So I have been looking at the beast in Revelation for 30 years and have listened to many views, some way out to lunch, but others close, but still confusing scripture.
I’ve been praying for understanding on this issue lately and I believe the Lord has given me some incite that will explain all of the confusion.
I had this same problem when I studied the rapture issue. Then one day the Lord opened my eyes. The reason the teachings are all confusing is that there is not one but two raptures for the body of Christ. Some scriptures point to the first rapture and would not make sense with the second rapture and vice versa.
I was reading 2 Thess one day and I realized that it reveals 2 raptures. In the first 3 verses he says that the gathering is AFTER the wicked one is revealed by sitting in the temple. Then in verse 7-8 he tells us that “He who lets” is taken out of the way BEFORE the wicked one is revealed. And the lights came on. “He who lets” is the Holy Ghost who allows us to make our own choices in life but directs our paths depending on the choices we make.
So the order of events in 2 Thess is :
1)The “he who lets” is taken out of the way, back to Jesus. He was sent on Pentecost to build the church and when He is taken out of the way He must take all believers who have Him in their heart with Him because He will never leave us nor forsake us.
2)The wicked one, Anti-Christ, will sit in the temple of God and show himself that he is god.
3)The gathering of the saints at the last, great, seventh trumpet.
Now when we read scripture that is confusing if the rapture is at the end of the final 7 years we simply attribute that particular scripture to the first rapture, and, likewise, when we read a scripture that sounds confusing with the first rapture we associate it with the final rapture. Now all rapture scriptures make sense and are proved by 2 Thess and 2 raptures.
As a second proof of this we see the stars fall in Matthew, Mark, Luke and Revelation before the great trumpet and the 7th trumpet at the end of the 7 year covenant, but we see the child caught up 1260 days before the end of the 7 year covenant. We know that the child is caught up in the midst of the covenant because the beast that tries to devour him is only here for the final 42 months.
We know that there is an abomination set up “where it ought not be” in the midst of the 7 years and that eventually the wicked one will sit in the temple. But that the temple does not have to be built for the abomination, only for the wicked one to sit in it.
So then when we read 1st Corr 15 we can see that it is talking about the 7th trumpet when he says last trumpet at the end of the 7 years. Some say that this is feast of trumpets but that makes no difference because the last feast of trumpets would be in the last year, or 7th year. And when we read Rev 3 where the Lord promises to keep the obedient from the hour of temptation he is talking about the child who is caught up around the midst of the 7 years. Those that argue we are not destined to wrath according to 2 Thess 5 can now see that he is talking about those who have the light and are caught up in the midst of the 7 years before Jacob’s trouble.
All scripture in context are accounted for and make perfect sense with 2 raptures: the obedient in the first and the disobedient in the second, if they repent and learn true doctrine. Sadly many will be in the second because they are to proud to admit their errors until God proves them by leaving them behind.
Now I explained that for two reasons:
1) To set the record strait
2) To reveal what the Lord has shown me concerning the beast.
There are 3 main camps concerning the identity of the beast, and a lot of confusion in the mix. I am beginning to think that all 3 camps are correct but that one scripture is speaking about this camp and the other about that camp.
The 3 camps are:
1) The beast is the European Union with 10 full members nations
2) Islam with 10 member nations
3) The United Nations with 10 Unions covering the globe
When I study the statue in Daniel 2 it shows that the gold was conquered by the silver then bronze and then iron which became iron and clay and was finally smashed by the Lord.
The gold was the Babylonian kingdom. The silver was the Medes and Persians. The bronze was the Greeks and the iron was the Roman Empire.
There were no more kingdoms after the Roman Empire until it was mixed with clay and the Jesus destroyed it. So how could it be Islam or the 10 unions?
However, in Daniel 7 there are 4 beasts. These are a lion, a bear and leopard. Then there is a 4th beast with iron teeth which had 10 horns.
The lion was Babylon; the bear was the Medes and Persians; the leopard was the Greeks and then the 10 horns which had iron teeth proving it was Rome again.
Notice in verse 12 that after the beast with 10 horns is destroyed the other beasts were allowed to continue for a season and a time. Notice also that this beast is diverse from all of the other beasts.
