“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” (Rev 13:1). In this vision, John stood on the shoreline in Judea looking toward the west across the Mediterranean—the “great sea” (Dan 7:2). It was westward in Rome where this beast arose, “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 13:2). It’s three different kinds of beasts yet one beast—a tri-part beast. And since the dragon gave this beast his power, therefore either of them are worshipped the same, “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast” (Rev 13:4). And we were told earlier that the dragon is the devil, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Rev 12:9). Therefore, worship of this beast is worship of the devil.
Daniel wrote, “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Dan 12:8-10). The wise will understand and John gave that understanding, “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” (Rev 13:18).
“And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev 13:17). There are three either/or equivalents: the mark or the name or the number. Since the number of the name “Trinity” is tri- or three, therefore to “count the number” would be to count the three digits in “six hundred threescore and six.” And since an entity is a being, then a three-part being is a tri-entity or a trinity. If the beast is in fact the tri-part God of the Trinity, then its seven heads would be the seven main Trinitarian organizations: Roman Catholic Church, Reformed, Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, and Baptist. Therefore, “the name of blasphemy” upon each of its seven heads is the name “Trinity” upon these seven religious groups.
The Greek mysterion in “MYSTERY [mysterion 3466], BABYLON THE GREAT” (Rev 17:5), means “hidden.” Hidden within Babylon past is Babylon present, “the beast that was, and is not, and yet is” (v. 8), “it once was, now is not, and yet will come” (NIV). Three beasts from the past form again into one great fourth beast, “And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another” (Dan 7:3), “The first was like a lion” (v. 4), “a second, like to a bear” (v. 5), “another, like a leopard” (v. 6), “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast” (v. 7), “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth” (v. 23). This fourth beast is what John saw rise from Rome that would be the former three but in one. Hidden within three kingdoms of the past is the fourth kingdom of today.
This tri-part beast came up from the abyss, “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit [abyssos 12]” (Rev 11:7), “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit [abyssos 12]” (Rev 17:8). And that’s where the devil will be cast during the Millennium, “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit [abyssos 12] and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit [abyssos 12]” (Rev 20:1-3). The source of this beast is the devil from the abyss.
God’s people worshipped beasts in the past, “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Rom 1:23). And the beast itself is a trinity, “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.” It’s extremely fast like a leopard that can’t be outrun, extremely strong like a bear that can’t be fought, and its roar is extremely fierce like a lion that can’t be faced. It can only be overcome by the Lord.
Just what is the terrifying roar of this beast? Its cry is manifold: even questioning the doctrine of the Trinity is the danger of blasphemy against the Spirit for which there will never be forgiveness; if we deny it, we’ll be shamed, labeled a heretic, and deemed as never truly saved; we can’t understand the Scriptures on our own; anything disagreeing with it is new, and if it’s new it’s not true. Its roar tests us—whether we fear it, or fear God. Will we listen to the doctrines of men, or the doctrine of Christ, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (Jhn 18:37 NIV)?