Mystery
of the Beast

        The Mystery of the Beast

                     In Defense of Philip Goodman

                                                                                               

I wrote this article as a result of a debate between David Reagan and Phillip Goodman which arose because of Reagan’s article in his Jan./Feb. 09 Lamplighter magazine: Is the Antichrist a Muslim? The main debate seems to be over whether the Antichrist arises out of the East or the West, (the European Union.). I believe Philip is on the right track. I do not agree with Philip on everything. Who among us does? But in regard to the beast of Revelation 17, he may be close to being right.

Your differences with Phillip seem to be:

1. the Antichrist will arise from the European Union, the West not the East because the covenant signed and later broken by the Antichrist is a prince from Rome as was Titus who destroyed Jerusalem according to Dan. 9:27;

2. Antiochus Epiphanies IV is not the only type of the Antichrist; therefore, he cannot use that as a reason;

3. The other empires did not survive their fall.

4. The revived empire must be the Roman, because if it is the Assyrian it makes too many empires, nine instead of eight.

 

Let us compare what you both say to actual history and the Word. I believe that if prophecy scholars do not give close attention to ancient history, they cannot accurately decipher the books of Daniel and Revelation.[1]

 

When you look at Nebuchadnezzar’s great image, you see a  continuous development of Gentile nations that rule over Israel, right up until the Lord takes away their dominion. The only exception was when the Maccabees ruled. There are changes in the image, but no break. Starting from the head of gold, which Daniel interpreted as Babylon, next comes the two arms and chest, depicting the two divisions in the Media/Persian empire; the belly and two thighs of brass show the Grecian Empire with its the final form, the Seleucid and the Ptolemaic that alternately ruled Israel. Then came Rome with the two lower legs of the image, showing the division of its latter form: Eastern, and Western. Next, the divided feet with iron and clay mixed develop and later still, the toes finish the image. Keep in mind this image represents all of the Gentiles nations that will rule over Israel’s land, not just the four highlighted in Daniel chapter seven. Every part of the image rules over Israel! When the stone (Jesus) takes down the image (the Gentile reign), he gives the land back to his people who rightfully own it and makes Jerusalem the capitol of the world.

 

First, we have to realize what God shows Daniel is not a picture of the empires of the entire world, as we know it. He does not include the great dynasties of the Far East nations, India and beyond. Nor does he include the Great Russian Empire to the north or the empires of the European nations such as Spain in the Americas, or the British Empire spreading all around the globe. (The British Mandate over Israel’s territory was only an interim rule, a “carpenter”, sent to re-establish a homeland for the Jews [2] (Zech. 1:20, 21).  Daniel mentions only those Gentile nations that he sent as correctional to rule over Israel and affect the working out of her history until the restoration and Christ’s rule.

 

Looking back to Nebuchadnezzar’s Image, this is an overview. Chapter seven of Daniel describes the same overview with the rulers of the image depicted as symbolic animals beginning from the time of Daniel to the coming of the Ancient of Days and the millennial kingdom. To these beasts, he gives enough description that we can identify their empires in history. Yet the glory of the fourth beast is set apart. Rome, the first superpower in the world, has a head equipped with ten horns. The Roman Empire began in the city of Rome and it will end in the city of Rome.

 

Horns represent might because an animal with horns always has power over others without horns. Rome’s mighty foot marched over many nations and subdued them, but its glory was in its head, the city of Rome.

 

 In the scene of the mighty beast’s head and horns, a powerful person of wonder appears—the Little Horn. From this point on, Daniel shows this man in his many facets, thus he becomes the focus of every vision in Daniel that follows.

 

See what Daniel says of him, “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them [the ten kings] another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things” (Dan 7:8). And again in 7:20, “And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.”

 

 Now compare this verse to Daniel 8:9:  “And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.” From chapter 8 Daniel enlarges on this king’s history as coming from the Grecian Empire. Therefore, Chapter 8 does indeed show his origin.

 

There would be no need to backtrack and reshow the details of the Grecian Empire, if he was to arise out of the Roman Empire. Daniel would simply continue with the fourth beast. Instead, he interrupts the sequence with the appearance of the Little Horn. Daniel makes it plain that the Little Horn came out of one of Alexander’s generals. When the Bible speaks of coming out of someone instead of a place, it speaks of linage. Such as in Genesis 46, the souls who went down to Egypt came out of Jacob’s loins. (See also Gen. 5:11, 1 Kings 8:9 and Hebrews 7:5.)

 

Then God focuses on how the stout “little horn” of chapter 7 became stout (rab – captain, chief, great, lord, stout). He even uses the same words to describe him in chapter 8. “And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed (gadal) exceeding great (gadal), toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land” (Dan 8:9).  How did he gain his influence over the three? “…and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings (Dan, 7:24).

 

By his subduing ( shephal--debasing, humbling or putting down), the other horns, he increases his power. Plucking them out by the roots implies a permanent removal. Chapter 8 says he twisted, (the meaning of the word translated “waxed”) (gadal) exceedingly (yether --hung over them in body or mind or honor or pride,) twisting them (gadal), Using “gadal” twice in three words emphasizes his twisting power. Did he twist them out of the head by utter humiliation by his eyes and powerful speaking mouth? On the other hand, did he become so persuasive that their subjects turned away from their own kings and replaced them with him? He subdued a king in the south (Egypt?) a king in the east (Babylon, Iraq?), and a king in the pleasant land (Israel?) see Zech.  14:7; Ps. 106:24. This may also refer the “prince of the covenant” (the leader of Israel who signed the covenant) being “overrun”, as with a flood along with others in Dan. 11:22.

 

When the eighth chapter ends in the powerful type of Antiochus Epiphanies IV superimposed upon the Little Horn, God marks the last of the Grecians to rule over Israel. He typifies the future final ruler (the Little Horn) by Antiochus’ cruelty to the faithful Jews, his ending of the daily sacrifice at the altar and the desecrating of the temple. It is obvious Antiochus is only a type because the next scene in the Daniel 7 prophecy spotlights the Ancient of Days judging the nations at the end, creating a time gap. Antiochus does not stamp on stars; either, this is reserved for the endtime Little Horn alone.

