Nazarene Apocalypse ©2000

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:
A BEASTLY GREAT OPPRESSION

[“Global Politics and Saintly Endurance”]
Key Word: Beast
Theme Verse: 5

Revelation 12:18-13:2 – The Dragon and a Sea Beast

RV12:18 (And [the Dragon] stood594 upon the sand of the sea.)
594 [The Dragon] stood: The Greek is ESTATHE, or “it stood.” Some use “he” (TCN, ASV, RSV, BER, NEB, NAS, NIV); others “I”. (KJV, MOF, JMS, PME, AMP). Some view this as the beginning of a new vision in which John now stands on the seashore. “It,” the Dragon has gone off to war with the Saints.
RV13:1 And I saw a Wild Beast ascending out of the sea.595 [Daniel 7:3] The Sea Beast596 had 10 horns597 [Daniel 7:7] and 7 heads598 and upon the Sea Beast’s horns were 10 diadems599 and upon the 7 heads blasphemous names.600
595 A Wild Beast ascending out of the sea: Compare the allusion to Daniel 7:2, 3 (LXX). “Sea” as in humankind in turmoil. (Isaiah 57:20, 21; Revelation 21:1) For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000© on Daniel. In Daniel it is very likely “the Sea” is the Mediterranean.
596 Sea Beast: The Sea Beast is likely the equivalent of the total image in Daniel chapter 2. That is, a corporate political body or governmental conglomerate incorporating all elements of Satan’s rule from Babylon in Daniel’s day unto the Master’s Day with the contemporary emphasis on the Fourth Beast of Rome and its fragmentary states. Ask which global power has been highly associated with earth’s oceans, particularly the Atlantic and Pacific? Which global power reigns supreme above and below the Seas?
597 10 horns: Compare Daniel 7:7. The European Papal States which immerged from Roman provinces particularly after the Pope was crowned in the 9th Century. These ten entities include at least England, France and Spain. For details see Nazarene Apocalypse 2000© on Daniel.
598 7 heads: Compare Daniel 7:6. Including the three animals of Revelation 13:2. Or, 1) Assyria, 2) Egypt, 3) Babylon, 4) Persia, 5) Greece, 6) Rome (the slain), and the future Seventh which becomes a restored 8th version manifest in the Sea Beast. For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000© on Revelation 17.
599 10 diadems: See Revelation 12:3; 19:12.
600 Blasphemous names: The word “name(s)” occurs at Revelation 3:12; 6:8; 8:11; 9:11; 11:13, 18; 13:1, 6, 8, 17; 14:1, 11; 15:2, 4; 16:9; 17:3, 5, 8; 19:12, 13; 21:12, 14; 22:4.
RV13:2 And the Sea Beast I saw was like a leopard601 [Daniel 7:6] and the feet602 as a bear [Daniel 7:5] and the mouth603 as a lion. [Daniel 7:4] And the Dragon gave the Sea Beast power and throne and great authority.604
601 Leopard: Note the order: leopard, bear, lion; reverse of Daniel 7:4-6, lion, bear, leopard. The difference in Daniel and John’s historical perspective.
602 Feet: Compare Daniel 7:4, 7, 19, 23; 8:7, 10, 13.
603 Mouth: As oral commandments, decrees, pronouncements; as the mouthpiece or spokesman in a counterfeit of the Logos. Compare “mouth” and “teeth” at Daniel 7:5, 7, 8, 11, 19; Revelation 13:5, 6, 11, 14, 15. STOMA occurs 21x in Revelation. The Sea Beast speaks or commands while the Earth Beast causes these to happen.
604 Authority: Compare Luke 4:6 and Luke 12:3 with Daniel 7:4, 6, 12, 14, 25, 27. The Greek is EXOUSIAN (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #1849 = “freedom to exercise one’s mental and physical powers”; Revelation 13:4, 5, 6, 11; occurs 21x)

Revelation 13:3-8 – Sea-beast with Dragon-authority

RV13:3 And I saw one of the heads as having been slaughtered to death605 and the head was cured of the deathblow.606 And the whole earth was made to wonder607 and they are behind the wild Sea Beast.608
605 Slaughtered to death: Compare Daniel 7:11 with Revelation 13:3, 12, 14 and Revelation 17:8, 11. Is it possible this is the “slain” beast of Daniel 7:11 but which the Apocalypse reveals to be “cured” or “revived”? Is this judgment on the “slain” beast of Daniel the heavenly pronouncement of Psalm 2:5? This is more than one possibility to the identity of this “slain” beast. It is also possible that the slain head is the Seventh Power which experiences death in the abyss and then revives in a new world order as an 8th and final world power.
606 Cured of the deathblow: The “slain” beast is “cured” (Revelation 13:3, 12) or “lived” (Revelation 13:14) and is possibly the same as that experience of going into the abyss and coming back out in Revelation 17:8, 11.
607 The whole earth was made to wonder: Global awe or amazement. The Greek is ETHAUMASTHE, (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #2296) occurs 4 times (Revelation 13:3; 17:6, 7, 8) along with “worship” PROSKYNESAN. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #4352 = before + kiss.)
608 They are behind the wild Sea Beast: As in support or following. AMP: went after. There is global support from earth’s population, backed by the ten kings who share their authority with the Sea Beast for one hour.
RV13:4 They gave worship to the Dragon609 because of the authority the Dragon gave to the wild Sea Beast. And the whole earth said: “Who is like the wild Sea Beast?”610 [Daniel 7:24]
609 Dragon: Compare Revelation 12:3: the original Serpent of Eden. (Genesis 3:1) The word occurs Revelation 12:3, 4, 7, 9, 13, 16, 17; 13:2, 4, 11; 16:3; 20:2.
610 Who is like the wild Sea Beast: Global declaration or acknowledgment of the martial power of the Sea Beast. The asked may finds its roots in Daniel 7:24 where the 11th Small Power is described as “different” from all the previous European powers. Whatever form the 8th world power takes it will be very different from the previous seven world powers.
RV13:5 A Mouth speaking great things and blasphemies [Daniel 7:8] was given to the Sea Beast. And authority to act 42 months [Daniel 7:25] was given the Sea Beast. RV13:6 The Sea Beast opened its mouth in blasphemies611 [Daniel 7:8] against The God, to blaspheme the Name of The God,612 and the Dwelling of The God,613 and those dwelling in heaven.614
611 The Sea Beast opened its mouth in blasphemies: Compare Revelation 12:16 and the allusion to Daniel 7:20. This confirms that the Small Power of Daniel 7 is the same as the wild Sea Beast.
612 The Name of The God: This phrase regarding God occurs Revelation 3:12, 14:1, 15:4, and 16:9. It is possible YHWH would occur in Revelation 15:4. Here in Revelation 13:6 it is God’s “name” without any mention of YHWH. In the Apocalypse the divine Name may only come from the mouth of celestial beings. Likely the word “name” here infers the character, attributes, or reputation.
613 The Dwelling of The God: Or, God’s tent. The Greek is SKENEN as at Revelation 7:15 and Revelation 21:3. A form of the word also occurs Revelation 12:12 and Revelation 15:5. Compare Hebrews 8:2, 5. God resides in heaven. [Isaiah 66:1]
614 Those dwelling in heaven: The angels, for no Christian Saint has yet attained the celestial realms. (1 Corinthians 15:23)
RV13:7 And to the Sea Beast was permitted to make war with the Saints615 [Daniel 7:25] and to conquer them.616 And the Sea Beast was given authority617 over every tribe and people and tongue and nation.618 [Daniel 7:14]
615 To make war with the Saints: A strong allusion to Daniel 7:21 where it is the Little Horn [the Small Power] that wars with the Saints. Here the Sea Beast is given authority or permission but uses another agency to actually carry this out. This is the same “trampling” of Revelation 11:2, 3.
616 To conquer them: A strong allusion to Daniel 7:21. The Beast is not victorious as Revelation 15:2 shows. (Revelation 12:11)
617 Was given authority: As in the KAI EDOTHE AUTO EXOUSIA of Daniel 7:6. (LXX)
618 Over every tribe and people and tongue and nation: Global authority.
RV13:8 And all those dwelling upon the earth619 will worship him. Not one of their names from the world’s foundation620 has been written in the Lamb’s Little Book of Life621 [Psalm 69:28] – that Lamb who was slaughtered622 [Isaiah 53:7].
619 Those dwelling upon the earth: Global worship. Compare the Greek phrase in Daniel 7:14 with Revelation 5:9 and Revelation 7:9.
620 World’s foundation: It may be the Lamb who has existed from the foundation of the world. Or, names from the world’s foundation. Compare Matthew 13.35; 25:34; Luke 11:50; John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4; Hebrews 4:3; 9:26; 1 Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8; 17:8. The phrase refers to the beginning of humanity with the birth of Adam’s children.
621 Book of Life: Compare Revelation 3:5, 13:8, 20:15, 22:19; Philippians 4:3. None of the worshippers will gain heaven. It does not necessarily follow that all is absolutely lost. They may be among the survivors living into the Thousand Years. Compare Zechariah 14:16 with Revelation 11:2, 3 and Revelation 21:24 KJV.
622 Lamb who was slaughtered: An alternative reading: it is the Lamb slaughtered once from the founding of the world. Compare Hebrews 9:26.

