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Section 9B .. The Future

 

003white  Index to Section 9B... The Future         >       A Dragon and Two Beasts

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A Dragon and Two Beasts

Carol Brooks

ON THIS PAGE
In chapter 13, John tells us of two beasts he saw. The first emerged from the sea and described the rise of the final world empire (Vs. 1-9). However, the second half of the chapter (Vs. 10-18) describes another beast that emerged from the earth which can only be the final world leader.

The First Beast (Revelation 13:1-9)
Comparing the Beasts Seen by Daniel and John
Daniel’s Vision

A Comparison Chart of All Three Visions

The Ten Future Kings
The Eleventh King... The Antichrist

The Second Beast (Revelation 13:11-18)
The Mark of The Beast
Identifying The Beast
Lateinos?
The Mark Itself
The Name and Number of the Beast
 


The First Beast [Revelation 13:1-9] John

    (1)  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?" (5) There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.  (6) And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. (7)  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. (8) All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. (9) If anyone has an ear, let him hear. (Revelation 13:1-9 NASB)


Comparing the Beasts
In order to understand a little more about the first beast that John saw rising up from the sea, requires us to step back in time to a vision seen by Daniel many centuries earlier. This because the four great beasts Daniel saw coming up from the sea shared many characteristics with the one seen by John.

    John's Beast had ten horns adorned with ten diadems, seven heads with blasphemous names. He looked like a leopard, with the feet of a bear, a mouth like the mouth of a lion.

    Daniel's four beasts are described thus.. The first was like a lion with eagle's wings, the second like a bear, the third like a leopard with four heads and four wings on its back, and the fourth had great iron teeth and ten horns.


Daniel:
The opening words of the seventh chapter of his book pinpoints that "in the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon" Daniel saw "four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea" which caused four great and very different beasts to emerge from it. In Daniel's words...

(Vs. 4) "The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it. 

    There is little question that the first beast represents Babylon. The Bible repeatedly describes Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians as being like an eagle and a lion. For example, Jeremiah 4:7, 49:19, 4:13, and Ezekiel 17:1-3 depict Nebuchadnezzar swooping down on the Jews and carrying them off as captives to Babylon.

    Additionally, the symbol of the lion was well known in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar made the city world famous for its magnificent architecture. The Ishtar Gate, constructed by him in about 575 BC, was the main entrance into the city of Babylon. Both the gate itself and the 1/2 mile long main street, called the Processional Way which led to the gate were decorated with blue glazed bricks which featured, in part, reliefs of lions. A lion, which is presently housed in the Royal Ontario Museum, even decorated the throne room of Nebuchadnezzar's castle.

    The change that came upon the lion possibly symbolizes Nebuchadnezzar's temporary madness and subsequent return to sanity as mentioned in Daniel 4.

(Vs. 5) "And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, 'Arise, devour much meat!'

    The bear very probably refers to the Persian Empire that not only conquered the Babylonians but also Egypt and Lydia which was in western Anatolia (now Turkey), between the Black and Mediterranean seas. Croesus, who founded the Mermnad dynasty and became king of Lydia was defeated by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 546 BC. Lydia's main city was Sardis mentioned as being one of the seven churches in Revelation 1 and 3.

    In other words, the three ribs in the bear's mouth could refer to three nations conquered by the Persians, i.e. Babylon, Egypt and Lydia

(Vs. 6) "After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.

    In those days, a head naturally suggested a king or leader of some kind. The leopard that Daniel saw had four heads which leads us to the the next world power - the Greeks. In the light of hindsight, we know that Alexander the Great decisively defeated the Persian king King Darius III in the battle of Gaugamela (331 B.C.). By the time he was about thirty years old, Alexander had conquered much of the known world, creating one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to Egypt and into present-day Pakistan.

    However, at the very height of his power, he suddenly contracted a fever and died ten days later. After his death, four of his generals divided the empire between them, which corresponds with Daniel's second vision recorded in Daniel 8 (See Daniel's Vision on THIS Page)

(Vs. 7) "After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. "While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts. (Daniel 7:2-8 NASB)

 Daniel was distressed by what he saw and asked what the beasts were.

     (16) "I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things:  (17) 'These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. (18) 'But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.' (Daniel 7:16-18 NASB)

This explanation is entirely in line with the the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, as given Daniel some years earlier See Seven Kings. He was told that Babylon itself was represented by the statue's golden head. However, three more kingdoms would arise in turn after Babylon. The second kingdom would be inferior to Babylon, and it would be followed by a third kingdom of bronze, which would rule over all the earth. The fourth kingdom, which represented the Roman Empire would be as strong as iron... crushing the others.

