" world even uses this to support there viewpoint that they are the kingdom of Christ.
3) The main thrust of this vision begins around the time that Constantine comes to power and moves the seat of the Roman empire to Constantinople. This is why we see seven crowns on the seven heads at this point the seventh head Constantinople is now coming to power and the Roman empire is beginning to divide. Later when the beast of #Re 13:1 rises (AD 539), the dragons authority or power as symbolized by the crowns, is moved to the horns.
4) And the tail end of Pagan Roman empire, true to its historical ways was becoming willing to absorb and make legal this new religion so that it might control it. Satanís reaction to the church is if you canít beat it join it i.e. absorb it. This was done by Constantine when he "Converted to Christianity" and in 313 issued the edict of Milan which mandated toleration of Christians in the Roman Empire. As guardian of Constantineís favored religion, the church was then given legal rights and large financial donations. By so doing a portion (third of the stars) of the true believers began running for earthly instead of heavenly honors.
5) The birth of this manchild is really the birth of the man of sin, the beginning of church state relations, beginning with Constantine the first "Christian" emperor. The thought here is that of being caught up to the God of this world (Pontifix Maximas) and his throne (Rome). This was a process that took place from AD 313-539 (226 years). Eventually the power of the pope was such that it crowned and uncrowned Kings for a thousand years. This took place from 799-1799, the thousand years of papal supremacy; hence the thought behind ruling all nations with a rod of iron.
6) After the pope in Rome receives the title Pontifix Maximas in AD 539, the true church then has to flee into the wilderness for 1260 years i.e. does not participate and speaks against the illicit union of church and state. Elijah a.type of the church also for 1260 days went into the wilderness and spoke against Ahab and Jezebell. And John the Baptist also spoke against the illicit union of Herrod and Herodias and lost his life for his testimony against them which took place during the three and a half years (1260 days) of Jesus ministry.
7) Verses 1 through 6 seem to describe a block of time from 303-539. We must make a break somewhere in the scenario due to the fact that two points in this chapter describe the same event i.e. the woman going into the wilderness verse 6 and verse 14. Therefore we believe that verse 7 goes back to the time of the birth of the manchild in 313 under Constantine. It would seem here that the verse is describing the manner in which the antichrist (Michael) comes to sit on the dragons throne Rome. Between 313 and 539 the Roman Emperors vacillated between heathen and Christian.
8) But after 539 all kings had to profess Christianity, and the pagan religion was cast out of the kingdom.
9) And from the Papacyís view point the dragon and his religion was expelled from the empire. Christianity having dealt a deadly blow to paganism Satanís religion. From Godís standpoint Papacy merely adopted paganism.
10) And I heard the Papacy proclaiming with a loud voice saying "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." One can see from this that the perspective is not from the true churches standpoint due the fact that after this occurs, the dragon is not bound but is still trying to destroy the woman. When "salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ" really does come, then Satan will be bound as per Rev 20. This "loud voice" comes from the "mouth speaking great things." #Da 7:8 And #Re 13:5 "mouth speaking great things and blasphemies." Of course from this one can see that the horn of Danielís vision and the beast of Johns vision is the same.
It is interesting to see the coins that the papacy made during this time. It pictures a woman sitting on seven hills offering a cup in one hand and a staff in the other with the dragon (serpent) at the bottom of the staff. Previously Rome had minted coins with the dragon on the top of the staff. Note #Re 17:4.
11) "And they (the true church) overcame him (the dragon-pagan Rome) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death." This seems to be a direct reference to what the apostle Paul said in #Ro 16:20 "And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly". This is Papacy claiming that the church had gotten the victory over Satan and that now she is reigning in the authority of the Lamb of God. In reality the real bruising of Satan will be his.destruction. It is evident here that the Devil did not die as a result of this war. Wounded yes but certainly not destroyed. This is the reason the Lord pictures the beast in 13:1 coming up out of the water having a Wound in its head and the deadly wound was healed. Yes it was the true followers of Christ that overcame Rome, and Rome fell. But Papacy healed the wound. From another standpoint I think it fair to say that the dragon had Rome baptized (Christian?) in the sea. Well if you canít beat them join them as the old saying goes. Yes I am sorry Rome, but just because we have seen the fall of the Roman Empire (the forth beast of Daniel), this does not mean that you are the kingdom of God. Indeed from Godís perspective you have merely healed the wound and are continuing in the way of the Devil himself.
The false voice and message of verse 10 through 12 are in harmony with the first nine verses of Chapter 12. This present history of the professed Church as seen in the eyes of orthodoxy as a wonderful thing, especially the victory of Michael over the awesome power of the dragon. Papacy is here seen acknowledging the Emperor Justinianís declaration in AD 539 that the Roman prelate henceforth was to be considered the supreme universal bishop of the realm.
