Babylon the Great always exists and symbolizes a timeless principle.

Purpose

This is an article in the series on the identity of “Babylon the Great” (Revelation 17:5). The purpose of the current article is to explain the relationship between Babylon and the evil characters in Revelation 13, namely the dragon, the beast from the sea, the false prophet, and the image of the beast. 

Summary

Babylon sits on a scarlet beast (Rev 17:3). In other words, she is distinct from this beast. The scarlet beast symbolizes the rulers of this world. That she sits on them means that she “reigns over the kings of the earth” (Rev 17:18).

Babylon is part of the beast.

In Revelation 13, four entities persecute God’s people:

(1) The dragon,
(2) The beast from the sea,
(3) The beast from the earth, and
(4) The image of the beast (Rev 13:1-2, 11, 14).

Babylon is not mentioned at all in Revelation 13, but she must be part of these four entities because:

      • While they persecute God’s people, Babylon is guilty of their blood (Rev 18:24).
      • The three angels (Rev 14:6-11) bring their warning messages during the crisis of Revelation 13 but they announce that Babylon is fallen (Rev 14:8).
      • In the plagues, the dragon, the sea beast, and the false prophet gather together the kings of the world (Rev 16:13-14), but then Babylon is punished (Rev 16:19).

How do they relate?

The question is, how does Babylon relate to the four entities above?

Each of the four entities described in Revelation 13 is a specific organization that exists for a specific period:

      • The dragon (Rev 12:3) is the Roman Empire.
      • The sea beast is the church of the Middle Ages.
      • The false prophet comes into existence when it comes out of the earth and the image of the beast comes into existence when the people of the world create it (Rev 13:11, 14).

In contrast, as indicated by the following, Babylon and her beast always exist:

      • She is guilty of the deaths of all of God’s people (Rev 18:24).
      • She is the “mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth” (Rev 17:5).
      • She sits on all seven heads of the beast (Rev 17:9), and these heads symbolize seven ages from the time of the prophet Daniel in the 6th century BC to the return of Christ.

That Babylon sits on the scarlet beast (Rev 17:3) is explained as that: “The woman … reigns over the kings of the earth” (Rev 17:18). Since Babylon and her beast always exist, this is A TIMELESS PRINCIPLE. The dragon, the beast, the false prophet and the image of the beast are specific instances of the Babylonian principle:

For example, the beast from the sea has been identified as the church of the Middle Ages. But Revelation 17 reveals that that beast consisted of two parts: The kings of the earth and false Christianity (the harlot) which dominated them, using them to silence her opponents.

The other articles in this series identify Babylon as false religion. The vision of Babylon sitting on the beast, therefore, symbolizes how religion has always dominated the civil authorities so that she could force people to accept her doctrines.

– END OF SUMMARY –

The Scarlet Beast

After Babylon was briefly mentioned in Rev 14:8 and 16:19, she is described in much more detail in Revelation 17 and 18. In Revelation 17, she sits on a scarlet beast (Rev 17:3) and is eventually destroyed by that beast (Rev 17:16). In other words, she is distinct from the scarlet beast.

The scarlet beast has seven heads and ten horns (Rev 17:3). Both the heads and the horns are explained as rulers of nations and empires (Rev 17:9-10, 12). In other words, the beast symbolizes the rulers of this world and that she sits on them is explained as that she “reigns over the kings of the earth” (Rev 17:18). (For the identity of the beast and its heads, see the articles on the beast or on the seven heads.)

Revelation 13

In Revelation 13, four entities persecute God’s people (Rev 13:1-2, 11, 14):

(1) The dragon,
(2) The beast from the sea (often simply called “the beast” (e.g., Rev 19:19),
(3) The beast from the earth (also called the false prophet – Rev 16:13; 19:20), and
(4) The image of the beast.

These entities work together and relate to each other:

The sea beast receives his “power and his throne and great authority” (Rev 13:2) from the dragon and makes the world worship the dragon (Rev 13:4).

The earth beastexercises all the authority of the first beast” (Rev 13:12) and “makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast” (Rev 13:12). (The first beast is the one from the sea.)

Through miracles, the earth beast deceives the people “to make an image to the beast” (Rev 13:14). It is then the image of the beast which kills the people who refuse to accept the mark of the beast (Rev 13:15).

Authority, therefore, passes from the dragon to the beast, from the beast to the false prophet, and from the false prophet to the image of the beast.

