Home Church Community

Statement of Beliefs

Contact Us

Search Our Site

Bible Study Resource



Printer Friendly Version

Particulars of Christianity:
314 End Times Prophecy (Eschatology)


Prophetic Symbols: Revelation 13 (Part 3)

Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 9 and 10 (Part 1)
Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 9 and 10 (Part 2)
Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 9 and 10 (Part 3)
Prophetic Symbols: Revelation 13 (Part 1)
Prophetic Symbols: Revelation 13 (Part 2)
Prophetic Symbols: Revelation 13 (Part 3)


Articles 7-12
Articles 13-18
Articles 19-25
Articles 26-29



As is our practice, we will now turn to our symbolic map legend to see if anything we have seen in the precedent of Daniel either confirms this interpretation of a revived Roman empire or fits with the notion of a head being wounded to death by the sword and then healed. And as expect, we do. From our precedent in Daniel 2, we find that iron represented the Roman empire in the statue, and that iron was present in the time period of the legs before clay is introduced into the statue and in a second time period, the time period of the feet and toes, after the clay is introduced into the statue. So, our symbolic precedent from Daniel likewise demands the existence of Rome in two time periods. What Revelation 13 tells us is a bit of additional information that not only would Rome exist in two time periods, but that in between those two time periods the Roman empire would cease to exist through war and then be healed or restored in order to reemerge a second time, just as depicted by the recurrence of the iron in both the legs and feet of Daniel 2.

When we get to Revelation 17 we will find further support that it is Rome, especially Eastern (Byzantium) Rome, which is the revived empire or head of this first beast. One such additional support, which Revelation 17 will provide is through the connections between Daniel 7 and 8's "little horn," Revelation 13's "mouth speaking blasphemies," and Revelation 17's discussion of the 10 kings and the eighth king.

Before we move on to Revelation 13's second beast we should first note that this revived empire is only going to exist in its revived state for a short time, forty two months to be exact.

Revelation 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. 4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Again, we will have more to cover on this period of time when we get to chapter 17.

Now on to the second beast of Revelation 13.

Revelation 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

As we noted earlier from Daniel 7 the terms "out of the sea" and "out of the earth" are used interchangeably. Therefore, it is difficult to make a significant interpretative distinction between these two beasts of Revelation 13 based on the fact that the first is said to come "out of the sea" and the second is said to come up "out of the earth."

The first thing to note about this second beast is the particular prophetic symbols that are used to describe it. We will note that it is identified through two traits. First, it has two horns resembling a lamb. And second, it speaks like a dragon. So what do these two traits tell us?

With regard to this beast, there are three points that need to be made. First, the phrase does NOT read, "he was like a lamb." Instead, the description reads "and he had two horns like a lamb." Thus, it is through the two horns that this second beast is compared to a lamb. Or in other words, it is the horns of this beast that are like a lamb. And while it may be possible to extend that "lamb-like" quality beyond the horns to the beast itself, such an extension is not demanded or even implied by the text.

Second, many Christians have ventured to assert that the "lamb-like-ness" of this second beast is meant to indicate that this beast will appear to be Christian. Given the association of the false prophet to this second beast, many have taken this comparison to "a lamb" as an indication that the false prophet will portray himself as a Christian or perhaps even as the Messiah. Such assertions are based upon the notion that the phrase "like a lamb" is meant to indicate "like Christ." However, such assertions are in the realm of mere speculation and are not necessarily implied by the text itself.

It has been suggested that the phrase, "he had two horns like a lamb" is meant to indicate "he had two horns like the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ." This suggestion that the two horns cause this second beast to resemble the Lamb of God is inaccurate, which becomes apparent when we view the two following passages side by side.

Revelation 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

Revelation 5:6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

Notice that the second beast is described saying, "he had two horns like a lamb." But when Jesus Christ is described as a Lamb, he doesn't have two horns, but seven. Thus, if the intention was to compare this beast with Christ, the text would be reading, "he had two horns like the Lamb of God, which had seven horns." So, the comparison seems to run aground in that, as we have said, this second beast is compared to a lamb through its two horns and, as we have seen the Lamb of God has seven horns. Thus, this second creature is not like the Lamb of God with regard to its horns, particularly the number of horns. Therefore, it would seem that this second beast is not being compared to Christ specifically but a lamb in general.