It is no coincidence that the fourth beast had iron teeth.

 

Nebuchadnezzar’s Statue [Daniel 2]

Daniel’s Vision.. The Four Beasts That Came up From The Sea. [Daniel 7]

John’s Vision.. The Beast That Came up From The Sea. [Revelation 13]

The Seven Heads Are … Seven Kings [Revelation 17:9-10]

 

 

 

 

Five Are Fallen

[1]

 

 

 

Egypt: The world’s first great empire that enslaved the Israelites

[2]

 

 

 

Assyria: Took the northern kingdom of Israel into captivity in 722 B.C.

[3]

The statue's golden head represented King Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon)

The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings:

his mouth was the mouth of a lion

Babylon: Babylon took the southern kingdom of Judah into captivity.

[4]

The breast and arms of silver was to be Medo-Persia

A second, like a bear… raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

his feet were as the feet of a bear

Medo-Persia: Under this empire a remnant of Israel were allowed to return and rebuild the city and the temple. 

[5]

The bronze torso and thighs represent the Greeks that followed the Medo/Persian empire...

A leopard, which had upon its back four wings of a bird; the beast had also four heads;

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard,

Greece: Alexander the great and his four successors

[6]

The iron legs in the statue represent the Roman Empire that followed the Greeks.

The symbolism of the two legs was not apparent until many years later (in 286 ad), when the Emperor Diocletian divided the Roman Empire into East and West for administrative purposes.

A fourth beast, terrible and powerful, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns

 

“One Is”

Rome: The sixth kingdom was the Roman empire, which at the time of writing was the ruling kingdom. Rome besieged and destroyed Jerusalem, looted and burned Herod's Temple and enslaved or massacred a large part of the Jewish population.

[7]

However there is yet another empire portrayed... The toes of the statue are partly iron and partly clay, probably symbolizing a continuity of the Roman Empire, mixed in with ‘clay’. 

 

 

“The Other Is Not Yet Come”

The Revived Roman Empire/ the Ten Horns/The Ten Kings, which in John’s time was very much a future kingdom, but one with it’s roots in the sixth…

[8]

"And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay." [Daniel 2:43]

 

And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns, and seven heads, and on his horns ten diadems, and upon his heads names of blasphemy...and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.... 

And The Beast That Was, And Is Not, Is Himself Also An Eighth, And Is Of The Seven”

The beast becomes an eighth kingdom while at the same time being one of the seven.

The Ten Future Kings
Unsurprisingly, this fourth beast seemed to have so caught Daniel's attention, that he particularly asked about it...

    (19) "Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet,  (20) and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates.  (21)  "I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them (22) until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom. (Daniel 7:19-22 NASB)

In answer to his question, the prophet was told...

    (23) ... The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. (24) As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. (25) 'He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. (26) 'But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. (Daniel 7:23-26 NASB)

In other words, the fourth beast with ten horns is a fourth terrible king/kingdom which will devour and crush the entire earth.

As mentioned before, some disagree with the idea that the fourth beast represents the Roman Empire because as much as they tried to, the Romans did not devour the whole earth, nor did their empire break the earth in pieces. However, we need to remember that Daniel's fourth beast was not limited to the ancient Roman Empire. In Nebuchadnezzar's image, the fourth kingdom did not stop with the iron legs, but continued into the ten toes. It is the revived Roman Empire that will subdue the earth. See Seven Kings.

Antiochus Epiphanes? ...
Others believe that Daniel was prophesying the rise of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who was ruler of the Seleucid kingdom set up by one of Alexander's generals. And there is good reason for this line of thinking.

In the next chapter, Daniel revealed that from one of the four horns, there would arise a "little horn," who would be a vicious persecutor. This monster would exercise his diabolical power to the east, south, and toward the "glorious land" (8:9) a reference to Palestine. He would cause the sacrifices to cease and the sanctuary (the temple) would be defiled. Moreover, this enemy would vigorously attempt to destroy "the holy people" (8:11,24). See The Rise And Fall Of The Empires II.

