Same Beast?

March 29, 2022 at 10:46 AM 1 comment

I received a question via social media after publishing my most recent Walk thru Revelation class on the “Times of the Gentiles.” The question was simply is it the same beast in Daniel and Revelation?

The short answer, is “yes, it is.” The longer answer is a bit more detailed. I thought I’d take some time to write a short article on why the two beasts are the same.

The beast the person is referring to in Daniel is of course found in Daniel 2. There, as we have noted, King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that troubles him and essentially needs to have someone interpret it, but first that person needs to be able to tell him what he dreamed. He either forgot the details of his dream or he simply wanted to ensure that no one was going to pull the wool over his eyes and make something up to save their skin.

The beast, as we’ve noted, looked to Nebuchadnezzar as a very large statue of a man, with sections of that man highlighted in different types of metals. It turns out that the very top – the head of the statue – was made of gold, which represented the Babylonian Empire. Successive kingdoms were the Medo-Persian (silver), Grecian (bronze) and Roman (iron, eventually mixed with clay). Each successive kingdom was more brutal than the previous but the value of the metal representing the successive kingdoms became less valuable.

The primary focus of Revelation when detailing the beast that comes out of the sea (Revelation 13:1-10), and the second beast that comes up out of the earth (Revelation 13:11-18) is on the final portion of the original statue that Nebuchadnezzar dreamed about. This beast that emerges from the “sea” is clearly metaphorical, presented with figurative language, however, it should be understood that figurative language still has only one meaning, not many.

The expression for instance, “Well, I never saw that coming” implies the person stating it was caught unaware by some piece of information or something else. That person is not implying that they expected to actually see something physical coming at them, which would have allowed them to jump out of the way. Or the phrase, “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!” is of the same type of genre. It is an idiom or figure of speech that is normally taken to mean complete surprise or disbelief. Clearly, it does not mean that the speaker is saying he/she is actually related to a monkey.

So too with Scripture, figures of speech, metaphors and idioms are all present in many areas of text. It is our job to understand what they meant when they were first written, not what we understand them to be to us in our culture because meanings tend to change over time.

It seems clear that in the first portion of Revelation 13, this “beast” is a powerful system. Here is the description John writes for us.

  • ten horns
  • seven heads
  • crowns on its horns
  • resembled a leopard
  • had feet like a bear
  • mouth like a lion

Obviously, this is a very weird-looking beast that John saw and he did the best he could in describing it. Of course students of the Bible should immediately note the similarities between Daniel 2 and Revelation 13. This shows us that the two beasts in these two books of Scripture are actually one and the same beasts. But unlike Daniel, John is not focusing on the first three beasts. He notes them signifying that it’s the same beast from Daniel, but then focuses on the aspects of the final or fourth beast that was to come and certainly, part of this beast was very much alive in John’s day.

However, the final form of this fourth beast would appear very different from the “beast” of John’s day, the Roman Empire. Notice in the second portion of Revelation 13:3, Satan (here noted as the “dragon”), gives his power and authority to this beast that comes out of the sea. Satan literally gives the beast his throne. This is saying a great deal! In essence, Satan is willing to allow another to sit on his throne and wield Satan’s power and authority because ultimately, this will mean that while another will be seen to be ruling the entire earth, because he will eventually be worshiped by the people of the earth (all who take the mark of the beast), it will be Satan who is worshiped through the beast.

Revelation 13:3 is interesting.

One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast.

There are some who believe that this references a physical human being (completely filled with Satan’s power), who is physically slain, but then who rises again. If this is the case, then we don’t have to wonder why the world would follow the beast and be filled with wonder. In essence, if this is what plays out on the world’s stage, then obviously this individual would claim that he “rose from the dead” impersonating the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Other views are that this “beast” system or empire, which was thought to have died generations ago, will be resurrected. So, the old Roman Empire went out of existence in the Middle Ages, but will ultimately be revived and revised into something even more horrible than the old Roman Empire with all of its brutality and vice. Certainly both views have merit.

I used to embrace the first version, but the more I have studied, I’ve come to embrace the second version. Certainly, I could be wrong. Each person is responsible for why they believe what they believe. For our purposes, I’m going to present things as though the fatal wound back to life is referencing an empire that went out of existence. It is possible that both views could be somewhat combined. However, I do believe that the beast John sees is a system as well as a man who rules over it. That man is the Antichrist whom Paul goes the man of lawlessness or man of sin (depending upon the Bible version you use; 2 Thessalonians 2).

I believe in either case, people will marvel. Imagine if the old Roman Empire is brought back to life and located in what is now European Union? Imagine how majestic and powerful such an empire would be in the eyes of the world? With Trump having abandoned the new world order, but Biden promising to help make it happen, it’s clear that enemies of America want to drag us into a united world government. Of course, this is treasonous because the Constitution would have to be abrogated, but it appears if the Left gets its way and appoints far Left justices to SCOTUS, they will be well on their way to achieving this very thing.

It appears that the Bible is very clear here – there will be a final one-world alliance between nations and government of that alliance once it becomes a one-world government, will divide into ten sections, to be overruled by ten kings (Revelation 13:1; 17:12-14). It is going to happen because God has decreed it. It must happen to fill up the world’s cup of wrath and will end by the physical return of Jesus. This doesn’t mean we sit idly by and do nothing. It does not mean we go along with what Satan is attempting to do because that would make us complicit in his will.

What it means is that we resist where we can, not out of hatred of those who work with Satan (whether they are aware of it or not), but as a matter of our calling, to evangelize the lost so that God might open their eyes.

The beast out of the earth (Revelation 13:11ff), refers to another individual who comes up after the revealing of the first beast. This individual is often referred to as the “false prophet” who directs the people of the world to worship the first beast (Antichrist). That’s his sole job, to present the Antichrist and puff him up to the world. This second individual (beast), has the same authority as the first beast (Antichrist). He is able to perform tremendous signs and wonders and folks, these signs and wonders will not merely be “special effects” as many believe. People have gotten used to and even bored with many of the eye-popping special effects that many movies boast of today. We know they are special effects and because of that, many tend to be drawn out of the movie because we know that a person cannot turn into a whirlwind or into fire, etc. Ho hum.

But the supernatural wonders that this second beast will have the ability to perform will seriously wow the world! Paul says as much in 2 Thessalonians 2. These wonders will be so spectacular and will have no rational explanation that people will be be in absolute awe of this beast. To the people living during the time of these two beasts, they will end up believing that these two are literally gods.

In Revelation 13:15, we are told that this second beast is able to give “breath” to the image of the first beast. I honestly have no idea what this will turn out to be. Many have certainly tried to explain it (as have I), but in truth, we won’t know until we actually see it. Will it be some sort of statue that becomes completely animated and can move, breathe and speak “wirelessly”? I have no idea, but again, whatever it will be has the ability to completely capture and amaze the world.

At this point, the next thing this second beast (False Prophet), rolls out is the “mark of the beast.” That is not here yet because neither the first or second beast is on the scene yet. The CV jab, while many have decided is the mark (it is not), could segue into what becomes the mark. However, it won’t happen until the Antichrist and False Prophet are physically on the scene and known to the world. Things appear to be rapidly moving in that direction.

Daniel 2 introduces the beast that Nebuchadnezzar sees. Revelation 13 and following focuses mainly on the final form of this same beast and adds information about the final phase of this resurrected beast.

Entry filed under: christianity, eternity, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming.

Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 Pt 7 First Four Seals

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