The World’s History in Prophetic Symbols

Prayer Thought

Prophets and Kings p. 536
“The prophecies which the great I AM has given in His word, uniting link after link in the chain of events, from eternity in the past to eternity in the future, tell us where we are today in the procession of the ages and what may be expected in the time to come. All that prophecy has foretold as coming to pass, until the present time, has been traced on the pages of history, and we may be assured that all which is yet to come will be fulfilled in its order.” {PK 536.3}

Daniel 7

2 Daniel spaked and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

What do the `four beasts’ represent?

Dan. 7: 17 “These great beasts, which are four, [are] four kings, [which] shall arise out of the earth.”

The four beasts represent four world empires that were to arise out of the Old Country. 

What do the `four winds of the heavens’ and the ‘great sea’ represent?

Great Controversy p. 440
“Winds are a symbol of strife. The four winds of heaven striving upon the great sea represent the terrible scenes of conquest and revolution by which kingdoms have attained to power.” {GC 439.3}

Rev. 17:15
“And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”

The sea is literally the storehouse of all waters, so it must represent the birthplace of the nations, the Old Country.

Daniel 7:4
“The first [was] like a lion, and had eagle’s wings:..”

The Lion is the first in the order of animals. It corresponds to the head of gold on Daniel’s image. Thus the Lion represents Babylon.

What do the wings represent?
The wings on the lion are unnatural. They represent periods of time and denote that Babylon was the second universal Empire after the Adamic kingdom, the second from creation.
Note: The wings do not represent speed because the Babylonian empire took over 1800 years to reach its height of glory. If wings were to represent rapidity they should have been on the bear, for Cyrus and Darius conquered Babylon over night.

Daniel 7:5
“And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and [it had] three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.”

Which kingdom does the Bear represent?

Dan. 5:28 – “Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” The next universal kingdom after Babylon was Medo-Persia. The kingdom was composed of two nationalities, the Medes and the Persians. The same fact is represented by the two horns of the ram in Daniel 8.

What do the ribs represent?

The three ribs in the mouth (unnatural) denote the Medo-Persian Empire to be the third from creation.

Why did it raise up itself on one side?

The Persian division of the kingdom, which came up last (the higher horn on the ram in Dan. 8), attained the higher eminence, becoming a dominant influence in the nation. See Daniel and the Revelation p. 108

What Is Meant By “Arise, Devour Much Flesh”?

This Phrase Denotes The Opening Of Bloody, Imperial Wars During The Medo-Persian Empire, The Bloodiest Of All Time.

Daniel 7:6

“After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.”

Which kingdom does the Leopard represent?

Dan. 8:5-7, 20, 21: Grecia defeated Medo-Persia and became the next universal empire. 

What do the four wings represent?

The four wings denote the fourth kingdom
from creation, as the two wings
on the lion denote the second
kingdom from creation. 

What do the four heads

The four heads represent the four generals who took over Alexander’s kingdom after his death. Thus, the Leopard represents Grecia after the death of Alexander. Dan. 8:8, 22.

Daniel 7:7, 8

7. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron
teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it [was] diverse from all the beasts that [were] before it; and it had ten horns.

  1. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn [were] eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Which kingdom does the non-descript beast represent?

The kingdom that conquered Grecia was Rome

What do the ten horns and the “little horn” represent?

Dan. 7:24: The ten horns are ten kings that were to arise out of the Roman Empire. The “little horn” points to the rise of the Papacy

(Dan. 7:25), second phase of the non-descript beast. The three plucked up horns are: “Heruli, the Vandals and the Ostrogoths” D&R p. 123. The beast is non-descript because of Rome’s mixture of
Pagan, Christian and Jewish laws.

The Leopard-Like Beast

Revelation 13: 1-4

  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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who [is] like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

Where did the beast come from and what is its composition?

It came from the Sea (the Old Country) like the four beasts of Dan. 7: 1-8 and is composed of them in its head, feet, body and horns, showing it to be a descendant of these ancient empires, characterizing our world today.

What do the seven heads represent?

In Dan. 7: 8 the horn-head combination depicted the papacy, a religious body clothed with civil power, therefore the wounded head of Rev. 13: 3, depicts the papacy deprived of civil authority due to the Reformation. The six uninjured heads represent religious bodies also. They are the Protestant Denominations that wounded the papacy. These seven heads symbolize our multi-sectarian world, Christendom in its entirety.

Did not the Pope’s Imprisonment
inflict the deadly wound?

