6 – The Beast Rising out of the Sea

////6 – The Beast Rising out of the Sea
6 – The Beast Rising out of the Sea2016-11-27T17:36:36+00:00

Sabbath, February 8, 2014

“In chapter 13 (verses 1-10) is described another beast, ‘like unto a leopard,’ to which the dragon gave ‘his power, and his seat, and great authority.’ This symbol, as most Protestants have believed, represents the papacy, which succeeded to the power and seat and authority once held by the ancient Roman empire.” –The Great Controversy, p. 439.

Characteristics of the beast

1. In one of his visions, what did the prophet John see rise from the sea? What characteristics did this beast have?

Revelation 13:1, 2, first part 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. 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.

Daniel 7:4-6 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

“There is doubtless an allusion here to the symbolism of Daniel 7. Of the beasts seen by Daniel the first was like a lion, the second like a bear, the third like a leopard. The beast seen by John had physical characteristics drawn from all three. This doubtless denotes that the power represented by the beast of Revelation possessed characteristics prominent in the kingdoms of Babylon, Persia, and Greece.” –

[By Commentary writers] Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 817.

Clarifying some symbols

2. What was represented by the “sea” from which the beast rose and by the crowns on his horns?

Revelation 13:1 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. 

Revelation 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

“The sea is a symbol of ‘peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.’ Revelation 17:15. A beast is the Bible symbol of a nation or power. It sometimes represents the civil power alone, and sometimes the ecclesiastical in connection with the civil. Whenever a beast is seen to come up out of the sea, it denotes that the power arises in a thickly populated territory. If the winds are represented as blowing upon the sea, as in Daniel 7:2, 3, political commotion, civil strife, and revolution are indicated.” –The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, p. 561.

“Gr. diademata, ‘kingly crowns’ (see on ch. 12:3). These crowns on the horns confirm the identification of the horns as political powers.” –[By Commentary writers] Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 817.

The beast receives power and authority

3. Who gave power, a seat, and great authority to the beast? What power is represented by this symbol?

Revelation 13:2, last part … And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Revelation 13:5 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.

“In chapter 13 (verses 1-10) is described another beast, ‘like unto a leopard,’ to which the dragon gave ‘his power, and his seat, and great authority.’ This symbol, as most Protestants have believed, represents the papacy, which succeeded to the power and seat and authority once held by the ancient Roman empire. Of the leopardlike beast it is declared: ‘There was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies…. 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.’ This prophecy, which is nearly identical with the description of the little horn of Daniel 7, unquestionably points to the papacy.” –The Great Controversy, p. 439.

“By what power was pagan Rome succeeded? We all know that it was by papal Rome. It matters not to our present purpose when or by what means this change was effected. The great fact is apparent, and is acknowledged by all, that the next great phase of the Roman Empire after its pagan form was its papal.” –Uriah Smith, The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, p. 564.

Recovering from the deadly wound

4. What happened to one of its heads? When did the papacy receive the deadly wound? What happened when the wound was healed?

Revelation 13:3 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.

Revelation 13:5, last part … And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

“The forty and two months are the same as the ‘time and times and the dividing of time,’ three years and a half, or 1260 days, of Daniel 7–the time during which the papal power was to oppress God’s people. This period, as stated in preceding chapters, began with the supremacy of the papacy, A.D. 538, and terminated in 1798. At that time the pope was made captive by the French army, the papal power received its deadly wound, and the prediction was fulfilled, ‘He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity.’–The Great Controversy, p. 439.

“In response to these instructions and at the command of Napoleon, Berthier, with a French army, entered Rome, proclaimed the political rule of the papacy at an end and took the pope prisoner, carrying him off to France, where he died in exile.” –[By Commentary writers] Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 834.

A power that blasphemes

5. To what do the references to blasphemies spoken by this beast refer?

Revelation 13:5, 6 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. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words 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.

