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This Freakish image.

It was like a leopard, a bear, and a lion.

As a heads up, I am not a scholar but I am someone who has an intense interest in understanding and helping others to understand. In sharing my insights with you the goal is not to bring you under my spell and start a new cult but you to get you thinking, looking outside the traditional religious box, and get you diving into your bibles and find out for yourself what is true. Therefore if you find something that you cannot agree upon then it is up to you to search the scriptures and find out for yourself. Paul ran into a bunch like this, they were called the Bereans, and they daily searched the scriptures to find out if what Paul said was true. The result, they came into alignment with Paul. You need to come into alignment with the Word, but it is always fun talking to like-minded believers.
That being said let's jump in.
In my previous post I covered Revelation 13:1 and I could have expounded further. You have to agree that chapter 13 is a highly symbolic chapter, filled with imagery that most find difficult to understand. I discussed how the sea represents people, and how the heads are considered by many to represent empires that in John's day fit into the categories of: was, are, and are to come. The last of those empires that could be tightly defined and had a huge impact on John's life was the Roman empire. The final empire rises out of the territory that was not only controlled by the Roman empire but several earlier empires as well.
When you compare the statue that Daniel described to Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter two and the dream Daniel had in chapter seven against what Ezekiel describes in Ezekiel 38 as the nations angrily surrounding Israel in the near future with the beast of Revelation chapter 13 you will see that most are nations we are familiar with, and they are Muslim majority.
With that let's start looking at this more closely.
And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.
(Revelation 13:2 ESV)
Many like to assign this freakish image to the beast that desecrates the temple and it is not. Freakish in description, yes. This fits the description that Daniel gave to Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2, and it matches the explanations given to Daniel in Daniel 7. Ezekiel 38 identifies many of the nations/empires that fulfill the crowns or ruling authorities.
In trying to help Daniel's explanation make sense, I include:
Revelation 13:1 And he took his place on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea.
The sea represents people, but not just any people, they are people associated with the nations that rise against Israel in Ezekiel 38.
Why would I say that? Because there is a context to what Daniel saw, what Ezekiel saw, and what John the revelator wrote, and it all has to do with the culmination of time either right before the rapture of the church or almost immediately after.
It is shown that the descendants of Abraham through Ishmael have a hatred of Jews and Israel, and this hatred is clearly portrayed in scripture. We are seeing the effects of their hatred lived out on our television screens almost daily. (In an effort to make this a reasonable length I am avoiding great details here. If you want great details then I suggest that you get and read the The Islamic Antichrist or The Mideast Beast, by Joel Richardson.)
I had a vision by night, and saw the four winds of heaven violently moving the great sea.” Daniel 7:2 BBE
We have a tendency to look at events like this as always in the future. I strongly suspect that the four winds have blown. What we can attest to is the level of violence within the Muslim nations.
One of the biggest turnovers, (that tends to be what a strong wind does,) occurred in 1979: Iran's Islamic Revolution.
After the overthrow of the Shah, the American ally became one of its biggest adversaries. I remember it. It birthed a television show called Nightline and everyday Ted Koppel reminded us during under the Presidency of Jimmy Carter the US embassy in Iran had been taken hostage. This went on for over a year. (Interestingly there was a correlation between Ronald Reagan who played a cowboy in the movies, his rhetoric as he ran for Presidency, and the release of the American hostages. What helped me to understand that correlation was a book I read called the Kite Runner. In it, the author who had been born Afghani, explained how, in the early days before the Taliban, so many would travel to go see the American cowboy movies that had been translated into Pashtun. They seem to understand that the cowboy shot first and asked questions later and they seemed to respect someone associated with this lifestyle.)
You are not convinced. But what was the change that happened from that point on in the nation of Iran? Although they have a President for the sake legitimacy, the nation was effectively run by Islamic leaders, Mullahs; Ayatollah Khomeini was the first dominant one that I remember. We call this leadership under a religious leader a caliphate. Everything changed and this Islamic revolution began to saturate into every nation that had an Islamic presence. Indonesia, that “beautiful” little island country can be a brutal place to live if you are not Muslim and abiding by strict Sharia laws. The Northern African nations: Chad, Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, etc. are majority Muslim nations. Yes, they have a different title Boko Haran but the rules and objectives are the same, kill anything that does not bow it's knee to Allah.