Revelation 13:9-10 – Endurance of the Saints

RV13:9 If anyone has an ear,623 let him hear:624 [Matthew 13:9]
623 If anyone has an ear: Judging from the phrase which follows, so common to the Nazarene Master, this is a parenthetical warning to the Saints alive at this particular time. They are “we the living” of 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
624 Let him hear: Compare Matthew 13:9 and Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 24; 3:6, 13, 22.
RV13:10 “If anyone is for prison, to prison he goes. If anyone is for execution, he will be executed.625[Jeremiah 15:2] Here is the endurance626 and the Faith627 of the Saints!”628
625 If anyone is for prison, to prison he goes. If anyone is for execution, he will be executed: Or, sword and captivity. Compare Luke 21:24 and Jeremiah 15:2. This infers history’s greatest holocaust with executions and concentration camps. (Matthew 26.52)
626 Endurance: The word occurs 7x: Revelation 1:9; 2:2, 3, 19; 3:10; 14:12. Interestingly, this warning comes just before the Earth Beast exercises all the authority of the Sea Beast in its three and a half years oppression against the Saints.
627 Faith: The word group occurs 13x: Revelation 1:5; 2:10, 13, 19; 3:10, 14; 14:12; 17:14; 19:11; 21:5, 8; 22:6.
628 Saints: The word occurs 13x: Revelation 5:6; 8:3, 4; 11:18; 13:7, 10; 14:12; 16:6; 17:6; 18:20, 24; 19:8; 20:9.

Revelation 13:11-13 – Earth-Beast & Global Worship

RV13:11 And I saw another wild beast ascending out of the earth629 having 2 horns630 like a lamb631 and the Earth Beast was speaking like a Dragon.632
629 Another wild beast ascending out of the earth: The word “earth” occurs 85x between Revelation 1:5 and Revelation 21:24. The source or origin of this beast does not rise out of the sea but the earth.
630 2 horns: Compare Daniel 8:3 where the two horns may refer to a dual rulership. Horns are a symbol of power and the fact that these are the tiny horns of a lamb indicates its immature, natural power
631 Like a lamb: The Earth Beast is compared to a lamb which makes it extremely unique compared to those of Daniel 7:1-9. The only other “lamb” in Revelation is the Lamb. The word occurs 28x beginning Revelation 5:6. Either the Earth Beast gives a harmless initial appearance or it is some how associated with the Lamb as a professed or counterfeit Christian power.
632 The Earth Beast was speaking like a Dragon: The Earth Beast speaks as a False Prophet, the true Mouthpiece of the Sea Beast. [Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10] Despite its misleading appearance the Earth Beast speaks as the Dragon, and because it is a False prophet, it is a liar.
RV13:12 And the Earth Beast had all the authority of the first wild Sea Beast.633 The Earth Beast was performing [signs] right before the Sea Beast.634 And the Earth Beast is making the earth635 – and those dwelling in the earth – so that they will worship the former wild Sea Beast636 which was cured of the deathblow.637
633 The Earth Beast had all the authority of the first wild Sea Beast: Whereas we see the Sea Beast with the authority, it is the Earth Beast that actually “makes” things happen. (Revelation 13:12, 13, 14, 15, 16)
634 Right before the Sea Beast: Or, in sight of. The Earth Beast exists contemporaneously with the Sea Beast in its 8th political manifestation, revived following a death-stroke. In Daniel’s dream image there is a matrix of iron of imperial rule and the clay of the democratic Mass Man. Here in this vision are the elements needed to make clay: seawater and earth. Whoever or whatever the Earth Beast proves to be, it has global authority. The Earth Beast is a “doer.”
635 Making the earth: Global authority to act or to make others do things which blaspheme God.
636 Worship the former wild Sea Beast: The Greek rendered “worship” is PROSKYNEO (before + kiss). This is a political entity and the “worship” may be so related as in the case of Daniel chapters 3, 5, 6.
637 Which was cured of the deathblow: It would seem clear that these events occur after the healing or reviving of the Sea Beast. One of the heads, one of the seven [likely the 7th], had the deathblow and yet was cured or revived. It is dead in the abyss and then is restored. The slain beast in Daniel is possibly Rome, though Daniel does not suspect such a revival. (There are other possible scenarios to the identity of this “slain” beast. It may be a revived Rome. On the other hand, it may be a revived Seventh Head, which then becomes an Eighth.) If the Second Psalm fulfills Daniel 7:11, contemporary with the enthronement of Christ, then Rome received its judgment in the early First Century and this condemnation leads to its demise in the following centuries. There is to be a restoration. That is, something of imperial Rome with a global tyranny is to raise its ugly head. This revivification is possibly the same as that described experience of “was, and is not, and is about to ascend out of the abyss.” In Revelation 11:7 it is the Wild Sea Beast that ascends out of the abyss who makes war on the Saints. It is one of the 7 heads of the Sea Beast which has the deathblow and then is cured. Possibly we are looking at the full image of Daniel chapter 2 in this vision of the Sea Beast with other elements highlighted. [Note: The Russian title Czar means “Caesar” as does the German Kaiser. Nazi Germany under Hitler considered itself the “Third Reich” as a restoration of the Roman Empire.]
RV13:13 And it is performing great signs638 so that the Earth Beast will make fire descend out of heaven in the sight of mankind.639
638 It is performing great signs: These “signs” must be impressive and globally discernible in order to move earth’s inhabitants to the response that follows. Signs are the power of the False Prophet in Revelation 19:20. Though the expression “descend out of heaven” is used of God’s dwelling, it is possible this is limited to space or the atmosphere. It may be a “sign” which gives every indication it is from God’s own heaven which is in keeping with the Earth Beast’s appearance as a lamb. From what does it mislead earth’s inhabitants? From fearing God as Revelation 14:6, 7 has it. The sign must be of a lying or deceptive sort. (Revelation 16:13, 14)
639 In the sight of mankind: This is something the entire globe witnesses and so is deceived.