2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

“… The word ‘blasphemy’ is added, and this evidently points to the fact that the great words will be blasphemous enunciations against the God of heaven:…

“For man to assume the prerogatives of God and to take the titles of deity–this is blasphemy.” –The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation, p. 569.

“Ecclesiastical literature is replete with exhibits of the arrogant, blasphemous claims of the papacy. Typical examples are the following extracts from a large encyclopedic work written by a Roman Catholic divine of the 18th century:

“’The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God.’…

“’The Pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven and of earth and of the lower regions.’…

“’The Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine laws….

‘The Pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man but of God, and he acts as vicegerent of God upon earth with most ample power of binding and loosing his sheep.’” –([By Commentary writers] Translated from Lucius Ferraris, “Papa II,” Prompta Bibliotheca, vol. VI, pp. 25-29) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 831.

Persecution against the faithful

6. Who was able to change this evil power? Against whom did it wage war? How long did this persecution last?

Daniel 7:25, last part … And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Revelation 13:7 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.

Revelation 13:5 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.

Revelation 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

“And now began the 1260 years of papal oppression foretold in the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation. Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13:5-7. Christians were forced to choose either to yield their integrity and accept the papal ceremonies and worship, or to wear away their lives in dungeons or suffer death by the rack, the fagot, or the headsman’s ax. Now were fulfilled the words of Jesus: ‘Ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake.’ Luke 21:16, 17. Persecution opened upon the faithful with greater fury than ever before, and the world became a vast battlefield. For hundreds of years the church of Christ found refuge in seclusion and obscurity. Thus says the prophet: ‘The woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.’ Revelation 12:6.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 54, 55.

7. Is it possible to number the believers who died during the Middle Ages? Until what time were the martyrs who received white robes to rest?

Revelation 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

Revelation 6:9-11 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

“In the thirteenth century was established that most terrible of all the engines of the papacy–the Inquisition. The prince of darkness wrought with the leaders of the papal hierarchy. In their secret councils Satan and his angels controlled the minds of evil men, while unseen in the midst stood an angel of God, taking the fearful record of their iniquitous decrees and writing the history of deeds too horrible to appear to human eyes. ‘Babylon the great’ was ‘drunken with the blood of the saints.’ The mangled forms of millions of martyrs cried to God for vengeance upon that apostate power.” –The Great Controversy, pp. 59, 60.

8. Are we prepared to suffer for Christ’s cause, as did our brethren of the past? What is the secret of victory?

2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Luke 21:12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

‘Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.’ John 15:20.

“If He who was pure, holy, and undefiled, who did good and only good in our world, was treated as a base criminal, and condemned to death without a vestige of evidence against Him, what can His disciples expect but similar treatment, however faultless may be their life and blameless their character? Human enactments, laws manufactured by satanic agencies under a plea of goodness and restriction of evil, will be exalted, while God’s holy enactments are despised and trampled underfoot.” –The Upward Look, p. 285.

For meditation

Daniel 7:21, 22; Hebrews 11:13-16, 24-27, 32-40; John 15:20.

“The law of God, which is perfect holiness, is the only true standard of character. Love is expressed in obedience, and perfect love casteth out all fear. Those who love God, have the seal of God in their foreheads, and work the works of God. Would that all who profess Christianity knew what it means to love God practically.” –Sons and Daughters of God, p. 52.

“Before the days of Huss there were men in Bohemia who rose up to condemn openly the corruption in the church and the profligacy of the people. Their labors excited widespread interest. The fears of the hierarchy were roused, and persecution was opened against the disciples of the gospel.” –The Great Controversy, p. 97.

“Those who love God need not be surprised if those who claim to be Christians are filled with hatred because they cannot force the consciences of God’s people. Not long hence they will stand before the Judge of all the earth, to render an account for the pain they have caused to the bodies and souls of God’s heritage.” –(Review and Herald, December 28, 1897) This Day with God, p. 371.

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