THREE Beasts of Revelation - #1 and #3 compared

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THREE Beasts of Revelation - #1 and #3 compared

Post by 3Resurrections » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:03 am

Contrary to popular opinion, there were actually three beasts that composed a major portion of the drama we find in Revelation:

#1) The Sea Beast of Revelation 13:1-2
#2) The Land Beast (aka the False Prophet) of Revelation 13:11
#3) The Scarlet Beast in the wilderness of Revelation 17:3

Each of these three beasts had its own singular history, features, and activities. The typical understanding is to lump together the Sea Beast of Rev. 13 and the Scarlet Beast of Rev. 17 and to say they are the same. They're not. If one misses this fact, Revelation's prophesied storyline becomes confused. Two of these beasts originated from "the earth", or the land of Israel. The other one originated from "the sea". John's Revelation imagery consistently distinguishes "the earth" (Israel) from "the sea" (Gentile nations) throughout the book. (Some examples of this distinction are Rev. 5:3, 10:2, 12:12, 14:6, 16:14, etc.) In the final reality of the New Heaven and New Earth that we have in place currently, there is "NO MORE SEA", as Rev. 21:1 tells us. Or, shall we say, there are no more classifications separating Jew and Gentile today, because God's "One New Man" reality has been firmly established, with that finished mystery revealed plainly for all to see. (Rev. 10:7).

The Sea Beast of Rev. 13 is traditionally presumed to be the same as the Scarlet Beast of Rev. 17, due to both chapters mentioning 10 horns and 7 heads. But that is as far as the similarity goes. These two beasts were intended to be counterparts reflecting each other; a Gentile Sea Beast, and a Judean Scarlet Beast with a bit of mirror-imaging, based on having these two features in common. Despite the 10-horns-7-heads similarity, here is a list of the differences that eliminate the idea that Rev. 13:1-2 and Rev. 17:3 were written about the same beast.

#1) Obviously, their origins were different. Since John saw the Sea Beast rising out of the sea, (which is typically a reference to Gentile lands in scripture - Isaiah 60:5, for example), this Sea Beast had to have originated from Gentile nations. In contrast, the Scarlet Beast's wilderness setting had long been associated with Israel as a nation, ever since their Exodus wanderings (as in Deut. 32:9-10), as well as being a geographical feature of the Judean landscape spoken of in the gospels (such as Christ's 40-day temptation in the wilderness).

#2) The Sea Beast, (having leopard, bear, and lion features),had a continual history of existence for 666 years, spanning all the past empires of Greek, Medo-Persian, and Chaldean kingdoms respectively, plus its then-current Roman phase during the days John was writing. In contrast, the Scarlet Beast had an alternating pattern of existence that "WAS", then "IS NOT", and then "IS ABOUT TO ARISE" at the time John was writing (Rev. 17:8).

#3) The Sea Beast was empowered and given great authority by Satan, and was given his throne (thronos - Rev. 13:2). This throne of Satan was in Pergamos, as we are told in Rev. 2:13. A check into the history books tells us that Pergamos and the entire Pergamon kingdom in Asia was given to the Roman Republic in 133 BC as a dying bequest by King Attalus III, since he had no heir to pass the kingdom to. This confirms that the Sea Beast had definite connections to ancient Rome. In contrast, Satan gave no such throne to the Scarlet Beast.

#4) The Sea Beast's 10 horns had 10 crowns and their reigns were consecutive. These were the 10 Roman emperors from Julius Caesar until Vespasian. In contrast, the Scarlet Beast's 10 horns had NO crowns, and only reigned with the beast briefly for "one hour" simultaneously AS IF they were kings, (not that they really were). Horns typically represent military or political power in scripture. These 10 horns were the 10 generals elected in Jerusalem in late AD 66 to organize the defense of Jerusalem, and to prepare the cities of Israel for the soon-coming war with the Romans. Curiously enough, Josephus was one of these 10 horns, as found in the list in Wars, 2.20.3-4.

