Identifying the Sea Beast – part 2
There is so much information in the Bible, from history and from contemporary events, not to mention testimony from Catholic priests and historians themselves, to prove that the sea beast, is indeed the Roman Catholic Church, that it would take a considerable sized book to publish it all. Indeed, it was a popular endeavor to do so, in the past. And there are many considerably sized books available even today. However, in this day and age, there are few who believe that the sea beast is the Roman Catholic Church, let alone the little horn and the woman riding the beast as well. Therefore, it is necessary to at least exhaust all the facts and features that are listed in chapter 13 of Revelation pertaining to the sea beast. Otherwise, the picture the prophecy is painting, will not be seen in the sharp focus that it provides, proving this controversial point, that the Roman Catholic Church, is indeed, the sea beast.
The Sea Beast is a Blasphemous Power
As already mentioned, the prophecy tells as four times that the sea beast is a blasphemous power. The reason why it is mentioned four times, is that Jesus wants this blasphemous identity emphasized. Jesus is saying pay attention, this is important (see Rev. 13:1, 5, 6). Since we already know, that the sea beast has derived its power, seat and great authority from the dragon, we should not be surprised that the sea beast indulges itself in blasphemy, against Christ, God and heaven. But what is blasphemy, and how does the Roman Catholic Church blaspheme in practice? Once we understand what blasphemy is, we can understand how the Roman Catholic Church, blasphemes. The Bible provides us with two definitions for blasphemy. The first definition involves claiming to be God. When the Jews, finally understood that Jesus was claiming to be God, they accused him of blasphemy:
The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jn. 10:33; cf. Matt. 26:65; Mk. 14:64.
Of course, the Jews were mistaken, Jesus was not, just merely a man. He was, verily God in human flesh. Therefore, His claims to divinity were valid and justified. Nevertheless, this exchange between Jesus and the Jews establishes the fact, that when mere mortal man, claims to be God, then this is blasphemy. Therefore, biblical blasphemy, is committed when mere men claim to be God.
There is another prophecy, that sheds more light upon this issue. The prophecy states that an imposter will come, claiming to be God. In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul wants to clarify something about the second coming of Christ. He wants to inform the Thessalonians that certain events must take place before Jesus would return. Therefore, he wrote the following:
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2 Thess. 2:1-10.
Both Paul and Peter, have told us, that the temple of God is God’s people (1 Cor. 3:16, 17; 6:19; Eph. 2:11-22; 2 Pet. 1-10; Amos 9:11; Acts 15:14-16). Therefore, knowing that God’s people are the temple of God, when Paul writes the son of perdition will sit in the temple, claiming to be God, he means that the son of perdition, will sit amongst God’s people claiming to be God. Furthermore, Paul tells us that this son of perdition, will be worshipped (vs. 4). Why will he be worshipped? Answer: because he claims to be God – people only worship what they believe is divine. And this is exactly what the people do to the sea beast – they worship the sea beast (see Rev. 13:4, 8, 12). Therefore, the son of perdition (the antichrist) and the sea beast are the same entity. The Bible tells the same story in different ways, in the hope that we might understand at least one version of the story/telling.
Another fact, pertaining to both the little horn in Daniel and the sea beast, is that they speak/utter/claim “great things and blasphemies” (Rev. 13:5, 6; cf. Dan. 7:8, 11, 20, 25; 8:11, 25). Therefore, if we can find a political/religious power that speaks great things, including the claim to be God on earth, then we should able to assert with a high degree of certainty that this is the little horn, the son of perdition (antichrist) and the sea beast. Can we find such an entity that speaks such “great things and blasphemies?” Yes, we can. Catholics have often claimed some form of divinity for their popes:
…the viceregent upon earth, not a mere man, but of very God… very God and very man… Decretales Domini Gregorii translatione Episcoporum, (on the transference of bishops), title 7, chap. 3; Corpus Juris Canonice (2nd Leipzig ed., 1881), col. 99; (Paris, 1612), tom. 2, Devretales, col. 205.
“Take care that we lose not that salvation, that life and breath which thou hast given us, for thou art our shepherd, thou art our physician, thou art our governor, thou art our husbandman, thou art finally another God on earth…” Christopher Marcellus, addressing Pope Julius II, during Fifth Lateran Council, 1512, quoted in Alexander Hislop, The light of prophecy let in on the dark places of the papacy. (William Whyte and Co., London, 1846), p. 91. Originally published in Borrow’s Worcester Journal (Worcester Journal, 1827) p.29.
This thought has been, and is, a source of deep concern to us, for it is impossible to think of such a large portion of mankind deviating, as it were, from the right path, as they move away from us, and not experience a sentiment of innermost grief. But since We hold upon this earth the place of God almighty… Pope Leo XIII, Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae—The Reunion of Christendom, Rome, 1894.
But the supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord in the one faith, complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself. Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae: On Christians as Citizens, Jan. 10, 1990.
