BEAST OF THE SEA, PART 2
they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped
the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with
him?” And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he
was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth
in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who
dwell in heaven. Revelation 13:4–6
the world wondered after the beast of the sea after it survived the wounding of
one of its heads. The wound was healed when the church at Rome achieved
supremacy over the church at Constantinople. The Bishop of Rome, now called
Pope, became the effective head of the revived Western Roman Empire and
controlled not only the religion of the Empire but also promoted the political
leaders within the Empire. The Orthodox Church segregated itself into separate
state churches having only religious influence in areas in eastern Europe.
dragon, Christ-less religion, gave authority to the beast of the sea. While this
church called itself the church of God, its power was the secular power of
political government dominated by the Pope. In submitting to the power of the
Pope, people actually worshipped the great red dragon. Barnes draws a picture
word worship is not always, however,
used in a religious sense. It means, properly, to kiss; to kiss towards any one;
that is, to kiss his own hand and to extend it towards a person, in token of
respect and homage. Then it means to show respect to one who is our superior; to
kings and princes; to parents; and pre-eminently to God. The word may be used
here to mean that homage or reverence, as to a higher power, was rendered to the
“dragon;” not strictly that he was openly worshipped in a religious sense as
God. Can any one doubt that this was the case under Papal Rome; that the power
which was set up under that entire domination, civil and ecclesiastical, was
such as Satan approved, and such as he sought to have established on the earth?
And can any one doubt that the homage thus rendered, so contrary to the law of
God, and so much in derogation of his claims, was in fact homage rendered to
this presiding spirit of evil?
agrees with Barnes on this point:
the dragon here evidently means the voluntary religious subjection of the
members of the Latin Church to the revived western empire, because of the
eminent part it has taken in the support of their faith. Not only the dragon or
revived western empire was worshipped; the beast, the whole Latin empire, is a
partaker in the adoration.
church deceived people into believing it really was the church built by Jesus.
The common attitude of the people was admiration, not so much to the Jesus
preached by the church, but admiration and dependence upon the church itself.
“Who is like the beast?” Barnes comments:
is, he is to be regarded as unequalled and as supreme. This was, in fact,
ascribing honours to him which belonged only to God; and this was the manner in
which that civil and secular power was regarded in the period here supposed to
be referred to. It was the policy of rulers and princes in those times to
augment in every way possible the respect in which they were held; to maintain
that they were the vicegerents of heaven; to claim for themselves sacredness of
character and of person; and to secure from the people a degree of reverence
which was in fact idolatrous. Never was this more marked than in the times when
the Papacy had the ascendency, for it was its policy to promote reverence for
the power that sustained itself, and to secure for itself the idolatrous
veneration of the people.
Papalism the church and the state were essentially the same having the de facto
authority of God and bringing political power under the domination of the Pope.
In saying “Who is like the beast,” the people submitted themselves without
question to the authority of the Pope, the attitude being as Clarke
expresses it: “Is it not the only holy power in the universe? Is it possible
for any person not a subject of it to be saved?”
Things and Blasphemies
he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given
authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in
blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who
dwell in heaven. (Verses 5–6)
great red dragon becomes a ventriloquist and speaks through the mouth of the
beast of the sea. Clarke gives us a list of these great things:
does not say by whom this was given; but we may suppose that it was by the
“dragon,” who is said (Revelation 13:2) to have given him his power, and
seat, and authority. The fulfilment of this is found in the claims set up by the
princes and rulers here referred to—that mighty secular power that sustained
the Papacy, and that was, in some sort, a part of the Papacy itself. These
arrogant claims consisted in the assertion of a Divine right; in the power
assumed over the liberty, the property, and the consciences of the people; in
the arbitrary commands that were issued; and in the right asserted of giving
dragon also gives the beast authority to continue for 42 months. We encountered
the time symbols of 42 months, 1260 days and time, times and half a time in
chapter 11 under the sixth trumpet. The actual time periods are identical in
that they all equal the same number of days. We concluded that the expressions
indicated the relative impact of the events depicted in the history of the
church. In that chapter 42 months was assigned to the period of apostasy and
1260 days to the period of the dominance of the Roman Church.
in chapter 13, the beast of the sea, the Roman Church, is assigned the time
value of 42 months rather than 1260 days. Both times equal 1260 days, but the
diminutive 42 is used for the beast to show that the dragon’s authority
through the beast is limited and will be given to the lamb-like beast that
follows in verse 11. In other words, the dragon’s first church project fails
and causes the dragon to come up with another plan.
Against God’s Name
dragon speaking through the beast of the sea causes the beast to blaspheme
against God. The first blasphemy is against God’s name. According to the
Vatican’s website the Pope assumes 8 names.
of Rome. The term bishop in the Bible applies to the pastor of a
congregation. It is true that in the early days of the church in Rome, there was
one congregation with a pastor, a bishop. However, nowadays there are many
Christian churches in Rome and the Pope is not the pastor of all those churches.
Nevertheless, he assumes to have authority over all Christian churches.
of Christ. The Pope claims to be the representative of Christ on the earth.
As such he claims the authority to act in the name of Christ in everything he
does. Where in the words of Jesus found in the New Testament did Jesus ever
appoint any bishop of Rome as His representative?
of the Prince of the Apostles. There is no such person as the Prince of the
Apostles. It is claimed that Peter was the first bishop of Rome—the first
Pope—but there is no historical evidence supporting this claim.
