Chimeras are coming
In my vision that night, I saw a fourth beast – terrifying, dreadful, and very strong. It devoured and crushed its victims with huge iron teeth and trampled their remains beneath its feet. It was different from any of the other beasts, and it had ten horns. – Daniel 7:7
Revelation 13:2 This beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority.
In ancient Greek mythology, the Chimera was an imaginary creature that had a lion’s head, but goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail. Numerous types of composite beasts, made of incongruous parts, are found throughout the Ancient Near East. Once thought to be only fiction, the product of human imagination, chimeras and are becoming reality.
Chimeras are hybrids created from different species. In experimental embryology, hybrids are produced by grafting an embryonic part of one animal onto another. In 2017 scientists created the first human-pig hybrid (Journal cell, January 26, 2017). In 2021, both China and the US created embryos that contained both human and monkey cells. Why is this research being done? It is not to create new mixed-species of living beings, but rather to provide a method of growing human organs for transplantation.
The Scriptures contain a plethora of amazing composite beasts seen in dreams and visions. The descriptions are frequently of angelic creatures or servants of the dark side. They are often supersized, wild-looking chimeras of creatures that do not exist on planet Earth. Being so unique, they are beyond the boundaries of our experience and imagination. They are essentially indescribable.
These imposing, often terrifying images seem to jump out of the pages of Scripture. Why are they present?
Step back for a moment and think about how we emphasize things when we write. We use hyperbole, underlining, capital letters, italics, or bold characters. People in ancient times were capable of understanding ethereal, abstract concepts such as omnipotence and omniscience. But they were limited in their ability to express metaphysical ideas. So they used concrete images of things that were known to them in the natural world such as eagles, lions, leopards, bears, or dragon-like creatures to express the inexpressible. For example, a leopard represented speed, a bull represented strength, a lion majesty. The Ancient Near East was replete with composite creatures: part human, part angel, and part beast. Consider the cherubim described in Ezekiel 1:14.
These extraordinary creatures envisioned are intended to provoke the reader to pause, stop and reflect on what is written.
“In the absence of abstract philosophical tools, these images expressed the transcendent divine attributes of omnipotence and omniscience. Carrying the divine throne, the four-headed cherubim declare that Yahweh has the strength and majesty of the lion, the swiftness and mobility of the eagle, the procreative power of the bull, and the wisdom and reason of humankind” (Daniel Isaac Block).
REFLECT & PRAY
1 Thessalonians 5:3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.
Father thank You for communicating to us in ways that we can begin to understand the inexplicable.
1 Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God.
2 This beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority.
Picture in your mind the chimera that John described in his vision in Revelation 14. He was on the shore and he saw a strange, unusual beast begin to emerge from the sea lumbering towards him. First, he saw the ten horns bursting through the surface of the water. Soon a head emerged with ten horns. What a bizarre image. But then the first head was followed by a second and third etc. until seven heads appeared in succession.
“John saw the body emerge as this beast came ever nearer to the shore; this body was lithe and strong, shaped like that of a leopard and with a leopard’s spots. Then, as the beast continued to wade ashore, he saw its feet, but these were not feline feet but the feet of a bear. Finally, when this strange composite beast was on dry land it opened its mouth and roared like a lion” (M. S. Mills).
Such a composite beast simply does not exist. What does it represent? For those who believe in the literal fulfillment of biblical prophecy of the end times, this creature represents the Beast, a.k.a., the Antichrist. The Antichrist is empowered by the evil one to attempt to carry out his end times scenario on planet Earth.
Revelation 13:2 The dragon [Satan] gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority.
The people of planet Earth swooned. They were enamored and captivated. They were seduced and worshiped the Beast and the Dragon. This was the enemy’s plan all along. And now for a short time, he will have his way.
4 They worshiped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshiped the beast. “Who is as great as the beast?” they exclaimed. “Who is able to fight against him?”
5 Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months.
6 And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God, slandering his name and his dwelling – that is, those who dwell in heaven.
7 And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation.
8 And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast.
How does the Antichrist carry this off?
In 1953, Arnold Toynbee, English historian, wrote, “By forcing on mankind more and more lethal weapons, and at the same time making the world more and more interdependent economically, technology has brought mankind to such a degree of distress that we are ripe for deifying any new Caesar who might succeed in bringing the world unity and peace.”
“That is all Antichrist will need to offer the world when he comes. He will say, “I am going to give you peace,” and the people will say “Hallelujah!” and put him into office. That is the way we do it in the United States where we are supposed to be a very cultured, educated, sophisticated, and civilized nation. The world will put Antichrist into power.”
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote, “The Antichrist will come disguised as the great humanitarian. He will talk peace, prosperity, and plenty, not as a means to lead us to God, but as ends in themselves. He will explain guilt away psychologically . . ., make men shrink in shame if their fellowmen say they are not broad-minded and liberal. He will spread the lie that men will never be better until they make society better;”
“He will identify tolerance with indifference to right and wrong, truth and error; he will spread the lie that men will never be better until they make society better and thus have selfishness to provide fuel for the next revolution . . .; he will invoke religion to destroy religion; he will even speak of Christ and say that he was the greatest man who ever lived; his mission, he will say, will be to liberate men from the servitudes of superstition and Fascism, which he will never define. . ..”
“In the midst of all his seeming love for humanity and his glib talk of freedom and equality, he will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God, he will deceive even the elect. . ..”
“In desperate need for God, he will induce modern man in his loneliness and frustration to hunger more and more for membership in a community that will give man enlargement of purpose, without any need of personal amendment and without admission of personal guilt. . . (Time magazine, Feb. 03, 1947).
1 Thessalonians 5:4-5
4 But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief.
5 For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.