Who and What are the Beasts in the Bible? (Part 2 of 2) - By Michael Hile - https://www.raptureready.com/2020/05/19/who-and-what-are-the-beasts-in-the-bible-part-2-of-2-by-michael-hile/
Modern-Day Beast Nations
An example of a modern-day "beast" nation using its power to expand territorial control was exhibited when Russia, in early 2014, under the direction of President Putin, used its military might to capture the Crimean Peninsula, which is located south of Ukraine on the Black Sea. Russia's "beast" leader, President Vladimir V. Putin, has also been active in the Syrian civil war and has built and/or upgraded two of their naval and air bases in Syria (Tartus and Khmeimim). Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in late 2017 stated, concerning Syria, "We have started to form a permanent presence there."
Iran, Turkey and Russia are all actively competing for Syria's oil fields and to establish hegemony in Syria, which just happens to be next door (adjacent) to the Golan Heights. The United States, under the direction of President Donald J. Trump, became the first country to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel by issuing a Presidential Proclamation on March 25, 2019.
The Golan Heights was captured by Israel from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967, and has been considered part of Israel since 1981. In December of 2014, Afek Oil and Gas began round-the-clock drilling in the Golan Heights and found large reserves of oil at three drilling sites in the southern part of the region.
"We are talking about a layer which is 350 meters thick," Dr. Yuval Bartov, the chief geologist of Afek Oil and Gas told Channel 2 News. "On average in the world, strata are 20-30 meters thick, so this is 10 times as large as that, so we are talking about significant quantities." 'Afek, a subsidiary of American company, Genie Energy, estimates that oil production at the site could potentially reach billions of barrels. Currently Israel consumes 270,000 barrels of oil a day.'"
Russian President Putin's close association with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, Iran's Spiritual Leader Khamenei, and Iran's President Rouhani portend troublesome times ahead in the Middle East, especially concerning Israel, which all three nations strongly disdain. In recent years, the Russian "bear" has been meeting frequently with Turkey (Grey Wolf) and Iran (formerly Persia-Ram), which most assuredly will generate nefarious plans concerning the land of Israel. The frequent meetings of this trio of nations in recent years is a harbinger of the Gog/Magog battle (Ezek. 38:1-23 - 39:1-29), where God intervenes on Israel's behalf and decimates most of Russia, Iran and Turkey's armies on the mountains of Israel.
The Rise and Fall of a Future Beast Nation
President Vladimir Putin's current prime minister and former president, Dmitry Medvedev, along with the Russian Parliament leaders, recently resigned (January 22, 2020) in order to allow Putin to revise and consolidate his constitutional powers. Restructuring the Russian government will help Putin maintain control and stay in power after his term of office expires in 2024. Russia's aggressive posture is like the bear described in Daniel 7:5 that is told to "Arise, devour much flesh." Having the demeanor (outward behavior, conduct) of a bear which "devours much flesh" implies invading and conquering other "beast" nations, overthrowing their leaders and subjugating their citizens.
Russia's offensive and hostile action in taking over the Crimean Peninsula, projecting its naval and air force military might into Syria and developing long-term strategic partnerships with many nations in northern Africa and the Middle East, most assuredly, qualifies Russia as a "beast kingdom/nation," like those described by Daniel (7:1-7, 8:1-27). Russia's provocative behavior throughout the Middle East is what would be expected from a "beast nation" that behaved like a hungry bear on the prowl, similar to the one described by Daniel (7:5).
Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 lay out in great detail, a future prophecy about a nation "Gog, of the land of Magog" (38:1-3) which is north of Israel (38:15, 39:2) that God puts "hooks in its jaws" (38:4) and brings down into the land of Israel (38:16-17) to show God's power and might to the nations and the "house of Israel" (38:23, 39:25-29). For God to "put hooks into the jaws" of a nation and drag it down into the Middle East to the mountains of Israel, implies that it must represent a large beast that exhibits "beast-like" behavior. Many Bible scholars believe Russia "the bear" is the best candidate for the "beast" God is talking about in Ezekiel's prophecy (38:2).