Revelation 13:14-15 – A Global Image

RV13:14 And the Earth Beast is causing those dwelling on earth to stumble in error by means of these authorized signs of the Earth Beast, signs performed in sight of the wild Sea Beast telling those dwelling upon earth to make an Image to the wild Sea Beast640 who suffered the sword blow and came to life.641
640 Make an Image to the wild Sea Beast: It is earth’s inhabitants who make the Image to the Sea Beast, or that Head which received the Deathblow and yet revived. The Earth Beast does not force humanity to worship and image of itself, but rather the Sea Beast.
641 Who suffered the sword blow and came to life: Compare the sword blow from which there is a revival with the deathblow which is cured in Revelation 13:3. This phrase is the same as the wild beast ascending out of the abyss. [Revelation 11:7]
RV13:15 And it was given to her642 to give spirit to the Image of wild Sea Beast643 so that the Image might speak.644 And the Earth Beast executes645 any who refuse to give worship to the Image [Daniel 3:5] of the Sea Beast.
642 Her: This “lamb” is female or gives the overall appearance it is so submissive and docile to the Dragon. Note Revelation 13:8 and “him.” Some mss have this “him” or “it.” KJV: he; PME, TCN: “it”; “her” in Nestle-Aland. However, see “her” or “she” in Romans 13:3, 5. Note the “she” at Daniel 7:11 in Kohlenberger III interlinear of the Aramaic.
643 The Image of wild Sea Beast: The Image has two states: a) when it is made but before it receives life; and, b) after it receives spirit and then speaks. Note the Earth Beast is the life-giver to the Image.
644 That the Image might speak: The Image speaks, possibly the blasphemous words of the Sea Beast and the Dragon. (Revelation 13:5, 6; 16:13) Or, those commands which result in war with the Saints and the forced labor of all earth’s inhabitants.
645 The Earth Beast executes: Or, kills. It is the Earth Beast who kills or executes those who will not worship the Sea Beast. Here is where the Saints come in for a real test. Note Revelation 12:11; 14:12; 15:2. There is much of Daniel chapters 3, 5, 6 here. State worship and the methods used to carry it out.

Revelation 13:16-18 – A Commercial Mark

RV13:16 And the Earth Beast forces everyone646 – small and great, rich and poor, free and slave – so that they should give them an engraving647 upon the right hand or upon the forehead,
646 The Earth Beast forces everyone: Or, all. Can there be any question this cuts across all social boundaries? The deception is global in keeping with the extent of the control.
647 Engraving: The Greek is CHARAGMA (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #5480 = a permanent mark or sculptured image). The word occurs Revelation 13:16, 17; 14:9, 11; 15:2; 16:2; 19:20; 20:4. Compare this “mark” with the “seal” in Revelation 7:1-4 and Revelation 9:4 which appears on the foreheads of the 144,000-Saints. It is variously rendered: TCN: brand; TAY: tattooed. Slaves were anciently so marked as being the property of their masters. The 144,000 have two names on their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1) In the case of 666 some would see the hand of active participation and the forehead of mental consent. But, it all has the force of a real “engraving” which is easily identified by others, the buyer or the seller.
RV13:17 so that none are able to buy or sell648 if the person is without the engraving of the name of the wild Sea Beast, or the number of the name of the wild Sea Beast.
648 That none are able to buy or sell: This is global economic pressure or oppression to force humankind to worship the Sea Beast and thus the power behind the throne, the Dragon. Nothing could be more compelling or controlling. This presents a radical test on the 144,000-Saints and it is in this prophetic context that the parable of Matthew 25:31-46 may be read. It may be asked: What current power would have the potential of enforcing a global economy? Are any of the wealthiest nations in harmony with such an idea?
RV13:18 Here is the wisdom: Let those with a mind calculate the number649 of the wild Sea Beast for it is a number of a man.650 And the number of the man is 600, 60, 6.651
649 Let those with a mind calculate the number: The Greek rendered “mind” is NOUN and is variously rendered: KJV: understanding; PHM: thinking man; NEB: anyone who has intelligence; BER: who has intelligence; TCN: ability. The text does not explain the need or reason to make this calculation or computation. The word “calculate” is from the Greek PSEPHISATO (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #5585 = let him count) and occurs in Luke 14:28 and Acts 26:10 as a root in the voting pebble. (Revelation 2:17)
650 It is a number of a man: A single man, either an individual man associated with the revived beast or a power named after a man. Note certain men were prominent in the beasts of Daniel: Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Alexander the Great. Compare “man” in Daniel 7:4, 8. Some call this “man” Antichrist though there is no direct Scriptural basis for this.
651 600, 60, 6: Or, 666. Interestingly, this number occurs in two other places: 1 Kings 10:14 (2 Chronicles 9:13 LXX) and Ezra 2:13. Many efforts of “intelligent” men to calculate or compute this number have not resulted in universal agreement. It should be obvious that when this “man” does appear then the values of his “name” or “number” will become known by the Saints so tested by it at the moment.

#300. The language of chapter thirteen of the Apocalypse is very similar to what we have considered in chapters eleven and twelve. It draws for its source, like eleven and twelve, the Book of Daniel, chapter seven. Chapter thirteen is a vision of two “beasts”: one a Sea-Beast, the other an Earth-Beast. The Sea-Beast is characterized by a “mouth”652 that blasphemes God and orders things to be done. The Earth-Beast “makes”653 things happen as the instrument or agency of the Sea-Beast. Later this Earth-Beast is called the “False Prophet.” (Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:16)
652 MOUTH. Revelation 13:5, 6, 11, 14, 15. This is right out of Daniel 7:25.
653 MAKE. Revelation 13:12, 13, 14, 15, 16.

#301. The Sea-Beast is described as having seven heads and ten horns. It is similar in appearance to the Dragon. A hint to the identity of the seven heads is given in the appearance of the Sea-Beast to three animals which also appear in Daniel chapter seven: leopard, bear, lion.654 In Daniel these were the lion of Babylon (today Iraq), the bear of Persia (today Iran), and the leopard of Greece (Greece today). Many Biblical students feel the seven heads correspond with a certain march of Biblical world powers related to Israel: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome and a future Seventh Head.
654 LEOPARD, BEAR, LION. Note in Daniel the order is reversed as Daniel looks forward into the future; whereas, John sees them in their order as he looks back on history. This is not just an interesting coincidence.

