to The Beast (Part 3)
SYMBOLOGY IN THE REVELATION
is imperative to grasp first of all that ĎThe Revelationí is a book of
symbol, and that the events symbolised were to develop after Johnís days. Revelation 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John.
note that the Beast is mentioned first in chapter 13, for other events have occurred
prior to its development. The dragon of chapter 12 anticipates this
THE DRAGON initially signified pagan Rome
that persecuted the woman or true church. In 312 A.D Constantine
defeated the other pagan Roman rulers vying for power over the empire. He later
transferred his throne to Constantinople on the Black Sea. Though called the
Champion of Christianity, he still practised paganism, and the false church soon
married pagan practices and dogma to its own profession. He engraved dragons on
his coins and his successors robed themselves in purple silk embroidered with
dragons. It was this dragon power that gave authority to the Beast of Rev.
There are two Beasts in chapter 13. The third one mentioned is merely an image of the first. They signify three phases of European history that help identify the final beast in Revelation 17. So it is important to understand these phases of development first.
IDENTITY OF THE BEAST OF THE SEA (REVELATION 13:1-10)
The first beast has ten horns with crowns on
them, the body of a leopard, the feet of a bear and the mouth of
a lion. Thus this beast is firmly identified with the beasts of Daniel.
We have already proved his fourth one to be centered in Rome. Johnís beast has seven heads.
An explanation of these heads is in Revelation 17:10. "And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space." Five
distinct forms of government preceded the days of John, and only one followed -
the Gothic head, from 476 A.D; for approx. 60 years.
The sixth or imperial head of Johnís day, is further
described in Revelation 13:2 as having been "wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed." It
was healed when Justinian, Emperor of the East drove the Goths out of Rome, and
ordained the Pope as "first of all priests". Then in 607 A.D, the
Emperor Phocas confirmed him head of the universal church, with both
ecclesiastical and political power over Rome. So the dragon gave the beast "his power and his seat and great authority"
as Revelation 13:2 says. This power extended over the coastal regions of western
Europe. So the deadly wound was healed. This revived the power and
authority that Constantine had already given to the Pope from Constantinople.
No wonder all the world marvelled that "his deadly
wound was healed: andÖ. worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast:
and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able
to make war with him?" (Verses 13:3-4) This worship of both the dragon
and the beast involved pagan beliefs and practices that the Roman church
inflicted on the whole realm. So verse 5 says, "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months." That
is, three and a half years, or one thousand, two hundred and sixty days. This
period, on the day for a year principle established in Daniel and other Old
Testament prophecies, is 1,260 years This power or authority to act so
formidably lasted for a long 1,260 years until 1870 when the Popeís power was
completely removed by Vincent Immanuel and Garabaldi. The Pope then claimed to
be a prisoner of the Vatican, with his temporal power gone, and the Papal States
compressed to St. Peterís in Rome.
THE BEAST OF THE EARTH (REVELATION 13:11-18)
This arose after the Beast of the Sea, but in its presence. So these two beasts co-existed, and as its title suggests, the latter was inland. Revelation 13:11 "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon." Its likeness to a lamb suggests by its appearance, that is has a Christian mission: yet its speech like a dragon betrays it as having pagan dogmas. The two horns indicate two seats of authority or power. "And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before (Greek enopion meaning in the presence) him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed".
After 476 A.D, the empire split into independent kingdoms
symbolised by the ten horns upon the heads of the first beast. The beast of the
earth began its rise in 751 A.D, when Pepin dethroned the last Merovian King,
and was anointed King of France by the papal legate. Then Pope Leo crowned
Charlemaigne in the Vatican, (800 A.D) with the words, "long life and
victory to Charles, the most pious Augustus, crowned by God, the pacific emperor
of the Romans." Thus the beast of the earth arose, and then continued for a
thousand years. A Priest-King relationship was born, signified by the two horns
with a lamb-like body: but betrayed as a wolf in sheepís clothing to those who
discerned its speech to be that of a dragon. The Emperor extended his realm
until France, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Croatia had submitted to this
THE WORSHIP OF THE FIRST BEAST
By this union of church and state, the dominion of both the sea beast, and the earth beast united under the sole religious authority of the Pope. This included the Emperor himself. so in reality, the Papacy held both the sceptre of authority, and the seat of veneration. The earth beast called down symbolic "fire from heaven" in its threats of a fiery death for rebels from the politico - religious heavens that ruled. Threats of excommunication thundered from the Sea Beast, (the Vatican) if any ruler tried to rebut or ignore its primal authority.
In 972 Otto King of Germany conquered the Franks and received
his Emperorís crown from the Pontiff. Thus began what is known as "The Holy Roman Empire."
In 1143 the Lombards of Italy defeated Frederick of Germany and the young
Emperor knelt and kissed the feet of Pope Alexander, demonstrating the
veneration with which the Throne of "St Peter" was held. This
illustrates how the earth and them which dwell therein were caused to worship the first beast. (v12)
Europe with its officials and citizens might well have regarded this as a miracle
or a wonder, for without any army to enforce submission, the Roman
Pontiff was acknowledged head of the Empire.
A COUNTERFEIT MILLENNIAL
Thundering from the Vatican, he created, judged and deposed the Kings of the world. Enthroned as God on earth, the Roman Pontiff ruled over a counterfeit Kingdom of God on earth for a thousand years. This is but one of the many blasphemies when "he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven." (V 8)
By the middle of the twelfth century Pope Gregory II had laid the foundations for papal power to reach its pinnacle. The image of the beast was set up and given life by the earth beast. This was an image (as in a mirror) of the sea beast, that used every means available to it to "make war with the saints and to overcome them." (V 7) The sea beast itself had been a revival of the old Roman Empire. Yet it was a poor representation of its former military glory.