Although we do not know when the Gog/Magog war will occur or who "Gog" will be, the leader from "the land of Magog" who currently represents "Gog" is Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The rapid development of the Russian, Iranian and Turkish alliance in recent years, coupled with the more recent unveiling of "The Deal of the Century" peace initiative by the Trump administration, should be a "wake up" call to those "watching" for Christ's return in the air for his saints (Heb. 10:25; Luke 21:28). The prophetic "code words" given by the Apostle Paul, that were to be recognized by a future generation (Matt. 24:32-34; Mark 13:28-30; Luke 21:28-36), when the "day of the Lord" (God's judgment) was near, are the words "peace and security" (also peace and safety).
Frequent use of the words "peace" and "security" in recent speeches, concerning the on-going Israel/Palestinian peace process, is unmistakable evidence of Bible prophecy that is currently in the process (happening now) of being fulfilled (1 Thess. 4:13-5:11). The code words "peace and security" (5:3) are closely linked with "the times and seasons" (5:1) of the resurrection (4:14-16), rapture (4:17) and beginning of "the day of the Lord" (5:2). The Apostle Paul did not want his brothers in Christ (and future disciples) to be "ignorant" (4:13) of the order in which the "resurrection," "catching up" of the saints and "day of the Lord" would occur.
Believers would not be "comforted" (4:18, 5:11) or excited to see "the day of the Lord" approaching (Heb. 10:25), unless they were confident "the day of redemption" (Eph. 4:30; Luke 21:28) would occur before "the day of the Lord," and they would not be left here on the earth when "the day of the Lord" was taking place. That is exactly the apocalyptic portrayal put forth by Paul (1 Thess. 4:13-5:11) with the "resurrection" and "catching up" of the saints preceding "the day of the Lord," and both events surprising those left behind as "a thief in the night" (Matt. 24:43-44, 25:1-13; Luke 21:34-36; 1 Thess. 5:2-4; 2 Peter 3:10; Rev. 3:3, 10-11, 16:15). The prophecy of the rapture, resurrection and "day of the Lord," given by the Apostle Paul (5:3), is also the scenario we see unfolding in the world today, along with many other converging, prophetic harbingers.
Two Future Beasts that Control the World
The most famous "beast" combination in the Bible is the coming Antichrist and False Prophet (first and second beast), that will reign over the earth for a brief season (time, times, half a time-Rev. 12:14) at the end of the age. This final "beast" kingdom, which is described cryptically in Daniel and Revelation, will be the most ruthless dictatorship to ever exist on earth (Dan. 7:7-12, 15-27; Rev.13:1-18).
"Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, 'Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?'
"And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:1-8).
Revelation chapter 13 describes the kingdom the Antichrist and his partner, the False Prophet, will rule over during the last half of Daniel's 70th week, which will be three and one-half years (also 1,260 days; 42 months; time, times and a half time). In Daniel, this kingdom is called the "fourth beast" (7:7), but in Revelation (13:1-2), it is described as a leopard with the mouth of a lion and the feet of a bear. In Daniel chapter two, this same, final Gentile kingdom is represented by the ten toes of the great metallic image (statue) that was part of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Dan. 2:42).
The first beast (man of sin, wicked one, Antichrist) will "be revealed" after "the departure" of the saints 5 on the "day of redemption" when the Holy Spirit (He who now restrains) and the saints (who are sealed) will be removed from the earth (2 Thess. 2:3, 7-8; Eph.1:13-14, 4:30; Luke 21:28). After "the departure" of the saints, the Antichrist rises to power, confirms "the covenant with many for one week" and begins his sinister plan to take over and control the whole world (2 Thess. 2:4; Dan. 9:27). He is assisted by the second beast (False Prophet) who becomes the first beast's chief enforcer, miracle worker, worship leader and propaganda publicist. He requires all to "receive a mark on their right hand or on their forehead" in order to buy or sell and forces everyone to worship "the image of the beast" or be killed (Rev. 13:11-18).
"Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
"He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666" (Rev. 13:11-18).
