The Sea Beast: Revelation 13:1-13:10

Revelation 13:1-2 "Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne and great authority."
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Seven Headed Sea Beast, Brent Dawes, 2015
 
 
Here we have the beast, the World Empire, and the ten kings or kingdoms prior to the Roman Empire. The seven heads are not the seven hills on which the city of Rome was built, (Revelation 17:9). The seven heads are seven mountains; mountains in prophecy represent kingdoms or empires.
 
The Roman Empire was like a leopard which represents the kingdom of Greece. It is well known that Rome modelled itself upon the kingdom of Greece. The Roman Empire moved like a bear which represents the Mede/Persian Empire which methodically subdued the known world. The Roman Empire spoke like a lion, like the Word of God, which represents the Babylonian Empire. The Roman emperors adopted the Babylonian practice of promoting themselves as being gods and being worshiped as gods. We are told that Satan gave the Roman Empire his power, his throne and great authority. Notice here and elsewhere in Revelation there are ten kings. Just in the book of Daniel his beast had ten horns as well. Three of which were plucked out by the roots. The three horns/kings who were plucked out by their roots were; The Seleucid Empire, the Ptolemaic Empire and the Macedonian Empire, (see The Little Horn).
 
Revelation 13:3-5 "And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" And he was given mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months."
 
The current SDA interpretation is that the mortal wound was inflicted on the papacy in 1798 AD. However, the problem with this theory is that the papacy has never been returned to its former position of power and authority after 1798 AD. The Vatican was made into a state and numerous protestant theologians claim that this healed the wound of 1798. The beast is not just the papacy; the beast represents the Roman Empire in its entirety.
 
The throne of Satan is in Asia Minor and in particular in the city of Pergamos, (Revelation 2:12-13). This positioning of Satan's throne is no accident as every major civilization has recognized the strategic positioning of Asia Minor as essential in attempting to maintain a world empire. Asia Minor lies central between north, south, east and west. The Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Mede/Persians, Greeks, Romans, Ottomans, French, British and Germans all recognized this and have occupied Asia Minor during history in their attempts to rule the world. This area in Asia Minor was annexed to Rome in c.133 BC after the death of Attalus III.1 Forty-two months in prophecy again converts to twelve hundred and sixty years on earth.
 
 
133 BC + 1260 YEARS = 1128 AD
 
 
One of the characteristics of the wound is that it is a mortal wound. A mortal wound is a wound where the person appears to die, so the mortal wound inflicted on the head of one of the seven heads of the sea beast is a death defying blow to that kingdom of the beast. The mortal wound is something it should not have recovered from. Hence when the wound is healed everyone marvels at the beast and says, “Who is able to make war with him?”
 
“In 1040, the Normans, originally landless mercenaries from northern parts of Europe in search of plunder, began attacking Byzantine strongholds in southern Italy. In order to deal with them, a mixed force of mercenaries and conscripts under the formidable George Maniakes was sent to Italy in 1042. Maniakes and his army conducted a brutally successful campaign, but before it could be concluded he was recalled to Constantinople. Angered by a series of outrages against his wife and property by one of his rivals, he was proclaimed emperor by his troops, and led them across the Adriatic to victory against a loyalist army. However, a mortal wound led to his death shortly afterwards. With opposition thus absent in the Balkans, the Normans were able to complete the expulsion of the Byzantines from Italy by 1071.”
{Byzantine Empire under the Komnenos dynasty, en.wikipedia.org, 2015}
 
Here we have an emperor of the Byzantine Empire being mortally wounded in battle and his forces being expelled from Italy the heartland of the former Roman Empire.
 
“Despite the seriousness of this loss, it was in Asia Minor that the empire's greatest disaster would take place. The Seljuk Turks, although mainly concerned with defeating Egypt under the Fatimids, nevertheless conducted a series of damaging raids into Armenia and eastern Anatolia – the main recruiting ground for Byzantine armies. With imperial armies weakened by years of insufficient funding and civil warfare, Emperor Romanos Diogenes realised that a time of re-structuring and re-equipment was necessary. Consequently, he attempted to lead a defensive campaign in the east until his forces had recovered enough to defeat the Seljuks. However, he suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Alp Arslan (Sultan of the Seljuk Turks) at the Battle of Manzikert in 1071. Romanos was captured, and although the Sultan's peace terms were fairly lenient, the battle in the long term resulted in the total loss of Byzantine Anatolia.”
{Crisis and Fragmentation, Byzantine Empire under the Komnenos Dynasty, Wikipedia, 2015}
 