After the Maccabaeus family drove out Antiochus’ generals, Israel, for the first time in hundreds of years ruled their own country in liberty and peace. This was the first time since Solomon’s son Rehoboam lost the kingdom to Shishak’s Egyptian rule. The Maccabaeus peace lasted only sixty years. Then Rome appeared on the scene in the person of Pompey to settle a dispute between John Hyrcanus’ sons, Hyracanus and Aristubulus, over the throne in Israel. Pompey took over Israel for a Roman province, put Hyrcanus in charge, and immediately levied taxes on Jerusalem.[3]

 

This incident may explain Dan. 11:20, a pivotal verse between two time gaps. Daniel 11:19 ends with Antiochus III (the great), then except for the type of the Little Horn in Daniel eight, he skips over the rest of the minor Grecian rulers who did not rule over Israel. Daniel 11:20 raises up a man in Antiochus’ estate who is a raiser of taxes for the glory of the kingdom and whose rule is measured in days because he is destroyed neither in anger, nor in battle. In other words, he is assassinated. Either Pompey or Julius Caesar could fulfill that verse. Both took over Israel. Both adjusted their taxes, and both were assassinated. Nevertheless, either one indicates the presence of Rome. So, this vision in chapter 8 and this verse, Daniel 11:20 show the place where Nebuchadnezzar’s image changes from brass to iron.

 

The next vision in Daniel (chapter 9) brings the Israelite history up to the time of Christ, his crucifixion, and the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus. Again, the vision skips through the history, hitting pertinent times. Then we have a great gap where this vision skips to the end times. That does not mean that the Gentile rulers are through ruling over the land. Emperors Tiberius through Justinian of the Eastern leg ruled until about 642 AD when the Ommiad Moslems, who had moved their capitol to Damascus, captured Asia Minor and Israel just ten years after Mohammed died. This brings the image to the feet—two divided feet at the extension of the legs.

 

An extension through history defines the two feet with rulers in the Western, and rulers in the Eastern portion of the empire. The feet ruled an interim period while the Jews were scattered to the four corners of the earth and Jesus was building his Church. Rome caused Israel’s scattering and Rome will bring her under its influence again when the Little Horn subdues her prince in almost the same pattern as Pompey.

When Rome first took over the land, Israel had been in charge of her own land for 60 years under the Maccabees. Pompey came in to negotiate a peace and ended up subduing the land. From 1948 until now, Jews have had their own nation, but when the Little Horn comes on the scene as an emissary from Rome to negotiate a peace, he will eventually subdue the land once more. In this interim two powerful religious empires ruled both the East and the West ― Papal Christianity seated in Rome and Mohammed’s Islam in the East, including Israel. Influence of both religions spread to much of the rest of the world, sometimes in the same countries, but they never mix and eventually clash.

 

Looking again to history, after the Barbarians invaded Imperial Rome, it lost its control over the people. However, The Church regained the power over the people, when Pope Gregory the Great began to spread Christianity to the provinces. He sent missionary minded monks to evangelize the Barbarians. The papacy continued to gain more and more authority over the Church down through the centuries. Finally, at the time of Pope Gregory VII in 1073, it reached for supreme power. This pope made a decree “that the pope is above all earthly powers, and that all other bishops, all kings, and emperors may be set up or deposed by him”.[4] From then on kings and popes vied for the power over the people. The pope ruled until the reformation and then the roles were somewhat reversed and kings gained the ascendency with state churches. Nevertheless, the papacy remains a great power over people even in our world today.

 

Meanwhile, Islamic religious power rose rapidly in the East. Mohammed, after much rejection in Mecca, moved to Medina where he convinced the people that he had had a divine revelation. He declared to the Arabian tribes of that city, some of them his own people, that there was only one god. They followed him back to Mecca and destroyed those who had opposed him, and then he destroyed all the gods set up in the Kaaba except the stone from heaven that Moslems revere today. The warring tribes of the Arabs stopped fighting with each other, and set out united to war against the infidels and to conquer them for Allah.  And, conquer they did with a fanatical zeal. Before Mohammed’s death in 632 AD, they had conquered all of Arabia. After his death, they fought among themselves for the leadership of Islam until 661 AD, when the Ommiads arose triumphant and moved the capitol from Mecca to Damascus.

 

Fighting their way across the land, they reached their greatest dominion in 705-715 AD. . Their territory extended from the Pyrenees in Spain, across the African rim, to all of Asia east of Turkey and to the same holdings of the Persian Empire toward the North. Later as the Ommiad rulers declined, the Abbasids of Persia took the ascendency and moved the capitol to Bagdad. Nearing the end of their rule the empire began to fragment. In the eleventh century the Seljuk Turks from Tartar, whom the Abbasids had originally employed as mercenaries, swept through Asia Minor threatening the Byzantine Empire and prompting Pope Urban to incite the Church to rescue the Lord’s Sepulcher. The Seljuk Turks controlled the Abbasids as puppets until 1258, when Genghis Khan’s nephew devastated Bagdad. In their place the Ottoman Turks, who had adopted Islam, “attacked with a fanaticism that made their might almost invincible and, gaining control over the Abbasid’s dominions, the new Moslems pitted their strength against the crumbling power of the Byzantine empire. Constantinople fell at last in 1453 . . .”[5]

 

Though Christianity had dominated the Eastern Roman Empire, it left little influence behind except to the Greeks and north into Russia—forming the Orthodox Church that opposed Roman Catholic Church in doctrine. They controlled Israel only until Islamic power arose. Christian pilgrims from the West continued to visit Israel and its holy places even under Moslem rule until the Seljuk Turks took over. The Seljuks treated the pilgrims with great cruelty. News of this reached Pope Urban II in an appeal from the church in the East—let all us Christians unite and fight our common enemy. The pope preached a sermon inciting all bishops to rouse their people to go to war with the Moslems.

