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Sixth Edition, 1915
By Dr. John Thomas (first edition written 1861)



Chapter 12

Section 11

The Seven Heads of the Dragon




I have said that behind the head seen by Daniel there were seven other heads which he did not perceive. This is equivalent to saying, that the head seen by him was an EIGHTH READ. This is the truth. The beast he saw was headed with this eighth head contemporary with its destruction by the saints. The seven heads, except the sixth, which precede this, have now no other political existence than what may be found on the page of history. They are things of the past, save -only so far as the eighth is a partaker of-the political character of the seven. The eighth head, in Apoc. 17: 11, is styled a beast', as, "the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition." The eighth head is styled the beast, because a headless beast is a mere carcase, and incapable of action. All the seven heads,, topographically Viewed. being politically defunct ages before the judgment sits for the slaying of the east, it became necessary to give it an eighth that it might live on to the time when judgment should be given to the saints. The Eighth Beast is therefore the "dreadful and terrible fourth" in eighth head manifestation. Its history begins after the fall of the seventh head, and winds up in its perdition after the advent of the Ancient of Days.

But the seven heads have not only a political, or ecclesiastical and secular, signification; they have also a topographical one. By this, I mean, they represent the particular place, or city, where the seven heads, in their political manifestation, were to be enthroned. The heads were politically anchored to the capital of the body politic. They must be sought for there, and only there; for the legislative head of a dominion is constitutionally located at the seat of government.

Now "here is the mind which hath wisdom" - here is the sense or meaning which is true. "The seven heads are seven mountains, where the woman is sitting upon them." This is a Hebraism; an idiom, in which "are" is used for represent. It is a form of speech often used in Scripture; as, of the rock smitten by Moses, it saith, "that rock was Christ" (1 Cor. 10:4); it represented Christ: "this bread is my body;" it represents my body: "the seven lightstands are the seven ecclesias;" they represent them: and in many other places too numerous for reference. The seven heads have a two-fold signification, the first whereof is given in Apoc. 17:9. They represent seven mountains. But, if nothing more had been said, we should have been at a loss with regard to the particular seven represented. It was therefore added, "where the woman is sitting upon them." But what does "the woman" represent? There can be no doubt about the signification of this symbol; for John was informed that the woman represented "a Great City" - an Imperial City; even "that great city, which," while he was in Patmos, is "having dominion over the kings of the earth" (verse 18). From the description, it was impossible that John could mistake as to the signification of this imperial woman. He knew, as we may know, that no other city could be meant than "the Seven Hilled City" - ROME. This is the only city situate upon seven mountains, in John's day or since, that can be said to have dominion over the rulers of the earth. Her topography is seven heads, or elevations, of the land drained by the Tiber; and are thus named:


1. Mount Coelius;

2. Mount Viminal;

3. Mount Aventine;

4. Mount Esquiline;

5. Mount Quirinal;

6. Mount Capitoline;

7. Mount Palatine.


Upon these seven mounts Rome, styled by its historians, "the Eternal City," is sitting; and, when the Apocalypse was revealed to John, contained a population of millions. She was founded by Romulus 753 years before the birth of Jesus Christ; so that in A.D. 1868 she is 2621 years old. Her limits are now I greatly reduced. About thirty years before Christ, and in the days of Augustus Caesar, Rome contained two millions of inhabitants; and was fifty miles in circumference; but in 1847, she contained only 175,883 inhabitants, exclusive of Jews, whose number was computed at 8000. As long as she continues above ground she will be an interesting city. She contains 354 edifices, termed by Daniel mivtzerai mauzzim, BAZAARS OF GUARDIANS; but, by "the daemons, foul spirits, and unclean and hateful birds" of "Christendom" so-called, "churches;" which, in their ignorance and folly, they have dedicated to ghosts or phantoms, which they have decreed to be immortal, and protecting guardians to all who worship them therein. Among these bazaars of Romish saints, St. Peter's, the temple of the Roman God, holds the first rank, being the largest temple in the world. It is 666 feet long, 284 wide, and its magnificent cupola rises to the height of 408 feet. It was 200 years in building. It is the temple of "the god of the earth", before whom, in belligerent antagonism, the saints and witnesses of Jesus stood; prophesying in sackcloths 1260 years (Dan. 11:39; Apoc. 18:2; 11:3). It is the temple in which is worshipped "the Man of Sin and Son of Perdition," styled also "the Lawless One"; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called a god or is reverenced: so that, as a god, he sits in the temple of the god, publicly exhibiting himself that he is a god" (2 Thess. 2:4). Such are the capital and chief temple of the apocalyptic Sodom and Egypt; the Queen City of the Gentiles, and most holy sanctuary of Satan.

