“Then the dragon stood on the seashore, and I saw a beast come up out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads. On its horns were ten royal crowns and on its heads blasphemous names. The beast which I saw was like a leopard, but with feet like those of a bear and a mouth like the mouth of a lion” (Revelation 13:1-3).
The ‘great red dragon’ stands on the seashore. The ‘dragon’ is not standing on rock, but sand that will eventually crumble beneath him. The ‘dragon’s’ power on earth will only last for a short time. Yeshua teaches the difference between the wise and foolish builders: the one who builds his house on the Word of God, the rock; and the other who does not. Using Yeshua’s words, the house of the ‘dragon’ that abhors the Torah, its laws and its commands, will crumble.
A ‘beast’ comes up out of the ‘sea.’ The ‘sea’ is symbolic of nations and peoples. In Hebrew the word for ‘sea’ is gam and it is also ‘many waters’ or mayim. In the Hebrew word pictures, the sea and water means ‘the beast rises up pridefully out of a world of chaos.’
Hebrew Word Pictures
Sea – gam or גם
Gimel – A Camel means ‘to lift up’ or ‘pride.’
Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’
The Hebrew Word Picture for gam: lift up the chaos.
Water – mayim or מים
Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or ‘mighty.’
Yod – Closed Hand means ‘finished work.’
Mem – Water means ‘chaos’ or mighty.’
The Hebrew Word Picture for mayim: mighty finished work chaos.
The ‘Beast’ Nations
The ‘beast’ has seven heads, ten horns, and ten crowns. There are four ‘beasts’ or kingdoms that have ruled the earth. These kingdoms are represented by a lion with eagle’s wings that turned into a man with feet and a human heart, a bear lying on its side with ribs in its mouth that was told to go and eat human flesh, a leopard with four heads and four birds’ wings on its sides, and a dreadful, horrible, strong animal with ten horns and iron teeth that crushed and stamped its feet on what was left from the other beasts (Daniel 7).
The ‘beast’ nations are the same ones seen in Daniel’s statue vision; the nations are described from a physical and historical narrative. The ‘beast’ nations in Daniel chapter 2 coincide with the historical narrative, but take on a spiritual meaning in Daniel chapter 7. I believe the ‘beasts’ are named for how they treat the nation of Isra’el and the Jewish people.
Babylon, the First Spiritual Beast
The first ‘beast’ nation, the lion with wings is considered to be Babylon ruled by Nebuchadnezzer, the greatest kingdom that conquered other kingdoms. Nebuchadnezzer went into Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, and took the Jewish people captive. As captives, they lived in Babylon assimilating into the culture for 70 years. Daniel, one of the captives, has a vision during the reign of Nebuchadnezzer. This ‘beast’ believed he built his kingdom without any divine help from the Creator. Because of his arrogance, he was humbled by Elohim. After seven years of living on all fours eating grass like an animal, he is transformed into a ‘man with a heart’ who stands up. This transformation makes him more human and less warrior which allowed the next kingdom to overtake his. Babylon is modern-day Iraq.
Persia, the Second Spiritual Beast
The second ‘beast’ nation, a bear with ribs in its mouth is considered to be the Medo-Persian empire. Laying on its side suggests that one part of the empire was greater than the other. Persia becomes the greater empire and devours three other nations: Babylon, Egypt, and Lydia. Though Persia is greater than the Mede nation, it never becomes as great at Babylon. Persia is modern-day Iran.
Seventy years after being taken captive in Babylon, Daniel shows King Cyrus prophecies from Isaiah that were written 120 years before Cyrus was born (Isaiah 45:13). The prophecies speak of Cyrus by name as the one who would release captive Judah and allow her to return to Jerusalem (Isaiah 44-45).
King Cyrus immediately decrees that the captives could return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. He sent the first wave of Jews back to the Land with all the articles that had been stolen from the Temple by the Babylonians. He even financed the project.