As a result, in 1099, the first crusade did conquer Israel and the Crusaders held it for forty years. From 1139, the Crusaders fought back and forth with the Moslems, finally losing their last foothold in 1191. Except for this time and the brief incursions of the following unsuccessful crusades, the Moslem empire, albeit under different heads, held Israel until World War I when the “kings of the earth”, the Western allies, conquered the Ottoman Empire in 1917. Meanwhile, the Jews had already begun to return to the land from 1882 on. Does this not bring the rule of the Gentile reign over the Eastern foot down to the twentieth century? The Papal power over the West declined after the Reformation, however, it is on the rise again exerting power in Europe. If present events still emanate from the overall picture of the image in Daniel chapter two, and the beasts of Daniel chapter seven, Rome is still with us, sitting on the seven hills. Her revival will emanate from there. In fact, United Europe began with the Common Market signing the Treaty of Rome in 1957.

Finished with history, shall we turn to the mysteries of Revelation 17?

 

The Harlot, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH

 

Before we get to the mysteries, let us identify this woman by a clear description in the text.

She sits on many waters. Verse 15 explains the many waters “are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” Today, the papacy reaches almost every country in the world.

 

She is the Mistress of the kings of the earth. People have been made drunk (which relieves them of clear minds) of the wine of her fornication.  Even today, the Apostate Protestant Church moves toward Rome’s sacradotalism. After the rapture, she will garner all that is left of Christianity so called, and sit upon them as well.

   First mention of fornication in the Word refers to Jehoram building high places for idolatry using sexual practices for worship. The harlotry mentioned here probably refers to the idolatry of her many images, but fornication is also a term applied to commerce (see Isa. 23:17, 18). In view of the weeping merchants over her demise in Revelation 18, her fornication may refer to this as well.

 

When John sees her, however, she sits upon a scarlet colored beast with seven heads and ten horns full of blasphemy. The ten horns correlate to the fourth beast in Daniel, which defines the final divisions in the kingdom before Christ comes. Both Daniel 7:24 and Revelation 17:12 refer to the horns as ten kings, but the toes indicate they are divisions in the last beast. In other words, the ten toes and the ten kings belong to the beast not the woman. These are separate. True to her form in the past, here she is, riding above the kings. This implies that she is driving them. Thus, it appears the East and West divisions have reunited in the city, which ruled the original Roman Empire.

 

She is “arrayed”, a word that describes splendor, first in purple, a reference to the color worn by emperors, especially the latter rulers of the Empire. Henry W. Elson who wrote Modern Times and the Living Past spoke of Diocletian as “being one of the strongest men who ever wore the purple”.  Another history book describes him as wearing “a diadem, the gorgeous robe embroidered with pearls and precious stones . . .”[6] The emperor Commodus continued the practice, which truly demonstrates the attire she wears. “On formal occasions he wore a purple robe, heavy with gold-threaded embroidery and precious stones.”[7] Diocletian added pearls to his splendor. We see such attire for the crowning of Queen Elizabeth in England, where precious and semi-precious stones covered the coronation gown. The harlot expects to be crowned. This ambition of Roman Catholicism is well known. (To read about the Pope John Paul’s ambition to reign see The Keys of this Blood by Malachi Martin.)

   

The red dress matches the color of the beast, a reminder of blood-thirst, not to mention the red robes of the cardinals. The golden cup was an instrument of coronation in the hand of either the Assyrian or the Babylonian kings according to Hislop’s Two Babylons, of which I have lent out, so I cannot check the reference. I know Jeremiah 51:7 states: “Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.” This brings us to the next point.

 

She has a name of ownership stamped on her forehead, just like the 144,000, and the beast worshippers. She owes servitude to MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH, heathen worship that was brought into the Church by Julian, the apostate, the grandson of Constantine.  While Theodosius forced Christianity on to the Roman Empire as a state religion, Julian endorsed and organized the pagan religion into orders similar to the Church, against which he had rebelled. This paved the way for combining paganism with Christianity later. Christianity was mainly a religion of the city people. The country people still held to the old idolatry. In spite of the struggle between the two religions, the Roman Church continued to advance into the seventh century. “Various new practices in Christian worship, notably the cult of the saints, made conversion of the peasants easier. The popular mind readily substituted saints for the old gods of paganism, and the old festivals, so dear to the hearts of the people, were continued as before except for slight changes in proper names.”[8] Consequently, Papal Power began in earnest in the 600’s.

 

She was drunk on the blood of saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. Where in Revelation have we found the blood of martyrs mentioned? Answer, under the altar in the fifth seal. Who killed them, the Harlot? Is this where the beast and the woman have their agreement so that the woman thinks she has control over the beast? Both Islam and the Harlot hate true believers, who will not bow to them when they are in power. The papacy during the reformation shows an example. When striving in the future for world domination how could she tolerate losing her Catholic members to the preaching of the 144,000 witnesses?

 

The woman is also deceived in thinking she has full cooperation of the Moslem kings. The ten kings who hate her will destroy her in the end (Rev. 17:18). Isaiah says, “Come down, and sit in the dust. O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground, there is no throne . . .” (47:1), a spiritual picture of Rome?

 

 The honeymoon between East and West will be over, but not before a Little Horn rises up among the ten horns, obviously not one of them, but given the authority for one hour from the other horns, according to Rev. 17:12. Remember, the horns are on the beast not the woman. The ten kings rule over their separate domains in the East but not over the empire. One who was not a king rises to kingship from among them. Does he receive his power while in Rome? Is he in an alliance with the woman along with the kings of the earth for a while? Will he instigate peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis to bring peace to the Middle East for seven years? Later, Daniel 11 says he will have indignation against the “holy” covenant. (This connotation of being “holy” probably comes from the pope helping to forge peace between Jews and Palestinians.) The Little Horn will consult with others who also hate the covenant, because the ships of Chittim stop his invasion of Egypt. Evidently, by this time the Little Horn is mad for power and still struggling with Egypt.

