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 Revelation Chapter 13 (Part 55) (Verses 1 – 2a) and Daniel 7

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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 13 (Part 55) (Verses 1 – 2a) and Daniel 7   Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:35 pm

Revelation Chapter 13 (Part 55) (Verses 1 – 2a) and Daniel 7

In Revelation 10:5, we saw Jesus, or the Angel of the LORD, standing on the sea and on the land, which represented ownership of the land and sea.  Today we come to Revelation 13:1 and we see the dragon standing on the shore of the sea.  Satan is a God-wannabe.  He imitates just about everything that God does.  In this verse however, it is as if Satan is viewing in anticipation of what is going to project out of the sea.  Satan was happy to use the key to free his friend Abaddon from the Abyss, and he is happy here to see another one of his buddies arise from the sea.  Verse 13:1b says, “And I saw a beast coming out of the sea.  He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.”  This beast coming out of the sea is the Anti-Christ.  The bible has a lot to say about the Anti-Christ.  Let’s work with our immediate context and go from there.  Last time we saw how similar the Anti-Christ is to Satan himself.  Satan is the dragon.  The Anti-Christ is the beast from the sea.  It is worth repeating here the differences.  The Anti-Christ has 10 horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.  Satan has 7 heads, 10 horns and 7 crowns on his head.  They both have 7 heads, and they both have 10 horns.  Satan has 3 fewer crowns than the Anti-Christ.  The Anti-Christ wears his 10 crowns on his 10 horns; Satan wears his 7 crowns on his 7 heads.  Satan’s power comes mostly from his worldly wisdom: that is, his lies.  The Anti-Christ’s power lies in his military might and the power that the dragon will give him.  The Anti-Christ’s crowns includes blasphemous names, which Satan’s crowns are devoid of.  We will soon see that the 7 heads also represent the Roman Empire and 7 kings.  

To get the full bearing of what the 10 horns of the Anti-Christ represents requires that we have a basic understanding of Daniel chapter 7.  As enigmatic as Daniel chapter 7 may be, lucky for us, the Angel (or it could be one of the elders of the Church) interprets Daniel’s mysterious dream for us.  Let’s start with Daniel’s dream in verse 1.  It reads, “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying on his bed.  He wrote down the substance of his dream.”  Belshazzar is either Nebuchadnezzar’s son or grandson.  Belshazzar is likely his grandson, but it is not known for certain. What is verifiable is that Belshazzar is a close descendant to Nebuchadnezzar, and in Daniel chapter 7, he is the king of Babylon.  Belshazzar took over after Nebuchadnezzar: Nebby for short.  

Daniel 7:2-3: “Daniel said: ‘In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea.  Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.’” The word “heaven” here means “sky”, or “horizon”.  The “four winds of heaven” designates “everywhere”: north, south, east, and west.  Even though the Mediterranean Sea was the “Great Sea” in Daniel’s locale, the “great sea” here represents world population or nations of people.  Along the same lines, the “sea” may represent all wicked peoples of the world.  Isaiah 57:20 says, “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud.”  And please also confer with Isaiah 17:12-13.  And as a side note, “sea” here is used the same way as “sea” in Revelation 20:13, which reads, “The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.” Interestingly, in the same passage, “heaven” is used the same as this passage in Daniel 7:2.  “Heaven” in both sections refer to “sky” and not where believers in Christ will reside in the afterlife.  From the NAS, Revelation 20:11 says, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence Earth and heaven [sky] fled away, and no place was found for them.” “Heaven” in Revelation 21:1 also refers to “sky” and not where God sits with His heavenly host of holies.  It says, “Then I saw a new heaven [sky] and a new Earth, for the first heaven [sky] and the first Earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.”

I just want to make a side point about the “four winds”.  I heard an interpreter argue that the “four winds” represents war based on Jeremiah 49:36-37.  It says: “‘I [God] will bring against Elam the four winds from the four quarters of the heaven; I will scatter them to the four winds, and there will not be a nation where Elam’s exiles do not go.  I will shatter Elam before their foes, before those who seek their lives; I will bring disaster upon them, even my fierce anger,’ declares the LORD. ‘I will pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them.’” The first “four winds” mentioned here might mean “war”, but “four winds” is used twice here.  The second mention of the “four winds” cannot mean war because it says “I will scatter them to the four winds.”  Secondly, we have to be careful to keep biblical definitions contextual to the passage that it is defined in.  It can create a mess when we take an idiom from say, Genesis, and let that be the same definition in the book of John, for example.  Although, such transfers of idioms do exist throughout the bible, such as Jesus being the “Rock” in both new and old testaments.  The “four winds” does not carry the definition of “war” in any other passage.  Mark 13:27 says, “He [Jesus] will send His angels and gather His elect from the four winds, from the ends of the Earth to the ends of the heavens.” “Four winds” here simply means “everywhere”: north, south, east, and west.  It has the same meaning in Zechariah 2:6, which reads, “‘Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,’ declares the LORD, ‘for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,’ declares the LORD.”

