Chapter 10 Two Beasts
A contemporary version of the Roman Empire, led by the Antichrist, will be forefront on the world stage during the end-times. Daniel foresaw this Roman Empire hundreds of years before the it was established.
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 70 AD)|
Daniel identified Rome as the final great empire: the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary (Daniel 9:26b) This refers to events that occurred in 70 AD. The people were soldiers from across the Roman Empire, the city was Jerusalem, and the sanctuary was its temple; the prince who is to come is the Antichrist.
Beast out of the Sea
Satan, depicted as a dragon, calls a beast out of the sea; this beast is the Roman Empire, with the Antichrist in charge. 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. (Revelation 13:1)
The Roman Empire remained in existence long after the so-called Fall of Rome in 476 AD, but in much different forms. For example, the Eastern Roman Empire did not fall until 1453. The Holy Roman Empire was an alliance of western European nations in power from 800 to 1806 AD. That the beast was, and is not, and is about to come refers to the tendency of the Roman Empire to wax and wane over the centuries (Revelation 17:8b).
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. (Revelation 13:18)
A situation that some may find interesting, is that the unification of Europe began with three groups of nations, consisting of six nations in each group. Six nations signed the Treaty of Rome, which founded the European Economic Community in 1957. After six additional nations joined this European Community, these 12 nations became the original members of the European Union. These founding nations of the European Union joined six European Free Trade Association nations to form the European Economic Area.
PARTIAL RAPTURE THEORY
Rome is also the location of the unfaithful church, depicted as an adulterous woman named Babylon. This woman is geographically collocated (sits) in the empire’s capital city. Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, (Revelation 17:9). Other translations refer to “seven hills” – which would be the correct way to view this scripture; no city in the world was built on seven mountains. 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 evil and 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 corrupt government that murdered Jesus.
The beast out of the sea is comprised of both the Antichrist and the Roman Empire. Antichrist will eventually abandon Europe, and turn his attention to Jerusalem; this will occur at the 42-month point, the mid-point of the final seven years. Therefore the authority, or life span, of this beast is limited to the initial forty-two months of the end-times. There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. (Revelation 13:5)
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
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 the Antichrist. Concerning this false prophet: 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 (Revelation 13:12a). Just as the beast out of the sea (Europe) follows the dragon (Satan), this beast out of the earth will follow the Antichrist.
The false 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 could be a political leader and his subordinate nations.
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 (Revelation 19:20b). 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 everyone, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark (Revelation 13:16b-17a).
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)