-Rise and Fall-
Part 8: The Nature of the Beast
The Woman and the Beast
The Four Beasts of Daniel
Satan's Seven Kings
The Seventh King and the First Seal
The Woman and the Beast
In previous parts of this comprehensive study of America, New York City, and end-times Babylon, we have identified the Anglo-American Establishment as the dominant political, economic and financial force of the entire world. The alliance between the power elite of New York City and Great Britain began at the beginning of the twentieth century, and it emerged after World War II with unparalleled power and the resources to carry out its primary goal, which is, according to all credible sources, the creation of a single world government led by the elite and unrestrained by democracy.
Over the years this Anglo-American Establishment has evolved, and has grown to encompass much more than just the power elite of Britain and America. In 1973 David Rockefeller created, with Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Trilateral Commission that accepted Europe and Japan into the Club. The IPS report mentioned in Part 7 shows that only one of the world's top 200 corporations (a company from South Korea) was based outside of the Trilateral Club of Europe, Japan and North America. The Trilateral Commission, just like its sister organizations the RIIA, the CFR, and the Bilderberg Group, is noted for its contempt of democracy, its constant assault on the sovereignty of governments, and its Globalist agenda that seeks ever more powerful global governing bodies, unelected in character, that will decide for the powerless people of the world the nature of global policy.
When Babylon is first pictured in Revelation she is shown riding on a Beast with seven heads and ten horns. At the early stage of this relationship it could be said that the picture of the woman riding the Beast is a representation of the early Anglo-American Establishment. Today however, because of the nature of globalization and the Globalist agenda, it could be more accurately called the Globalist-American Establishment. By the "Globalist Establishment" we mean the alliance between the power elite of Britain, Europe and Japan; the traitorous minority elite of the Third World; the diplomats and bureaucrats of the United Nations; and the powerful Central Bankers of the IMF, World Bank and BIS. By the "American Establishment" we mean the true rulers of the United States based in New York City that control the finances, politics, military and mainstream media of the United States. It is a Big Business group centered upon the CFR and Wall Street, and is closely associated with the Rockefeller and Morgan factions that have expanded and disseminated their influence since World War II.
The American Establishment is the Woman that represents the "great city" of Babylon and the global economic system that Babylon controls, while the Globalist Establishment is the Beast that the Whore rides, that is shown with seven heads and ten horns. According to Revelation, the relationship between the Whore and the Beast, which is at first mutually beneficial, will come to a violent end,
The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled. 17:16-17, NIV
Once Babylon has served her purpose of hammering away and destroying the power and viability of sovereign governments in the name of the "free market" to better pursue profits for her merchants, then the powerful Globalists that exist behind the scenes will betray Babylon and overturn her authority. Babylon will be the first casualty of the future world government, and her great wickedness will give the Globalists a pedestal of moral authority from which to preach from as they articulate their plans to the world's masses. The oppressive global "free market" financial system dominated by the merchants of Babylon will be replaced by a global socialist/communist system, in which the resources of the world, previously absorbed by the Globalists, will then be parceled out to the world's masses in what will appear to be a revolutionary and positive change in the hearts of the world's leaders. Sharing will appear to replace greed, and because of this change many millions of people will be seduced into accepting the new authoritarian world government and the Antichrist who will stand behind it.
Previously we have examined the nature and identity of the Great Prostitute, and now we must do the same for the Beast that she rides, the entity that represents both the final world government and its ultimate manifestation: the Antichrist. To understand the Beast we must go back to the book of Daniel, where the prophet was given several visions about the future that deal with the kingdoms of the world.
The first vision was a vision given to King Nebuchadnezzar, which was followed by Daniel's divine interpretation. The vision was of an enormous statue, with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet and toes of iron and clay. The head of gold represented the Babylonian kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar, the chest of silver represented the kingdom of Medo-Persia, the belly of bronze represented the kingdom of Greece, and the legs of iron and feet of iron and clay represented Rome: first ancient Imperial Rome (legs), and then Rome in its end-time incarnation (feet). At the end of the vision the feet of the statue are struck with a rock that destroys the entire statue. This rock is explained as the kingdom of God that will fill the entire earth and never be destroyed (Daniel 2:31-45).
The next vision regarding the kingdoms of the future was given directly to Daniel. It was a vision of four beasts that came up out of the sea (Daniel 7). The first beast was like a lion, but it had eagle's wings that were torn off, after which the beast stood on two feet like a man and was given the heart of a man. The second beast was like a bear. It was raised up on one side, it had three ribs in its mouth, and it was told "get up and eat your fill of flesh." The third beast was like a leopard. It had four wings on its back, and four heads. The fourth beast was strange and terrible. It had large iron teeth and it trampled and devoured its victims. This beast had ten horns, and out of these another horn sprouted up, uprooting three of the ten. This horn speaks boastfully against God and oppresses the saints of God for "a time, times and half a time." He is the Antichrist who is described the exact same way in Revelation 13:5-7.
There are different interpretations of the Four Beasts of Daniel. The view most commonly taught is that the four beasts are the same as the four kingdoms of Nebuchadnezzar's vision of the great statue: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and ancient/end-times Rome. This view finds a great deal of support when the descriptions of the beast are compared with history:
-- The lion with eagle's wings in Daniel's vision is a hybrid of the king of beasts and the king of birds, and Nebuchadnezzar at the time was the world's greatest king who was given his position by God Himself. The description of the lion's wings being torn off, but then standing up like a man and being given the heart of a man is considered by many to signify Nebuchadnezzar's fall from power and his seven years of madness, after which he honored God in heaven and was given back his sanity and power.
-- The bear that is raised up on its side is considered to represent the kingdom of Medo-Persia, with Persia dominant over Media within the alliance. The three ribs in the bear's mouth are seen as representing either the three provinces of the kingdom: Persia, Media and Babylonia, or the three kingdoms that were conquered by it: Lydia, Babylonia and Egypt.
-- The leopard with four heads and four wings is understood as referring to Greece and the division of the empire that took place after Alexander the Great's death to his generals, Lysimachus, Cassander, Seleucus, and Ptolemy. The leopard is a swift beast, made even faster with its four wings, which parallels the swiftness by which Alexander conquered the Middle East.
-- The terrible fourth beast with iron teeth and ten horns, that crushes and devours, is viewed as the Roman Empire, and the ten horns out of which the little horn rises is viewed as the end-times manifestation of the Roman Empire, and its leader the Antichrist.
The above interpretation of the Four Beasts of Daniel is the most commonly accepted interpretation among scholars today, but it is not without its problems. Another view holds that the Four Beasts are not kingdoms that rule in succession, that existed in ancient history, but are instead kingdoms that exist at the same time at the end of the age, that are absorbed or conquered by the Antichrist's world empire. This view is supported by the descriptions that refer to the final destinies of the beasts. Daniel 7:11 explains that the fourth beast, the Antichrist's kingdom, will be destroyed and thrown into the lake of fire at the Second Coming, which compares with Revelation 19:20. However, Daniel 7:12 explains that after the fourth beast is destroyed the other three beasts will be "stripped of their authority," but are "allowed to live for a period of time." How can they be "allowed to live" after this time if they represent the ancient kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece?
The view that these three beasts represent kingdoms that exist at the same time as the fourth beast is further supported by the description of the fourth beast in Revelation 13:2. The Beast is shown with its ten horns, but it is described as similar to a leopard, with the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion. This description gives the impression that the fourth beast has conquered or absorbed the other three beasts, rather than coming centuries after the other three beast-kingdoms have fallen and slipped into obscurity.
It is unlikely that the bear represents Medo-Persia because it was not a particularly bloodthirsty kingdom fulfilling the words of Daniel 7:5, "Get up and eat your fill of flesh." Furthermore, if the bear were to represent Medo-Persia, then why does Daniel receive another vision in which Medo-Persia is described as a Ram?
"I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later... The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. " Daniel 8:3,20 NIV
It is unlikely that the leopard in Daniel's vision of the Four Beasts refers to Greece, because in Daniel's vision of the Ram the kingdom of Greece appears as a Goat.
"The goat became very great, but at the height of his power his large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven... The shaggy goat is the king of Greece..." Daniel 8:8,21 NIV
Why all the repetition in Daniel? Why is Medo-Persia referred to three times, first as the chest of silver in the vision of the statue, then allegedly as a Bear in the vision of the Four Beasts, and then again as a Ram? Why is Greece referred to as the belly of bronze, then allegedly as a Leopard, and then again as a Goat? Perhaps the vision of the Four Beasts needs to be viewed in a contemporary context, rather than in an ancient historical context.
The Four Beasts of Daniel
According to the vision of the Great Statue, the final Roman kingdom would have two historical phases. First as the legs of iron: "strong as iron--for iron breaks and smashes everything--and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others," (Daniel 2:40), and then as the feet and toes of iron and clay. The two legs of iron refer to ancient Rome and the division of Rome into the Western and Eastern halves of Rome and Constantinople. The feet and toes of clay refer to the final manifestation of this kingdom as the Antichrist's world empire. The ten toes may refer to the ten kings of the Fourth Beast, and it is this kingdom that is destroyed at the Second Coming as predicted in both Daniel 2:44-45 and 7:23-27.
After the fall of Western and Eastern Rome, and during the interlude between ancient Rome and its return at the end of the age under the Antichrist, Imperial Rome has evolved and "gone underground," so to speak, over the last millennia. It resurfaced in Imperial Russia, and the kings of Russia were known as "Czars," which is simply Russian for "Caesar." It also resurfaced in Germany, and the kings of Germany were known as "Kaisers," which is German for "Caesar." However, the greatest manifestation of pagan Imperial Rome, prior to its future end-time dominance, was through the British Empire. The British oligarchy has always admired Rome, and the Empire that once covered a quarter of the earth's land surface and controlled all its sea surface, while controlling one fifth of the world's population, was built utilizing the brutal Roman model.