Apparently, although I haven't been able to confirm it, Antiochus IV Epiphanes was said to be the seventh ruler of the kingdom who came to power after disposing of three other people (He would "will subdue three kings"). The Encyclopaedia Britannica 2003 Deluxe Edition states:

    "Antiochus was the third son of Antiochus III the Great. After his father's defeat by the Romans in 190—189, he served as hostage for his father in Rome from 189 to 175, where he learned to admire Roman institutions and policies. His brother, King Seleucus IV, exchanged him for Demetrius, the son of Seleucus; and after Seleucus was murdered by Heliodorus, a usurper, Antiochus in turn ousted him" (“Antiochus IV Epiphanes,” Britannica Corp, 2003.). [01]

Besides which, relations between the Seleucids and the Jews were cordial in the beginning but as the relations between the hellenized Jews (who had accepted the Greek culture, possibly including pagan practices) and the religious Jews deteriorated, Antiochus IV attempted to ban Jewish religious rites and traditions. As Daniel said 'He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. (Daniel 7:25 NASB)

Antiochus IV who regarded himself as Zeus took upon himself the title Epiphanes, which means 'a manifestation of God'. He "dedicated the  Jerusalem Temple to Zeus, erecting an image of Zeus in his own likeness on the altar, and, according to some sources, sacrificed a pig in the Temple" [02]. As Daniel 8:11 said, he magnified himself "to be equal with the Commander of the host", removed the regular sacrifice and threw down the place of His sanctuary

Eventually, the Jews revolted. A guerrilla war under Judas Maccabaeus resulted in the Maccabees defeating the powerful Greek armies in 165 B.C.E. The re-dedication of the Temple is celebrated by the feast of Hanukah in November or December of each year. Note that, according to John 10,  even Jesus celebrated Hanukah.

What is even more telling, is that from the time that Antiochus erected the statue of Zeus in the Jerusalem temple to the time the Temple was retaken and rededicated, roughly corresponded to Daniel's words that the people of the most High would "be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time'. Note that the NASB rendering "time, times, and half a time" is not altogether accurate. The Greek word pelag means a division, not necessarily half. 


The Nature of Hebrew Prophecy
However, to believe that these events were the final fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy is not to understand the nature of Hebrew prophecy. In our minds, a prophecy is made and then fulfilled. However, the Hebrew idea of prophecy is a pattern that is repeated more than once. In other words, although there is one ultimate fulfillment, there may be more than one 'smaller' fulfillment along the way, each of which is a 'type' of the ultimate fulfillment. See Typology

Besides which, John also told us that the ten horns of the beast were ten kings who (at the time of writing) had not yet received a kingdom, but would "receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. If they hadn't received a kingdom in John's day, they certainly hadn't received one in Daniel's time.

    (12) "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.  (13) "These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. (14) "These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful." (Revelation 17:12-14 NASB)

In other words, events will take place in the future that mirror those of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

A word to the wise...  if end time events repeat the actions of Antiochus Epiphanes, then it may be well to study some of his atrocities. While the books of Maccabees do not belong in the canon because they endorse prayers for the dead and the doctrine of purgatory (See The Canon of Scripture and The Apocrypha), they are very valuable in terms of historical details. For example Maccabees says this about Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

    Raging like a wild animal, he set out from Egypt and took Jerusalem by storm. He ordered his soldiers to cut down without mercy those whom they met and to slay those who took refuge in their houses. There was a massacre of young and old, a killing of women and children, a slaughter of virgins and infants. In the space of three days, eighty thousand were lost, forty thousand meeting a violent death, and the same number being sold into slavery.” (2 Maccabees 5:11–14)

    He plundered the city, burned it with fire, and tore down its houses and its surrounding walls.... "He arrogantly entered the sanctuary and took the golden altar, the lamp stand for the light, and all its utensils. He took also the table for the bread of the Presence, the cups for drink offerings, the bowls, the golden censers, the curtain, the crowns, and the gold decoration on the front of the temple; he stripped it all off. He took the silver and the gold, and the costly vessels; he took also the hidden treasures which he found".... (1 Maccabees 1:21-23, 31)

Most Christians are eagerly looking forward to the return of Christ, which will be the single most sublime event unparalleled in the history of the world. However, Because much of the church believes that Christians will not go through any trials, but will be wafted away to 'heaven' before the going gets rough, it is going to be a harsh reality check when believers find themselves being persecuted, or even killed for what they believe.

I have no doubt that, at that time, the faith of many will be sorely shaken because they will think that God has abandoned them, and the Bible has been lying about the timing of the Rapture.