Third, while this comparison of the second beast to a lamb may carry some connotations that this beast has the appearance of "Christianity," we cannot focus on such speculative notions to the point of overriding or excluding the implications of these symbols from both the context of their common usage in the book of Revelation and their usage in the biblical prophetic precedent. In other words, we know from our study of Daniel 7 and 8 that in a prophetic setting, horns on beasts represent kings and their kingdoms. And more specifically, from the particular case of Daniel 8's depiction of Media-Persia, we know that the description of this second beast of Revelation 13 should also be interpreted as a political entity based upon two kingdoms or kingships, just as Media-Persia was depicted as a two-horned beast.

And while this second beast is associated with the False Prophet, we must not divorce the extent to which this beast represents the False Prophet from the symbolic precedent of these symbols. Daniel 7:17, 23 plainly tell us that beasts represent kingdoms not just kings. So, it would be in complete contradiction of the precedent of the symbol of a "beast" to interpret this second beast of Revelation 13 as a reference only to the single man who is the False Prophet. Based upon the established usages of this symbol, we know that since Revelation depicts the False Prophet as a beast with horns, he must be a ruler of a political entity as well. To overlook or ignore that fact is to deny the biblical precedent for this symbol.

In fact, based upon the precedent of these symbols, we must assume the False Prophet will be the head of an empire, in like fashion that the other kings were heads of empires. Therefore, we should be careful not to stray or "spiritualize" the kind of kingdom this False Prophet rules over. The other kings who ruled the beasts depicted in Daniel 7 and 8 ruled over actual geo-political empires, so, too, we must assume from the use of the same symbol to describe him, that the False Prophet's empire will be of the same kind.

Lastly, we should note that although the Greek and Hebrew languages do not bear out an exact comparison, the simplest and perhaps most straightforward interpretation of the phrase "he had two horns like a lamb," is that it is meant to refer the reader back to Daniel 8 and draw a comparison of this second beast to the empire of Media-Persia. Once again, consider the two passages side by side.

Revelation 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

Daniel 8:20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

The Greek word for "ram" in Revelation 13:11 is "arnion," (Strong's No. 721) meaning "lamb" and the Hebrew word for "ram" in Daniel 8:20 is "ayil" (Strong's No. 0352) meaning "ram." The Greek word "arnion" does refer to Christ as a sacrificial lamb. And although a "ram" was never used in connection with the Passover lamb in the Old Testament, there were many sacrifices where an "ayil" (ram) was mandated including burnt offerings. Also worth note is that Abraham's sacrifice of a ram in place of Isaac in Genesis 22:1-14 involved an ayil, or ram. However, nowhere in the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament) is "arnion" used in place of "ayil" including Daniel 8. Instead, another Greek word ("krino") is used for "ram" in those passages.

Yet, despite the fact that there is no direct linguistic connection between an "ayil" (ram) and an "arnion" (lamb), the fact that the ram and the lamb were both sacrificial animals of the same species and that the phrasing of these two descriptions (Revelation 13:11, Daniel 8:20) are so similar, strongly indicates that the simplest explanation of Revelation 13:11 is as a reference back to Daniel 8 and NOT to some speculative or metaphoric representation about the "Christianity" of this second beast.

Above all we must understand that this second beast is chiefly representing a king and his kingdom, which according to our prophetic symbol legend will have a power base that is derived from two cooperative nations, kingdoms, or people groups.

So far in comparing Revelation 13 to Daniel we find several similarities. First, as we already stated, both Daniel 2 and Revelation 13 employ a single symbol in order to depict a succession of empires. Second, in the statue of Daniel 2 we saw that the iron, which represented Rome, was present during both the time frame of the legs and the time frame of the feet. In the time period of the legs, the iron, signifying Rome, is alone. But in the time period of the feet, the iron is accompanied by the clay, which signifies a second era in which a later version of the Roman empire (iron) will co-exist with another empire that is represented by the clay.

