We look at how the prophecy of the war in Revelation 12 and 13 relates to the prophecies in Daniel. Daniel tells of the four beasts coming up from the sea. This parallels with the beasts in Revelation and the unholy trinity, designed to deceive humanity. We end with a hopeful look at the victory of God and His kingdom. We join Tim in verse 14 of Revelation 12.
Daniel’s time, times, and half a time vision
Verse 14. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time—So now we have three and a half years, 42 months, 1260 days, and times, time and a half of time. What in the world is this?
Well, there’s one other place where this phrase is used that I found. Guess where it is? Daniel. So let’s go to Daniel chapter 7.
In Daniel chapter 7, let’s start in verse 1. In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts. Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. Now here’s the sea.—and four great beasts came up from the sea, each different.
The first beast, a lion with eagle’s wings. Wings are plucked off. A human heart’s put in. Lion with eagle’s wings. This is going to be Babylon. And a human heart put in—that’s Nebuchadnezzar when he’s given a godly heart. That’s number one.
The second was like a bear and has ribs in his mouth, between its teeth. And it says, Arise, devour much flesh. This is Persia. Persia comes in and devours Babylon and becomes this great kingdom.
Third, there’s another, a leopard, that had on its back four wings. So if a leopard’s not fast enough on its own, this one has wings. And had four heads, and dominion was given to it. This is Greece. This is Alexander. He conquered all of Persia in no time flat. Unprecedented.
And then I saw a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different and had ten horns. This is Rome. Remember, the ten horns. Rome has ten horns. Remember that. We’re going to see all this again in just a second.
I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them…and the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in the horn, were the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. I watched till thrones were put in place. Remember the word throne shows up 41 times in Revelation because one of the main messages is God is on his throne. He never leaves. It may look like it, but he doesn’t. All this stuff on earth, it’s all authorized.
And the Ancient of Days was seated. Why do kings sit down? Because they’re the ones in authority.
His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. Always remember that. White hair is a sign of authority.
His throne was a fiery flame. What was his throne? A fiery flame. What is Jesus’ throne? A fiery flame. Keep that in mind.
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. Where are we? In heaven. What’s happening? A fiery flame. Where’s it coming from? God’s throne. Who is? A consuming fire. It’s a little different picture—Are you getting a little different picture of heaven here?
A thousand thousands ministered to Him;
Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
The court was seated,
And the books were opened.
I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.
Where are we? In heaven before the throne. What’s being burned? The beast. Keep this picture in mind. We’re going to see it again.
As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom. Seventh trumpet.
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion—“And he shall reign forever and ever.”
Which shall not pass away, “forever and ever.”
And his kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.
You go back to the statue in chapter 2 of Daniel. You’ve got Babylon on the top, and then Persia, and then Greece, and then Rome, two legs, partly iron, partly clay, keeps breaking apart and then is so tough like iron that it kills everything. And then a big rock made without human hands comes down and bashes the statue and fills the whole earth. And that’s the kingdom of God.
Well, that’s what we’re talking about. It’s happening right now.
There’s a lot of pain that has to happen in the meantime.
I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. Do you blame him?
And he goes and he asks this angel. And he says, “Well, what’s going on? What’s all that happened? What is all this?”
Skip down to verse 23. And he goes through and he tells these beasts are different kingdoms and stuff.
And then he says, The fourth beast shall be
A fourth kingdom on earth,
Which shall be different from all other kingdoms,
And shall devour the whole earth—This is Rome.
Trample it and break it into pieces
You see, in the Roman Empire and in the last 2000 years, this Roman period, there’s wars like never occurred before.
I just heard something recently, 60 million people died in wars in the twentieth century; and I suppose that doesn’t even count all the people that died from communist internal purgings and stuff like that. It’s just brutal.
Verse 24. Then ten horns are ten kings—We’re going to see this again in just a second.
Who shall arise from this kingdom. This Roman kingdom.
And another shall rise after them;
He shall be different from the first ones,
And shall subdue three kings.
He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to change times and law. So this new king’s going to come in and make all the laws himself. He’s going to be a despot.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand—We’re going to see a lot of martyrs out of the martyreos. And how long?
For a time and times and half a time.
This seems to be exactly the same thing that’s going on in Revelation, and I don’t know why he says “time, times, and half a time.” But the best I can do is—it’s so you can connect the dots and say, “This is what’s happening. It’s the same thing.” That’s my best shot.
Back to Revelation
Let’s go back to Revelation 12. That was a long interlude to make a point about time, times, and half of time; however, the time, times, and half a time vision is a precursor of what we’re about to see.
