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 17 (Part 6)

Prophetic Symbols: Revelation 17 (Part 1)
Prophetic Symbols: Revelation 17 (Part 2)
Prophetic Symbols: Revelation 17 (Part 3)
Prophetic Symbols: Revelation 17 (Part 4)
Prophetic Symbols: Revelation 17 (Part 5)
Prophetic Symbols: Revelation 17 (Part 6)

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

In conclusion, in the last days, during the final three and a half years before the return of Christ Jesus and the start of his Millennial reign on earth, we find two angelic princes at work. One (the Roman prince who is released out of the bottomless pit) is primarily associated with destruction and he works through the human ruler known as the antichrist, whose empire is associated with brutally breaking in pieces according to Daniel 7:7, 19, 23. The other angelic prince is primarily associated with deception and he works through the human ruler known as the False Prophet, whose empire is associated with deceiving the nations (Revelation 13:14, 19:20). This association of the False Prophet and his empire with deceiving the nations will become significant also as we move on to the next section of our study, the Great Prostitute (Mystery Babylon.)

With one exception, we have now concluded our study of the primary symbols found in apocalyptic literature. We have covered a lot of ground, from Daniel to Revelation and even in between. What we have found is that the same message and the same events of human history are being depicted in all the prophetic visions in Daniel 2, 7, 8, 10, and 11 as well as Revelation 9, 12, 13, and 17. Each of these chapters simply focuses in on a different aspect of the details, figures, or events involved. But the overall picture is simple, consistent, and the same throughout.

As we said, we have completed this study of the primary symbols with one exception. That exception is the question of who the great prostitute of Revelation 17 is. Because the symbolism of this woman is integrated into the symbolism of the beast and kings found in Revelation 17, it is necessary to examine that issue as well. If the interpretation of the symbol of the woman is not consistent with the rest of our interpretation regarding these other main symbols, we would have to reexamine the accuracy of our findings so far. Therefore, it is necessary to resolve an adequate interpretation of the great prostitute as well before we finally conclude this study. So, we will move on to answer that question next.

But before we move on to examine the great prostitute, we will end this section with a summary in list form of our findings. This has been our practice up to this point in the study. Here then, are the conclusions established so far by our study.

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 7 empires starting with Egypt and Assyria, then 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. Likewise, the word "mountain" in Revelation 17 is an established poetic reference to a kingdom. And so the heads of the beast in Revelation 13 and 17 represent both kings and their kingdoms, with four of the heads corresponding to the four beasts of Daniel 7, one head corresponding with the second beast of Revelation 13, and the other two heads representing the past empires of Egypt and Assyria.
8. 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.
9. Horns also represent kings and, unless specified by the text, horns represent contemporary kings, not a succession or line of kings.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. Angelic princes rule over the kingdoms of men, and specifically over the empires described in Daniel 2, 7, and 8.
13. 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.
14. The Roman angelic prince, whose people destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary just as Daniel 9:26 predicted, is known by the name or title Destroyer (Abaddon/Apollyon). He is the beast that is let out of the bottomless pit by the last of the seven angelic princes, who is depicted as being cast out of heaven to earth in Revelation 9 and 12 at the start of the final three and a half years prior to the Millennial reign of Christ.
15. The last angelic prince is not cast out of heaven and does not come down to earth until this final three and a half years, however, the casting out of the Roman prince and his coming to earth are depicted as occurring in the final days before Jesus' crucifixion in John 12 and 14. But by the final three and a half years, this Roman angelic prince has been put down in the pit.
16. This Roman prince (who is the spirit behind the human antichrist) "yet is" in the first century when John wrote his epistles (see 1 John 4), but is described as "was, is not, and shall ascend out of the pit" in terms of his overall history in Revelation 17:8 and 11 because he reigns on earth for a time, then disappears from the earth when he is put down in the pit, and then reemerges again when he is released in the last days.
17. 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)

Relevant Maps

Lexicon Excerpts

Comparison Chart

7 Heads of the
Beast Chart

Illustrations of
Symbols Series
(Illustrations 1-7)

Correspondence of
Visions Diagram