Revelation Chapter 13
VERSE 12 continued “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.”
(As explained in The Keys of Revelation)
Verse 12 signifies that Henry VIII, in his own territory, executed a similar authority and exerted a similar power in both civil and religious matters as the Papacy, but far more limited in scope and in marked contrast to the papal beast’s subjection of “ALL kindreds, and tongues, and nations” (Verse 7). As an illustration of the two horned beast’s exercise of “all the power,” but with that power being confined to the English realm, the following is submitted:
“To put an end to the religious quarrels which these various parties raised throughout the land, a Parliament assembled on purpose, passed [A.D. 1539] the Statute of The Six Articles, which, from its severity, was called the ‘Bloody Statute,’ and ‘the whip with six strings.’ It enacted—
(1) the doctrine of transubstantiation;
(2) that Communion in both kinds was unnecessary;
(3) that it was unlawful for priests to marry;
(4) that vows of chastity were binding;
(5) that private Mass’s ought to be continued;
(6) that auricular confession should be retained.
The punishment for breaking Article 1 was death by burning; for the remaining five, loss of property for the first offense, and death for the second. The passing of this Act was a great blow to the Reforming party in the State. In a short time 500 persons were thrown into prison, and bishops Latimer and Shaxton were also imprisoned and compelled to resign their sees. To increase still further the king’s power in those critical times, the same Parliament passed a decree giving to a royal proclamation the force of law. This measure made Henry a despotic king.” 42
Under the caption “Henry burns Protestants and hangs Catholics,” it is stated: “He had permitted little change in doctrine; and, to the close of his long reign, he beheaded ‘traitors’ who recognized papal headship, and burned ‘heretics’ who denied papal doctrines. In one day, in 1540, three ‘heretics’ and three ‘traitors’ suffered death.” 43
Verse 12 also states that the two-horned beast “exercised all the power of the first beast before 44 him”; that is, both beasts existed contemporaneously for a time. The first beast did not disappear from the scene until A.D. 1799, when it went into the “pit” condition (Rev. 17:8).
The Church of England claimed all the powers and authority that Papacy had asserted. It claimed to be THE Church; it acknowledged and repudiated some of the corruptions complained of by the Reformers and proclaimed itself the “Holy [instead of Roman] Catholic Church.” It asserted the same governmental authority and the same veneration for its decrees as Papacy.
By establishing a similar system, devoid of some of the grosser papal errors, the Church of England attracted the attention of all to those errors as being the only possible fault of Papacy. And when some of those errors were shortly afterward discarded by Papacy, the inference was that both BEAST systems were right. People of that day, as now, seemed to think those systems were proper and right if their powers and religious activities were properly exercised, but from God’s standpoint the systems were abominable and wrong from the outset.
Both systems have alleged to be the “Kingdom of God” in reigning power. Once admitted, this idea cloaked in justification their persecution of individuals and nations and their forcing such to submit and bow in obedience. It is written that when “the kingdom is the Lord’s and he is the governor among the nations, all the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee [Jesus]”; that Jesus shall “dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel”; and that unto him “every knee should bow” and “every tongue should confess” (Psa. 22:27, 28; 2:9; Phil. 2:10, 11). To make their claims of kingdom power appear true, both systems simply backed up their right to compel obedience by quoting these very Scriptures. The populace reasoned: If the claims of the systems be true, who could object to their carrying out the scriptural statements?
Not only was this great evil sanctioned, but those who admitted the claim that the Kingdom was established and the reign was in progress were hindered from looking for the true Head of the Church to set up the true Kingdom under the whole heavens, which shall (still future) break in pieces present imperfect governments, establish righteousness in the earth, and cause every knee to bow and every tongue to confess to the glory of God. 45
Such false assertions of the second beastly system proved to be a great hindrance to forwarding the cause of the Reformation in its domain. Why?
Because in both doctrine and practice in a sufficient number of ways, the second beast resembled the papal beast. This resemblance soon led many in the realm to cease strenuous objection to the first beast, which, at the time, existed contemporaneously. In effect, the two horned beast caused “the earth” (those already under its influence and religious restraint), as well as many of those “which dwell” on the earth (other independent Christians who, prior to that time, did not support either of those systems), to succumb, that is, “to worship [respect] the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.”
The “deadly wound” of Verse 12 is parenthetical in nature, serving (a) as a mark of identity similar to the phrase “that ascended out of the bottomless pit” in Rev 11:7, and (b) as an indicator that the behavior of the two-horned beast in the past, and up to the present, was the underlying factor in the ultimate healing of the deadly wound mentioned later in Verse 14. In other words, the reference to the deadly wound in Verse 14 applies to an event yet future, whereas in Verse 12 it applies to a past event.
Verse 12, as already explained, has had a past fulfillment. Verses 13 to 18, however, are yet future in their application.
42. David Morris, A Class-Book History of England (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1902), p. 214
43. Willis Mason West, Modern Progress (New York: Allyn and Bacon, 1920), p. 156.
44. “Before” is the Greek enopion, that is, “in the face,” “in one’s presence or sight.”
45. “The Beast and His Image,” Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, pp. 8–10.
We move on to Verse 13 in our next post.
Welcome to Christian Forums, a Christian Forum that recognizes that all Christians are a work in progress.
You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.
We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!