The Beast of Revelation 13: Where Is It Now?
The Answer May Surprise You
The monstrous beast that is described in the last book of the Bible is a familiar symbol to those who follow end times prophecy. Even those who don’t have heard of the mark of the beast or the number of the beast, the infamous “666.”
The apostle John wrote down what he saw of this beast in the book of Revelation chapter 13.
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. 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. (Rev. 13:1-2).
John continues to write that the beast is so magnificent that the whole world follows it in amazement, even worships it. The beast is so powerful that no one can defeat it, not surprising since it is Satan himself (the “dragon”) who gives the beast its power, position, and authority.
But the beast is monstrous and vicious in more than physical appearance. The beast speaks great things and paints grandiose images of beautiful things but does so by blaspheming God and everything God stands for: His name, His tabernacle, and those in heaven. He launches an all out war against believers (the saints) to smash them out of existence. Having done so, the beast rules as the ultimate dictator and tyrant of the entire world.
Vicious. Monstrous. Blasphemous. Evil. When this beast appears, you will know we are in the midst of what scripture calls the Great Tribulation, a time of unprecedented horror, distress, and persecution.
As those who follow prophecy know, the scene that John describes in Revelation 13 is yet in the future, though we at Salt Radio Ministries believe that future is just ahead of us.
So why ask, “Where is the beast now?” if Revelation 13 hasn’t happened yet? Because the beast is already here and has been here for most of human history. Yes, it’s here today; it just hasn’t risen to the prominence described by John, and so we can’t readily see it.
OUT OF THE SEA
John begins writing about the beast by saying he saw it “rise up out of the sea,” and that gives us our first clue as to its whereabouts today.
Since the beast rises up out of the sea, then it must have been in the sea just prior to that and is in the sea at the present time. “Rising up” out of the sea describes periods when the beast emerges as an unmistakable evil force in the world. John describes the final and most vicious emergence, but there have been others.
The Old Testament book of Daniel, another source of prophetic knowledge, describes four other images of beasts that “came up from the sea”: a lion with eagle’s wings, a bear with three ribs in its mouth, a leopard with four wings and four heads, and a “dreadful and terrible” beast with great iron teeth. (Daniel 7:4-7).
Daniel was told that the four images represented four kings that would arise (come to prominence), and scholars have identified them as the all-conquering empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
But do these images describe the same beast seen by John in Revelation? I say they do.
Look closely at John’s description of the Revelation 13 beast that was quoted at the beginning of the article. What does it look like? A leopard, a bear, and a lion. The beast pictured in Revelation is an integration of the same images that Daniel named, this time in a single image. To me this indicates that the Revelation 13 manifestation of the beast will have all the fierceness, viciousness, and evil of the previous manifestations combined… and then some.
Let me say it again. When the beast rises to major prominence, it is said to be coming out of the sea. When the beast is hidden from public awareness, it is still in the sea. But whether in the sea or out of the sea, the beast is just as vicious and evil. And just as empowered by Satan.
THE SEA IN SCRIPTURE
The usual meaning ascribed to the “sea” is that it represents the peoples and nations of the earth, but many scholars and academics narrow that definition to mean the instability and evil of the world.
The David Guzak Commentary reads, “To the Jewish mind the sea was a place of separation and evil.”
Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible says, “The sea is a type of perpetual unrest… It symbolizes the political tumults out of which ‘the beast’ arose.”
The Pulpit Commentary: “… restless, unstable, wicked nations of the earth”
“The sea has become the dark, fearsome place from which evil emerges, threatening God’s people, […] the dark power that might do to God’s people what the flood had done to the whole world, unless God rescued them as He rescued Noah.” from Evil and the Justice of God by N.T. Wright, 2006.
Note the consistency of these statements: separation, evil, perpetual unrest, wickedness, the “fearsome place from which evil emerges,” and “the political tumults out of which ‘the beast’ arose.”
There you have it! The sea is the realm from which evil emerges and the beast arises. It’s where the beast is dwelling today, creating havoc in the world, causing blasphemous words to be said, and persecuting true believers. And, yes, even today there are great multitudes who follow the beast in amazement, perhaps knowingly, perhaps not.
THE BEAST TODAY
The beast in Revelation 13 has been personified (into the antichrist) and institutionalized (as “Babylon”) throughout Revelation. In popular literature, most of what is written about the beast has been about its personification, asking, “Who is the beast?” or “Where will he come from?” or “When will he appear?” These are important questions, and we should be earnestly and prayerfully watching the world stage to recognize the significance of events when they occur.