Babylon in Revelation 13

Babylon is not mentioned at all in Revelation 13, but, for the following reasons, she must be part of these four entities:

Firstly, while the beast and its allies persecute God’s people (e.g., Rev 13:7; 13:15), Babylon is guilty of their blood: “In her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth” (Rev 18:24).

Secondly, the third angel warns against the beast, its image, and its mark (Rev 14:9). In other words, the three angels (Rev 14:6-11) bring their messages during the great end-time persecution of God’s people as described in Revelation 13; when the image of the beast forces people to accept the mark of the beast (Rev 13:16). But then, surprisingly, the second angel announces. “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great” (Rev 14:8).

Thirdly, in the sixth plague, we again see the dragon, the sea beast, and the false prophet at work. They send forth demon spirits to gather together the kings of the world (Rev 16:13-14). Again, Babylon is not mentioned, but. in the next and final plague, again surprisingly, Babylon receives God’s “fierce wrath” (Rev 16:19).

Babylon, therefore, is not something distinct but an integral part of the other four evil characters described in Revelation 13. The question is:

How do they relate?

Both the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 and the beast from the sea in Revelation 13 have seven heads and ten horns (Rev 13:1; 17:3). Superficially, this seems to indicate that they are one and the same. But if they are the same and if Babylon is distinct from the scarlet beast, then Babylon is also distinct from the sea beast, which would contradict the conclusions above.

Therefore, we propose that the scarlet beast (Rev 17:3) is not the same as the sea beast (Rev 13:1). For one thing, the sea beast is in control and is worshiped by the whole earth (Rev 13:8) while the scarlet beast has an inferior role: The harlot sits on it and reigns over it (Rev 17:3, 18).

Specific Organizations

As discussed in the article – The Seven-Headed Beasts – the four entities in Revelation 13 are specific organizations that come into existence at specific points in history:

The dragon, when it also is described as having seven heads and ten horns (Rev 12:3), is the Roman Empire.

The article on the seven-headed beasts identifies the sea beast as the 11th horn of Daniel 7 that grows out of the Roman Empire. Another article identifies it further as the church of the Middle Ages. In other words, it no longer exists today but has broken up into the modern denominations. It only exists today in the form of its influence through the present-day denominations and their orthodox doctrines.

The false prophet comes into existence when it comes out of the earth and the image of the beast comes into existence when the people of the world make it (Rev 13:11, 14). These, therefore, are also specific organizations that come into existence at specific points in history.

Babylon Always Exists.

In contrast to these four entities, the following indicates that Babylon and her beast always exist:

She guilty of the deaths of all of God’s people who died for their faith; from Abel onwards: “In her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth” (Rev 18:24; cf. 17:6; 19:2).

She is the “mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth” (Rev 17:5). As the “mother of harlots,” has daughters who also are harlots. Babylon, therefore, is the source of all the evil in the world today, which she passed on to her daughters. Long before the time of Nebuchadnezzar, Moses identified certain practices as abominations (Lev 7:18; 11 cf. Deut 18:9-12). Since the harlot is the mother of the abominations of the earth, she predates Moses. 

Babylon sits on the beast (Rev 17:3) but she also sits on all seven heads of the beast. The seven heads are seven consecutive “kings” (Rev 17:9-10) or empires, which means that Babylon exists during all seven consecutive heads. The article on the seven heads identifies them as seven empires or ages from the time of the prophet Daniel in the 6th century BC to the return of Christ. Babylon, therefore, exists at least from the time of ancient Babylon to the end of the world.

Since Babylon always exists, the scarlet beast on which she sits also always exists. They cannot be limited to a specific time in the past, present or future.

A Timeless Principle

That Babylon sits on the scarlet beast (Rev 17:3) is explained as that: “The woman … reigns over the kings of the earth” (Rev 17:18). Since Babylon and her beast always exist, this is a worldwide and TIMELESS PRINCIPLE.

The dragon, the beast, the false prophet and the image of the beast are specific organizations. Each exists for a specific period and each of them is one specific instance of the Babylonian principle.

The other articles in this series identify Babylon as religion. The vision of Babylon sitting on the beast, therefore, symbolizes how religion has always dominated the civil authorities to force people to accept her doctrines.

The Beast

The beast from the sea has been identified as the church of the Middle Ages. In Revelation 13, the beast is in charge since all who dwell on the earth will worship it (Rev 13:8). However, Revelation 17 reveals that that beast consisted of two parts: The kings of the earth and false Christianity (the harlot) which dominated them, using them to silence her opponents.