 

Can anybody doubt who this woman is after all this description?

 

This, however, is not the mystery we are after. After John saw the woman, he marveled that a woman could be so evil. The angel asked him, “Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and the beast that carries her.

 

The Identity of the Beast

 

First, the word “beast” stands for an empire as Daniel demonstrated with his four beasts of chapter seven, which history has confirmed. The last empire originates from the bottomless pit (Rev. 17:8) where the Angel, Abbadon (Hebrew) or Appollyon (Greek), rules as king (Rev, 9:11). Both names mean: the destroyer. None of the other beasts comes from the pit. They are simply the outworking of history ordained by God, thus each one conquered the former empire, ruling more or less the same territory with Israel within.

    The Church is the beginning of the true kingdom of God. Satan counterfeits this in his own kingdom of god―Islam. The contrast between the two religions could not be greater. God’s kingdom runs by faith through love, a kingdom of light, instigated by the Sun of Righteousness―Christ, whose right it is to reign. Satin’s kingdom runs by the sword through conquest and a desire to conquer and dominate the territory that belongs to another, a kingdom of darkness instigated by the Prince of Darkness.

 

    The second clue is his end: he will go into perdition. Those who follow him do not have their names written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. Only these will marvel over the Little Horn. God evidently saw their rejection of the truth when he viewed the end from the beginning. Those that receive the mark seal their choice. (See also Rev. 13:8) They become the wickedest of the wicked. Read about their natures in Rev. 9:20, 21.

     This empire becomes the eighth in history, but it is really the same as one of the seven. Remember, we are limited to the empires ruling over Israel.  As we proved before, no other empire but the Islamic ruled over Israel after the Eastern branch of Rome lost the territory. Therefore, it follows that this revival from the pit must be Islamic. Even the territory speaks of the lands held by the former Islamic empire. (Rev. 13:2). Reagan, in spiritualizing the leopard, bear and lion, destroys a vital clue. He sees the three as swift as a leopard, strong as a bear and deadly as a lion. John did not spiritualize, he symbolized features of the final beast. Great difference! He was relating them back to the original empires.  J. Dwight Pentecost was one of the first to suggest this symbolization was a geographic description, saying, “. . . this beast is seen to be the successor to the three proceeding empires. This might suggest not only the idea of power, but also geographical extent, so that this final form of Gentile power may encompass all the territory held by all the predecessors.”[9]

 

The Mystery of the Woman and the Beast

 

     Finally, we come to the mystery itself. The Woman sits on seven heads, which are seven mountains. The statement before this warns us that it will take a mind of wisdom to understand this mystery. A mystery in the Bible is something hidden that has to be uncovered or revealed. First clue, she sits on seven “mountains” (oros) or the word can be translated “hills”.   This is the undisputed site of Rome, the city, so this defines the location of the city. Verse 18 confirms that the woman is a city.

 

      Second clue, but she also sits on the heads of the beast. Heads all through scripture stand as governors over the people. Moses appointed some over families and each tribe had its heads. (Ex. 18:25; Josh 22:30; Num. 30:1; 1 Kings 8:1) Therefore, we would expect the heads of empires to be its governance.

      The Roman Empire ruled through seven different types of government heads that evolved through seven different periods of history. According to Walter Scott in his book Exposition of the Revelation of Jesus Christ pp. 351-52, “they were: Kings, Counsels, Dictators, Decemvirs, and Military Tribunes.” These were already past. The one in force in John’s day was the Imperial Rome under the Caesars. Yet one more would make up the final head—the Bureaucracy.

       The Bureaucracy began with Diocletian and it grew more and more burdensome with each following emperor. It further led to the weakening and collapse of Western Rome.  “The provinces of the Empire were by this time over a hundred in number. Diocletian and his successors organized the business of each province in the hands of a great number of local officials graded into many ranks and classes from high to low. The expenses of this vast organization together with the luxurious Oriental court of the emperor, was enormous; for this multitude of government and court officials and the clamorous army had all to be supported by ever increasing taxation. . . .The scarcity of money had forced the government to accept grain and produce from the taxpayers. . . Even the citizen’s wages and the prices of goods he bought or sold were as far as possible, fixed for him by the state. The emperor’s countless officials, who were little better than spies, kept an eye on even the most humble citizen. They watched the grain dealers, butchers, and bakers, and saw to it they properly supplied the public and never deserted their occupation. In a word, the Roman government now accepted to regulate almost every interest in life, and wherever the citizen turned he felt the irksome interference and oppression of the state.”[10]   Surely, this is the wounded head on the beast in Rev. 13:3. This head collapsed and died under the Barbarian sword. But wait, the mystery deepens―

 

     AND there are seven kings.” The heads equal mountains pertaining to the city but the mountains equal kings when applied to empires. Thus, the mountains have a double meaning. All the empires had the same type of head ―a succession of kings. Only seven empires were heads of the Gentile Beast that would occupy Israel. The angel told John, five empires are fallen, one is and another is yet to come. The beast that was and is not, even he is the eighth and is of the seven, and goes into perdition (Rev. 17:11). Now we are back to talking about the beast who represents an empire. This time the mountains/kings refer to past empires who ruled. These empires are the seven who would rule over Israel right up to the end. (Daniel ignored the first two mountains/kings, since they were past and the fall of Babylon was at hand.) These seven  are Egypt, after Solomon’s kingdom, followed by Assyria, Babylon, Media-Persian, and Greece, which had already fallen by John’s day. Rome currently ruled.  John skips over the seventh to the revived eighth empire because theeighth is the one to go into perdition. (Phillip believes the revived empire is Assyria; however, I think it best fits the Islamic kingdom.)