Only some of the Jewish people left Persia for Jerusalem in the first wave; others remained in Persia. A fourth king came to power named Xerxes whose mother was Cyrus’ sister. During the reign of King Xerxes, a political advisor named Haman created an edict to exterminate all the Jewish people left in the kingdom. Esther, who was of Jewish descent, had become Queen and was made aware of the decree. She took her petition for the lives of her people to the King who quickly executed Haman. After the victory of the Jewish people celebrated as Purim, there was a second wave of Jewish immigration back to their homeland.
Greece, the Third Spiritual Beast
The third ‘beast’ nation, a leopard with four heads and four wings, represents the Greek empire. Alexander the Great, the leader of this kingdom, conquered the known world with exceptional speed represented by the wings. He died young and his kingdom was divided between four generals. One of these generals was Seleucus who ruled Syria and the east which includes the modern-day countries of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
It was during the Seleucian rule that the Syrians came into Jerusalem and desecrated the Temple. Antiochus, one of the kings of the Seleucian empire, wanted the Jewish people to assimilate into the Greek culture of the empire by destroying their Biblical heritage: Sabbath, Passover, circumcision, and dietary regulations. He placed an image of Zeus in the Temple and ordered it to be worshiped. A small group of Jewish men who refused to submit and assimilate joined together to fight the Syrian armies. Eventually the Jewish people won back Jerusalem, recaptured the Temple, and dedicated the Altar back to Adonai. The time for remembering the re-dedication of the Altar and the Temple is the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah.
Rome, the Fourth Spiritual Beast
“Then I wanted to know what the fourth beast meant, the one that was different from all the others, so very terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze nails, which devoured, crushed and stamped its feet on what was left; and what the ten horns on its head meant; and the other horn which sprang up and before which three fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogantly and seemed greater than the others” (Daniel 7:19-20).
Daniel was terrified with the vision of the fourth ‘beast’ nation. Its power and rule was so horrendous that there was no animal created to describe it. The world has seen no other ‘beast’ kingdom rise like the Roman Empire. Though the Seleucian empire tried to assimilate the Jewish people; the Roman empire sought to completely destroy them. The Romans ruled Isra’el when Yeshua walked on the earth; the Romans crucified him. The Romans destroyed the Temple in 70 CE; and they ended the revolt at Masada with the suicide of 967 Jewish men and women. At this point in history, the power of Rome and the destruction of Jerusalem became the ‘time of the gentiles.’
Sha’ul told the Roman believers to not become arrogant over Isra’el (Romans 11:17-18). They did not heed his warning and Roman theology birthed a new religion called Christianity. Special councils created edicts in Laodicea and Nicea contrary to the Hebrew Scriptures, gospels and letters. They removed all Biblical commands that ‘looked’ Jewish from the seventh-day Sabbath to circumcision to Passover to dietary regulations. The previous three ‘beasts’ were pagan nations with multi-god worship, but Rome ‘Christianized’ and embraced pagan gods and celebrations, mixing the ‘holy’ and the ‘profane,’ turning Biblical truth into a lukewarm soup. Rome did more harm to followers of the Jewish Messiah than the other three ‘beasts’ combined because it deceived the masses.
Ten royal crowns sat upon the ten horns of the Roman ‘beast.’ Rome was never conquered like the previous ‘beast’ nations, but divided into 10 smaller nations that became Europe. The small horn of power that rises from this ‘beast’ nation is believed to be the Bishop of Rome who transformed pagan Rome into a Roman political and religious entity called the papacy (Daniel 7:8-9).
The fourth ‘beast’ nation displaced three other powerful nations that refused to succumb to Rome’s power. Another ‘horn’ springs up in their place that has human eyes and a mouth that speaks arrogantly. Though Daniel doesn’t use the terminology of ‘anti-messiah,’ this is the revelation of the ‘man of lawlessness.’ This is the ‘horn’ that will make war with the holy ones of Adonai.