In 1776 Edward Gibbon published his famous work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Gibbon's work was commissioned by Britain's William Petty, the Earl of Shelburne, a major stockholder of the British East India Company who later became Prime Minister. Lord Shelburne had previously offered the work to Adam Smith, but Smith had declined and instead produced The Wealth of Nations, also published in 1776, a work that would be of even greater practical use to the Company and to the Empire than Gibbon's work ever was (see Part 1 of this study).
Lord Shelburne, according to his online biography, took over the leadership of the faction grouped around the Earl of Chatham when the Earl died in 1778. Today Chatham House, as mentioned in Part 4, is the headquarters of Britain's Royal Institute of International Affairs, the parent organization of New York's Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). During Shelburne's life at the center of British politics his political enemies referred to him as the "Jesuit of Berkeley Square," and political cartoons of the time nicknamed him "Malagrida," who was a Portuguese Jesuit who had been convicted of heresy. Distrust of him came from, among other things, the fact that he was an opponent of the British war against the rebellious American colonists, which is an intrigue involving the East India Company, the Catholic Church, and the founding of the American Republic covered in great detail in Tupper Saussy's recent book Rulers of Evil.
Edward Gibbon was the son of a British Member of Parliament and he enjoyed an easy life and a career paved by his family's connections. In 1753 while at Oxford he converted to Roman Catholicism which, although he soon converted back, forced him to move to France and Switzerland to continue his education. According to his biography, while on the continent he met the celebrated atheist philosopher Voltaire. Eventually he moved back to England and fell in with an influential literary circle, from which his talents were procured for his important task.
When Decline and Fall was published in 1776 it enjoyed instant success and went into three editions, but by far the overriding criticism of his work was its "rather cynical and ironical treatment of the early growth of Christianity in its pages." Here is an excerpt that demonstrates this cynicism, from Gibbon's biography,
"...life is the great object of religion, we may hear without surprise or scandal that the introduction, or least the abuse, of Christianity had some influence on the decline and fall of the Roman empire. The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity; the active virtues of society were discouraged; and the last remains of military spirit were buried in the cloister. A large portion of public and private wealth were consecrated to the specious demands of charity and devotion, and the soldiers' pay was lavished on the useless multitudes of both sexes who could only plead the merits of abstinence and chastity. Faith, zeal, curiosity, and more earthly passions of malice and ambition kindled the flame of theological factions, whose conflicts were sometimes bloody and always implacable; the attention of the emperors was diverted from camps to synods; the Roman world was oppressed by a new species of tyranny, and the persecuted sects became the secret enemies of the country."
The "new species of tyranny" that "oppressed" the pagan Roman world was Christianity, and Gibbon's basic conclusion regarding Rome's fall was that it was "the triumph of barbarism and religion." Gibbon, like many other anti-Christian writers associated with the British oligarchy such as Bernard de Mandeville, Voltaire, Adam Smith, David Hume and Thomas Malthus, argued against brotherly love and charity as useless virtues that do more harm than good, that are terribly wasteful and weaken society as a whole. His views are typical of those promoted by modern economists such as F.A. Hayek and Ludwig Mises (see Part 5), that have become accepted within the Babylonian economic system that controls the world today.
Gibbon's work gave a philosophical impetus and a moral justification to the policies of the British Empire as it grew and grew throughout the nineteenth century. Britain's most important strategist was Lord Shelburne, and his student and heir was Jeremy Bentham, another atheistic philosopher credited with creating "utilitarianism," a philosophy that concludes that men are simply the most cunning of beasts motivated entirely by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. The career of this pair is briefly covered in the article The Bestial British Intelligence Of Shelburne and Bentham. Jeremy Bentham's writings argued against any legislation limiting usury, and included an essay in 1785 entitled "In Defense of Pederasty," to promote the practice of men having sex with boys. Shelburne and Bentham were the directors of British Intelligence responsible for much of the carnage of the French Revolution, and they helped to smash any possible manifestation of American-style Republicanism in Europe.
Jeremy Bentham's heir and disciple was Henry Temple, Lord Palmerston. For more than thirty years after Bentham's death in 1832 Lord Palmerston directed the affairs of the British Empire as either foreign secretary or prime minister. During this time Britain became the revolutionary capital of the world, a situation examined in The Palmerston Zoo - Solving the Paradox of Current World History, and London also consolidated its status as the occult capital of the world and the base of operations for the satanic philosophical campaign against Christianity.
Freemasonry, the historical occult order that traces back to the Knights Templar, became first established in the British Empire and it became the base through which occultists such as John Dee and Francis Bacon worked. Later Bernard Mandeville found refuge in London, and so did Voltaire and many other outspoken and influential atheistic writers. Adam Smith promoted his satanic economic system from Britain, and afterwards Karl Marx promoted his satanic antithesis from London as well. Charles Darwin struck a blow for secular materialism and against spirituality in general with his Origin of Species, published in London in 1859, and then at the dawn of the twentieth century London also found itself the home of the two most influential occult societies that would be patronized by the elite and direct the destiny of the world: the Golden Dawn that included Aleister Crowley, and the Theosophical Society of Helena Blavatsky. We will examine these two orders and their Establishment connections in a future study.
New York City may be the Great Whore of end-times Babylon and the corporate and financial capital of the world, but London has always existed quietly as the occult capital of the world and as the force behind the scenes manipulating world events towards the fulfillment of the satanic agenda. When Great Britain finally turns its back on the present Imperial policies of the USA it will signify the end of "free market" economics, the end of the Nation-State, and the beginning of World Government.
The British Empire, whose national symbol has always been the Lion, is a preliminary manifestation of the fourth and final Roman Beast that will dominate the world. Lord Palmerston himself said as much when he addressed the British Parliament in 1850, proclaiming the advent of a New Rome and announcing "Civis Romanus sum, every Briton is a citizen of this new Rome!" (See page 4 of The Palmerston Zoo).
Great Britain is represented in Daniel's vision of the Four Beasts as the Lion, and the Eagle's wings that are torn from the Lion may indeed represent the USA, as prophecy scholar Irvin Baxter has concluded in his study. Unfortunately, since about the beginning of the twentieth century the American Eagle has been dominated by the financier/merchant influence of New York City and the Babylonian Whore, and has tragically failed to live up to its potential.
The second Beast in Daniel's vision is the Bear. It represents Russia, the largest nation in the world, and indeed the Bear has always been the national symbol of Russia. If we accept that the Bear represents Russia, rather than Medo-Persia, then the command of Daniel 7:5 makes sense: "Get up and eat your fill of flesh!" Vladimir Lenin murdered more Russians in his first five months of power than Czarist Russia did in the entire previous century, and his purges in 1921-22 alone resulted in 4 million deaths. After Lenin came Stalin, and during his rule he murdered upwards of 20 million Russians. Throughout history Soviet Russia is by far the most bloodthirsty kingdom the world has ever seen, easily eclipsing the total number of deaths from Mao or even from Hitler. The three ribs in the Bear's mouth may refer to the three Baltic states, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, that were taken by the Soviets after World War II, and the description of the Bear being raised up on one side may refer to its far-left political ideology of communism that made Russia unique among world powers. Just like Imperial Rome and Imperial Britain, the Soviet Union became the base for a campaign of global domination. Lenin and Stalin both believed that the political and economic evolution of the human species would inevitably adopt communism as the final system, and they both intended to use the Soviet Union to accelerate what they perceived to be a worldwide revolution against capitalism.
The third Beast in Daniel's vision is the Leopard. It represents the kingdom of Germany, the dominant nation of Europe. The four heads of the leopard may refer to the four major Germanic tribes that populated the region, or to the four major states that first made up Germany as a nation. Germany also has some provocative parallels with ancient Greece, in that both armies depended upon speed for their success, both nations enjoyed their high point of dominance under a single dictator, and after each of the dictators' death both nations were divided into four regions governed by four generals. The rise of Hitler did not occur within a vacuum, and like the Beasts before him he had visions that Germany would be the base for a world government, in this case based on fascism. Recent published work of Hitler shows that this was his belief, and central to it was Hitler's plan for an alliance between Italy and Britain in Europe, and with Japan in Asia, to ultimately attack and defeat the USA. At the last minute the previously pro-Hitler British aristocracy shattered Hitler's hopes, and he was left only with Japan and Italy as allies, who may represent the two pairs of wings on the Leopard's back. Significantly, they were also his only allies with substantial modern air forces.
For a further overview of The Lion, the Bear and the Leopard, please see the excellent short article by a researcher associated with the Christian Media Network. The author draws the conclusion that Daniel's vision of the Great Statue presented the four kingdoms that would countdown to the destruction of Israel in 70 AD, while Daniel's vision of the Four Beasts predicted the four kingdoms that would countdown to the re-establishment of Israel in 1948. In this study we have shown how the first three Beasts all relate in some manner to ancient Imperial Rome, and Daniel's prophecy of the Great Statue predicts that the pagan Roman Empire (the legs of iron) will experience an end-times revival (feet and toes of iron and clay) as the Antichrist's global kingdom before being crushed by Jesus Christ. Revelation offers a description of this kingdom, Daniel's fourth Beast, that contains elements of the other three, which signifies the Beast's control over them,
And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. Revelation 13:1-2 NIV
The Beast resembles a Leopard, which is Germany, and so this may mean that the final Beast kingdom will begin with a political base in Europe, just as ancient Rome controlled Europe in the past.
The Beast has feet like those of a Bear, which is Russia, which will also be a part of the Beast's kingdom, perhaps contributing military support that will allow the Beast to move or expand.
The Beast has a mouth like a Lion, which is Britain, and in Revelation 13:5 a "mouth" is again mentioned, referring to the Antichrist. Recall that the Lion in Daniel's dream of the Four Beasts stood up on its hind legs like a man, and was given the heart of a man. Perhaps all of these predictions speak of Britain's role in producing the future Antichrist himself, which should be no surprise given Britain's status as the headquarters of worldwide satanism.