The Pope takes the place of Jesus Christ on earth…by divine right the pope has supreme and full power in faith and morals over each and every pastor and his flock. He is the true Vicar of Christ, the head of the entire church, the father and teacher of all Christians He is the infallible ruler, the founder of dogmas, the author of and the judge of councils; the universal ruler of truth, the arbiter of the world, the supreme judge of heaven and earth, the judge of all, being judged by one, God himself on earth. New York Catholic Catechism, defining status of Pope.
To make war against the Pope is to make war against God, seeing the Pope is God, and God is the Pope. Louis Moréri, French Catholic priest and encyclopedist, Moreri’s History, originally published 1674, subsequently published in 24 editions.
I am all in all, and above all, so that God himself, and I, the vicar of God. Hath but one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do, I then, being above all… seem by this reason, to be above all Gods. Pope Nicholas V, 1447-1455, quoted by, Josiah Pratt, The Church Historians of England: Reformation Period, p. 159. (1856).
The pope is not simply the representative of Jesus Christ: on the contrary he is Jesus Christ, himself, under the veil of the flesh. Does the pope speak? It is Jesus Christ who is speaking, Hence… when anyone speaks of the pope, it is not necessary to examine but to obey. Pope Pius X, quoted by J.S. Phillips, Evangelical Christendom, p. 15, (1895).
The pope holdeth place on earth, not simply of a man, but of the true God. Pope Innocent III, Decretals of Gregory IX, book 1, chapter 3.
That which was spoken of Christ… “Thou has subdued all things under his feet,” may seem well verified in me. I have the authority of the King of kings. I am all in all and above all, so that God Himself and I, the Vicar of God, have but one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do. What therefore can you make of me but God. Unam Sanctum, Papal Bull, pronounced by Pope Boniface VIII, 1303.
For thou art the shepherd, thou art the physician, thou art the director, thou art the husbandman, finally thou art another God on earth. Labbe and Cossart’s, History of the Councils. vol. XIV, col. 109.
The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, he is Jesus Christ himself, hidden under the veil of flesh. Catholic National, July 1895.
Catholics called the pope ‘Our Lord God the Pope.’ Frederic Fysh, The Beast & His Image, p. 276, (1837). Quoting, Extravagantes of Pope John XXII, title 14, chapter 4,
It can be argued, that the statements/quotes stated above, do not conclusively prove, that the Roman Catholic popes claim to be God. However, these quotations are just a sample of the many such statements that assert extremely close affinity to Godhead by many popes and on behalf of popes, going back hundreds of years. The same phenomena pertained to the development of Catholic dogma relating to the mother of Jesus, Mary. For hundreds of years, opinions were offered and statements were made, all over the Catholic world, that Mary was a co-redemptrix with Jesus. This view of Mary became official Catholic doctrine in 1854, with the promulgation of her ‘Immaculate Conception’ by Pope Pius IX. Further reinforced by another promulgation entitled the ‘Assumption of Mary’ by Pope Pius XII in 1950.
The same development, can be observed with the Catholic world (and the world at large), being prepared for the official announcement, making it the official dogma, that the Pope is, in reality, God on earth. Otherwise, why is it stated in the prophecy that “all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him” (Rev. 13:8). People only worship what they think is divine. We have not seen the final fulfilment of this prophecy. However, we ought to be able, to understand that there is no other candidate on earth that can fulfil the requirements of this prophecy, other than the Roman Catholic popes. Afterall, there are many Catholics who worship him already.
There is a second definition for blasphemy provided for us in the Bible. Which is, the claim to be able to forgive sin. When Jesus healed the man stricken with palsy, he said to him, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee (Mk. 2:5). This caused the Jews some consternation. Once again, the Jews reasoned wrongly, instead of accusing Jesus of blasphemy, they should have reasoned thus – only God can forgive sins – and this man has miraculously healed, by the forgiveness of sin – therefore, this man must be God. In spite of their inability to reason correctly, it is now Biblically stated, that when mere mortal man, claims the right to forgive sins, then this is blasphemy against God. Therefore, any person or power that claims right to forgive sins is committing blasphemy. We know the sea beast commits blasphemy, we know that the sea beast is the Roman Catholic Church, therefore if we reason correctly, we should find that the Roman Catholic Church claims the right to forgive sins:
The priest does really and truly forgive sins in virtue of the power given to him by Christ. Joseph Devarbe’s Catechism, p. 279.
It is a power greater than that of monarchs and emperors: it is greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim. Indeed, it is greater even than the power of the Virgin Mary. For, while the Blessed Virgin was the human agency by which Christ became incarnate a single time, the priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of man – not once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ the Eternal and Omnipotent God, bows His head in humble obedience to the priest’s command. John O’Brien, Faith of Millions, Ph.D., LL.D., p 268-269 (“nihil obstat” by Rev. T. E. Dillon-Censor Librorum and “imprimatur” by John Francis Noll, D.D. – Bishop of Fort Wayne).
This judicial authority will even include the power to forgive sin. The Catholic Encyclopaedia Vol xii, article ‘Pope’ p. 265.