Some believe this little ‘horn’ is the ‘false prophet’ or the papacy who made war with Adonai’s chosen people. Historically, the Roman church has been responsible for more murders of the Jewish people than any other ‘beast.’ From the Crusades to the Inquisitions to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, the twisting of the Hebrew Scriptures against the Jewish people has been the modus operandi of the Adversary under the guise of the Roman catholic church (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11).
The Modern-Day Version of the Fourth Beast
“To it the dragon gave its power, its throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast appeared to have received a fatal wound, but its fatal wound was healed, and the whole earth followed after the beast in amazement. They worshipped the dragon, because he had given his authority to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who can fight against it?” (Revelation 13:3-4).
The ‘beast’ seen by Yochanan looked like a leopard with the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion. This ‘beast’ is comprised of Greece, Persia, and Babylon meshed together into one fierce religious system. This ‘beast’ will try to assimilate, destroy, and take captive the nation of Isra’el through a great spiritual deception.
This nation ‘beast’ receives its authority, its power, and its kingship from the Dragon. According to the prophecy in Daniel, the ‘Dragon’ is the Adversary or Satan. ‘The Lie’ that the nations embrace and believe is ‘the Lie’ that was spoken by that ancient serpent in Gan Eden: you will be ‘woke’ and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:4-5).
“I will put animosity between you and the woman, and between your descendant and her descendant; he will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).
The ‘beast’ appears to have a fatal wound that is miraculously healed. Because of this miraculous event, the nations of the world will worship the ‘Dragon’ because of the authority he gives to the ‘beast.’
After Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, each individual involved was given a consequence for their disobedience – even the Serpent. He was told that the ‘Seed of woman’ would ‘bruise his head,’ but the Serpent would only bruise the heel of the ‘Seed of woman.’
The ‘Seed’ of woman is Yeshua, the Messiah of Isra’el. When Yeshua died on the cross, he disarmed the spirits of darkness. He triumphed over satan and made impotent all of his powers (Colossians 2:15). Yeshua ‘bruised’ his head. Though Satan appears to be ‘dead,’ his power will be returned for a short time in his ‘seed,’ the anti-messiah. It will be such a powerful ‘return’ that everyone will worship the ‘beast.’ Who can fight against it?
“It was given a mouth speaking arrogant blasphemies; and it was given authority to act for forty-two months. So it opened its mouth in blasphemies against God to insult his name and his Sh’khinah, and those living in heaven; it was allowed to make war on God’s holy people and to defeat them; and it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation” (Revelation 13:5-7).
The ‘arrogant one’ speaks blasphemies. ‘Blaspheme’ in Hebrew is gadaf and means ‘to revile’ or ‘assail with scornful and abusive language.’ The definition of ‘blaspeheme’ is ‘to insult, show contempt or lack of reverence for God and for His holy objects.’ The ‘anti-messiah’ will sit in the Temple in Jerusalem and call himself yod-hey-vav-hey (Matthew 24:14). He will scorn the Divine Presence of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, Yeshua, the followers of the ‘Seed of woman,’ and make war against them (Daniel 11:31). The ‘seed’ of the Adversary will speak arrogantly for a period of 3½ years. The Hebrew word for ‘arrogant’ is עתק or athaq and means ‘unrestrained speech.’
There are two instances in the gospels where Yeshua is charged with blasphemy. When Yeshua is at the Temple for the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah, the Jewish people around him ask if he is the Messiah. He responds and says, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). The leaders call him a blasphemer because he equated himself with Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh.
Another instance is when Yeshua heals a paralyzed man. The man’s healing comes after Yeshua forgives his sins. The leaders call him a blasphemer because only Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh can forgive sins (Mark 2:5-7).
Yeshua refers to Daniel’s prophecy about the ‘abomination of desolation’ that will occur in the end times (Matthew 24). Daniel’s prophecy occured in the 148 BCE with the Maccabean Revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes during the Second Temple period. Antiochus is the Greek rendering of ‘antichrist’ and Epiphanes means ‘in the flesh. The god Zeus, the ‘abomination of desolation’ was set up in the sanctuary to be worshiped as God, and pigs were slaughtered on the Altar of Sacrifice.
