Two House Chronicles
Identifying the Two-Horned Beast in the Revelation of John
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Identifying the Two-Horned Beast in the Revelation of John
by Hope, Marsue and Jerry Huerta
Identifying the two-horned beast that rises out of the earth can only be accomplished under the right set of guidelines, some of which were analyzed in the previous chapter. It was demonstrated that the application of only the historicist’s guidelines delivers the greatest harmony when interpreting the beasts of Daniel and the beasts in the Revelation. One of those guidelines determines that the beasts in Daniel and Revelation cannot be construed as mere individuals but as successive dominant world powers.
“In ch. xvii. 9, it is said, that the seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits, and seven kings. It is clear as day, that there is not a double signification ascribed here to the seven heads, but that the second only serves as an explanation of the first. Even Bengel remarks, ‘It is certainly no satisfactory exposition, which takes a particular symbol in two quite different significations.’ Now, in the symbolism of Scripture generally, and especially of the Apocalypse, mountains uniformly denote, not particular kings, but kingdoms—see on ch. viii. 8. The kings, therefore, are not individuals, but ideal persons, personifications of kingdoms, the king of Babylon, of Rome, &c. Such phraseology occurs very frequently in the higher style of prophecy.”1
Both preterists and futurists acknowledge that the beasts in Daniel do not represent individuals but successive regimes that go forth to conquer but they alter the guideline when it comes to the little horn of Daniel, which kingdom they force into the past or future. Preterist Kenneth Gentry maintains that the Revelation veers from Daniel’s vision of the beasts/kingdoms.
“John actually reworks and reapplies OT verses, particularly from Daniel, his second leading source (behind Ezekiel). For instance, note that Daniel’s image involves four successive, distinct beasts (Dan 7:3). And these are counted seriatim: ‘first,’ ‘second,’ third (implied), and ‘fourth’ (Dan 7:4-7). Whereas John’s beast is one beast: ‘a beast’ (Revelation 13:1). And his one beast is even a compound that employs only three of Daniel’s four beasts: leopard, bear, and lion (Revelation. 13:2).… Clearly Revelation changes much regarding Daniel’s imagery.”2
The vindication that Daniel was uniform and that the little horn also represents a regime and not some individual, overthrows the preterist’s and futurist’s paradigms. As stated earlier, both modalities must reconcile time elements in their interpretations and because they either start at the distant past or want to push things off into the far future they are forced to perceive the kings in Revelation 17 as individuals rather than being able to successfully reconcile the kings as kingdoms. The continuous-historical guidelines hold the complementary nature of Daniel and Revelation and for this reason represents the true hermeneutic in rendering the apocalypse of John. The Revelation has something to “keep” in all the lives of the people of God who live during the interim between the advents when the mountains, renamed heads and then kings, are perceived as successive dominant world powers. The guidelines of preterism and futurism produce tremendous tension concerning the blessing for “he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein” (Revelation 1:3) when the people of God have nothing to “keep” because the things written therein do not pertain to them, as in preterism and futurism.
The sine qua non of historicism is the creed that the papacy represents the antichrist and through progressive revelation it has come to view the sea-beast and the little horn in Daniel 7 as the same entity, the papacy. Because of this view historicism is often credited to Protestantism. But under greater scrutiny historicism can be viewed as having its roots some centuries before with such men as the tenth century bishop Arnulf of Orléans who applied the prophecy of the man of sin in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9 to the papacy.
“Looking at the actual state of the papacy, what do we behold? John [XII.] called Octavian, wallowing in the sty of filthy concupiscence, conspiring against the sovereign whom he had himself recently crowned; then Leo [VIII.] the neophyte, chased from the city by this Octavian; and that monster himself, after the commission of many murders and cruelties, dying by the hand of an assassin. Next we see the deacon Benedict, though freely elected by the Romans, carried away captive into the wilds of Germany by the new Caesar [Otho I.] and his pope Leo. Then a second Caesar [Otho II.], greater in arts and arms than the first [?], succeeds; and in his absence Boniface, a very monster of iniquity, reeking with the blood of his predecessor, mounts the throne of Peter. True, he is expelled and condemned; but only to return again, and redden his hands with the blood of the holy bishop John [XIV.]. Are there, indeed, any bold enough to maintain that the priests of the Lord over all the world are to take their law from monsters of guilt like these - men branded with ignominy, illiterate men, and ignorant alike of things human and divine.… What would you say of such a one, when you behold him sitting upon the throne glittering in purple and gold? Must he not be the ’Antichrist, sitting in the temple of God, and showing himself as God?’ Verily such a one lacketh both wisdom and charity; he standeth in the temple as an image, as an idol, from which as from dead marble you would seek counsel.”3
Historicists agree that the beasts in Daniel 7 represent Babylon, the lion, that fell and was succeeded by the Persian empire, the bear, which fell and was succeeded by the Greek empire, the leopard, that fell and was succeeded by the pagan Roman empire, the diverse beast, that disintegrated and was succeeded by the division of its provinces depicted as ten horns upon the fourth beast in Daniel,4 out of which the little horn, the papacy, rises. Through the sine qua non of historicism the dragon in Revelation 12 is easily perceived as the personification of Satan (Revelation 20:2) and of pagan Rome that bruises the heal of seed of the woman in Genesis 3:15, Christ, and who “stood before the woman … to devour her child as soon as it was born,” that was the “man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron” (Revelation 12:4-5). Christ reveals his mother in the gospel of Matthew.
Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. (Matthew 12:47:50)
The church is easily perceived as the woman in Genesis 3:15 according to Matthew, above, those doing the will of God at Christ’s first advent, which pagan Rome immediately attempted to eradicate. Rome was in league with the seed of the serpent (John 8:44) or those who sat upon the seat of Moses to crucify Christ according to the NT, which disqualifies the latter as the woman in Revelation 12. The dragon is cast to the earth in chapter 12, which is Christ’s testimony in the gospel of Luke.
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:17-20)
The power that is in Christ was taken to the nations and the pagan, demonic strongholds were cast down in fulfillment of Luke, above.
Revelation 12 also maintains that the woman/church is persecuted for a period of a thousand two-hundred and threescore days by the dragon who was cast to the earth, at which time God makes a place for her and feeds her in the wilderness. Historicist Oral E. Collins expounds on the “year-day” principle.
“One of the more controversial principles of prophetic interpretation is the ‘year-day’ principle. This is the principle whereby chronological designations such as ‘day,’ ‘week,’ or ‘month’ are understood to be used symbolically. This interpretation presupposes that ‘day’ or its derivative multiples used as symbols means ‘year’ or corresponding multiples of years, so that one ‘day’ means one year, one ‘week’ means seven years, and so forth. The year-day principle is explicitly indicated in several old Testament texts (cited below) and is commonly applied to the ‘seventy weeks’ prophecy of Daniel 9, but is often rejected in the interpretation of the Apocalypse.”5
This is the same amount of time the sea-beast makes war with the saints, which is a thousand two hundred and threescore days, being the same as forty or two months. By the fifth century the church had developed into five episcopal Sees with control of the churches within their dominions (Sees comes from the word sedes, meaning “chair”): Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Constantinople. By the next century the Roman See gained hegemony over the other dominions and provoked the monarchies that were once the Roman empire to wield their civil power against any that did not submit to its ecclesiastic authority, just as the Nicene Christianity was made the state religion of the Roman Empire.
“These ten kings should be looked for in the territory of the western empire of Rome only. ‘The ten horns of the fourth empire must none of them be sought for in the realms of the third, second, or first, but exclusively in the realm of the fourth, or in the territory peculiar to ROME, and which had never formed part either of the Grecian, Medo-Persian, or Babylonian empires.’ The master mind of Sir Isaac Newton perceived this long ago.”6
This marriage between ecclesiastic and civil power, or the establishment of national religion is the sine qua non of the beasts or seven kings in Daniel and the Revelation, which is essentially one of the objects of this essay. In the sixth century the Paulicians were one such group who fostered a pattern of dissent, leading the way for others to depart the dominions controlled by the Roman church for remote areas outside of its control; a covert exodus which occurred for the next twelve-hundred and sixty years, until the Roman church’s power was broken by the Protestant movement. Under scrutiny, the accusations of heresy by the established national church against such people as the Paulicians, Albigenses, Cathars, Waldenses and the Anabaptists do not prevail; in truth, it was these people who maintained primitive Christianity. It was these people who rejected the marriage of state and religion, the violation of their conscience, the practice of pagan rituals, the opulence of the church and numerous other defilements the Roman church had embraced by their fornication with the kings of the earth. It was these people who fulfill the prophecy of the woman in the wilderness that God fed, and they are the saints that the beast, the papacy, made war with as revealed in Revelation 13:7.
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Following after the model of imperial Rome, the power the papacy wielded over the ten horns did not include recognizing barriers between state and religion which continued until the rise of the nation of America. Moreover, Daniel’s little horn/beast has the same allotted power as the sea-beast and both are, “given to the burning flame,” just as is the eighth king in Revelation 17:11. This lends further support in correctly identifying the fifth head/king as the papacy and it is being healed even now.