#302. This Seventh Head may well be the same as the Little Horn, or Small Power. A comparison of Daniel 7:18-25 with Revelation 13:4-7 would lead to the belief that they are identical. In any case, one of these Seven Heads is slaughtered or slain. Read Daniel 7:11 with Revelation 13:3, 12, 14 and 17:8, 11. ‘I kept looking until the Beast was slain.’ (Daniel 7:11 KOE) ‘And one of (the Beast’s) seven heads was slain (with a sword wound).’ (Revelation 13:3, 14 UBS) ‘The Beast you saw which was but is not and is about to come out of the Abyss.’ (Revelation 17:8 UBS) Is it possible that Rome655 is the “slain” beast which the Apocalypse reveals to be “cured” or “revived”? Let us now review Daniel chapters two and seven.
655 ROME. Read Gibbon’s Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire; or, Will Durant’s Christ and Caesar (Story of Civilization).

#303. It is likely that the Dream-Image in Daniel chapter two is an earlier form of the Sea-Beast of Revelation chapter 13. This Image in Daniel was compounded of four portions. Here is the account in Daniel 2:26-32, 38:

#304. The king was answering and saying to Daniel, whose name was Bel·te·shaz'zar: "Are you competent enough to make known to me the dream that I beheld, and its interpretation?" Daniel was answering before the king and saying: "The secret that the king himself is asking, the wise men, the conjurers, the magic-practicing priests [and] the astrologers themselves are unable to show to the king. However, there exists a God in the heavens who is a Revealer of secrets, and he has made known to King Neb·u·chad·nez'zar what is to occur in the final part of the days.656 Your dream and the visions of your head upon your bed-this it is:
656 FINAL PART OF THE DAYS. The Greek (LXX) is eschaton ton hemeron and is rendered “last days” by some (BAG); or, “the final days.” (NJB); “latter days” (IB).

#305. "As for you, O king, on your bed your own thoughts came up as regards what is to occur after this, and the One who is the Revealer of secrets has made known to you what is to occur. And as for me, it is not through any wisdom that exists in me more than in any others alive that this secret is revealed to me, except to the intent that the interpretation may be made known to the king himself and that the thoughts of your heart you may know.

#306. "You, O king, happened to be beholding, and, look! a certain immense image. That image, which was large and the brightness of which was extraordinary, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was dreadful. As regards that image, its head was of good gold. ... You yourself are the head of gold.” (NWT)

A golden head.

#307. Virtually all Bible students and commentators agree with the marginal notes in the New Jerusalem Bible: “The allegories in Daniel, of which this is the first, are veiled descriptions of the great successive empires of history: Neo-Babylonian ...“ This Babylonian empire657 (modern Iran) came to its end in the first half of the Fifth Century BC when the next element in the Dream Image conquered it.
657 BABYLONIAN EMPIRE. The Encyclopedia Americana: "The city [Babylon] was taken by the Persians under Cyrus the Great in 539 B.C. Later Alexander the Great planned to make Babylon the capital of his eastern empire, but after his death Babylon gradually lost importance." (1956, Vol. III, p. 7)[1]

Chest of silver.

#308. Daniel 2:32, 39 predicts: “As regards that image ... its breasts and its arms were of silver. ... And after you (Nebuchadnezzar) there will rise another kingdom inferior to you.” The New Jerusalem Bible confirms what most scholars observe: “Median, Persian.” History confirms the political combine of Medo-Persia (echoed in modern Iraq), with Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Great658 in the lead, invaded the city of Babylon in the year 539 BC, marching up the dried river bed of the Euphrates into a city whose gates had been left open. This moment is captured in Daniel chapter five and foretold by Isaiah chapters 45 to 47, as well as Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51.
658 CYRUS THE GREAT. Josephus: "In the seventeenth year of his [Nabonidus'] reign Cyrus advanced from Persia with a large army, and, after subjugating the rest of the kingdom, marched upon Babylonia. Apprised of his coming, Nabonnedus [Nabonidus] led his army to meet him, fought and was defeated, whereupon he fled with a few followers and shut himself up in the town of Borsippa [the twin city of Babylon]. Cyrus took Babylon, and after giving orders to raze the outer walls of the city, because it presented a very redoubtable and formidable appearance, proceeded to Borsippa to besiege Nabonnedus. The latter surrendering, without waiting for investment, was humanely treated by Cyrus, who dismissed him from Babylonia, but gave him Carmania for his residence. There Nabonnedus spent the remainder of his life, and there he died." (Against Apion, I, 150-153 [20])

#309. The Bible Books of Esther, Ezra, and Nehemiah, as well as the historical records of the Maccabees, chronicle events related to Jewish history in its dealings with Persia.

Belly and thighs of copper.

#310. Daniel 2:32, 39 continues: “As regards that image ... And after you there will rise another kingdom inferior to you; and another kingdom, a third one, of copper, that will rule over the whole earth.” “Greece,” is the conclusion of the New Jerusalem Bible; and, just so, Alexander the Great, in the first half of the Third Century, conquered all of Persia. Many of the details are also foretold in Daniel chapter eight. (Compare also Daniel 10:13, 14 on the demon control of these powers.)

#311. The rise of Greece659 was to have great influence on Biblical history with the development of the Greek Jewish translation, the Septuagint, in what became the common international language of koine Greek, the language of Alexander’s troops. However, Alexander was to die suddenly in his youth of malaria and four of his generals ascended to the Hellenistic throne.
659 GREECE. Compare the First Century record of Josephus and his works Antiquites of the Jews and Wars of the Jews. "When the Book of Daniel was shown to (Alexander the Great), in which he had declared that one of the Greeks would destroy the empire of the Persians, he believed himself to be the one indicated." (Jewish Antiquities, XI, 337 [viii, 5])
Greece, with 10,000 soldiers, conquered 100,000 Persians at the battle of Marathon.

Legs of iron.

#312. As to the fourth and final “kingdom,” prophetically looking beyond the end of Grecian world control, Daniel 2:32, 33, 40 telescoped across several centuries: “As regards that image ... its legs were of iron. ... And as for the fourth kingdom, it will prove to be strong like iron. For as much as iron is crushing and grinding everything else, so, like iron that shatters, it will crush and shatter even all these.” (NW) Just so, the Roman juggernaut ground across Europe and the Middle East to become the premier empire of ancient history. A tiny province in the Middle East was to become the pivot upon which one of the most important events of history occurred. What was to take place during the history of this Latin domination?

God’s Kingdom.