 “The Battle of Manzikert was fought between the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuq Turks on August 26, 1071 near Manzikert (modern Malazgirt in Muş Province, Turkey). The decisive defeat of the Byzantine army and the capture of the Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes played an important role in undermining Byzantine authority in Anatolia and Armenia, and allowed for the gradual Turkification of Anatolia."
{Battle of Manzikert, Wikipedia, 2014}
 
"The brunt of the battle was borne by the professional soldiers from the eastern and western tagmata, as large numbers of mercenaries and Anatolian levies fled early and survived the battle. The fallout from Manzikert was disastrous for the Byzantines, resulting in civil conflicts and an economic crisis that severely weakened the Byzantine Empire's ability to adequately defend its borders. This led to the mass movement of Turks into central Anatolia—by 1080, an area of 78,000 square kilometres (30,000 sq mi) had been gained by the Seljuk Turks. It took three decades of internal strife before Alexius I (1081 to 1118) restored stability to Byzantium. Historian Thomas Asbridge says: "In 1071, the Seljuqs crushed an imperial army at the Battle of Manzikert (in eastern Asia Minor), and though historians no longer consider this to have been an utterly cataclysmic reversal for the Greeks, it still was a stinging setback."”
{ibid}
 
“John Julius Norwich says in his trilogy on the Byzantine Empire that the defeat was "its death blow, though centuries remained before the remnant fell. The themes in Anatolia were literally the heart of the empire, and within decades after Manzikert, they were gone." In his smaller book, "A Short History of Byzantium", Norwich describes the battle as "the greatest disaster suffered by the Empire in its seven and a half centuries of existence". Sir Steven Runciman, in Chapter 5 of Volume One of his "History of the Crusades", noted that "The Battle of Manzikert was the most decisive disaster in Byzantine history. The Byzantines themselves had no illusions about it. Again and again their historians refer to that dreadful day."”
{Aftermath, Battle of Manzikert, Wikipedia, 2014}
 
These events mark the wounding of one of the heads of the seven headed sea beast, the Roman Empire.  In 1128 AD John 11 Komnenos made an alliance with the ‘Holy Roman Empire’ which extended their power and authority in the region for another two hundred years or so. Thus the mortal wound began to heal and this healing is known historically as the Komnenian Restoration of the Roman Empire.2
 
“John's campaigns fundamentally changed the balance of power in the east, forcing the Turks onto the defensive and restoring to the Byzantines many towns, fortresses and cities right across the peninsula. In the southeast, John extended Byzantine control from the Maeander in the west all the way to Cilicia and Tarsus in the east.”
{John II Komnenos, Wikpedia, 2014}
 
The Byzantine Empire then lasted until 1453 AD when Constantinople finally fell to the Ottomon Turks.
 
Revelation 13:6-7 "Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue and nation."
 
The Roman emperors and then the entire papal system blasphemed God by initially calling themselves gods and by then calling themselves heads of the true church and by glorifying themselves instead of God. The emperors blasphemed the tabernacle of God by converting their basilicas into "Christian" churches. The papacy blasphemed the tabernacle of God by introducing a number of false doctrines like the confessional and calling their ministers "father." The Bible teaches us to pray to our Lord for forgiveness of our sins to be reconciled to the Father. The emperors made war with the saints, who are the true followers of Christ. By the end of the Byzantine Empire the majority of the true Christians had been hunted down, tortured and killed.
 
Revelation 13:8-10 “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.”
 
The majority of the people on earth did worship the beast, the Roman Empire. Everyone wanted to become a Roman citizen and the Romans abliged by giving all the people under their authority access to citizenship. The Roman Empire grew to become the largest and greatest of the world empires of their day. They succeeded in transforming the people to adopt their own customs and traditions including their own version of Christianity which has had a profound effect on the interpretation of the Bible especially its traditions. Many people still idolize the Roman Empire with all its grandeur and splendor to the point that today modern day historians are trying to downplay the Roman Empire's role in the persecution of Christians in the past. The Roman Empire was a beast, but their was another beast coming up to replace it and it would be greater than even the mighty Roman Empire, (see The Second Beast Revealed).
 
 
References
1. Asia (Roman province), Annexation, Wikipedia, 2015.
2. John II Komnenos, Wikipedia, 2015. & Komnenian restoration, Wikipedia, 2015