christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

revelation 13, the beast from the sea

Read Revelation 13 at Bible Gateway.

Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. Rev 13:1-2

Here we see yet another beast, who also has seven heads and ten horns, just as the dragon did. But this passage confirms our earlier theory, that the four beasts of Daniel’s vision and this beast who rises from the sea are the same. Recall that the four beasts of Daniel’s vision were a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a terrible beast which could not be described. Among the four beasts, there were seven heads: one on the lion, one on the bear, one on the terrible beast, and four on the leopard. And among the four beasts, there were ten horns, for the terrible beast had ten horns.

This beast rising from the sea which John saw, has seven heads and ten horns, just as Daniel’s beasts do, and also like Daniel’s beasts, it has the attributes of a leopard, a bear, a lion. and a beast. This is the Scripture’s way of telling us that the beasts are one and the same; Daniel and John are seeing the same thing.

The beast represents the world- dominating empires, the kingdoms of this world. The empires are Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, the final empire, which is still ongoing. What is the blasphemous name on the seven heads? The blasphemy is that, one way or another, each of the kings of these empires demanded that they be worshiped as god. Nebuchadnezzar, the head of Babylon, did, in Dan 3. Darius, the head of Media-Persia, did, in Dan 6. Alexander did. Antiochus did. The Roman emperors demanded their citizens offer sacrifices to them as gods, which was why the Christians were persecuted for centuries in the Roman empire — they refused to do so. The Pharaohs of Egypt believed that they were Amon-Ra incarnate. Nimrod, with whom it all began, was also venerated as the god incarnate.

The world- dominating empires, the kingdoms of this world, derive their power from Satan, and receive their throne and authority from him (vs. 2). When Satan was tempting Jesus in the wilderness, he offered Him the kingdoms of this world. He could offer them because they belonged to him.

And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” Rev 13:3-4

Now one of the heads of the beast becomes mortally wounded. A mortal wound is fatal, so we would expect to see a death of some kind. Then the fatal wound of that head was healed, and it became a functioning head of the beast again. This caused all the world to follow the beast, worship it, and to declare that no one could make war with it.

The fulfillment of this figure is in the head of Rome. It received its mortal wound when the Roman Empire was conquered by German barbarians in 476, and fell. But then in 800, Charlemagne, a Frankish (German) king who had consolidated the kingdoms of Germany, France, Italy, and Eastern Europe, and kept the Saracens (Mohammedans) in Spain at bay, was crowned by the pope in Rome as the sixty- eighth emperor of Rome. Even though there had been no western Roman emperor for 324 years (or western Roman Empire, for that matter), the pope crowned Charlemagne as if there had been no break at all. It was from this coronation that the Roman Empire was raised to life again, after it had been mortally wounded, under the name of the Holy Roman Empire. When the pope crowned Charlemagne, he also set a precedent in the kingdoms of the world: the State would rule by the authority of the Church. The combined power of Church and State would make it impossible for anyone to wage war against it.

Continued in revelation 13, the beast from the land

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