#313. Daniel continues to predict the final outcome to this colossal dream image from the mind of that Chaldean king of the Sixth Century BC. Daniel 2:34, 35, 44, 45 describe what will occur during the historical period when all four “kingdoms” still exist as contemporaries:660 “You kept on looking until a stone was cut out not by hands, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and of molded clay and crushed them. At that time the iron, the molded clay, the copper, the silver and the gold were, all together, crushed and became like the chaff from the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away so that no trace at all was found of them. And as for the stone that struck the image, it became a large mountain and filled the whole earth. ... "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite; for as much as you beheld that out of the mountain a stone was cut not by hands, and [that] it crushed the iron, the copper, the molded clay, the silver and the gold. The grand God himself has made known to the king what is to occur after this. And the dream is reliable, and the interpretation of it is trustworthy.’
660 CONTEMPORARIES. Though Rome is “slain” the other three “kingdoms” Daniel 7:12 predicts a different out come for Babylon, Persia, and Greece: ‘But as for the rest of the beasts, their rulerships were taken away, and there was a lengthening in life given to them for a time and a season.’ These were still operating countries in the First Century. (Acts 2:8, 9; 1 Peter 5:13)

#314. Though the prophet telescopes across millenniums to the apocalyptic finale in the future, Daniel makes it clear in his “reliable interpretation” that God’s own “Kingdom” will begin its reign during the historical moment when all four661 “kingdoms” are still operating entities. When did this occur? It would have to take place during the Roman period. Did this happen? The Good Doctor, the historian who is identified only by the name Luke, is meticulous in his report: ‘In the fifteenth year of the reign of Ti·be'ri·us Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Ju·de'a, and Herod was district ruler of Gal'i·lee, but Philip his brother was district ruler of the country of It·u·rae'a and Trach·o·ni'tis, and Ly·sa'ni·as was district ruler of Ab·i·le'ne, in the days of chief priest An'nas and of Ca'ia·phas, God's declaration came to John the son of Zech·a·ri'ah in the wilderness. So he came into all the country around the Jordan, preaching baptism. ... Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized and, as he was praying, the heaven was opened up ... Furthermore, Jesus himself, when he commenced [his work], was about thirty years old.’ (Luke 3:1-3, 21, 23 NW) So, the godly physician chooses to establish the exact moment when Messiah arrived on the scene in fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy with the “fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar.” This is known to be the year 29662 AD (CE). What was this prophet and rabbi from the Middle Eastern deserts to go on to become? According to the inspired reports of his own disciples?
661 ALL FOUR. Compare Daniel 7:11, 12.
662 29 AD. See the August 1997 National Geographic.

King!

#315. The Second Psalm was to foretell regarding the Messiah:

Psalm 2:1 ‘Why have the nations been in tumult
And the national groups themselves kept muttering an empty thing?

Psalm 2:2 The kings of earth take their stand
And high officials themselves have massed together as one
Against Jehovah and against his anointed one,

Psalm 2:3 [Saying:] "Let us tear their bands apart
And cast their cords away from us!"

Psalm 2:4 The very One sitting in the heavens will laugh;
Jehovah himself will hold them in derision.

Psalm 2:5 At that time he will speak to them in his anger
And in his hot displeasure he will disturb them,

Psalm 2:6 [Saying:] "I, even I, have installed my king
Upon Zion, my holy mountain."

Psalm 2:7 Let me refer to the decree of Jehovah;
He has said to me: "You are my son;
I, today, I have become your father.

Psalm 2:8 Ask of me, that I may give nations as your inheritance
And the ends of the earth as your own possession.

Psalm 2:9 You will break them with an iron scepter,
As though a potter's vessel you will dash them to pieces."

Psalm 2:10 And now, O kings, exercise insight;
Let yourselves be corrected, O judges of the earth.

Psalm 2:11 Serve Jehovah with fear
And be joyful with trembling.

Psalm 2:12 Kiss the son, that He may not become incensed
And you may not perish [from] the way,
For his anger flares up easily.’
(NWT)

#315. Now, both Peter and Paul were to quote from this Psalm and give inspired applications of it to that period in the first half of the First Century. Peter does so with his prayer with fellow Christians: ‘Upon hearing this they with one accord raised their voices to God and said: "Sovereign Lord, you are the One who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all the things in them, and who through holy spirit said by the mouth of our forefather David, your servant, 'Why did nations become tumultuous and peoples meditate upon empty things? The kings of the earth took their stand and the rulers massed together as one against Jehovah and against his anointed one.' Even so, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with [men of] nations and with peoples of Israel were in actuality gathered together in this city against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, in order to do what things your hand and counsel had foreordained to occur.’ (Acts 4:24-28 NW) Is it fair to say that here Peter and his prayer group apply Psalm 2:1, 2 to the events surrounding the events of the Nazarene’s trial and execution? This actually happened during the heyday of the Roman domination of Europe and the Middle East.

#316. What about Paul’s quotation on this Second Psalm before a Jewish synagogue in Roman Antioch: ‘"And so we are declaring to you the good news about the promise made to the forefathers, that God has entirely fulfilled it to us their children in that he resurrected Jesus; even as it is written in the second psalm, 'You are my son, I have become your Father this day.' And that fact that he resurrected him from the dead destined no more to return to corruption, he has stated in this way, 'I will give you people the loving-kindnesses to David that are faithful.' Hence he also says in another psalm, 'You will not allow your loyal one to see corruption.' For David, on the one hand, served the express will of God in his own generation and fell asleep [in death] and was laid with his forefathers and did see corruption. On the other hand, he whom God raised up did not see corruption.”’ (Acts 13:32-37 NW) Is it fair to conclude that here Paul quotes Psalm 2:7 and applies it to that moment following the Nazarene’s resurrection? (Romans 1:4)

#317. It seems entirely appropriate, therefore, to apply Psalm 2:5, 6 to that same moment following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ: ‘At that time (Yehowah) will speak to them in his anger, and in his hot displeasure he will disturb them, [Saying:] "I, even I, have installed my king upon Zion, my holy mountain."’ (NW) That Paul believed Christ was enthroned upon his ascension and return to heaven, he writes in several places alluding to Psalms 8:6 and 110:1: For he must rule as king until [God] has put all enemies under his feet. As the last enemy, death is to be brought to nothing. For [God] "subjected all things under his feet."’ (1 Corinthians 15:25-27 NW; Psalm 8:6) And again: ‘He is the reflection of [his] glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power; and after he had made a purification for our sins he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty in lofty places. So he has become better than the angels, to the extent that he has inherited a name more excellent than theirs. For example, to which one of the angels did he ever say: "You are my son; I, today, I have become your father"? And again: "I myself shall become his father, and he himself will become my son"?’ (He 1:3-5 NW; Psalm 110:1; 2:6, 7) And, this time: But a certain witness has given proof somewhere, saying: "What is man that you keep him in mind, or [the] son of man that you take care of him? You made him a little lower than angels; with glory and honor you crowned him, and appointed him over the works of your hands. All things you subjected under his feet." For in that he subjected all things to him [God] left nothing that is not subject to him. Now, though, we do not yet see all things in subjection to him; but we behold Jesus, who has been made a little lower than angels, crowned with glory and honor for having suffered death, that he by God's undeserved kindness might taste death for every [man].’ (Hebrews 2:6-9 NW; Psalm 8:6) And another time: ‘But this [man] offered one sacrifice for sins perpetually and sat down at the right hand of God, from then on awaiting until his enemies should be placed as a stool for his feet.’ (Hebrews 10:12, 13 NW; Psalm 110:1)

#318. In all of these quotations and applications, Paul draws on three prophetic and messianic Psalms: 2:6, 7; 8:6; 110:1 and has their fulfillment’s at the time in the year 33 AD, following his resurrection, when Jesus Christ ascended to heaven to become enthroned as King. This was that moment foretold by Daniel 2:44: ‘And during the days of these kings663 the God of heaven will set up a Kingdom.’ (NW) With how much authority is this King invested? According to Paul when he writes to the Roman city of Ephesus: ‘in the case of the Christ when (the God) raised him up from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above every government and authority and power and lordship and every name named, not only in this system of things, but also in that to come. He also subjected all things under his feet, and made him head over all things to the congregation, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills up all things in all.’ (Ephesians 1:20-23 NW; Psalm 110:1; 8:6) Here Paul praises the King with a description of his power. In the process he alludes to Psalms 8:6 and 110:1 again. Did the Nazarene himself ever agree with Paul’s inspired thought: that he did indeed begin to rule upon his return to heaven?
663 THESE KINGS. That is Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome.