Taken together, Revelation and Daniel combine to paint a picture of the major kingdoms of the world that will exist at the end of the age: The Lion of Britain; the Eagle's wings that separate from the Lion that may represent the USA; the Russian Bear; and the German Leopard. Revelation goes one step further and introduces Babylon as the great city and world power that dominates all four of these powers, and when Babylon is punished by God the USA will be greatly humbled, which will allow the Globalists to take power, create a world government, and crown the Antichrist as their king.
Besides the fact that Daniel's fourth Beast will be ridden by a Great Whore, Revelation introduces another aspect of the Beast that is unmentioned in the Old Testament. It is the fact that the Beast possesses seven heads. The meaning of these heads is the key to understanding the identity of the Antichrist as well as the identity of the figure who appears at the opening of the first Seal. The next section will cover this subject.
Satan's Seven Kings
The ten-horned Beast of Daniel that represents the final kingdom that will be led by the Antichrist makes numerous appearances within Revelation. When John first sees the Great Whore she rides the Beast, and it is described in Revelation 17:3 as "a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns."
The ten horns are an element of the Beast that are present in Daniel's description of the Antichrist's final kingdom. However, the seven heads of the Beast are a new element that is found and explained only in Revelation. Both of these elements of the Beast are introduced even before the Beast is introduced, and they are first shown as elements of Satan himself in Revelation 12:3, "Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads."
In Revelation 13:1-2 John first witnessed the Beast coming out of the sea, just as it did in Daniel, with Satan looking on, "And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion."
The great red dragon, which is Satan, is first shown with seven heads and ten horns, and then when the Beast comes out of the sea those elements have been transferred to the Beast, a transfer which is explained at the end of verse 2, "The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority." Note that when the dragon is shown in 12:3 the seven heads are crowned, but when the Beast is pictured being ridden by the Whore in Revelation 17 neither the heads nor the horns are crowned. The ten horns are then explained as kings "who have not yet received a kingdom." Then, when the Beast appears coming up out of the sea in 13:1 the ten horns are shown wearing their crowns. These are important points we will get to later.
In Daniel 7 the Four Beasts are all specifically described as kingdoms, and the ten horns are specifically described as kings. The Antichrist is another king that appears after the ten kings. He subdues three of them, and then takes command of the Beast kingdom.
In Revelation 13 the Beast with ten horns and seven heads appears as a kingdom, but then in verse 5 the Beast kingdom is given a mouth, which refers to the Antichrist. Thereafter in Revelation 13 all references to the first Beast refer primarily to the Antichrist king, rather than to the kingdom that he controls. We can say that in Revelation 13 the Beast refers to a kingdom and to a king.
The same is true with Revelation 17. At first the Beast represents the final kingdom of seven heads and ten horns that is suppressed by the Whore, but then it refers to the Antichrist himself. Verse 11 is very clear that "The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king."
This distinction between kings and kingdoms is one that we need to be aware of, especially when it comes to understanding the seven heads of the Beast. These heads are explained in two ways to John. The first explanation pertains to the woman, and they are explained as the "seven hora on which the woman sits." We have already explained how hora refers to mountains or large land masses in Part 7. The second explanation pertains to the Beast, and the angel tells John very clearly that the seven heads are seven kings. The angel explains to John that five of these kings have already fallen, one presently exists, and another will come in the future and have a short career. The Four Beasts of Daniel 7 refer to kingdoms, but the seven heads of the Fourth Beast in Revelation refer to kings. There is a difference, and the Bible understands this difference. A king is an individual while a kingdom is a nation, empire or government.
Mainstream prophetic scholarship has often ignored the Biblical distinction between kings and kingdoms, as well as the clear interpretation given by the angel to John, to conclude that the seven heads of the Beast represent seven kingdoms, as follows.
Five have fallen
One is yet to be
7. The Antichrist's kingdom
This interpretation will be rejected, and we will instead view the seven heads of the Beast as kings, just as the angel says they are. We will be aided in this task by Revelation 12:3, which shows that the seven heads are closely associated with Satan, and by Revelation 13:1, which explains that these seven kings are guilty of the crime of blasphemy against God, "And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name."
According to the angel in Revelation, five of the seven kings had fallen by the time that John was given the Revelation. We must identify five kings in history, prior to John, that were typified by a Satanic influence and by a tendency towards blasphemy. Furthermore, considering that Satan's agenda has always been the destruction of God's people, these kings are likely to be violent enemies of Jews and Christians. Here is a preliminary list of these five, followed by a brief explanation for each:
Five have fallen
1. Pharaoh of Egypt, at the time of the Exodus
2. Sennacharib of Assyria
3. Ithobaal II of Tyre
4. Belshazzar of Babylon
5. Antiochus IV Epiphanes
Three of these kings are given descriptions within the Bible that are enough to make us absolutely certain that they belong on the list. The other two, Pharaoh and Belshazzar, have been included on the list because no better choices come to mind, and other suggestions should be considered if they are backed up with better arguments than are given below.
Pharaoh should be at least considered among this list of Satan's kings because of the role he played in the Exodus, and because he resisted the will of God as it was made known to him through Moses and Aaron. Throughout the ordeal of the ten plagues Pharaoh changed his mind constantly, from wanting to allow the Israelites to leave, to refusing to allow them to leave. The Bible tells us that God "hardened Pharaoh's heart" which kept Pharaoh from giving in, so that the judgments against Egypt would be a sign of God's glory to Egypt and to the Israelites. However, Pharaoh's suicidal actions after the Israelites left Egypt offers evidence that Pharaoh was possessed by Satan, and willing to do anything to destroy or at least keep the Hebrews in bondage, even at great risk to himself and his kingdom. This is another typical attribute of Satan's kings. They are possessed by Satan, so they exhibit irrational self-destructive behavior towards themselves and also towards the kingdoms that they control. Their end is often violent, they usually die in battle or by suicide, and their kingdom suffers from their rule. When Pharaoh and the armies of Egypt were destroyed in the Red Sea, Egypt was left defenseless and powerless. According to the work of historian David Rohl in his book Pharaoh's and Kings, the Hyksos invasion and occupation of Egypt, who were the Biblical Amalekites, took place after the Red Sea debacle when Egypt could not fight back.
Sennacharib is almost certainly one of Satan's seven kings. The story of his campaign against King Hezekiah and against Jerusalem is given in 2 Kings 18-19, 2 Chronicles 32, and Isaiah 36-37. It is an amazing story of the effectiveness of prayer and of the mercy, justice and power of God. When King Hezekiah resisted Sennacharib's demands Sennacharib responded through his messengers with ridicule and blasphemy against the God of Israel. King Hezekiah responded to Sennacharib's insults by going to the temple to pray, and after hearing Hezekiah's prayers God responded through the prophet Isaiah. Here are a few excerpts from Isaiah 37,
Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, this is the word the LORD has spoken against him:
"The Virgin Daughter of Zion despises and mocks you. The Daughter of Jerusalem tosses her head as you flee. Who is it you have insulted and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! By your messengers you have heaped insults on the Lord. And you have said, 'With my many chariots I have ascended the heights of the mountains, the utmost heights of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars, the choicest of its pines. I have reached its remotest heights, the finest of its forests...
"But I know where you stay and when you come and go and how you rage against me. Because you rage against me and because your insolence has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you came...
"Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria: "He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it. By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city," declares the LORD. "I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant!"
Then the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning--there were all the dead bodies! So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there. NIV
The most important description of Sennacharib is given in Isaiah 14:3-27. It is one continuous narrative of King Sennacharib of Assyria, who was also the king of Babylon during Isaiah's time. This text has been highly debated over the centuries by scholars because the textual description of the King of Babylon appears to seamlessly shift into a description of Satan and of his fall. Here is the complete passage,
On the day the LORD gives you relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:
How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended! The LORD has broken the rod of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers, which in anger struck down peoples with unceasing blows, and in fury subdued nations with relentless aggression. All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing. Even the pine trees and the cedars of Lebanon exult over you and say, "Now that you have been laid low, no woodsman comes to cut us down."
The grave below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you-- all those who were leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones-- all those who were kings over the nations. They will all respond, they will say to you, "You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us."
All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you. How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."
But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit. Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: "Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?"
All the kings of the nations lie in state, each in his own tomb. But you are cast out of your tomb like a rejected branch; you are covered with the slain, with those pierced by the sword, those who descend to the stones of the pit. Like a corpse trampled underfoot, you will not join them in burial, for you have destroyed your land and killed your people. The offspring of the wicked will never be mentioned again. Prepare a place to slaughter his sons for the sins of their forefathers; they are not to rise to inherit the land and cover the earth with their cities.
"I will rise up against them," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will cut off from Babylon her name and survivors, her offspring and descendants," declares the LORD. "I will turn her into a place for owls and into swampland; I will sweep her with the broom of destruction," declares the LORD Almighty. The LORD Almighty has sworn, "Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand. I will crush the Assyrian in my land; on my mountains I will trample him down. His yoke will be taken from my people, and his burden removed from their shoulders."
This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. For the LORD Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back? NIV
In Isaiah 37:24 Sennacharib's plunder of Lebanon's forests is described, and in Isaiah 14:8 those forests rejoice at Sennacharib's fall. Sennacharib's successful campaigns against the many nations of the area is described in this passage, which is something Sennacharib's envoys boast about in their demands to King Hezekiah. Near the end of the passage Isaiah writes that "the Assyrian" would be crushed "in my land," and "on my mountains," which is where Sennacharib's army perished at the hand of the angel of the Lord. The view that the king of Babylon is Sennacharib of Assyria finds much historical and textual support, as well as support from respected modern scholars including Dr. John F. Walvoord in his Prophecy Knowledge Handbook.