When Pope John Paul II, came to America in 1984, he held a worship service in a sports stadium, in Los Angeles. During the service he made this remarkable statement: “Don’t go to God for forgiveness of sins: come to me.” When the incident was reported in the LA Times, the reporter wrote the following comment:
Rebutting a belief widely shared by Protestants and a growing number of Roman Catholics Pope John Paul II… dismissed the widespread idea that one can obtain forgiveness directly from God. Don A. Schanche, ‘No Forgiveness Directly From God, Pope Says’ Los Angeles Times, Dec. 12, 1984.
If one thinks through the implications of John Paul II’s statement, we come to an uncomfortable realization. Biblically, only God can forgive sins. But the Roman Catholic Pope can also forgive sins (and his priests). Logically, this must mean that the Roman Catholic Pope is also God. And this is why Catholics worship him, and this is why all the world will worship him in the future (see Rev. 13:4, 8, 12). This power (to forgive sins) somehow devolves downward, from the pope tohis priests. According to Catholic dogma, they too must be some sort of ‘gods’ because they also forgive sins:
Indeed, it is not too much to say that in view of the sublimity of their offices the priests are so many gods. St. Alphonsus De Liguori, quoting Pope Pius III, The Dignity of the Priesthood, p 36.
…the power of the priest is the power of the divine person; for the transubstantiation of the bread requires as much power as the creation of the world. …thus, the priest may be called the creator of the Creator… Saint Alphonsus Liguori, The Dignity of the Priesthood, p. 33.
The Sea Beast’s Power and Authority
As already stated, Satan gives his power and great authority to the sea beast. The great authority, is derived from Satan’s usurped dominion over the world, which gives him power over the people of the world. His power is derived from the fact that the vast majority of the world’s population follow his example of sin, thus they become captives of Satan and sin. Therefore, the power and the authority are linked and intertwined – and both are given to the sea beast. Therefore, the sea beast claims to have authority over the whole world. And since we are making the claim, that the sea beast is the Roman Catholic Church, this must mean that the Roman Catholic Church claims to have authority over the whole world. Which it does:
The Pope’s authority is unlimited, incalculable; it can strike, as Innocent III says, wherever sin is; it can punish every one; it allows no appeal and is itself Sovereign Caprice; for the Pope carries, according to the expression of Boniface VIII, all rights in the Shrine of his breast. As he has now become infallible, he can by the use of the little word, “orbi,” (which means that he turns himself round to the whole Church) make every rule, every doctrine, every demand, into a certain and incontestable article of Faith. No right can stand against him, no personal or corporate liberty; or as the Canonists put it — “The tribunal of God and of the pope is one and the same.” Ignaz von Dollinger, (Roman Catholic historian) ‘A Letter Addressed to the Archbishop of Munich’ 1871; as quoted in MacDougall, The Acton Newman Relations (Fordham University Press) pp. 119, 120.
The church of Rome is one monarchy over all the Kingdoms of the earth, and is, among temporal kingdoms, as the mind or soul of the body of a man, or as God in the world. Therefore, the Church of Rome must not only have the spiritual power, but also the supreme temporal power.
-Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, 1879.
The Pope takes the place of Jesus Christ on earth…by divine right the Pope has supreme and full power in faith, in morals over each and every pastor and his flock. He is the true vicar, the head of the entire church, the father and teacher of all Christians. He is the infallible ruler, the founder of dogmas, the author of and the judge of councils; the universal ruler of truth, the arbiter of the world, the supreme judge of heaven and earth, the judge of all, being judged by no one, God himself on earth.” New York Catechism, art. Pope.
The mouth speaking ‘great things and blasphemies’ in fact, doe not restrict itself to earthly claims. It portentously and blasphemously claims to have authority over heaven as well (see Dan. 8:11; Rev. 13:6):
The Pope and God are the same, so he has all power in Heaven and earth. Pope Pius V, quoted in Barclay, Chapter XXVII, p. 218, Cities Petrus Bertanous.
In this chapter, we have dealt with just two facts and features, that describe the sea beast. Blasphemy and the Roman Catholic Church/pope’s authority. The Bible provides us with two definitions of blasphemy. They are claiming to be God, and claiming the right to forgive sins. The Roman Catholic pope’s have always been worshipped. It is often customary, when having an audience with the pope, for petitioners to kneel before him and kiss his ring. This is an act of worship. In addition, there are realms of statements and official proclamations, claiming some form of divinity for the popes. Furthermore, it is prophesied, that there will be manifest within the church, ‘one’ who will, or is, claiming to be God. And lastly, we are told three times, that people and the whole world will/are worship/worshipping the sea beast.
We know that the sea beast has received the seat of Satan, Satan’s power, and Satan’s authority. These three ‘gifts,’ that Satan bestows upon the sea beast, are the ‘keys’ to authority, over the world and over the people of the world. And this world-wide authority is exactly what the Roman Catholic Church claims for itself.
Therefore, if we are going to interpret prophecy correctly, we must find in the world today, an institution/church/person/ who claims some form of close affinity to God, claims to be able to forgive sins and claims authority over the world. There is no other possible, candidate for this role, other than the Roman Catholic Church and its popes.