Had it not been for the wounded state of the papacy due to the activities of the Protestant Reformation, the pope would not have been imprisoned: GC 155 “Through Luther’s instrumentality Rome was already descending from her throne;” GC 162 “By the power of truth the papacy had sustained a defeat which would be felt among all nations and in all ages;”
GC 190 “The word Luther preached overthrew popery;” 1T 373 “Luther dealt a most dreadful blow to the papacy.”

What does the name blasphemy

Blaspheme means hypocrisy (Rev. 2: 9), to reject the messages of God and thus commit the unpardonable sin. By the decree of the Second Angel’s message (Rev. 14: 8) Protestantism fell, causing the deadly wound it inflicted on the papacy to heal and the world (inclusive of SDA) wondered after the beast or partake of the spirit of the beast (worldliness). These incidents brought the “blasphemy” over all seven heads, depicting Christianity under apostasy (Isa. 4: 1; GC 388).

Is that not calling the SDA church Babylon?
The SDA church being represented by one of the seven heads upon which “blasphemy” is written does not mean she can be called Babylon. Babylon is associated with the beast of Revelation 17, not with this beast of Revelation 13.

What do the ten crowned horns
In Dan. 8: 20, 21, horns represent civil powers. The ten crowned horns represent those crownless kings of Dan 7: 24 which took their crowns and reigned independent of the church after the disintegration of Pagan Rome and during the time of Ecclesiastical Rome when the papacy was wounded. Thus they represent the nations of today, civil governments in their entirety.

How do professed Christians worship the dragon?
Jer. 10: 1-5 “Learn not the way of the heathen.” They worship the dragon-inspired institution under the guise of Christianity. For example, Sunday, Christmas and Easter keeping.

Revelation 13: 5-10

5. And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months.
6. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9. If any man have an ear, let him hear.
10. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

What does the beast’s forty-two months of blasphemy reveal?

Its period of blasphemy is the same as that of Daniel’s fourth beast (Dan. 7: 8, 25) in its second phase, Ecclesiastical Rome. Therefore, before it received its deadly wound, it reigned contemporaneously or co-existed with the little horn-head. After
the infliction of its wound, the horn and head were separated and the papacy was deprived of its civil power (horn) and relegated to a common religious power (head). Thus it depicts the world after the fall of Pagan Rome.

What is meant by “he that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity”?

This prediction was fulfilled in 1798 when the pope was made captive by the French army (GC 439). Inspiration declares that Rev. 13: 10, not Rev. 13: 3 was fulfilled.
The Leopard-like beast represents
the world before the wounding of
the papacy, during the wounding
of the papacy and after the papacy’s wound was healed. GC 439 calls it the papacy while GC 442 says “the nations
represented by the dragon and the
Leopard-like beast.”

Daniel’s beast shows the rise of the papacy, John’s beast shows the fall of the papacy

The Leopard-like beast actually reveals:
1. The fall of the Roman monarchy
2. The Reformation
3. The wounding of the papacy
4. The rise of Protestantism
5. The captivity of the pope

The Two-Horned Lamb-like Beast

Rev.13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

What is represented by “the earth?”
The “earth” being the opposite of the “sea” (the Old World) it must represent the New World, territory previously unoccupied (GC 440).

Who does the beast represent?
It represents the United States (GC 441, 442, 579).

What is represented by its two horns like a lamb?
Its two horns represent Republicanism and Protestantism (GC 441) or Republicans and Democrats. The lamblike horns indicate youth, innocence and gentleness (GC 441)

How will the nation speak as a dragon?

 GC 442: The “speaking” of the nation is the action of its legislative and judicial authorities.
It will exercise the spirit of intolerance and
persecution similar to the Dark Ages.
5T 451: Legislators will yield to the demand for a
a Sunday law, thus it will change its constitution .

Rev. 13:12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first
beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

Who is “the first beast before him”?
The “first beast” here mentioned is the
leopard-like beast before it was wounded, the
papacy. The United States will
implement the likeness of a church
and state government that is as
outdated as are the Middle Ages themselves.

Revelation 13: 13 – 15

13. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Who is the character that does wonder in the
sight of the beast?

In Rev. 19: 20: The false prophet is the one who wrought miracles in the sight of the beast. He must be a future charismatic religious leader who will work miracles through the power of Satan and deceive the world into accepting the mark of the beast. This reveals a national alliance of church (prophet) and state (beast). As his doctrines cannot be fully supported by the Scriptures, miracles are performed to secure the confidence of the masses. To complete the deception, Satan will appear as an angel of light, healing diseases and at the same time working as a destroyer (GC 589).

