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The Study of Revelation, Part 183

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    THE TWO-HORNED BEAST

    Once we have seen the history of the ten-horned beast, we are introduced to a second player in this drama. One reason the ten-horned beast recovered from its Reformation wound is that this new player demonstrates that there is yet left some real church- state power -- even separate from the original beast. It, in essence, revitalizes the concept of Divine Right and church-state unity-- just at the moment when the Reformation might have killed the concept.

    Revelation Chapter 13

    VERSE 11Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.”

    AND I SAW: Again we have one of the Revelator’s obvious divisions of his story.

    ANOTHER BEAST: Something akin to the first beast, thus called “another” one. This one is also a church-state empire.

    COMING UP OUT OF THE EARTH: This beast, unlike the first one, is not born out of chaos in the empire (it does not arise from the “sea”, representative of restless humanity), but, to the contrary, evolves rather smoothly out of existing society (the “earth”) -- actually a break-off from the existing Holy Roman Empire.

    AND HE HAD TWO HORNS: two supporting powers. This makes identification quite simple since such a beast is only to be found in one place.

    Even though the Church of England and Ireland was officially so known only for about 70 years during the 19th century, its two-power characteristic is sufficient to identify it. It FUNCTIONED as the church of these two countries for over 300 years. It is important to remember also that this beast IS NOT the Church of England and Ireland, but rather the church-state system of these two countries combined.

    LIKE A LAMB: Apparently this description is given as a CONTRAST to the Leopard Beast of Rev 13:1, 2, this would, then, imply a temperate nature to this beast -- not at all like the Holy Roman Empire.

    AND HE SPOKE AS A DRAGON: In the English Empire, the King is titular head of the church. Therefore, this beast has been (and, no doubt, WILL BE in any future involvements) more noticed for its political than its theological pronouncements. Brethren might well pay special note to this phrase. It seems clearly to say that England’s secular involvements would have more to do with prophetic fulfillment than its religious dogma.

    (As it is explained in The Keys of Revelation)

    The Two-Horned Beast

    If the preceding beast represented an ecclesiastical power or government, then this beast calledANOTHERshould be understood to represent a similar ecclesiastical or church power. The first beast ascended from the sea (Verse 1); that is, Papacy arose as a power, during troublesome times, in the midst of religious as well as political upheaval. But this second beast ascendedout of the earth,” signifying that it sprang up among a professedly religious people and from a relatively stable society, a society underneath religious restraint.

    As the first beast had ten horns or powers which gave it their strength and protection, so this beast hastwo horns,” indicating that two powers or nations will support it.

    Another factor must be kept in mind: A beast is a government; therefore, to become a symbolic beast, a church must become an element that is in or part of the government— and not merely an established church subsidized by government. Only one church fits this symbol perfectly, namely, the Church of England and Ireland. This system, like the Papacy, was a blending of Church and State—an ecclesiastical empire.

    In the year 1200 England became subject to the pope. In A.D. 1531, owing to a dispute between the British king, Henry VIII, and the pope, England withdrew its allegiance to Papacy. The Convocation of its clergy, called the same year, decreed Henry VIII to be “the one protector of the English Church, its only and SUPREME LORD; and as far as might be, by the law of Christ, ITS SUPREME HEAD.” 39

    However, for fear that the clause “as far as might be, by the law of Christ” would be misinterpreted, the matter was officially settled once and for all by Parliament in 1534 in the Act of Supremacy, which declared the king to be “the only supreme Head of the Church of England upon Earth.” 40 All payments to the apostolic chamber and dispensations were abolished; monasteries were subjected to royal government and exempted from all other; and the right to summon Convocations (assemblies), to approve or reject canons (laws or doctrines enacted by the Convocation of clergy), and to hear appeals from the bishops was vested in the king alone. Although Henry contemplated no change in the doctrines of the Church as then held, it was clear that, within English dominions, the civil magistrate was supreme over Church as well as State.

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    39. “The Beast and His Image,” Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, Vol. 3, Nos. 7 and 8 (Jan. and Feb. 1882), p. 7.

    40. The History of Modern Europe, new ed. (Philadelphia: Columbia-House, 1800), Vol. 2, p. 278. James Harvey Robinson, An Introduction to the History of Western Europe: I. The Background of Modern History, rev. ed. (Boston: Ginn and Co., 1924), p. 447.

    Continued with next post.

    About Author

    Harvest 1874
    I am and have been a Bible Student now for over 30 years ever since the day the Lord so graciously called me out of darkness into his marvelous light. To Him be the honor and glory forever. Everyday I thank Him for the privilege of working in His "vineyard".

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