         Therefore, the mystery lies shrouded in the double meaning of the mountains, and its double application, one for heads of governments and one for the national kings of empires. The revived empire will also revive the government that died, the Bureaucracy. Revelation 13:10 may be referring to this as a possible warning to individuals who will rule under the Little Horn with his same cruelty. Habakkuk also shows individuals who have responsibilities (Hab. 2:5-12). Pay attention to the “woes”. This passage begins with a man who gathers all nations and heaps all peoples to himself (the Little Horn?) and ends with a man saying to a dumb stone “Awake, It shall teach” (the false prophet?). It also applies to the end time. Are not these the king/demigod’s bureaucracy that carries out his will? They control all buying and selling in his name or the number of it. How else could the Little Horn accomplish this without a vast beauracracy?

         “And when he cometh he must continue a short space. . .”

This cannot refer to the seventh beast, which lasted well over a thousand years, but refers the eighth, the revived seventh empire, which lasts a scant seven years and then goes into perdition.

   The Ten Horns/Kings/Toes

When the Little Horn first appears, the ten kings have no authority in the empire. That authority comes entirely from their alliance with the Beast/Little Horn for “one hour,” the one hour it takes to destroy the woman/city of Rome. Chapter 18 repeats just “one hour” three times, which is all it takes to bring the city to complete destruction. Perhaps what these kings give as their authority, is the consent to use nuclear weapons to destroy the coalition of the Vatican and her European Allies (the kings of the earth) taking away her seat.  In one hour, it is possible to launch a nuclear rocket, deliver it, and produce the results given in Rev. 17:16—“to make her desolate, naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire”. How could a nuclear weapon do that?  It could desolate all seven hills leaving the foundations of her beautiful buildings (recently built by the Woman/ and Kings of the earth to renew Rome’s splendor) naked and exposed. It could eat the flesh off her standing citizens, like the description of the flesh melting away of the army opposing Christ at Armageddon (Zech. 14: 12).Then burn her perimeters with fire.

 Not only do they destroy the power of the Woman, but also having planned a replacement for vacancy of power, the “little horn” has five kings for the five toes to take over the western half of the kingdom. The hundreds of thousands of Islamic people who have already migrated to Europe will surely back him. Remember also, their desire even today is to bring Europe under Islamic world domination by conversion to Islam. This fact I learned from a Belgian exchange student and British friends. Why would they not join the rest of the Arab world in this endeavor? They will undoubtedly constitute the iron of the toes, not the clay.

 Philip makes a good showing of why these people cannot mix with each other. They will not cleave together with the European peoples (Dan. 2:41-43). They don’t mix even today. They are too different. However, they may give worship and allegiance to the one they see as their Mahdi. If this happens as I foresee it, all of the peoples of all the former empires named will unite under his rule in the end.

   With the destruction of the city, the merchants associated with Rome will shift their business to literal Babylon the Great and established themselves upon Babylon’s original base (Zech. 5:5-11). There she may become the feeding mouth of the empire. Iraq has acres and acres of arable land and water from two rivers whose upper river dams must have released their waters as a result of the earthquakes of the sixth seal. Remember, one of the features of the last empire was a mouth like a lion the symbol for Babylon. It is possible that she could feed the West who is reeling from the judgments of God. Even so food will likely be rationed—hence the mark.

The Assyrian Connection

As we said earlier, the Little Horn takes great authority over Egypt, Babylon and Israel. He removes their kings and replaces their rule with his own. By this time, Syria may have already lost its head, Damascus. Israel will likely have destroyed it before the signing of Holy Covenant, because neither Damascus nor Syria appear in the tribulation picture. (We may see this before the Lord comes.)

When Israel destroys Damascus, she also receives a great blow herself, Tel Aviv is destroyed. (Maybe it is she, who receives the first strike.) As a result, both Israel and Syria become extremely “lean”, losing their prosperity. See Isa. 17:3 where it says, “the fortress in Ephraim shall cease.”  Tel Aviv lies in a portion of Israel originally given to the tribe of Dan, which Ephraim later absorbed when Dan abandoned it for a northern land. “Fortress” means “defender” figuratively speaking. Tel Aviv houses the Ministry of Defense, The Headquarters of Israel’s Defense Force, headquarters for the Southern Division of the land Army, and two military bases. I would say it is the defender of Israel.

Tel Aviv is also the “New York City” of Israel, the center of their prosperity. Tel Aviv is also the choice of targets for Islamic extremists. I stumbled upon a website one day that displayed a video depicting Tel Aviv being destroyed by a nuclear bomb. However, this nuclear exchange between the Arabs and Israelis is probably unequal when you consider the results. Since the rest of Israel remains, the Islamic extremists probably only sent a small nuclear warhead, like North Korea builds, against Tel Aviv, while Israel sent a “H” bomb destroying Damascus forever.  Such warfare may cause the nations of the world to rise up and demand that the Jews and Palestinians make peace, especially since the enemies of Israel in Ps. 83 surely  will mount an all out attack on Israel when Damascus goes down.

If this were so, would not this pave the way for a super-suave Little Horn to negotiate a peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis? He may first come to notice by his negotiating powers and gain more and more influence by his mouth. Revelation 13:5 says he has power to continue 42 months. He has already garnered some power before the middle of the week.

If this is the case, could not the Little Horn use his influence during the days before the 42 months to take over the land of Syria, combine its remnants with Israel, possibly Lebanon and Babylon and finally conquered Egypt to consolidate most of the territory of ancient Assyria? Might he not even name the new country Assyria? In that case, why not call himself “The Assyrian” and why would not others call him that, including God? See Isaiah 10:17-25, where Isaiah interrupts his discourse on the invasion of Sennacherib, to look ahead to the indignation against the wicked at the end.  (That ruler was also called the Assyrian vs. 24).