The Babylonian principle also applied in the first three centuries. In those centuries, Babylon (false religion) took the form of emperor worship and other pagan religions which encouraged the empire to persecute God’s people.

In the fourth century, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire and the emperors appointed the church leaders and the church leaders became accountable to the emperor. Thereafter, Christianity evolved and took on the nature of the Roman Empire; thereby adopting the Babylonian principle.

A series of articles on the website explains the development of the church. After the Western Roman Empire divided into the kingdoms of early Europe in the fifth century, the Christian Church remained behind as the remnant of the Roman Empire. Eventually, during the High Middle Ages, the church dominated the kingdoms of Europe and persecuted God’s people through political powers. The alliances between church and state during the Middle Ages was one example of the general principle of the woman (false religion) sitting on (reigning over) the beast (the kings of the world) (Rev 17:3, 18). 

The Image of the Beast

The image of the beast will be a replica of the system during the Middle Ages, namely the unity of the institutional church and the state in such a way that the church will dominate the political rulers. This will be another instance of the Babylonian principle.

The Babylonian Spirit

That the church of the Middle Ages was a form of false religion does not refer to specific doctrines. The clearest characteristic of the Babylonian spirit is the proud and arrogant spirit of persecution; completely dissimilar to that of the humble Servant (Phil 2:5-7). Whenever we see Christians persecuting other Christians, we see the beast in action. Persecution may take various forms.

However, certain doctrines, such as the doctrine that sinners will be tormented eternally, present God as a cruel tyrant and promote that spirit of cruelty.

Final Conclusions

Babylon is part of the dragon, the beast from the sea, the beast from the earth, and the image of the beast.

Babylon and her beast always exist. She and the beast on which she sits symbolizes a timeless principle, namely that religion “ reigns over the kings of the earth.” The dragon, the beast, the false prophet and the image of the beast are specific instances of the Babylonian principle.

Articles in this Series

The beast in Revelation is the mainstream church of Christendom.

This is an article in the series on Revelation 13.  The purpose of the current article is to determine whether there is any power in history that fits the descriptions and timeline of the beast that comes out of the sea.

SUMMARY

THE BEAST AND THE HORN OF DANIEL 7

For the reasons below, the beast in the book of Revelation is another symbol for the world power that is symbolized by the evil horn in the Book of Daniel:

1. The beasts in Daniel 7 also come out of the sea.

2. In the description of the beast, Revelation explicitly mentions three of the beasts of Daniel 7.

3. The beast receives his authority from the dragon, and “dragon” is like a good name for the dreadful fourth beast in Daniel 7.

4. The beast in Revelation has the same number of heads and horns as the beasts of Daniel 7 have in total.

5. The 42 months of the beast are equal to the time, times and a half of the little horn.

6. The beast has crowns on its horns. This signals that it exists in the time of horns of the fourth beast.

7. In the book of Daniel, the evil horn is the successor of the Roman Empire, blasphemes God, persecutes His people, and is only destroyed when Christ returns. The book of Revelation says the same four things about the beast.

The evil horn of Daniel 7 and the sea beast, therefore, are two symbols for the same world power, namely the Antichrist: “You heard that antichrist is coming” (1 John 2:18). This is discussed further in the article on the Seven-Headed Beasts of Revelation.

THE HORN IS THE CHURCH OF THE MIDDLE AGES.

The only reason that Daniel 7 mentions four beasts and eleven horns is to allow us to identify the evil eleventh horn.  That chapter lists several specific characteristics of this horn. This section considers five of those characteristics and, for the reasons below, identifies the little horn of Daniel 7 as the church of the middle ages:

1. The evil horn grew out of the Roman Empire. The church, similarly, was one of the divisions into which the Roman Empire fragmented.

2. The horn will blaspheme God by attempting “to make alterations in times and in law.” The church of Rome blasphemes God with doctrines and practices that insult God.

3. The evil horn will persecute God’s true people. The church engaged in brutal forms of coercion, such as the Inquisition, seeking to compel or exterminate the people who protest against its doctrines.

4. The little horn uprooted three of the others as it came up. In the sixth century, Justinian uprooted three of the Arian Christian nations that previously dominated the Church in Rome.

5. The evil horn “was larger in appearance than its associates.” During the High Middle Ages, the church became dominant over the other kingdoms that arose from the Roman Empire.

