The process of writing last week’s series on the Petrodollar System has helped reveal a profound truth:
America is the greatest empire that ever lived.
This isn’t the first time that I’ve referred to the American Empire, but it’s the first time that it has sunk in so deeply, with such conviction.
Maybe I’m just a slow learner?
That could be it. I don’t know.
Whatever the cause of my slow progress in seeing what should be obvious, the point should be clear to everyone reading these articles, that the United States is the penultimate empire of world history. No empire has been greater, and it is the last one before The Beast finally rises.
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America in Prophecy – The Seventh Head
In the Book of Revelation, we see – for the first time – a creature with seven heads – although, it is not the first time that we see a creature with ten horns. This creature is described in chapter 13 and 17, as The Beast.
However, there IS a creature described in chapter 12 that has seven heads and ten horns, just like the creature in chapters 13 and 17, but it is referred to as a red dragon.
Why is there a difference in these descriptions?
Well, chapter 13 indicates that the creature in chapter 12, The Dragon, gives power to The Beast. Both have seven heads and ten horns, but chapter 13 indicates that they are separate and different.
Furthermore, chapter 12 refers to, The Red Dragon, as Satan, the Devil. And, chapter 13 says that The Beast rises out of the sea. Although, to make things even MORE difficult, chapter 17 refers to The Beast as being scarlet in color and rising out of the bottomless pit.
Are these distinctions important?
I don’t know. But, since Revelation makes these distinctions, I will too.
But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Purpose of Prophecy
Let me take a moment and talk about the purposes of prophecy.
God does EVERYTHING for a reason, and THAT includes prophecy. God doesn’t hand out messages just to hear Himself talk. Nor does He do it for His own gratification. Otherwise, He wouldn’t have sent His only Son to die for us on the cross, in punishment for OUR sins. A self-indulgent, capricious God would never do that. So, if He’s not sending prophetic messages to us for His OWN pleasure…
Why do we have all these prophecies?
To help us.
There are NO useless prophecies in the Bible. None. If you see a useless prophecy, then there’s something wrong with your view of the Bible.
All prophecies, every single one, are for the direct use by a group of God’s people. That group may have been in the past, or maybe that group exists in the future, but each and every prophecy is a direct message to one or more men and women of God to use.
So, how are we to use the prophecy of this seven-headed creature in Revelation?
The Beast Of Revelation
I said ‘we’, so yes, I firmly believe that this prophecy is directly intended for those Christians alive, right now. WE are the intended recipients of this message. Think of it as a letter from God that has been deliberately lost in the mail for almost two thousand years, and it’s time that we ‘got the message’.
So, let’s try to figure this out. And, I believe that we should start with the heads of this beast. And, the main passage is from Revelation 17:
And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 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. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. – Revelation 17:9-11
This Is Going To Be Difficult
The first part of verse nine should make us sit up and take notice. Here it is again:
And here is the mind which hath wisdom. – Revelation 17:9a
That means that it’s going to take some VERY careful thought – or wisdom. It means that we cannot take everything at face value, but need to see more deeply. And, it also means that we can get it wrong. So, keep that in mind as we go through this.
So, who or what are these seven heads?
Identifying The Heads
They are both:
Furthermore, there is another clue.
These heads do not exist at the same time. At the moment in time in which John had his vision:
- Five were dead.
- One was alive.
- One was going to come in the future.
And, the clues don’t end there. The seventh head will live only a short time, which indicates that it will live for much less time than any of the other heads.
Then, one of these heads becomes the eighth head, and it is the eighth head that is The Beast.
What These Heads Are
So, here’s the first, and probably biggest question:
WHAT are these heads?
How you answer that question will determine how you put these clues together. And, I believe that this is the reason why the Angel speaking to John preceded his description with:
And here is the mind which hath wisdom. – Revelation 17:9a
So, let me ask the central question:
What could be both a mountain AND a king?
These Are Not Mountains
I believe that the word mountain is the key point.
Are these physical mountains?
Of course not.
The rest of the passage indicates that five mountains have fallen, or have died.
Do you know of five mountains that have fallen in the ancient past, with a sixth that existed at the time of John – followed by a seventh that would rise later on?
The answer is that there have been no mountains that have any impact on our discussion that have fallen in the past. Nor was there a mountain that existed in the day of John that would have any impact on what we are talking about.
These Are Empires
So, these ‘mountains’ are symbols for something.