The second signification of the seven heads is expressed in Apoc. 17:10; as, "And they are seven kings"; the "and" connecting them with the seven mountains - "the seven heads are seven mountains, and they are seven kings," or governing bodies, as basileis also signifies. These seven forms of government belong to the seven hills; and are therefore Roman and Italian. John was informed, that at the time of the revelation of the mystery being made, five of the heads had fallen; and that the one in existence, consequently, was the sixth head; and that the other, or seventh head, had not yet appeared; but that when it came up, it would continue only a short time: "they are seven kings; the five have fallen, and the one is, the other not yet come; and when he may come, it behoves that he continue a short time." The two greatest historians, Livy and Tacitus, have enumerated the five from the building of the city, as,

1. The Regal Head, which continued 240 years;

2. The Consular Head, which continued 11 years;

3. The Dictatorial Head, which continued 5 years;

4. The Decemviral Head; and,

5. The Tribunitial Head with consular authority, which continued till it was superseded by

6. The Imperial Head, B.C. 31. John the apostle and Tacitus the historian, lived under this head, which continued in Rome 507 years. It was then wounded as it were to death by the

7. Or Gothic Head, A.D. 476. But, as this was only to continue "a short time" compared with the sixth, it was slain after reigning 60 years, in A.D. 554.



There was this peculiarity about the sixth head, namely, that, about A.D. 330, Constantine, the first catholic emperor, dedicated a new city, which, after his own name, he called CONSTANTINOPLE*. This new Rome was also built upon seven hills; nevertheless, it is impossible to mistake it for "the woman", or "great city", of Apoc. 17, inasmuch as it has never been the capital of hoi hepta basileis, the seven governing bodies enumerated by the historians of the Italian Rome. On the dedication of Constantinople, the imperial residence and court were established there; while the ancient Senate of the empire continued its sittings and the exercise of its functions in Rome, until it became contemporarily extinct with the seventh head A.D. 554, after a continuance of 1307 years from its institution by Romulus, the founder of the Roman State. Thus, from the dedication of the City of Constantine to the establishment of the Seventh Head upon the seven mountains, the Sixth Head of the Dragon had two capitals and two thrones to which the governing orders of the state were related. This was an arrangement peculiar to the sixth head, and doubtless providentially ordered with reference to future predetermined constitutional developments, to be manifested after the fall of the Seventh Head. The sixth head continues enthroned in Constantinople, though not in Rome, to this day. Rome has witnessed eight heads upon her seven mountains; but Constantinople only one. The government in Constantinople has always been imperial, whether administered by a Roman or Ottoman dynasty. The imperiality of the Ottoman capital has descended, through Constantine, from Augustus Caesar, the founder of the sixth head of the Dragon. The loss of old Rome by the sixth head did not deprive the governing power in Constantinople of its sixth headship. The sixth head there still rules over the eastern section of the territory of the Dragon; and perpetuates the Dragon Power for the developments of which it is to be the subject in "the time of the end". Hence, the Constantinopolitan power, without regard to the particular race administering it, be it Italian, Greek, Turkish, or Russian, is the Dragon, as opposed to the Beast of the Sea, and the Beast of the Earth, of Apoc. 13. The Constantinopolitan power, as we have seen, originally owned both Rome and Constantinople; but in after times "yielded to the Lion Mouth of the Beast of the Sea his power, and his throne, and great authority"; reserving to itself what it was able to keep: so that the Roman Orb came to be divided between the Eastern Dragon and the Western Beast; and the populations of the two sections "worshipped" each respectively, as it is written, "they worshipped the Dragon which yielded power to the Beast: and they worshipped the Beast" Apoc. 13:4.

Further details concerning the Imperial Sixth Head will be exhibit ed when I come to treat of the Beast of the Sea. I would, however, the attention of the reader to the remarkable feature in the symbolism of the Dragon in contrast with that of the Beast, namely, that upon the seven heads are "seven diadems", while upon the seven heads of the Beast there are none. Now, a diadem is a symbol of sovereignty. Upon the ten horns of the Dragon are no diadems, but only upon its seven heads. Had there been seven diadems upon the heads, and ten diadem upon the horns, seventeen in all, there would have been no Beast of Sea and Image of the Beast, to have divided with it the political "worship ship in all the earth." The heads of the Dragon being only diademed in dicates that its heads are sovereign; and that the Dragon symbol during the continuance of the Beast has specially to do with apocalyptic develops velopments connected with the heads, Therefore it is we find the Dr agon in existence after the destruction of the Beast and his Image in the Lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Ch. 19:20). These are entirely distroyed stroyed when "judgment is given to the saints"; but the Dragon is no This power is bound in the abyss for 1000 years; but at the end thereof he lifts up his diademed sixth head, of which is the eighth, and by which the nations are again beguiled into the old delusion of the sovereignty the people, and independence of all power but that which is inherent in themselves (Apoc. 20:7,5). But this is the last effort of flesh and blood rule itself imperially upon the earth . The power that binds the Dragon and destroys the Beast and his Image, premillennially, will at the end the thousand years crush the Dragon's Sixto-Octavian Head, and so rid the earth forever of man's accursed nature, which is the Devil an Satan, in apocalyptic eight-headed and ten-horned manifestation verses 9,10.




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