I wonder how many will realize that it is not the Bible that has misled them, but that they, "wanting to have their ears tickled", accumulated for themselves "teachers in accordance to their own desires" (2 Timothy 4:3). In other words, the false teachers told the people what they wanted to hear. If you are a Christian, be prepared to be severely tested, persecuted, betrayed and even to die for your faith. In fact, it is the slaying of believers that brings about the 'Great Tribulation' of God's wrath. See The End Of The Age Part II The Seven Seals

Which brings us to the question of who these ten kings might be.


Who Are The Ten Kings?
We simply do not know yet.

I initially wondered if they had anything to do with the Council of Europe (CoE), an intergovernmental consultative organization founded in 1949 by the Treaty of London and signed in that city by ten states (Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom). In fact, the European Union adopted both the flag and the anthem of the CoE, which it has close connections with. In fact, to quote Jean-Claude Juncker, "the Council of Europe and the European Union were products of the same idea, the same spirit and the same ambition. [03]

However, there are far more more sinister recent developments.

    "Ten EU foreign ministers participating in a 'study group for the future of Europe' aim to exert pressure to transform the EU into a federation along the lines of the US. Together they have prepared what the front-page headline in Die Presse describes as a "Plan for transformation into a European state." [04]

The ten ministers are from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain. A translation of relevant article in Die Presse, a German language daily broadsheet newspaper based in Vienna, Austria, says

    In other words, the European Union would have a completely new democratic structure, one similar to that of the United States of America - "a bicameral parliamentary system with a directly elected EU president. The model would disempower the current dominant leaders and create a quasi-state" [05]

According to a 2012 report by german-foreign-policy.com

    BERLIN (Own report) - Just days before the opening of the EU crisis summit at the end of the week, the German government is increasing its pressure on the crisis ridden Euro countries to surrender their national sovereignty. The German finance minister rudely rejected Italy's demands to receive the badly needed help, without having to concede its sovereignty. Germany recently turned down similar Spanish efforts. The measures are part of a comprehensive program to consolidate German hegemony over the continent, under the motto of converting the "European integration" into a state-like Euro zone structure, based on the right of interference in national budgets of the economically weaker countries. Around the globe, the protest against Berlin's austerity dictate is growing, because the German government's power ploys are driving not only European crisis countries into impoverishment but are also threatening to critically damage the global economy [06]

And, since then (in 2015), France seems to have jumped on the bandwagon [07]

While Poland is reacting negatively (with "fury and panic") to a French and German blueprint

    "... to effectively do away with individual member states in what is being described as an "ultimatum". Under the radical proposals EU countries will lose the right to have their own army, criminal law, taxation system or central bank, with all those powers being transferred to Brussels" [08]

And what has the EU got to do with it? I strongly suggest you see "The Other Is Not Yet Come".... The European Union?” in Seven Kings


The Eleventh King... The Antichrist
We are clearly faced with the prospect of the rise of a 'beast' with ten horns that springs from from the fourth kingdom (the dormant, not dead, Roman Empire), which will devour the whole earth, and will be the dominant force in the world when our Lord returns. Since Revelation 13:4 tells us that it is the dragon or Satan who gives his authority unto the beast, it is obvious that this revived Empire will be under the leadership of Satan himself. However, God is still in control. Although these kings will imagine themselves to be totally in control, Revelation 17 says God is using them to execute His purposes.

    (16) "And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire.  (17) "For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled.

Equally clearly, it is from this revived kingdom that the ten 'kings' will arise, three of whom will be supplanted by an eleventh, who will "speaks great things", blaspheme the Most High and make war with the saints. Both Daniel and John were very clear about this.

    He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. (Daniel 7:25 NASB)

    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. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. (Revelation 13:7-8 NASB)

But who is this eleventh king?

Remember that Paul called the antichrist "the man of lawlessness" and "the son of destruction" who would exalt himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and take his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). It is also the antichrist who, when the First Seal is broken will, astride a white horse, go out "conquering and to conquer"

    Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come." I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. (Revelation 6:1-2 NASB)

 See The End Of The Age Part II The Seven Seals

Additionally, there is no doubt who the prophet Daniel was referring to when he spoke about an insolent "mighty king" who, under Satan's influence, would rise to power, destroying "mighty men and the holy people" and opposing "the Prince of princes" Himself.