Be serious, what have we been seeing and hearing in the news for at least the last year?
The Arab spring.
And what has been the result?
  • Libya has been overthrown, Muammar AL-Gaddafi has been killed, and the Muslim Brotherhood has taken control of Libya, instituting sharia law, a control system governed by an Islamic Caliphate.
  • Egypt suffered a violent revolt which drove Hosni Mubarak out of power and got Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood elected. Christians are imprisoned, beaten, and killed there with frequency now.
  • Syria is currently undergoing a major upheaval. In trying to retain power, President Bashar AL-Assad is slaughtering thousands within the nation. It is clear that Syria is heavily influenced by Iran as their military commanders are deeply involved with operations in Syria. It is also known that Syria has prepped chemical weapons and may have used them on its own citizens. It is only a matter of time before Syria collapses and falls under the hand of the Muslim Brotherhood as well. Syria is also a nation that has no tolerance of Jews or Christianity. The secret police, and that appears to be about every third person there, will have you arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. I believe you will see a change in the streets of Syria as a wholesale slaughter of anyone not bowing the knee to Allah will be killed.
    • (Isaiah 8:4 NASB) for before the boy knows how to cry out 'My father' or 'My mother,' the wealth of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria will be carried away before the king of Assyria."
      It is not vitally important to focus on the names or ages but on the speed with which it falls. By the way.
    • (Isaiah 17:1 DRB) The burden of Damascus. Behold Damascus shall cease to be a city, and shall be as a ruinous heap of stones.
      Considering the direction of the battle and the context of the region this should not be a surprise to anyone. If I had anything else notable to say about this, it would be to get your families out of Damascus if you can.
Revelation 13:2 KJV And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

John sees one beast with three deadly attributes: a Leopard, a Bear, and the mouth of a Lion.

We will compare notes with what Daniel saw to gain a better understanding of what John is looking at.
Daniel 7:3 KJV And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
Daniel 7:4-7 KJV The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it. (5) And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. (6) After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. (7) After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
Daniel chapter 7 helps to understand who we are dealing with.
  • The lion was Nebuchadnezzar. (Daniel 7:4) Nebuchadnezzar had his sanity taken away to humble him before God. God returned his mind to him and he stopped crawling on all fours like a cow.
  • The bear was Medo-Persian empire. The Persian empire was much stronger than the Medes hence we see them as lopsided.
  • The Leopard began as the Alexandrian empire. Alexander did not live through his thirties and two remaining dominant empires coming out of his were the Seleucid and Ptolemaic empires, sort of the North and South.
  • Although prominent the Roman Empire is not under consideration here. They only briefly attempted an expansion into Iraq under Trajan, but within months Trajan was dead and Roman influence was retracted to its original boundaries. They never held the same territories that any of the others held.
There is no clear definition of who the fourth beast is, but there is a strong clue and we will get to that later.
Daniel 7:23 KJV Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
Did any of these previous kingdoms conquer the entire world? No. If you are honest then you have to admit that there were civilizations going on in every continent. I believe that history is always favorable to you when you record your own words, and I think that they spoke of the world they knew as the only one of any concern. These empires: the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Alexandrian, Roman, and Islamic, conquered all that was not only important to them but fell within the context of God's plan.
If Daniel 7:23 described the fourth beast as different then you need to ask how? Consider that Islam is the only one that is religiously driven.
Daniel not only told Nebuchadnezzar what his dream was but defined what it meant.
Daniel 2:31-35 NASB "You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. (32) "The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, (33) its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. (34) "You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. (35) "Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
As you can see Daniel described a solitary unit much like John. Aspects of this solitary image are what concern us.
  • The head of gold represents Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian empire.
    In Daniel 7:4 we see a winged Lion. “..and it was lifted from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it.” This is a very clear description of Nebuchadnezzar, for God had taken his sanity and he crawled on all fours as cattle might. In time he was given back his sanity, made to stand on two feet, and his kingdom was restored. Although Babylon took Israel into captivity it almost seems that God deemed that a time of learning and protection. The focus is now directed at those that are to come.