12) Again one can see that there is really something wrong with the perspective here, unless you are a believer in hell fire... From the papacyís perspective it makes great sense. She is set up in power and is rewarding her so called Christian followers with positions of earthly honor. As she would say, we are now inheriting the earth. The short time that is being referred to, from her perspective is the time it is taking to convert the rest of the world to Catholicism. If she did not like teachings that some were teaching about God and his plans then she would inform the King that so and so was a heretic and needed to be punished. The authorities under the kings control would then use any means necessary to get the heretic to confess or convert.
The church would then try to play the merciful by saying to the heretic, I can do nothing for you until you recant and convert.
13) When the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, (in AD 539) he persecuted the woman (the true church) at the prompting of the papal power.
Prior to 539 the dragon, as Emperor of Pagan Rome, gave the orders; after 539 the dragon as the Kings of the earth, merely carried out the orders to persecute to heretics that Papal Rome would name.
14) "And the woman were given two wings (the old and new testament) that she might fly into the wilderness (to hide from the wrath of the dragon and manchild), into her place, where she is nourished for a time, times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." The time, times and a half is 3 1/2 prophetic years, ie day for year is 1260 years, from 539-1799. This is the time period when the bible was codified and bound together as the 66 books of the bible..15) "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water (truth with error mixed in note #Eze 29:3-5) as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood" Notice there is nothing here that would indicate that the flood that is cast out is 1260 years later; nay but the flood is the very prorogating of Christianity by the government. This is much greater fulfillment of what Paul said in #2Co 11:14 "And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing is his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" The Apostle Paul is here saying that Satan has always used truth in a deceptive way. In the early church Satan sent his ministers into the church to muddy the truth with the hope that new converts would not be able grow past the milk of the word, and eventually wither and die. Christianity did not die so here we see Satan taking a new tactic. After AD 539, Satan was not just sending ministers into the church to speak, he was now admitting from his throne (Rome) the truth that Jesus was the Christ and hoping that the church would lose sight of the high calling of God in favor to his calling to public office.
16) "And the earth helped the woman, and the earth (which was dry and starved for truth) opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. Satan didnít really want the people to accept Christianity, he probably was figuring the typical case of government versus the people ie that if the government says you should believe one thing then the people will believe something else. Put this did not occur, and instead of having the desired effect of choking out the true wheat as in the parable of the wheat and tares, it caused the gospel to be more acceptable to the people and in this way it helped woman. She was also helped from the standpoint that now the government had to begin publishing the word of God, the two wings of the eagle. It was at this time that the Codex Vaticanus, The Codex Sinaiticus, and the Codex Alexandrinus bibles were written and became the accepted and authorized books of the bible. Satan of course did not like to do this but was rather forced into it by the fact that the kingdom was to accept Christianity and therefore had to know what Christianity was. So he had it written in the priestly language with the idea that it would only be taught to the priesthood who would then reduce it to a formula for the people. This then fulfills the thought of Elijah during his 1260 days being fed by the Ravens representing the catholic priesthood. This paragraph needs work.
17) But Satan did not like having to do this at all, and so he went with a vengeance to persecute any that did not confess the "orthodox view" of Christianity. Note the connection here that Satan went to "make war"; this is the same war spoken in Chapter 13:7, 17:14, 11:7, #Da 7:21, and #Da 8:24-25. These all refer to the same war waged against the saints during the 1260 years. "The remnant of her seed" are the faithful offspring of the early church while at the same time giving the idea that there would be few in.number that would not fall by the wayside from this warring. This war "wore out the saints of the most high" (#Da 7:25), so that in speaking of this period during the Wycliff stage of the church, the thought expressed #Re 3:4 "Thou hast a few name even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments" This is the period that Papacy felt most successful in its war against the saints and even proclaimed that all heresy had been wiped out on May 5th, 1514 (need the proclimation papers) just three and a half years before Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the door at the church at Whittenberg and the reformation began fulfilling #Re 11:8-9 the 3 1/2 years of the bible lieing dead in the streets.
One should note hear that chapter 12 ends with the dragon going to "make war" against the true church. Chapter 13 begins by talking about a beast that "makes war against the saints" v.7 this again supports the idea that chapter 12 and 13 are by in large sequential and that the flood that the dragon cast out of his mouth is not the time of the French revolution. Chapter 13 is a description of how the dragon wars against the saints. And shows how the dragon as a result of the Gospel changed his colors.
REVELATION 13-#Re 13:1) "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." This is a picture of the Papal government rising out of the unstable social conditions after the fall of the western roman empire in AD 476. And this beast had all the characteristics of Satan himself, only now since AD 476 the ten nations had begun their reign in the wake of Romes fall. All successive Gentile governments that rulled over Israel during the gentile times claimed the devine right of kings. Note that it says it has 7 heads and at the same time it says it has the head (singular) of a lion ie that is the head then ruling. It does not state what the other heads looked like. We believe a lions head is used to denote Babylon as this beast is called Babylon the great.
The seven heads are:
(1) Babylon at Babylon in BC 607,
(2) Persia at Susa in BC 536,
(3) Greece at Pella under Alexander the Great in BC 336 (#Da 11:3-4).
