1. 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.
NOTE: One difference from this beast and the one in Revelation 12:3 is that the crowns have moved from the heads, or first ruling monarchs, to the horns. In history, Rome was divided into ten kingdoms, seven of which still remain in Europe today. See Daniel 7:8. Also, now in this period of prophecy the heads have the names of blasphemy. The kings of Europe ruled, but the heads were the popes who determined the course of the kings and blasphemed the God of Heaven by declaring that if any didn't obey them, they would send their soul to Hell. They declared themselves to be infallible and Lord God, himself. (Blasphemy).
2. 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.
NOTE: Rome incorporated traditions, beliefs, and customs from ancient Babylon, Media Persia, and Greece; the leopard, bear, and lion from Daniel 7:4-6.
Note.-- The ancient city of Rome, the "seat" of the Caesars, and the city that had exercised "great authority" over the nations, was given to the Papacy. By Constantine's removal of the seat of empire to Constantinople, about A.D. 330, the way was prepared, so that when later the Papacy rose to supreme power over the churches, it succeeded to the vacated "seat" of the old Roman Empire.
3. 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.
NOTE: One of the heads, pope Pius VI was taken prisoner by Berthier, the French general, in 1798 and the papal government was for a time abolished. The wound was completely healed when in 1929, Mussolini dictator of Italy, signed the Lateran Treaty, which gave the Pope complete authority over the Vatican. A large sum of money was paid for the land which was taken from the papacy and the Vatican now became its own country, making the Pope the Head of State. The following verses, then follow successively, after this time.
4. And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5. And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
NOTE: As in the historical type, when the pope controlled all the then-known world for 1260 years, we can look for a time when the pope will again have authority. This is the end-time literal 42 months of Revelation 11:2,3.
6. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
NOTE: Blasphemy against God and his name: "We hold upon this earth the place of Almighty God." Pope Leo XIII, in an encyclical letter, June 20 1894. "For thou (the pope) art another God on earth." History of the Councils, p. 220. "The Pope is not only a representative of Jesus Christ but he is Jesus Christ himself hidden under a veil of flesh..." The Catholic National, July 1895.
Blasphemy against his tabernacle, where the Law of God is: "The Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine laws.... the Pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man, but of God, and he acts as vice-regent of God upon earth." Translated from LUCIUS FERRARIS, Prompta Bibliotheca (Ready Library), "Papa," art. 2. "The Mass is the greatest wonder in the world. There is nothing on Earth equal to it, and there is nothing in Heaven greater than it." The Wonders of the Mass, p. 1
Blasphemy against them that dwell in heaven: "The efficacy of the Mass is so wonderful, ...what we do not obtain in the Mass we may scarcely hope to receive by all other prayers, penances or pilgrimages. The Angels know this full well and come in multitudes to adore God and make their petitions at this hour of mercy." The Wonders of the Mass, p. 13. ISBN 0-89555-491-7 Matthew 18:10, objects: "That in heaven their angels (even the children's angels) do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven."
7. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
NOTE: Never in the history of the world has the Pope had power over all kindreds, languages, and nations as is coming in the near future. There is not a "frontier" to escape to in these last times, only the covering of the Almighty will save.
8. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9. If any man have an ear, let him hear.
10. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
11. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
Note.-- The Papacy arose in the Old World. Like the powers that had preceded it, in the prophetic symbols, it was represented as coming up from the sea. And "waters" in prophecy, we are told, represent "peoples, and multitudes, and nations." But the power represented in this chapter as making an image to the Papacy, comes up "out of the earth," a new area, apart from the populous Old World. We turn to the New World.
We see religious elements rising in the New World, most conspicuously in the United States of America, recreant to the Bible principles of religious liberty and true Protestantism, and earnestly working to secure civil legislation for the enforcement of religious observances. They boast of their intention to compel all men to receive the Sunday, or first-day sabbath, which stands in opposition to God's Sabbath, the seventh day. The Sunday institution is the sign, or mark, of papal authority, as the seventh-day Sabbath is the sign, or mark, of God's authority. When religious organizations in the New World succeed in their aim to enforce religious observances by law, they will be doing exactly what the papal church did through the centuries in the Old World order. These organizations will then have made "an image" to the Roman Papacy. They will use every means to compel men to receive the mark of papal authority. Against this, solemn protest is voiced in the next chapter.
In Roman times it was at least an occasional practice to designate a person by a number expressing the numerical value of the letters in his name or title. Such a custom in apostolic times is witnessed to by numbers used in place of names, found scratched on the walls of Pompeii, which was destroyed by the shower of ashes from Vesuvius in the eruption of A.D. 79. Following this idea, it is interesting to note that one of the Latin titles borne by the Pope of Rome has the numerical value of 666, the number given in the text. The title is VICARIUS FILII DEI ("Vicegerent of the Son of God"). Here is the spelling out of the title, with the value of the numerical letters: V(5) I(1) C(100) A R I(1) V(5) S - F I(1) L(50) I(1) I(1) - D(500) E I(1) = 666.