Less has been written about the institutional side of the beast, what is described in Revelation as Babylon, so let’s dig into that.
We at Salt Radio Ministries recognize that there is a beastly “Babylon” among us, which we have labeled in various ways: the Luciferian agenda, the beast system, the powers that be, the New World Order, and the elite. No matter the label, they all point to the beast that is presently in the sea, creating unspeakable harm and havoc while waiting to arise to worldwide prominence.
Much of the beast system’s activity appears to be flying under the radar now, but with a little knowledge, its stealthiness can be removed, and you can see what’s really happening in that evil “sea.”
Simply stated, the institutionalized beast system is anything that opposes God and His work in our world. I’ll name a few:
The promotion of globalism and one-world government and the ascendance of government power over all aspects of life to the point that people have no power themselves.
Those who create false flags and fabricate crises that (they say) only a one-world government can solve.
The idea that a government agency knows better what’s good for you and your children than you do yourself.
Institutionalized systems that make us increasingly dependent on them: political, educational, medical, media, judicial, and financial.
A compliant and complicit media that unabashedly supports the agenda of the beast system while at the same time ridiculing and belittling those who would follow Christ and His ways.
A financial and banking system that maximizes profits while minimizing people.
The promotion and celebration of aberrant lifestyles of all kinds, no matter how bizarre, saying, “if it feels good, do it.”
The idea that we are our own creators and not God, so we can manipulate our minds and bodies to improve on them, whether via transgenderism or transhumanism.
The idea that we, not God, are in control over life and death, so we murder our babies through abortion and our elderly through euthanasia and assisted suicide.
The redefinition of sin as something that is done against the beast system rather than the transgression of God’s laws.
We are saturated with the beast! It’s everywhere you turn; you can’t get away from it. The beast’s tentacles are everywhere, and they are poised to entangle each of us.
Sadly, without the guidance of God, His Word, and His Holy Spirit, soon we begin to think it’s all normal. No wonder the beast attacks things like prayer in schools and Christian expression of any kind.
HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND?
For too long we’ve thought the beast was someone or something “out there” in the future. Something we don’t have to deal with quite yet. Sorry to burst your bubble, friends, but it’s here now, and it must be dealt with now.
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah dealt with the beast of his day called Babylon as it was about to carry Israel into captivity. He prophesied about its fate and the judgment God would bring to it. It is a dual prophecy: some meant for the physical nation of Babylon in Jeremiah’s time and some meant for the institutionalized beast system Babylon of end times. We know this because there are at least eight distinctive prophecies that weren’t fulfilled in Jeremiah’s time but that line up with what the book of Revelation reveals about the beast system Babylon and its fate.
Chapters 50 and 51 of Jeremiah give us guidance on how to deal with the present beast system Babylon as well as the end time manifestation of that system.
1. Flee Babylon (Jer. 50:8, Jer. 51:6)
The verb “flee” is in the imperative. If we were to type it into our computers as a reply to a blog post, we would use all capital letters and many exclamation points: FLEE!!!!!
Just like the nation of Babylon enslaved the southern kingdom of Israel and carried them away from their land into captivity, now the beast system Babylon seeks to enslave us and lead us away from God and into the captivity of its system.
Wherever you see the beast system encroaching on your life, have nothing to do with it. “Remove out of the midst” as Jer. 50:8 says to do.
Speaking of the end-time Babylon, Revelation 18:4 commands:
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4)
What was true in Jeremiah’s time is true for us today: we must do all that we can to untangle ourselves from the beast system. We do not want any part of her sinful ways, and we certainly don’t want any part of their consequences and her direct punishments.
But the beast system has made itself so attractive that we may be enticed into staying with it.
It has created a cradle-to-grave dependency that is capable of providing many material benefits and a multitude of emotional satisfactions. It appears as the epitome of the evolution of civilization. It promotes itself as “savior” of mankind. Who in their right mind would want to give up all that?
But like Babylon of old, the beast system Babylon demands your allegiance and demands your worship. If you worship anything else – especially if you worship the one, true God – you are guaranteed that persecution will follow. Doubt me? Stand your ground and defend the territory that the Lord has given you. Then watch the ridicule and demeaning comments that come your way.
