I think it is time that I share a very different understanding of the beasts in Revelation 13. Some may already hold this understanding, but the majority of the Church does not. In fact, the majority of the Church will likely think what I am about to share is borderline blasphemy. None the less, this is what I have come to understand Revelation 13 is actually about.
First, let me state that this post is not meant to be exhaustive. I am writing this merely to outline my understanding of the beasts in Revelation 13. I beg the reader’s indulgence here. Do not start looking to pick me apart. Rather, simply read and consider what I have to share. We’ll get more into the details in later posts.
Let us start with the first beast, the beast that rises up out of the sea:
Revelation 13:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Beast from the Sea
13 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.
Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. 3 I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 4 they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”
Now, let’s start by identifying some of the symbology in this passage. To make this easier to follow, we’ll take it a step at a time.
5 — A ‘head’ represents major powers, rulers or governments (Rev 17:9-10).
6 — This seven-headed beast is then connected to three of the four beasts in Daniel, the Leopard, Bear and Lion beats. This suggests that this last beast is somehow connected to these previous three beasts.
7 — The dragon gives this seven-headed beast his power, and everything that goes along with it. This means that this seven-headed beast is of Satan, and that it acts like and for Satan. This then means that the seven-headed beast is an enemy of YHWH and of YHWH’s people (as the prophecy says later in the rest of this passage).
8 — One of these heads (major powers, rulers or governments) is as though it had been slain, yet now it lives.
9 — The whole world marvels at the beast and, by aligning itself with the beast, it ends up worshiping the spiritual power behind that beast — Satan.
MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE BEAST FROM THE SEA
Now, I know that most people believe this last beast is a resurrected Rome, but I do not. I believe each of the seven heads represents a kingdom that has ruled over the Holy lands at some point in human history (three had already come and gone by the time of Daniel). The Lion beast is identified in Daniel as Babylon; the Bear as Medo-Persia; and the Leopard as Greece. Naturally, we assume the fourth beast is Rome, but I do not. We are told the fourth beast is like no other before it. Well, that is not really Rome. What’s more, in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the hips are identified as Greece. But look at ‘secular’ history and you will find that it records this as the Greco-Roman Empire. How many thighs do you have? Two! One for Greece, the other for Rome. So, what is the fourth beast? Islam!
Why do I say this? Because Satan is a mimic. He cannot create, he can only copy. The Kingdom of God, Yeshua’s Kingdom, is spiritual. It knows no national boundaries or borders. Neither does Islam. What’s more, when you study Islam, you will find that it is a nearly perfect negation of God’s Kingdom. This is why I think Islam fits better, especially when Islam today is largely made up of the regions that were once Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and large parts of Rome (Leopard-Bear-Lion). Furthermore, Islam, in the form of the Caliphate, was destroyed in 1924. Yet, today, Muslims are working toward establishing a new Caliphate. If and when that happens, the slain head (the power or kingdom of Islam) will live again — slain, yet it will live.
There are many more reasons I believe that Islam is the fourth Beast, but this is the core of why I believe this. Now, let’s look at what will no doubt be an even more shocking and, thus, controversial understanding. Let’s look at the two-horned beast that comes from the earth.
Revelation 13:11-12 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Beast from the Earth
11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. 12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.
Once more, let’s start by identifying some of the symbology in this passage. Once again, we’ll take it a step at a time.
MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE BEAST FROM THE EARTH
OK, now, I beg you to stay with me on this one. What sort of beast (power) could come from the Church that would have two horns, look like a lamb, but speak like a dragon? To me, this represents the apostate Church! This beast rises up from the believers (earth), it has two horns (Catholicism and Protestantism), it looks like a lamb (Christ), but it speaks like a dragon (Satan).
This means we are looking for a power that will not only turn to Satan (apostasy), but will also point people to the Beast from the Sea (Islam). I will not get into any ‘proof’ of this understanding at the moment. We have several more posts we need to tackle first. However, if you have been paying attention to the Church in recent years, you should easily be able to understand why I see these Beasts the way I do.
In my next post, we will deal with the Harlot riding the Beast. Stay tuned, as you may find they are the same as the two beasts we just discussed.