There is a dispute within scholarship as to whether or not Isaiah 14 also contains a description of Satan. Some say all of the descriptions refer only to the human king of Babylon, but others say that Satan is also described, beginning in verse 12. Here is the KJV translation,
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
The "mount of the congregation" is also known as the "mount of assembly," which is the place where God meets in the Divine Council with the leaders of the fallen angels who rule over the pagan nations of the earth. This division of the nations of the earth to the fallen angels took place at the Tower of Babel, and is also related in Deuteronomy 32:8, "When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of God."
The concept of the Divine Council is right now at the cutting edge of Biblical scholarship. A full knowledge of it can be very helpful when it comes to understanding the true nature of the spiritual battle being waged for this earth and for humanity today, and I suggest three sources to begin this study: The internet article "The Heavenly Divine Council" by Bryan T. Huie, the .pdf article "Visions of the Heavenly Council in the Hebrew Bible" by Paul Sumner, and the continuing work of PhD candidate and Semitic languages expert Michael S. Heiser. I also heartily suggest that readers join Heiser's study group for only ten dollars a year to receive his monthly online newsletter, which also provides access to a number of articles that continue to break new ground in the study of the Divine Council.
The point to be made is that God remains sovereign over the earth and over the kingdoms of the earth through his control of the Divine Council. When mankind fell through the sin of Adam and Eve, which was followed by the fallen angels having intercourse with human women as described in Genesis 6, the earth experienced a period of theological/cosmological anarchy. This situation was remedied at the Tower of Babel, when the nations of the earth were divided up into seventy tribes and handed over to the authority of seventy fallen angels. See Huie's article for a further explanation. After these tribes were handed over to the fallen angels then God chose for himself his own nation through which He would continue the divine plan for the salvation of all mankind. This began with the calling out of Abraham, as described in Genesis 12:1-3,
The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."
God chose his own nation, Israel, but He did not allow the heathen nations that were led by the fallen angels to operate unchecked. He allowed them to rule their nations, and to be worshiped by the pagan peoples that they controlled, but God remained sovereign and in control through His dominance of the Divine Council, where the leaders of the fallen angels would meet before God. A picture of this council is given at the beginning of the book of Job, and several times thereafter,
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them. And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
God's leadership of the Divine Council, even as he allows the fallen angels their limited and temporary authority over the nations, is shown in Psalm 82,
God standeth in the congregation of God; He judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, And respect the persons of the wicked? Judge the poor and fatherless: Do justice to the afflicted and destitute. Rescue the poor and needy: Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither do they understand; They walk to and fro in darkness: All the foundations of the earth are shaken. I said, Ye are gods, And all of you sons of the Most High. Nevertheless ye shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes. Arise, O God, judge the earth; For thou shalt inherit all the nations. (ASV)
God judges among the fallen angels who rule over the heathen nations of the earth and he dictates the boundaries within which they may be allowed to act. As we continue this study we will see that God often uses these angels and the kingdoms they control to carry out His own divine plan, to punish Israel, and also to help Israel by punishing her enemies and coming to her aid. For the most part the fallen angels who rule over the earth, even though they are destined for punishment and death, obey the commands of God as He gives them through the Divine Council. They obey or they are forced to obey. Satan, on the other hand, is a different story. His entire career is that of an adversary of God and man, and he continually rises up against God, against God's people Israel, and against God's plan as He controls it through the Divine Council.
Returning to the subject of Sennacharib, Satan's goal is put forth in Isaiah 14:13, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain."
Satan has been successful in this task if his career is viewed from a pagan perspective, because Satan has been able to use his position as the leader of the fallen angels. Over the centuries, as the evolution of mythology makes clear, the idea of a transcendent, benevolent, all-knowing and all-powerful Creator God at the head of the pantheon has been displaced by that of a capricious monarch that engages in sexual relations, wicked manipulations and elaborate conspiracies, making immoral judgments and viewing mortal man with ambivalence and often contempt. Such is the story as told within the myths of the ancient Sumerians, Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks and Romans. In their pantheons the Creator is defamed and God has taken on the attributes that apply much more readily to Satan.
Satan's goal is simply to replace God as the leader of the Divine Council. Satan wishes to be viewed as God, which is the ultimate blasphemy, and throughout history he has used seven pagan kings to further his plan. Pharaoh of Egypt at the time of the Exodus may be one of these kings, and Sennacharib is certainly another. The shift in context in Isaiah 14, from a clear description of Sennacherib to a supernatural description of Satan beginning with verse 13, is evidence that Sennacherib and Satan were combined in one person at one time. Sennacherib was possessed by Satan.
The case of Sennacharib is typical of Satan's kings in that he blasphemed God, he disobeyed God, and he went up against God's people. His violent end was typical as well, because after his army was slaughtered by the angel of the Lord he retreated to Ninevah, where he was murdered by two of his sons as he worshiped at a pagan temple to Nisroch, his national god. Sennacharib's actions during his life were foolish and self-destructive, and his kingdom suffered as well, as it says in Isaiah 14:20, "you have destroyed your land and killed your people." After Sennacharib's death Assyria declined as an empire, and was soon replaced by a power that came from Sennacharib's former province of Babylon.
Before moving on to the next king of Satan we must reacquaint ourselves with a little bit of Israel's history. Israel's high point of cultural achievement and material prosperity was reached under the reign of King Solomon. Under his rule the Temple of God was built in Jerusalem and Israel became wealthy and existed in peace. This was helped by Israel's close and beneficial relations with the neighboring kingdom of Tyre that had been established between King David and King Hiram. King Solomon governed well, but by the end of his reign he had backslidden against the God of Israel and embraced the pagan gods and encouraged their worship. His misguided policies against the commandments of the God of Israel resulted in the split of Israel into two parts after his death in 931 BC. In the north Jereboam became king of Israel, while in the south Reheboam became king of Judah and Jerusalem.
According to the record in 1 Kings, Reheboam of Judah was an evil king who turned against the Lord of Israel and embraced paganism, setting up Asherah poles, and allowing pagan shrines and prostitution. For these sins God punished Israel by using King Shishak of the kingdom of Egypt (1 Kings 21-28), who invaded Judah, plundered Jerusalem, and carried away the great riches of the Temple that had been accumulated under Solomon. Researcher David Rohl offers a great deal of historical and archaeological evidence, much of it irrefutable, that the Biblical Egyptian King Shishak was in fact Ramesses II, the great king of Egypt.
In the northern nation of Israel Jereboam did even worse in the sight of the Lord than did Reheboam in Judah, and he set up a cult to the pagan gods and installed himself as high priest. Reheboam was followed by other evil kings including Omri, and his son Ahab, who married Jezebel a princess of Tyre. Forty years after the death of Ahab, Jehoahaz became king of Israel, and, according to II Kings 13:1-7, his wickedness caused the Lord to hand Israel over to the kings of Syria (Aram). However, Jehoahaz pleaded to the Lord for mercy, and "...the Lord gave Israel a saviour, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians: and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents, as beforetime..." (KJV). According to David Rohl, this mysterious "saviour" was none other than Shoshenk I of Egypt who, according to Egyptian records, undertook a mysterious campaign into the northern nation of Israel, strangely bypassing the southern nation of Judah and the riches of Jerusalem. Shoshenk I, a king who worshiped pagan gods, was simply obeying the command of the Lord as it was voiced through the Divine Council when he undertook the long-distance campaign to attack and turn back the Syrian forces that were occupying Israel at the time.
Israel remained a nation for less than eighty years after the death of Jehoahaz, and her kings and citizens constantly backslid into a deeper and deeper paganism. The final judgment against the northern ten tribes came through the Assyrian Empire. There were several instances of mass enslavement, when entire populations of Hebrews were taken away, and the end of Israel finally came during the reign of King Hoshea, when Samaria was conquered and annexed by Assyria's King Shalmaneser V. The reason for the judgment of destruction on the northern nation of Israel is put forth plainly in II Kings 17, "All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against the LORD their God..." Because of this the kingdom of Assyria cannot be viewed as an instrument of Satan, or as one of the seven heads of Satan as some scholars have concluded, but rather Assyria must be viewed as an instrument of God, as a tool that he used to punish Israel for its unfaithfulness. Sennacharib, on the other hand, clearly took matters into his own hand and he acted against the will of God when he attempted to capture Jerusalem during the reign of Hezekiah of Judah. He was clearly an instrument of Satan, and both Sennacharib and Assyria suffered as a result.
After the death of Hezekiah the southern kingdom of Judah fell into the hands of Hezekiah's wicked son Manasseh, who went so far as to even sacrifice his own son on a pagan altar. Manasseh existed as a vassal of Ashurbanipal of Assyria, and eventually Manasseh was deported, with a hook in his nose, to the Assyrian city of Babylon near the end of his reign. While in Babylon Manasseh repented of his evil ways, and the Lord had mercy on him and caused him to be returned to Jerusalem, where he removed paganism from the land, rebuilt the outer wall of the city, and remained faithful to the Lord (II Chronicles 33). Manasseh was followed by his wicked son Amon, who was assassinated and then replaced with his son, Josiah who was only eight years old. King Josiah was the last good king of Judah, and he did much to repair the Temple, recover the holy writings, and reinstitute Hebrew worship of the one true God.
The four kings of Judah that followed Josiah were dominated first by Egypt, and then by the new power of Babylon, led by Nebuchadnezzar. This was the time of Jeremiah the prophet, and the Lord made known to him the fact that Jerusalem would be handed over to Nebuchadnezzar. Judah's last ruler was King Zedekiah, and Jeremiah instructed Zedekiah not to resist God's will, to surrender to the Babylonian invader and thereby be spared (Jeremiah 21). However, King Zedekiah ignored the word of the Lord through Jeremiah, and he resisted Nebuchadnezzar's forces. After Jerusalem fell, while it burned and stood in ruins, King Zedekiah escaped through a hole in the city wall and made his way to Jericho. He was eventually captured and brought before Nebuchadnezzar, who executed his sons in front of his eyes. It was the last thing he would ever see, because his eyes were then immediately put out. King Zedekiah was then brought in chains, along with the rest of his people, to Babylon where the Jews would live in exile for the divinely ordained period of seventy years. Babylon was another kingdom that was clearly an instrument of the Lord's will, rather than an instrument of Satan, which is explained at the very end of II Chronicles,
The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked God's messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and spared neither young man nor young woman, old man or aged. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar.
