In Bible prophecy, Revelation 13 brings to our view two beasts (called Kingdoms in Daniel 7:23). The characteristics are unmistakeable, and easily identifiable through a number of proofs.
The first is an ecumenical body of leopard, lion, bear, and dragon, with heads of blasphemy having power over all tongues, nations and peoples. It reigned before the second beast arose and corrupted itself, and had a deadly wound where it loses it’s great authority and power, which when the second beast begins to corrupt itself, would be healed. Those prophecies are now fast fulfilling simultaneously. But first, some background:
THE ELEMENTS OF THE FIRST BEAST
The first beast is an composite ecumenical beast. It contains the body parts of many different national religions.
The lion, the bear, the leopard, and the dragon are found in the seventh chapter of Daniel and are world empires (Dan. 7:23), represented by the sacred beasts of their respective patron deities of the world that successively rose to power and fell one after the other.
1) The lion represented Babylon. The Babylonian goddess Ishtar, of fertility, war, and sensuality, was often depicted seated upon a lion.
2) The bear represented Media-Persia. The Persian god Mithra (also titled Sol Invictus- the invincible sun), was said to hold the constellation of the bear in his hands, signifying his hand as Polaris, the immovable star.
3) The leopard represented Greece. The Grecian god Dionysius, god of wine, revelry, and fertility, was often depicted as seated upon a leopard.
4) The devouring beast (also called the dragon in Rev. 12:3) represented the Roman Empire. The devouring beast symbolized Chonus, the god of time, who was frequently enthroned upon a chariot with winged serpents or dragon beasts.
The fourth beast of Daniel seven, having ten horns, is unequivocally bringing to view the Roman Empire in it’s European phase, where the kingdoms divided into multiple nations when the Roman emperor, Romulus, fell.
That first beast of Revelation 13 specifically calls you to understand Daniel 7, so you may better understand this beast, who rises on the reign of the European Roman Empire. It is unequivocally identifiable because it possesses all of the pagan teachings it has embraced from other religions and attained popularity and prominence in the Roman Empire for doing so, and in fact is doing so again.
The Roman Catholic church ruled over the European Roman Empire for 1260 years with an oppressive iron heel. But the church lost her power and her influence over the kings of the earth; this is referred to in Scripture as one of it’s heads of blasphemy (wielding political power over the consciences of men) “wounded unto death”. Yet it is woven into Catholic teaching that Europe belongs to the church, and it cannot be otherwise without ceasing to be Europe. The predecessor to Pope Francis said what makes Europe what it is, is it’s Roman heritage, being bound to a Christian settlement: thus declaring Europe, in it’s essence, as Roman Catholic.
“…it is not surprising that Christianity, despite its origins and some significant developments in the East, finally took on its historically decisive character in Europe. We can also express this the other way around: this convergence, with the subsequent addition of the Roman heritage, created Europe and remains the foundation of what can rightly be called Europe.” Pope Benedict XVI, 2006
We are told that a revival of the Catholic church’s supremacy takes place after the deadly wound, when the Scripture says: “…his deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the beast.” This prophesied healing of it’s political power is to take place in a miraculous and startling manner, chiefly in that European old world that it once held dominion over. Yet that is practically fulfilled. How is that possible? By continued, unceasing appeals for Europe to return to “her roots” and winning the favor of the people by the Pope who the whole world is wondering after.
“Europe is tired. We have to help Europe rejuvenate, to find its roots. It is true: Europe has disowned its roots – and we must help Europe to rediscover those roots.” (Pope Francis in the Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, June 16th, 2014)
“Europe as a whole is experiencing a decisive moment in its history, one which it is called to rediscover its proper identity,…This requires recovering its roots in order to shape its future. In response to currents of divisiveness, it is all the more urgent to update `the idea of Europe’ so as to give birth to a new humanism based on the capacity to integrate, dialogue and generate that which made the Old Continent great.” (Pope Francis, Address to the European Ambassadors to the Vatican, Jan. 9, 2017)
To the Council of the bishops’ conferences of Europe, on October 3rd, he said: “We must say this with love: it has not wanted to recognize one of its roots. And because of this it feels and does not feel Christian. Or it feels Christian somewhat in secret, but doesn’t want to recognize it, this European root…Europe is wounded. I’ll go back to that image that says so much to me, and I say that the Church today seems to me like a field hospital …Europe is wounded…I believe that Europe has many resources for going forward. It’s like a sickness that Europe has today. A wound…Europe, return to Jesus! Return to that Jesus whom you have said was not in your roots!…there are tremendous wounds…So many ways of preaching, but to mama Europe – or grandma Europe, or wounded Europe – only Jesus Christ can speak a word of salvation today. Only he can open a door of escape.”
It was only two months later, that Pope Francis opened “a door of escape” for “wounded Europe”, which was called the “door of mercy”, proclaiming 2015 a Jubilee of mercy. Thus it was a time to heal the deadly wound of the beast.
The revival of this power, or as the Pope termed it, the “rebirth” of Europe, was mentioned.
“To the rebirth of a Europe weary, yet still rich in energies and possibilities, the Church can and must play her part. Her task is one with her mission: the proclamation of the Gospel, which today more than ever finds expression in going forth to bind the wounds of humanity with the powerful yet simple presence of Jesus…Only a Church rich in witnesses will be able to bring back the pure water of the Gospel to the roots of Europe. In this enterprise, the path of Christians towards full unity is a great sign of the times and a response to the Lord’s prayer ‘that they may all be one.'” (Address at reception of Charlemagne Prize, May 6, 2016)
This rebirth appeal came to the forefront in March 2017, when the European Union sought for a “rebirth” of her ideals for their 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome being signed in 1957 by Christian democrats who envisioned a Catholic unity of Europe against the growing communistic trend that was swelling in Russia. The European Union is very clearly, and was very clearly, a designed attempt at gradually bringing Europe back into an integration of Catholic social ideals (to see more, read here).
The E.U. Leaders came together to Pope Francis for moral guidance in the rebirth process. Joseph Muscat, President of the EU said that Pope Francis can “provide leadership that politicians miss…I do think he [Pope Francis] is the ultimate world leader that within the circumstances has the skills and the vision to say things that transcend the obvious and banalities we all say in politics.”
The prophecy of the Roman Empire giving the political power was symbolically represented as the dragon giving this ecumenical beast it’s throne for over 1000 years. In the Treaty of Rome, it was designed that this restoration of it’s seat should be the conclusion of the founding fathers of the Union. Francis, addressing the E.U. leaders for who faced the want of rebirth in their ideals, said as much in his address to them: “At the origin of the idea of Europe, we find “the nature and the responsibility of the human person…with his desire for truth and justice, honed by a thousand-year-old experience.” Rome, with its vocation to universality, symbolizes that experience and was thus chosen as the place for the signing of the Treaties. For here – as the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, J. Luns, observed – “were laid the political, juridical and social foundations of our civilization”…I have devoted this first part of my talk to the founding fathers of Europe,…Their common denominator was the spirit of service, joined to passion for politics and the consciousness that “at the origin of European civilization there is Christianity…Europe has a patrimony of ideals and spiritual values unique in the world, one that deserves to be proposed once more with passion and renewed vigour, for it is the best antidote against the vacuum of values of our time, which provides a fertile terrain for every form of extremism. These are the ideals that shaped Europe…” (Pope Francis, address to the European Union Summit, March 24th, 2017)
The revival of the dark ages are being witnessed, but who has eyes to see it?