Rome did not destroy the cultures of countries it conquered, rather it allowed it and its kings to remain as long as they became subject to Caesar and paid tribute.
Now in chapter 8 there are 3 kingdoms. First is a ram with 2 horns; then a he goat with a notable horn; then 4 notable ones out of the goat; and out of one of them a little horn who spread his kingdom toward the south, toward the east and toward the pleasant land, Israel.
Note that he cast down some of the host and of the stars. Note in Rev the beast with 7 heads 10 horns and 7 crowns on his heads also drew a third of the stars of heaven and cast them down. Remember this.
And it is by the little horn that the daily sacrifice is taken away.
Now here is a puzzle. Anyone who has studied scripture thoroughly knows that contrary to popular belief, there are minor errors in scripture. This can be proved quite simply. Look at the genealogy in Matthew and compare it to the Old Testament. You will find it is in error. That should not affect our faith because the message of the bible is consistent even though it is many books written at different times by different authors and yet it flows in the overall text as if guided by some unseen hand. God!
I say all of that to say this. Daniel 8 13-14 sends confusion into the study of eschatology. There are many teachings on what this means but I have never heard of one that did not take the word out of context or add way to much imagination to it.
However, I believe the Lord has shown me an error in translation.
Notice that all other scriptures concerning timing in the last days refer to 7 years or approximately 3 ½ years. If these verses read 1300 days instead of 2300 days they too would line up and make perfect sense with the rest of scripture.
I looked up the word for 1000 in the strong’s concordance and found it means thousand. I looked up the word 2000 and found that the word 2 is not there. The word thousand can be translated thousand or thousands. I conclude that it should not be 2000 but only 1000 and therefore it matches all other scripture concerning this event. The fact that it includes the temple being trodden under foot just, as does Rev 11, proves this to be a true understanding and nothing is out of context.
Now if we look at Daniel 9 and the one who makes the 7 year covenant closely you will see that he “causes” the abomination to be set up and he comes from Rome, whereas this “little horn sets up” the abomination that causes desolation. There is a difference. Daniel 8:9 reveals that the little horn comes out of the land that Alexander the Great conquered, so he is Muslim not Roman. Then look at the king of the north in Daniel 11 and you will find that arms rise up on his part, so he to is not the little horn. Most people teach that these are all the one anti Christ but they are actually 3 different people.
Now it is time to look at the beast of Rev 13.
We are told he has 7 heads and 10 horns, and 10 crowns on his horns. He is like a leopard, has the feet of a bear and a mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him power and authority.
It says one of his heads had what looked like a deadly wound that was healed.
So it is obvious this is the beast from Daniel but the question is, “What are the 10 horns and 7 heads?”
I believe the 10 horns are the EU, or the Roman Empire that has evolved through the Papacy. But that it also includes the lands of ancient Babylon, Media, Persia and Greece. These are all Islamic today, except portions of Greece. When Jesus destroys the beast he will allow the sons of Abraham to remain for a season and a time.
Though there is an effort afoot to create a global union with 10 united regions, I don’t believe that will manifest totally. I believe it is a red herring!
For one thing, Revelation 13 tells us of a second beast with 2 horns that gives all of its power to the first beast. If you divide the world into 10 regions there is no place for this second beast to rise from. Some say this is the false prophet and the anti-Christ but that makes no sense. Horns are kings or kingdoms according to Daniel.
The 7 heads are 7 mountains where the woman sits so it is obvious that when we understand who Babylon the Great is we will know where the 7 mountains are. The fact that she is dressed in scarlet and purple cast my vote to the Vatican. The history of the Vatican is full of murder, pedophilia and corruption of every kind. It was founded by Emperor Constantine when he declared that Christianity was to be the only Roman Religion.
It was all downhill from there. The Vatican is full of idols and corruption and it is from the Vatican that the New World Order plans were hatched.
So the beast is the EU, the evolved Roman Empire and Islam, the ancient Greek empire, Medes and Persian Empire and ancient Babylonian Empire. It is controlled by the Vatican who rides the beast and therefore holds the reigns, as it says in Revelation 12.