#319. The Glorified Lord says so himself in the Apocalypse when he calls himself: ‘The Ruler of the kings of the earth.’ And, then continues later, ‘To the one that conquers I will grant to sit down with me on my throne, even as I conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.’ (Revelation 1:5; 3:21 NW) Here, near the end of the First Century, the Beloved John has his Lord claiming to already be “the Ruler”; and already having “sat down . . . on his Father’s Throne.’” In doing so, John alludes to Psalm 110:1, even as Paul had three decades before.

#320. So, can anyone seriously argue that the Lord Jesus did not begin to rule upon his return to heaven? However, what was to become of this “fourth kingdom,” the Roman legs of iron, or that “fourth kingdom” of Daniel’s own vision of the sea beasts? That is, what would happen to these powerful legs after the Latin execution of the Nazarene? A fragmentation into ten European Papal States which would result in the Roman beast being “slain.” (Daniel 7:11)

#321. However, this “slain” Beast664 is to be revived according to the apocalyptic prediction of The Revelation. There have been some attempts to revive the Roman Empire, most notably in the form of Nazi Germany and Adolph Hitler’s dream of a Third Reich.665 Russia had its own “Czar” and pre-WW I Germany its “Kaiser” both meaning Caesar. So right up until the first half of the Twentieth Century, there have been such attempts to revive the old Roman Empire with its totalitarian iron-like characteristics. Few would argue that we have not been in that period of efforts to mix666 or combine iron-hard imperial rule with clay-soft democratic rule in the last two centuries, since the American and French Revolutions.
664 SLAIN BEAST. This is but one of several possibilities. a) The revived slain beast is Rome; b) or, it is a facet of Rome in a new mode; c) the revived Beast is the Seventh Head which is either a present contemporary government or one which will manifest itself in the future. See notes on chapter seventeen.
665 THIRD REICH. Or, third reign. The first in the form of the original Roman empire from 100 BCE to 400 AD; the second, the Holy Roman Empire, from 400 to 1800 CE.
666 MIX. It is possible this “mixing” occurs during the formation of the ten toes as they seem already to be mixed with iron and clay. That is, during their formation there was a mixing going on which reflected parts of the iron of old Rome and the clay of the forming Papal States. Another possibility is Russia representing the last of the iron-like totalitarians now “mixing” with the clay of the democratic capitalists West. If this is so, then it is no to succeed. The League of Nations and the United Nations would be among Twentieth Century examples.

#322. Returning for a moment to compare the prophetic elements of Daniel chapter seven, we remember the Roman Empire was to fragment, first into two “legs,” that is the eastern and western breakup, and then into “ten” states. History fits this well: for Rome did fragment beginning with the conquest of Christianity in the Fifth Century. Rome completely collapsed around the year 800 AD when the Pope crowned Charlamagne. This began the 1,000 years of Catholic rule in the Holy Roman Empire by means of those “ten” Papal States, those former provinces of Rome now each with its own king. These likely included Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Holland, Spain, Italy and others.

#323. Daniel foretold the rise of another, an eleventh Little Horn, or Small Power. This apparently insignificant government would be completely different in general appearance from all the previous imperial rulerships. The Little Horn would “put down” three of the original ten. If we place this prophetic scenario up against the actual historical record, it is not difficult to see how the tiny British colonies in America, with a government and political agenda completely different from the imperial powers of Europe, became such a Little Horn. Daniel 7.8, 20 predicted: ‘Another horn, a small one, came up in among them, and there were three of the first horns that were plucked up from before it. ... And the other [horn] that came up and before which three fell.’ (NW) The three667 great land owners668 of the Americas were Great Britain, Spain and France. Britain possessed the eastern portion of North America. France the middle portion, and Spain the western. Additionally, Russia had strong interests in the North West and Alaska. By revolution, war, and economic power, America “put down” all three of these European powers which had controlled earth’s oceans for centuries.
667 THREE. It may be observed in connection with the American power that the “three” could also be Germany, Japan, and Russia.
668 LAND OWNERS. The Dutch were very active early in New Amsterdam (New York City’s first name) and Harlem.

#324. Tensions between America and the “ten” European powers continued throughout the Nineteenth Century and the beginning of the Twentieth Century when war broke out in Europe. The Great War embroiled all of these fragments of Rome, these “ten” horns, in a struggle among relatives for total dominance. After nearly four years of slaughter, with 20,000,000 deaths, isolationist America final entered the war and helped bring it to an end, the only one among the European powers without a monarchical king. The war left Europe, including Great Britain, economically destitute. This whole historical scenario was to be repeated again with much the same protagonists during World War II.669 As in World War I, America entered late, but was the major force for bringing the slaughter of 50 million to an end. Can there be any question that America is that apparently insignificant Small Power of Daniel’s prophecy which has its historical roots in Rome? It is just as he predicted: ‘I kept on considering the horns, and, look! another horn, a small one, came up in among them, and there were three of the first horns that were plucked up from before it. And, look! there were eyes like the eyes of a man in this horn, and there was a mouth speaking grandiose things. ... and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other [horn] that came up and before which three fell, even that horn that had eyes and a mouth speaking grandiose things and the appearance of which was bigger than that of its fellows.’ (Daniel 7:8, 20 NW)
669 WW II. In his book World War Three, President Richard Nixon discussed at length how the European wars were really just one continuous conflict which he felt would lead to the final end in a third world war.

#325. What is suggested and presented above is made only as one of the possibilities. Each generation of Christians back to the First Century had their own contemporary interpretations of these visions. Mindful of the Nazarene’s words about those who would say, The Time is at Hand670 we must exercise caution in trying to force our historical moment into the vision’s fulfillment. The natural tendency is to think all of this must occur because we are alive at this particular moment and that we must be the reason for Christ’s Return!
670 THE TIME IS AT HAND. Compare Luke 21:8, Byington.

#326. At the same time we believe these apocalyptic visions were written with a purpose in mind and therefore the time will come when all of the foretold events will unfold in brilliant clarity. It is enough to draw hope and comfort from these prophecies and the ongoing developments in history which seem to indicate that all is moving along as God purposed. America may well turn out to be the foretold Little Horn of Daniel, and thus, related somehow to the Sea Beast of the Apocalypse. Or, it may turn out to be another government in the future which will develop the prophetic characteristics.

#327. The prophetic characteristics of the Little Horn and Sea Beast are: 1) roots in Rome; 2) apparently insignificant in its beginnings; 3) ultimately more powerful than any of the “ten”; 4) a prominent and significant “put down” of “three” of the “ten”; 5) characterized by its “mouth” particularly against God; 6) absolute military power; 7) ability to call down fire from heaven; 8) global economic control; and, 9) the inclination and wherewithal to either execute or imprison.

