On the Revelation of Yahshua Christ, Part 18: The Papal Beast
In the opening presentation of our commentary on Revelation chapter 13, titled Of Beasts and Tyrants, we saw John describe a great beast which arose out of the sea, and among other attributes it was described as having seven heads and ten horns, and had the characteristics of a leopard, a bear and a lion. Then along with these it also shared many of the attributes with which the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7 were described. Both the beast here and the beast in Daniel had arose out of the sea, which we interpret as being the mass of the world’s people. Therefore, since the four beasts of Daniel’s vision also had ten horns, and had the features of a leopard, a bear and a lion, we should certainly understand that there is a connection between them, that they are prophesying the same phenomenon. This is further affirmed where in Daniel chapter 7 we read that “17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth” and further on in the Revelation, in chapter 17, we read: “9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.” The woman representing the children of Israel collectively, which is clear in our interpretation of Revelation chapter 12, it becomes quite certain that the beasts and its seven heads represent kings and kingdoms with which the woman was associated throughout history.
But as we had also sought to explain, the scope of the Revelation concerns a much broader view of the history of Israel, past and future, rather than only the future from the time of John. The visions or statements which describe past events give us the ability to better understand the visions of the future as they have been provided by John. So where in chapter 12 we saw the vision of the dragon, Satan and his angels being cast out of heaven, because Satan is also one and the same as “that serpent of old” we know that this explains some of the circumstances of the remote past, and the events of the early chapters of Genesis. Likewise, where it says in Revelation chapter 17 that five kings had already fallen, we can examine the history of Israel to identify five great kingdoms upon which the woman had sat, at one time or another. But Daniel prophesied only of the future from his own time, whereas the Revelation is of a greater scope, so we know that we should include ancient Egypt among the five. The fallen Kingdoms of Revelation chapter 17 are therefore the empires of Egypt and Assyria, which were both past by Daniel’s time, and then the Babylonian, Persian and Hellenistic Greek empires. The one which is must of course be the Roman empire, which was near its peak as John wrote the Revelation, and these last four are Daniel’s four kingdoms, in chapter 2, or four beasts, in chapter 7 of his prophecy.