Daniel mentions four beasts that come out of the sea.  Let’s cheat and jump to the angel’s interpretation of this dream to see what these beasts represent.  Daniel 7:15-16 says, “I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this.  So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: ‘The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the Earth.’”  Okay, that helps.  We are talking about 4 great kingdoms.  Daniel writes his book during the reign of Nebby, the king of Babylon, and beginning at the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, the King of Judah, which was 605 B.C.  He completed his book around 530 B.C., shortly after Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, captured the city of Babylon in 539 B.C.  So Daniel’s book spans about 75 years.  Just before his writing, Babylon, with Nebby in charge, had just captured Judah and sent them into exile because of their sin (God allowed them to get captured).  They would be in exile, according to Jeremiah’s prophesy for 70 years.  And there is the interesting historical account that Daniel showed king Cyrus, the king of Persia, Isaiah’s prophesy where God calls Cyrus by name 150 years before Cyrus was born and predicts that Cyrus will be the one to free His people.  Cyrus was very impressed by the accuracy of that prophesy and ordered the exiles to return home.  See Isaiah 44:28-45:13.  

Daniel 7:4 says, “The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle.  I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.”  If we go back to the angel’s interpretation, there is an interesting subtle detail that might get overlooked.  I’ll quote it again.  I’ll skip verse 18 because that is not needed for this point, and go on to quote verse 19.  It says from 16b: “So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: ‘The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the Earth…Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left.’”  Besides the fact that this 4th beast does special things and is different from the other 3, the subtle point that I am making is that Daniel was not interested in the interpretation of the first 3 beasts.  That is because once Daniel was told that the 4 beasts represents kingdoms, Daniel certainly knew about the first beast.  Babylon’s national symbol at the time of Daniel was a winged lion.  This is no different than our national symbol in the United States is the bald eagle.  Nebby even called himself a lion with eagle wings.  In the bricks of a building, he had an image of such a lion with the inscription, “I am Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon.”  So Daniel sees this lion with wings and having its wings torn off and then lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man and a heart of a man was given to it.  This simply means that God humbles the pride of Babylon by bringing it down and taking away its power.  Daniel witnessed firsthand how God humbled Nebby, and how Babylon later falls to Medo-Persia.  Just a side note: Medo-Persia is today’s Iran.  Out of Babylon, comes the Roman Empire.  Babylon was in the same location as today’s Iraq.  

It is important to note that each of the beasts mentioned, not only represents kingdoms, but they are prophetically listed in the order of their dominant reign.  The next beast usurps or conquers the previous.  Daniel’s beasts includes a lion, bear, and a leopard.  The Anti-Christ embodies all of these evil kingdom beasts.  Revelation 13:2, regarding the Anti-Christ, says, “The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion…”  Each of the beasts has demonic influences and are all evil.  The Anti-Christ embodies them all.

Daniel 7:5 says, “And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear.  It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth.  It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’” This bear refers to the Medo-Persian empire.  The Medo-Persian empire never had a bear as its national symbol, however.  They had Anahita, which was a water goddess, a lion which was the combination of the lion and the sun, something called The Huma Bird, which was a human bird, and they also had a Griffin.  But here in the bible, the bear was probably chosen to represent the strength of the Medo-Persian empire.  The verse actually doesn’t say that it was a bear, but rather “like” a bear.  The details of this bear-like creature, along with the details of our history books, makes it clear that this bear represents the Medo-Persian empire.  The Medo-Persian empire was powerful.  King Xerxes had nearly 2.5 million to fill his army.  King Cyrus also won battles without a fight.  Daniel says that this bear was raised up on one of its sides.  First the Persians subjugated the Medes around 538 B.C.  They didn’t wipe them out, but instead, merged their two empires.  Since one nation subjugated another into absorption into itself (one more powerful than the other), the 2 nations were not equally yoked, and hence, the bear was raised up on one of its sides.  Daniel said that this bear had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth.  The Medo-Persians would go on to conquer 3 other empires: Lydia, Babylon and Egypt. The Medo-Persians ruled from 539 to 331 B.C.

Daniel 7:6 says, “After that, I looked and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard.  And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird.  This beast had four heads and it was given authority to rule.”  This third beast represents Alexander the Great (Greece).  A leopard has spots and Alexander the Great conquered a whole bunch of places to bring them under one rule, including Medo-Persia.  It says that on its back it had four wings like those of a bird.  Alexander the Great also conquered very swiftly.  A leopard is faster than a lion and a bear.  A leopard with wings is super-fast.  Alex was only 32 or 33 years old when he died.  There is an account that says that at age 29, Alex fell on his bed crying because there were no more civilizations in the known world left to conquer.  It says in Daniel that this beast had four heads.  When Alexander the Great died, his kingdom was divided among his four generals:  Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus, and Ptolemy.  And by the way, Daniel prophesies this nearly 200 years before Alexander the Great was born.  Just FYI notes:  Cassander ruled Macedonia & Greece.  Lysimachus ruled Thrace, Bithynia and most of Asia Minor.  Ptolemy ruled Egypt, Cyrene, Arabia, and Petraea.  And Seleucus ruled over Syria and lands to the east all the way to India.  