#328. You may have noticed we have not used the term “antichrist” thus far. The reason for this is because the term does not occur in any of these visions. It is only John who coins this term “antichrist” or “antichrists” in his letters. According to John they existed in his own day and he defines and characterizes them for his readers back there. These are the five occurrences of this designation “antichrist(s)”: ‘Young children, it is the last hour, and, just as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now there have come to be many antichrists; from which fact we gain the knowledge that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of our sort; for if they had been of our sort, they would have remained with us. But [they went out] that it might be shown up that not all are of our sort. ... Who is the liar if it is not the one that denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one that denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:18, 19, 22 NW) ... but every inspired expression that does not confess Jesus does not originate with God. Furthermore, this is the antichrist's [inspired expression] which you have heard was coming, and now it is already in the world. (1 John 4:3 NW) ... For many deceivers have gone forth into the world, persons not confessing Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.’ (2 John 7 NW)

#329. This does not mean that the term could not be applied to modern counterparts which have the same attributes. But, that the Bible foretold a particular Antichrist, in just such a term, is not accurate. There is a “False Prophet” foretold and we will get to it in just a moment.

330. There is a strong possibility that the Beast which “ascends out of the abyss” is the same as the one which is “slain” and yet “revives” or is “healed.” This death-stroke with the sword, as it were, amounts to falling into the Abyss of death, just as Jesus did. Paul describes the experience of the Lord Jesus after he died as: ‘But the righteousness resulting from faith speaks in this manner: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?' that is, to bring Christ down; or, 'Who will descend into the abyss?' that is, to bring Christ up from the dead."’ (Romans 10:6, 7 NW) Here Paul quotes Deuteronomy 30:12, 13 from the Septuagint. If this be the same “abyss” out of which the Sea Beast comes, then the Apocalypse is talking about some death-like condition.

#331. Is the beast which ascends out of the beast the same as the one who has the “sword-stroke”? Compare these verses and judge for yourself: ‘And when they have finished their witnessing, the wild beast that ascends out of the abyss will make war with them and conquer them and kill them. (Revelation 11:7) ... And I saw one of its heads as though slaughtered to death, but its death-stroke got healed, and all the earth followed the wild beast with admiration. And they worshipped the dragon because it gave the authority to the wild beast, and they worshipped the wild beast with the words: "Who is like the wild beast, and who can do battle with it?" And a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies was given it, and authority to act forty-two months was given it. And it opened its mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme his name and his residence, even those residing in heaven. And there was granted it to wage war with the holy ones and conquer them, and authority was given it over every tribe and people and tongue and nation.’ (Revelation 11:7; 13:3-7 NW) Does this not show that the Beast which “ascends out of the abyss” is the same as the one who is “slaughtered to death, but its death-stroke got healed”? For this is the Satanic agency which oppresses the Saints for three and a half years, exactly as Daniel 7:21, 25 predicted: ‘I kept on beholding when that very horn made war upon the holy ones, and it was prevailing against them. ... And he will speak even words against the Most High, and he will harass continually the holy ones themselves of the Supreme One. And he will intend to change times and law, and they will be given into his hand for a time, and times and half a time.’ (NW) Therefore, Daniel’s “little horn” is the same as John’s Sea Beast which is revived (or healed) following a descent into the abyss.

#332. At any rate, the wild Sea Beast in Apocalypse chapter 13 has a “head” which is healed, and this revival or resuscitation is something of which the entire globe is keenly aware resulting in wondrous awe. This is not some abstraction which is obscure and which only an elitist few can discern or understand. It is hard not to see some earth-wide recognition in the words: ‘ ... all the earth followed the wild beast with admiration. ... and authority was given it over every tribe and people and tongue and nation. ... And all those who dwell on the earth will worship it ... and it makes the earth and those who dwell in it worship the first wild beast it misleads those who dwell on the earth ... it puts under compulsion all persons, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free and the slaves.’ (Revelation 13:3-16 NW) One would suspect that all of this would have the power of something like Hitler being resurrected. On the other hand, it may refer to the revival of the Roman Empire as some kind of fascist state with absolute global control, and with all the communication organization and unquestioned military power (evidently with some power over the space surround the earth) needed to carry all of this out.

#333. It is this Sea Beast which acts like the Little Horn of Daniel chapter seven and makes war on the 144,000-Saints for 42 months. Its governmental authority and political control is indeed global as shown by the verses above. It has the awesome power as one world government with enough authority to cause the entire globe to worship its “image.”

#334. The apocalyptic account says the Dragon’s worshippers are in wonderment over this revived Beast, asking: “Who are able to war against the Wild Beast?” This question may be directed toward the one “head” which is healed, but it indicates a martial superiority. That is, a single government (or ruler) with so much power none dare go to war against it. This sounds like a powerful military state with the ability to put down any opposition. Is there such a government on earth today which actually has such power, or has the potential for developing such?

#335. It is this Beast which acts like the Little Horn of Daniel chapter seven and makes war on the 144,000-Saints for forty-two months. Its governmental authority is global as shown by Revelation 13:7 and its awesome power as one world government is enough to cause the entire globe to worship (or serve) it. It has the power to execute with sword or imprison any it chooses. Evidently, judging from verse Revelation 13.10, which we are told in Revelation 13:9 to pay special attention to, this way of executions and imprisonment has much to do with the endurance of the 144,000-Saints throughout the 42 months of the Great Oppression, the final Holocaust.

#336. With Revelation 13:11 another Beast is introduced, the Earth Beast, who has the appearance of a “lamb”671 but who speaks more like the Dragon. It would seem the first Sea Beast has the authority and the “mouth”672 (Daniel 7:8, 20; Revelation 13:5, 6; 16:13) but it is the Earth Beast which “makes” things happen. (Re 13:12, 13) So, the Earth Beast, resembling a lamb with the mouth of the Dragon, is the prophet or mouthpiece for the Sea Beast, a False Prophet. (Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10)
671 LAMB. This may infer an external appearance of being Christian.
672 MOUTH. Note the “mouth” of the Dragon in Revelation 12:15, 16.

#337. First the Earth Beast makes the entire globe worship the Sea Beast which is likely the Little Horn in warring against the 144,000-Saints. This Earth Beast has miraculous, heaven-sent powers to make fire descend from space or the atmosphere. This either means it claims or appears to have God’s backing with miraculous signs, or it has some enormous scientific technology. It does not take much to imagine some government with the power to cause lasers to fire on the earth from satellites above the earth or even from the moon. This is all speculation but these are possibilities for some current government already in existence. With its sign-making potential it is able to mislead or coherce the entire globe.