Since the beast in Revelation is the dominating horn of Daniel 7 and since the horn is the church, the beast is the church of the middle ages.

THE BEAST IS THE CHURCH.

The previous section identified the beast by identifying the evil horn of Daniel. The current section identifies the beast based on what Revelation 13 itself says about it.

The fatal wound and resurrection of the beast suggest that the world power, of which the beast is a symbol, would have a period of great authority for “42 months,” followed by a period of death before its ‘resurrection’. This may be applied as follows to the church:

1. The 42 months represent the many centuries during the middle ages when the church massacred people who did not accept its blaspheming doctrines and practices.

2. The authority of the church received a fatal wound through religious liberty in the time of the French revolution.

3. In the end-time, the wound will be healed (Rev 13:3) when an image of the beast (a copy of the system during the middle ages) will be set up which will again kill its opponents.

A further indication – that the beast is the church – is that the beast is not just a political power; it is also a religious power, for it “blaspheme His name and His tabernacle“and “make war with the saints.

More specifically, the beast is a Christian organization, for it is a deliberate counterfeit of Jesus Christ. Like Jesus Christ, the beast:

      • Receives its authority,
      • Looks like one from which it receives its authority, and
      • Has a ministry that lasts three and a half years, followed by a death and a resurrection.

Other indications that the beast is a Christian organization are:

      • The beast specifically persecutes God’s people. Only a Christian organization is able to do that.
      • The beast works with a lamb-like beast. Revelation refers 28 times to Jesus as a lamb.
      • Various other Bible texts predict that the church would become corrupted.

THE END-TIME ANTICHRIST

Given that the beast represents the church of the middle ages, the question in this section is about the identity of the Antichrist in the end-time war. 

The beast symbolizes the Antichrist in both the middle ages and the end-time, but that does not mean that the same organizations will be involved in both phases. Just like Revelation 12 uses “dragon” as a symbol for Satan’s forces in different forms at different times, the beast could symbolize Satan’s forces in different forms at different times. 

Furthermore, the religious oppression and intolerance of the Protestant Orthodoxy (in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries) were disturbingly similar to the Catholic Church in the High Middle Ages. The Holocaust and similar more recent religious cruelties make it clear that today’s version of institutional Christianity is not significantly improved over that of the Middle Ages.

For these reasons, I propose that we define the beast as the mainstream church of Christendom. That definition would allow it to be represented by different organizations at different times.

Whenever we see persecution and killing of people for their religious convictions, then we must know that the spirit of Satan is at work, for God never uses force.

– END OF SUMMARY – 

THE BEAST AND THE HORN OF DANIEL 7

It is, firstly, proposed that the beast from the sea in the book of Revelation and the evil horn in the Book of Daniel are two symbols for the Antichrist:

In Daniel 7, ten horns grow out of the fourth beast. After them, a little horn comes up that grows to become larger than the others and to speak proud words and blasphemies against the Most High (Dan 7:8, 24-25).

The indications that this evil horn and the beast are two symbols for the same world power are as follows:

ALLUSIONS TO DANIEL 7

The description of the beast in Revelation 13:1-2 contains several allusions to Daniel 7, such as:

      • The beasts in Daniel 7 also come out of the sea.
      • Three of the beasts of Daniel 7 are explicitly mentioned in the description of the beast, namely the leopard, bear, and lion.
      • The beast receives his authority from the dragon, and “dragon” is like a good name for the dreadful fourth beast in Daniel 7.
      • The beast has the same number of heads and horns as the beasts of Daniel 7 have in total.

These allusions indicate that the sea beast’s heritage is rooted in the series of beasts in Daniel 7. Specifically, the article on Revelation 13:1-2 concludes that the beast is the real successor of the fourth beast, and that fourth beast symbolizes the Roman Empire.

Later verses in Revelation 13 also allude to the little horn of Daniel 7:

The 42 months of the beast (Rev 13:5) are equal to the time, times and a half of the little horn (Dan 7:25).

Both the beast and the little horn persecute God’s people and blaspheme God (Rev 13:5-8; Dan 7:25).

Furthermore, the beast has crowns on its horns. This signals that it exists in the time of horns of the fourth beast, in contrast to the crowns on the heads of the dragon (Rev 12:3), which indicates that the dragon exists at an earlier time.

SUCCESSOR OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

Furthermore, both the horn of Daniel and the beast in Revelation are the successor of the Roman Empire:

In Daniel, the dominating horn grows out of the fourth beast, which has been identified as the Roman Empire.