The next prophet to appear was Ezekiel. He was among an early group of 3,000 Jewish exiles taken by Nebuchadnezzar eleven years prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. While in Babylon he was called out as a prophet of God and he gave many prophetic warnings and admonitions to his people. Along with messages to Israel, Ezekiel gave prophecies against the many heathen nations that surrounded Israel, including Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia and Egypt. In addition to these nations the prophet Ezekiel reserved three whole chapters (26-28) to rebuke the city of Tyre, and their king Ithobaal II.
Ithobaal II is almost certainly one of Satan's seven kings. He was the king of a city and empire that had once been Israel's closest friend. However, by the time of Amos, one hundred and fifty years before the fall of Jerusalem, Tyre was rebuked for breaking its treaty of friendship and selling Hebrew slaves to Edom (Amos 1:9-10). By the time of Ezekiel, Tyre had grown powerful and wealthy through its success as a global merchant, and for reasons unknown Tyre gloated over the fall of Jerusalem, saying to itself, "Aha! The gate to the nations is broken, and its doors have swung open to me; now that she lies in ruins I will prosper" (Ezekiel 26:2). This contemptuous and traitorous attitude towards God's city caused God to issue the following decree through Ezekiel,
"For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'From the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army. He will ravage your settlements on the mainland with the sword; he will set up siege works against you, build a ramp up to your walls and raise his shields against you. He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and demolish your towers with his weapons...
They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea. I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken,' declares the Sovereign LORD." Ezekiel 26:7-14 NIV
The king of Tyre himself, who may be historically identified as King Ithobaal II, is addressed in Ezekiel 28:1-19, and just like the descriptions given for the king of Babylon in Isaiah 14, the descriptions of the king of Tyre contain a seamless shift in context, from describing the human king of Tyre, to offering descriptions that could only apply to Satan. Like Sennacharib, the only possible conclusion is that the king of Tyre and Satan were combined in one person at one time, and that Ithobaal II was controlled and possessed by Satan. Here are portions of the description,
The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, This is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'In the pride of your heart you say, "I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas." But you are a man and not a god, though you think you are as wise as a god...
Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'Because you think you are wise, as wise as a god, I am going to bring foreigners against you, the most ruthless of nations; they will draw their swords against your beauty and wisdom and pierce your shining splendor...
Will you then say, "I am a god," in the presence of those who kill you? You will be but a man, not a god, in the hands of those who slay you. You will die the death of the uncircumcised at the hands of foreigners. I have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD.'
'...This is what the Sovereign LORD says: You were the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God... You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones.
You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade you were filled with violence, and you sinned. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.
By your many sins and dishonest trade you have desecrated your sanctuaries. So I made a fire come out from you, and it consumed you, and I reduced you to ashes on the ground in the sight of all who were watching. All the nations who knew you are appalled at you; you have come to a horrible end and will be no more.'"
Initially the text can only be understood as referring to the human king of Tyre, who is filled with pride and self-confidence, even making the blasphemous claim of divinity. But then the text changes to describe the early career of Satan as he first existed in favor with God, as the guardian cherub in the Garden of Eden. Then the text describes the wickedness found in Satan and his expulsion from Eden and from the mount of God, which refers to the place of the Divine Council. Finally Satan's end is given as that of fire (see Revelation 20:10), which stands in contrast to the predicted end of the king of Tyre, which is to come violently at the hands of foreigners (Ezekiel 28:8-10). Ithobaal II was killed after he was captured and brought to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.
Some scholars have concluded that the kingdom of Babylon is one of the seven heads of the Beast of Revelation. By highlighting the relationship that the seven heads have with Satan and their connection with the sin of blasphemy, it becomes clear that the kingdom of Babylon cannot be one of the heads of the Beast/Satan, and neither can the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar. The rise of Babylon was ordained by God and made known to the pagan nations through God's control of the Divine Council of fallen angels. Nebuchadnezzar was a pagan king, and he acknowledged and even worshiped pagan gods, but he existed as part of God's plan, rather than contrary to God's plan. The book of Daniel makes this clear, beginning with the vision of chapter two. After Daniel described the vision and the statue with the head of gold, chest of silver, belly of bronze and legs of iron, Daniel explained where Nebuchadnezzar fit in the vision,
"You, O king, are the king of kings. The God of heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory; in your hands he has placed mankind and the beasts of the field and the birds of the air. Wherever they live, he has made you ruler over them all. You are that head of gold." Daniel 2:37-38 NIV
Nebuchadnezzar was honored by this description of himself that came directly from Daniel's God, but he still did not comprehend. Some time after he received the vision, and after he had made Daniel the ruler of the province of Babylon, he erected a massive statue of pure gold, perhaps to symbolize the head of gold from his vision lasting forever. When he commanded the people to worship it three of Daniel's friends refused to do so, and they were thrown into the fiery furnace as punishment. When they failed to burn up, and after they were joined in the fire by a mysterious fourth figure that appeared to be a "son of the gods," Nebuchadnezzar brought them out of the fire and decreed that the Hebrew God was to be respected and honored by everyone (Daniel 3:29).
Even after acknowledging the power of the God of Israel Nebuchadnezzar still failed to honor and glorify the God of heaven as he should have. This brought a second dream to Nebuchadnezzar, of a great tree that was cut down to a stump, that was then bound with iron and bronze. Daniel was brought and he explained to the king that God had decreed that Nebuchadnezzar would suffer madness for seven "times", or seven years, and live like a beast in the fields, after which he would acknowledge the God of Israel as the one true God and be restored of his sanity and given back his position as ruler of Babylon. This story is written in the fourth chapter of Daniel, and 4:1-18,34-37 are portions of Daniel that were written by Nebuchadnezzar himself. It begins thus, as a message to the entire world,
To the peoples, nations and men of every language, who live in all the world: May you prosper greatly! It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation.
After the dream was related and then fulfilled, and after the seven years were expired, Nebuchadnezzar tells the end of his story,
At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.
His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: "What have you done?"
At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
Nebuchadnezzar lived until the end of his life honoring the God of Israel as the one true God, but the same cannot be said of the kings of Babylon that followed him. The end of the Babylonian Empire came while Babylon was ruled by King Belshazzar, and it came at the hand of another pagan kingdom obeying the command of the Lord in heaven.
King Belshazzar of Babylon should at least be considered as one of Satan's seven kings because he possessed many of the attributes that the others possessed. Daniel's description of him comes in chapter five after Belshazzar witnessed the hand writing on the wall a message that he did not understand. Daniel is summoned to interpret the message and he begins by praising the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, pointing out that Nebuchadnezzar was chosen by God, eventually humbling himself before God and acknowledging His power. Then Daniel rebukes Belshazzar and lists his sins,
"But you his son [or descendent], O Belshazzar, have not humbled yourself, though you knew all this. Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription." Daniel 5:22-24 NIV
After rebuking Belshazzar for his sins Daniel then interprets the meaning of the writing upon the wall, which is simply a prediction of the punishment that Belshazzar will receive for his sins: His kingdom is to be divided and given to the Medes and Persians. That very night the city of Babylon was captured and Belshazzar was slain by the forces of Darius the Mede, who was himself a general under Cyrus the Great of Persia.
Belshazzar should be considered as one of Satan's seven kings because he set himself "up against the Lord of heaven," he showed disdain for God's Temple and for His people, he acted foolishly and recklessly when it came to himself and his kingdom, and he suffered a violent end. Like many of the other kingdoms that suffered after being led by one of Satan's kings the Babylonian Empire suffered as well, crumbling as a result of Belshazzar's actions (or inaction).
The power that overthrew Belshazzar was Medo-Persia, led by Cyrus the Great. This great ruler was another instrument of the Lord's, and neither the Medo-Persian Empire, or Cyrus the king, should be considered one of the seven heads of Satan. Like Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon, both were instruments used by God, rather than puppets of Satan. Cyrus was a heathen, and he worshiped heathen gods that were members of the Divine Council of fallen angels, but he was still used by God to further the divine plan. The prophet Isaiah predicted Cyrus by name and explained how he would serve God,
"This is what the LORD says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is no other...
It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts. I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness: I will make all his ways straight. He will rebuild my city and set my exiles free, but not for a price or reward, says the LORD Almighty." Isaiah 45:1-6,12-13 NIV
Cyrus would do the Lord's will, but he would not acknowledge the Lord. This becomes comprehensible only with an understanding of the nature of the Divine Council, the assembly of the "starry hosts" that rule over all the nations of the earth except for Israel. Cyrus worshiped the gods of Persia, but these very same gods were bound by the freedoms and restrictions given to them by God within the Divine Council. God allowed Persia to become great, and then the gods of Persia were able to take advantage of whatever freedom they were given, and to use Cyrus to build the empire. From Cyrus' point of view he served the gods, but from God's point of view Cyrus served the Lord, because his purpose in life was to set Israel free from Babylon and begin the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
The gods, or the fallen angels that had authority over Persia, could only act within a narrow range of restrictions, but they often came up against these restrictions and had to be fought against by the angels that served the Lord. A good example of this type of angelic warfare is given in the tenth chapter of Daniel. It describes a vision that Daniel received in the third year of King Cyrus's reign. After fasting for three weeks an angel of the Lord comes to Daniel to give him a prophecy about the future kings that would come from Greece. But before giving the prophecy (Daniel 11:2-12:3) the angel explains to Daniel that he had only been able to appear to him after fighting through resistance that came from the "prince of the kingdom of Persia." The angel explains that he only prevailed because of help from Michael, who is explained in 12:1 as the "great prince" who protects Israel. The angel then explains that after he gives his prophecy to Daniel he must return to fight against the "prince of Persia" again, and after that he must fight against the "prince of Greece." The angel then adds that out of all the "princes" only Michael supports him in his battles.
