We currently live in the Church Age where the numbers are being continuously added to God's kingdom. This age started after Pentecost, when Christ ascended into Heaven, placing the start of the church around AD 33. As we witness global events unfold before us, there seems to be a spiritual commonality among Christians: making sure you are in the faith. There's been a new revealing of sculptures in the United Nations and at the U.S. Rockefeller Plaza that have similarities of the beasts mentioned in the prophetic books of both Daniel and Revelation. In this post, we'll evaluate biblical prophecy with a book of Daniel summary, relate prophecies in Daniel to Revelation, and cover the new statue revealings at the Rockefeller Plaza.
Above photo credit: Two Beast Unveiled - How Many More To Come? - Gospel News Network
Book of Daniel Summary Part 1: The Statue in Daniel 2
When reading prophetic books, there needs to be an understanding of the language they are being written in. Not understanding this vital piece of contextual evidence can set the course to spiritual disaster for the reader. Daniel and the Book of Revelation are such prophetic books both heavy in both literal and spiritual metaphorical language. Daniel was written by the prophet Daniel around 535 BC with the recording of events between 605 and 535 BC, whereas Revelation was written by the disciple John around AD 95. To understand the book of Revelation, it is often precluded by the studying of Daniel. Within these two books, there are mentions of beasts, statues, and kingdoms.
“Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
“This was the dream, and now we will interpret it to the king. Your Majesty, you are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed all mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds in the sky. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold.
“After you, another kingdom will arise, inferior to yours. Next, a third kingdom, one of bronze, will rule over the whole earth. Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces" (Daniel 2:31-45, NIV).
Explanation of the Statue in Daniel 2
The Gold head: The kingdom of Babylon. Babylon was a kingdom with a glamorous intrigue and its ruler, Nebuchadnezzar, was indicated to be the gold head (Daniel 2:38-40).
Silver Chest: representation of the Persian kingdom. Medo-Persia conquered Babylon in 535 BC. The torso has also connects two arms. Since both the Medes and Persians were together, they are noted as the joined forces. Of the two nations, Persia was stronger, yet still inferior in glory of Babylon. Silver is seen as inferior to gold as well as being the metal that taxes were paid with in this kingdom.
Brass waist: illustration of the Grecian kingdom. This is also the kingdom that Alexander the Great hailed from and brass was used for armor.
Legs of Iron: portrayal of the Roman Empire. Iron was used extensively in weaponry and armor. The Roman Empire had split into two political arenas: the Eastern (ruling from Rome) and Western (ruling from modern-day Turkey in what was then Constantinople) kingdoms.
Feet of Bronze and clay: Europe. By 476 AD, The Roman Empire would crumble after it was besieged by the surrounding barbarian tribes that later became the ten nations of Europe: Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Franks, Vandals, Alemannians, Anglo-Saxons, Sueves, Herulis, Burgundians, and Lombards These tribes would later become countries such as France, Spain, Germany, Great Britain, etc. and they represent the ten toes or ten kingdoms that will inherit power with the papal beast in the latter days. There are two more factors that need attention here. Iron (or bronze) is seen as a civil ruling power and clay in the Bible is attributed to God's people since He molds them. Daniel 2 illustrates that after the fall of Rome, there will be a combining of church and civil rule (government). This clay spoken of is miry (or dirty) so this represents the apostate church, or the Roman Catholic Church. History confirms this event since the papal church took over pagan Rome and the bishops took the place of the Caesars. The Roman Catholic Church's colors are scarlet and purple.
Why is understanding the statue important? Understanding the statue helps us to appropriately evaluate the beasts mentioned in Daniel 7.
For more study on the statue, please see Ligonier Ministry's article below.
Book of Daniel Summary Part 2: The Beasts (Daniel 7:2-8)
"Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.
“The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it.
“And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’
“After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.
“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
“While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully" (Daniel 7:2-8, NIV).
The Four Beasts Explained
The Lion: Babylon. Lions are powerful creatures and were also the symbol seen across all of Babylon, even embodied on gates.
The Bear: Persia. Bears are known as predators that devour flesh and are ravenous creatures
The Leopard: Greece. Alexander the Great conquered at an amazingly fast rate and likewise, leopards are known to be among one of the faster wild cats in existence.
The Dreadful last beast: this beast describes the nature of the Roman Catholic Church that came to power after the fall of the Roman Empire due to the widespread killing of Christians who were fed to lions and burned at the stake, the combining of civil and religious power, and the utter destruction that was laid on three of the ten European kingdoms since those three would not kneel to the Roman Catholic Church. Today, the Vatican is the smallest city-state that has orchestrated its own laws within a bigger country and is known as the portrayal of the little horn.
Understanding these beasts reveals their nature, as Daniel later describes in Daniel 7:25. It's important to understand that there are some events in both Daniel and Revelation that have happened and there are events in Revelation that have NOT YET HAPPENED. We need to make this distinction because there are many different approaches to studying these books that are erroneous.
Now that we have an understanding of the kingdoms and beasts, let's now evaluate the evidence found in Revelation.
The Beasts of Revelation: Revelation 13:1-10
"The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?”
The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
Whoever has ears, let them hear.
“If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.”
This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people” (Revelation 13:1-10, NIV).
The Beast out of the Earth: Revelation 13:11-18
"Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.
This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man.That number is 666" (Revelation 13:11-18, NIV).
The passages above correlate with Daniel 7. In Revelation 13 we are given another example and reiteration of what the beast are, what they represent, and what their natures are like. In Revelation 17, there are more characters that will enter onto the scene including the whore of Babylon.
The Whore of Babylon: Revelation 17:1-6
"Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. The name written on her forehead was a mystery: BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF ALL PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus" (Revelation 17:1-6, NIV). It has long been debated on whether the whore of Babylon is Jerusalem or Rome. Let's evaluate both of these claims after the below scripture.
Mystery of the Whore of Babylon Revealed: Revelation 17:6-18 "When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.
“This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
“The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”
Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled. The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 17:7-18, NIV). Whore of Babylon: Vatican in Rome or Jerusalem?
The above scriptures states that the woman sits on a beast with seven heads and ten horns. It will come out of the Abyss and to its destruction. The seven heads are revealed to us as being seven mountains (or hills) on which the woman sits on top of the beast (the ruling power) as well as being seven kings. Geography wise, the seven hills would point to Rome while the woman would point to Jerusalem since the prophets, the saints, and even Christ were murdered in Jerusalem. The ten horns are ten kings who have not received their kingdom yet and are awaiting the time when the beast out of the Earth (the antichrist) who is given authority by Satan will ascend to power.
For a more detailed study of this question, please see Ligonier's article below as well as the Prophecy Libraries.
The Identity of the 7 Heads and the 10 Horns on the Beast of Revelation 13 (focusonjerusalem.com) A Wake Up Call
We are currently living in times that are serving as a catalyst for Christ's return. We do not know the hour or the date of this return. We also do not know how soon Christ's return will be. However, we are given evidence in scripture on what will be occurring during Christ's return and the kingdoms of this earth will be laid to waste. Our wake up call serves as evaluating where we stand in our faith as Christians. We should be preaching the Gospel, witnessing to those around us, seeking the lost, helping further God's kingdom, and living like our time is short for our lives are a vapor and we should live our lives carefully.
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The Price of Freedom
The Fight to Preserve Freedom
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