We continue to lay down 10 foundation points to our study of the 7 heads and 10 horns on the beast shown in Revelation 17. All of these represent specific kings and kingdoms in what we have called the age-old Man-Satan Collusion. The Bible states that all of these kings, in one form or another, will be in existence in the Last Days.
We pick up with foundation #5. Before we resume, please note that we adopted a few naming conventions.After all, there is a confusing array of kings and heads and beasts mentioned in Daniel and Revelation. For the sake of expediency, we agreed to name the 7 historical kings that are shown as 7 heads on the beast of Revelation 17as the Ruler Kings (RK); and the last-day 10 kings (shown as the 10 horns) as the 10K.
5. Are the three “7-headed beasts” of Revelation 12, 13 and 17 the same or different beasts?A seven-headed creature with 10 horns and 7 heads is shown in Scripture 3 times (Revelation 12, 13 and 17). Nowhere else. They clearly all have the same main morphological features, though one is identified as a dragon, the others as beast. Furthermore, nowhere are these creatures shown together. They all are show individually; never together, such as how Clark Kent and Superman are never shown together. Why? They are the same entity in different garb.
Furthermore, we must note that the Bible does not “mix up its metaphors.” The meanings of its symbols is the same throughout the entirety of Scripture. Thus, the symbolism of 7 heads, 10 kings and crowns … etc. will be the same in all visions. It is reasonable, therefore, to conclude that these separate visions are meant to portray the same entity (i.e., the same diabolical collusion of Satan and mankind— the Man-Satan Collusion). Indeed, each of these three visions of the 7-headed creature in Revelation does provide additional descriptive information.
The beast shown in Chapter 12 is a “great sign” in the heavens (symbol), expressly depicted as a red dragon. This is meant to show the Satanically-inspired agenda behind the rulership structure of the world. These Gentile kingdoms are under the persuasion of Satan and his hordes. He can and does give rulers splendor and authority. (Christ did not contest Satan’s ability to offer the kingdoms of the world: Luke 4:5-6.) How do we know the identity of this beast, shown as a dragon in Revelation 12? We are told in Revelation 20:2: “[…] the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan […].”
As is clearly shown in the “great sign” of Chapter 12, the Dragon has a mission. It is the persecution and attempted annihilation of the Jews, the Messiah and anything that might lead to salvation. The “[…] woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head” is Israel. This is corroborated in the Old Testament in both symbol and verse.
Joseph’s visions, which he described to his brothers and father, use the same symbolism. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me” (Genesis 37:9). Jacob apparently had no difficulty interpreting its meaning. The sun was him, the moon their mother, and the stars the individual tribes. Collectively, these symbols are meant to portray Israel.
Scripture also declares the world’s enmity with Israel. “See how your enemies growl, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. ‘Come,’ they say, ‘let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more’” (Psalm 83:2-4). Most certainly, the nature of the “beast” is foreshadowed here. It also leads to an important and crucial conclusion: The Gentile kingdoms (Ruler Kings) will persecute the Jews. If they are worldly kingdoms, they can never be trusted to be a protector of Israel … at least, not for very long.
The beast shown in Chapter 13, on the other hand, emphasizes its human lineage of kings (leaders) and participation in this worldly agenda. While the beast of Chapter 12 shows the motives of the spiritual realm, that of Chapter 13 highlights human history and complicity. Contrastingly, the beast of Revelation 17 shows yet different features, most notably the role of the religious harlot dressed in purple and scarlet. Though we see different aspects emphasized in each of these visions, they show the same historical, diabolical, hegemonic Satan-Man Collusion.
However, is this human and demonic interaction at the geopolitical level verified in the Bible? In other words, is there a demonic angel assigned to each Ruler King? Consider Daniel’s account of the Archangel Gabriel and Michael’s battles with Persia (Daniel 10). Both a Prince of Persia and a King of Persia are mentioned. They obviously cannot be the same personages. As already documented in this series, a king is a human, “in-the-flesh” male, while the title of “prince” is often reserved for demons. As such, we here see that the demon called the Prince of Persia was manipulating the history of Persia, detaining both its king and battling Gabriel. Also in this chapter, it is mentioned that the “prince of Greece will come” (Daniel 10:20). Here, another demonic spirit is mentioned that appears to be assigned to one particular Ruler King.