What could a mountain symbolize?
I want to give you a list of options, but I can’t. I really can only give you one that comes close to fitting our discussion:
Identifying These Empires
Seriously, if you can think of something else that a mountain could be a symbol for, in terms of our discussion, please leave a comment, and share it with us. Whatever you submit must be big, and there must be five of them that fell before the coming of John.
The problem is that there have been many, many empires in the past. So…
WHICH empires could these heads be?
WHAT is the selection criteria?
Well, there are other prophecies about the Last Days in the Bible. And, any empire that figures prominently in those prophecies would – in my mind – be a candidate for membership as ‘one of the heads’.
Consulting With Daniel
Unless I’m missing something, Daniel is the only prophet that gives us anything to work with. In Chapter 2, of Daniel, he describes five empires (and calls them ‘kings’):
- Iron mixed with clay
Daniel tells us the identity of the Gold empire, and that is Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian empire. The Silver would be the Medo-Persian empire. The Brass would be the Greco-Macedonian empire. The Iron would be the Roman empire.
But, who is this Iron-mixed-with-clay?
The Seventh Head In Daniel 2
Well, that was how the feet and toes were described, and here is the explanation given to Daniel:
And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. – Daniel 2:41-43
Remember these characteristics because THAT is the seventh head of The Beast of Revelation.
Now, Daniel has another vision in chapter seven, and there are four beasts and are also described as kings:
- Lion with eagle’s wings
- Bear with three ribs in his mouth
- Leopard with four heads
- An unknown beast with ten horns and iron teeth
Each of those beasts comes in chronological order. The Lion is Babylon. The Bear is the Medo-Persians. The Leopard is the Greco-Macedonians. The Unkown beast is… is…
That fourth beast MUST be Rome, since it follows Alexander’s Greco-Macedonian kingdom… but, it also has the ten horns and exists at the Last Days.
The Seventh Head In Daniel 7
Well, let me ask you about those that took over the Roman Empire and made it their own.
Who were they?
Europe, and then America. Their legal systems are Roman. Their political systems are Roman (except for Switzerland). Their medicine and science are Roman. We even write like the Romans.
And, quite a few empires in Europe identified with Rome. Even the kings of Russia referred to themselves as Czars, or Caesars. The kings of Germany called themselves Kaisers. Then, who can forget the Holy Roman Empire that was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.
We could go on and on, but…
What does all of this tell us?
Well, Europe and her colonies are Rome.
So, this fourth beast represents BOTH the sixth and seventh heads. And…
What was the characteristic of this fourth beast?
Here is what Daniel says:
Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; – Daniel 7:19
It breaks in pieces and stamps the residue with his feet. And, THAT is yet another identifying characteristic of the seventh head.
The Missing Heads
Where are the other heads?
So far, we have only talked about five, starting with Babylon.
Where are the other two?
I can only assume that the first two heads would be Egypt and Assyria. If any of you have better candidates for the remaining two heads, please let us know in the comment section below.
Okay, I see you guys in the back row starting to nod-off, so I’ll try to put the pieces together.
The Characteristics Of The Seventh Head
Here are the characteristics of the seventh head:
- Comes to power AFTER John dies.
- The kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
- The leadership will mingle themselves with the seed of men.
- They will not cleave to each other.
- The seventh head will inherit the characteristics of the sixth.
- It will devour, break other nations in pieces and then stomp them flat.
- It will NOT be like the first five heads.
- It lasts only for a short time.
So, the time frame is some time during the past two thousand years, because the seventh head comes AFTER the Roman Empire. It also has this ‘partly strong’ and ‘partly broken’ quality. And, the leadership mingles themselves with the seed of men. And, these leaders are in opposition to each other.
Does that sound familiar?
Yeah. It’s the democratic election process. And, those who are elected do NOT cleave to each other. (I mean, these guys NEVER stop fighting.)
But, this seventh head borrows characteristics from the sixth.
What was the Roman Empire called, originally?
Yeah. The Roman Republic.
Do you know of any empire today that is referred to as a republic?
But, before you answer that one, let me ask you another question:
What empire has lasted for less time than any of the previous six heads and has devoured and broken in pieces the nations of the world?
There is only one answer that can possibly fit:
God help us all.
Are you ready for this?
(That’s a link. Do more than just think about it.)
If you find a flaw in my reasoning, have a question, or wish to add your own viewpoint, leave a comment on the website. Your input is truly welcome.
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