3. The Red Beast and the Two Prophets

In the 17th Chapter of the Revelation, John views another beast:

“So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH”. (Revel. 17:3-5).

This beast looks like the first beast which John had viewed. This one has also seven heads and ten horns like the first beast, and like the dragon (the devil) the spiritual father of the two beasts (Revel.12:3). It could be said that this is the same beast which John viewed emerging from the sea, and now he sees that in the desert. The only difference is that the beast now has a red color.

This third beast is not anything else apart from the Catholic Church, which separated from the Orthodox Church with the “Schism” – separation – of 1054 A.D.. But she still maintains common characteristics with the Orthodox Church (the first beast).

The color of the beast which represents the Catholic Church is red. This is because of the blood of the victims of the “Crusades” and the “Inquisition”, within which the Catholic Church blood stained her hands.

The beast is seen by John to be in the desert. One woman is sitting on the beast. As already mentioned in the previous chapter this woman is Rome and Constantinople, the two “seven-hill cities” (“The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits”, Revelation 17:9). Rome is the center of the Catholic Church and it is well known that the place that this city was built in antiquity was a desert.

The beast was full of blasphemous names. The blasphemies of the Catholic Church to God are many, with the greater the “infallibility of the Pope” which was recognized (!) to him by the Vatican Synod of 1870.

The red beast that “ascends out of the bottomless pit” and “goes to perdition” (Revelation 17:8) makes war against the two witnesses and prophets of the 11th chapter of the Revelation. Here again, different interpreters of the Revelation take the easy way, giving the interpretation that comes out from the letter of the Scripture, that is that here the Holy Bible refers to two names of prophets. Still further, by some of these, the names of Moses and Elijah are referred to and from others the names of Elijah and Enoch are referred to.

The Revelation says that the two witnesses and prophets “are the two olive trees and the two lamps, standing before the God of the earth” (Revelation 11:4). Let us pay attention to what God said to Jeroboam for King Solomon via the prophet Ahijah :

“However I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, because I have made him ruler and all the days of his life for the sake of My servant David, whom I chose because he kept My commandments and My statutes. But I will take the kingdom out of his son’s hand and give it to you – ten tribes. And to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may always have a lamp before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen for Myself, to put My name there” (Kings A’, 11:34-36).

Therefore the “lamp before God” must be understood to be a “tribe of Israel”. From the twelve tribes of Israel, there remained favorably the two: the tribe of Judah which are the Jews of the diaspora (dispersion) and the tribe of Israel which are the Jews that live in Palestine. The tribe of Israel is the one that God promises to leave for ever before him “in Jerusalem”.

“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth” (Revel. 11:3).

The people of Israel has been called “the people of prophets” because their history is full of prophets, who at different periods of time appeared “clothed in sackcloth” in order to carry to the people of Israel the messages of God.

Here again we meet the symbolic time period of forty two months (“one thousand two hundred and sixty days”) as the time period during which the two witnesses may prophesy. This means that the duration of the spiritual activity of Israel will be the same with that of the spiritual activity of the Christian Religion (Revelation, 13:5) and with that of the real church of Christ (Revelation, 12:6).

The red beast (the one emerging from abyss) made war with the two witnesses and prophets (Revel. 11:7). This war is the war that the Catholic Church made against the Jews of the diaspora and the Jews that lived in Palestine, the one that remained in history as “Crusades”. Masses of religiously inflated fighters from various countries of Europe, set out for the “liberation” of the Holy Places vanishing the Jewish communities of Europe that found in their way. The first “Crusade” which was made during the reign of Pope Urban B’, lasted exactly three and a half years (forty-two months). It started in 1096 and lasted until July of 1099 when Jerusalem fell to the hands of the “Crusaders”.

The seizure of Jerusalem followed the massive slaughter of its inhabitants, the number of which reached the 30.000 people. From these, a number were killed or burned inside their synagogues and others were sold as slaves in Italy. Only some of Jerusalem’s inhabitants managed to survive escaping to Egypt. (The children of God were saved from their slaughter by the Neo- Romans, with their escape to Egypt, as it was done also in the case of the infant Jesus, whose parents escaped to Egypt to save the holy infant from the slaughter of Herod). The inhabitants of Jaffa were slaughtered in the same way.

This was the “sacred” achievement of the “Crusaders”. The work of a beast. The dreadful description of the conquest of Jerusalem is given to us illustratively in the Revelation: “And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth” (Revel.11:8-10).

Men “from the peoples, tribes, tongues and nations”, religiously fanatic men from various countries of Europe were viewing the dead citizens of Jerusalem. The Revelation writes that the men were so glad for the death of the two prophets that they sent presents mutually to each other, to celebrate their death, because the two prophets tormented the inhabitants upon earth. I do not know whether during the conquest of Jerusalem happened such thing (i.e. the exchange of presents), and also whether the corpses of the inhabitants of Jerusalem remained unburied for three and a half days, but I believe that they really happened. The phrase “these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth” must be understood as follows: The Jews of the diaspora, those dispersed in all nations, were always unwanted and hated in most of these nations. The progress of the Jews in the economic sector was something that challenged the others jealousy. For this reason “they rejoiced for the death of the two prophets”. The jealousy and the hatred of the various nations against the Jews of the diaspora was such, that many persecutions were made against them, at different time periods, with the most recent one that of the mass extermination of them in the Nazi Germany during the 2nd World War.

“Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here”. And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven” (Revel. 11:11-13).

Here the Revelation makes a parallel comparison for what the people of Israel suffered during the “Crusades” with the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ. If we look into this matter in a historic manner, the period immediately after the “Crusades”, with the conquest of Palestine by the Mameluke Turks (1291-1516), it could be characterized as a resurrection from the death of the people of Israel, since it is the period during which the repatriation of the Jews of the diaspora, to Palestine, began in increasing numbers.

Israel has never ceased to be the chosen people of God. They are, as Apostle Paul says, the cultivated olive tree from which all those who believe to Jesus Christ were grafted, as it happens with the wild olive tree. God wished those to become blind, for the nations to be saved. And this only for a certain period of time, until the fullness of the various nations enter the ark of salvation that is called Jesus Christ. Then these will also accept Jesus Christ as their savior.(Romans, 11:24-26).