Countdown (7 years)
Extract and comments from Revelation Chp. 13
And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet as the feet of a bear its mouth as a lion’s mouth, and the (e)dragon gave it this power, also its throne, and great authority.
(b) "Wild beast"; this is the first reference in Scripture to such since Daniel (B.C. 495). In his day, the nation of Israel was in exile in Babylon from his youth for 70 years, and he was a man (Prophet) much loved by God (Dan. 9:23), and (Dan. 10:19). Daniel was given the ability to interpret dreams, in the Power and Permit of Almighty God, to which fact he always paid homage and witness to His power; and did so on a number of occasions in his early captivity. One of those dreams much troubled Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2) and concerned the image of a man. Daniel, after witnessing to the source of the dream (Dan. 2:28) gave its meaning (Dan. 2:29-45). The man's image represented 4 Kingdoms.
1) The head of gold represented Babylonian empire, symbol LION B.C. 626 -539.
2) The chest and arms of silver, Medo - Persia, BEAR B.C. 539 - 330.
3) Belly and thighs of bronze, Greek empire, LEOPARD B.C. 330 - 63.
4) Legs of iron, Roman Empire, Eagle? (Terrifying beast) B.C. 63 - to: (A.D. 70 as regards Israel)!
* Note: The feet are discussed in verse 8 notes.
The important principle in the above for the purpose of the Almighty, and the record made by the Holy Spirit in the Bible, is not the Kingdoms as such, but the fact that they impinge on ISRAEL when the history of Israel is current (defined as "Ammi", My people) as opposed to the history of mankind generally. Such is the present success of Satan, that mankind is blinded to the importance of the Divine Clock regarding Israel. Israel is special to God, and are called such on many occasions in Scripture, because God chose Abraham, because He knew his heart, and that he would be prepared to stand against the Satanic idolatry around him, Abraham responded in faith, and all the promises of God in the Old Testament relate to Abraham, and subsequently Israel. Because of this fact, only events affecting Israel in human history, and the purposes of God are the subject of prophecy and record in the Bible. For example; in item 4) above, the Roman Empire ceased to be important in the Divine Plan at A.D. 70, BECAUSE ISRAEL HAD BECOME "LO-AMMI", (NOT MY PEOPLE) (HOSEA 1:9), and that was as a consequence of the rejection of Christ as their Messiah!
At some stage in the future, Jewish history as defined above will re-commence. There is however only a short time left in the Divine prophetic time scale, as laid out to Daniel in Dan. 9:27; which gives only 7 more years of that prophecy to run. In between Dan. 9:26 and V.27, already approximately 1,930 years have elapsed. These however are not Jewish years of 360 days, but a mixture of Julian and Gregorian, which allows for lost and or gained time counting. In short it is probably not possible to know the exact Jewish year which we are now in, although some claim to know (i.e. on the 1/10/00, the Jewish new year of 5,761 begins according to Jewish "Rabbinical wisdom"). Even if it was known, it is irrelevant, as only God the Father knows the time when the Jewish Nation will become "AMMI" (MY PEOPLE), again, (Hos. 2:23), (Zech. 13:9), (Rom. 9:26) and (1Peter 2:10).
In Dan. 9:27 the statement of "a Covenant", gives the probable clue as to commencement of the final 7 years of the prophecy, as that "Covenant", will be for peace for Israel. When they think they have "peace and safety"; Satan in the guise of the beast in V.2 will strike (Ezk. 38:14), and (1Thess. 5:3), for the last time against Israel, (prior to the Millennial Reign); "in the midst of the week", i.e. half way through the 7 year period described above. However, turning now to the beast described in V.1 and V.2; put into its context in Chapter 13 of Revelation, and bearing in mind the above, a few comments can be made with some certainty.
1) The symbols of Empires, Leopard, Lion, Bear, are repeated from earlier Empires, affecting Israel as a Nation. I.e. there have been other Empires in that area since, but Israel was not a Nation in their land, under Jehovah; when their, prophetic progress is current!
2) Since 1948 Israel has officially been recognised as a Nation (by the then League of Nations, now the U.N.). That was the first time since A.D. 70, and the Jews kept their unique identity wherever they were scattered, although very few know their tribe of origin, but their Jehovah God does!
3) The fact that they are now a Nation in the eyes of the world, probably augers the re-commencement of their Divine History, i.e. the last 7 years of Dan. 9, in the near future.
4) The identities of the Leopard, Lion and Bear are known from Dan. 2, and this last "beast" is certainly in the prophetic geographical area, and in characteristics shows an amalgam of these and the previous Roman Empire. These Empires covered and overlapped each other, and in the crossroads to Asia, Africa and Europe in what was known as Palestine, Israel is central. The yet future Empire (beast) (described as "feet and toes") in this Chapter has Israel at its focal point, and is further described in Dan. 2:41-44.
5) The specific Nations involved are probably given in Ezk. 32, 38, and Psm 83, all of which fit the above criterion, and are in the "prophetic area," i.e. the known world of Old Testament prophecy, and directly affecting the chosen people, Israel.
6) The animal symbols given probably show characteristics of this beast, again referring to Daniel 2:29-45. The "Leopard"; speed, Alexander's Empire from Macedonia to the Indus river, was conquered and formed in 8 years! (It must be remembered that approx. half of present day Turkey (western half), was Greece in the past). The "Bear"; Medo-Persia, present day Persia (Iran), Iraq, Caucuses peoples, and half of Turkey. These may be the "feet", of the beast, they bear the weight. The "Lion"; the Babylonian Empire, with the, now defunct ancient city of Babylon at the centre, is present day Iraq, of recent infamous history. This is possibly the head/ mouth of the beast, although there is much difference of opinion on this; see Chapter 18.
- To Summarise; this beast will form very quickly, "Leopard". It will also consist of part of ancient and modern Greece, part now Turkey, (the area of the 7 Churches. "Ekkiesia").
- Its extent will be roughly the area of the Medo-Persia Empire, "Bear".
- Its head/ mouth will possibly be Babylon - "Lion". (As mentioned this disputed idea may be as Chapter 18, but many think Babylon is to be rebuilt. At present, 2014 this is not our view)!
And there was given to him a mouth speaking (a)great things and (a)blasphemy; and power was given to him to continue (b)forty two months.
(a) See Daniel 7:25, and 14:1(c).
(b) See Daniel 7:25, forty two months, 3½ years, this is the second half of the 7 years mentioned above (Dan. 9:27), it is also the time of the worst ever tribulation for Israel, and the time that the two Witnesses of Jehovah are active in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:3-12).