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. As such, for this reason and others that we will summarize in our conclusions in the final Part IV, this is definitely a topical subject and relevant to our times.
We pick up with foundation #8 in this third part of the series. Please note thatwe adopted a few naming conventions in this study. 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.
8. On what head(s) are the 10 kings located as horns?This is a most controversial question. We state the case that all 10 horns are on the same head. In fact, we would take this one step further and propose that the collective of 10 kings are the kingdom represented by the 7th head. (We do acknowledge that additional interpretations are possible … however, not many.)
Whichever the case, the most widespread misconception of all is that the 10 horns are dispersed across the 7 heads. (This prompts us to mention that we have yet to discover an artist’s rendering of the Beast of Revelation 17 that is correct in this regard.)
How can we determine upon which head(s) the 10 horns are located?
There are three clues given that lead us to the correct answer. Revelation 17:10 and 17:12 narrow down the candidates to no more than two heads. With respect to the 7 RKs, we are told that: “Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come” (17:10). Then, verse 12 provides another pivotal clue: “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom.” If the 10 horns are not yet in existence (have not yet received kingdoms) at the time that the sixth head is in a Ruler King position, then the horns could definitely not be on any of the first five heads. The 10K do not yet exist at that time, and five of the RK were already in the past at Apostle John’s time.
However, could the 10 horns emerge at a later time during the reign of the sixth Roman head, whether in ancient or revived form? The Prophet Daniel rules this out, providing our second clue. Daniel 7:24 says: “The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings.” Here he is referring to the “terrible” 4th beast, which is the same as the 6th head on the beasts that Apostle John sees. Allow us to explain this significance further.
Daniel shows us that the Roman beast is actually comprised of three consecutive and separate rulerships (i.e. world hegemons) —1. The beast itself; 2.after and from which, the 10 horn rule takes over (but only for a very short while); and then 3. the Antichrist who arises from among the 10 kings.
This can only mean that the 7th head on the beasts in Revelation is the collective of the 10 horns. If that were not so, there would be no 7th head before the Antichrist comes on the scene. In other words, the Antichrist would be shown to follow directly after the 6th head. Scripture obviously does not support this view. A 7th head must follow before the Antichrist emerges. Daniel 7:24 allows only one candidate — the collective of the 10 horns.
Finally, we recall that the Antichrist is called an “[…] eighth king. He belongs to the seven […]” (Revelation 17:11). Clearly, he is the Satan-possessed 8th that follows the 7 heads as the last and final Ruler Kingover the whole earth. In conclusion and confirmation, nowhere in the Bible do we find any other viable candidate for the 7th head than the 10K stage.
Necessary Roman Distinctions
At this point, we take a little detour before continuing with foundation #9. We again turn the reader’s attention to the 4th beast that Daniel saw, as described in Daniel 7. Above all, it must be noted that it was said to be “different” from the previous 3 beasts. Four times the prophet alerts the reader to this fact. How so?Three characteristics (of a number of others, possibly) strike us as particularly noteworthy.
Firstly, “It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth […].” What we conclude from this statement is that the 3 successive kingdoms (Ruler Kings) represented by the 4th beast will be world-dominating powers. In fact, the Roman beast is the only one of Daniel’s four beasts said to have power over “the whole earth.” That means that the 6th and 7th heads (of the beasts shown in Revelation) as well as the Antichrist, will have “global” totalitarian rule at the peak of their powers. All of these three are of Roman lineage, as shown with the 4th beast.
Secondly, noteworthy is the fact that the successive stages of the Roman beast do not vanquish the previous Ruler King … other than, of course, the Grecian rulership which is represented by the 5th head. It is more a succession than a total conquering of the previous King, such as Darius the Mede would have accomplished over Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians (3rd head). The significance of this point will become clear as we consider other foundational factors.
Thirdly, we focus on the strange characteristic of the “foot and 10 toe” stage, which is represented as a “divided” kingdom. Daniel elaborates on this characteristic extensively:
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 (Daniel 2:41-43).
