Sure Word of Prophecy
A Great Persecuting Power
WHAT is the first symbol of Revelation 13?
"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise
up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his
horns ten crowns and upon his heads the name of blasphemy." Rev.
already learned from studying the book of Daniel, a beast in prophecy
represents some great earthly power or kingdom; a head, a governing power;
horns, a number of kingdoms; crowned heads or crowned horns, political
rulership; waters, "peoples, and multitudes and nations, and tongues.
"The beasts of Daniel and John are empires. The ten-horned beast is
the Roman power. . . . The head is the governing power of the body. The
heads of this beast represent successive governments,"- "Romanism
and the Reformation," by H. Grattan Guinness, pages 144, 145.
How is this beast further described?
"And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his
feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a
lion." Verse 2, first part.
are the characteristics of the first three symbols of Daniel 7,-the lion,
bear, and leopard there representing the kingdoms of Babylon,
Medo-Persia, and Grecia,-and suggest this beast as
representing or belonging to the kingdom symbolized by the fourth beast
of Daniel 7, or Rome. Both have ten horns. Like the dragon of
Revelation 12, it also has seven heads; but as the dragon symbolized Rome
in its entirety, particularly in its pagan phase, this, like the
"little horn" coming up among the ten horns of the fourth beast
of Daniel 7, represents Rome in its later or papal form. Both it and the
little horn have "a mouth" speaking great things; both make war
upon the saints; both continue for the same length of time.
Allowing a very broad meaning to the symbol, the Douay or Catholic Bible,
in a note on Rev. 13:1, explains the seven heads of this beast as follows:
"The seven heads are seven kings, that is, seven principal kingdoms
or empires, which have exercised, or shall exercise, tyrannical power over
the people of God: of these, five were then fallen, viz., the Egyptian,
Assyrian, Chaldean, Persian, and Grecian monarchies; one was present,
viz., the empire of Rome; and the seventh and chiefest was to come, viz.,
the great Antichrist and his empire." That the seventh head
represents Antichrist there can be little doubt, See Chapter 59 of this
What did the dragon give this beast?
"And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great
authority." Verse 2, latter part.
an undisputed fact of history that under the later Roman emperors,
beginning with Constantine, the religion of the Roman government was
changed from pagan to papal; that when Constantine removed the seat of his
empire from Rome to Constantinople in 330 A.D., the city of Rome was given
up to the bishop of Rome, who, from Constantine and succeeding emperors,
received rich gifts and great authority; that after the fall of Rome, in
476 A.D., the bishop of Rome became the ruling power in Western Rome and
by decree of Justinian, March 15, 533, was declared "head of all the
holy churches," and in a letter of the same year he was designated as
"corrector of heretics." See Chapter 51. of this book. Thus Rome pagan became Rome papal; the
seat of pagan Rome became the seat of papal Rome; church and state were
united; and the persecuting power of the dragon was conferred upon the
professed head of the church of Christ, or papal Rome. As Dr. H. Grattan
Guinness, in his "Romanism and the Reformation," page 152 says,
"The power of the Caesars lived again in the universal dominion of
How are the character, work, period of supremacy, and great power of the
"And there was given into him a mouth speaking great things
and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two
months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His
name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given
unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was
given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." Verses 5-7.
these specifications have been fully and accurately met in the Papacy, and
identify this beast as representing the same power as that represented by
the little horn phase of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, and the little horn
of Daniel 8, in its chief and essential features and work. See Dan. 7:25;
8:11, 12, 24, 25. See readings in Chapter 51. and 52. of this book.
For an explanation of the time period mentioned, see readings in Chapter
51. and 52. of this book.
What was to be inflicted upon one of the heads of this beast?
"And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and
his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the
beast." Verse 3.
wound was inflicted upon the papal head of this beast when the French, in
1798, entered Rome, and took the Pope prisoner, and for a time, it seemed,
abolished the Papacy. But in 1800 another Pope was placed upon the papal
throne, and the deadly wound began to be healed. Temporal dominion was
taken away from the Papacy in 1870, but nevertheless its power and
influence among the nations have been increasing since then. "In that
year," says Mr. Guinness in his work "Romanism and the
Reformation," page 156, "the Papacy assumed the highest
exaltation to which it could aspire, that of infallibility." To such
a position of influence over the nations is the Papacy finally to attain
that just before her complete overthrow and destruction she will say,
"I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow." Rev.
18:7. See Isa. 47:7-15; Rev. 17:18.
What is said concerning the captivity and downfall of the Papacy?
"He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that
killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword." Verse 10. See
Ps. 18:25,26; 109:17; Jer. 50:29; Rev. 16:4-6.
What questions asked by its worshipers indicate the great station to which
this beast-power was to attain?
"And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and
they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast' who is
able to make war with him?" Rev. 13:4.
How universal is the worship of this power to become?
"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are
not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of
the world." Verse 8.
What did John say was to be the end of this beast?
"And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought
miracles before him. . . . These both were cast alive into a lake of
fire burning with brimstone." Rev. 19:20. See Isa. 47:7-15; 2
Thess. 2:3-8; Rev. 17:16,17; 18:4-8.
In what similar language is the fate of the fourth beast of Daniel 7
"I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn
spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed,
and given to the burning flame." Dan. 7:11.
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