After Alexander dies, his kingdom is divided to his four Generals, and the General (Ptolemy Soter) in charge of Egypt Rules from Alexandria and obtains Israel
(4) in BC 323 (note #Da 11:5-9). There is civil war in Greece between the north and the south and the Syrian King Antiochus the King of the north
(5) takes Israel in BC 198 (note #Da 11:10-15). At this point 3 of the 4 Grecian heads have successively ruled Israel i.e. Macedonia, Egypt, Syria.
There is but one Grecian head left, Thrace, the 4th division of the Grecian empire. But the problem is "he that cometh against him" (against the King of the North Syria #Da 11:16) is not Grecian at all. "He that cometh against him" is a Roman (the 6th head) in BC 64. Note #Re 17:9-10 And here is the.mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 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.
At the time Revelation was given to the Apostle Paul, Rome was ruling. That only leaves one head left Greece in Thracia from the city of Constantinople, starting In AD 330 when Constantine moved his capitol to Constantinople which is in Thrace and the kingdom began to be called the Greeco Roman Empire or the Eastern Empire.
The rise to power of these horns are graphically illustrated when contrasting Rev 12, 13, & 17. Note that in #Re 12:3 there are 7 crowns on the seven heads but not on the horns. This denotes that the time of the vision is when all 7 heads had come to power but at a time when the 10 horns were only beginning to form. Here in #Re 13:1 the crowns appear on the horns, showing that the time of the vision is when the 10 horns have received their power. This same point is stated with words in #Re 17:12 when it says "the 10 horns have received no kingdom as yet (speaking to John the Revelator) but receive power as kings one hour with the beast" ie Papal Rome.
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." After the dragon (civil Rome under Justinian in constantinople AD 539) gave the beast religious Papal Rome "his seat" Rome itself, and "its authority", the title Pontifix Maximus, the 10 horns then began to support Papacy with their military power note #Re 17:12 & 13. The resultant Papal Empire acquired and used all the strongest military and psychological powers of all the previous empires described in Daniel the 7 chapter, rolled into one. And who was its prime enemy number one? the saints of the most high!
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." The head that was wounded was Pagan Rome in AD 476 it came back to life as Papal Rome in 539. The world wondered after the beast because Rome had become a great power and had fallen. And yet here Rome has come back and become great again.
Previous greate empires had risen to power and fallen, never to rise again as a great power. Now if the world is here wondering because of Romes return to power after 63 years, how great shall or should there wondering be when they see Israel return to greatness?
Note that the wounding unto death and being healed is the same exact thought that is expressed in #Re 17:8 "the beast that was and is not and yet is" better translated "the beast that was and shall be not and yet shall be".
Note also the connection with the world wondering after the beast. The wondering is of course in the "shall be" or risen from the bottomless pit or death condition..4) "And they worshipped the Dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?" After the Dragon confired its power upon the beast in 539 from Constantinople, the dragon began exercising its power through the 10 kings which the people worshipped.
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. This is seen as a direct connection to #Da 7:8 "behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." and verse 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" for 1260 years.
Note that some think this wounding takes place in 1799, and that the healing is yet future, but it can be easily seen that there is a real problem with this, in that it says that it was to "continue for 1260 years" one must ask continue from when? If you read carefully, the answer become obvious, that it is from the time the wound is healed. Therefore if you make the healing of the wound future, then so is the 1260 years.
6) And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
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.
8) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Revelation 17ís vision verses 1-7 deals with the city of Rome (the woman) as opposed to the empire the beast that supports her during the 1260 years AD 539-1799. Starting in Verse 8 the angel begins interpreting the vision for John who is on the isle of Patmose in AD 90. It is from this fixed point in time not some movable and arbitrary "John Class" standpoint that the interpretation is given.
Contrast #Re 1:8 "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." Is in this context if from the Greek word "on" Strongís 5607 which Strongs defines as "being" i.e. existing now. The context is showing that God has an unending existence. #Re 18:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is notí 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. The Greek word "esti" Strongís 2076 which Strongs defines as "is" but is translated many different ways as there is no direct interpretation that fits all cases. The point of this context (which I believe all are agreed to) is that of the beasts existence being interrupted for a time, coming back into existence, and then being destroyed forever. Note this is similar to Jesus as his existence was interrupted while he was in the grave but shall be alive forevermore. note Rev 1:18. This is also the thought when it is said Rev 17:11 "And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eight, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition." Now the angel is speaking to John and has said that 5 heads are fallen and one is which places the angels interpretation standpoint during the 6th head. From this one can ascertain that the interruption of the existence of one of the heads existence in question must take place during the 7th head.
Because the word is is used in 18:8 with both the "is not, and yet is" it would seem that a better translation of the word here would be "shall be" which is the way it is translated in #Re 22:12 Thus #Re 17:11 should read "And the beast that was, and shall be not, even he shall be the eight, and shall be of the seven, and goeth into perdition." And Rev 18:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and shall be notí 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 shall be not, and yet shall be help.