Who is the first beast of Revelation 13?

The first beast of Revelation 13 is another name for the “Antichrist.” Revelation 13:1-8, 16-18 provides 11 identifying characteristics for the beast:

  1. Rises from sea (verse 1).
  2. Composite of the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7 (verse 2).
  3. Dragon gives it power and authority (verse 2).
  4. Receives a deadly wound (verse 3).
  5. Deadly wound healed (verse 3).
  6. Strong political power (verses 3, 7).
  7. Strong religious power (verses 3, 8).
  8. Guilty of blasphemy (verses 1, 5, 6).
  9. Wars with and overcomes the saints (verse 7).
  10. Rules for 42 months (verse 5).
  11. Has mysterious number 666 (verse 18).

As you examine the fulfillment of these points, you will find that all these points identify the papacy as the beast or Antichrist.  Let’s study the points closely:

1. The beast would rise from the sea (Revelation 13:1).
The sea (or water) in prophecy refers to people, or a populated area (Revelation 17:15). So the beast would arise from amid the established nations of the then-known world. The papacy arose in Western Europe.

2. The beast would be a composite of the four beasts of Daniel chapter 7 (Revelation 13:2). Babylon represented the lion. Medo-Persian represented bear. Greece represented Leopard and Rome represented the ten horned beast. The four beasts of Daniel 7 are depicted as part of the beast because the papacy incorporated pagan beliefs from all four empires.

See. What do the beasts of Daniel 7 represent?

3. The beast receives its power and seat (capital) from the dragon (Revelation 13:2).

Revelation chapter 12 identifies the dragon. In prophecy, a pure woman represents God’s true people or church (Jeremiah 6:2Isaiah 51:16). Revelation chapters 17 and 18, shows that fallen churches are symbolized by a fallen mother and her fallen daughters. The pure woman is portrayed as pregnant and about to deliver. The dragon is trying to “devour” the baby at birth -Jesus. Herod tried to destroy Jesus by killing all the babies in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16). Thus the dragon represents pagan Rome, of which Herod was a king. A change happened when the Roman pagan Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and issued the edict of Milan 313 AD. So, the papacy received her capital city and power from pagan Rome.

4.The beast would receive a deadly wound (Revelation 13:3).
The deadly wound was inflicted when Napoleon’s general, Alexander Berthier, entered Rome and took Pope Pius VI captive in February of 1798.

See: When did the Papacy receive its deadly wound?

5. The deadly wound would be healed, and the entire world would give homage to the beast (Revelation 13:3).

6. The beast would become a strong political power (Revelation 13:3,7).

7. The beast would become a powerful religious organization (Revelation 13:3,8).

Points 5, 6 & 7 show that the papacy is one of the most powerful religio-political organizations in the world.

8.The beast would be guilty of blasphemy (Revelation 13:5,6).
The papacy is guilty of blasphemy because her priests claim to forgive sins and her popes claim to be Christ on earth.

See: Why do Protestants accuse the Catholic Church of blasphemy?

9.The beast would war with and persecute the saints (Revelation 13:7).

Historians estimate that, in the Diddle Ages and Early Reformation Era, more than 50,000,000 Martyrs perished for their faith (Halley’s Bible Handbook, 1965 edition, page 726).

10.The beast would reign for 42 months (Revelation 13:5).
The papacy reigned for 42 prophetic months, which equals 1,260 years, from A.D. 538-1798.

11.The beast would have the mysterious number 666 (Revelation 13:18).

See: What does the number 666 in Revelation stand for?

It is clear that the papacy is the only entity on earth that fulfills all these identifying points of the beast.

Millions of reputable Bible-believing Protestant Christians like Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, and Matthew Henry (world-famous Bible Commentary author) have interpreted the first “beast” of Revelation 13:1-10 to be the religious-political system of the Roman Catholic Church (not Catholic people), led by popes.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team



The contents of this article and website are not intended to be against any individual. There are many priests and faithful believers in Roman Catholicism who serve God to the best of their knowledge and are seen by God as His children. The information contained herein is directed only towards the Roman Catholic religio-political system which has reigned in varying degrees of power for nearly two millennia. This system has established an increasing number of doctrines and statements that directly go against the Bible.

It is our purpose to lay the clear Word of God before you, the truth-seeking reader, to decide for yourself what is truth and what is error. If you find anything here contrary to the Bible, do not accept it. But if you desire to seek for Truth as for hidden treasure, and find herein something of that quality and feel that the Holy Spirit is revealing Truth to you, please make all haste to accept it.

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