By referring to the prophecy in Daniel, Yeshua wants his disciples to understand its greater prophetic significance in the end times before his return.
“Everyone living on earth will worship it except those whose names are written in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb slaughtered before the world was founded. Those who have ears, let them hear! “If anyone is meant for captivity, into captivity he goes! If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he is to be killed!” (Revelation 13:8-9).
Everyone living on earth will worship the ‘beast’ except those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. This Lamb was slaughtered before the foundation of the world; his Book of Life was written at the same time with the souls who will not worship the ‘beast. They may go into captivity or be put to death by the sword, but their names have been known from eternity past and will enter the eternal Kingdom.
“This is when God’s holy people must persevere and trust!” (Revelation 13:10).
The times of the ‘beast,’ ‘false prophet’ and the anti-messiah will be so difficult that the people of Adonai must persevere and put their trust in Yeshua. No matter what happens during the days of the ‘abomination,’ the followers of Yeshua must keep hope so they can persevere.
The Hebrew word for ‘persevere’ is really not used in the verse. Two other words, however, are possible. The first is sarah and means ‘to persist or exert oneself.’ Interestingly, the same word sarah also means ‘princess.’ During the tribulation, the ‘princess will persist and exert herself’ just like Queen Esthe who had to exert herself in order to overcome the decree to murder her people.
Another Hebrew word that may be used for ‘persevere’ is tamid and means ‘continual,’ ‘perpetual,’ and ‘constant.’ During the days of tribulation, continual and constant faith in Yeshua will enable perseverance. These days will be like no other time in history, and only for the sake of the ‘elect’ will they be shortened (Matthew 24:22).
The False Prophet
“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. It had two horns like those of a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence; and it makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, the one whose fatal wound had been healed. It performs great miracles, even causing fire to come down from heaven onto the earth as people watch” (Revelation 13:11-13).
Another ‘beast’ comes up out of the earth. ‘Sea’ means ‘nations,’ so ‘earth’ may mean where there is no nation which would be a rare find in the present day. The word ‘earth’ in Hebrew is eretz and is used for Isra’el –– Eretz Isra’el.
A true prophet speaks on behalf of Adonai and directs people to worship Adonai. Biblical prophets performed miracles in the name of Adonai. Elijah made the widow’s oil last a long time, and brought fire down from heaven that consumed the offerings on Mount Carmel. Moshe brought forth judgment plagues, delivered the Israelites through the Red Sea, and brought water from the ‘Rock.’
The Bible warns against false prophets. False prophets are to be put to death for prophesying falsely (Deuteronomy 18:20). Yeshua warns that false prophets will rise up and calls them ravenous wolves among the sheep who lead the people astray. Peter teaches that false prophets will come among the people of Adonai bringing destructive heresies, even denying Yeshua who bought them.
Yochanan says we are to test the spirits because not every spirit is from Adonai but are the spirit of a ‘false prophet.’ The danger with the false prophet will be his lamb-like appearance, the appearance of being the Messiah. This suggests that the false prophet will arise in Eretz Isra’el; the vision of the ‘lamb’ with horns (power) that speaks like the ‘Dragon.’
He will have the ability to perform miracles especially bringing down fire onto the earth similar to Elijah. Not understanding the power of the ‘lamb’ could be very deceptive since Elijah, the true prophet, will also come before the great and dreadful day of Adonai (Malachi 4:6).
“It deceives the people living on earth by the miracles it is allowed to perform in the presence of the beast, and it tells them to make an image honoring the beast that was struck by the sword but came alive again. It was allowed to put breath into the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could even speak; and it was allowed to cause anyone who would not worship the image of the beast to be put to death” (Revelation 13:14-15).