In Revelation, the beast receives its great authority from the dragon (13:2). The dragon, when it has seven heads and ten horns and stands ready to devour the Child Jesus (Rev 12:3-4), is the Roman Empire. (See the article on Revelation 13:1-2.) The beast is therefore also the successor of the Roman Empire.

THE ANTICHRIST

Further evidence that the horn in Daniel 7 and the beast of Revelation are different symbols for the same entity is that both are described as the Antichrist:

The main power in Daniel 7 is the eleventh horn that grows out of the Roman Empire. The only reason that Daniel 7 mentions the four beasts and the other ten horns is to enable us to identify that eleventh horn. That horn grows out of the Roman Empire, blasphemes God and persecutes His people, and is only destroyed when Christ returns (Dan 7:25-27).

Revelation, similarly, describes the beast as the main power that opposes God. In Revelation, it is THE Antichrist. For example, later we will see that the people of the world create an image of the beast and that they receive the mark of the beast. And, similar to the evil horn, the beast receives its authority from the Roman Empire, blasphemes God and persecutes His people, and is only destroyed when Christ returns (Rev 19:11, 20).

CONCLUSION

These factors suggest that the evil horn of Daniel 7 and the sea beast (Rev 13:1) are two symbols for the same thing. For a further discussion, see the article on the Seven-Headed Beasts of Revelation.

The general principle is that the Book of Revelation is built on the foundation of the prophecies of Daniel. The same applies to this antichrist-horn. Revelation provides additional information about it, for example, that it exists through three phases: before, during, and after a fatal wound.

THE HORN IS THE CHURCH OF THE MIDDLE AGES.

This section discusses some of the marks of identity in Daniel 7 and identifies the little horn of Daniel 7 as the church of the middle ages. Since the previous section has shown that Revelation’s beast is the little horn of Daniel 7, that identifies the beast as the church of the middle ages.

FRAGMENT OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

Firstly, the evil horn grew out of the Roman Empire. The church, similarly, was one of the divisions into which the Roman Empire fragmented:

Before Christianity was legalized in the year 313, religion was always regulated by the empire. The emperors used religion to promote the unity of the large number of nations that were part of the empire.

In the fourth-century Roman Empire, consistent with the status of religion in previous centuries, church and state were one. The church became a department of government, with the emperor the real head of the church. The series of articles on the history of the church, for example, shows that the religious preferences of the emperors determined the outcome of the major controversy of the early centuries and resulted in the acceptance of the Trinity doctrine.

After the Germanic tribes divided the territory of the Western Empire between themselves in the fifth century, the church in Rome remained protected and governed by the emperor.

After emperor Justinian destroyed Arian domination in the sixth century, the Roman emperors in Constantinople continued to dominate the church for two centuries, known as the Byzantine Papacy.

BLASPHEMY AND PERSECUTION

The horn of Daniel 7 will blaspheme God and persecute His people. These two things are related: It blasphemes God by disregarding God’s Law and through teachings and practices that insult God. God’s true people protest and refuse to submit to the beast’s law. Consequently, the beast persecutes them. In support of this, note the parallelism in Daniel 7:25:

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

Considering the column on the left, the horn “will speak out against the Most Highby attempting “to make alterations in times and in law.” Moving to the column on the right, this parallelism implies that the consequence of these alterations will be that God’s true people will protest, with the result that the horn will persecute them.

Blasphemy – The church in Rome blasphemed God by developing doctrines and practices that insult God. It gradually deviated from biblical truth in multiple areas, for example, deviations in Christology eventually resulting in Mariology. Other examples include false teachings with respect to salvation and indulgences, confession, and the veneration of people declared to be saints.

Persecution – “He will … wear down the saints of the Highest One” (Dan 7:25). As a clear mark of its identity, the church of the middle ages engaged in brutal forms of coercion, such as the Inquisition, seeking to compel or exterminate the true people of God who dared to stand up against these evil innovations. It killed and massacred God’s people. For example, see the massacres of the Waldensians. In so doing it had drifted far from the spirit of Jesus, as recognized by such medieval “saints” as Francis of Assisi, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Eberhard of Salzburg.

OTHER IDENTIFICATIONS

The little horn uprooted three of the others as it came up (Dan 7:8; 20, 24). In the sixth century, Justinian uprooted three of the Arian Christian nations that previously dominated the Church in Rome. This allowed the papacy to become a dominant force in the territory of the previous Western Roman Empire.