    In the latter period of their rule, when the transgressors have run their course, A king will arise, insolent and skilled in intrigue. "His power will be mighty, but not by his own power, and he will destroy to an extraordinary degree and prosper and perform his will; He will destroy mighty men and the holy people. "And through his shrewdness He will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; And he will magnify himself in his heart, and he will destroy many while they are at ease. He will even oppose the Prince of princes, but he will be broken without human agency. (Daniel 8:23-25 NASB)

The eleventh king will "speak out against the Most High", and wear down (make war with) the saints for a set period of time just as Antioches did. However, this time it will not be the Maccabees who defeat this king, but he will be overcome by the Lamb Himself.

The last line of the quote "he will be broken without human agency", resonates with Nebuchadnezzar's dream in which the final scene is a stone cut "without hands" out of a mountain, which struck the image on its feet and crushed the entire statue. In Daniel's words...

    Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. (Daniel 2:35 NASB) See Daniel Sets The Stage in Seven Kings

Suffice to say, the stone that grew into a mountain and filled the entire earth is representative of God's kingdom, which after destroying all man made kingdoms, will endure forever. [See The Antichrist]

Note: While we cannot be dogmatic about what exactly is meant by the eleventh king/antichrist making "alterations in times and in law", it is obvious that he aspires to change something God has established.


The Second Beast (Revelation 13:11-18)

    (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. (13) He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.  (14)  And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life.  (15)  And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

At this point a second beast said to have horns like a lamb, enters the picture. However, there are a couple of very important factors to be considered here.

1) The only person in the Scriptures said to be a "lamb" is the Lord Jesus Himself. - the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29) . The fact that this second beast is described as a lamb seems to suggest a false mild demeanor. In other words, evil will be disguised under a facade of peace and goodness.

What we need to bear in mind is that the English word 'Antichrist' comes from the Greek antichristos (an-tee'-khris-tos), Christos meaning 'messiah' or 'anointed one'. English speakers are accustomed to taking the word 'anti' to mean 'opposed to' however, in Greek, the word can also mean 'instead of'. Therefore antichristos does not necessarily mean 'against' or 'opposed to' Christ, but can mean 'instead of' Christ. This is another way of saying one who seeks to ‘take the place of' Christ. In other words, the antichrist is a clever counterfeit of God's Messiah, which is why he is also seen as riding a horse the same colour as Christ's in Revelation 6:1-2 and looks like a lamb in Revelation 13:11. See The End Of The Age Part II The Seven Seals

2) Secondly, this second beast is said to emerge from the earth, as opposed to the first beast that comes out of the sea. These contrasting origins have to be significant. The "sea" the first beast arises from being the peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues (Revelation 17:15). The second beast comes from the earth. In other words, it is more than likely that he emerges from the revived Roman Empire and whatever (or whoever) it is that 'mingles with the seed of men'.  

In other words, the antichrist. [See The Antichrist]

There is a very telling verse in Daniel 8 that says

    And through his shrewdness He will cause deceit to succeed by his influence; And he will magnify himself in his heart, And he will destroy many while they are at ease. He will even oppose the Prince of princes, But he will be broken without human agency. (Daniel 8:25 NASB)

    And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Daniel 8:25 KJV)

Certainly this description fits Antiochus Epiphanes very well. As said by Bible commentator Albert Barnes "He pretended friendship, and designed to keep those whom he meant to invade and destroy in a state of false security, so that he might descend upon them unawares. This was his policy rather than to declare war openly, and so give his enemies fair warning of what he intended to do". 

Which means that the antichrist will also come under the guise of peace and security.

Since the concept of a coming world teacher... a messiah, who sets up a golden age on earth can be found in many world religious systems, it is easy to see how a charismatic leader who promises (and seems to deliver) utopia will be accepted nay, even welcomed, by much of the world.

Perhaps most ominous of all is the fact that a large portion of the New Age movement believes the present phase of human existence is one of transition, and there is a new age dawning. However, the utopian age will only come about under the leadership and guidance of a world leader/teacher. 

See Alice Bailey, Lucis Trust, and The Reappearance of "The Christ",
Overview of the New Age
The Global Alliance

The second beast will be able to perform supernatural miracles, including calling down fire from Heaven, which will cause many earth-dwellers to erroneously conclude that he is the perceived savior of mankind that will lead humanity into a golden or 'New Age'. As a result, people will obey when he instructs them to make an "image" of the first beast, which he then proceeds to give breath to, so that the image 'speaks'.