The scriptures tell us that the last half of the seven-year tribulation, when Antichrist and the False Prophet are active, will be a time of "great tribulation," and it will also be a time "such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matt. 24:21-22). At the end of the seven-year period (Daniel's 70th Week), the Lord Jesus Christ will return from Heaven with all His saints to the earth and establish His millennial reign (1000 years-Rev. 19:11-21; Zech. 14:5). It will also be at this time that the Antichrist (first beast) and False Prophet (second beast) will be cast into the lake of fire.
"And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Rev. 19:19-20).
Satan: The Beast Master, His Master Plan and His Demise
We know that Satan, who is "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2), has the ability to take control of an animal's cognitive functions and behavior when he desires. He can also possess the minds and bodies of people and greatly influence their behavior in certain circumstances. A couple of examples in the New Testament are when Satan entered Judas before betraying Christ (Luke 22:3; John 13:27), and when Jesus cast out demons from two men, who were possessed, into a herd of swine (Matt. 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39).
According to the scriptures, the beast of choice Satan indwelt after Adam and Eve were created was the serpent, which tempted Eve to sin against God. "Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, 'Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'" (Gen. 3:1)? The serpent was considered to be the most subtle and deceitful (sly, crafty) of the creatures God had created.
Due to the serpent's cunning and manipulative nature, which the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees also exhibited (beastly nature), Jesus and His predecessor, John the Baptist, called the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees a "brood of vipers," and "serpents." After openly rebuking them in public about their "beastly" behavior, Jesus asked them: "How can you escape the condemnation of hell" (Matt. 3:5-8, 23:29, 33)?
Although Satan's demons take advantage of people given over to alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography and other sins of the flesh (Gal. 5:16-21; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 Jn. 2:15-17), they especially operate in the corporate, political and religious world to influence wealthy business owners, people in positions of authority and other unsuspecting victims. When Satan and his demons influence or possess these high-level leaders, they many times take on the characteristics of domineering and oppressive "beasts" (Rev. 17:1-18) rather than thoughtful, compassionate human beings. God not only views many high- level leaders in positions of authority as "beasts," He views Satan as the supreme "beast," who manipulates and controls all of the other beast-like personalities on earth (owners, bosses, presidents, prime ministers, kings, etc.).
Satan's ultimate goal is to establish his own kingdom on the earth (the beast master) in order to rule and reign in place of Jesus during the millennium (1000-years, Rev. 20:6). The description of Satan in the book of Revelation (12:1-17) is as a dragon who seeks to destroy Jesus after He is born, and then persecutes the Jewish people (the woman) who were responsible for bringing the "Savior" into the world.
When Jesus Christ returns back to earth, Satan will be cast into the bottomless pit for a thousand years (20:1-3). For the first time in history, people living on the earth will not be tempted or influenced by Satan and his demonic horde.
"Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while" (Rev. 20:1-3).
The king over the human "beasts" on earth, Satan, will be defeated by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords when He (Jesus Christ) returns with all of His holy angels and saints, and sets up His kingdom on earth. At that time, all of the "beast" nations on earth will be subordinated to Christ (Rev. 19:15-21), and they will be judged, according to their behavior, at the judgment of nations where Christ sits on "the throne of His glory" (Matt. 25:31-46; Dan. 7:9-12). The Antichrist (first beast) and False Prophet (second beast) will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone before the millennial reign of Christ begins (Rev. 19:20), and Satan (the dragon, that old serpent, the devil) will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone at the end of the millennial reign (Rev. 20:10).
"Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever" (Rev. 20:7-10).
Just as those who dwell in the heavens were told to "rejoice" after Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven (Rev. 12:10-12) at the middle of Daniel's 70th week (7-year period), the people living on earth during the millennial reign, and all those in heaven will also "rejoice" when Satan (accuser of the brethren) is permanently expelled from the earth and cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. The inhabitants of heaven and the earth will "rejoice" together when Satan (the beast master) is banished forever and will never again tempt, trick, torment, torture, vilify, slander or falsely accuse those on the earth and in heaven. After the millennial reign, the first heaven and first earth will be replaced, and "the holy city, New Jerusalem" will come down to earth.
"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away'" (Rev. 21:1-4).