The worship of the ‘beast’ becomes global so that the false prophet tells the people to make an image of the ‘beast.’ This is reminiscent of the golden calf –– an image created by the hands of man to worship ‘God.’ The image of the ‘beast’ will be an ‘abomination’ in the Tabernacle in Jerusalem.
This is the same ‘beast’ that was struck by the sword and came back to life, and the ‘beast’ image will have the ‘breath of life.’ It will be able to speak. The world will see and hear the ‘beast’ in every corner of the world; and it will know those who worship the image and those who don’t. Anyone who doesn’t worship the ‘beast’ will be put to death.
Mark of the Beast
“Also it [the Beast] forces everyone — great and small, rich and poor, free and slave — to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead preventing anyone from buying or selling unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name” (Revelation 13:16-17).
Waiting for Yeshua means death during these horrific days of ‘beast’ worship. Without the ‘mark of the beast,’ followers of Yeshua will not be able to buy or sell. Fathers will not be able to provide for their families. Women and children will go hungry and die. The righteous are called to ‘persevere.’
The word ‘forces’ is intriguing. Is there a difference between ‘choosing’ the mark and ‘being forced?’ Yes, but is ‘force’ a good translation from the Hebrew? And, if someone is ‘forced’ to do something, it is counted against them by Adonai?
The Greek word for ‘force’ is poiei and means ‘causes, make to do.’ This definition does suggest ‘force.’ The Hebrew word for ‘force’ is darush and means ‘demand’ and ‘require.’ The ‘mark of the beast’ will be demanded and required. People will have no choice; the ‘mark’ will be required to buy and sell.
In the Hebrew language, words are formed from three basic letters. From these three basic letters, other words are formed by adding different vowels and parts of speech. For example, to make an infinitive, the letter ‘l’ or lamed is added to the beginning of the word. So, l’drosh is the infinitive of darush and means ‘to demand’ or ‘to preach.’
The ‘mark of the beast’ will not only be demanded and required, but preached –– ‘publicly proclaimed to teach a religious message.’ Preach can also mean ‘to earnestly advocate a belief or course of action.’ The ‘mark of the beast’ will be publicly proclaimed and earnestly advocated. This is why Yeshua says to each of the Messianic congregations, “Those who have ears, let them hear what the Spirit is saying to the Messianic communities.”
The ‘mark of the beast’ will be on the right hand or forehead. The tefillin worn by men in Orthodox communities during morning prayers are put on the right hand and forehead. The word tefillin comes from the word tefillah, the Hebrew word for Psalms, and means ‘prayers.’ Tefillin are comprised of small black boxes containing scrolls with Scriptures from the Torah. The tefillah on the arm is called shel yad (belonging to the hand). These small straps wrap around the right arm, hand, and fingers, while the head tefillah called shel rosh (belonging to the head) is tied above the forehead. These religious objects are worn as a ‘sign’ on the body with their origin in the Shema:
“Sh’ma, Yisra’el! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad [Hear, Isra’el! Adonai our God, Adonai is one]; and you are to love Adonai your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart; and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead, and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-6).
The ‘mark of the beast’ will be a direct assault on the Orthodox Jewish community’s prayers. The Orthodox as well as the Conservative, Reformed, and Secular Jews are looking for the Messiah to come. They will be deceived by the false prophet, and when the Orthodox are forced to remove their tefillin to receive the ‘mark of the beast,’ the deception will be complete. The greatest end times deception will be religious.
What Are The Marks?
The Hebrew word for ‘mark’ is tavah. It means to ‘set or make a mark’ like a scratch or imprint. Another Hebrew word for ‘seal’ is chotham and refers to seals made with a signet ring. A signet ring is personalized to show ownership and was used to mark possessions and sign contracts.
There are two ‘seals’ or ‘marks’ in Scripture. The first is the ‘mark of the beast’ which is well-known. There is also a mark or ‘seal of Elohim’ prophesied by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 9:4). This mark protected people in Jerusalem from the fury of Adonai and will be put on the foreheads of those who sigh and cry over the disgusting practices in Jerusalem.