While we can only speculate as to what a 'speaking image'  means, what we do know is that he then goes a step further causing as many that do not worship this image of the first beast to be killed.


The Mark of The Beast
The closing verses of Revelation 13, say the second beast

    (16) ... causes all, 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, (17) and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.  (18)  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 13:16-18 NASB)

Note: Your Bible may read, " the number is that of a man" as does the NASB above. However, the 'a' is not in the original manuscripts. Therefore, the verse could very well read the "the number of mankind"

Identifying The Beast:

    From the time that John penned the book of Revelation (probably around A.D 95) men have been trying to figure out the meaning of the beast and his number.. Six hundred sixty and six. The list of conjectures concerning the meaning of the number is almost as long as the list of commentators on Revelation. Taking their cue from "let him count (calculate) the number of the beast" many interpreters have used the ancient Hebrew Gematria, the system of assigning numerical value to an alphabet. Ancient languages, including Hebrew and Greek, use standard letters from their alphabet as numerical signs. (An Alpha could be the number 1, and a Beta the number two) A series of letters could form a word and indicate a number at the same time. [09]

 Drawing from Paul Boyer's book, When Time Shall Be No More, Don Closson wrote..

    The advent of the computer has caused some to see it as the Beast. One writer noted that if the letter "A"=6 and "B"=12 and "C"=18, and so on, the word computer adds up to 666. The same writer also observed that the words "New York" added up to 666. Some pointed to John Kennedy because he had received 666 votes for the vice-presidency in 1956. Others pointed to Henry Kissinger because his name in Hebrew added up to 111 or 666 divided by 6. Even Ronald Reagan was considered because his first, middle, and last names all had six letters.

     The striking number of attempts to identify the Antichrist and the significance of the number 666 should at least give us a sense of humility before adding another name to the list. Perhaps we should follow the example of Irenaus in the second century. Seeing the many efforts to identify the Antichrist in his day, he cautioned against the practice and believed that the name was deliberately concealed until it would be obvious in the day of the Antichrist's arrival. [10]

Lateinos
While theories as to what this number signifies abound... there is one that draws the attention simply because unlike most of the others that attribute the number to a specific individual, this one relates it to the Roman empire as a whole.. a possibility that seems to fit in with the whole revived Roman Empire, fourth kingdom, seventh head scenario.

Irenaeus, a disciple of Saint Polycarp, who was said to be a disciple of John, suggested that since the beast is the sum of all apostasy committed over the course of six thousand years, the 666 might refer to Lateinos (the Greek form of the Latin word 'Latinos', by which the Romans designated themselves). He said

      Then also Lateinos has the number six hundred and sixty-six; and it is a very probable [solution], this being the name of the last kingdom [of the four seen by Daniel]. For the Latins are they who at present bear rule:  I will not, however, make any boast over this [coincidence]. [11]

It is true that Irenaeus was very reserved about his interpretation, content to believe that the meaning of the number would be revealed when the Antichrist made his appearance. However, the reasoning makes sense. Since the beast of the sea in Revelation 13 is clearly the same as the fourth beast of Daniel 7, the name could very well make reference not to a single man, but to the name of the 'fourth empire upon earth', which was the Roman empire. Adding together the numerical equivalents of the letters in the word Lateinos results in the number 666.

However, at least a couple of the earliest known records of the Book of Revelation, including a 1,700 year old papyrus, dating one century after Irenaeus, gives the Number of the Beast as 616. So do two other codices generally regarded as providing the best testimony to Revelation. However this was refuted by Irenaeus.

    The fact is that we simply do not know, but will ... in the near future.
     

The Mark Itself
I wonder if anything else in the book of Revelation has stirred up as much diverse opinion and public interest as this infamous mark. While many see it as a literal financial identification, such as an implanted computer chip, it seems more likely that this mark is symbolic. The reason I say this is because imagery is a common feature of both the Old and New Testaments. For example...

    As I live, declares the Lord God, "surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock"; (Ezekiel 34:8 NASB)

    Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.  (Matthew 10:16 NASB)

    Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  (1 Peter 5:8 NASB)

Ezekiel was, obviously, not talking about literal sheep, pagan nations are not literally wolves, and Satan is not a literal lion.

Revelation takes this imagery to a whole new level. Written in the field of apocalyptic writing, it contains a bewildering array of symbols.... beasts emerging from the sea, a 'bottomless pit', a dragon with seven heads, a woman sitting on a scarlet beast etc. However, it is highly unlikely that real monsters are going to rise out of the sea and equally unlikely that we are going to see a literal beast with horns like a lamb that speaks like a dragon.

