Image of the Beast & The 7 Sons of Sceva ~ Part 1

01 Aug

Awhile ago, I had been reading about a particular study theme in Lee T. Dahn’s blog showing both the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts have an underlying theme that contrasts the priestly family of Annas with the priesthood of Christ, the one being corrupt and the other holy. I found his point of view very interesting, and because of my reading his study, I have begun to recognize this theme behind some of the symbols in the book of Revelation. For example, I’ve already made the claim that the Image of the Beast is actually the seven sons or descendents of Annas, the high priest.

The Mark of the Beast in one’s forehead is the counterfeit of the name of the Father in the foreheads of the 144000 (cp. Revelation 13:16-17 with Revelation 3:18; & 14:1). Could the seven sons of Annas answer to or be the counterfeit of the Lamb’s seven horns or eyes which are the seven spirits of God (Revelation 5:6) sent into all the earth—presumably with the Gospel? Why do I ask this? Well, if Dahn is correct regarding an underlying theme in Luke’s Gospel and Acts that points to a rivalry between the priesthood of Annas and that of Jesus, the one must be the counterfeit of the Reality. The main characters of the counterfeit would be: Eleazar,[1] Joseph Caiaphas[2] (son-in-law), Jonathan,[3] Theophilus,[4] Matthias,[5] Ananus[6] and Matthias[7] (grandson of Annas and son of Theophilus). Those who are named in the New Testament as obeying the directives of the office of the priesthood of Jesus are the writers of the New Testament, namely: Matthew,[8] Peter,[9] Luke,[10] John,[11] Paul,[12] James[13] and Jude.[14]

The account of the seven sons of Sceva, the high priest, in Acts 19:14-17 may be a bit confusing to the average reader, especially once it becomes known that there is no record of a high priest reigning in Jerusalem by this name. Therefore, if the account is true at all, Luke must have something else in mind rather than writing literal history at this point. Luke’s addressee, Theophilus (Acts 1:1), would not have missed the parody on his family. The name Sceva is from the Latin, meaning left-handed, implying sinister or evil. Luke offered God’s evaluation of the high priesthood of Annas and that of his seven descendents, all of whom were unable to produce fruit to God. In fact, both Annas and his household were overcome with the evil they, in name, claimed to expel (Acts 19:16; cp. Revelation 13:13), and actually ended up fighting against God (cp. Acts 5:34-39)!

Both Annas and Caiaphas were instrumental in getting Jesus crucified. They also attempted in vain to destroy the new-born Church of Christ (Acts 2 to 5). Caiaphas was the presiding high priest in whose court Stephen was condemned and stoned, and under whom the first wave of persecution against Messianic believers was initiated. About a decade later, Herod Agrippa beheaded James, the Apostle (John’s brother), perhaps under the advice of either Jonathan, who had a proclivity of meddling in the affairs of the state (see JOSEPHUS: Antiquities 20.8.5) or at the request of Matthias who served as high priest about that time. Thus, the second wave of persecution against believers was initiated, but this time the Apostles were expelled from Jerusalem. About two decades later Ananus, the younger, served as high priest and instigated a trial which resulted in the stoning of James, the Lord’s half-brother, and soon afterward the third wave of persecution was initiated against believers in Christ. With each new persecution, a new group was targeted under the threat of death, until the whole body of believers had the death sentence written above their heads, and took their lives into their hands by visiting Jerusalem. I don’t mean to imply by saying there were three persecutions that believing Jews were not persecuted between these three periods. They were, and were questioned, beaten and underwent many other troubles, but they were not put to death, unless they were the targeted group or groups. These three persecutions were officially initiated by this same high priestly family with death as a means to destroy the new Church.

[1] Serving between 16-17 CE. (JOSEPHUS: Antiquities 18.2.2)

[2] Serving between 18-36 CE. (JOSEPHUS: Antiquities 18.2.2 and 18.4.3)

[3] Serving between 36-37 CE. & 52-58 CE (See JOSEPHUS: Antiquities 18.4.3 and 18.5.3; compare: Antiquities 20.6.2 with 20.8.5).

[4] Serving between 37-41 CE. (JOSEPHUS: Antiquities 18.5.3 and 19.6.2)

[5] Serving between 42-43 CE. (JOSEPHUS: Antiquities 19.6.4 and 19.8.1)

[6] Serving only 3 months in 62 CE. (JOSEPHUS: Antiquities 20.9.1)

[7] Serving between 65-67 CE. (JOSEPHUS: Antiquities 20.9.7 and 20.10.1)

[8] Author of the Gospel Matthew

[9] Peter is responsible for Mark’s Gospel, for it is a transcript of Peter’s sermon at Rome; Peter also is responsible for two epistles.

[10] Luke is responsible for the Gospel of Luke, Acts.

[11] John is responsible for the Gospel of John, three epistles and the book of Revelation.

[12] Paul is responsible for nine epistles to seven churches, four epistles to three pastors, and traditionally the book of Hebrews.

[13] James, the brother of the Lord, authored one epistle.

[14] Jude, the brother of James (probably son of Alphaeus—see Acts 1:13), authored one epistle.


Posted by on August 1, 2011 in spiritual warfare


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2 responses to “Image of the Beast & The 7 Sons of Sceva ~ Part 1

  1. Ed Bromfield

    August 1, 2011 at 23:50

    Greetings, and thank you for your kind words. I found Lee Dahn’s blog very interesting about a year and a half ago, his and another blogger, Richard Anderson, put me on to the idea that Annas and his family had a great deal to do with the trouble of the early church. I found the idea that Luke’s addressee, Theophilus, was actually the high priest during the reign of Caligula was fascinating to me, that and the proposition that Sceva in Acts 19 actually refers to Annas. I prayed about these things, studied the historical background (Josephus) with this idea in mind, and things in Scripture began falling in place.

    My comments on Revelation relating to Annas as the false prophet and his family as the image of the beast etc. are the results of prayer and thinking on the Scriptures. Other matters relating to Revelation 13 and 17 I have had for years. That too is the result of prayer and lots of thinking on the Scriptures. If I am correct in any of this, it is the Holy Spirit who placed it in my heart. I didn’t learn anything from men except what I have conceded pertaining to the blogs above. May the Lord bless you in your studies as well.


  2. mtsweat

    August 1, 2011 at 22:17

    Great post friend. I’m curious (if you don’t mind) as to what resources you use in your studies. These are very interesting and revealing. God bless

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