Revealing Revelation – The Beast

31Jan11

With this post we will enter into a discussion of easily the most popular character in the book of Revelation. No other character has capture the imagination and struck fear into the heart of the reader of Revelation quite like the infamous beast! What the reader may be surprised with is how little time we will spend on the subject. The reason being that several posts previously went into great detail on the subject.

An introduction can be found here…

https://low5point.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/character-and-themes-introducingthe-beast/

Information on the dual nature representing the beast…

https://low5point.wordpress.com/2009/01/24/characters-and-themes-a-beastly-nation/

Identifying the historical beast…

https://low5point.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/characters-and-themes-the-beast-revealed/

The character of the beast…

https://low5point.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/characters-and-themes-one-beastly-man/

So, for out purposes here much we be spent simply reviewing in bullet form the information contained in the posts above. But one important note before proceeding with the review need be discussed. It is the parallel between between the beast as described in Revelation 12 representing the devil and the Beast in Chapter 13 representing the nation of Rome.

Rev 12:3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.

This image, taken from a combination of the four beasts from Daniel, is representative of Satan. This image in then repeated as a description of the famous “beast” in Chapter 13.

Rev 13:1 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.

This is meant to show that the actions described as being done by the beast may be related to the actions of Rome and it’s king, but is being orchestrated behind the scenes by Satan himself. This parallel images makes this point. Rome is the second persecutor of the Church, but it is Satan that is doing or orchestrating the persecution.

INDIVIDUAL AND NATIONAL BEAST

This time we discover that the beast is representing the nation of Rome as is explained in Chapter 17 as the city that sits on seven hills. That same description describes the seven heads as representing the seven kings of Rome. According to John that sixth head was reigning at that time. That head would be Nero.

In this we see both the individual and corporate nature of the beast. A king represents the entire nation and as the king acts, so does the nation. the nation does not act except at the bidding of the king. So, here we see that the Beast represents both the entire nation of Rome and the individual leader of Rome at the given time. the time John is describing is the time of persecution at the hand of Nero, emperor of Rome.

NERO

As noted previously a much more detailed discussion of the following points is available at the links above.

  • Nero is the sixth emperor of Rome
  • Galba, the seventh, reigns for six months (a little while)
  • He died as the result of a self inflicted knife wound to the neck
  • He was the last in the line of Julius, an assumption that the royal line had ended meant that many believed Rome itself was dead
  • Josephus refers to him as “the beast”
  • Was known to roam the city at night wearing animals skins raping and pillaging
  • He demanded worship of himself under the penalty of death
  • Blamed the Christians for the fire of Rome which led to intense persecution of christian in Rome and Roman provinces
  • Penalties included impaling Christian and lighting them on fire to light his garden parties
  • Christian were fed to lions and wild dogs
  • Paul was put to death under the Neronic persecution
  • He killed his mother, brother, wife, unborn child, two closest advisers and most in his family
  • His name when translated from the Hebrew adds up to six hundred and sixty six.
  • His name also adds up to 616, which many early manuscripts use as the number of the beast

Much more can be said about confirming Nero as the beast of Revelation. I would recommend Dr. Gentry’s book, “The Beast of Revelation” for a more detailed account. Also, the links above give more details and confirmation from outside sources.

The most important thing to note is that the beast has a purpose in revelation. As the second persecutor of the church, the Lord will show His power over him as well. Christ is revealed in that even in the most horrific persecution in the Churches history, not only did His Church survive, it thrived. The Gospel spread throughout the known world and Christ Kingdom expanded just as He declared it would. The nations of the world were becoming the kingdom of the Lord of glory.

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