Once again we must return to the concept of the Divine Council, which is a group of seventy "princes" or fallen angels that are worshiped as gods by the heathen peoples, who have been granted authority over the nations. At the head of this council sits God who dictates the freedoms and restrictions of the gods and of their nations. Out of all the nations of the world God only has one for Himself, which is Israel, and God has made Michael Israel's protector. Michael is the only "prince" that is not worshiped as a god by the people he protects, and he is the only "prince" that can be counted on to support the angels of God when they must battle any of the seventy "princes" to keep them in line with God's will. (Why seventy?)
After the angel gives Daniel a glimpse of angelic warfare that concerns the nations of the earth he begins his prophecy about what will happen to Persia, and of the rise of Greece,
"Now then, I tell you the truth: Three more kings will appear in Persia, and then a fourth, who will be far richer than all the others. When he has gained power by his wealth, he will stir up everyone against the kingdom of Greece. Then a mighty king will appear, who will rule with great power and do as he pleases. After he has appeared, his empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven. It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised, because his empire will be uprooted and given to others." Daniel 11:1-4 NIV
The mighty king that would appear was Alexander the Great, who was also described in the vision of the Ram and the Goat in Daniel 8. According to the historical record, Alexander had a very close relationship with the gods and he went out of his way to confirm their favor wherever he went.
In Greece he received a favorable reply from Apollo at the oracle of Delphi, (actually when he visited the oracle it was closed, so he had the priestess dragged against her will into his presence where she cried out in fright, "You really are invincible!" Alexander immediately sent her away and took her exclamation as the message from Apollo.) [The Mystery of the Oracles by Philipp Vandenberg]
In Gordios in Asia Minor Alexander visited the shrine that held the Gordium knot, a knot so tangled, with neither end visible, that it was prophesied that whoever untangled it would have dominion over Asia. Alexander took out his sword and cut the knot in half with one blow. A violent storm followed, which Alexander took as a favorable reply from Zeus. (Vandenberg)
After Egypt fell to Alexander without a fight, and after he was crowned pharaoh of Egypt, Alexander made his way to the oracle of Amun at Siwa in Libya. When he arrived he was greeted by the priests as a son of the gods, and his generals were told that they should worship their leader as a god. After Alexander returned to Memphis he received a delegation from the oracle of Didyma in Asia Minor, and they too proclaimed him to be divine and predicted success for his armies in Asia. (Vandenberg)
According to the Jewish historian Josephus, Alexander even consulted the God of Israel at the temple in Jerusalem. Upon arriving the priests greeted and saluted him, and Alexander saluted the high priest and "adored the name of God" that was engraved on the high priest's mitre. Alexander's entourage of Phoenicians and Chaldeans looked forward to plundering the city, but Alexander forbid them and decreed that the Jews were to be unmolested. After offering a favor to the priests they asked of Alexander that Jews be allowed to abide by "the laws of their forefathers," and to be exempt from paying the tribute every seventh year, to which Alexander agreed. The priests also took out the prophesies of Daniel and showed them to Alexander, and he took heart regarding the predictions that a king of Greece would conquer Persia.
The great success of Alexander the Great was achieved only because he was chosen by God as the one who would defeat the Persian Empire. God predicted the rise of Alexander the Great, and then His order was made know to the "gods" through the assembly of "gods" in the Divine Council. That is why Alexander was viewed so favorably at all of the heathen oracles, and that is why he took Asia Minor, Palestine and Egypt against hardly any resistance whatsoever. His rise was part of Gods plan, and then the "gods" that ruled over the nations were bound to abide by that plan. The only major resistance came from the previous world power of Persia, which was predicted in Daniel 8 in the vision of the Ram being beaten by the Goat.
After the death of Alexander, just as prophesy foretold in Daniel 8:22 and 11:4, Alexander's kingdom was divided into four parts and its power was greatly diminished. Four generals took command of the four parts: Cassander over Macedon and Greece, Lysimachus over Asia Minor and Thrace, Seleucus over Syria and Babylon, and Ptolemy over Egypt, Palestine and Arabia. The land of Israel found itself caught in the middle between Ptolemy in Egypt and Seleucus in Syria, and these two kingdoms were ruled by succeeding kings of the North and kings of the South as predicted in the prophecies of Daniel 11. Daniel 8:8-12 is a prophetic passage that describes the rise and fall of Alexander and the division of his empire into four parts after his death,
"The goat became very great, but at the height of his power his large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.
Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land. It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary was brought low.
Because of rebellion, the host [of the saints] and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground." NIV
In Daniel 8:21-25 the four horns are explained, as well as the little horn that rises up from the four, who represents Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who took over the Seleucid Empire of Syria and Babylon,
The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes is the first king. The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power. In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes is without a doubt one of Satan's seven kings, and he is the last of the five kings that were said to "have fallen" when the Revelation was given to John (17:10). His career is predicted more fully in Daniel 11:21-35, and he is described as a contemptible and vile person, scheming and deceitful, psychotic and possibly insane, who focused his rage against the Jews, against God, and against Jerusalem and the holy temple.
Antiochus obtained his throne in Syria by conspiring against the rightful heir and by flattering powerful allies. After he took power he waged war against Ptolemy VI of Egypt, and after striking a treaty with Ptolemy he brought his army into Palestine on his way back to Syria. When he entered Palestine he received word that the Jews were rejoicing because they had received a false report of his death. The Jews were also in a civil war between a religious faction and Antiochus' paid secular faction. Antiochus entered the war attacking Jerusalem, killing 40,000 and capturing another 40,000 as slaves. He reinstalled his puppet Menelaus as the Jewish high priest who continued Antiochus' plan to paganize the Jews.
After another unsuccessful campaign into Egypt Antiochus sent 22,000 troops into Jerusalem to aid Menelaus and to drive out Jewish worship of the God of heaven. His forces attacked Jerusalem on the Sabbath and massacred many worshipers. Antiochus then entered the temple and consecrated it to Jupiter (Zeus), setting up an idol, and sacrificing a pig on the altar. He passed a law that outlawed the Jewish religion, and he killed and tortured the violators that were caught.
The career of Antiochus is typical of that of Satan's kings. He was perhaps the greatest blasphemer against God in all of ancient history, and he minted coins that pictured himself with the inscription "Antiochus the Great, God Manifest." He committed the greatest outrage possible against the Lord when he violated His sanctuary and erected a pagan idol within, followed by the sacrifice of an unclean beast on the altar. These acts were an "abomination" against the Lord that prefigure the "abomination of desolation" spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:15 that will be committed by the Antichrist.
In addition to his rage against God and against God's house of worship, Antiochus also persecuted God's people, the Jews, without relief, and Josephus describes him as a bloodthirsty madman intent on erasing both the Jews and their religion from the face of the earth. Clearly Antiochus was a king who was possessed by Satan, and his actions were committed outside of God's favor. He was undoubtedly the most terrible of Satan's seven kings that preceded the appearance of Jesus the Messiah, and he completes the list of five:
Five have fallen
1. Pharaoh of Egypt
2. Sennacharib of Assyria
3. Ithobaal II of Tyre
4. Belshazzar of Babylon
5. Antiochus IV Epiphanes
This brings us to the sixth king of Satan's seven who, according to Revelation 17:10, existed when John was given the Revelation. To identify the Satanic king that existed in John's day we have to enter into the scholarly debate regarding the timing of the writing of Revelation. Today, the consensus among scholars is that the book of Revelation was most likely written about 95 AD at the very end of John's life. However, this is not a view that is universally held by Bible scholars throughout history, and it gained its greatest acceptance when liberal scholars at the end of the nineteenth century accepted this late date for Revelation based on their view that Revelation was history, and not prophecy, and that it was a historical description of the Christian persecution that occurred under Nero of Rome, and of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD.
The only other view that has been traditionally supported for the date of the writing of Revelation is the "Neronic view," that Revelation was written during the reign of Nero. Today this view has fallen out of acceptance among most scholars, but it still finds a great deal of support from advocates of the Preterist view of prophecy. This view holds that Revelation was written between 64 and 67 AD, and that it was a prediction of the fall of Jerusalem that took place in 70 AD under Titus and Vespatian of Rome. For Preterists Revelation was written as prophecy, but should now be viewed only as history.
This brings us to a third view, different than the Preterist view and different than the liberal view. It is that Revelation was written under Nero, but that it contains prophecies that, although perhaps prefigured in the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, have yet to be fulfilled. This is the view that will be adopted for the purposes of this study and for the prophetic model that has been developed here at www.redmoonrising.com. The reasons for accepting a date of 64-67 AD for the writing of Revelation are numerous:
- The Church Father Clement of Alexandria asserted that all revelation ceased under Nero's reign.
- The Muratorian canon (ca. 170 AD) has John completing Revelation before Paul had written to seven different churches (Paul finished these writings in 67-68 AD).
- The Church Father Tertullian placed John's banishment to Patmos at the same time as Peter and Paul's martyrdom (67-68 AD).
- The Church Father Epiphanius (315-403 AD) twice stated that Revelation was written under Nero.
- The Syriac version of Revelation (6th century AD) begins with the heading, "written in Patmos, whither John was sent by Nero Caesar."
- The Byzantine scholar Arethas, from the 9th century wrote, "When the Evangelist received these oracles, the destruction in which the Jews were involved was not yet inflicted by the Romans [70 AD]."
These are but a few of the facts that can be brought to bear in support of an early date for the writing of Revelation. To pursue this study I suggest the article "The Dating of Revelation" by Jack Van Deventer, from which many of the points above were taken, and also the webpage entitled "The Early Date of Revelation" at www.preteristarchive.com. The arguments are strong and numerous, but beware the Preterist conclusion that the authors continually promote.
