As we will see, a beast is a Babylonian empire system. Revelation 13 will introduce us to several beasts which also show up in the book of Daniel. Since it is essential that we know who and what these beasts are, let us take a look at them first in Daniel, and then in the next chapter we will see how they play out in Revelation.
In Daniel 2, Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of a statue that was set up on the earth. The head was made of fine gold, the chest and arms were of silver, the belly and thighs were of bronze, and the two legs were of iron. The two feet were made of iron mixed with clay. A stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and struck the image on the feet. The statue crumbled under its weight, shattering into pieces like chaff, which the wind (Spirit) swept away. Then the stone grew to become a great mountain that filled the whole earth. This is a generational prophecy that speaks of our ancient archenemy, Babylon, and how Yahweh will use Yeshua’s body (Israel) to destroy her.
31 “You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome.
32 This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,
33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
34 You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.
35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.”
Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar that his dream represents a series of five empires, with his empire being the golden head. The other four empires would all be patterned after his. The next empire would be Medea-Persia, symbolized by the chest and arms of silver. After that, Alexander the Great’s Macedonian (Greek) empire would rise, symbolized by the belly and thighs of bronze. Next would come the Roman Empire, symbolized by the two legs of iron. These would all be powerful military empires. Yet there would be a fifth and final empire, symbolized by two feet of iron mixed with clay. It would be a spiritual empire made of both Christianity (iron) and Islam (clay).
37 “You, O king, are a king of kings. For the Elohim of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory;
38 and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all — you are this head of gold.
39 But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours [Medea-Persia]; then another, a third kingdom of bronze [Greece], which shall rule over all the earth [land].
40 And the fourth kingdom [Rome] shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.
41 Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron [Rome] mixed with ceramic clay [Islam].
42 And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.
43 As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron [Rome] does not mix with clay [Islam].
44 And in the days of these kings the Elohim of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
45 Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold — the great Elohim has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”
Before we elaborate on this, let us clarify verse 39. Most mainstream translations tell us that Alexander’s empire would rule over “all the earth.” However, the word earth is the Aramaic ara-a (אַרְעָא) which corresponds to the Hebrew word aretz (ארץ). While the word aretz can refer to the whole globe, usually it refers either to the land of Israel or the known world from an ancient Middle Eastern perspective. This last interpretation is correct because Alexander’s empire did not span the whole globe. Rather, his empire spanned the Middle East, which was basically the known world at that time.
Over centuries, most of Alexander’s former empire has become Islamic (i.e., pertaining to the green horse). To track how this has come about, let us look at the fourth beast, which is the Roman Empire.
The Roman Empire encircled the Mediterranean and extended into Europe and the Middle East. While the western part of the empire remains either Catholic or Protestant Christian, the eastern part of the empire has become predominantly Islamic.
Eventually the Roman Empire became so large that it was considered ungovernable. In 284 CE, Constantine’s brother Diocletian decided to split the administration of the empire in half, in an attempt to restore order. Thus two legs of the Roman Empire (east and west) were established, corresponding to the two legs of iron in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Daniel 2:33, 40-41, above). From Greece eastward was the eastern leg.
However, splitting the administration did not heal the root cause of division in the empire. By the early 300s the Roman Empire was split between Mithraism (official Roman sun worship) and torahless Christianity. The Roman emperors favored Mithraism because the sun god (Ra) was thought to personally attend to the Roman emperors, making them demigods in the eyes of the Roman citizens. Whenever a Roman citizen accepted Yeshua (or in this case, Jesus or Iesu), he stopped thinking of the emperor as a demigod, thus weakening the emperor’s power. For this reason the Roman emperors hated the Christian and Nazarene faiths, and persecuted them relentlessly. However, the more the Roman emperors persecuted the Christians, the more the Roman citizens accepted the Messiah, further dividing the empire and weakening imperial rule.
The Roman emperors could only unify their empire by unifying the religion. Perhaps this is why the Roman Emperor Constantine claimed he had a vision in which Christ appeared to him, telling him to write the first two letters of his name (XP) upon his troops’ shields. The next day Constantine claimed to have seen an image of a cross superimposed over the sun, at which time he was given the message, “In hoc signo vinces,” which means, “In this sign you will be victorious.”
The year after Constantine’s conversion, he and his then co-emperor Licinius co-issued the Edict of Milan, which technically ended the persecution of Christians within the empire. Constantine then went on to consolidate his hold on power militarily, and by 324 he reigned supreme. The next year (325) he convened the Council of Nicea (or Nice), in which Mithraism and Christianity were officially merged to form the Catholic (Universal) faith.
Some scholars suggest that Constantine’s conversion was a political put-on, specifically intended to garner the support of the Christian half of his empire. They cite the blending of Christian and sun worship motifs. Emperor Constantine claimed to have had his vision in the grove of the sun god Apollo (Lucifer) in ancient France. And he was supposedly told to conquer in the sign of the cross, an ancient symbol for the sun god Tammuz. There was sun worship symbolism everywhere, and yet it was all done in honor of Christ, appealing to both the sun worshippers and the torahless Christians.