I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. (Daniel 7:11)
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. (Revelation 19:20)
The wisdom required to grasp the issue commences with accepting Daniel’s determination of the first four kings as Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and imperial Rome. The sea-beast in the Revelation has the body of a leopard, representing Greece, the feet of a bear, representing Medo-Persia, and his mouth was like that of a lion, representing Babylon, while the dragon, as established above, represents the personification of Satan and is imperial Rome who gives this beast its power, seat and authority as stated in the preceding chapter.
Uncontrovertibly, imperial Rome gave the Roman church its power, seat and authority after almost three centuries of attempting to eradicate the church.
“Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire occurred intermittently over a period of over two centuries between the Great Fire of Rome in 64 AD under Nero Caesar and the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, in which the Roman Emperors Constantine the Great and Licinius legalised the Christian religion.”7
When the historicist’s guidelines are complied with, the sixth king cannot be perceived as imperial Rome which must be perceived as the fourth. The traditional perception allows only one short lived world power after imperial Rome falls, the seventh king, which they claim will establish national religion before the eighth king is healed and rises out of the abyss to war with Christ at his return; perceiving imperial Rome as the sixth king leads to preterism or futurism. When Daniel is complied with, imperial Rome is grasped as the fourth king which then allows for three more dominate world powers who will continue the establishment of national religions. Following this formulation, we can see that the papacy is the fifth king(dom) and that the sixth sanctions, or makes the image to the beast before Christ’s return, which then becomes the seventh, and this is what history actually reflects. When one grasps the sine qua non of the kings as the establishment of national religion, and that the fifth king is revealed as the papacy, history vindicates that it endured for twelve-hundred and sixty years before the Protestant Reformation enfeebled it and then mothered the sixth, The United States of America, that came up as a lamb and is even now entering its dragon stage.8 Moreover, the fifth is gaining influence again with the help of America. Fifty years ago, George McCready Price wrote in the Time of the End, we are living in, “the time of the deadly wound, our present age.”9
“But, as before stated, the point of time from which the beast and its rider are seen by the apostle is our own day, the time of the end, not the time of the Roman emperors.”10
Price correctly perceived that we live in the time of the sixth king and this work maintains that we are fast approaching the time of the seventh, whose span will be brief. Price expounds on the significance that there are no crowns to speak of in Revelation 17.
“The ten horns of the scarlet beast of chapter 17 have no crowns upon them, suggesting that this vision applies at a later period, after the ten horns have ceased to do the bidding of the Papacy, a fact further suggested by the statement that these ten kings ‘have not yet received royal power,’ or the power to oppress or lord it over the minds and lives of men; ‘but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast.’ (Revelation 17:12, R.S.V.) In other words, at the time here spoken of intolerance and persecution had ceased for the time being, but would again be revived, along with the power of the beast from the abyss, the bottomless pit. And how accurately this describes our own times, when the power to persecute has been quiescent for nearly two centuries, but when the ominous signs of the revival of intolerance are visible to all!”11
Price noted that the crowns are absent while the woman rides the beast, which he rightly perceived as a time running concurrent with the interlude in which the head is wounded and has not been healed, prophesied in Revelation 13:3. This is clearly affirmed in the evidence that the eighth king “is not” at the time John witnesses the woman riding the beast, but had lived prior to the “vision” and will rise and live again when the brief time of the seventh king is accomplished, to make war with Christ at his return (Revelation 17:8, 14). Moreover, Price also perceived this time as the fragile aberration of our secular society. The sine qua non of the beasts is easily revealed as the establishment of national religion when the Roman empire is perceived as the fourth king in Revelation 17. One must agree, history affirms this.
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America is also easily seen as the sixth king when one comprehends the significance of John being taken “in the Spirit on the Lord's day” (Revelation 1:10). Key in the debate is John’s intent regarding the phrase “on the Lord’s Day” in Revelation 1:10 (en tē kyriakē hēmera) that only appears once in the NT. The preponderance of the evidence supports that it is an anachronism that has been misapprehended as pertaining to the “first day of the week,” while the hegemony of the church was still in the hands of the Jews who were the principal acolytes John addressed. Viewing the phrase as pertaining to the first day of the week is hardly a patristic perception. Furthermore, the context pertains overwhelmingly to eschatological events such as the introduction of the “judgment of the Harlot riding the eighth beast” by an angel in possession of one of the vials of the last plagues. Through the syntactical evidence, futurist E. W. Bullinger maintained that John was taken in the spirit to the future Day of the Lord.