Bottom Line

Do I think the little horn is a Moslem, the Mahdi? No! I think the scriptures in Daniel make it plain that he respects no god but his own, a new god inspired by Satan, who will probably take possession of the Little Horn’s body when he begins to be worshipped. He may go along with the people’s delusions for a while but eventually he will introduce his “god of forces”. Moslems will have no trouble with that, because they have always followed a god who wars. However, I think the real reason they blindly follow him is this: he may claim his new god is the one who destroyed Gog’s army. Although it is a supernatural act of our God, he will convince them to adopt his new god the Great Red Dragon that was visible in the sky before the destruction. Remember, his power, seat, and great authority comes from the Dragon (Rev. 13:2) which is a symbolic picture of Satan shown in a heavenly body in the sky. All can plainly see the bombardment of heavenly missiles, meteorites, bloody dust, fire rain (from burning naphtha), etc. thrust upon Gog’s army from above.

The Little Horn’s god, the dragon in the sky, is the one who first appeared in sign with the pregnant woman. Early on, he probably convinces them that the dragon, which he himself represents on the earth, will save them from Gog’s earthly army. However, they must worship him if they want his help, hence the abomination of desolation being set up. He tells them that his “god of forces” stores his munitions in the heavens, and rains down stars upon his enemies. After Gog’s destruction, it is no wonder the people say, “Who can make war like the beast?” On the other hand, who but the Little Horn of Daniel 8 is so audacious as to “stamp” upon stars and blaspheme the very prince of the starry hosts, our Lord Jesus Christ, whose angels actually direct the judgmental “stars”?

Check out what happens to the rest of the world when God destroys Gog. See Ezekiel 38:17-20. First, he says old prophets of Israel prophesied about your [Gog’s] coming years ago. Joel is one of the oldest prophets who wrote a book in the Bible. He lived at the time of Elisha. See Joel’s prophecy in chapter two. This most likely this takes place in the center of the week, showing the sun and moon in the same way as the sixth seal. The sixth seal also mentions the earthquakes spoken of by Ezekiel (38:19, 20). Isaiah begins the physical judgments in Chapter 24:1. Here he shows the earth turning upside down, as does the sixth seal, which shows the sky rolling away like a scroll being rolled. (It is not the sky that moves, but the earth.) Isaiah 34 repeats the same thing in almost the same words (Isa. 34:4), but adds the detail that God is destroying an army, making a great sacrifice out of it. Ezekiel 39:17-20 pictures the same thing, even to the mentioning of the same animals of sacrifice.

Joel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah also have the same location for Gog’s demise. Joel narrows it down by placing it between the east sea (Dead Sea) and the utmost sea (the Mediterranean) in a desolate land (Joel 2:20), like the Judean Desert? Ezekiel tells us it is on the mountains of Israel (Ezekiel 39:2). Isaiah is even more specific, saying, it is on the mountains of Idumea[11] (Isaiah 34:5, 6), the land in southern Israel that Edom confiscated, when Nebuchadnezzar took Judea captive (Ezek. 36:5).

If this is in the middle of the week, where the Little Horn sets up his “abomination” (probably some visual image of the dragon) and makes the worship of the Jewish sacrifices, impossible because of desecration of the altar (Dan. 9:27). Does this not explain his acquiring 42 months or 1290 days (Dan. 12:11) to continue from then on?

Now as to another point you made in your argument with Phillip, that the Little Horn must rule the whole world conquering it in three and one half years. First, the little horn is not a warring man in the beginning, but a man of peace conquering by deceit and flattery. Second, the “whole earth” as we know it is not the “whole earth” of the Bible. Daniel says, the fourth beast shall “devour the whole earth” (Dan. 7:23). The Roman earth barely rimmed the Mediterranean Sea plus most of Western Europe. Look in Daniel 8:5. Here he says the goat (Alexander) came from the west “on the face of the “whole earth”. He barely made it past the Indus River on the border India. What does this say? God’s end-times plans revolve entirely around the Middle East and Europe. Besides, much of the rest of the world will be gone.

Let me explain from a geology point of view what is happening to the earth. The pageantry in space, the Great Red Dragon, is not just a sign, but a newly formed heavenly body ―probably expelled from the huge gaseous planet Jupiter.[12] God has painted pictures in the sky several times in the past using heavenly bodies. The heathen worshiped these “stars” making them gods. Some examples might be the golden calf, the mouse of Isaiah 66:17, the Assyrians worshipped the great sword god, Nergal, the one the army feared in Isa. 31:8, 9. (A soldier would not fear a real sword. The image of a sword in the ensign was what he feared.) Isaiah predicted the same type of bloody sword in 34: 5, 6 coming against the army in question.

The instrument of God’s judgment here poses a very real danger to the earth (Rev. 12: 9)[13]. God has programmed this body to bring about the judgments he recorded in the Revelation.

This becomes evident as the judgments progress. As a physical body, it will interact with earth according to God’s laws of physics. Two large bodies in space similar in size will rarely collide because of their electrical properties that form magnetic cushions around them.  However, those same properties when brought in close proximity would affect each other. For instance, if the body is larger than the earth it could suddenly arrest the rotation of the earth, and cause it to veer from its forward motion. The stopping or veering would cause a speed differential between the lighter crust and the heavier viscous-elastic mantle underneath. The crust sliding over the interior would heat up the surface of the mantle by friction causing rocks at the bottom of crust to melt. They would also crack in places to relieve the pressure, which would form volcanoes over the cracks (Joel’s pillars of smoke?). Arresting the speed of rotation could cause the first earthquake in the sixth seal.

Nevertheless, if the Red Dragon should approach the earth so that both of their nearest pole polarities possess the same electrical charge, one body will reverse its poles to neutralize the charge and the body, in this case the earth would flip over. The North Pole will become the South Pole and vice versa. I believe this is what happens at the sixth seal. This causes the second earthquake, by even greater displacement of the crust moving islands and mountains to a new place. In the meantime, the reaction will also attract meteorites, red dust, and burning crude oil from the Dragon’s tail. Some of this will fall on Gog’s army. The red dust is what colors the dragon and turns the moon red when the dragon passes by and comes in between the sun and the earth, eclipsing the sun and making it look black as sackcloth.