Similarly, although Revelation 17:5 talks about the Harlot with Mystery Babylon, Mother of harlots written on her forehead, it would be foolishness to look for a literal woman with literal writing on her forehead. See The Great Harlot Chapter 17

Scripture also has several references to God's marks or seals...

    In Deuteronomy 6:8 Moses told God's people to keep all His statutes and His commandments, and instructing them to "bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes" (verses 2, 8). The hand and forehead probably represented the person's actions and thoughts respectively.

    In Revelation 3:12 the Lord told the church at Sardis: "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem...".

    Revelation 7:3 has God instructing the four angels not to "harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads".

    Revelation 14:1 says the one hundred and forty-four thousand, have His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.

    Revelation 22:3-4, referring to the time after the second coming, says His bond-servants will serve Him, they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads.

Since God doesn't literally write Scripture on someone's heart, nor carve laws on our foreheads or in our minds, so having the name of Christ or the Father on one's forehead is not meant to be taken literally, but simply means allegiance to God. Therefore, the mark of the beast should probably be understood as the Satanic equivalent of the 'seal of God'. In other words, it is not a literal mark, but John's way of symbolically describing ownership and loyalty.

The 13th chapter of the Book of Revelation tells us that the mark, is equivalent to the name of the beast or the number of his name.
 

The Name of the Beast
In Jewish thought, especially in the ancient world, a person's name had a deep significance that has been partially lost in our day. As said by The Jewish Virtual Library, names were not just 

    "... merely an arbitrary designation, a random combination of sounds. The name conveys the nature and essence of the thing named. It represents the history and reputation of the being named.

    This is not as strange or unfamiliar a concept as it may seem at first glance. In English, we often refer to a person's reputation as his "good name." When a company is sold, one thing that may be sold is the company's "good will," that is, the right to use the company's name. The Hebrew concept of a name is very similar to these ideas.

    An example of this usage occurs in Ex. 3:13-22: Moses asks God what His "name" is. Moses is not asking "what should I call you;" rather, he is asking "who are you; what are you like; what have you done." That is clear from God's response. God replies that He is eternal, that He is the God of our ancestors, that He has seen our affliction and will redeem us from bondage. [12]

Similarly, since the name of the beast conveys his nature, spiritual character, history and reputation, receiving his name associates a person with everything he stands for.

The Number of The Beast:
Since John says "Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast... ", it is impossible to believe that he intended his first or second century readers to figure out that the numbers 666 stood for a particular person who would be born many centuries later. They were not psychic. In short the challenge was not to identify who the beast would be, but to recognize what he was.

And that challenge faces us today. We have to recognize that the antichrist is empowered by Satan and not the savior he will pretend to be.

See Alice Bailey, Lucis Trust, and The Reappearance of "The Christ",
Overview of the New Age
The Global Alliance

 

Endnotes

[01] As quoted in Daniel's Prophecy of Antiochus Epiphanes by Jason Jackson.
https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1191-daniels-prophecy-of-antiochus-epiphanes

[02] http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Antiochus_IV_Epiphanes

[03] The Council of Europe's Relations with the European Union. http://www.coe.int/t/der/EU_en.asp

[04] 10 countries for a United States of Europe 20 June 2012.
http://www.voxeurop.eu/en/content/news-brief/2211991-10-countries-united-states-europe

[05] Umbauplan für einen EU-Staat.
http://diepresse.com/home/politik/eu/767263/Umbauplan-fur-einen-EUStaat?_vl_backlink=/home/index.do

[06] german-foreign-policy.com. All or Nothing. http:/] /www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/58314/print

[07] http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-07-19/french-president-calls-creation-united-states-europe

[08] Nick Gutteridge . European Superstate to be unveiled: EU nations 'to be morphed into one' post-Brexit.
http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/683739/EU-referendum-German-French-European-superstate-Brexit

[09] http://www.australiaoncd.com.au/faith/coming_Beast2.htm. Link is no longer active

[10] Don Closson. Millenial Cautions. http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/millennl.html

[11] Irenaeus. Against Heresies (Book V, Chapter 30. Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL).
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.vii.xxxi.html

[12] Jewish Concepts:  The Name of God. Copyright © 2016 American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise;
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/name.html

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