The evil horn “was larger in appearance than its associates” (Dan 7:20). During the High Middle Ages, the church became dominant over the other kingdoms that arose out of the Roman Empire.

In this section, we argued that the dominant horn of Daniel 7 is the church of the middle ages. We only discussed four indicators:

      • Fragment of the Roman Empire;
      • Blasphemy & Persecution;
      • Uprooted three; and
      • Larger than the others.

A series of articles is available on this website that discusses the history of the church. Some of these articles have been referenced above. That series discusses all marks of identity provided in Daniel 7 to identify the church of Rome as the only historical entity that fits both the timing and the characteristics of the 11th horn of Daniel 7.

THE BEAST IS THE CHURCH

The previous section discussed evidence from Daniel 7. The current section identifies the beast as the church based on marks of identity in Revelation 13 itself:

42 MONTHS, FOLLOWED BY DEATH AND RESURRECTION

The death and resurrection of the beast suggest that the world power, of which the beast is a symbol, would have a period of great authority for “42 months,” followed by a period of death (the fatal wound – Rev 13:5) before its ‘resurrection’ (“his fatal wound was healed” – 13:5). Then the beast would play a major role in the final conflict in the history of this world.

The nature of Revelation, with things such as beasts with seven heads and ten horns, that are worshiped by the people of the world, implies that time indications are also symbolic. For example, the ten horns are ten kings that reign “for one hour” (Rev 17:12). This must be symbolic for a much longer period than one literal hour, but still a short period; perhaps only some months. Compared to one literal hour, 42 literal months (3½ years) is a very, very long time.

It is, therefore, quite possible that the 42 months represent the many centuries during which the mainstream church of the middle ages in the most horrendous ways massacred people who did not accept its blaspheming doctrines and practices.

The authority of the church received a fatal wound through religious liberty in the time of Napoleon and the French revolution. Today, the church is not able to kill God’s people as it did during the middle ages. The mainstream church, therefore, also had a long period of dominance, followed by a period of death; the fatal wound.

Revelation predicts that, in the end-time, an image of the beast (a copy of the system during the middle ages) will be set up which will again kill its opponents.

RELIGIOUS POWER

The beast is not just a political power like ancient Babylon and Rome but, like the church of the middle ages, it is also a religious power, for it “blaspheme His name and His tabernacle“ (Rev 13:6) and “make war with the saints” (Rev 13:7).

CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATION

More specifically, the beast, like the church of the middle ages, is a Christian organization. Firstly, it is a deliberate counterfeit of Jesus Christ:

It looks like the dragon because it has the same number of heads and horns and gets its authority from the dragon (Rev 13:2). This mirrors the relationship of Jesus with His Father because Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9) and because the Father has given Jesus “all authority … in heaven and on earth” (Matt 28:18).

Like Jesus, the beast has a ministry that lasts three and a half years, followed by a death and a resurrection.

Secondly, the beast specifically persecutes God’s people. That only a Christian organization is able to do, for God’s people are identified by their protest against unbiblical doctrines and practices in the church.

Thirdly, the beast works with a lamb-like beast (Rev 13:11-12). Revelation refers 28 times to Jesus as a lamb. This is the only instance in Revelation where “lamb” does not refer to Jesus. The lamb-like beast looks like Jesus but “spoke as a dragon” (Rev 13:11).

The beast is something dragon-like that has a Christian face! It names Jesus as its reason for existence, yet its actions serve the dragon!

OTHER BIBLE EVIDENCE

Revelation is not alone in such a prediction. There are numerous other texts in the New Testament that forecast a similar future for the church, though in less dramatic terms. For example:

The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim 4:1; cf. Acts 20:28-31; 2 Tim 3:1-5; 1 John 2:18-19).

In summary, so far, the main sections of this article have argued as follows:

        1. Revelation’s beast and daniel’s horn are two different symbols for the same world power – the Antichrist.
        2. That horn is the church of the middle ages. Therefore the beast is the same.
        3. Revelation itself identified the beast as a Christian organization.
        4. Various other Bible texts predict that the church would become corrupted.   

THE END-TIME ANTICHRIST

Given that the beast represents the church of the middle ages, the question in this section is about the identity of the Antichrist in the end-time war.

EACH BEAST IS A HEAD.