During the overturning, the angels release the four winds mentioned in Rev. 7: 2, to hurt the trees, the sea, and the earth. In the overturning, suddenly hot and cold air mix to become mighty hurricanes and tornados ―great whirlwinds over the whole earth. (See this mentioned as an instrument of judgment against the wicked in Isa. 40:24; 41:16; Jer. 23:19, 25:32, 30:23; Ps. 11:6; and Nah. 1:3) The winds rip up the trees by their roots and the oceans, having no bond to the bottom, will spill over the land in great tsunamis taking sand, sea animals and anything else in its way, thrusting them upon the land. Geologists have many remnants showing such action in the past, for instance, huge isolated boulders sitting upon a plain completely separated from other rocks like themselves. Glaciers cannot explain this, but great waters can. They must have carried them in a great flood, dropped them, and then retreated.[14]

Another illustration: the huge piles of tangled vegetation mixed with various land and sea animals frozen together in large rifts in Siberia. Nothing else can explain this except great overflowing seawater action. Geologists today think the earth may have flipped over several times, some even think the so-called glaciers may have been polar caps at one time before the geographical poles shifted.

So, the second world-wide earthquake in the sixth seal would have come from the overturning when every island and every mountain moves out of its place. Ezekiel says even the fish shall shake and every wall fall to the ground (Ezek. 38:20). Now I ask you, what will happen to all the great cities with skyscrapers of glass, especially those close to a sea? See also Zeph. 2:5.

Isaiah says the men will become scarce (24:1) Whole civilizations will be gone; even those not close to the sea will be bombarded from the falling sky. Earthquakes will affect them, not to mention the whirlwinds. The many volcanoes will make the whole earth appear to be on fire (2 Peter 3:10). God apparently spares most the civilization in the Europe/Middle East to work out his program. After all, the 144,000 have already brought in the final harvest of the Gentiles from the rest of the world (Rev. 7:9). Everyone who heard and believed are already safely worshipping before the throne (Rev. 7:9; Rev. 14:1-4) or in the case of newly redeemed Israel safely hidden in the shadow of the Almighty (Rev. 12:6).  God’s angel also preached from the sky (Rev. 14:6, 7). What are left of humanity are all unbelievers ripe for judgment. Elsewhere scattered survivors will huddle together to exist.

 Meanwhile, God will test his newly redeemed people, Israel (the nation); in a furnace like silver to see if, they will remain faithful in an atmosphere of idolatry (Zech. 13:8). Christ redeems them just before the overturning when he appears as their scapegoat showing them his wounds on the Day of Atonement. (See Joel 2:25-29; Isa. 52:7-9, 13, 14; Ezek. 39:29; Zech. 12: 10-14, 13:1; Mal. 3:1)

After the confrontation with the dragon, the inclination and the rotation of the earth will have changed.  At some point the Antichrist will have to order a new calendar to be made changing the “times’ and new “laws” defining the “worship” of The Dragon and the issue of his “mark” for buying and selling (Dan. 7:25)?

Traditional prophecy interpreters always ignore the physical judgments. How can you rightly interpret prophecy without them? If the overturning wreaks such destruction, will it not affect the economy of what is left? Will it not affect Governments and cause their realignment? Would it not cause ruthless men to seize power? Will it not affect the food supply of the world? What about the oil supply? Would not wars be fought to secure these commodities, perhaps Armageddon, with Eastern armies invading because of Israel’s newly developed oil fields?

In view of all these things, I believe that the Eastern and Western legs of the kingdom will come back together, under the temporary rule of the Woman in the city of Rome.  During the first half of the week, after the war of the first four seals kills a quarter of the earth’s population, The Harlot calls everyone to follow her lead to set up a utopian kingdom of God from the ground up, not necessarily a kingdom of our God, but one acceptable to all faiths in the interest of peace. She will have already recognized the persuasive power of the Little Horn after he consolidates his power over the three horns. She will probably invite him to war with her against the 144,000 thousand witnesses and their converts from every nation, tribe, and tongue, because they are not responding to her decrees and are stealing her people for the Lamb of God movement. These evidently preach that the Lamb is coming back with the destruction of God’s wrath, see Rev. 6:16, 17. Neither the Beast nor the Woman wants to hear that.

In this, both the Beast and the Woman can cooperate in the bloodthirsty business of killing saints. The saints disrupt their plans for a kingdom by their submission to the Lamb instead of the Woman or the Beast.  They will cooperate until after the overturning.  When Gog invades, part of the armies surrounding the city will be those from the West, who have come to help defend Jerusalem. Nevertheless, after the supernatural destruction of the army, the Little Horn takes the upper hand and gets the agreement of the ten kings who already hate the Whore, to relieve her of her power. After all, do not the Arabic nations of the East seek a great empire over the world? Both Israel and Pakistan have nuclear weapons and now the Little Horn has command over Israel’s nuclear arsenal. In one hour, they destroy the city and probably France and England’s nuclear facilities, for their own self-protection. (That is if England survives the overturning.) The Little Horn’s fame spreads, especially among Moslems, who believe him to be their Mahdi. As the East triumphs over the West, he adds the West to his kingdom, probably dividing it up and putting his own adoring people in charge.

Aside from my conjectures, almost all of the action in Revelation takes place in the East. The Little Horn builds a palace (a depot of some kind) between the seas and across from the temple mount (Dan. 11:45). The Two witnesses foretell the coming trumpet judgments in Jerusalem then the Little Horn orders them killed in Jerusalem. The Little Horn does not rule from Rome. He destroys it. Activities of the East overshadow anything happening in the West. The Bible simply does not mention them. Your scenario comes from the idea that the world’s civilizations will remain as they are today. They will not!

