Reflections on Revelation #221

Day 221

“Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God. And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months. 6 And he spoke terrible words of blasphemy against God…” Revelation 13:5-6 (NLT)

The Bible defines blasphemy against God as claiming to be God and claiming the power to forgive sins. (See John 10:33 and Luke 5:21). There are many statements from this power claiming just that. All the names in scripture that apply to Christ are applied to the pope. They claim to stand in the place of God, and they claim the power to actually forgive sin.

The beast from the sea here behaves in a manner that makes perfect sense from a human perspective. If you want to be great, if you want to be highly regarded by others, you “talk big things” like the beast does here. Let everyone know how great you are. And it doesn’t hurt your image to swear a little, make everyone think how tough and how cool you are. And don’t forget to walk with a little swagger! Then people will think you’re really great! 
How the gospel goes against the grain! The sea beast is attempting to take the place of Jesus Christ in the hearts of earth’s inhabitants. And to a degree, he succeeds. But for the real Jesus, greatness is not seen in big talk, swearing and swaggering. Real greatness is characterized by a basin and a towel and washing his disciple’s feet (John 13). Real greatness humbles itself, even unto death (Phil 2:5-8).True greatness does not come from following the beast; it comes from following the Lamb. 

This passage states that the period of the beast’s persecuting activities through Christian history is 42 “months”. As we have seen, persecution of the pure woman lasted for “a time and times and half a time;” that is three and a half “times” or prophetic “years” (Rev.12:13-14; compare Dan.7:25). Forty-two prophetic “months” equals 30 days multiplied by 42, or 1,260 days/years (Rev.12:6). Therefore, “a time and times and half a time”, 42 “months”, and 1,260 “days” all refer to the same time period of 1,260 years. This phase ends when John sees “one of his [the beasts] heads as if it had been mortally wounded.” The subsequent healing of this “deadly wound” (referred to yesterday) points to a time after 1798 when the beast would be revived, and its power restored. The healing of the deadly wound draws the admiration of the world, and they worship both the dragon and the beast. 

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