  • Daniel 2:39 NASB "After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you,
    This inferior second kingdom came in the form of the Medo-Persian empire. When you look at Daniel 7:5 it is represented as a lopsided bear because the Persian portion of the empire was much stronger than the Median portion.
  • “…..then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.”
    The third kingdom was the Greek empire under Alexander's short reign. Daniel saw this third beast and described it in Daniel 7:6. The leopard had “four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it” Alexander's reign was short-lived. At Alexander's death his empire was divided primarily among his four strongest generals. Those four fought for fifty years and the two remaining empires were the Ptolemaic and the Seleucid empires. The Seleucid empire being the largest and strongest.
    The four empires immediately after Alexander were:
    • the Ptolemaic dynasty ruling over Egypt
    • the Seleucid dynasty covering the region from modern-day Turkey to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
    • The Lysimachian dynasty ruling over the region of Bulgaria.
    • The Cassandrian dynasty which was over the regions of Macedonia or Modern-day Greece.
      These four comprised the wings and the heads upon the Leopard of Daniel 7:6
  • Daniel 2:40 NASB "Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces.
    While so many attribute this fourth beast to the Roman empire, it just does not fit the characterization of crushing and destroying. Rather the Roman empire built infrastructure, and established order and law in the lands it conquered. In comparison the empire of Islam has been a destructive force to those it conquered. Even today the Christian community that may have once flourished in majority Islamic nations has been brutalized for having conflicting beliefs.
    Another reason that this is not the Roman empire has to do with the prophecy of Daniel 9:26.
    Daniel 9:26 KJV And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
    Far to many have used this and said, it is the Romans that fill this role because they ordered the destruction of the temple. Statements like this prove your lack of desire to find and see the truth. The problem is that even history disproves that theory.
Josephus the Jewish historian, and Tacitus the Roman Senator and historian, both recorded that the legions in Jerusalem were conscript troops from the local populace, either outnumbering Italians 11 to 1, or they comprised the entire military contingent of 60,000. Both historians record that these conscripts had an overt hatred for the Jews, and Josephus particularly records, that of their own accord they assaulted the city and the temple. Josephus tells us that Tacitus was alerted and ran to stop their assault for he saw that the temple was salvageable. He was ignored. Yes, they marched under the colors of Rome and wore the Roman uniform but their anger caused them to ignore the orders of Tacitus. These conscript troops are clearly defined by history as being primarily Assyrian/Middle Eastern.
If the people who destroyed the temple were Assyrians then their prince will be Assyrian too. Essentially what we should be looking for here is a Muslim.
(Daniel 7:3 DRB) And four great beasts, different one from another, came up out of the sea.
One of the things I stated in a earlier post is that you have to keep your beasts straight. No, this is not mandatory but we fling these terms around without clarity. Here in one passage are four beasts and they refer to multiple things if you think about it.
  • Empires
  • Rulers
  • And the demonic spirit that drives them.
I am making some of these statements not because I have a clear line of background evidence but because logical thinking should prove that there is something more going on here. Satan, we understand from scripture was a very powerful but fallen angel. He took one-third of the heavenly angels with him. We also know the names of several other angels, some good and some bad. A couple of bad ones are: The prince of Persia, and the prince of Grecia.
Folks there has to be more. You cannot confirm or deny that these beasts may in actuality be princes by the same names, such as Alexander, Seleucus, or Cassander.
How do we have any clue about who or what these are?
Daniel felt the same way and so he asked. Here is the response.
As for me, Daniel, my spirit was grieved and anxious within me, and the visions of my head alarmed and agitated me. I came near to one of those who stood there and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things.
(Daniel 7:15-16 AMP)
The angel's explanation of the four beasts begins with:
These four beasts are four kingdoms that shall rise up on the earth: which shall be taken away; and the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess it for ever and ever. (Daniel 7:17-18 Brenton)
Recap:
The beast of Revelation 13:2 is a history in allegory form describing waring empires and a future, vicious empire. It has been part of God's plan to regain his family back all along. God is pouring out his spirit upon these middle Eastern nations as we speak. Therefore I implore you to pray.
Ask Jesus Christ to come into your life and he will give you a new life, his. You will be welcomed into the kingdom of God with open arms. And you know love like you have never known.
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