Part of the reason for asking this question is to unveil the framework in understanding the various responses. While each answer is unique, and to the credit of each responder, they didn't argue their answer as a 'template' for one of the 4 Hermeneutical Approaches that I mentioned, nevertheless they 'took' one of the 4 approaches. Therefore, in order to "argue" for their interpretation, one has to understand the presuppositions that lead them to their conclusions.
Robert Mounce summarizes the idealist view stating, “Revelation is a
theological poem presenting the ageless struggle between the kingdom
of light and the kingdom of darkness. It is a philosophy of history
wherein Christian forces are continuously meeting and conquering the
demonic forces of evil.”
A good example of this interpretation can be found from the source referenced by sambolic, Andrew of Caesarea:
Instead of engaging in fear mongering or fanning the fiâmes of
anxiety, Andrew uses Révélation for an appropriate spiritual purpose:
as a message of encouragement and hope. This may appear paradoxical in
the context of the common perception of the Apocalypse and the related
adjective "apocalyptic," but in fact, Revelation's original message
and purpose (its CKOTCÔÇ)574 was one of hope and persévérance through
tribulation. Andrew's commentary promotes and préserves the original
purpose of Révélation: to encourage the reader to persévère and remain
faithful, and hopefully to live a spiritually improved life.
Révélation offers no promise of deliverance from tribulation, but hope
always remains because of Christ.(taken from here page 144
Dr. Art Zannoni, a religious education instructor for the Archdioceses of Mpls.-St. Paul says it like this,"(from here)
This book provided hope for Christians who were being persecuted
and can help people today to practice their faith in difficult times
and live hopefully.
By taking an 'Idealist' view, one can be "absolved" from any definitive answer regarding an interpretation; in fact, all the views at some level acknowledge the struggle between good and evil, with the eventual outcome on the side of good. But why write a mere 'allegory' on a conflict thoroughly examined in previous parts of the Bible? Is God merely telling His followers, 'You're doing a good job, keep it up...'? Or, is there a level of understanding that many of the Early Church Fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, were convinced we should have, even though they believed that 'understanding' wasn't available to them in their time?
Preterism is defined as,"
A Christian eschatological view that interprets prophecies of the
Bible as events which have already happened. Daniel is interpreted as
events that happened in the second century BC while Revelation is
interpreted as events that happened in the first century AD. Preterism
holds that Ancient Israel finds its continuation or fulfillment in the
Christian church at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The term
preterism comes from the Latin praeter, which is listed in Webster's
1913 dictionary as a prefix denoting that something is "past" or
"beyond," signifying that either all or a majority of Bible prophecy
was fulfilled by AD 70. Adherents of preterism are commonly known as
preterists"(taken from Wikipedia)
Partial preterists believe that most of the prophecies of Revelation
were fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem but that chapters 20-22
point to future events such as a future resurrection of believers and
return of Christ to the earth.
What is important to understand about Preterist/Partial Preterism is that they equate the "church" with the "Israel of God", and therefore see no future role for the Nation of Israel; Israel has been "replaced" by the church. This is a subset of Covenant Theology, which basically defines God's dealings through Covenants: one of them is the Covenant of Works(Law), the other is the Covenant of Grace(unmerited favor). Since they consider Israel as "under the Law" vs "under Grace", they say that the "Covenant of Works" ended at the Destruction of the Temple in 70AD. So they define ALL eschatology within this framework; this is why the "Nero Caesar=Antichrist" and the view the Book of Daniel as written between 150-200BC; EVERYTHING must fit(whether it makes sense or not) within this Law v Grace framework. They view the "Modern Nation of Israel" not as fulfilling God's End-Time promise of restoration(see Deut. 30:1-7) but as a "cultural anomaly" to be given no more regard than to Burkina-Faso.
In regards to Preterism, Robert Mounce states,
The major problem with the preterist position is that the decisive
victory portrayed in the latter chapters of the Apocalypse was never
achieved. It is difficult to believe that John envisioned anything
less than the complete overthrow of Satan, the final destruction of
evil, and the eternal reign on God. If this is not to be, then either
the Seer was essentially wrong in the major thrust of his message or
his work was so helplessly ambiguous that its first recipients were
all led astray.
The key thing to note is that the Futurist/Dispensational view takes the Revelation scripture Literally, or until, as J.N. Darby-the Father of Dispensationalism states,"To do so would do violence to the text."
Both Futurists and Dispensationalists see a "Future" fulfillment of Revelations, and a return of Christ's physical reign on earth. They both see Christ's return to the Nation of Israel as fulfillment of both Old Testament and New Testament prophecies. Where Dispensationalists differ from Futurists is they see God's dealings as divided up in "Dispensations", and as we are now living in the "Church Age" or Dispensation, culminated in a "Pre-Tribulation Rapture", where Christ comes "in the air" to take the Church away 1st, then returns to rule Israel and any who survive a "7 year Tribulation" period. Therefore, they interpret the "Antichrist/False Prophet" as future individuals who will 'appear' on the scene AFTER the 'church' has left. Futurists, on the other hand, see both Israel and the church joined during the last days, as well as during the Millennial Reign. Christ may come before, during or after the tribulation for them; they view the Letter to the Church at Philadelphia as "protecting" versus "removing" them during this time.
