First topic, my study of Revelation and the nature of the beast. I find it fascinating that a large percentage believe that the beast is connected to Rome directly. I can understand why, but it contradicts so much of what else everyone believes about the beast and from my research, I think it contridicts what the Bible is trying to say as well. To being our dive, we need to look at passages about the beast and learn what we are discussing to begin with.
The beast, though first is mentioned in Revelation 11:7, is first described to us in Revelation 13:1 which reads:
1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2 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. 3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
Here we get a look into the specifics of the beast, and as we focus on each piece, it becomes clearer what is being told to us, because each part is mentioned elsewhere in the Bible. We will begin with "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns...". Seven heads? Ten horns? What could this mean? Whenever you have a question to what the Bible means, you need to read more and find answers that the Bible will give you. We can find direct reference to these qualities in Revelation 17, which we will come back to in full, but for now we will look specifically in 17:9-13.
9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. 12 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. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
So the beast is much more complex than just one antichrist. It is seven heads, or mountains, and there are seven kings, of which five are fallen, one is, and one is to come. The beast itself is the eighth king in this organization of kings, of the seven kings, and which will go into perdition, or destruction in other words. The ten horns are another set of kings, but they have no kingdom and thus no power, but will be given that power an hour with the beast. All of which will boost the power of control of the world to this beast. So we learned that the Bible considers the beast to both be this conglomeration of kings to be the beast, and the antichrist himself as the beast. This will be important during further exploration of the passages. Why is this? Because the heads of the beast and the horns are important, but overall subservient to the antichrist and Satan as part of the whole of the beast. This understanding will help the rest of the book make so much more sense, though of course, my understanding is still limited.
Back to that passage in chapter 17, we see something I glanced over and is the point of much confusion, the woman. In the very first verse and on through chapter 17, the focus is less on the beast, but this woman, so let's learn who she is.
1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. 7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. 9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.