Pontiff of the Universal Church. The term pontiff means high chief or chief
priest. There is only one High Priest in the Universal Church; Hebrews 3:1,
“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the
Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus.”
of Italy. A primate is the highest or first in rank, usually referring to
some kind of priesthood. The Pope may be the highest priest in Italy, but that
has nothing to do with the church built by Jesus.
and Metropolitan of the Roman Province. This is essentially the same as
Primate of Italy. It is just another claim to be the highest authority in the
of the State of the Vatican City. The Vatican is located within the city of
Rome. It is a sovereign nation, not part of Rome and not part of Italy. The Pope
is the king of this very little country. Actually, Roman Catholics are citizens
of this little country and owe allegiance to the Pope that supposedly supersedes
their allegiance to their native countries.
of the Servants of God. This is an attempt to appear humble. The Pope may
wash some people’s feet on Maundy Thursday as a show of humility every year
but he really serves the servants of God by being their boss.
Against God’s Tabernacle
are told the beast also blasphemes against God’s tabernacle. Jesus built His
church, the body of Christ, the biblical church of God. What does the Catholic
Church believe about itself? Quoting from The
Story of the Church bearing the imprimatur of Patrick Cardinal Hayes,
Archbishop of NY, 1935
will tell us about this kind of blaspheme.
Church is the Body of Christ, His Mystical Body. The Church is Christ, and in
the Church Christ has come down through the ages bringing salvation and peace
and joy to those who believe in Him. The history of the Church is nothing more
than the continuation of the Life of Christ. (Page 13)
is a sense in which we can agree with this statement; but there is more about
the great Church of St. Peter, in the city of Rome, at the foot of the Vatican
hill, a pilgrim today may visit the tomb of the Galilean fisherman whom Christ
made the head of His Church, and who was the first Pope and Bishop of Rome.
the Church belongs to Christ why would He have to make someone else the head of
was to the apostles, under St. Peter, that our Savior gave the power to govern
His Church. The successors of the apostles are the bishops, and the successor of
St. Peter is the Bishop of Rome, who has always been the head of the Church.
Bishop of Rome has always been the head of the Church? What about Ephesians
4:15? “But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into
Him who is the head, even Christ” (NASB). What about Ephesians 5:23? “For
the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is
the Savior of the body.” What about Colossians 1:18? “And He is the head of
the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in
all things He may have the preeminence.” If Christ is preeminent, how can
there be another head of the church? What about Colossians 2:19? “And not
holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by
joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.” Christ is the
head of His church. Rome’s position that its bishop has always been the head
of the church clearly is blasphemy.
book cites the writings of Ignatius on Page 55. In these writings we see the
first inklings of the spirit of Papalism.
them, among other things, he put down the true doctrine concerning the authority
of the bishop: “Wherever the bishop, there let the people be, as where Jesus
is, there is the Catholic Church . . . respect the bishop as a type of God, and
the presbyters as the council of God, and the college of the apostles. Apart
from these there is not even the name of a Church.”
Against Those Who Dwell in Heaven
only does the beast of the sea blaspheme God’s name and His church, the beast
also blasphemes those who dwell in heaven. The Roman Church without shame or
apology practices the worship of saints. Philip Schaff in his History of the Christian Church wrote of this practice:
system of saint-worship, including both Hagiology and Hagiolatry, developed
itself at the same time with the worship of Mary. . . . After the entrance of
the heathen masses into the church the title [saint] came to be restricted to
bishops and councils and to departed heroes of the Christian faith, especially
the martyrs of the first three centuries. .
. . The veneration of the saints increased with the decrease of martyrdom. (Vol.
III, Page 428, 429)
the first three centuries the veneration of the martyrs in general restricted
itself to the thankful remembrance of their virtues and the celebration of the
day of their death as the day of their heavenly birth. . . . But in the Nicene
age it advanced to a formal invocation of the saints as our patrons and
intercessors before the throne of grace, and degenerated into a form of refined
polytheism and idolatry. (Page 432)
invocation of the dead was accompanied with the presumption that they take the
deepest interest in all the fortunes of the kingdom of God on earth, and express
it in prayers and intercessions. (Page 433)
cannot but see in the martyr-worship, as it was actually practiced, a new form
of hero-worship of the pagans. . . . For the great mass of the Christian people
came, in fact, fresh from polytheism, without thorough conversion, and could not
divest themselves of their old notions and customs at a stroke. (Page 435)
some orthodox church teachers admitted the affinity of the saint-worship with
heathenism, though with the view of showing that all that is good in the heathen
worship reappears far better in the Christian. (Page 435–436)
this not blasphemy?
established the authority of the beast of the sea through series of blasphemies,
the great red dragon tries to destroy the gospel of Christ through another
means. Verse 7 tells us it was granted to the beast to make war with the saints.
Not only does the beast kill through his blasphemies, he literally tries to kill
those who accept the gospel of salvation from sin because he recognizes that
this is his real enemy and the only thing that can defeat him.
Johnson, George; Hannan, Jerome; Sister M. Dominica;
The Story of the Church;
Benziger Brothers, Inc.: New York, NY;