Verse 15. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Something’s going to happen where Satan tries to destroy all the believers, and God’s going to miraculously save them—is the best I can do with that. He doesn’t tell us exactly how it’s going to happen; he just tells us it’s going to happen.
Remember he sealed the people, and a lot of this stuff couldn’t hurt them.
It’s no real difference than the plagues of Egypt. All these images are very reminiscent of the plagues of Egypt and God’s miraculous delivery from Egypt.
The beast with seven heads and ten horns
Chapter 13. All this is going to sound real familiar. Then I stood on the sand of the sea. Again, this interlude and John seeing all this stuff. I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea—sound familiar?—having seven heads and ten horns—Seen that before? And on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw—and this time it’s one beast. That’s different than Daniel 7. We saw four different beasts, four different kingdoms. Now we have one beast, and look what he is: 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—
Here we have a beast with ten heads, that’s Rome. And he’s like a leopard, Greece. Like a bear, Persia. Like the lion, Babylon. Now what we have is this new kingdom that’s incorporated, that’s got all the characteristics of everything that’s gone before.
And here’s what I think we can anticipate: It’s going to be brutal and have a war machine and be heartless like Rome. It’s going to be rapid and able to do blitzkrieg across the whole earth like Greece. It’s going to have a vast administration and order and this kind of lumbering bureaucracy like Persia. And it’s going to have absolute authority where—live and die based on what Nebuchadnezzar says, like Babylon, all in one package. Which might be why the Bible never refers to this leader as anything other than “the creature.” It’s going to be a bad deal.
Now we can see part of why “Woe to the earth.” And where does the power for this kingdom come from? The dragon.
The unholy trinity
Now we have the inauguration of an unholy trinity. The dragon is like the father, this beast is going to be like the son.
Look at this, verse 3. 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. He’s resurrected somehow.
So, you’ve got this earthly king who’s been resurrected, given all authority. All authority’s been given unto me he would say. Jesus said that, didn’t he? And then he said, “I’m leaving, and I’m giving it to you. Be great witnesses. Don’t fear death.”
And this beast is going to say, “My kingdom is of this world. If you don’t do what I say, off with your head!” A little different approach.
Where’s the Holy Spirit? We’ll get there momentarily.
So they worshipped 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?”
Everybody loves a winner.
You know I looked up who’s the best selling NFL jersey. Any guesses?
Peyton Manning is number two. Tom Brady! He has won the most Super Bowls, right? “All I do is win, win, win, no matter what!” I just want to be a winner! Everybody wants to be a winner. So they join up.
Verse 5. And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.
So the dragon gave him his authority, but the heavenly authority provides a limit: 42 months. One thousand two hundred and sixty days. Three and a half years. Times, time, and half a time. 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. Nikao.
There is an earthly victory that happens; and every time death happens, Satan has a little victory because death is the final enemy. And we’ll see death thrown into the lake of fire as we get to the back of this book.
That’s not the way God designed it, but it’s the way it is today. It won’t stay that way. And we can overcome him if we don’t fear death. Isn’t that cool?
So all authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. This is the beast. 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. And then this admonition: If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
I am not really sure what to do with this passage. It’s a little confusing to me. But I think one thing that’s clear is that whatever circumstances come into our lives, we’re expected to be faithful unto death and not fear death, whatever they are.
That’s the message we’re supposed to take out of this.
I think there’s a lot more to this, but I’m just not quite confident of what it is.
In verse 11, Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth—The first beast came up out of the sea, and this beast came up out of the earth.
What is this beast? —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.
So this other beast is actually called, in Revelation, the false prophet. Look at 19:20. 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—
So this is the false prophet. Now we have the unholy trinity complete: the dragon who gives authority to the beast, the beast who appears to have some sort of resurrection, who’s the king of the earthly world, and the false prophet, the unholy spirit who provides the power for miracles to support the beast.
And Jesus said, “If you don’t believe me because of what I said, believe me because of my miracles,” right? And that would have been good enough. But, here you have all those things taking place for this unholy trinity.
We’ve got 12 and 13 in the can now. So now let me talk about—who is this beast? What does it mean? What is 666?
Beast is the Greek word that means beast. It just means wild animal.
Remember when Paul has the serpent in his hand, and he shakes it off into the fire, and he doesn’t die, and the people say, “Oh, he must be a God!” Remember that? Beast. And it’s translated serpent because of the context clearly. But it just means wild animal.
When Peter has the wild animals come down in the sheet, wild animal, beast. It just means wild animal.
