Signs of the End of the Age
The Beast – Satan’s Kingdom
Studio Session 93
Have you noticed that in the last decade or so that all of the systems upon which human life depends have been moving toward global presences? For example: transportation is becoming global. It is hard to find a vehicle that was made in the United States or in Japan or in Europe. The components all come from various places in the world. Telecommunications has certainly been spectacular in its integration of global technology, and groups like Microsoft are as large outside of the United States as they are in the United States. All of the systems… banking, any of the largest banks in the world have bought banks in different parts of the world and the financial system is becoming global.
Culture is global. The movies produced in one country become as popular in another country. We’ve watched how various genres that began in one particular country… I’m thinking for example of the martial arts genre that began primarily as a phenomenon in Taiwan has become a theme globally as readily as the popular musicians and artists from Europe and the United States have become household names throughout the world. Italian opera singers are as popular in New York as they are in Rome or Milan, and various cultural icons: soccer stars from Great Britain are as popular in Latin America as Latin American soccer stars are popular in Europe. Entertainment and sports have become global. What is going on? It is not the question of whether it is good or bad, it is an observation of fact.
Things are becoming global. That is because long ago it was prophesied that a kingdom would arise on the earth that would oppress the whole earth. It would begin initially as the integration of various systems upon which human life depends, both for its existence and for its enrichment, and that those systems would eventually come together and form one global identity, from which no one can escape if one desires to live in a manner similar to how we have lived for generations. In a recent broadcast we noted that Daniel spoke to us about this in a dream. In Daniel’s dream there were four great beasts. The first was like a lion, the second like a bear, the third like a leopard and the fourth had ten horns, and the interpretation that was given to Daniel was that these beasts—including the fourth—were kingdoms that would arise from the earth.
These kingdoms then were typified by these very bizarre predatory beasts. We know that these do not represent a God-inspired view of human civilization. In fact, concurrent with the things God has been doing in human history, the enemy has had his maintained presence throughout human history, and so types of the enemy’s control of human society, in the form of kingdoms, have always coexisted alongside the things that God has done. I might add: not always peacefully, but they nevertheless have been there alongside what God is doing. So, for example, just as we have had the kingdom of David and the Old Testament kingdoms of the Jews—which more or less represented what God was doing in the earth—sometimes they did more so than at others, depending on the kings that ruled at the time. We also had kingdoms such as Babylon and Egypt and kingdoms such as those… Sodom, which always seemed to carry the germ of this opposition to God (and here we are speaking about a spiritual connection, a spiritual undertow like with Israel, there also was a spiritual undertow).
So whereas the things of God have been represented with peaceful and harmonious images, the things of the evil one have been represented in turbulent and predatory images. The lion, the bear and the leopard are predatory and they are rolled forward into one final kingdom, and so in Revelation 13, the beast of Daniel—specifically identified as a kingdom—now surfaces with much greater detail. Daniel said that the beast had ten horns. (Inserted – actual verse—“Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea. ‘The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it. ‘And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’
‘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. ‘After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns. ‘While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully.’” – Daniel 7:2-8)
Revelation, and John writing in the Revelation, says, “I saw a beast that came up out of the sea with ten horns and seven heads…” so he adds “seven heads.” (Inserted – actual verse—“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)
We saw that because of the absolute connection between the first three kingdoms and this fourth—by both Daniel and John—that you have the same kingdom. The person who says, “You see the beast of Revelation is different because it refers first to it as having seven heads and ten horns—the seven heads being a detail that Daniel doesn’t speak to, and then it is only one beast—whereas Daniel spoke of four. Those observations however collapse in light of the statement here in Revelation 13 that John makes when he says, “The beast I saw—this one with seven heads and ten horns—the beast I saw resembled a leopard; it had the feet like that of a bear; and the mouth like that of a lion.” So here are the three predecessors, but you will note that the order is reversed. Daniel sees first the lion, then the bear, then the leopard and then the ten-horned beast. John sees them as first the beast of seven heads and ten horns and then he sees its resemblance to the leopard, the bear and the lion. But the order of John is the reverse of the order of Daniel, and that is simple enough: Daniel is looking prospectively into history and from his moment in history none of these kingdoms has arisen. John is looking back into history and three of these kingdoms have already risen and fallen.