Surely, in Daniel’s day, a kingdom that would be comprised of “mixed peoples,” some of them strong, some weak, and as a mixture that “will not remain united” would be considered a strange and different kingdom. In his day, multiculturalism did not really exist. Peoples and nations were mostly single races, such as we would still consider, for example, Japan today. Power alliances were not uncommon, but certainly not with nations that were “weak.”
It is only in the last century or so that the world has adopted voluntary globalism. Nations may or may not participate. Even though many issues and vested interests will divide them, global rulership is nevertheless still intermediated through various transnational organizations, such as the United Nations (UN), the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), and others.It indeed is a bewildering and strange power structure. Power is vague … yet very powerful.
Considering further the 3 phases of the Roman beast (4th) that are outlined in Daniel 7:24, we ponder a curiosity: If all these three kingdoms are to have global rule, then at what point can it be said that the 6th head (the era during which we are living today) finally attained worldwide rule? This is again a question of great debate. We can only speculate. Was it at the time of the British Empire, upon whom “the sun never set” … perhaps later with the emergence of the American superpower … or at another point?
Certainly, during the time of Apostle John, Rome was the 6th head, representing the predominant power of the Middle East and the known world at that time. However, it was not truly global. For example, an earlier Chinese dynasty was a significant kingdom then, yet was not under the rule of the Romans.
China itself is mentioned in the Bible in a prophetic context in Isaiah 49:12: “Behold, these shall come from far; and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.” Most sources agree that “Sinim” refers to the far eastern region of China today.1In the Arabic language, China is still referred to as “Sin.” The word “Sin” likely comes from the word Ch’in (or Tsin), as in the Ch’in Dynasty which ruled China between 221 and 206 B.C., or some other word derivation from before that time.
In any case, the Roman Empire would still have been the most powerful in that world in that era, though there were many countries not under its rule. Later, the Roman Empire did disintegrate, yet in some forms was never fully snuffed out. Later still, the influence of various Muslim rulers extended into Europe (as far as Austria!), culminating in the powerful Ottoman Empire. It would not be an unreasonable interpretation to consider this the “wounded” stage of the 6th head. John the Revelator tells us (three times, Revelation 13:3, 12, 14) that one of the 7 heads seemed to be wounded fatally but would revive and be healed.
What can we safely conclude? The 6th head indeed does already rule the whole world today. The whole Roman-founded world system of “mixed clay and iron” (Daniel 2:41) is definitely in global power. Secondly, any candidates proposed for the identities of the 6th, 7th and 8th Ruler Kings that are not global hegemons, can be ruled out.
Thirdly, most certainly, the 7th head is not yet on the world scene today. The 10 kings have not yet formed. When this head comes tothe fore, it will appear suddenly. As of the point of their emergence, the world will be on super “fast forward.” These 10 kings are said to be in power for only one hour (Revelation 17:12) … the collective of the 7th head said to “[…] remain for only a little while” (verse 10). And then, in short order, the Antichrist will be revealed to the world.
Given the state of world geopolitics today, it is our opinion (not fact, but a personal view) that the 10K kings could take form in the very near future. The season is already at the door, and we believe that we can identify its foreshadowings. All of this can mean only one thing for Christians: The Lord is also already at the door (Revelation 3:20; 4:1).
While Christians will definitely not see the Antichrist … most certainly not after he has taken the form of the Beast—we do not know how much of these prophesied geopolitical events we will yet observe while we remain upon earth. The Lord’s return in the clouds to “snatch us up in the air” remains imminent (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
Again we return to our outline of 10 foundations in our quest for the identity of the 7 Ruler Kings.
9. Is the number 7 (and 10) meant literally or symbolically? Some (this including well-respected Bible scholars) argue that the Bible’s use of the numbers 10 and 7, when referring to the RK and 10K, is meant to be suggestive, and not literal. In specific, it is maintained that the use of the number “10” in the Bible is meant to portray the notion of “many.” Likewise, it is argued that the number 7 is used symbolically in the Bible. We are not satisfied with these explanations.