Those who have been to Isra’el and Jerusalem know how much of the city and country is overtaken by false religions. Whether it’s the ‘christian catholic’ quarter in the Old City or the Ba’ahi Gardens in Haifa, the whole Land is defiled by ‘freedom of religion.’ Catholic shrines commemorate Biblical events with some not even near the place of the event. The Muslim call to worship heard throughout the city of Jerusalem is an abomination. For those who sigh and cry over these things, they have a mark on their forehead.
Whoever worships the beast, his image and receives the ‘mark’ on his forehead or hand will not only drink the wine of God’s fury, but be tormented in the ‘lake of burning fire and sulfur.’ In other words, those who receive the ‘mark of the beast’ will suffer along with the ‘beast’ and the false prophet for all eternity. Being ‘forced’ or ‘required’ won’t protect anyone from eternal spiritual death; staying holy and set-apart by trusting in Adonai for provision will. Every follower of Yeshua must remain alert and have discernment when anything is being forced in order to buy or sell –– including a choice between worshiping the God of Isra’el or another ‘beast.’
“This is where wisdom is needed; those who understand should count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person, and its number is 666.”
The number ‘666’ has that many number of interpretations. Most scholars believe that ‘666’ is the number of man. During the end times Adonai allows sinful man complete control over the earth with the support of demonic forces. Mankind will actually learn that they are not the loving people they claim to be. They will become vicious and chamas or ‘violent.’
I have read that the anti-messiah would come from Rome, China, or Babylon, but I have never been totally convinced of these views. Rome via the Vatican already has control over all of the religious systems of the world except for Judaism. Christianity and all of its observances (Sunday Sabbath, Christmas and Easter) and much of its doctrinal beliefs (trinity, sacraments, and death views) are rooted in Roman catholicism that was birthed in paganism. Even Islam is being coerced to bind itself with Rome –– a false alliance in order to bring forth the Islamic Caliphate and achieve world religious and political dominance.
Islam has eschatological beliefs similar to the Hebrew prophets, but are the antithesis of what the prophets, apostles, and Yeshua taught. Their ‘deliverer’ has all of the character traits and actions of the Biblical anti-messiah; their ‘redeemer’ will be a descendant of Mohammed, who had no divinity, but was just a man.
Some have claimed that the number ‘666’ in Revelation has is Arabic script rather than an actual number. Because the literal writing changes in the manuscript and is somewhat distorted, Greek translations render the script as numerals. However, osme Muslim-turned-Christians claim the script are the Arabic words ‘Allah Akbar’ or ‘God is the Greatest.’
The ‘mark of the beast’ will be forced on the right hand and forehead. Suicide killers wear a green scarf on their head and on their right arm. The scarf has the inscription ‘God is the Greatest.’ Allah Akbar are also the Arabic words they yell before detonating themselves and killing others.
The Islamic ‘god,’ is not the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, but the god of Ishma’el from whom Muslims believe Abraham’s promised ‘seed’ went through. This begins the difference between the two religions of Judaism and Islam. Ishma’el was a son of Abraham’s flesh, not the ‘seed’ of promise. Whatever is the writing in this verse, the ‘666’ will be reavealed as the ‘number’ of the ‘beast.’
Muslims who read the Koran know that if they kill Jewish people (or any infidel), they will enter ‘paradise.’ This is nothing the Adversary’s plan of ‘stealing, killing, and destroying’ the chosen people of Adonai and the followers of Yeshua. This will be the end times battle.
When studying eschatology, Jerusalem and Isra’el must always remain central to the prophecies. The end times will not be about the United States and China, but about the ever-widening divisions between the brothers Ishma’el and Yitz’ak and Ya’akov and Esau. The last days wars of the Adversary will continue to escalate because he wants to destroy the people who must usher in the return of his greatest adversary, Messiah Yeshua (Matthew 23:36-39).
Revelation 14 – The New Song and the Harvest
©2020 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved. No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing.