REVELATION 13Revelation of Jesus | Revelation of JohnT: REVELATION 13:1-1813: 1,2 THE BEAST FROM THE SEATHE SEA BEAST AND THE WILD ANIMALS OF DANIEL 7THE LITTLE HORN AND THE SEA BEASTTHE BEAST’S AGENDA—TO CHANGE GOD’S LAW13:3 THE DEADLY WOUNDTHE FRENCH REVOLUTIONTHE DEADLY WOUND HEALED13:11,12 THE BEAST FROM THE EARTH13:11 A LAMB OR A DRAGON?13:13,14 FIRE FROM HEAVEN13:15 THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST13:16,17 THE MARK OF THE BEASTOF MAN’S DEVISINGATTACK ON THE EVERLASTING COVENANT13:18 THE NAME AND NUMBER OF THE BEAST666, THE NUMBER OF DISOBEDIENCE


13:3 THE DEADLY WOUND

“And I saw one of his heads, as if it was wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed; and all the world marveled and followed the beast. And they worshiped the dragon which gave power to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:3,4). As we saw earlier in this chapter, the sea beast had seven heads, each a basic characteristic of the medieval Roman Catholic Church. It was the political/military "head" of the papacy that was severely wounded toward the end of the Middle Ages. The military and political capabilites developed slowly over many centuries. The Church of Rome began as a persecuted church—first by Nero in 64 AD and later in the general persecution of the Jews. As Christians began to distinguish themselves from the Jews, they were persecuted because of their “atheistic” refusal to worship the old Roman gods and their “anarchic” refusal to give homage to the emperor.

After becoming the official Roman religion under Constantine in the fourth century, the Church of Rome enjoyed official protection. But by the fifth century the western empire was disintegrating, and the eastern capital at Constantinople was too far away to provide effective protection from the barbarian tribes who followed the teachings of Arius.[1] In AD 476 the last Roman emperor fell and Odoacer, an Arian “heretic” ruled Rome. This severely restricted the political influence of the Roman Church. However, in 496 Clovis, the king of the Franks, was converted to the Roman Catholic faith and the Franks became the military champions of the church. The Arian Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, Burgundians and Lombards were driven back and were eventually either destroyed or they abandoned their Arian faith.

Essential aid also came from the eastern empire which, after of period of decline, was reasserting its military power under the brilliant emperor Justinian. His armies came to the aid of the Roman church, driving the Ostrogoths from Rome in AD 538.[2] The Catholic Church was now free to expand, and by the eighth century dominated essentially all of Europe. The Church reached the peak of its power in the 13th century, and the establishment of the religious court (the Inquisition) in AD 1,231 made it possible to effectively stamp out all resistance.

The “mortal wound” was not a single decisive event, but rather a series of setbacks for the Papacy. Church corruption along with the sale of indulgences used to finance the building of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome caused great disillusionment and set the stage for the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation made it clear that the Roman Catholic Church would not be the only church in Europe. Much of Northern Europe was torn out of the hands of the papacy, but not without the bloodbath of the Thirty Years’ War,[3] which proved that the Catholic Church could not totally dominate militarily. But perhaps the greatest blow was the French Revolution, when the champion of the papacy became its worst enemy.

Continue to next section: THE FRENCH REVOLUTION



[1] Arius (AD 250-336) taught that Christ was in some sense a created being.

[2] Wikipedia contributors, "Siege of Rome (537-38)," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia,

[3] “The peace of Westphalia, which ended the war in 1648, declared that the people of each state must follow the religion of their ruler. This principle greatly weakened the Holy Roman Empire. It also ended the medieval idea of a Christian commonwealth of nations harmoniously directed by the supreme authority of pope and emperor.” World Book Encyclopedia, article “Roman Catholic Church.