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Chapter 6
The Identification of the First Beast of Revelation 13

We have already asserted that the 81 criteria of identification of the beast of Revelation 13 all point to the Church of Rome. But it is essential that this fact be verified. Lest there be a question that the little horn, the man of sin and son of perdition, the antichrist, the beast of Revelation 13, Babylon, the beast of Revelation 17, and the woman ‘riding on the beast’ are synonymous terms, a table of their common criteria which will appear at the conclusion of this chapter should put any queries to rest.

It would be tedious to trace all 81 criteria in a brief account such as this, and it is not necessary. Some of the 81 criteria, if taken in isolation could apply to other entities beside the Papacy. For example, the criterion,

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them" (Revelation 13:7)

certainly is applicable to the Roman Catholic Church. Estimates of those destroyed by its vengeance range from 50 - 120 million. But it could justifiably be applied to communism, to Emperor Nero, Emperor Diocletian, or others as well.

Let us, therefore, examine just those criteria which can be applied to the Roman Catholic Church and it alone. We will notice Daniel’s precise description of the little horn power.

Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.… And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 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 (Daniel 7: 19,20,24,25).

A number of criteria are presented in these verses. We will highlight three of these. The first is that the little horn arose out of the 10 horns of the fourth beast, representative of Imperial Rome. These 10 horns are the 10 kings (kingdoms) which arose in Europe as the Roman Empire disintegrated (Daniel 7:24). The second criterion is that the little horn would uproot three of the other horns so that it could emerge (Daniel 7: 20,24). The third criterion upon which we wish to focus is that this power would continue for the mysterious period of "a time, times and the dividing of time" (Daniel 7:25).

The first criterion is disposed of easily. History attests that ten nations of Western Europe replaced the Roman Empire upon its fall. These nations, with their modern-day descendants in parentheses, were the Alemmani (Germans), Anglo-Saxons (English), Burgundians (Swiss), Franks (French), Heruli, Lombards (Italians), Ostrogoths, Suevi (Portuguese), Vandals, and Visigoths (Spanish).

Now let us examine the third criterion, the apparently imprecise and nonspecific period of the little horn’s era of dominance. We are plainly told that the little horn has dominion for a time, times, and the dividing of time. The Complete Oxford Dictionary defines the term "time" as used in Daniel 7 as "a space of time generally understood to be a year."

Accepting the Oxford Dictionary’s definition, which later we will determine is consistent with Scripture, then a time equals one year. Clearly times means a number of years, but how many? Two? Three? Five? Ten? The dividing of time refers to a fraction of a year. Again we have insufficient evidence to determine that fraction. Providentially, the same period is cited seven times in Scripture. We can promptly solve the fraction of a year delineated as the "dividing of time" for two of the remaining passages refer to this period in similar terminology designating it as "time, times, and an half" (Daniel 12:7), and "a time, and times, and half a time" (Revelation 12:14).

Manifestly the fraction of a year is one half. We can also discern "the meaning of times" by reference to two parallel terms for the same period. This term for the total period is "forty and two months" (Revelation 11:2; 13:5). It should come as no surprise to learn that the same period in describing the little horn power of Daniel 7 is also specified in Revelation 13 in describing the beast power, for they are synonymous symbols.

Now by a matter of simple mathematics we are able to learn that the "times" of Daniel 7 represents two years, for the "time" represents 12 months and the "dividing of time" equals six months. Thus the remaining period of "times" must amount to 24 months in order that the total equal 42 months.

But we are faced with yet another question. How many days are there in each of these 42 months? The Jews used equal months of 30 days with 360 days per year. Is this a Jewish year, or a solar year which contains 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds? Another question is whether we can be certain that there were 30 days in a Jewish month. Does Scripture so testify? Yes, it does. Referring to the flood in the time of Noah we are told,

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened (Genesis 7:11).

Thus the flood commenced on the 17th day of the second month. The waters abated precisely five months later.

And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat (Genesis 8:4).

How many days were involved in this five-month period? Helpfully, God provides us with the answer.

And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated (Genesis 8:3).

Thus the five-month period consisted of exactly 150 days — 30 days per month.

To further confirm this fact, the period mentioned in Daniel 7 is found in two other passages of Scripture in addition to the five already quoted. Both of these refer to the period as

…a thousand two hundred and three score days (Revelation 11:3; 12:6).

Since a score is 20, the period specified is 1260 days. This concurs with the fact that 42 months of 30 days equals 1,260 days.

The Bible is a magnificent book. It surely is its own interpreter. What appeared to be a baffling time period of "a time and times and the dividing of time" has been elucidated by the Word of God itself. It is a period of 1,260 days. The Bible also assists us in discovering the interpretation of this period of Daniel’s prophecy. The prophet Ezekiel was a contemporary of Daniel. Indeed, Ezekiel refers to Daniel three times in his prophecy (Ezekiel 14:14,20; 28:3). In his prophetic book he states that

I [God] have appointed thee a day for a year (Ezekiel 4:6).

Furthermore, the application of that principle in the time prophecies of Daniel has proven to be accurate.

Thus the Scripture prophesied that the little horn/beast power would be dominant for 1,260 years. There have been many mighty empires upon earth. The Roman Empire was dominant for about 500 years, the British Empire for two or three hundred years and other empires for lesser times. Only, apart from the Papacy, does the Holy Roman Empire approach this duration of time. It commenced with the coronation of Charlemagne in 800 by Pope Leo III and was dissolved when Emperor Francis II abdicated in 1806 — a period of 1,006 years, 254 years short of the 1,260 year period.

Before we move on to verify the fact that the Papacy did dominate Europe for precisely 1,260 years and that three of the ten nations which arose out of the decline of the Roman Empire were uprooted, let us examine the tremendous Biblical scholarship of two of the early church fathers in the conclusions they drew concerning the rise of antichrist. We do not, of course, base the exposition of Scripture upon the writings of humans, but, nevertheless, the insights of these two men were outstanding.

Tertullian (155 -222) wrote of the Roman Empire "whose separation into ten kingdoms will bring on antichrist. This is an outstanding understanding. During the life of Tertullian the Roman Empire was powerful, and its demise could not have been predicted. But, clearly, Tertullian was a man of Scripture and he believed God’s word. Further, he had correctly linked the little horn of Daniel 7 with the antichrist of 1 John 2 and 4, and 2 John.

Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386) stated,

There shall arise, at the same time, ten kingdoms of the Romans at different places indeed, the reigning all of them at the same time. After them the eleventh will be antichrist, who through magical wickedness, will seize the power of the Romans.

Cyril also united Daniel 7 with 1 John and 2 John. Like Tertullian he recognized the fourth beast of Daniel 7 as the Roman Empire, following the first three beasts which symbolized Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece, respectively.

The fall of the Roman Empire is dated at 476 A.D. The Emperor was situated in Constantinople. In 533, Emperor Justinian, rather inconsequentially at the time, declared the Bishop of Rome to be "the first rank of all bishops." But Pope John II (533-535) was totally paralyzed by the conquest of Rome by the Ostrogoths. There was no manner in which he could exercise this vested preeminence, which had settled the long running rivalry for that honor between the Bishops of Rome and Constantinople. His successor, Agapetus I (535-536), in his brief stay in the post was equally prevented from seizing the authority granted. So too was Pope Silvanus (536-537). But in 538 A.D., the recently crowned Pope Virgilius (537-555) seized the power with the defeat and expulsion of the Ostrogoths from Rome. Papal politico-religious authority was now fully established for the first time. Thus the year 538 A.D. marks the commencement of Papal dominance in Europe.

It is significant that Pope Virgilius was the first pope who was not canonized. This no doubt was due for the secular nature of his past, for the popes had earlier been invested with the title Pontifex Maximus — the Supreme Pontiff.