#338. One of the major undertakings of the Earth Beast is the creation of an icon or image in homage to the Sea Beast. This image has the ability to “speak” and to “kill” any who will not worship it. Revelation 13:15 explains: ‘the image of the wild beast should both speak and cause to be killed.’673 This power to “kill” or execute must be where the dragon-like fury of the Beast focuses on the 144,000-Saints. Verses 13:15-17 contain a number of dangling participles as in the word “it” or “he” and this may be some of the difficulty in determining which one is being spoken about. One possibility is that the “it” in these verses is the Earth Beast who seems to be the one to make things happen, and therefore, the power to execute. Note the execution and imprisonment of 13:10: ‘If anyone [is meant] for captivity, he goes away into captivity.674 If anyone will kill with the sword, he must be killed with the sword. Here is where it means the endurance and faith of the holy ones.’ (NW) So, we may render Revelation 13:15 this way: ‘And there was granted (the Earth Beast) to give breath to the image of the wild (Sea) beast, so that the image of the wild (Sea) beast should speak; and (so the Earth Beast may) cause to be executed anyone who would refuse to worship the image of the wild (Sea) beast.’
673 SPEAK AND KILL. It is possible the Greek would allow this power to execute to be limited to the Earth Beast. Some would render this ‘so the statue of the Beast should actually speak. He (the Earth beast) has everyone put to death who will not worship the statute of ... ‘ (MOF) There are many dangling participles, as it were, making it difficult to determine the subject.
674 SWORD OR CAPTIVITY. This “captivity” and “sword” is similar to that of Luke 21:24 which was foretold in Daniel 11:33 and echoed in Revelation 11:2. (Jeremiah 15:2) The Great Oppression is a holocaust with executions and concentration camps.

#339. One of the remarkable things the Earth Beast makes happen is to force everyone on the entire globe to receive a “mark” or “engraving” of the “name” or “number” of the Sea Beast. Verse 13:18 tells those of a mind to calculate the number for it is the number of a man. It does so without indicating any importance in this. Obviously, if some world government with the means and controls as well as the control of world communication, enforces an “engraving” on anyone who wishes to buy or sell, it will be quite well known. There is not better way to control a large population than by some financial or economic means.

#340. The number of this “man” is 666. For two thousand years those “with a mind” to (or, the intelligence) have put forward any number of answers to this cryptic riddle. These range from a symbol for a “Nero” to an obscure abstraction symbolizing all human corruption. A score of modern persons in religion and politics have been assigned this number. The solution to this may well lie in the future. Some languages use numbers to symbolize certain names. Since this wild Sea Beast may not yet exist, any calculations or computations would be useless. If this wild Sea Beast is in the process of formation at this moment in history, then the future will reveal the meaning of 666. Clearly, this number 666 is one of the most well-known in history and it would seem unusual, knowing this, that any future entity that wanted to deliberately mislead mankind, would take up the use of 666.

#341. Interestingly, there is another occurrence of the number 666675 in the Bible which many have overlooked. It is the yearly income of Israel’s King Solomon. 1 Kings 10:14 records this: And the weight of the gold that came to Sol'o·mon in one year amounted up to six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold.’ (NW) In the LXX (3 Kings 10:14) this is, exakosia kai exekontaex and in Revelation 13:18, exakosioi exekonta hex. This seems very revealing in that the number with regard to Solomon is also in the realm of economics. Could this apocalyptic 666 be Christ’s symbol for that god Mammon or what he calls “filthy lucre”? (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:7, 13 KJV) Since the Nazarene gave many directions regarding riches and money, those contemporary Saints alive at this future historical moment, who have “followed the Lamb no matter where he goes,” must be those who have followed these teachings. Just a reading of the Gospel of Luke is enough to indicate the Nazarene’s view of money, riches, and personal property. These Nazarene teachings will have an interesting influence in a global financial environment where none can “buy or sell” without the “mark.” For this and other reasons, the 144,000-Saints refuse to take up this 666 “engraving” in order to engage in any commercial activity. Truly, ‘Here is where it means the endurance and faith of the (144,000) Saints.’ (Revelation 13:10)
675 666. There is another occurrence of this number at Ezra 2:13 (though Nehemiah 7:18 has it 667) in connection with the house of Ad·o·ni'kam which has the meaning: (My) Lord Has Raised Himself Up. No one can fail to see the meaning of this name in the revival of the beast.

#342. Now, we have read and examined chapters eleven, twelve, and thirteen and seen how they all pivot around the foretold period of three and a half years. This Great Oppression, a holocaust unlike any other, will burst forth upon the 144,000-Saints after the Devil is ousted from heaven. At this time the Devil uses the revived entity of the Sea Beast and the Earth Beast to create an object of worship, the Icon676 or Image. Those who will worship the Sea Beast must accept a mark or engraving on the forehead or hand in order to engage in any commercial or market activity. This Sea Beast, along with its promoter, the lamb-like Earth Beast, later called the False Prophet, exercise absolute global control. It would appear war has ended as none dare engage this Sea Beast in battle. The Earth Beast has an impressive sign (Revelation 13:13; 19:20), as it were from God, by causing fire to come down from heaven. This is something similar to the two Prophets or Martyrs of Revelation 11:5 who have powers like Elijah. (1 Kings 17:1) With the Prophets it is fire out of their mouths; but, with the Earth Beast it is fire from heaven. The later must be something globally discernible to affect all earth’s inhabitants. So, the Earth Beast has some unusual power or ability. It follows that to control the entire globe and all social orders, the Earth Beast must have some form of global communication. If you were a committed Christian at this time, what would you do?
676 ICON. The Greek is eikoni.

#343. In this prophetic context the parable of the sheep and goats takes on new meaning. In Matthew 25:31-46 the parousia-Judgment describes the “goats” as those who refuse to come to the aid of their fellows. Read the parable now in this context of the Great Oppression on the 144,000-Saints at the hands of this revived Sea Beast: ‘When the Son of man arrives in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit down on his glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.

#344. "Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. For I became hungry and you gave me something to eat; I got thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you received me hospitably; naked, and you clothed me. I fell sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to you?' And in reply the king will say to them, 'Truly I say to you, To the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'

#345. "Then he will say, in turn, to those on his left, 'Be on your way from me, you who have been cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I became hungry, but you gave me nothing to eat, and I got thirsty, but you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger, but you did not receive me hospitably; naked, but you did not clothe me; sick and in prison, but you did not look after me.' Then they also will answer with the words, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to you?' Then he will answer them with the words, 'Truly I say to you, To the extent that you did not do it to one of these least ones, you did not do it to me.' And these will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones into everlasting life.’ (NW)

#346. Some interpret the Earth Beast’s ability to make fire come down from heaven as an indication of divine backing. There may be some strong religious elements involved with this lamb-like activity which could be quite deceptive. The Nazarene had warned end-time Saints (the 144,000) not to be misled by such “signs.” (Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22; Luke 21:11, 25) Remember, this Earth Beast is “like a lamb.” In the Apocalypse the only other “lamb” is that one “slaughtered,” Jesus Christ. (Revelation 5:6, 8, 12) If this likeness to the lamb in the case of the Earth Beast has an association with the Lamb, for all outward appearances, this beast could appear to be Christian! If this “Christian” government has the ability to produce this kind of sign and pass itself off as God’s “prophet” (Revelation 16:13; 9:20; 20:10) then it could be the most deceptive instrument the Devil has ever used. How many “Christians” will succumb to this devious machination of the Devil? (2 Corinthians 11:14, 15; Ephesians 5:11)

#347. Who will be victorious in their Christian faith and endurance? Who will stand out as saintly in their integrity? Happily, the Apocalypse moves from this beastly oppression of three and a half years to the theme of harvest-time.

Nazarene Commentary 2000

Mark Heber Miller

2000 All Rights Reserved