“anthrōpinēs hēmeras, in 1 Corinthians 4: 3, is rendered “Man’s judgment (margin, Greek day)”. So we contend that, in Revelation 1: 10, tē kuriakē hēmera should in like manner be rendered “The Lord’s judgment (margin, Greek day)”. In both passages the same word “day” denotes the time or period when the judgment spoken of is being carried out. In the former it is the day now present, when “man” is judging; in the latter it is the future day, when “the Lord” will be judging. Indeed, this is the exact contrast as shown by the conclusion in 1 Corinthians 4: 5: ‘Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord shall have come’. This coming is the great subject of the whole book of Revelation, as is proclaimed in its opening words (Revelation 1: 7). And John is taken by the Spirit into the judgment scenes of that day.”17
John was not merely speaking in the present, but also, through the Spirit, in a future tense nearer to our time, the eschatological “Day of the Lord.” Bullinger agreed that John lived during the time of the Roman empire, but was taken by the Spirit to our time, that of the sixth king, which unintentionally confirms that Rome is the fourth king in Revelation 17. It is from this future perspective, our time, that John witnesses the harlot riding the beast. The fallacy that mystery Babylon is the papacy and that the sixth king was pagan Rome is exposed by the contemporary reevaluation. The papacy came into existence some four-hundred years after John’s time and cannot be viewed as riding on the back of pagan Rome in any logical sense. The fallacy escalates in the evidence that the “fornication” in Revelation 17:2 is in the indicative mood which conveys the act as being prior to the indictment of the whore, before she becomes “the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Revelation 17:2; 18:2). Without a doubt, one cannot render the sixth king in Revelation 17 as pagan Rome and maintain that the whore is the papacy. Nevertheless, the Revelation soon began to be perceived as relating to things in John’ time, which is the general perception today but, it is the acceptance of only the future perspective, sustaining the interpretation of the Roman empire as the fallen fourth king, that represents the wisdom required to comprehend the mystery of the seven, nay eight kings (Revelation 17:9). The future perspective affirms the sine qua non of the seven kings in Revelation 17 and the beasts of Daniel as the marriage between ecclesiastic and civil power, or the establishment of national religion.
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1. Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg, The Revelation of St John, Forgotten Books (vol. 2, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 38 George Street, 1852), 75.
2. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., “Daniel’s Beast and Revelation,” Postmillennialism Worldview.com, (PMT 2015-058), https://postmillennialismtoday.com/2015/05/13/daniels-beasts-and-revelation/
3. Speech by Archbishop Arnulf of Orleans (+1003AD), Synod of Verzy in 991 AD; (Schaff’s, History of the Christian Church, Volume 4), 290-292.
4. Jack Wellman, “The number 10 seems to reflect God’s authority or God’s governmental rule over the affairs of mankind. This is seen elsewhere as in the 10 elders that were placed in most of the city gates of Israel (Ruth 4:2) so the number 10 also seems to represents man’s responsibility of obedience to God’s law. Such a number seems to indicate the law, responsibility and a completeness of order in both divine and human structures of society. Some scholars see 10 as the number of divine perfection.” “What Does The Number Ten (10) Mean or Represent in the Bible?” Patheos.com, (October 4, 2014), http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2014/10/04/what-does-the-number-ten-10-mean-or-represent-in-the-bible/,
5. Oral E. Collins, Ph.D, “The Interpretation of Biblical Prophecy,” Historicism.com, (2001), http://www.historicism.com/Collins/interp.htm
6. H.Grattan Guinness, Light for The Last Days, (Edited by E.P. Chachmaille, London & Edinburgh: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1917), 72-73.
7. Wikipedia, s.v. “Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire,” last modified May 2018
8. Actually, the wall between church and state is being unwoven even now through the Faith-based Initiatives enactments by the government. Associate professor of sociology at Loyola Marymount University, Rebecca Sager, has written: “The twin processes of government desecularization and devolution—most prominent in conservative political philosophy—have significantly altered culture and politics in the United States. ‘Desecularization’ can be defined as the increasing role of religious authority in aspects of society. Most American political institutions are largely secular in nature, and this has angered conservative political and religious leaders from William F. Buckley to Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.” Rebecca Sager, Faith, Politics and Power: The Politics of Faith-Based Initiatives, (Oxford University Press, 2004), 17. This will be dealt with at greater length as this work continues.
9. George McCready Price, Time of the End (Southern Pub. Association; 1st edition, 1967), 31
10. Ibid., 34
11. Ibid., 33
17. E. W. Bullinger, “The Lord’s Day,” (the Open Bible Trust, Kindle Ed., 2003), Kindle locations 496-507