In 325 CE, Emperor Constantine convened the infamous Council of Nicea, where Torah observance was banned, and Roman Catholic doctrine began to be formalized. Five years later (in 330 CE) he moved the capital of his empire to Byzantium, renaming it Constantinople.
To see the link between Christianity and Islam, let us look with spiritual eyes. In the fifth century, the Western leg of the Roman Empire had disintegrated and fallen, but the Eastern leg survived, renaming itself the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines prevailed for another 1,000 years, but in 1453, Muslim armies under Osman the Great conquered Constantinople and established it as the seat of what would later be called the Ottoman Islamic Empire.
Today almost all of the former Byzantine Empire has become Islamic. Thus, when we see the Christian and the Muslim worlds fighting each other, let us remember that what might seem like two rival religions locked in a mortal clash of civilizations is actually the two legs of the fourth beast trampling the world down, breaking it in pieces, and tearing it apart (Daniel 2:40, above).
This Babylonian “beast” empire system shows up again and again throughout Scripture. Sometimes a prophecy only mentions four beasts because there were only four main military empires (Babylon, Medea-Persia, Greece, and Rome). Other times prophecy mentions five beasts. This is also correct, in that the fourth beast (Rome) gave rise to a spiritual beast (Christianity and Islam), which continues to subjugate the world through spiritual conquest. Indeed, if we consider how much of the world pays homage to either Rome or Mecca, this fifth beast seems to be the most powerful yet.
Later we will see the prophetic origins of our emerging one world government, which is forcing Christian nations to give favor to Islam and its teachings. This is the manifestation of the toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s image, in which the toes are made up partly of iron (Christianity), and partly of clay (Islam). There will be a strong concerted effort to force Christianity and Islam together, but they will not adhere to each other, as prophesied in Daniel 2:43 (above).
These same five empires show up again in Daniel 7, but described as four beasts (in that Christianity and Islam are considered extensions of the fourth beast, Rome). Notice that the fourth beast has iron (Roman) teeth, and it tramples the residue of the third empire (Alexander’s Macedonian empire, which is now Islamic) with its feet.
2 Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea.
3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other.
4 The first [Babylonian Empire] was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
5 “And suddenly another beast [Medo-Persian Empire], a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’
6 “After this I looked, and there was another [Alexander the Great’s Empire], like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads [the four generals who succeeded Alexander], and dominion was given to it.
7 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast [the Roman Empire, including Christianity and Islam as spiritual extensions], dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron [Roman] teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it [in that it was a spiritual empire], and it had ten horns.
8 I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.
In verse 19, Daniel wishes to know the truth of the fourth beast. It is described as having teeth of iron (symbolic of Rome), and nails of bronze (symbolic of Alexander’s Macedonian empire, which is now mainly Islamic). In verse 23 he is told that it will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, different from all other kingdoms (in that it will be a spiritual empire). In Nazarene Israel we show that while the fourth beast includes Islam, the primary manifestation is the papacy. This is easily identified, for it was the papacy into whose hand the saints were historically given for a time, times, and half a time (1,260 years).
15 “I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
16 I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things:
17 ‘Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth [Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome].
18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.’
19 Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast [Rome], which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron [Rome] and its nails of bronze [Islam], which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet;
20 and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows.
21 I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them,
22 until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.
23 Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces.
24 The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom, and another shall rise after them. He shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings.
25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change the appointed times [Sabbath and festivals] and the Torah. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.’”
If Christianity and Islam are two manifestations of the same beast, then we might expect there to be many similarities between them—and there are. While the Christians confess Yeshua as the Messiah, in practice the Catholics believe the pope has the authority to supersede Messiah’s words. Pauline Christians also believe it is perfectly acceptable to use the words of Paul (as they call him) to supersede the words of Yeshua (seeing as they hold Paul to be the more recent messenger). Similarly, the Muslims accept Yeshua as a prophet, but they hold that His words have been superseded by the words of their more recent prophet, Muhammad.
Christianity and Islam both established the capitals of their faith in places other than Jerusalem. Both use spires and cupolas in their houses of worship, and both use the sun, moon, and stars in their symbolism. When I searched for images of Islam and Christianity, these are the first two images that came up. Note the corresponding cupolas, spires, and celestial images.
While it cannot be confirmed, there is testimony that the Catholic Church had a role to play in establishing Islam. Former Jesuit priest Alberto Rivera said he was told in a secret briefing that the Catholic Church created Islam as a means of destabilizing both Jews and non-Catholic Christians in areas outside of Roman control.
Rivera said he was told that Muhammad’s first wife, Khadija, was a devout Catholic. According to some reports, the Catholic Church instructed her to marry Muhammad so she would be able to influence him (and hence, Islam) to Rome’s advantage, and also pass information back to Rome.
According to these same sources, Khadija had a Catholic cousin named Waraquah, who helped Muhammad write down and interpret his visions. These interpretations later became the Quran (Koran). Thus, while Islam appears to be its own separate religion, it may be secretly connected to Rome at the highest levels.
Alberto Rivera died of food poisoning under mysterious circumstances. While we cannot prove his allegations to be true, they do seem to fit perfectly with what Daniel tells us about Catholicism and Islam.
To understand how Catholicism and Islam work together, we will look at the mark and the number of the beast.