Firstly, as a matter of principle, we are always reluctant to abandon a literal interpretation of the Bible. Doing so leads to a slippery slope. It would be only logical to conclude that “7” is the literal count of the Gentile, Middle East-centered, hegemonic kingdoms of the world that have prevailed since Abram was called out by God to form a people that would be “a light to the world”—the Hebrews (Isaiah 49:6). There are 7 heads and 7 Ruler Kings, no less; and no more. Not only does a study of the Bible and secular history support this interpretation, but an examination of all the numbers mentioned in Revelation 17 also reinforces this conclusion.
Consider that the 7 heads are said to be 7 kings, 5 of which “have fallen, one is, [and]the other has not yet come” (Revelation 17:10). Are these meant to be specific literal numbers, or an indication of a ratio, meaning that 5/7ths of “many” kings have fallen? Or, when Daniel says that “[…] he will subdue three kings” (Daniel 7:24) of the ten kings, are we to suppose that he really means 30% of an unspecified number of “many” kings? We would say no.
An intellectually honest reader would agree that he means exactly three. Similarly, we confidently conclude that there will be exactly 7 kingdoms in the hegemonic “worldly” power arrangement of the last 3 millennia (the Man-Satan Collusion) … and for that matter, also including exactly 10 literal kings as the prophesied 10K. Interestingly, the 10 kings (10 horns) are mentioned or depicted 10 times in the Bible. We definitely do see them corroborated in Daniel 2 and 7 and Revelation 12, 13, and 17.
Common Characteristics of the Hegemonic World Rulers
At this point, we propose another brief side trip. Now that we are certain that there is an exact number of 7 Ruler Kings, can we establish whether they have any common features?
We note at least seven common characteristics of all 7 Ruler Kings and/or nations over which they rule.
1. The nations are only of significance in that they all have a role in relation to the history of Israel. All of them suppressed the Hebrews,Israel and/or Judah.
2. All seven societies are essentially pagan. They are part of an unreasoning beast. None of them are shown to have been “made Christian” … or have been successfully converted to the Reconstructionist ideals of forced obedience in advance of Christ’s return.
3. All kingdoms are noted in the Bible for their pride and over-confidence…even rising up to heaven. They are all symbolized as mountains and tall, lofty trees on one or more occasions in the Old Testament.
4. Each successive kingdom superseded the prior Ruler King, each time expanding the realm of a worldwide kingdom (except, of course, Egypt, which was the first).
5. All seven of the world kingdoms had a monolithic rulership structure. The ruler of the sovereign nation and the head of the religious establishment were one and the same person (religion and state were merged). All of their primary religions were focused on fertility and prosperity. This parallel remains valid today, as the prominent religion of the 6th head is also prosperity science (much of it validated by apostate Christianity). The common faith of today (this being the primary impetus behind globalization) is in economic progress orchestrated by monetary wizardry and bogus scientific economics.
6. All of these kingdoms, therefore, merged materialism with religion. Mammon was enjoined by religion, as it is today. God & Mammon are served as one whole, though Christ clearly said that this was not possible, as they represent two opposite masters.
7. At least all of the four last kingdoms (as this is shown in the beast’s image of Revelation 13), if not all of them, have left legacies and influences upon successive worlds.Readers will be interested to explore this last point further. What legacies might these be? For example, just what things that we encounter in our lives every day in our time are of Babylonian origin? They are so obvious, that they are largely invisible, as you will learn in the last part of this series.
Finally, we note that the great prostitute, the mother of all harlots, rides comfortably on the back of the beast with 7 heads. These seven Ruler Kings do not buck her off their back until near the very end. Then the 10K and the Antichrist will “[…] bring her to ruin and leave her naked” (Revelation 17:16). Throughout history, the Man-Satan Collusion is in complicity with her blasphemies. All of the kings are bestial … part of a beast … and therefore destined to perish. While the first 5 heads are allowed to survive a while longer, though stripped of their powers, the 2 heads represented by the 4th beast of Daniel 7 (the Roman and 10 king heads) and also the Antichrist (shown as the following 8th Roman king in Revelation 17) are dealt with an extra measure of the Lord’s wrath. They are “thrown into the blazing fire” (Daniel 7:11).
In the final Part IV, we will complete our review of 10 foundational factors and conclude with our final candidates for the identity of the 7 heads that are 7 kings.