What about today? Does Satan assign demons to influence and manipulate nations? The answer, we think, is self evident. A Biblical worldview demands an answer in the affirmative. Satan, we must realize, is a master super-human strategist. It would only be common sense that he would focus his demons’ attentions upon the world’s nexus points of power and influence. You can be sure that his demonic cohorts will be more focused upon (or those with influence upon) the people living in America’s White House than they would the King of Tonga. Why? There is much more leverage upon the world to be gained by influencing a great power such as America rather than Tonga. The same principle applies to any one person of great influence or wealth. The mega rich or the super famous are most likely to be in the crosshairs of attempted demonic influence. That is why great fame is such a dangerous condition for the human being.
We see no reason to conclude otherwise: Both the Old Testament and New Testament support the view that there is a conspiracy involving Satan and mankind. The 7 heads and the 10 horns on the beasts of Chapters 12, 13 and 17, represent the same kings and kingdoms … namely, the same Satan-Man Collusion.
6. The Book of Daniel and Revelation: Can they be connected? Before proceeding further, we must agree that Daniel and Revelation provide parallel visions … one from the Old Testament, the other from the New. If these two accounts do not align, we cannot at all identify the first 5 and the 7th heads.
We are convinced that Daniel’s visions and interpretations found in Chapters 2, 7, 8 and 11 can indeed be connected to the images found in Revelation 12, 13, 17. There is an established body of scholarship that provides the basis for these connections. However, we will here briefly outline our simplistic proofs.
But first, we must also keep in mind that despite their many commonalities, there is a significant underlying difference between the prophecies found in Daniel and the book of Revelation. Daniel is only commissioned to prophesy the future. Specifically, we are told that Daniel sees “what will take place in the future” (Daniel 2:45); “[…] what is going to happen” (verse 29); “[…] four kings that will rise from the earth” (Daniel 7:17); “[…] the time of the end” (Daniel 8:17); “[…] what will happen later in the time of wrath” (verse 19); “[…] the distant future” (verse 26); and “[…] what will happen to your people in the future, for the vision concerns a time yet to come” (Daniel 10:14).
Every one of these statements concerns the future and the Jews.
John the Revelator, on the other hand, was given a wider mandate. Rather than prophesying only about what will occur over the remaining timespan of the Jews and the future, he is told to “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later” (Revelation 1:19). In other words, he is reporting on things of the past, the present and the future. This is an important distinction.
Rather than just looking forward, John is presenting a broader documentation of history and God’s plan for the waywardness and oppositional character of mankind’s kingdoms. This is certainly the case with respect to statements he makes about the beasts of Revelation. While John sees a total of 7 heads, Daniel gives us information on only the last five, and nothing about the first two. Why? These two kings were in the past at the time of Daniel’s prophesying. Knowing this, we can proceed to make our connections.
All of the prophecies about the 7 beasts found in Scripture (Daniel 7, 8, Revelation 12, 13, 17) and the kingdoms found in Daniel 2 have the same endpoint. In every case, these visions end up with the same kingdom. It is the Messianic Kingdom. Following all the beast (Gentile) kingdoms, it is shown to be eternal.
Daniel informs us that the time of the Messianic Kingdom comes after the feet and the toes.The stone cut out without hands dashes apart the statue (Daniel 2:34). After this, “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.” Furthermore, we know that the 4th beast of Daniel 7 (the 6th by Revelation’s count) is vanquished by God.After this arises His dominion, “[…] an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14).
The same is revealed in the beast visions of Daniel 8, showing that these kingdoms are destroyed, “but not by human power” (Daniel 8:25). Revelation provides much rich detail on the eternal kingdom that follows the beast of Revelation 17 and Babylon the Great.
Knowing this, a simple way of corroborating the identity and chronological order of all the OT and NT Ruler Kings is to simply count back from the Messianic Kingdom. We know that the kingdom “that is” (Revelation 17:10) must be Roman. It must be. That was the world hegemon at the time of John’s prophecies. He tells us it is the 6th in the lineage of 7. Five have fallen, one more is to come, and that one but for a little while. We also know that Daniel’s 4thbeast (Daniel 7) was Roman. This can be proven in a number of ways.
