The Book of Revelation is one of the most widely discussed and debated books among both Bible students and secular scholars. In its pages are recorded the most dire warnings and vivid prophecies imaginable.
". . . Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book." (Revelation 22:7, NKJV)
One of the most captivating, yet misunderstood, symbols in the apocalyptic writings of Revelation is chapter thirteen's beast from the sea, often referred to simply as "the beast."
For centuries, men have incessantly speculated as to the identity of "the beast." The Bible, however, is its own interpreter. By comparing Scripture with Scripture and allowing the Bible to interpret itself, the identity of "the beast" becomes incontrovertibly clear.
Note: A "beast" in Bible prophecy simply represents "a kingdom." (Daniel 7:23)
The Beast from the Sea (Revelation 13) is inexorably tied to two other symbols employed in Scripture, all representing the same power and the same kingdom.
When comparing Scripture with Scripture, the identity of this Antichrist power becomes inescapably evident...
15 Identifying Characteristics of "the beast" power:
(1) . . . is both a Church and a City.
"And the woman [harlot] whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth." (Revelation 17:18, NKJV)
"woman" in prophecy = a church (Jeremiah 6:2)
A "harlot" woman, therefore = an unfaithful/apostate church.
(2) . . . is seated upon Seven Mountains.
"Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman [harlot] sits." (Revelation 17:9, NKJV)
(3) . . . is arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold
and precious stones.
"And the woman [church] was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls . . ." (Revelation 17:4, KJV)
(4) . . . asserts power over ALL the inhabitants of Earth.
" . . . And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation." (Revelation 13:7, NKJV)
(5) . . . arose within a densely populated area with cultural diversity.
"Then he said to me, 'The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.' " (Revelation 17:15, NKJV)
(6) . . . completely eradicated three other kingdoms when rising to power.
"I was considering the horns [kingdoms], and there was another horn [kingdom], a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns [kingdoms] were plucked out by the roots." (Daniel 7:8, NKJV)
Note: A "horn" in prophecy = a king/kingdom (Daniel 8:21-22)
(7) . . . makes war with the Saints.
"I saw the woman [harlot], drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Yahushua." (Revelation 17:6)
(8) . . . has a Single Man acting and speaking for the whole.
" . . . And there, in this horn [kingdom], were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words." (Daniel 7:8, NKJV)
(9) The sovereign of this kingdom exalts himself as high as Yahuwah.
Let no one deceive you by any means… the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called Eloah (God) or that is worshiped, so that he sits as Eloah in the sanctuary of Yahuwah, showing himself that he is Eloah. (See 2 Thess. 2:3-4.)
(10) The sovereign of this kingdom is identified with the number "666."
"Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six ." (Revelation 13:18, KJV)
(11) . . . speaks pompous words and blasphemies.
"And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies . . ." (Revelation 13:5, NKJV)
(12) . . . has attempted to change Yahuwah's Calendar and Law.
"He . . . shall intend to change times [calendar] and law." (Daniel 7:25, NKJV)
(13) . . . ruled supreme for 1,260 years.
". . . and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months." (Revelation 13:5, NKJV)
Note: One prophetic day = One literal year (Ezekiel 4:6)
- Lunar Year = 354 days;
Solar Year = 365
Luni-Solar Year, Average = 360 days
- 42 months = 3 ½ years = 1,260 days
- 1,260 prophetic days = 1,260 years
(14) . . . was stripped of authority by a civil power and taken into "captivity."
"He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword . . ." (Revelation 13:10, NKJV)
Note: "The sword" here indicates civil power. (See Romans 13:1, 4.)
(15) . . . was mortally wounded, but will ultimately recover.
"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." (Revelation 13:3, NKJV)
Only one power in history fits every detail of the prophetic description . . .
The Roman Catholic Church! Let's Review.
The Roman Catholic
Church . . .
(1) . . . is both a Church and a City. (Revelation 17:18)
The Roman Catholic Church and the Roman Vatican City-State are synonymous. The Lateran Treaty (Mussolini-Pope Pius XI, 1929) gave Vatican City “independent status” and recognized the pope’s sovereignty within the city.
“The agreements included a political treaty, which created the state of Vatican City and guaranteed to the Holy See full and independent sovereignty.” (Encarta Reference Library, 2004)
(2) . . . is seated upon Seven
Mountains. (Revelation 17:9)
Rome: “The City of Seven Hills”
- The Palatine
- The Capitoline
- The Aventine
- The Caelian
- The Esquiline
- The Viminal
- The Quirinal
“The historical site of Rome on the famous seven hills . . . was occupied as early as the Bronze Age.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1990, Vol.10, p.162)
(3) . . . is arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold
and precious stones. (Revelation 17:4)
“The color for bishops and other prelates is purple, for cardinals scarlet… The pectoral cross should be made of gold and… decorated with gems…” (Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia, 1991, p. 175, 178, 466)
Note: There were four colors, given by Yahuwah, to be worn by the High Priest: gold, blue, purple, and scarlet. (Exodus 28:1-6)
What is the relevance of the Catholic Church's missing color? Blue
Again Yahuwah spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the children of Israel: Tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a BLUE thread in the tassels of the corners. And you shall have the tassel, that you may look upon it and remember all the Commandments of Yahuwah and do them, and that you may not follow the harlotry to which your own heart and your own eyes are inclined, and that you may remember and do all My Commandments, and be holy for your Eloah." (See Numbers 15:37-40)
(4) . . . asserts power over ALL the inhabitants of Earth. (Revelation 13:7)
“We define that the Holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff [pope] hold the primacy over the whole world . . .” (Laetentur Coeli, Council of Florence, 1439)
There is “no higher authority . . .” (Pastor Aeternus, 1870)
Pope Gregory (reigned 1073-85) “presented himself as heir to the unlimited commission . . . over all souls.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1990, Vol.26, p.927)
(5) . . . arose within a densely
populated area with cultural diversity. (Revelation 17:15)
The Roman Catholic Church-state rose to power from within the ten original tribes (monarchies) of divided Europe:
- Anglo-Saxons (England)
- Alemanni (Germany)
- Visigoths (Spain)
- Franks (France)
- Lombards (Italy)
- Burgundians (Switzerland)
- Suevi (Portugal)
(6) . . . completely eradicated three other kingdoms when rising to power. (Daniel 7:8)
Gold tremissis of emperor Zeno (474-491)
History records that the Roman Papacy wiped out three of the original ten tribes (monarchies) of divided Europe:
- The Vandals (454 A.D.)