This aspect of Daniel's statue fits well with Revelation 13. Earlier when we correlated the substances of Daniel 2's statue to the four beasts of Daniel 7, we found a correlation between each beast and substance from the statue except for the clay of the feet. We stated that in Revelation 13 we would find the fifth beast that would represent the clay of the feet so that we would have five substances in the statue and five beasts.

The second beast of Revelation 13 is this fifth beast, which corresponds to the clay from the statue. And Revelation 13 is consistent with Daniel in which a former empire (Rome - iron) returns to power at the same time as another (the clay). Revelation 13's revived head and second beast parallel the dual existence of the iron and clay in the feet of Daniel 2's statue. The revived head and the recurring iron both depict the reemergence of Rome. The clay and the two-horned second beast represent the other kingdom. As we will see from Revelation chapter 17 these two kingdoms are the sixth and seventh heads of the first beast from chapter 13.

Now, before moving on to Revelation 17, we will recap what we have learned so far not only from our survey of symbolic precedent in Daniel, but also from our comparative examination of the symbols in Revelation 13 to that precedent.

1. A series of unfolding historic empires can be represented collectively using a single, symbolic entity (such as the statue of Daniel 2 or the seven-headed beast of Revelation 13.)
2. The phrases "out of the earth" and "out of the sea" are used interchangeably by Daniel and, therefore, no great significance should be attached in the effort to distinguish between them.
3. Daniel 2, 7, and 8 as well as Revelation 13 all depict the same succession of empires starting with Babylon, then Media-Persia, then Greece, then Rome (along with another nation represented by the clay), and finally the coming of the kingdom of God, when the saints possess the kingdom.
4. While Daniel 7 depicts the kingdoms of gold, silver, brass, and iron from Daniel 2 as four beasts but does not depict a beast representing the kingdom of clay, Revelation 13:11 finally depicts a beast, which corresponds to the kingdom of clay.
5. Something of the Roman kingdom exists in two time periods, the time period of the legs before the clay is introduced into the statue and in the time of the feet and toes after the clay is introduced into the statue. Likewise, Revelation 13 depicts the restoration of a former head that was defeated by war to exist side by side with a second beast. This coexistence of a former empire with a new empire is identical to the coexistence of the iron and the clay in the feet of Daniel 2's statue.
6. Beasts represent two items, both kings and their kingdoms.
7. Although the second beast of Revelation 13 does represent the single human figure known as the False Prophet, because the biblical precedent for the symbol of a beast never depicts just a king or ruler but the king and the kingdom he rules, we must understand from the second beast of Revelation 13 that the False Prophet is himself a ruler over a kingdom or empire in the same way that the kings of Daniel 7 and 8 were rulers over actual geo-political kingdoms.
8. Horns also represent kings and, unless specified by the text, horns represent contemporary kings, not a succession or line of kings.
9. Although horns represent kingdoms that arise out of an empire that precedes them, the kingdoms represented by those horns do NOT have to be situated geographically in the same region as the preceding empire. The kingdoms represented by the horns can migrate significantly away from the geographic location of their imperial predecessor.
10. A beast with multiple heads represents an overarching political entity and the political powers that come from it, as was the case with the four-headed leopard of Greece and the seven-headed first beast of Revelation 13.
11. Angelic princes rule over the kingdoms of men, and specifically over the empires described in Daniel 2, 7, and 8.
12. The "prince of the people" who "destroyed the city and the sanctuary" is NOT the Antichrist, but the angelic prince who ruled over the Roman Empire.
13. Putting all of this together we can see that Daniel's writings recorded and anticipated a succession of the following empires: Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, Rome, another yet unknown represented by the clay and the second beast of Revelation 13, and finally a Jewish empire or kingdom ruled over by Jesus Christ the Jewish Messiah, the Prince of princes.


Related Images



Figure 1.1
This animated sequence
illustrates how the term
"beast" can focus in on
1 of 3 distinct aspects
of the same overall entity.
1.) The seven-headed empire system
2.) The revived head
or revived empire
3.) The 8th king who becomes head of both.




Historic Map Series
(Maps 1-12)




Additional
Relevant Maps



Lexicon Excerpts



Apocalyptic
Comparison Chart



7 Heads of the
Beast Chart




Illustrations of
Symbols Series
(Illustrations 1-7)



Correspondence of
Visions Diagram