#5) There was a difference between the two beasts in the levels of blasphemy they both exhibited. The Rev. 13:1 Sea Beast only mentions "the name (singular) of blasphemy" on its heads. Some versions say "names" of blasphemy. In contrast, the Scarlet Beast was "full of names of blasphemy" in Rev. 17:3. Israel's guilt in this respect exceeded Rome's guilt, because Israel sinned against her own Messiah who walked her streets. As Christ told Pilate, "...He that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin." (John 19:11).

#6) The Sea Beast was prophesied to "make war with THE SAINTS" for those 42 months in Rev. 13:5-7. In contrast, the Scarlet Beast would be mainly engaged in CIVIL WAR, with the 10 horns hating the whore (Jerusalem) that was riding on top of them. These 10 horns would make her desolate and naked, and burn her with fire; all of which civil conflicts occurred at the hands of the warring Zealot and moderate high priest factions of Israel itself, taking place between late AD 66 and early AD 70. Rome was absent from Jerusalem during this time until the very end, when Titus arrived at Passover AD 70 to deal the final blows to a city already weakened by civil war.

#7) The Sea Beast was presented as an unchallenged foe, which God allowed to wage war against the saints for those 42 months (under Nero's persecution from AD 64 - 68), and to overcome those saints (Rev. 13:7). Also, in the Matthew 22:7 parable of those who were invited to the wedding that murdered the king's servants, Jesus referred to the armies that God the "king" would use to destroy those evil men and burn up their city (Jerusalem), calling them "HIS armies". Both of these texts indicate that Rome was going to be used as a tool in God's hands to accomplish two purposes: first, maximizing the amount of martyred saints that would participate in the AD 70 resurrection, and second, bringing judgment of vengeance on disobedient Israel. In contrast, the Scarlet Beast's 10 horns waged war against the Lamb, and did not emerge victorious, but were overcome by Him instead (Rev. 17:14).

#8) The Sea Beast had no harlot (Jerusalem) riding on its back in a dominant position over its 10 horns and 7 heads, but the Scarlet Beast did have this harlot reigning over "the kings of the earth" that were part of the beast she was sitting upon. These "kings of the earth" were the high priests of Israel, as I have indicated in two previous posts. Additionally, the Sea Beast had no extra 8th king anywhere included, such as the Scarlet Beast had; an 8th "king" / high priest which also had a double-identity as the revived Scarlet Beast itself in Rev. 17:11. This "king" was Matthias ben Theophilus, grandson of Annas, who was the high priest leader of the nation serving in office during the very year the Scarlet Beast revived as the independent kingdom of Israel, following the AD 66 start of the Jewish wars with Rome.

#9) The Sea Beast had one of its 7 heads wounded, which became healed. This was not a wound to one of the 10 horns (the 10 emperors), but to one of the 7 heads. (These heads are likely a symbol of the 7 hills Rome sat on, just as the Scarlet Beast had the 7 mountains of Jerusalem for the harlot to sit on.) The AD 64 fire in Rome did serious damage to the city's infrastructure, but with Nero's expensive re-building program for the capitol, (including his fabulous "Golden House", and the Colossus of Nero image over 100 feet tall), this "wound" to the city of Rome sitting on 7 hills was healed. In contrast to this Sea Beast's healed head, the Scarlet Beast's 7 heads as mountains ended by being "not found" (Rev. 16:20). Also, the Scarlet Beast's 7 heads as "kings" had all either fallen, or were destined to go into destruction at the close of AD 70. We know that the entire Scarlet Beast - heads, horns, and harlot included - was "taken" and thrown alive into the Lake of Fire in Rev. 19:20, which was the "second death" of Jerusalem and the nation since its first death under the Babylonians back in 586 BC. In contrast, this Lake-of-Fire death was not the fate of the Roman-led Sea Beast, because it was the one being used as a tool by God ("HIS armies" in Matt. 22:7) to bring that final judgment of destruction upon the Scarlet Beast.

All these contrasting events and characteristics of the Revelation 13 and Revelation 17 beasts confirm for us that we have a total of THREE beasts in Revelation which are interacting with each other - not just two. In a post to follow, I'll give some attention to the details of the #2 Judean Land Beast / False Prophet of Rev. 13, and list some details of how it related historically to the Roman-led Sea Beast.

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