But which three nations were uprooted by the rise of the papal power? Earlier we listed the ten kingdoms which supplanted the Roman Empire and noted the races represented in modern Western Europe. But three of those nations have no representation today in Europe. Incredibly, one of those is the Ostrogoths who were sufficiently powerful up to 538 A.D. that they occupied Rome. Yet God’s word is absolutely certain. Did the Heruli, Ostrogoths, and Vandals vanish in the wake of the rise of papal power in Europe in the sixth century A.D.? We quote the Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1990 edition. Under the subject ‘Heruli’ this authority states, "The mid-sixth century they vanished from history." Of the Ostrogoths the same source states that they were "extinct before 554." Finally the Encyclopedia Brittanica records the fact that the Vandals "maintained a kingdom…from 429-524."

History attests to the certain fulfillment of prophecy. Did the Papacy continue to assert power for 1,260 years? Indeed it did. Napoleon Bonaparte was determined to demolish the Papacy.

In 1797 Napoleon Bonaparte imposed the Treaty of Tolentino on the Pope.…In the next year [1798] General Berthier, Napoleon’s chief of staff, seized Rome and established the Roman Republic. On the grounds that the Pope’s preserve in Rome might provoke a counterrevolution, the French ordered Pius VI to leave the Vatican. He was escorted to Sienna, and then across the Alps to France. (Collins Encyclopedia 1990, subject ‘Papacy’).

Pope Pius was desperately ill in 1797. His physicians expected his death that year, but he recovered. Napoleon was awaiting his death in order to abolish the Papacy. Had the Pope died that year the prophecy would have been inaccurate by one year. God does not deal in approximations. Pius VI died in captivity in 1799. Understanding the matter, Joseph Rickeby, The Modern Papacy, Vol. 3, Lecture 24, p. 1, stated,

Half Europe thought Napoleon’s veto would be obeyed and that with the Pope the Papacy was dead.

Scripture describes this demolition of the Papacy as "the deadly wound." But while men believed the Papacy had received a fatal blow, our all-seeing God knew otherwise.

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: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 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 13:1-3).

Notice that this beast inculcated into its system all the evil of Greece (the leopard beast of Daniel 7:6), Medo-Persia (the bear beast of Daniel 7:5), and Babylon (the lion beast of Daniel 7:4), all of which defied the God of heaven. But God foresaw that the apparent deadly wound would be healed. For precisely 1260 years (538-1798) the beast power had ruled supreme. It was not yet to be totally destroyed.

Indeed the healing process was commenced only two years after the Pope’s arrest and one year after his death. Military reverses caused Napoleon to recall the battalion of troops in Rome under the command of his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, in 1800. Shortly after, the cardinals returned and elected Pope Pius VII. The Papacy was weak and impotent but a thread of life was restored. Incredibly, Napoleon invited the Pope to crown him Emperor. Impulsively at the last moment, Napoleon grasped the crown out of the Pope’s hands and crowned himself, but he did bestow upon the Pope the two massive and magnificent porcelain candlesticks, eight feet in height, which had lighted his throne during the coronation ceremony in Notre Dame Cathedral. This gift is still on display in the Vatican Museum.

The road to restoration of the Papacy was a rocky one. In 1870, Garibaldi, in uniting the various states of Italy, wrested the papal states from Vatican control. The Papacy had lost its last vestige of temporal sovereignty. But in 1929, sovereignty was restored by Benito Mussolini, the Prime Minister of Italy, when he signed the Concordat with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal de Gaspari, according political independence to this territory formally within Italy, an area of 108 acres (just over 40 hectares). The San Franciso Chronicle announced the event with the following headline:

Heal Wound of Many Years—Vatican At Peace With Italy After Many Years.

While the Vatican is the smallest nation upon earth, it has diplomatic relations with more nations than any other country. Its influence and popularity has risen to the point where one cannot even discern the scar of the deadly wound. In truth all the world is wondering after the beast in a manner never before attained by the Papacy. Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Moslems and of course, Protestants, are tracking to the Vatican in honor of the Pope and his papal system. His visits to non-Christian nations such as India, Singapore and Thailand have drawn record crowds as citizens struggled to catch a glimpse of him. His power is so great that Time magazine (February 24, 1992) credited him with bringing down Communism through his vast intelligence system of prelates, priests, and faithful laity. This system is in place in the great majority of nations upon earth.

But does the Vatican have designs upon world leadership? Indeed it does! In his classic work, The Keys of This Blood (Touchstone, New York, 1991), Dr. Malachi Martin outlines the inner aims of the Papacy. Dr. Martin is no minor figure. He is a Roman Catholic priest who has served in the Vatican and has an intimate knowledge of its inner workings. He is highly regarded in his own church. His book lists his background as follows:

Malachi Martin, eminent theologian, expert on the Catholic Church. Former Jesuit and professor at the Vatican’s Pontifical Biblical Institute, is the author of the national best-sellers Vatican, The Final Conclave, Hostage to the Devil and The Jesuits. He was trained in theology at Louvain. There he received his doctorates in Semitic Languages, Archaeology, and Oriental History. He subsequently studied at Oxford and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. From 1958 to 1964 he served in Rome, where he was a close associate of the renowned Jesuit cardinal Augustin Bea and Pope John XXIII. He now lives in New York City. (Malachi Martin, op. cit.)

His book commences with the startling words,

Willing or not, ready or not, we are all involved in an all-out, no-holds-barred, three-way global competition. Most of us are not competitors, however. We are the stakes. For the competition is about who will establish the first one-world system of government that has ever existed in the society of nations. It is about who will hold and wield the dual power of authority and control over each of us as individuals and over all of us together as a community; over the entire six billion people expected by demographers to inhabit the earth by early in the third millennium. (Ibid. p. 15)

Dr. Martin makes it clear that the three competitors for world supremacy are the Vatican, Western Capitalism led by the United States, and Communism. He leaves no doubt that he is convinced that the Vatican will emerge the victor. In this view he is supported, as we have seen, by Scripture. Had Dr. Martin written his book a couple of years later, undoubtedly he would have declared that Communism no longer posed a serious threat to the other two "competitors." But we shall see that Scripture reveals that the Vatican and the United States, rather than being competitors are embracing the role of colaborers in this move towards global dominance. And make no mistake, this global dominance will be of a most compulsive nature. As Dr. Martin states,

The competition is all-out because, now that it has started, there is no way it can be reversed or called off. No holds are barred because, once the competition has been decided, the world and all that’s in it—our way of life as individuals and as citizens of the nations; our educational systems and our religions and our cultures; even the badges of our national identity, which most of us have always taken for granted—all will have been powerfully and radically altered forever. No one can be exempted from its effects. No sector of our lives will remain untouched. (Ibid., p.15)

This is globalism at its zenith. It embodies aims for a global government, global economy, global educational system, a global religion, and a global culture. In order to enforce each of these aims, a global legal system would be required.

One glance at the European Union which Lars Bergquist, Swedish ambassador to the Vatican, described as a Catholic organization, in an article written to encourage Sweden’s 1995 entry into the European Union, indicates that the continent of Europe is the arena of experimentation for each of these aims. Bergquist’s article which was entitled, The Way to the European Community is Via Rome, appeared in Stokholm’s premier newspaper Syd Svenska Dagbladet, October 16, 1991.

Shortly after, the Sydney Morning Herald, November, 1991, reported that John Paul II, speaking in St. Peter’s Bassilica to 137 European Bishops, revealed

his long-standing dream of a continent united on Christian (Roman Catholic) principles, from the Atlantic to the Urals, from the Mediterranean Sea to the North Pole.