The main criticism leveled against Futurists/Dispensationalists is they "shove everything into the future". Their "normal/Literal" interpretation of the Scripture precludes any understanding that isn't spelled out specifically in the text; just as the Preterist MUST see everything as happening in the 1st century, they MUST see everything happening in the last seven years. Any symbol mentioned must have a Literal(although representational) view, they frequently cite a 'future antichrist' appearing as a world leader who takes up his residence in Israel. They don't acknowledge any interpretation that sees past or present day circumstances as fulfillment of any symbolism-it must be shoved off into the future.
Perhaps the most divergent, and widely misunderstood view is the Historicist. The Historicist view takes the Book of Revelations as being fulfilled throughout history, although there are various 'camps' which identify the symbols as meaning certain things; one of them was the "7 Headed 10 Horned Beast was the Roman Empire, and the Antichrist was the papacy. This view was espoused by the early Protestant reformers, so it is no wonder that little effort has been made to 'reconcile' the division; if you call someone the 'antichrist' you can assure yourself of future discord.
What the Historicist offers is a "continuous" unveiling of the Book of Revelations, versus an "all at the beginning", or "all at the end" view. The challenge is to find a "hermeneutic" to define the Figurative language used, and correlate it to a theme that one can readily identify, rather than the capricious whim of the interpreter.
Answer to Question
It is to this view that I propose an answer to the question of Rev. 13:11-12.
1) The way to understand Revelations is to understand God's dealings with man throughout history; therefore, the figurative language used in the Old Testament is relevant for the New Testament-it is "One Revelation".
The first principle, Scripture Interprets Scripture, is surely
especially true for the Book of Revelation since at least half of its
content is drawn from Old Testament concepts or text. When
understanding what a "beast" is for example, we not only recall that
Daniel established this symbolism for a National Ruler, but that
Revelation 13 actually cites Daniel 7. To understand what Revelation
means by "a Harlot" we recall that the Old Testament prophets
repeatedly described Israel and Judah's breach of their covenant with
God as "harlotry". The same goes for the use of numbers as symbols.
Revelation cannot be understood without being familiar with the
language of the Old Testament.(taken from Andrew Corbett here)
So instead of matching a 'theology' with symbols, we take the previously used symbols to understand the truths of Revelations. Therefore, the 10 horns of the "Beast" of Rev. 13:1 correspond to the "10 horns" of the Beast of Daniel 7:7; and we know they are 'kingdoms' because they are interpreted as that in Dan. 7:24. In previous answers that I gave, I defined the 7 Headed 10 Horned Beast as Secular Humanism, in this place and this I spell out why-from the hermeneutic previously described.
What is important is that this "Beast of the Earth"(False Prophet) operates in the AUTHORITY of the "Beast of the Sea"(Antichrist),
And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and
causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first
beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Since this "authority" is "man-given", and not "God given", what "rises up from the earth", versus the "sea", which we are told in Rev. 17:15 are,"
And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore
sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
The "Earth" here means 'earthly' or empirical, versus "sea" which are peoples. One is exercising it's authority over people, the other, over inanimate objects, yet they are BOTH exercising their authority against God.
The name of the "Beast" that represents authority over inanimate objects is Science, or better said, "Science falsely so-called"(I Tim. 6:20) as the Stoics, Epicureans, Pythagoreans opposed Paul and the Gospel, citing "knowledge"(Gnosis) of how they perceived the universe, versus the truth about God's creation. This "beast" has 2 horns like a lamb, meaning that it speaks 'meekly', and has no interest of it's own, it is a 'servant' of mankind, yet it "roars like a dragon" meaning, "If you dare oppose me, watch out!" We see from all the latest studies that predict and contradict, and yet no one asks "What right do you have to speak in the 1st place?" Evolution (without proof) is accepted as dogma, and Christianity is tossed in the cultural dustbin of time.
It performs great miracles, but apart from the auspices of God, as most scientists are avowed atheists. "Fire from Heaven" is seen as "God's approval" for it's actions(think Elijah and the prophets of Baal) and most believe,"...isn't it marvelous that we have all these technological advancements", yet all the while faith is being decreased, as well as abortion, euthanasia, wholesale destruction are advanced as part of it's agenda. The "image" that this "beast" creates is "Modern Man", or Modern Technological Society-free from the 'religious constraints' of an 'antiquated God'. I won't discuss the 'mark of the Beast' as it will consume much more space, but this 'beast' makes possible the idea of "World Dominion".
As you can see, there are a variety of views based on the presuppositions(hermeneutics) held. I believe the Historicist view, although most likely to be misused, provides the best opportunity to obtain the truth, as it does not confine it to one end of the historical spectrum or the other, but makes use of previously defined revelation to bring new insight.
Any sources not included in quotes come from here.
For a further understanding of Covenant Theology, here.