The one that is yet to come is the global one. Because you have the identical beast referenced in both Daniel 7 and Revelation 13, the explanation given to Daniel applies just as readily to the one in the Revelation as it does to the one in Daniel. So in Daniel we are specifically told that the beast is a kingdom, together with all the other three, that they are all kingdoms. Therefore that understanding is just as applicable because it is the identical beast that John speaks to in the Revelation. Now John gives us all of these fascinating details. So, for example, he tells us, “The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.” Well we know who the dragon was, because it specifically tells us in the preceding chapter—chapter 12 of the Revelation—it says that “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.” (Inserted – Revelation12:9)
That is who the dragon is: the devil, or Satan. So when it says, “The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.” then the question is: Whose kingdom is this kingdom that is of seven heads and ten horns? Well it is operated by the power and the authority of Satan, so it is Satan’s kingdom. You can’t argue with those interpretations because they are self-explanatory. The dragon—who is the devil, or Satan—gives the beast—which is a kingdom—his power, his throne and great authority. Substitute here: the dragon is Satan. So Satan gives this beast his kingdom, his throne and great authority. The beast to which he gives kingdom, throne and authority is a kingdom. Daniel says that.
So what do we have in plain language? In plain language: This global kingdom is utterly supported, sustained and exists for the purposes of Satan, the one who comes to the earth to wage war against the saints using this kingdom. And we are not left in doubt as to its intentions. The middle of verse 3 says, “The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.” What did Daniel say? That he oppressed and crushed the whole earth and devoured it. And this says that, “The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.” “Men worshipped the dragon…” Who is the dragon? Satan. “Men worshipped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast…” (Inserted – Revelation 13:4a) You see, they don’t worship the beast; they worship the dragon, who is Satan, who had given his power to the beast. “ ‘…and they also worshipped the beast and asked, ‘Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?’” (Inserted – Revelation 13:4b)
In what sense then do they worship the beast? They put their trust with what this global kingdom can deliver and they say, “Who can make war against him?” Have you noticed what has happened to the world since September 11? Have you been paying attention? After September 11 the proudest nation on the face of the earth, the one whose pride was in maintaining its national sovereignty—“We the people…”—it has become, under the rule of a conservative—one of the most conservative presidents in a long time, with a legal system that at one point was presided over by an attorney general who was known to be a conservative—under this arrangement this nation now leads the world in its search for global security. Are those not the facts? We are the ones pushing the world to come up with global security. Nations like Great Britain have experienced the scourge of terrorism and they were onboard early, but nations as reluctant as France, in their recent encounters with the terrors of a population on a rampage, they have joined the parade. Germany, which also opposed this direction, has experienced a regime change and its present president has decided that cooperating with the West—especially on the matter of global security—is a top priority. The Russians are cooperating with the United States and with the allies of NATO to form a global security umbrella. What has happened?
In the aftermath of September 11, all of the nations of the world, from Australia to the northern states of Norway and Sweden, are obsessed with the idea of being secure. The United States, Mexico, all these countries want to find ways to permit humans to travel back and forth but not at the expense of their national securities. A huge scandal is brewing in the United States at the moment over domestic spying—a thing that would have dethroned presidents in the past. But now it is being weighed to see if this is a good thing or a bad thing. The thing that is being offered is: We need security. This says, “Who can make war against the beast?” This whole movement is toward finding global security. The aftermath of September 11 has introduced to the earth a consciousness of the need for national securities that is formulating—not along the borders of nations, but in the whole globe
Now that means that you are not trying to create primarily border security; you are trying to suppress threats to the security of any nation before those threats may become a reality on the shores or within the borders of a particular country. I’m not passing on the question of whether or not this is good or bad, I’m not even asking the question of whether or not there is an alternative. I’m just saying, “Have you noticed how the beast has arisen?” And yet these things were prophesied thousands of years ago. Isn’t that astonishing? All of that from a dream prophesying the emergence of things today.
Now here is the sub-text underneath all of this: Don’t for a moment think that the security of nations as the aboveground text is now a godly thing—a god-inspired thing. No, this is how the net is being set up, because Satan’s kingdom is a systemic kingdom. It is rooted, not in geographies, but in systems. Underneath it all, the beast was given a mouth—Do you remember that “little horn?”—the beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. Forty-two months, in terms of years, is 3 1/2 years exactly, and in terms of symbolic reference in the Old Testament it is: time, times and half a time—3 1/2 years.
