Saturday, 28 October 2017 15:48

87. The beast that comes out of the sea: it has ten horns, ten crowns and speaks blasphemies * Revelation 13:1 - PART 2

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1 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.

 

PART 2

 

*** Ten horns ***: The horns are a bit different than the heads. While the heads are related to the beast activities throughout history, the ten horns represent the political powers present during a certain period of time (Revelation 17:12). The sea beast reminds us of the fourth beast of Daniel 7:7, which also had ten horns. Daniel says the fourth beast is “different from all the others”, and that it is “exceedingly dreadful” (Daniel 7:19). The angel explained to Daniel the meaning of the fourth beast and its horns: “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom, ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.” (Daniel 7:23-25). In these verses, we can see many important aspects of the beast, but we must underline one right now, that has to do with how the dragon wished to attack the remnant, those “who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:17). A strong emerging horn, out of the ten, will seek to “make alterations in times and in law”, and the people of God would suffer under their domain for the same period of time we saw when we studied the two witnesses and the woman who fled to the wilderness (studies #72 and #78). The period is “a time, times, and half a time”, which equals 3.5 prophetic years, or 42 prophetic months, which equals 1260 literal years. This is the time in history where Christians suffered tremendously during the Middle Ages. During this time, the Roman Empire was in charge. This places the Roman Empire as the legs of iron and as the fourth kingdom seen in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7. Now we can see how the rise and fall of the kingdoms which possessed global domination happened exactly how it was laid out in prophecy, as we saw in Daniel 2.

The number 10 is not a random number. The beast had ten horns for a reason. Revelation 17:12 tells us the ten horns are ten political authorities who will receive power directly from the beast, who is the main political figure. The angel explained to Daniel the exact meaning of the ten horns: they are ten kingdoms which will come from the fourth beast (the Roman Empire). We saw these ten kingdoms as the ten toes of the statue in the prophecy written in Daniel 2. They were kingdoms that partly had the strength of iron (Roman Empire) and the weakness of clay. These kingdoms were divided and not to ever unite again under human rule.

*** Ten crowns ***: The Greek word for crown used in Revelation 13:1 is the word diadema, which means royal crown. Both the beast and the dragon are described as having the royal diadem. One interesting detail is that while the beast has ten crowns on its horns, the dragon has seven and they are on his heads (Revelation 12:3). Remember that the dragon’s goal was to be like God and sit on God’s throne. He wanted the supreme authority for himself. As we’ve seen before, the number seven is used in the Bible very frequently, and it often refers to fullness, completeness, and perfection. The dragon presents himself has having a perfect and complete authority as ruler. This is part of his deceit because he has absolutely no divine authority. The dragon not only claims to have the authority but also the ability to pass it along to his agents (Revelation 13:4). That authority was transferred to each of the horns, meaning to each of the ten political powers that emerged after the Roman Empire fell. The angel explained to Daniel that “the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise” (Daniel 7:24-25). With the fading away of the Roman Empire around the year 476 AD, ten tribes emerged in Europe, taking over what was once a united Roman territory. These tribes were: Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Alemannians, Suevi, Anglo-Saxons, Heruli, Lombards, and Burgundians. (See study #79). The crowns differ from the horns just as the horns differed from the heads. While the horns represent an actual political power, the crowns represent the authority that the dragon had given them. This is a strategy Satan is using to mimic the power and authority that belongs to God. The Bible tells us that Christ is "Lord of lords and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14) and that Jesus wears on His head “many crowns” (Revelation 19:12).

*** The name of Blasphemy ***: There is one more thing that is revealed about the sea beast in Revelation 13:1. It has names of blasphemy upon his heads. The beast described in Revelation 17 is "full of blasphemous names” (Revelation 17:3). The little horn power of Daniel 7 had a mouth that was speaking boastful words (Daniel 7:8). Daniel 7:25 goes more into detail about what these boastful words were: “He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.” Revelation 13:6 says “[the beast] opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.” But what is blasphemy according to the Bible? John 10:33 brings the answer to this question. Once the Jewish leaders wished to stone Jesus because, in their minds, Jesus had blasphemed against God. Even though they were accusing Jesus unjustly, the accusations of blasphemy were clearly stated: “The Jews answered Him, ’For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God.’ Jesus answered: ‘do you say of Him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, you are blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God’?” (John 10:36). Another time, the Pharisees believed Jesus was speaking blasphemy when He demonstrated His authority to forgive sins. Forgiving sins can only happen by a divine action. To show that He is God, one with the Father, Jesus answered those Pharisees, stating "the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins“ (Luke 5:24). Blasphemy happens when someone makes themselves equal with God, and attributes to himself powers that belong only to God, such as: changing God’s law (Daniel 7:25) and forgiving sin (Luke 5:20-24).

*** Overview and Prophetic Application ***: The dragon went on to fight the remnants of the woman, those who still "keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus" (Revelation 12:17). In order to organize his attack, Satan enlisted helpers to his team. The first helper was the sea beast, a strong political power that followed the demise of the Roman Empire and that ultimately wished to do the things that only God is capable of doing. The sea beast’s blasphemous words reflect its false claims of having authority to forgive sins, alter God’s law, and of being equal to God. As we’ve studied, the beast represents a secular power of different nations rising in Europe. Ten kingdoms emerged after the fall of the Roman Empire, and these ten kingdoms gave origin to the current European nations. Note how this power is not only political but also religious, as it claims to have divine attributes and capacities. Just like the beast and the woman of Revelation 17, who, combined, function as a symbol for the apostate church (prostitute) and the political power (beast), the sea beast is a political force that exercises some religious influence over the people. This becomes evident in Revelation 13:12, where it says the whole earth will worship the sea beast. We need to be aware of the origin and objectives of this first beast, so we are not deceived by Satan’s lies, which he throws at the people through his agents. We must exam every doctrinal information and compare it to the Bible. If it is not included in Scripture, then it is created by man and therefore not part of God’s Truth. It could even be very close to a Biblical teaching, but if it has some minor alterations, we know that it does not come from God. Remember how Satan misquoted Scripture to Jesus during His time in the Wilderness? (Matthew 4:1-11). It sounded very much like the original Bible verse, but he changed it enough that it became a temptation, an instrument designed to make Jesus sin. See how dangerous slight alterations to God’s truth can be? We must not deceive ourselves. Satan has created a counterfeit unit to replace the role of Jesus as Savior and sovereign king. Let’s choose to remain firmly in the teachings of Jesus Christ, so we can be counted among the faithful remaining ones, “who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 12:17).

   
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