Is the false prophet the devil?
The false prophet is not the devil. In Rev. 16: 13, three unclean spirits came out of the mouths of the dragon (the devil), the beast and the false prophet, showing that they are separate persons. In Rev. 20: 10, the Devil, the beast and the false prophet are again seen as separate persons.

Is the false prophet the pope?
Neither the false prophet nor the beast can be the pope because they are destroyed at separate times. In Rev. 19: 20, 21, the beast and the false prophet are cast into a lake of fire, which is a type of the destruction of the wicked after the thousand years (Rev. 20: 9, 10), while the remnant, the rest of the wicked world after the destruction of the beast and the false prophet, are destroyed at the second coming of Christ. In 2Thes. 2: 8, the Lord destroys the pope with the spirit of His mouth and the brightness of His coming, showing that the pope is a part of the remnant that will be destroyed at Christ’s second advent with a sword that that proceeds out of His mouth (Rev. 19: 21).

What is the Image of the Beast?

It is a likeness or copy of the Roman
Ecclesiastical (church and state) system
that was in existence during the Dark Ages. The
US will re-establish this system when the leading churches unite
and influence the state to enforce their dogmas (GC 443 -445).

Revelation 13: 16, 17
16. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive
a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

  1. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

What is the Mark of the Beast?

The mark of anything is its identifying characteristic. The identifying characteristic of the Dark Ages papal system was the transfer of the day of worship from Sabbath to Sunday. Thus the mark of the beast is the enforcement of Sunday-keeping by law (GC 448, 449).

“No one has yet received the mark of the beast. The testing time has not yet come.” (Ev. 234).

When that time comes “the people of God will not receive it (GC 449).

What does the beast’s (US) decree concerning buying and selling reveal?
This beast is to control the world’s market and economic system.   

Who is the Man with the number 666?

Revelation 13:18
“Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast:
for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six.”

A Word to the Little Flock pp.8, 9 and 19 applies the number 666 to the two-horned beast, the United States. We must leave it there regardless of our ideas. The man with this number will be a political leader, standing at the head of the US, passing laws to persecute those who refuse to accept the mark of the beast.

Does not the Pope’s title equal “666”, making the number applicable to him?

Not really, but since the numerical identification system is arbitrary, the number can be applied to many other names. The Bible places the number on the two-horned beast and we must leave it there.

The Woman and the Scarlet Colored Beast

Revelation 17: 1, 15

  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 show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
  2. And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

What is the meaning of the “many waters” that the woman is sitting upon? “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues”

Revelation 17:2 “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.”

What is meant by “made drunk with the wine of her fornication”? Rev. 14:8 “How is this done? By forcing men to accept a spurious Sabbath.” 8T 94.2

The Woman and the Scarlet Colored Beast

Revelation 17:3
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.

What does the wilderness represent? The wilderness is the opposite of the vineyard, the house of the Lord (Isa. 5:7). Thus it represents Gentile nations, showing that the Kingdom is in existence at this time.

Who is the Woman? The church is likened to a woman (Jer. 6: 2). Since this woman is vile, she represents an apostate church (GC 381), a corrupt counterfeit religious system. 

Is not this woman the papacy?
No. The woman here mentioned produced the papacy. Rev. 18: 24 says the blood of all slain are found in her, showing that Abel was the first to fall victim to her wrath. Therefore, she symbolizes all false religions.

The Woman and the Scarlet Colored Beast

Rev 19: 2, 3 tells of her destruction, at the time when the twenty-four elders and the four beasts worship God on His throne (Rev. 19: 4). This will be while probation is closing, before the out pouring of the seven last plagues, when no man will be able to enter the temple (Rev. 15: 1, 7, 8). The papacy, however, will be destroyed at Christ’s second coming (2Thess. 2: 2, 3; GC 356, 579).  

What is symbolized by the Scarlet-Colored Beast? The beast represents the world with civil (horns) and religious (heads) powers after the wound on the Leopard-like beast is healed. In the time when the two horned beast makes an image of the Leopard-like beast in its pre-wounded state. The names of blasphemy signify the multiplicity of blaspheming religions, and the color scarlet (full of sin), indicates that God’s people will be called out of it. The woman riding it denotes that the world of tomorrow will be controlled by a false religious system.