“He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.” (Inserted – Revelation 13:6) Why? Of course because the ones who now live in heaven—the angels—are the ones who didn’t go with them in their rebellion. “He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.” (Inserted – Revelation 13:7) Did you see that? In the Old Testament it was said to Daniel that, “He will make war against the saints.” (Inserted – “He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.” – Daniel 7:25)
We raised the question then: Who are the saints? The one advising Daniel as to the meaning of his vision was the one saying that the saints will be overcome for time, times and half a time. We have exactly the same reference here in the New Testament, and now the one writing this is John—the apostle John. Do you think John knows who the saints are? Of course John knows who the saints are. He is one of them, and at this point in his life he is probably the most known of the saints. It is the Christians, believers in Jesus Christ… whether they be Jew or Gentile. The intent of the evil one, through this kingdom that he has created, is to so demand loyalty to its protocols that—if you fail to swear loyalty—you are excluded; you are the enemy of the one state.
This will go on to say that you can’t buy or sell unless you receive the mark of the beast, and I am fascinated by the comparison between the mark of the beast and the seal of God that is given into the foreheads of those who trust God. (Inserted – actual verse—“He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.” – Revelation 13:16,17) (Inserted – actual verse—“ ‘Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.’” – Revelation 7:3) These references are fascinating. A “mark,” versus a “seal.”
What is a seal? A “seal” is typically the imprint of a signet ring, signifying that one is under the authority of the one who made the impression in the wax. So when you have the seal of God upon your forehead it means that you are under the authority of God. He protects you. A “mark,” by contrast is a brand. It is the way that you would indicate that you owned a slave—you had put your mark on the slave. He wasn’t under your authority as one protected by your authority; he is one you own. In order to survive this global net that the evil one is setting up, you have to come under his rule. If you like, you have to come under his ownership—he will own you as a slave. The alternative is to receive the seal of the Lord upon your forehead indicating that you are under his protection… under his rule, under his government. If he cannot protect you then you cannot be protected.
Now the first thing that Jesus said would happen in the days leading to the end of the age—the beginnings of sorrows—is that many false Christs will appear. This tells us that a little horn arises on the head of this beast—this global kingdom—and this horn becomes the spokesman for everything that the kingdom is about. Let me show you something else about this kingdom if I can. I would like for us to take a look at Revelation 17, at verse 12. This is about the responsibility of these ten kings. There were ten kings, ten horns—each horn representing a king. These ten kings arise and then another king comes up—typified by the little horn—he overthrows three of the horns that are there, and then he begins to assume the role of speaking for the beast.
Here is an interesting, and fascinating source: Revelation 17:12. It says, verse 12, “ ‘The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.’” (Inserted – Revelation 17:12-14) That is fascinating… that is stunning, because it tells us that these kings are not geographic kings—that is they do not rule over certain geography. They will wait to get their authority, and when they do they will hold their authority just long enough for the evil one to arise and to bring it all together.
You’ve got to see how this unfolds, because this is the scheme. The kingdom of Satan is this beast of seven heads and ten horns, because he gives the kingdom the power of its existence, its throne and its great authority. Now the question is: What power does he give it? What is the scheme that formulates this kingdom? Why does he make it this way? Why does he go after encircling the whole earth… gathering in everything upon which human life depends? This beast crushes and devours the whole earth. Why is that his strategy? Why does he want to do it that way? Why does he not simply continue to deceive the nations in some sort of subterfuge?
He seems to come up now and is unbridled in his use of power, and once he gains power he is not bashful in blaspheming God, blaspheming the angels in heaven and on the earth—in an uncompromising way—all-out war against the saints. And his method of engaging the saints is to exclude them unless they submit to his rule—to absolutely push them away. You see he is not going to come around insisting that you take the mark. You will have to opt in to the system, because there will be no other game in town. Nobody is going to deceive anyone about “taking the mark on the sly.” It will be open and public. This is a terrible time, and you need to understand these things that we have laid out. I hope that you will continue to study with me as we see the unfolding of the whole thing. I’m Sam Soleyn; God bless you. I’ll see you next time.