To discuss the seventh head, we first need to review the phases of the beast. As previously argued, each beast is one of the heads (phases) of the beast-power. According to the article on the Seven Heads:

      • The first four heads are the four beasts of Daniel 7. The fourth beast is the Roman Empire, represented in Revelation 12:3 as a dragon.
      • The last three heads are the three phases of the beast (the 11th horn); before, during, and after the fatal wound.

In other words:

      • Head 4 is the dragon in Rev 12:3, representing the Roman Empire.
      • Head 5 is the beast from the sea in Rev 13:1; another symbol for Daniel’s evil horn – the Antichrist.
      • Head 6 is the scarlet beast in Rev 17:3, which is in prison (the Abyss – Rev 17:8). This is the fatal wound (Rev 13:3).
      • Head 7 is the beast after its resurrection.

INDICATIONS OF DISSIMILARITY

The beast, therefore, is the Antichrist in both the fifth and seventh phases, but that does not mean that the same organizations will be involved in both phases. For example, in Revelation 12, the dragon symbolizes Satan’s forces in different forms at different times:

      • At the time of Christ (Rev 12:3);
      • In the war in heaven (Rev 12:7);
      • During the middle ages (Rev 12:14) and
      • In the end-time war (Rev 12:17).

In the same way, the beast is a symbol for Satan’s forces in different forms at different times.  Just like the Babylonian Empire was the first of the seven heads but very different from the church of the middle ages, the final phase (head) of the beast, when the fatal wound is healed, may again be very different from the church of the middle ages. We should, therefore, not necessarily expect the same organizations to be involved in the end-time crisis. That beast of the fifth phase was the mainstream church of the middle ages does not mean that beast of the seventh phase is the Catholic Church.

INDICATIONS OF SIMILARITY

On the other hand, Daniel and Revelation indicate a significant continuity between the middle age and the end-time, because:

      • The evil horn of Daniel 7 is the Antichrist in both eras, and
      • In the end-time war:
        • The sea beast will be resurrected, and
        • An “image” of the beast will be set up (Rev 13:14).

The question then, given these indications of similarity and dissimilarity, is how to define the beast.

MAINSTREAM CHURCH OF CHRISTENDOM

History teaches that the mainstream church of Christendom in the Middle Ages brutally persecuted and executed believers who dared to stand up to its doctrines and practices, but the mainstream churches of our day will act similarly. The religious oppression and intolerance of the Protestant Orthodoxy (in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries) were disturbingly similar. For example; the role which Calvin played in the murder of Michael Servetus. Bosnia, Rwanda, and the Holocaust make it clear that today’s version of institutional Christianity is not significantly improved over that of the Middle Ages.

To make provision for both the indications of similarity and dissimilarity, I propose that we define the beast as the mainstream church of Christendom. That definition would allow it to be represented by different organizations at different times.

GOD NEVER USES FORCE.

As we continue to read Revelation 13, we will see further indications of the form which the beast will assume during the final crisis of this world’s history. However, whenever we see persecution and killing of people for their religious convictions, then we must know that the spirit of Satan is at work, for God never uses force. If God used forced, He would not have allowed evil to develop. But He created us with the wonderful ability to make our own choices.  He protects our freedom, for if He would override our freedom to choose against Him, He would be destroying the miracle which He has created.

GOD KNOWS THE FUTURE.

Is it also not wonderful to be reassured that God know the future? The prophecies of Daniel and Revelation were given thousands of years ago and, according to the interpretation above, correctly predicted events over these centuries. But, for that reason, God shrouded these predictions in symbolic language so that only people that want to believe, will believe. The others will hear but not hear, see but not see”

None of the wicked will understand, but those who have insight will understand” (Dan 12:10).

FINAL CONCLUSIONS

The beast of Revelation is the mainstream church of Christendom. This is based on the following:

 – The beast of Revelation is another symbol for the world power (the Antichrist) that is symbolized by the evil horn in the Book of Daniel.
 – The evil horn of Daniel is the church of the middle ages.
 – Consequently the beast in Revelation is a symbol for the church of the middle ages.

Further evidence of this is that the description of the beast in Revelation 13 identifies it as the church; both during the Middle Ages and in the end-time (after the fatal wound has been healed).

More specifically, the description of the beast in Revelation 13 identifies it as a Christian organization.

Consequently, the beast symbolizes the Antichrist in both the middle ages and in the end-time, but different organizations may be involved in the two phases. In the end-time, the beast could take the form of the Protestant Orthodoxy.

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