Daniel 7:7 says, “After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful.  It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left.  It was different from all the former beasts and it had ten horns.”  Daniel couldn’t even come up with a comparable animal analogy as he did with the other 3 beasts.  He just calls this a very terrifying and frightening beast.  He says it has “iron teeth”.  There is a parallel prophesy in Daniel chapter 2 of these same kingdoms, using different imageries.  In chapter 2, iron represents the Roman kingdom.  It says in Daniel 2:40-43: “Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others [40]. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay [41].  As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle [42].  And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay [43].” No nation conquers Rome.  It was made of iron, but yet brittle with clay because Rome actually defeated itself with bad leaders until it fell.  The Roman Empire lasted from 168 B.C. to 476 A.D.  It’s height was around 117 A.D.  The Western portion ends 476 A.D., but the eastern portion continues for about another 1,000 years.

Revelation chapter 17 will define these horns and many of the idioms used in Revelation 13, but an important verse is Revelation 17:9, which says, “This calls for a mind with wisdom.  The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits.”  The next verse says, “They are also seven kings…”  Rome, at the time of John was called “The Seven Hills” because Rome actually does sit on 7 hills.  The seven hills include the following: Aventine Hill, Caelian Hill, Capitoline Hill, Esquiline Hill, Palatine Hill, Quirinal Hill, and Viminal Hill.  The 10 horns will arise from Rome and they will rule simultaneously.  Rome never had a 10 part empire or state.  The 10 horns arising is therefore sometime in our future.  Daniel 7:8 says, “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it.  This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.”  The little horn is an 11th horn.  It comes out of the 10 divisions and conquers 3 of them, which will leave 7 ½ horns (the half being the “little horn”).  This 11th, little horn is the Anti-Christ.  He has the eyes of a man, which means that he is human and not omniscient; he has human, worldly values.  The Anti-Christ will speak very prideful and boastful—so much so, that he will eventually claim to be God.  Everything he says is about himself.  2 Thessalonians 2:4 says, “He [the Anti-Christ] will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”  We looked at Daniel 7:25, which tells us that the Anti-Christ will change the set times and laws.  The word translated “laws” here, is actually singular in the original language: “the Law”.  This connotes that it could be referring to the Torah/ Biblical laws.  It implies that the Anti-Christ will seek to change the Word of God.  

Daniel 11:36 says of the Anti-Christ the following: “The king will do as he pleases.  He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods.  He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.  He will show no regard for the gods of his fathers or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.  Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his fathers he will honor…” The “one desired by women” might refer to the Messiah, or maybe the Tammuz (cf. Ezekiel 8:14); but these details are not too necessary because it says that the Anti-Christ will exalt himself above all gods.  Just for comparison, please note what God says a good king should be like: Proverbs 16:10 says, “The lips of a king speak as an oracle, and his mouth should not betray justice.” Proverbs 16:12, says, “Kings, detest wrongdoing! For a throne is established through righteousness.” Proverbs 20:28: “Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure.”  Proverbs 29:4: “By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.” No king is above God’s law.  God requires kings to abide by His rules.  

We left off at Daniel 7:9, but I would like to skip to verses 11-12, which talks more about the Anti-Christ.  Verses 11-12: “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking.  I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire.  The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.”  Apparently other stuff was going on, but Daniel was mostly interested on watching the heavenly HDTV that was covering the Anti-Christ.  He sees the beast, or the Anti-Christ get killed and thrown into the Lake of Fire.  The Anti-Christ and the False Prophet will be the first ones to enter the Lake of Fire, even before Satan.  Revelation 19:20 says, “But the beast [Anti-Christ] was captured, and with him the False Prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf.  With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.  The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.” Satan only gets locked up into the Abyss for a thousand years, then he will later be thrown into the Lake of Fire.  Daniel 7:12 mentions that the other beasts in Daniel were stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.  We learned that the other beasts represented Kingdoms.  Not only that, but these kingdoms thrived in our past tense: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and the rest of Rome.  I clarified “the rest of Rome” the beast that represents Rome is our past tense, but its horns is yet in the future.  So the logical question is: “How are these now non-extant kingdoms outliving the Anti-Christ according to Daniel 7:12.”  The answer is simple.  The other beasts who were stripped of their authority and allowed to live on for a period of time are demons and Satan.  Each of the 4 kingdoms: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome really has or had demons at the helm, not humans.  The kings of these nations and the systems they employed were all demonically possessed and influenced, respectively.  Demons outlive the nations they possess.  

We went to Daniel so that we could have some background and understanding of these horns mentioned in Revelation 13:1. We will return to the meaning of the 10 horns when we get to Revelation 17.  

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Revelation Chapter 13 (Part 55) (Verses 1 – 2a) and Daniel 7
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