First, we are told specifically that the 1st of the 5 kingdoms represented by the image with the golden head (Daniel 2) was Nebuchadnezzar. If we count the number of world kingdoms that follow him (Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome), Rome is the 4th that he sees. We conclude that Daniel’s 4th kingdom is the same as John’s 6th.
Viewing the prophecies of Daniel, it can be shown that he is referring to the same first four kingdoms in his visions. He identifies Babylon as being the first in this line. In Daniel 7 (this prophecy having been uttered before the Medo-Persians had conquered Babylon),the beasts that he sees are specifically identified as representing four kingdoms that will rise from the earth (Daniel 7:17). Then in Chapter 8, it is revealed to him that two of the kingdoms (also providing details about some of the individual kings) would be Medo-Persia and Greece (mentioned by name).
Not much later, Daniel himself witnessed the fall of Babylon (beast #1),and served Cyrus the Mede (part of beast #2). All of our observations taken together, there is no question that Babylon is followed by Medo-Persia, then by Greece. None other is shown to occur thereafter than the 4th beast. This can only be Roman.
It can therefore be easily deduced from the Bible that five of the Ruler Kings shown by Daniel and John the Revelator are the same. As such, it is valid and reliable to reference both Daniel and Revelation in our investigation of the identity of the 7 Ruler Kings.
7. Do the 7 RK heads reign sequentially or at the same time? This is a very important consideration. The terms and times of the reigns of the 7 RKs and the 10K are commonly misinterpreted. The 7 Ruler Kings (kingdoms) have their dominant hegemonic reign sequentially (one after the other). On the other hand, the 10 Kings are in power all at the same time.How do we know this?
Accepting that the prophecies of Revelation and Daniel are aligned, both referring to the 10K and RKs, we see in Daniel that the RKs follow one after the other. The beasts in Daniel 7 are specifically stated to appear in order. Greece is specifically stated to follow Persia, then comes the 4th beast. Also in Daniel 2, the RK kingdoms are said to follow sequentially.
None of the RK are world hegemons at the same time. The 10 kings shown as 10 horns, on the other hand, do reign at the same time. They are a group that collectively may have much power, but likely not so much individually. If that were not the case, they would probably not be shown as a horn on one of the heads, but rather as a head. We can easily deduce the conclusion that they exist contemporaneously from the literal statements of Scripture. Here are just five of the passages that support this conclusion:
- Daniel 7:8 states: “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them.” This “little one” can only emerge “among them” if they are all in existence at the same time.
- Also, Daniel says that 3 kings fell to the “little horn” (Daniel 7:20). If 3 of the “10 horn” kings are to fall by the hands of the Antichrist, then it is reasonable to presume that they must be reigning in the same era.
- Revelation 17:12 says that the 10 kings “[…] for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.” Does it make sense that these 10 kings would take their turns doing so over such a short period of time? A literal, common-sense reading would indicate that the 10 kings collectively will receive authority.
- Moreover, verse 13 states that “they have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.” What point would there be for these minor 10Ks to individually and sequentially give their power to the beast? If this were the case, it would not be possible that the 7th stage of the world-ruling beast could be powerful enough to reign over the world. Daniel clearly states that the final beast and its following 10 kings and little horn “[…] crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left” (Daniel 7:19). It “[…] will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it” (verse 23).
- Revelation 17:16 says that “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.” The beast mentioned here is the Antichrist. (Every reference to “beast” from Revelation 17:8 onward refers to the Antichrist.) In any case, it does not make any sense for the beast and the 10 kings “to burn” the whore sequentially rather than together.
In conclusion, the 10 kings come on the scene contemporaneously and not sequentially. They all exist at the same time. As such, there is no serial authority given to the Antichrist by the 10 kings, as is sometimes claimed. Besides being refuted by Scripture, this interpretation would not make common sense in any case. If only one king had enough power to give to the Antichrist, that would be sufficient to stamp upon and subdue the entire earth, would he not then qualify to be the Antichrist himself?
We now introduce a most perplexing question: On which of the 7 heads are the 10 horns shown, on the beastly image of Revelation 17? It is a most contentious question. In fact, if our deductions are correct, we have yet to find any artist’s rendering of this image that is correct. We will present our answer in Part III of this series.