Originally posted by stuncrazy
as for the second beast being an individual... well it can't be....
the first beast is also signified by the "whore of babylon" ....
so we know one thing of the first beast that comes out of the sea(sea signifies people) and that is that it will be a church...
On the identification of these three characters, the first Beast, the second Beast, and the Harlot;
First point; Since the first Beast comes "out of the sea", it's clearly modelled on the beasts of the vision of Daniel ch7, which also come out of
the sea. So our understanding of it needs to be determined by our understanding of the Daniel beasts. The beasts in the Daniel vision are secular,
domineering kingdoms- usually identified as Babylon, Medo-Persia, Alexander's empire, and Rome. So it makes sense to understand the first Beast of
Revelation as a secular, domineering, kingdom- the "world-state" of the thread title.
Second point; If you're going to identify the Roman Catholic Church as the Harlot of Babylon, this makes it impossible to identify that church with
the first Beast, because the Harlot and the first Beast are two entirely different things. This is very clear from the way they are related in ch17
In the first place, the Harlot at the beginning of ch17 is resting upon
the seven-headed Beast, the first Beast. That, in itself, makes it
clear that there's a distinction between them.
In the second place, the same Beast at the end of the chapter is making war upon
the Harlot, trying to destroy her. If the Beast is trying to
destroy the Harlot, how can they be the same thing?
It is quite impossible for the Catholic Church to be both
the Harlot and the Beast, if they're going to be at war with each other. One or the
other, if you like, but not both.
Third point; The relationship between the first Beast and the second Beast makes more sense if you understand the second Beast as an individual than
it does with any other interpretation.
In the "Great leader" thread (I've already given you the link) I suggested that the second Beast relates to the first Beast as an emperor relates
to an empire, and I used the analogy of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich.
If you plug those values into the narrative of ch13, what do you get?
"Adolf Hitler exercised all the authority of the Reich in the presence of the Reich"- Yes, that makes sense.
"Adolf Hitler caused people to worship the Reich"- Yes, that makes sense.
"Adolf Hitler put people to death if they did not worship"- Yes, that's one way of putting it.
Now try using your interpretations instead- what happens?
"The USA exercises the authority of the Catholic Church in the Church's presence"- not really happening, is it?
"The USA causes people to worship the Catholic Church"- not really happening, is it?
"The USA puts people to death if they do not worship the Catholic Church"- not really happening, is it?
So your interpretation doesn't actually match what is happening in the descriptions of ch13.
The hostile "prince" described at the end of Daniel is clearly an individual.
The "man of sin" mentioned in 2 Thessalonians is clearly an individual.
This is the person frequently called "the Antichrist", although Revelation doesn't use that term.
Surely this individual is going to be mentioned somewhere in Revelation? If so, where is he?
The obvious solution is that he is represented by the "second Beast" exercising power in the second half of ch13