Lesson 13: The Mark of the Beast, part 1

This lesson and the next one answer perhaps the most often asked questions regarding the prophecies of the book of Revelation.  Namely, who is the beast of Revelation 13, and what is his mark?  We will let the sure Word of God lead us to the answers!

1.  What did John see rise up out of the sea?  Revelation 13, verse 1.

Answer: A .

2.  How did he describe this beast?  See verse 1.

Answer: The beast had heads and ten . Each of the horns had a upon it. It also had the name of written upon his .

We have already learned from Revelation 17:15 that in prophecy the sea represents "peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues." This beast John saw, like other beasts in Bible prophecy represents a kingdom.  See Daniel 7:17.   It would also be a kingdom that arises in a very populated part of the earth!  When we see the word blasphemy, we know that this power must be in some way religious.  Blasphemy is a religious term.  This power would speak blasphemies against the God of heaven!

When Jesus forgave sins, He was called a "blasphemer" because the people said, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?"  See Mark 2:7.   They also accused Jesus of blasphemy when He called Himself the Son of God.  See Matthew 26:64-65.   In Jesus’ case, these words were not blasphemy because He is God the Son, the second Person of the One Godhead!  But for any other person to claim such power would indeed be blasphemy.  The beast of Revelation 13 has blasphemy written all over it!

3.  Parts of what three other animals did this beast have?  See verse 2.

Answer: A , a , and a .

The fact that this beast has parts of different beasts represents the fact that it has taken parts from certain other kingdoms through the centuries.

4.  Who gave this beast "his power, his seat, and great authority?" See verse 2 again.

Answer: The .

Revelation 13:2 tells us that the dragon (which primarily represents Satan, and which secondarily represents pagan Rome as we learned in session 12) ‘gave’ the beast his "power and his seat, and great authority."  To find out who the ‘beast’ represents, we need to know who received ‘power,’ ‘authority,’ and the ‘seat’ from pagan Rome!

When pagan Rome fell from power, papal Rome took its place! The Roman church received from pagan Rome its seat, power and great authority!  A.C. Flick, the historian, in his book, The Rise of the Medieval Church, writes this:

“it is an undisputed fact of history that under the latter Roman emperors, after Constantine, the religion of the Roman government was changed from pagan to papal ... that after A.D. 476, the bishop of Rome (the pope) became the most influential power in western Rome, and by Justinian, in 533 A.D. was declared the ‘head of all the holy churches,’ and the ‘corrector of heretics.’  The removal of the capital from Rome to Constantinople in 330 A.D. left the western church, practically free from imperial power, to develop its own form of organization.  The bishop of Rome, in the SEAT of the Caesars, was now the greatest man in the West, and was soon (when the Barbarians overran the empire) forced to become the political as well as the spiritual head.”

Although the falling away from truth began even in Paul’s day, the Papal Church’s political power did not begin until 538 A.D. when Justinian’s decree made in 533 was able to be carried out. The beast of Revelation 13 refers to the political religio kingdom of the Papacy.

5.  What happened to one of the heads of this beast?  See verse 3.

Answer: It was to .

This Roman papal religlo-political beast would suffer a deadly head wound after the period of 42 months according to verse 5 of this chapter.  42 months is 1260 days or years!  Since the political part of the papacy came into being officially in 538 A.D., then 1260 years later would bring us to the year 1798.  According to the words of the prophecy, at this time the Roman papacy would suffer a fatal wound, but this deadly wound would be healed to the point that all the world would “wonder” after the beast!  This is exactly what happened at that time.  We find this written in the book Daniel and the Revelation, by Uriah Smith on page 567.

"This wound fell upon the form of government that existed in the Roman Empire after its change from paganism to Christianity. Thus it is evident that it was the papal head that was wounded to death, and whose deadly wound was healed.  This wounding is the same as the going into captivity.  See verse 10.  It was inflicted when the pope was taken prisoner by Berthier, the French general, and the papal government was for a time abolished, in 1798.  Stripped of his power, both civil and ecclesiastical, the captive pope, Pius VI, died in exile at Valence in France, August 29, 1799.  But the deadly wound began to be healed when the papacy was re-established, though with less of its former power, by the election of a new pope, March 14, 1800.”

Since 1798 the papacy has increased in power and popularity!  In fact, the current pope, John Paul II is probably the most traveled and most popular pope there has ever been!  All the world is wondering after him!  But this deadly wound will not be fully healed until the papacy once again rides the nations of the earth as depicted in Revelation chapter 17.  We will learn more about this in a future lesson.

6.  When the people worship this religious beast, who are they really worshipping?  See verse 4.

Answer: The .

This is a very serious matter!  The devil will take worship any way he can get it!  If he can deceive the world to honor and worship a false religion that he originated, he claims this worship as if done to him!  Verse 4 also indicates that this Roman Church would be great and powerful. ‘Who is able to make war with her?’

7.  Besides ruling supreme for 42 months as we discussed already, what did this beast speak with his mouth?  See verses 5 and 8.

Answer: and .