- The Heruli (493 A.D.)
- The Ostrogoths (538 A.D.)
"The Catholic emperor Zeno (474-491) arranged a treaty with the Ostrogoths in 487 which resulted in the eradication of the kingdom of the Arian Heruls in 493. And the Catholic emperor Justinian (527-565) exterminated the Arian Vandals in 534 and significantly broke the power of the Arian Ostrogoths in 538. Thus were Daniel's three horns' the Heruls, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths--'plucked up by the roots.' " (C. Mervyn Maxwell, God Cares, Vol. 1, p. 129)
Today, there is not a single bloodline that can be traced back to any of these three kingdoms. They were literally eradicated (“plucked out by the ROOTS")!
(7) . . . makes war with the Saints. (Revelation 17:6)
“That the Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind will be questioned by no Protestant who has a complete knowledge of history… It is impossible to form a complete conception of the multitude of her victims… and it is quite certain that no powers of imagination can adequately realize their sufferings.” (W.E.H. Lecky, History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, Vol. 2; 32)
(8) . . . has a Single Man acting and speaking for the whole. (Daniel 7:8)
The pope “is the only spokesman for the entire Roman Church.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1990, Vol.26, p.951)
(9) The sovereign of this kingdom exalts himself as high as Yahuwah. (2 Thess. 2:3-4)
“We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.”
(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter, Dated-June 20, 1894)
(10) The sovereign of this
kingdom is identified with the number "666." (Revelation 13:18)
The Pope's triple crown holds the inscription Vicarius Filii Dei, which is latin for "Vicar [Substitute] of the Son of God." The numerical value of this blasphemous title is 666.
Vicarius = V(5), I(1), C(100), A(0), R(0), I(1), U(5), S(0) = 112
Filii = F(0), I(1), L(50), I(1), I(1) = 53
- Dei = D(500), E(0), I(1) = 501
- Vicarius Filii Dei = 666
(11) . . . speaks pompous words and blasphemies. (Revelation 13:5)
Scripture defines blasphemy as:
(1) Claiming to be YAH on Earth (John 10:33)
“The pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ, hidden under a veil of flesh.” (The Catholic National, July 1895)
(2) Claiming the power to forgive sins (Mark 2:7)
“This judicial authority will even include the power to forgive sins.” (The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 12, Article “Pope”, p.265)
(3) Persecuting the people of the Most High in the Name of the Most High (1 Timothy 1:13)
“[W]e must rank the Inquisition… as among the darkest blots on record of mankind.” (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Vol. 4, p. 78)
Some historians estimate more than 100 million people were killed by the Roman Church.
(12) . . . has attempted to change Yahuwah's Calendar and Law. (Daniel 7:25)
“The pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine laws.” (Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, Article “Papa”, II Vol.6, p.29)
“Sunday is a Catholic institution and its claim to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles...From beginning to end of Scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first.” (Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, August 1900.)
“Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change [of the Sabbath to Sunday] was her
act…And the act is a MARK of her ecclesiastical power.” (Letter by
H.F. Thomas, chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons)
(Note: This change was not simply a change of worship days; it was a change of calendars. Rome, in the fourth century, adopted the modern counterfeit pagan calendar and outlawed the Biblical luni-solar calendar.)
The Papacy also removed the 2nd Commandment, which forbids idol worship. In order to keep 10 Commandments, they divided the 10th Commandment into two parts.
(13) . . . ruled supreme for 1,260 years. (Revelation 13:5)
538 AD – The Papacy, working through the civil government, broke the power of the Ostrogoths, leaving the Pope’s claim of ecclesiastical supremacy unchallenged. The Roman Church could (and would) now exercise her full authority.
1798 AD – “In 1798, General Berthier [of France] made his entrance into Rome, abolished the papal government, and established a secular one.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1941 edition)
The Papacy ruled supreme for exactly 1,260 years! (from 538
(14) . . . was stripped of authority by a civil power and taken into "captivity." (Revelation 13:10)
“The ultimate humiliation of the Church came when Pius VI was driven out of Rome by the French armies in 1798 and in the following year was taken captive by them and dragged back to France, where he died.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1990, Vol.26, p.938)
(15) . . . was mortally wounded, but will ultimately recover. (Revelation 13:3)
The Papacy is mortally wounded…
1798 – General Berthier abolished the papal government.
The Wound begins to heal . . . and the Papacy is revived.
1929 – “Rome . . . was granted sovereign extraterritorial status in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty and Concordat.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1990 Edition)
"Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book." (Revelation 22:7, NKJV)
This is not a new understanding, beloved. This is the historical Protestant view of the Roman Church. We live in a very privileged time, having the ability to see this evidence more clearly than our faithful predecessors. Yahuwah has given us these precious gems of prophecy so that we may know and understand. Soon, the beast's wound will be completely healed and she will again openly seek to destroy Yahuwah's faithful. May none be deceived by the beast, this mother of all harlots, the Roman Catholic Church.