So you’ve got this wild animal. And the question is, who is this wild animal?
I think the main point of the 666 is actually that it’s a man. It’s a wild animal, but it’s a man. Without that you’d kind of wonder because we have these living creatures in heaven that aren’t necessarily men. And you’ve got these demon locusts coming out of the bottomless pit and so forth.
But let’s just talk about, who is this beast? First of all, he’s a man. But also, he’s a dragon. So if you’re going to have an unholy trinity, don’t you have to have a dragon-man to offset the God-man? That makes sense, doesn’t it?
Look at 11:7. When they finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them—
Apparently the beast is a man that is also a demon. Exactly how that works, I don’t know, but it certainly seems to be the case. We just saw the beast derives his power from Satan. And when we combine with this image of Daniel 7, he’s rolling up all the kingdoms in this age of the Gentiles in this one horrific package.
Revelation 14:9-11. Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God—
This beast—and we saw this in 13—there will be a requirement: You cannot buy or sell, you cannot even participate in the world’s system whatsoever unless you take this mark. What the mark says we won’t know, but probably some kind of loyalty mark. That’s normally the way it is. In fact, from what we just read, the false prophet causes people to bow down to a statue and the statue even comes to life and speaks. What does that sound like?
Remember Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego and Daniel? They had the statue and they wouldn’t bow down, so they got thrown into the fiery furnace. Well, all this has been presage. You know, we’ve seen images of what this is going to look like, even the abomination of desolation.
Revelation 15:2 says of the beast, And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass—
So the beast who gives the mark will be overcome by the testimony of the saints who will not take the mark. “Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.” This is how you beat him. You don’t fear death, but you witness first. Then you win.
Let’s just think about that for one sec. If winning is something we really care about, and we do, really care about. And you know, if I’ll just put my witness first, no matter what else happens, I win. Is that not the best news ever?
That’s the message of Revelation. We cannot lose. We will one hundred percent for certain win if we will put our witness and testimony first and not fear death, any kind of death. What a cool message!
I mean death is no fun to go through, which is why he’s telling us all this stuff.
Revelation 16:2. I’m giving you all the instances of beast. So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.
The first bowl we’re going to see is limited to those who have the mark.
And then 16:10, the fifth bowl is actually poured out on the throne of the beast. That’s interesting, right? Because the throne came from the dragon. So now there’s actually judgment going straight to the dragon’s throne. And they’re gnawing their tongues because of the pain.
Then Revelation 16:13, demons proceed from the mouth of the beast to deceive people together at Armageddon. Isn’t that interesting? There has to be a deception happen so the people all gather together at Armageddon.
Revelation 17:1-17 has an explanation of the beast, and the explanation has seven heads. And the seven heads are the seven hills (seven hills of Rome), as well as the seven kings. And we’ll go through this more when we get to it. But it says five kings have come, one is and one is to come.
I think all that’s telling us is we’ve had some Roman dictators. We’ve got a Roman dictator now, and this guy is going to be like a Roman dictator. In addition to being like Alexander the Great and Nebuchadnezzar before he had his heart transferred, and Darius before Daniel intervened, that’s what this guy’s going to be like. That’s a hideous thought.
If you get depressed about things like presidential elections, it could be worse. It will be worse.
Revelation 20:4 those who do not receive the mark of the beast participate in the first resurrection and reign with Christ for a thousand years. They sit on the throne. Those who do not receive the mark of the beast participate in the first resurrection, which we’ll talk about when we get there. It’s a special resurrection reward. And reign with Christ a thousand years, and they will sit on the thrones.
This is one of the main rewards that Jesus holds out for his overcomers. To the overcomer, I will give to sit with me on my throne, to reign with me for a thousand years. This is the parable of the talents. You be faithful with the little, I’ll give you many cities to rule over.
And then finally, Revelation 20:10. The devil’s cast into the lake of fire where the beast and the false prophet already are. Interestingly enough, the beast and the false prophet actually beat Satan into the lake of fire. And we saw that the beast and the false prophet’s lake-of-fire experience started, where? Daniel 7. In heaven, in the throne room, from the fire coming from the throne. Very interesting, don’t you think?
So, the beast is coming. He will be an unholy dragon man. He’ll have a false prophet that will help him that will be an unholy spirit. And they will report to the dragon that gives them a throne. And the dragon has this limited authority and has been cast to earth.
There’s this overview of human history so you can see that when the seal’s unfurled and the trumpets blow and the kingdom’s pronounced, this is what’s going on. And the big thing that’s happening is there’s a change of administration taking place. And the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ. Cool, huh?