Nero Caesar of Rome is the sixth head of the Beast, the sixth king of Satan. He is the king that existed at the time of John's writing of the Revelation, and a look at the career of this madman confirms that he belongs on the list.
Nero's mother, Agrippina, was the sister of the Emperor Caligula and his father was a wealthy Roman citizen who died when Nero was three. At this time Caligula confiscated the family's wealth and banished Agrippina and Nero to a tiny island. However, when Claudius became emperor Agrippina remarried to a wealthy Roman citizen, and when he died soon after she inherited his wealth. After Claudius executed his wife (the Empress Messalina) for scolding him in public, Agrippina managed to convince Claudius to marry her and make her the Empress, in 48 AD. Agrippina then influenced Claudius to make Nero his official heir, over the claims of his son Britannicus. Nero's claim became confirmed when he married Octavia, the daughter of Claudius, after her previous fiancee committed suicide because of scandalous charges made against him by Agrippina. After Nero's claim to the throne became complete Emperor Claudius was poisoned and died in 54 AD.
As a young man Nero was tutored by the homosexual stoic philosopher Seneca, who was actually one of the more rational Roman thinkers of his day, and Nero was also greatly influenced by his aunt Domitia Lepida, who Agrippina later had executed on charges of witchcraft. In the first few years of Nero's reign it was Seneca that actually controlled the affairs of the Empire and he did an adequate job. Eventually, however, his influence over Nero enraged Agrippina, but then Nero finally took his meddlesome and ambitious mother out of the way when he executed her in 59 AD.
In 62 AD Seneca retired as Nero's advisor, and from that point the situation in Rome degenerated at a rapid pace. Nero went through a string of male and female lovers and turned away from the affairs of the state to pursue his entertainment career, as he imagined himself to be a great singer, poet and actor.
In 64 AD Nero moved forward on a plan to rebuild a section of the old city of Rome, and to rename it Neronia in honor of himself. A fire was set to aid in the demolition and to remove the unwanted occupants, but this fire soon raged out of control, destroying three, and damaging seven, of Rome's fourteen districts. The fire was then blamed on the community of Christians that lived in Rome, and Nero found it convenient to vent his rage on the young religious sect that he hated. The Roman historian Tacitus was a young man when this persecution took place and he mentioned it in his book Annals, published a few years later. Here is a portion of what he wrote,
"Therefore, to stop the rumor [that he had set Rome on fire], he [Emperor Nero] falsely charged with guilt, and punished with the most fearful tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who were [generally] hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of that name, was put to death as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea, in the reign of Tiberius, but the pernicious superstition - repressed for a time, broke out yet again, not only through Judea, - where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also, whither all things horrible and disgraceful flow from all quarters, as to a common receptacle, and where they are encouraged. Accordingly first those were arrested who confessed they were Christians; next on their information, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much on the charge of burning the city, as of "hating the human race."
In their very deaths they were made the subjects of sport: for they were covered with the hides of wild beasts, and worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and when the day waned, burned to serve for the evening lights. Nero offered his own garden players for the spectacle, and exhibited a Circensian game, indiscriminately mingling with the common people in the dress of a charioteer, or else standing in his chariot. For this cause a feeling of compassion arose towards the sufferers, though guilty and deserving of exemplary capital punishment, because they seemed not to be cut off for the public good, but were victims of the ferocity of one man."
Nero's reign was unique among all Roman Emperors simply for the extent of his persecution of Christians. In 67 AD he executed Peter, and he even went so far as to execute Paul, a Roman citizen. For the most part Roman citizens agreed with Nero's policy to exterminate Christians, as they saw Christianity as weak and subversive of the Empire, but Roman citizens were much less sympathetic of Nero's other policies that were quickly bringing the Empire to its knees. In 65 AD Nero faced down a political conspiracy that included his former mentor Seneca, and by 68 AD Nero faced a revolt that came from his generals in the provinces and also from the Roman Senate. On June 9, after being abandoned by his guards and his palace attendants, Nero retreated from the soldiers that had been sent to arrest him, and he fled to his room where he committed suicide.
The Emperor Nero was a pagan worshiper and he was associated with witchcraft. He was an insane megalomaniac, and his actions were destructive towards the Empire he ruled, and ultimately towards himself. His hatred towards Christians was unparalleled among Roman rulers, and he backed up his hatred with the most intense campaign of persecution that the Church has ever seen. These attributes make his career typical of that of Satan's seven kings, and his violent death was typical as well. It would be hard to argue that Nero was not possessed by Satan, or that he does not belong on our list. However, if an early dating of Revelation is objected to then the reign of Domitian can be examined, which also contains many elements, such as Christian persecution, insanity and violence, that are typical of Satan's kings. Whoever he may have been, the sixth king of Satan's seven existed when John was given the Revelation while exiled at Patmos.
This brings us finally to the seventh of Satan's kings:
"The seven heads are... seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while." Revelation 17:9-10 NIV
This seventh king was predicted to come in John's future, and he would be a precursor to the Antichrist, who is predicted in the next verse:
"The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction."
According to Revelation two Satanic kings would appear in the future. One will be the Antichrist, whose identity is covered in The Giza Discovery series, and the other would be a king that would precede the Antichrist and carry out a brief career. The next section will identify this seventh king.
The Seventh King and the First Seal
The sacrifice of God's only Son upon the cross at Calvary was the great triumph of God against the pagan gods that had been given dominion over the heathen nations of the world. Imperial Rome was the champion of this pagan system, and within the Roman Empire all of the gods were accepted and worshiped. Thus it was through the power of Rome that the fallen angels remained in charge of humanity. But with the sacrifice of Jesus the Kingdom of God triumphed, and all of humanity, regardless of race, nationality or language, was provided an avenue through which to come under the protection and authority of the Creator. Satan and his fallen angels had been defeated, and in the centuries that followed their influence waned as the power of the Church grew.
In the two millennia since the triumph of Christ the battle between the kingdoms of Satan and the Kingdom of Christ has become a battle of ideas. The Truth of God as put forth in the Bible and as carried forth by the Church has suffered in a constant war of attrition waged by the anti-Christian and atheistic warriors of Satan. The old power of pagan Rome existed in an underground fashion throughout the Middle Ages, and it made continual and often successful attempts to subvert the Catholic Church, the most powerful spiritual and political force during this time.
Historian Webster Tarpley has been able to chronicle the slow and steady infiltration of Satan's ideological warriors into the Christian nations of the Middle Ages in his series of studies on the merchant/financier kingdom of Venice. According to Tarpley, Venice is the key to understanding the role of the Enlightenment as a weapon that was used to counter-act the great Christian achievements of the Renaissance. The Renaissance was based on the Biblical concept that man was created by God, that man stands apart from the beasts, and that man possesses the unique and God-given potential to realize Truth, to create Beauty, and to rule in Justice. The Enlightenment, on the other hand, promoted the destructive ideas that man is simply a higher form of beast, that there is no absolute moral Truth, that beauty is a subjective illusion, and that justice is merely the rule of the strong over the weak. Tarpley offers convincing evidence that these ideas were transplanted from Venice, along with elements of their merchant/financier oligarchy, to Holland, and then ultimately to the island stronghold of Britain. It was in Britain that the most influential minds of the Enlightenment were then able to promote their satanic ideas and place the West on the road towards atheism.
Among these minds were Francis Bacon, the great occultist who is also considered the founder of "materialism," and his girlfriend Thomas Hobbes, who argued that human existence is simply a war of "all against all." Hobbes wrote,
"And because the condition of man . . . is a condition of war of every one against every one, in which case every one is governed by his own reason, and there is nothing he can make use of that may not be a help unto him in preserving his life against his enemies; it followeth that in such a condition every man has a right to every thing, even to one another's body. And therefore, as long as this natural right of every man to every thing endureth, there can be no security to any man . . . "
"To this war of every man against every man, this also is consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice, have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law; where no law, no injustice. Force and fraud are in war the two cardinal virtues."
According to Hobbes, if the condition of man is one of constant warfare, and "force and fraud" are the cardinal virtues of war, then "force and fraud" are indeed the cardinal virtues of human existence. Indeed, it was these twin "virtues" that the British Empire was built upon.
Following in the footsteps of Hobbes, who was almost officially denounced as an atheist and heretic by the Parliament in 1666, and in the footsteps of the freemason Bacon, who is also viewed as the founder of Rosicrucianism, came the homosexual occultist, and scientific plagiarist, Isaac Newton, and then John Locke. According to Locke, slavery was to be accepted, child labor was to be encouraged, and no limits were to be placed on usury. Both Newton and Locke supported the Venetian faction in England that created the Bank of England in 1694, that triumphed in 1696 when this privately-run enterprise was recognized by an Act of Parliament. This same faction also came to control the powerful British East India Company, which was one of the main sources of Britain's plundered wealth for the next century and a half.
Following Newton and Locke came Bernard de Mandeville and Adam Smith (see Part 5), David Hume, Voltaire, Thomas Malthus, David Ricardo, and a host of anti-Christian and/or atheistic materialistic thinkers that eventually helped to spawn the work of Charles Darwin (that took God out of human history), and of Karl Marx (who made God irrelevant within human society). The British Empire represented a truly powerful resurgence of pagan Rome, and is represented as the Lion that loses its Eagles wings in Daniel's vision of the Four Beasts (Daniel 7:4).
The work of the British Enlightenment thinkers was paralleled on the European continent by the work of the oddly-named Immanuel Kant of Germany (1724-1804), who is called by many "the most influential thinker of modern times." Kant promoted the view that morality is subjective and relative and flows from the individual's reason, rather than from an absolute and transcendent source. Kant's view on religion was unorthodox, to say the least, and in 1792 King Frederick William II of Prussia forbade Kant from speaking or writing on religious matters. Kant's ideas were followed up by G.W.F. Hegel, whose ideas became the foundation for Marxism, and also by Arthur Schopenhauer, who modifed Kant's system and created a pessimistic system that placed individuals within the mercy of the "cosmic will," which was Schopenhauer's twisted version of God that he viewed as wicked and "the source of all endless suffering."
