Chapter 11 Two Beasts

Daniel foresaw the Roman Empire hundreds of years before it was established. This Roman Empire is the last great empire.

Daniel’s Four Great Empires

Major Empire Chapter 2 Identification
Babylonia Head of Gold Daniel 2:38
Medo-Persia Chest and Arms of Silver Daniel 8:20
Greece Belly and Thighs of Bronze Daniel 8:21 
Rome Legs of Iron; Feet of Clay Daniel 9:26 — Rome in 70AD


Beast out of the Sea

Thrown from heaven, an ancient serpent-dragon (Satan) travels to earth. Upon arrival, Satan calls the Roman Empire beast out of the sea. The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. (Revelation 13:1; NIV) 

This end-time superpower beast is Rome. The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:18) At the time Revelation was written, Rome ruled the earth. That same city will rule over world leaders during the end-times. Daniel also identified Rome as the final great empire. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. (see Daniel 9:26; NIV) This refers to events that occurred in 70 AD. The people were Roman soldiers, the city was Jerusalem, and the sanctuary was the second temple. Accordingly, the Romans are the people of the ruler in the end times; the final emperor must be Roman.

This Satanic beast is described in greater detail. That the beast was, and is not, and is about to come refers to the tendency of the Roman Empire to wax and wane (see Revelation 17:8; NIV). For example, The Roman Empire remained in existence long after the so-called Fall of Rome in 476 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire did not fall until 1453. The Holy Roman Empire was an alliance of western European nations ruled by Frankish and German kings; it prospered from 800 AD to 1806 AD.

Initially foretold twenty-five hundred years ago, a contemporary Roman Empire is now coming into view (Daniel 7:7). Six nations signed the Treaty of Rome, which founded the European Economic Community in 1957. This treaty was taken to Rome’s City Hall for each nation to endorse, which illustrates the formation of a revitalized Roman Empire. After six other nations joined the European Economic Community, this 12-member group (renamed the European Community) signed the Treaty of Maastricht to form the European Union. In 1994, these 12 European Union members joined six European Free Trade Association nations to form the 18-nation European Economic Area.

God wants believers to see this beast as it takes form. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666. (Revelation 13:18; NIV)

Six charter members of the European Economic Community (EEC) – formed by the Treaty of Rome – came into force January 1, 1958.

(1) Belgium

(2) Netherlands

(3) Luxembourg

(4) France

(5) Italy

(6) West Germany

Six additional nations join the EEC before it became the European Community, effective November 1, 1993.

(1) Denmark – 1973

(2) Ireland – 1973

(3) United Kingdom – 1973

(4) Greece – 1981

(5) Portugal – 1986

(6) Spain – 1986

Six members of the European Free Trade Association combine with the European Community—to form the European Economic Area. January 1, 2004

(1) Austria

(2) Finland

(3) Iceland

(4) Norway

(5) Sweden

(6) Liechtenstein 

This Roman Empire will eventually rule over nations far beyond its original eighteen members; it will devour the entire earth. “He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. (Daniel 7:23; NIV) It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. (Revelation 13:7)

God also wants believers to understand the identity of the unfaithful church, depicted as a woman named Babylon. This woman is geographically collocated (sits) in the empire’s capital city. “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. (Revelation 17:9; NIV) Romulus and Remus founded Rome on seven hills. Even with the Seven Hills of Rome being common knowledge, spiritual mysteries take discernment. A mind with wisdom is needed, because seeing Rome as the preeminent city for deception requires unlocking one of the greatest delusions in history.

The ancient Roman Empire is widely believed to be a great civilization. History depicts the nations and tribes they conquered—as barbarian. Yet Rome boasts of an ancient coliseum where slave gladiators fought and died at the whims of the crowd. Roman pride in this coliseum would be analogous to Germans being proud of Dachau, which is a World War II prison camp where millions of people were executed. Rome brought slavery, crucifixions, and the government that crucified Jesus.

Antichrist

The beast out of the sea is comprised of both the Antichrist and the Roman Empire that he controls. Antichrist turns his attention from Europe, to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the goal of world domination at the 42-month point. In like manner the authority, or life span, of this beast is limited to the initial forty-two months of the end-times. The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. (Revelation 13:5; NIV)

The support the dragon (Satan) provides this beast is extraordinary. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. (Revelation 13:2b) However, remember that Satan first offered this kingdom to Jesus. Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:8-9)

Beast out of the Earth

The false prophet is the leader of a second coalition of nations called the beast coming out of the earth. This fraudulent prophet is normally interpreted as being a religious leader; yet no scripture requires him to be religious. Any person who says, “God chose me to lead you to safety” then leads people to destruction, is a false prophet. Like the European beast, the beast out of the earth consists of a political leader and his subordinate nations.

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. (Revelation 13:11) To those who are deceived this beast will appear harmless, like a lamb. Yet this beast spoke like a dragon; spoke with the authority of Satan. This beast will require everyone to submit to European authority. The false prophet—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 (see Revelation 13:12). Just as the beast out of the sea (Europe) follows the dragon (Satan), this beast out of the earth will follow Europe.

Both beasts are from Western civilization. The United States is on course to become the lead nation of this second beast, with one horn being Mexico (or Latin America) and the other being Canada (or possibly French Quebec). The North American Free Trade Agreement gave life to this second beast. A strengthening of the Organization of American States or the Free Trade Area of the Americas could result in an American Union, much like the European Union.

Deception

Satan devotes considerable effort toward causing people to believe deceptions. Scripture states that the beast and false prophet deceived those who had received the mark of the beast (see Revelation 19:20). The false prophet will be a master of deception. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. (Revelation 13:13)

The false prophet will have the power to insist that everyone must accept the Antichrist, or suffer consequences. The false prophet will force all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark (Revelation 13:16b-17a; NIV).

But believers are not to follow the deception. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.  (Revelation 13:9-10)