We are told in Daniel chapter two that four kingdoms were to rule over Jerusalem and the Israelites. The first three kingdoms are identified for us in Scripture, Babylon, Media and Persia, and Greece. The first three are represented by a lion, bear, and a leopard. The fourth kingdom is represented as a terrifying and frightening and very powerful beast. This fourth kingdom is the Roman Empire, and is represented elsewhere in Scripture as the beast.
Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. (NIV)
So we see here that it is a red beast that has seven heads and ten horns. The heads and horns are symbolic for other things, as we shall see in this study.
Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4 His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. (NIV)
Here we see that the beast is called a dragon.
And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. 8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. (NIV)
We see that Satan is the power behind the beast. If we read Revelation chapters twelve and thirteen very carefully we can see that the beast in Revelation twelve is the beast before the coming of the Lord, and Revelation thirteen is the beast after the Lord's coming. Take special note that in Revelation 12:3 that the seven heads have crowns on them. This is signifying that from the start of the Roman Empire until the devil is cast out of heaven, that there would be seven evil men that would rule over the empire.
And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea.
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. 2 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. (NIV)
Now this is a symbolic representation of the fourth kingdom, after Satan is cast out of heaven, after the Lords return. Notice now that the ten horns now have the crowns. This is telling us that in the final days of the fourth kingdom, after all seven of the evil heads have ruled, the kingdom will be ruled by ten kings.
Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron--for iron breaks and smashes everything--and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
44 "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands--a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces.
"The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and the interpretation is trustworthy." (NIV)
This statue in Daniel two, represents Satan's four kingdoms that are to rule during the, "Times of the Gentiles". Notice that the once strong and unified iron kingdom degenerates into a divided kingdom, represented here as the ten toes of iron mixed with clay.
Notice also that it says that at the time of those kings, (ten toes), that the Lord will come and destroy those kingdoms. So we can know that the Lord returns at the time that the ten horns have the crowns.
"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.
8 "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. (NIV)
Take careful note of the little horn that comes up among the ten horns. This man is not one of the ten, but he exists at the time of the ten.
This little horn is a man we call the beast. He is not the kingdom beast, but rather he rises up among the kingdom beast and takes control.
"Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (NIV)
I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell--the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, (NIV)
The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 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. (NIV)
Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land. 10 It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary was brought low. 12 Because of rebellion, the host of the saints and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground. (NIV)
"In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. 24 He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. 25 He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. (NIV)
He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." (NIV)
Also read Daniel 11:21- 45 (to long to include in this study).
All of these passages speak of this "man" beast, the little horn. Many people call him the Antichrist and in away he is the Antichrist. I call the man in Daniel 9:27 the Antichrist, but he undergoes a transformation just before he enters the temple, and becomes the beast.
One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was astonished and followed the beast. 4 Men worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?"
5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. 6 He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 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. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast--all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. (NIV)
Notice that he is the same man as is found in the Daniel passages above. And notice also that he is called here the beast. So we see that the seven headed, ten horned, beast, represents the fourth kingdom, but out of the ten horns, or more correctly, at the time of the ten horns, a totally wicked man, who in almost every way looks like Adolph Hitler, rises to power, and uses the power of the kingdom beast and Satan, to crush the world.
Then the angel said to me: "Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come. (NIV)
The Beast here is referring to the small horn, or man beast. This is the man who stumbled and fell to the Abyss, then rises up from the Abyss to become the man called the beast. This happens at the time of the "abomination that causes desolation" sign. For the time called the Day of the Lord, this man reigns, that's for three and a half years.
"This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. 10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. 11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction. (NIV)
Here we see that the seven heads of the kingdom beast are men that rule. At the time that this vision was given five of the heads had ruled and then died. We are told that the Roman leader of John's day was the sixth head, and that later the seventh would rule, but only for a short while.
Notice that the man beast, in verse 11, is the eighth head of the seven headed beast. This is another conformation that the man beast does not descend from the fourth kingdom. As we saw earlier, he descends from the third kingdom, but stumbled and fell to the Abyss.
"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. 13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. 14 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." (NIV)
Again we see the ten horns, which are physically part of the fourth kingdom beast, give their power and authority to the man beast
Then the angel said to me, "The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. 16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. 17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled. 18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth." (NIV)
There is currently a man made order that impedes Satan's total control of mankind, and Satan hates that system. It says here that Satan, through the ten kings, and the man beast, will destroy this man made system. But, we see here also that it is really God's will that the system man relies on to protect himself from Satan be destroyed. Man, in relying on his own ability to protect himself, instead of trusting God, is in danger of the fires of hell. So God will destroy this system so that man will repent and seek God.
It can be a little confusing separating the man called the Beast from the Kingdom called the beast, but if you look at the passage carefully you can usually easily see. Whenever it is the man Beast that is being referred to you can be sure that the time is the last half of Daniel's seventieth year, that is, the Day of the Lord, the Day of Vengeance, the Time of Wrath, the Fiery Furnace.