Building upon the atheism promoted by the Enlightenment's most influential thinkers, Communism triumphed as a system of government with the establishment of the Soviet Union under Vladimir Lenin. The Russian Bear is also depicted within Daniel's vision of the Four Beasts, which has gone down in history as the most bloodthirsty of all modern empires. The Soviet system of government was a brief triumph of Satan's war against Christianity because it recognized atheism as the official belief system of the state.
This brings us to the work of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), an admirer of Schopenhauer, who became most famous for proclaiming that "God is dead," and for putting forth his provocative views in books such as Beyond Good and Evil and The Antichrist. Nietzsche referred to Christianity as "the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost perversion," and "the one immortal blemish on mankind." His views are explained in this passage from an online biography,
One of Nietszche's fundamental contentions was that traditional values (represented primarily by Christianity) had lost their power in the lives of individuals. He expressed this in his proclamation "God is dead." He was convinced that traditional values represented a "slave morality," a morality created by weak and resentful individuals who encouraged such behavior as gentleness and kindness because the behavior served their interests. Nietzsche claimed that new values could be created to replace the traditional ones, and his discussion of the possibility led to his concept of the overman or superman.
According to Nietzsche, the masses, whom he termed the herd or mob, conform to tradition, whereas his ideal overman is secure, independent, and highly individualistic. The overman feels deeply, but his passions are rationally controlled. Concentrating on the real world, rather than on the rewards of the next world promised by religion, the overman affirms life, including the suffering and pain that accompany human existence. His overman is a creator of values, a creator of a "master morality," (not "master race!") that reflects the strength and independence of one who is liberated from all values, except those that he deems valid. Nietzsche maintained that all human behavior is motivated by the will to power. In its positive sense, the will to power is not simply power over others, but the power over oneself that is necessary for creativity. Such power is manifested in the overman's independence, creativity, and originality.
One of Nietzsche's best friends during his life (before Nietzsche went insane) was the composer Richard Wagner. They shared many of the same philosophical ideas, and Nietzsche was thrilled by Wagner's music and theatrical productions that emphasized pagan German mythology over Christianity. Wagner was a champion of German nationalism and in his work he cried out for the appearance of Nietzsche's "superman" to lead the German people to their ultimate destiny. The call was answered by an intense and violent little man from Austria named Adolf Hitler.
In his book Hitler: Black Magician, occult historian and practicing magician Gerald Suster comments on the men who inspired Adolf Hitler,
Schopenauer destroyed the meaning of values, Nietzsche proclaimed the need for passing beyond them, and Wagner supplied a new set to replace the old. These three men, renowned more posthumously than in their own lifetimes, challenged the world of 1889 and became in time the favourites of Adolf Hitler. From them he derived what fundamental values he possessed.
In the preface to his book Suster asks a number of provocative questions about the rise of Hitler and of Hitler's Germany,
Why did a civilised nation of the twentieth century abruptly revert to barbarism? How could a shabby ex-dropout, so manifestly third-rate in all matters of the intellect, have achieved such unparalleled power? Why did the Germans come to venerate Hitler as a god? Why do he and his associates, Himmler, Goering, and Goebbels, still exert a mystique that is so conspicuously absent when we study Mussolini, Ciano and Starace, or Stalin, Molotov and Beria? Why does one feel that the Third Reich stood for a radically different kind of civilisation? Most fascinating of all, what drove Hitler, what motivated him, what went on in his mind that resulted in consequences of such magnitude?
The answers, according to Suster, who was himself a disciple of celebrated Golden Dawn magician and scribe Israel Regardie who was Aleister Crowley's apprentice, can be found only through an examination of Hitler's occult background. They come from the fact that Hitler was a practicing black magician in touch with the gods -- in fact led by them to carry out his mission. To Suster's answers we may add our own that goes much farther to explain Germany's strange rise under such a peculiar madman: that Adolf Hitler was the seventh king of Satan, the predicted precursor of the Antichrist.
One of Hitler's spiritual mentors was the occultist Dietrich Eckart, who was a disciple and promoter of Helena Blavatsky's anti-Semitic views put forth in her book The Secret Doctrine, that cleverly disguised the pagan fallen angels as highly evolved Ascended Masters. Hitler dedicated his infamous book Mein Kampf to Eckart, writing,
"And I want also to reckon among [Nazi heroes] that man, who, as one of the best, by words and by thoughts and finally by deeds, dedicated his life to the awakening of his, of our nation: Dietrich Eckart."
At the end of his life, prior to the outbreak of the war, Eckart spoke regarding Hitler,
"Follow Hitler! He will dance, but it is I who have called the tune. I have initiated him into the 'Secret Doctrine,' opened his centers in vision and given him the means to communicate with the Powers. Do not mourn for me: I shall have influenced history more than any other German."
These "Powers" that Hitler communicated with are nothing less than the fallen angelic powers that once ruled over all the nations of the earth except one, that were dealt a terrible blow by the triumph of Jesus on the Cross, who nonetheless continue to manipulate and influence mankind as Paul warned in Ephesians 6:12,
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Hitler's Germany was a nation caught up in paganism, guided by satanic spiritual forces to fulfill a role paving the way for the rise of the Antichrist. Pagan Nazi Germany is described as the third Beast in Daniel's vision of the Four Beasts,
"After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule." Daniel 7:6 NIV
Adolf Hitler was the seventh of Satan's seven kings, and his career was typical of the others in that he acted irrationally and violently, he blasphemed God and persecuted His people, while his policies were destructive to his nation and to himself. Like Nero he committed suicide when he saw that his end was near. Hitler is the king who was predicted to appear in John's future prior to the Antichrist, to carry out a brief career,
"They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while." Revelation 17:10
We return now to the question that was left unanswered in Part 7 of this study, which is the question regarding the interpretation of the first Seal of Revelation. In Part 7 we examined the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and we concluded that they represent the "birth pangs" of the coming Tribulation period. Much evidence was put forth to support the specific conclusion that the second Seal that brought forth the rider on the red horse is in fact representative of the unparalleled violence and carnage of World War II. With this in mind, we must interpret the first Seal as representative of something that took place prior to World War II.
In my previous article, Entering the Apocalypse, I concluded that the appearance of the rider on the white horse at the opening of the first Seal had to indicate the birth of the Antichrist, but now this view must be rejected. Instead the first Seal will be viewed as indicative of the rise of the Antichrist's precursor: Adolf Hitler, the seventh king of Satan,
"I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest." Revelation 6:1-2 NIV
The figure that rides the white horse wears a crown, just as the seven heads (kings) of Satan wear crowns when they are introduced in Revelation 12:3, "Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads."
After he is given a crown, which is similar to the description of Daniel's third Beast (representing Germany) that is "given authority to rule," he rides out as a conqueror. Revelation 17:10 explains these conquests by predicting that his career will have only short-term success: "he must remain for a little while."
The bow in Hitler's hands is an object whose symbolic meaning is apparently unexplained in Revelation or Daniel. Some commentators also note the fact that the rider appears to be without arrows. To explain this symbolism we have to understand what often proves to be the basis of much of Revelation's symbolism, which is Greek/Roman mythology. As a whole, ancient mythology is too often ignored by Bible scholars, and especially by secular academics who lack an understanding of the spiritual side of history. The truth is that pagan mythology that is centered upon worship of the gods that exist within a hierarchical pantheon is only a subtly twisted version of reality. It is simply a pagan version of the Hebrew conception of the Divine Council of fallen angelic beings that are periodically gathered before God to account for their actions as rulers of the heathen nations. Again, to properly understand this concept of the pagan fallen angels meeting before God in a heavenly divine council I suggest the work of Michael S. Heiser, Paul Sumner (a .pdf article), or for beginners, the excellent article by Bryan T. Huie.
Greek mythology crosses over into the book of Revelation a number of times, beginning with the appearance of Hades, the god of the underworld, in 6:8, and then later in 20:14 when he is thrown into the lake of fire to die as predicted in Psalm 82. Hades is shown within the fourth Seal, but it can be shown that Greek mythology is present within all four of the first four Seals, and is the key to understanding the Four Horsemen and the "birth pangs" of the tribulation that they represent.
The research of Tricia Tillin, of Banner Ministries of the UK, explains this key in great detail. In her series The Beginning of Sorrows: The Seals of Revelation, she explains how Kronos/Saturn is pictured alongside Hades/Pluton in the fourth Seal. In the third Seal she explains how Hermes/Mercury is alluded to with the imagery of the scales. In the second Seal she explains how the pagan god of war, Mars/Ares is shown riding the red horse.
The first Seal is a clear and obvious representation of the Greek and Roman god Apollo. Tillin provides many descriptions from antiquity that show Apollo as the hunter armed with a bow, and she also shows a statue of Apollo riding a horse with a drawn bow, without any arrows. Apollo was the son of Zeus/Jupiter, who by Greek times, when a statue of Jupiter was blasphemously erected in Jerusalem's temple by Antiochus IV, had become a representation of Satan as the head of the pantheon. Apollo can thus be viewed as the son of Satan.
The Greek god Apollo was simply another name for the older Egyptian god Horus, the god of war, and this Apollo-Horus connection has always been understood. In his book Hitler: Black Magician, Gerald Suster focuses on Horus as the inspiration behind the rise of Hitler. One of the photographs he reproduces in his book is of a Nazi rally at the great open-air parade grounds at Nuremberg. Suster, himself a learned and experienced magician, explains the rally as a "ritual for invoking the God of War that any practicing magician would approve of."
The Apollo figure of the first Seal, shown riding upon the white horse with a crown on his head and a bow in his hand, is representative of the rise and conquests of Adolf Hitler, Satan's seventh king who was predicted in Revelation to precede the appearance of the Antichrist.
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