The word of God predicted that this beast would have a mouth speaking great things and saying blasphemies against the Most High.  This the papacy has done.  Canons and Papal ‘bulls’ have proclaimed that the pope holds the place on earth of God.  He accepts the title of "Holy Father" and allows men to bow down to him.  The Catholic Encyclopedia declares this in its article about the pope:

“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 of such lofty and supreme dignity that, properly speaking ... he has been placed upon the very summit of all ranks and dignities ... The pope is called ‘most holy’ because he is rightfully presumed to be such ... The pope is of such great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine laws”.  Prompta Bibliotheca Volume 6, pps. 26-29 by Lucius Ferraris.

At the fourth session of the fifth Lateran Council, in an oration to the pope, Christopher Marcellus exclaimed:

"Thou art the shepherd, thou art the physician, thou art the director, thou art the husbandman; finally, thou art another god on earth!" - P. Joannis Harduin, Acta Conciliorum, Vol. IX, p. 1651.

If that is not speaking great words, then I don’t know what is! Notice also that in verse 6 it says that the beast blasphemes the ‘tabernacle’, and those who ‘dwell in heaven.’  The Roman Church has an earthly priesthood and ‘sacrifices’ Christ afresh every time they perform the mass!  The earthly priesthood blasphemes the high priestly ministry of Jesus in the heavenly sanctuary!  See Hebrews 8:1-2 and 10:10.

8.  What would this beast do to the ‘saints’ (true believers)?  See verse 7.

Answer: He would against them.

This can only refer to religious persecution which we all know did arise from Papal Rome.  The Roman Catholic Church did put an estimated 50 million people to death who refused to bow down to her images or believe her doctrines!  You can go to any Christian bookstore and get a copy of the book Foxes Book of Martyrs and you can read about this persecution against true believers!  You have heard about the Inquisition in Spain and other places; this is what God said would happen, she would "make war with the saints."

9.  Will all who dwell on the earth be deceived into worshipping this beastly form of religion?  Verse 8.

Answer: .

10.  Will those who worship this beast have their names written in the Lamb’s book of life?  Same verse 8.

Answer: !

God takes false worship very seriously, and we ought to also! Notice also that in His great love, God had planned that in the event of sin, His Son would be slain.  The decision made between Father and Son was done before the ‘foundation of the world!’ Praise Yahweh!

Verses 9-10 refer to the captivity the beast would go into at the end of the 1260 years of supremacy we have studied previously. The next part of this important chapter describes the rise of the second beast and also the ‘mark of the beast’.  The second beast rises around the same time as the first beast goes into captivity. See verse 10.  That tells us that this second beast is rising toward the end of the 1700s!

11.  From whence does the second beast arise and how is this second beast described?  See verse 11.

Answer: It comes up out of the and has like a , and he as a .

A lamb like beast with horns?  There is no such animal as this in the Bible lands!  It is very possible that what John saw was the American buffalo which he did not know how to describe, hence he said it was ‘like a lamb’ with ‘two horns!’

Another important thing to notice about this second beast or power is that it does not rise up out of the ‘sea’ which would represent a very populated part of the world.  The second beast rises up out of the earth, or in other words, a sparsely populated part of the world!  This is where the United States began!  This second beast also does not have any ‘crowns’ on it like the horns the first beast had!  In other words, no king would rule this power!  Also, a lamb like beast symbolizes carefree gentleness and freedom.  This is how this country we live in began!  It rose to greatness in the late 1700s and early 1800s.  It is ruled by the people, and it has no king!  But according to the prophecy, this country will undergo a change and eventually speak as a dragon!

The ‘dragon’ caused the government of pagan Rome to kill all the babies two years old and under in an attempt to kill baby Jesus. See Revelation 12:4 again.  So the dragon used the state to enforce its will.  This is the way Rome has always operated throughout the centuries!  The prophecy says that this country will begin to enforce religious laws through the use of government laws.  It is through laws that nations without a king ‘speak!’ We are already seeing powerful religious groups pushing for legislation to support religious institutions with state funds, and to promote religious observances in state institutions.

12.  What does the second beast cause all the world to do regarding the first beast?  See Verse 12.

Answer: He causes the world to the first beast whose wound was .

In order to ‘cause the world’ to worship the first beast, this power must be a superpower able to have world wide influence! This is exactly the place the United States finds itself in today. The United States is the world’s ONLY super power!  This country will lead the world in worshipping the first beast, the Roman Papacy!  Somehow we will see a form of Roman Worship enforced throughout the whole world.  This will involve the mark of the beast we will study about in our next session.

13.  What does the second beast do?  See verse 13.

Fill in: ‘He great , so that he come down from on the in the of men.’

This could refer to the great technological miracles the United States has achieved by this time!  The relatively recent development and use of the atomic and hydrogen bombs can surely literally be called fire coming down from heaven!  It also could refer to a false Holy Spirit movement (fire represents the Holy Spirit) as when the tongues of fire fell on the disciples on the day of Pentecost.   Acts 23.  Indeed, it was in this country that the recent growth of the neo-Pentecostal movement with its speaking in tongues began!  This is now spreading all over the world in the sight of men and the Roman Church is fully involved and endorses this!

We will conclude the study of chapter 13 in our next lesson.

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