Revelation Chapter 13
VERSE 11 continued “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.”
For centuries the title “Supreme Head of the Church on Earth” has been emblazoned on the crown of the British monarch and surmounted by a cross.
Furthermore, the Great Seal of England, besides describing Queen Victoria as the defender of the faith, illustrated her being supported on either side by figures representing Justice and Religion, which sat at her feet. The queen held in her hand a globe, which represented the earth; the upper half was light-colored to portray Christianity, and above the globe was a cross that, in symbol, declared her to be the supporter or head of the Church universal.
In many pictures the same, exact symbols are seen in the hands of the popes. They represent, as a whole, that this head of the Church on earth, the pope, is the upholder, the supporter of the truth.
Of course, Jesus never gave this office to anyone, for it belongs to him alone; any others who claim it are usurpers. Paul said that “Christ is the head of the church” and that his followers are to “grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Eph. 5:23; 4:15; Col. 1:18). He repeats that God “gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body” (Eph. 1:22, 23).
Paul is speaking of the Church on earth; hence any pope, queen, council, assembly, or conference, or any other man or company of men, who claim or exercise the powers of the true Head—Jesus—are opposing him. And all who support such by their influence, presence, or money are upholders of false systems . . . some unwittingly.
In all of these systems (the papal mother [Catholicism] as well as her daughters [Protestantism]), the Lord has had dear children who, in giving such support, verily think they do God service. This delusion has induced all but a few to respect the papal and Anglican beasts as truly representing Christ instead of waiting for “the Lord from heaven” (1 Cor. 15:47).
From that ancient snare and deception of the Devil, every consecrated saint needs to be liberated, and nothing but the truth can liberate. The coming out of Babylon was commenced by the Reformers, but as history has shown, their followers made only a brief journey, until to a great extent they fell into the same “snare of the fowler” (Psa. 91:3).
What a glorious “Defender of the Faith” and patron founder the Church of England had in Henry VIII, who, out of six wives, divorced two, beheaded two, and by many is supposed to have poisoned one! He was a worthy rival of the Emperor Constantine, who set a similar example of a so-called Christian(?) king.
The Two Horns
The second beast had two horns: England, of course, was one of them and Ireland was the other. History says that in 1537 the Irish Parliament in Dublin passed the Act of Supremacy, declaring Henry VIII Supreme Head of the Church, prohibiting intercourse with the court of Rome, and making it treason to refuse the oath of supremacy. Henry also took the title “King of Ireland.”
He “appointed bishops for Ireland who favored a religious policy such as he was following in England, and he induced an Irish parliament to declare him ‘of the Church of England and of Ireland on earth the Supreme Head’ (1540).” 41 Thus it can be seen that the second horn came up within the space of about five years after the first.
Three and a third centuries later, on January 1, 1871 (by action of Parliament and the consent of the queen, the head of the Church), the Irish Church was disestablished; i.e., that horn was cast off. The second beast cast off the Irish horn, believing it to be a weakness rather than a strength. This in no way changed the identity of the two-horned beast, however. And for that matter, the loss of the ten horns of the first beast, broken off by its demise at the hands of France in 1799, did not change the identity of the papal beast either.
The Lamb-like Horns and Dragon Voice
Since the horns of a ram are used for defense, the “two horns like a lamb” indicate that this beast would be more peaceably inclined than the first beast, not as aggressive. Indeed, the Episcopal Church made no concerted and persistent attempt to displace or uproot the Church of Rome from the latter’s domain in Europe.
The possession of lamb-like horns must not be mistakenly considered a sign of weakness, however, for in the days of the initial severance of the Anglican Church from Rome, this new and separate entity—the two-horned beast—vented its wrath upon those who opposed its claims. But in the subsequent four centuries or so, the two-horned beast has manifested, on the whole, a rather lamb-like disposition in comparison to the first beast.
It is worth noting that the statement “he spoke as a dragon” does not say “the,” but “a” dragon. The meaning is simply that the utterances of the two-horned beast resembled those of a purely civil (dragon) power, and that its authoritative pronouncements not only would need formal approval but also would proceed forth from the mouth of the civil magistrate, namely, the king or queen as the case might be. While it is true today that the office of the British monarch is but a relic of its former self and that the prime minister appoints the archbishops of Canterbury and of York, the two most important positions within the Church of England, the same formal procedure is still followed.
In retrospect, Verses 1 to 10 cover a time period that leads up to the year A.D. 1799, the end of the forty-two months of papal supremacy, whereas Verses 11 and 12 redirect attention back to the date A.D. 1531 or thereabouts. Verses 13 to 18 then jump forward in time to a yet future date when as many as will “not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (Verse 15).
41. Archibald G. Baker, ed., A Short History of Christianity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1940), p. 126.
We move on to Verse 12 in our next post.
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