Looking for Clues
Comparing the Bible with the Bible always gives us clues about the things in the book of Revelation. To find out about the sea beast in Revelation chapter 13 let’s go back to Daniel and see if we can find some clues. Then we’ll look through history to put the puzzle together.
Clue #1: The beast described in Daniel chapter seven comes up out of the sea (Dan. 7:3). The first beast in Revelation 13 comes out of the sea (Rev. 13:1). Revelation tells us the “sea” represents peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues (Rev. 17:15). So the first beast must have arisen from a very populated place.
Clue # 2: In Daniel, the first beast is like a lion, the second beast like a bear, and the third beast like a leopard (Dan. 7:4-6). John describes the sea beast like a lion, a bear, and a leopard (Rev. 13:2). He’s a mixture of the first three beasts in Daniel. This is the beast of all beasts. I don’t think that’s a coincidence!
Clue #3: Daniel describes a fourth beast that has 10 horns (Dan. 7:7). The sea beast in Revelation 13 has 10 horns (Rev. 13:1). Horns represent power and strength.
Clue #4: A little horn rises from among the horns of the fourth beast that speaks great things against God (Dan. 7:8). And one of the seven heads of the sea beast in Revelation also speaks great things against God (Rev. 13:5). This is a blasphemous power (Rev. 13:6). It claims to have the authority of God. Blasphemy means to claim to be God (John 10:33).
Clue #5: The little horn in Daniel seeks to wear out the saints of the Most High (Dan. 7:25). The beast in Revelation makes war with the saints (Rev. 13:7). It is a persecuting power.
This is getting interesting. Having that many similarities cannot be a coincidence. But to make doubly sure the Bible tells us something very specific.
Clue #6: Daniel tells us “He shall speak great things against the Most High and shall wear out the saints of the Most High and think to change times and laws and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (Dan. 7:25). Revelation 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 (Rev. 13:5).
Yes, the fourth terrible beast in Daniel is the same as the beast out of the sea in Revelation. And the little horn of Daniel 7 is the same as one of the seven heads of the sea beast in Revelation.
A note about time:
- A time means a year so time, times and 1/2 a time = 3 1/2 years.
- 42 months = 3 1/2 years.
- 42 months equals about 1,260 days.
- Using the day-year principle which says that one day in some prophetic scripture is equal to one year this turns into 1,260 years. (1)
The Beast Power Identifies Itself
Daniel tells us this beast power seeks the authority that belongs only to God. It thinks to change God’s times and laws (Dan. 7:25). Therefore this beast symbolizes Satan working in disguise through a political and religious power that claims to be “christian” but does not follow the truths of the Bible.
I wonder if we could find a power that persecuted God’s people, began in a populated place, said blasphemous things, and had great political and religious power for 1,260 years in history.
Let’s take these one at a time.
- Persecuted God’s People: History estimates that over one hundred million people lost their lives during the time of Papal Roman tyranny. The roman church persecuted those who followed the Bible alone instead of the traditions of the church. (2)
- Began in a Populated Place: The Roman Empire was the hub of western civilization. The Roman Church set up it’s headquarters at the center of this empire in Rome.
- Blasphemed God: Cardinal Sarto, who became Pope Pius X, said this: “The Pope represents Jesus Christ Himself..”(3) Pope Leo XIII said these things about the role of the Papacy and the Roman Church: “We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty…”(4)
- Great Power for 1,260 Years: The Papacy would persecute the saints (God’s people) for 1,260 years. The power of the Pope began in 538 AD, when Emperor Justinian appointed the Bishop of Rome to be the Head of all Churches. Adding 1,260 years to 538 AD brings us to 1798, which is the year French General Berthier, under Napoleon, captured the Pope. Napoleon apparently tried to crush the Papacy, and about 18 months later the Pope died in exile in Valence, France. This act ended papal power temporarily.
Wow! The Bible predicted this with astonishing accuracy.
The Reformers Were Convinced
During the protestant Reformation, Martin Luther and the majority of the protestant leaders were convinced that the sea beast was the Roman Catholic Church and the papacy. In another post we will confirm this by examining how the Roman church changed times and laws just like Daniel the prophet predicted.
This Beast Will Act Again
The Bible predicted that this power would regain strength (Rev. 13:3, 17:8). In 1929 the papacy regained it’s power with the creation of the Vatican City State and the wound began to heal. This power will continue to gain strength and reign until the end and will again enforce its decree contrary to God’s law. We don’t know at this time what exactly that will look like. But we can learn from history.
One of the best ways to learn from history is reading stories of brave men and women who stood on the truth of God’s word no matter what the consequences. Their faith and courage are inspiring to kids of all ages.
For now remember, this is not an attack against any person that is a Roman Catholic. There are people in the catholic church that love God and are following him with their whole hearts. Also remember that only one of the seven heads was wounded and then healed. This beast has more powers at work than just the Papal system. The sad truth is that many other churches are also following this beast by following traditions of men instead of the commandments of God. We must examine our own lives before pointing our finger at any individual person.
My goal is to study the Bible and base my decisions and beliefs upon what the word of God says and not on what any church organization says. When we have God’s love in our hearts we will also show love to all people, even those we disagree with. Will you join me in a quest for the truth found only in the Bible? I hope you will.
(2) John Daniel, The Grand Design Exposed (CHJ Publishing, 1999): 27, 78:
(3) Cardinal Sarto, as quoted in Publications of the Catholic Truth Society Volume 29 (Catholic Truth Society: 1896): 11.