Revelation: Its Ongoing
Relevancy and Fulfillment
Portentous Drama of Two Great Apocalyptic Beasts
Chapter 13 of Revelation
The First Beast
Act 1 | Scene 4
The First Beast Is Like a Leopard
with Feet of a Bear and Mouth of a Lion
Revelation stuff about
creatures made up of
the heads, mouths, legs,
feet, claws of different
animals. Don't waste my time. I don't believe a
word of it."
What? "Foolishness!" So the beast of this Scene 4 is indeed fantastical. Wildly strange, even grotesque. But, friend, just a moment: the imagery is not the message! Rather what the beast represents. And it represents nations and empires purely secular-idolatrous-atheistic in nature. Of which there are some today, as there have been in the past. Hopefully, you will not be blinded to that fact by the offensiveness of the metaphorical creature. For it is supremely important that all thinking human beings consider what has been the fate of such governments and peoples.
E. The appearance of the beast: “Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion.” Revelation 13:2
1. “…like a leopard...”
The leopard is feared and admired as a fierce animal, exceptionally agile and swift.
Since the beast represents idolatrous, atheistic, or purely secular kingdoms, this comparison of the beast with the leopard signifies that these kingdoms would possess attributes like him.
Propelled by such attributes, they often take speedy, destructive action against other nations, as well as against the true God and his people.
2. “…feet of a bear…”
Because of its great size, brute force, and ability to stand up on its back legs and run fast, the bear is much feared. Its claws are long and sharp. This animal can grasp, rip apart and kill with great force.
Applying the comparison, idolatrous or atheistic nations and kingdoms are accustomed to acting in the same way, one against another, against other
types of nations, and against God and his Spiritual Kingdom.
They trod underfoot the name of the true God, violently uprooting his work and, with great impudence, profane and destroy what is truly sacred.
3. “…his mouth like the mouth of a lion.”
What human being does not fear the proud, powerful lion? Muscular neck, large head, very wide mouth, long, sharp fangs with which they tear apart the flesh and bones of their prey. This beast can run very fast, pursuing its prey, pouncing on it, killing and consuming it.
Applying the comparison to the “beast” of Revelation 13, the history of our human race amply confirms that these same attributes are possessed by some secular, idolatrous or atheistic nations-kingdoms-empires forged through the centuries.
Do they not thus treat weaker peoples and nations? Pursuing, persecuting, and devouring?
And history likewise confirms that this type of nation-kingdom-empire is likely to strike against the true God and his people, on occasion, with great violence, persecuting, even torturing and killing, determined to put an end to all who do not bow to their diabolical will.
4. So then, certain notable attributes of three distinct beasts come together in the one beast seen by the apostle John.
Summing up, this first beast of Revelation, fearful and terrible, has the agility of a leopard, the brute force of a bear and the aggressiveness of a hungry lion.
Typically, these same traits are manifest, sooner or later, in great secular, idolatrous or atheistic nations-kingdoms-empires.
As much in their ideological wars as in their military aggressions, they fly against their perceived enemies, sometimes with irresistible impetus and force, quickly devouring any who continue to resist, including even God’s elect if these choose not to cede to their demands, embrace their agendas, support their actions, give them honor and glory, double to their will.
Act 1. Scene 5. A Great, Fiery Red Dragon Gives a Throne, and Great Authority to the First Beast.