My conclusion is that Philip may be right about the Assyrian.  I believe the Woman represents the remnant of the Roman Empire and the Beast equals the revival of the Islamic Empire. After all, it died at the end of World War I. Islamic extremists are determined to revive it.

 Answer to Your Four Points.

1. You said the Antichrist comes out of the EU. Your reasons are that this is the traditional view, even predicted by prophecy scholars. Coming from the minds of men, that’s an insufficient argument, because the Scripture goes to great length to show he comes out of the Grecian Empire “in the latter time of their kingdom” (Dan. 8:23). Antiochus Epiphanies is not important enough in history to warrant the coverage given to the “little horn” in scripture. Daniel does not mention the Roman beast after chapter 7, except in the seventy weeks vision and possibly the pivot point in chapter 11. However, Daniel traces the Grecian empire all the way to its end skipping over a gap or two. It must be important!

 Besides that, except for family succession, even the Caesars at the height of Roman power did not all come from Rome. Some rose out of the armies and were native to one of the provinces. As to Dan. 9:27, The Little Horn may very well have been considered a Prince of Rome when the covenant was signed in cooperation with the pope.

2. That Antiochus Epiphanies is a type, but not the only type of the Antichrist. You are right about that, in fact when you listed them you missed the most prominent type of all (in my opinion). That would be the prince of Tyre. He was rich-rich and very proud. He set himself up  to be god. This is the type used by Paul to represent the Antichrist (2 Thes. 2:4; Ezek. 28:2-6). Many of the Caesars made themselves gods but the Word makes no mention of them. Besides, all the types you mentioned came from the East. As to the riches of the Antichrist, how could he give spoils to the little people (Dan. 11:24) if he were not rich, rich, rich, from his exploits?

3. That none of the empires survived their fall. As Phillip argued in The Spirit of Prophecy, yes, the government fell but its parts continued to survive. Daniel 8:23 says, “Their lives were prolonged for season”.  You cannot say that of the Assyrian empire. Nineveh was so hidden under the sands of the desert, that scholars believed the Assyrian Empire was just a myth. When Archeologists uncovered their cities in the late 1800’s, they finally believed the Bible’s truth. Babylonian ruins are still there, her walls rebuilt by Saddam Hussein. Her final destruction is yet to come (Rev. 16; 4, 18:19).

4. The empire must be Roman because, the way Phillip figures, it would be the ninth instead of the eighth. Not so, he said the Islamic kingdom was the seventh kingdom. He chose the revival of the Assyrian Empire. That would make it the eighth. I chose the revived Islamic Empire, but it would still be the eighth.

I know I have presented to you a long drawn out study and a very specific scenario. The reason― I am trying to use all the pieces of prophecy and fit them into one picture. Sometimes we need others to shake us out of our lethargy to take a fresh look. That is what you did for me when I read your article ―hence this article. [15]                                                                            

 

 



[1] That includes me. In looking deeply at the details given in my many history books, I realize I am guilty of simplifying and generalizing some of the details in my own book, which needed to be explained in more depth. Alas, I cannot afford to continually revise the book. I can only regret I did not study these things to greater clarity.

[2] The Balfour Declaration was part of the original treaty in 1917 in favor of establishing a home for the Jewish people in Palestine.

[3] Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book I p.434 -436

[4] Henry W. Elson, A.M., LITT.D., Modern Times and the Living Past, American Book Company, 1933, pp. 253,254

[5] The history of the Islamic empire and the quote taken from: T. Walter Wallbank and Allastar  M. Taylor, U. of Southern Cal.,Civilization - Past and Present, Scott, Foresman  and CO., 1942, p.241

[6] James Harvey Robinson, James Henry Breasted and Emma Peters Smith with Edith W. Ware, Earlier Ages, Ginn and Company, 1951, Boston, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Columbus, San Francisco, Toronto,  London, pp. 358,359                                    

[7] Joseph Ward Swain, The Ancient World, Harper and Brothers, New York, 1950 p.546

[8] Ibid. p.611

[9] J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come, Durham Publishing Company, Findlay, Ohio, 1958, p. 325

[10] Earlier Ages, pp359-60

[11] This is the Greek and Roman name for Edom and it was Edomites in Southern Judea they referenced since the Nabateans had taken over Edom’s old territory by this time.

[12] The Giant Red Spot, which scientists believe to be a giant red dust storm, was once large enough to contain two earths. This Giant Red Spot, seen through telescopes for over three hundred years, changed its shape recently. It shrunk by half and another red spot appeared in a lower belt, which the scientists have named Red Spot Junior.  In 2009 yet another red spot developed, which continues to gain tremendous force. Something is happening up there. Is God getting it ready to release a red dragon in the sky? Is the red dust surrounding it the source of the red coloring of the moon in Joel or the “blood’ that fell on Gog’s army (Ezekiel 38:22), the same “bloody” waters that reaches the horses bridles in Revelation 14: 20? Is it the same red dust that fell in the past at the Exodus, which left behind the extensive red clay in Georgia and other places, along with the vast amounts fine red silt covering a major portion of the Pacific Ocean bottom?

[13] The image seen in the heavens keeps changing, first the dragon, then the heavenly armies and finally the great bloody sword of the Isaiah 34.

[14] Isaiah 27:1 mentions this sword destroying the dragon. In Isaiah 28:2 such a “one” sent against Ephraim, cast a tempest of hail, a destroying storm of mighty waters overflowing to the earth.. This may have happened sometime in Israel’s conflict with Assyria and was the source of the sword the soldiers feared or it may be future. Notice, the sent “one” cast down trouble to the earth. The boulders could also have been transported by great winds.

[15] This was addressed to David Reagan, a wonderful teacher of Bible prophecy, founder of the Lion and the Lamb Ministries and a frequent speaker at Prophecy Conferences.