THE SEVEN BEASTS OF BIBLE PROPHECY
In the days of the Assyrian captivity in 677, after Manasseh king of Judah was made a slave in Babylon, the capital of Assyria, an attempt at reform was made. Despite the efforts made to reform the evil that was brought about by the wicked kings of Israel, the current of evil was too strong upon the kingdom of Judah. The Assyrian kingdom was divided after the death of it’s king, Ashurbanipal, and Egypt struggled for the supremacy against the uprising power of Babylon. The empirical dominance of Babylon rose at this time, and Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon, was given a prominent role on the world stage. Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiakim, king of Judah, “and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the LORD to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon.” (2 Chronicles 36:6-8) One last king was to reign upon the throne, Zedekiah, the brother of Jehoiakim. Although the remnant of Judah could not be restored from their vassal state under the heathen nations, the God of Israel desired their good. He raised up prophets to instruct them in the way they should go. But Zedekiah scorned the warnings of Jeremiah the prophet, and hardened himself against his counsel to submit themselves under Nebuchadnezzar’s rule. Only in submission would they find safety, because they were in rebellion to the God of heaven, and He allowed them to be placed under the power of the heathen nations from 677 BC onward.
Instead, Zedekiah rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar by seeking an alliance with Egypt, that they would have strength of army, to overcome him. “Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon; And hath taken of the king’s seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land: That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand.”
In order to preserve them, and keep them humble, he allowed them to be carried away into Babylon.; now the worldwide empire.
The Most High God relented that this should be their case, and pleaded through prophets as to their course of action, to subdue the severity of the hand of the heathen over them. “And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, till there was no remedy.”
(2 Chronicles 36:15-16)
As a result of this, Zedekiah was brought to Babylon, with many other princes of Judah, including the prophet Daniel, who was made a eunuch. This was the result of Manasseh’s wickedness, according to Jeremiah: “And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem…” (Jeremiah 14:4) The prophet Daniel acknowledged the seven times judgment written in the law of Moses: “Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.” (Daniel 9:11)
From this time forward, there was not to be a king to sit upon the throne of David until “He cometh whose right it is”, according to the word of Ezekiel the prophet: “And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.”
THE CROWNLESS AND THE KINGS
So at the Babylonian captivity, Judah lost the throne entirely, and only when the Messiah is given it from the Father, where He reigns and executes judgment according to righteousness shall there be One to wear the reign and be crowned of Judah. From this time, there are seven major kingdoms that reign over God’s people before Christ returns. These heathen dominions are referred to as “beasts” in Bible prophecy (See Daniel 7:23). These beasts are especially brought to view in Daniel 7 with it’s four beasts, and Revelation 13, with it’s two beasts, and the final one in Revelation 17. These seven are detailed as one kingdom represented by Satan in Revelation 17; where it declares “There are seven kings, five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come…” (Rev. 17:10). These kings are as follows:
(1) Assyrian/Babylonian Empire
(4) Pagan Roman Empire
(5) Papal Europe/Roman Empire
(6) The United States of America
(7) The United Nations
After this time, the last of them, the United Nations, is the seventh which is “not yet come”; meaning at the time which the vision brings to view, they have no political power. The United Nations is spoken of as “ten kings”: “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” (Revelation 17:12-13) These kings have “one mind”, though they had not yet come in the vision. Therefore, they are united kings/united nations. Many refer to this as the “new world order”.
When coming into power, they will make war against Christ by uniting against His people, according to the word of Revelation 17:14. “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”
Thus, the Lord Jesus, having finished the great coronation of heaven, will return at this time, and “shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matt. 24:31) and execute the judgment of His government as King over all the earth. Then shall be fulfilled the promise: “That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers.” (Deuteronomy 30:3-5)
The objection might be raised, “But wasn’t Judah restored after the Babylonian captivity to their land?” And we answer: Never with a king to sit on the throne, and never with sovereign independence, which shall not be seen in any great measure until Christ returns. Said Nehemiah: “Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee, that hath come upon us…since the time of the kings of Assyria (677BC) unto this day. Howbeit thou art just in all that is brought upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly:…Behold, we are servants this day, and for the land that thou gavest unto our fathers…we are servants in it: And it yieldeth much increase unto the kings whom thou hast set over us because of our sins: also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their pleasure, and we are in great distress.” (Nehemiah 9:32-33, 36-37) Even Nehemiah recognized after returning from the Assyrian and Babylonian captivity, things were not the same.
At the beginning of the seven times of beastly dominion, the crown was taken away from God’s people, and they were driven out of their land into every nation because of wickedness. At the end of the seven times of beastly dominion, the power of the beast shall be destroyed. The image of the beast will be put down and the image of God restored in man; the crown restored to God’s people, and they shall be gathered because of Christ their righteousness, and “they shall reign with Him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:6)
To see the previous articles for this subject, click on the links below:
The Judgment of Seven Times I: The Prophecy of Nebuchadnezzar
The Judgement of Seven Times II: The Fall of Man
The Judgment of Seven Times III: The Northern Kingdom
The Judgment of Seven Times IV: The Southern Kingdom
The Judgment of Seven Times V: The Beasts of Prophecy