That happened to me years ago when I took a stand for a Christian principle at work. I refused to travel to an important contract negotiation during a time I was observing a religious Holy Day. All sorts of pressure was brought to bear, but thanks be to God, I stood firm. And made everyone mad doing so. I started being called names like “good, little Christian boy.” I got no more promotions after that. When I left the company two years later, I was sued for a million dollars. Thankfully, God prevailed and rescued me from that, too.
2. Leave Babylon with Assurance (Jer. 50:8)
Jeremiah told his people to flee Babylon as ”the he-goats before the flocks.” The he-goats were the animals that led the rest of the flocks. The leaders. The ones that had assurance. The rest of the flocks followed behind the he-goats.
Now, leaving the beast system Babylon from fear or any other reason is to be commended, but leaving with assurance can cause those with less assurance to leave with you. The best way to show your assurance is to stand firm on the foundation of God’s Word and to defend the territory He has given you. The beast system knows this and is trying to do everything it can to keep you from following through.
For example, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has argued that Evangelical Christians should be expected to “reinterpret” the Bible to make it compatible with LGBT ideology. Talk about destroying someone’s foundation of God’s Word. Unbelievable.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of reading and studying scripture either by yourself or with a group of committed believers. Get into the Word daily. Build your knowledge of who and what God is and how He works in the world. Educate yourself about what scripture says about the beast system: scripture is full of it!
Only then will you have the assurance to leave Babylon.
3. Don’t Try to Fix Babylon (Jer. 51:9)
We think, “Oh, maybe we should continue interacting with the beast system as a witness for Christ. After all, we are to be in the world even as we are not of the world.” But isn’t this just a cop out?
Coming out of the beast system, even a little bit, is going to take courage, and it may create hardship and bring on persecution. (Just refuse to bake a gay wedding cake or refuse to sign same-sex marriage certificates.) When the going gets tough – or when we imagine how tough the going may get – we are tempted to stay behind.
I was tempted like that a couple of years ago. I had become convinced that the church denomination I belonged to was being unscriptural when it decided to sanctify same-sex marriages. Should I shake the dust off my feet and leave or stay behind and try to show people the light? I was in a position of some influence at the time, and my testimony could well have been a light to others. But could I actually fix anything in the denomination itself?
Not a chance.
Even after the Holy Spirit convicted me to leave, I still considered staying. Why? Because I knew my leaving was going to upset things and cause an uproar. I knew there would be many questions to answer and many barbed comments to respond to. Leaving “Babylon” was going to have consequences.
4. Be a Witness to Others (Jer. 50:28)
But I did leave, and the upset, uproar, questions, and barbed comments all came to pass. What I didn’t realize at the time was that through those difficult things, the Lord was using me as a witness for Christ and a witness against a small part of the beast system. People listened to my reasons and explanations carefully. They watched the way I responded to the upset and uproar. As a result, several other families left “Babylon,” too.
Jeremiah tells it this way:
“My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord.” (Jer. 51:45)
Who knows how many souls you may deliver by your going out of the midst of whatever part of the beast system you may be entangled in?
My message is simply this: don’t think we get a free ride until the beast emerges from the sea and rises to prominence. The beast system is already here and has been here for a very long time. We need to be developing our “eyes to see” who and what the beast system is and “ears to hear” that its lofty words in the final analysis are all blasphemous. We don’t get a free ride. We don’t get to coast.
My final thought is to remind you that the beast system won’t last forever. Both Revelation and Daniel say it will be annihilated when Christ returns to this earth as King of kings and Lord of lords. All the kingdoms (beast systems) of this world will be taken over by Christ to be cleansed and refined and ultimately integrated into the kingdom of God over which He will reign forever and ever (Rev. 11:15). Instead of returning to the sea to emerge again, the personification of the beast (the antichrist) will be cast into the lake of fire where he will stay put forever. (Rev. 19:20).
And once the beast and every other instance of evil has been destroyed, John closes Revelation with this beautiful sight:
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” (Rev. 21:1)
Did you catch the last phrase?
No. More. Sea.
No more “fearsome place from which evil emerges,” or “the political tumults out of which ‘the beast’ arises.”
No more evil.
No more beast system.
Oh, Lord, come quickly and make it so!
Part of the mission of Salt Radio Ministries is to expose the evil of the beast system in all its forms, and many of the articles you see on this website are devoted to some aspect of that. I urge you to read them and watch their accompanying videos to educate yourself on how pervasive and omnipresent the beast system is today, even as it remains “in” the sea.