Wars, Destruction, and the Ultimate Triumph of the Lamb!

The Book of Revelation unveils hidden realities behind world events. In today’s study, the veil is pulled back to reveal the mystery of the woman and the beast.

When I saw her, I was greatly amazed. But the angel said to me, “Why are you so amazed? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her (Revelation 17.7).

The remainder of the chapter is concerned with the interpretation of the beast. Chapters 18.1-19.5 detail the judgment of the prostitute.

A Poor Imitation

The beast attempts to imitate the Lamb of God.

Jesus appeared to John and the beloved apostle was overwhelmed.

Jesus said to him, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last and the Living One. I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever, and I have the keys of Death and of Hades” (Revelation 1.17-18).

The beast can only attempt to claim what Jesus is in reality. He is a poor imitation of the Lamb.

The beast that you saw was and is not and is about to ascend from the bottomless pit and go to destruction.

And the inhabitants of the earth, whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will be amazed when they see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come (Revelation 17.8).

The beast is a satanically inspired power which, although having the stroke of death, returns to hurl himself with renewed fury against the forces of God.

He is the beast of chapter 13. One of its heads seemed to have received a death blow, but its fatal wound had been healed. In amazement the whole earth followed the beast (Revelation 13:3).

The beast is the very incarnation of evil in its deep-seated hatred and violent opposition to God and all that is just and good.

The inhabitants of the earth who haven’t had their names written in the Book of Life will be amazed by the beast. What does this say about the importance of faith and spiritual discernment in the way we navigate worldly influences?

Many images in Revelation are difficult to understand. One thing that is not difficult to understand is the need to be aligned with Jesus so we can avoid being deceived.

The Beast Revealed

Revelation pulls back the curtain and reveals the fact that the beast is the supporting power to earthly empires.

“This calls for a mind that has wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; also, they are seven kings,

“Of whom five have fallen, one is living, and the other has not yet come, and when he comes he must remain only a little while” (Revelation 17.9-10).

The seven heads of the beast are first identified with the seven hills upon which the “great whore” is sitting. This is a reference to Rome in the first century.

Seven is symbolic and stands for the power of the Roman Empire as a historic whole.

The Roman Empire spanned over 500 years, but it is not the only empire that has dominated the world’s inhabitants.

The British, Russians, Ottomans, Germans, and French are among other powerful nations that had empire status. Readers of Revelation would be able to see the beast-like qualities of these nations during the time of their power.

The United States is considered a nation-state, but it, too, has empire-like characteristics. As the most powerful force in the world today, the USA must reckon with its beast-like qualities.

When the veil uncovers the reality of the beast behind empires, followers of Jesus are challenged to see how we are tempted to incorporate the values of the beast into our lives.

We need to know how we can find strength and wisdom to overcome the temptation to follow the beast’s traits that are prevalent in our culture.

Earthly Rulers and the Antichrist

The Antichrist is more than a human ruler through whom the power of evil finds expression – he is that evil power itself. Yet he will appear on the stage of history as a man.

The first readers of Revelation saw Emperor Domitian as the representative of the beast.

“As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth, but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction”

“And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast.

“They will wage war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful” (Revelation 17.11-14).

Revelation identified the king over the bottomless pit as Apollyon (Revelation 9,11). Apollyon is derived from Apollo. Emperor Domitian styled himself after the Greek god Apollo.

Domitian was the emperor when Revelation was written.

Ten symbolizes completeness. The ten kings represent the totality of the powers of all nations on the earth which are to be made subservient to the antichrist.

The Roman kings and all subsequent tyrants and strongmen are united in yielding their power and authority to the beast.

Revelation reveals the conflict between Antichrist and the Messiah. The Lamb will overcome the Antichrist and his servants because Jesus alone is “Lord of lords and King of kings.”

Please Consider This

Throughout today’s article, I have asked us to consider questions that relate our attitudes and actions to the vision God gave John. Below are three more questions to consider.

In this passage, the Lamb is depicted as the conqueror of those who wage war against him. What do we need to do to apply Jesus’ victory to our struggles and conflicts?

How do we cooperate with the Holy Spirit to acquire a mind with wisdom to comprehend the meaning of God’s revelation to us?

The Bible speaks of those who are called, chosen, and faithful. How can we actively respond to our calling and remain faithful to our Lord and Savior in challenging times?

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I discuss this passage on YouTube today. It is on the Bob Spradling channel.

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