The Singapore Straits Times, January 6, 1992, in an article extracted from the London Financial Times, entitled Pope Hopes to Capitalize On the Fall of Communism," reported that,

By the millennial standards of the Holy See, Pope John Paul II is in a hurry to stamp the imprint of the Church on the fast-changing events in Europe."

The European Union’s plunge into the unified currency in January 1, 1999 was a huge step towards central fiscal control of the continent. Already 11 sovereign nations of Europe; Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain, have embarked on the course which will see their traditional currencies discarded by the Euro currency on July 1, 2002. Denmark, Greece, Sweden, and the United Kingdom are expected to join them shortly. It shouldn’t escape our attention that these 4 abstaining nations are non-Roman Catholic. Of the 5 predominately non-Roman Catholic nations in the European Union, only Finland was amongst those which initially joined the European Monetary Union.

The International and the European Courts of Justice are gradually welding a unified legal system, while the ecumenical movement is fast moving towards a Christianity which will be totally dominated by Rome. No other church in Christendom stands the least hope of effectively challenging Rome’s will, her settled doctrines and her usurped ecclesiastical authority.

Peregrine Worsthorne, Editor of the prestigious London Sunday Telegraph (August 25, 1991), astutely summed up the situation in Europe, the prototype for globalism. He wrote,

It is the movement towards federalism of the Common Market…that the Pope may see the greatest possibility for an increase in Catholic political power since the fall of Napoleon, or since the Counter-Reformation. The Common Market itself started under the influence of Catholic politicians.…If European federalism triumphs, the EC (European Community) will indeed be an empire. It will lack an emperor, but it will have the Pope."

It is a small wonder that Worsthorne entitled his article, "Now, a Holy European Empire?" If the Vatican could topple Communism in Eastern Europe as asserted, quite correctly, in an article by Time, February 24, 1992, entitled "Holy Alliance," then it is indeed ready to conquer the world.

Dr. Malachi Martin, with remarks born of inside information, sums up the Pope’s and, no doubt, the Curia’s aims:

It is not too much to say, in fact, that the chosen purpose of John Paul’s pontificate—the engine that drives his papal grand policy and that determines his day-to-day, year-by-year strategies—is to be the victor in that competition, now well under way. For the fact is that the stakes John Paul has placed in the arena of geopolitical contention include everything—himself; his papal persona; the age-old Petrine Office he now embodies; and his entire Church Universal, both as an institutional organization unparalleled in the world and as a body of believers united by a bond of mystical communion. (op. cit., p. 17)

The same author on pages 282–292 reveals that the Vatican has four Provincial Globalist groups set up in order to bring all world religions under Rome’s umbrella. These embrace the following faiths:

The First Provincial Globalist Group – Islam

The Second Provincial Globalist Group – Seventh-day Adventists, Baptists, Evangelical churches, Christian Scientists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Unitarians.

The Third Provincial Globalist Group – Eastern Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Church.

The Fourth Provincial Globalist Group – Animism, Shintoism, Hinduism, and Buddism.

Clearly the Vatican is not only well positioned to fulfil the prophecy of Revelation 13, it has a full strategy in place to do so. We are in the last days! Only the plain word of Scripture and our adherence, in God’s power, to its precepts, can keep us faithful to our Lord and His truth.

The first beast of Revelation 13 is the Papacy. No other nation has ruled for 1260 years. None other has received a deadly wound that has been so comprehensively healed. All the world today is wondering after the Papacy and giving deference to it. It arose from Imperial Rome. In its rise, three powerful nations were utterly obliterated. In addition, it, and it alone, fulfills or will fulfill every one of the 81 criteria of the beast power.

Already 64 of the 81 criteria have been fulfilled. The remaining 17 (see Chapter 4—criteria 6, 12, 13, 20, 50, 54, 55, 56, 59, 62, 63, 69, 74, 78, 79, 80, and 81) are yet future. We can confidently anticipate their fulfillment in view of the precise fulfillment of the other 64 criteria.


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