All rights reserved by the author Homer Dewayne Shappley
Revelation: Its Ongoing
Relevancy and Fulfillment
Ominous 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
"Pure foolishness! This
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 is that you say about these studies on the
beasts of Revelation? That the visions are "Pure
foolishness and a waste of time?" Well, truth be said, these beasts of Revelation 13 are indeed fantastical even to an extreme. Wildly strange, even grotesque. But, friend, just a moment: the imagery, for as ridiculous as it might seem to you, is not the message! Instead, the message is what the beasts represent. And they represent dangerous earthly nations and empires that are purely secular-materialistic in nature, some also being officially idolatrous or atheistic. Of which there are some today, as there have been throughout the past history of humanity. Hopefully, you will not be blinded to that fact by the offensiveness of the metaphorical creatures. For it is supremely important that all thinking, and reasoning human beings consider what has been the enormous negative, destructive impact and the sad, shameful, violent, and fatal fate of the governments and peoples represented by the beasts of Revelation.
Hope you will see fit, then, to scrutinize this short Scene 4 and continue with the following Scenes. They can be quite riveting in their context of human entities whose agendas and actions affect, sometimes for good, often, to the detriment of, all the inhabitants of the world..
The outline format of the previous Scene 3 is continued in this Scene 4.
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. A substantial amount of corroborating evidence is found throughout this Commentary
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.
Text and document composition by Homer Dewayne Shappley
CATEGORY Revelation: Its Ongoing Relevancy and Fulfillment. 21st Century commentary.
Act 1. Scene 5. A Great, Fiery Red Dragon Gives a Throne, and Great Authority to the First Beast.
Is ENGLISH your second language? It is for hundreds of millions of people around the globe of Earth. Reading and rereading texts like the ones on this site may well increase your proficiency and vocabulary. With added Intellectual, Social, Cultural, and World View Dividends also, even perhaps Higher Levels of Ethical, Spiritual Insights and Understanding. Reading in a low voice or, better still, at normal volume, reinforces the retention of words, phrases, whole sentences, correct grammar, etc. Blessings, HDS