Revelation Chapter 13
VERSE 12 “And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, who’s deadly wound was healed.”
AND HE EXERCISES ALL AUTHORITY OF THE FIRST BEAST: Recall that the first beast had three kinds of authority.
1. The GREAT AUTHORITY of ruler-ship (Verse 2).
2. The TIMED authority (viz. the “forty-two months”) to wear out the saints (Verse 5).
3. The authority over the masses of people.
Apparently, all of these authorities would apply to the two-horned beast except the (42 month or) 1260-year license. This phrase tells us the tyranny which this new beast was capable of. Virtually everything the Roman beast claimed, the English beast claimed. Only the mouths differed. One had the Pope, the other the King or Queen.
IN HIS PRESENCE: That is, AT THE SAME TIME. The two beasts were doing the same things except that each did it in his own sphere of influence.
AND HE MAKES THE EARTH AND THOSE WHO DWELL IN IT: Society and those with a stake in it. Society is impersonal, but it had to conform. Those who dwell in it are individuals who are the mainstays of society, that is, people with something to lose if society doesn’t “worship” the beast. This need for CONFORMITY to preserve the status quo is what prompted persecution of dissenters (And what will most likely prompt them again in the not so "near" future). The English refugees to America during this period were attempting to escape this societal conformity and its requirements.
TO WORSHIP THE FIRST BEAST:
By example. (The second beast does not make the people worship the first beast, the Catholic beast, no it wants its people to worship it. It wants the same homage and reverence of the first beast.) England and its church-state arrangements, being virtually no different from the Holy Roman Empire, made criticism of the Roman Beast impossible. The establishment of the English church-state actually HELPED the Holy Roman Empire recover from its grievous wound inflicted by the Reformation.
How can you criticize your twin?
By its doctrine and structural example, the two-horned beast promoted worship of its European counterpart.
WHOSE FATAL WOULD WAS HEALED: The wound was caused by the Reformation. The healing was AIDED by Henry VIII’s establishment of the English Church. The history of the two-beasts and their successes is inseparable. While they were enemies, they were also comrades. It is well stated of Henry: “…he beheaded ‘traitors’ who recognized Papal headship, and burned ‘heretics’ who denied Papal doctrines.” The only REAL enmity between the two beasts was between their two mouths (King and Pope).
In our next post we will see how this verse is interpreted in “The Keys of Revelation”.
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