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The First Beast in Revelation 13

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Emperor CosntantineHow is the first beast related to the name of blasphemy? Is there an intimate relation between the first beast and the second beast, which are described in Revelation 13? How about the second beast? Is it likewise related to the name of blasphemy?

Well, Catholics, Orthodox believers and Christians may not be aware of their connections. But if  these issues are studied deeper, it will consequently result in their getting out of their belief system. It is because they will realize that they are serving and worshipping the second beast. It is however almost impossible for them to know the truth because of their strong delusions to believe in a lie, as prophesied in 2 Thessalonians 2:11.

The relation of the first beast to the name of blasphemy is stated in Revelation 31:1. It states:

13 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

What or who is this first beast in Revelation 13? It is described in the verse to have risen up out of the sea. The description is better understood, if co-related with the description of the second beast in Revelation 13:11, where it is described to “come up out of the earth“. The  sea, compared to earth,  is liquid or unsolidified or not stable or the opposite of the latter. The predecessor empire, where the first beast emanated, was thus very unstable. This condition squarely fits to the time, when the Roman Empire was undergoing Crisis in the Third Century, or in Military Anarchy or Imperial Crisis. It occurred in 235-284 AD and the “rule of four” or tetrarchy system of governance was adopted. This was during the time of Emperor Diocletian.

This “rule of four” was already prophesied in Daniel 7:8, where the little horn is mentioned, as follows:

I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

As described in the above prophesy, the coming to power of the “little horn” or the “successor ruler” is coupled with the plucking or removing from power of the three other co-rulers, in the tetrarchy, which was established during the time of Emperor Diocletian. Hence, Daniel 7:8 refers to the coming to power of Emperor Constantine I, who succeeded his father Augustus Constantius Chlorus. Historically, Constantine’s father was one of the co-rulers in the tetrarchy with Diocletian, Galerius, and Maximian, who reigned over the one fourth (1/4) portion of the empire each. Diocletian was the Augustus in the Eastern Roman Empire, with Galerius as Junior Emperor or Caesar while Maximian was Augustus in the Western Roman empire, with Constantius Chlorus as Junior Emperor or Caesar. Diocletian, who is known to have severely persecuted early Christians, reigned for twenty-one (21) years and then abdicated voluntarily. He was succeeded by Galerius as Augustus in the Eastern Roman Empire, who died in 311 of gruesome disease. On the other hand, Maximian renounced his imperial claim and killed himself on Constantine Order.

Wikipedia states: “At the Council of Carnuntum in November 308, Diocletian and his successor, Galerius, forced Maximian to renounce his imperial claim again. In early 310, Maximian attempted to seize Constantine’s title while the emperor was on campaign on the Rhine. Few supported him, and he was captured by Constantine in Marseille. Maximian killed himself in mid-310 on Constantine’s orders”.

Other claimants, e,g., Maxentius, the Roman Emperor from 306-312 and Licinius, who was elevated to Augustus by Galerius in the West in 308, were defeated by Constantine I at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 and at the Battle of Chrysopolis in 324, respectively.

In short, the three other co-rulers in the tetrarchy, including other succeeding claimants, were removed and Emperor Constantine I, who previously ruled the Western Roman Empire, became the sole ruler of the entire Roman Empire, in fulfillment of the prophesy in Daniel 7:8. However, instead of establishing his base in Rome, he transferred to Byzantium, as his “new Rome”.

Emperor Constantine’s empire, which later became the Byzantine Empire or the Eastern Roman Empire, is also described in Revelation 13:1 as having “seven heads and ten horns“, which refers to the seven successions, with additional three co-rulers, making the seven successions with ten (10) rulers in all in a re-united Roman empire, inclusive of the succession in the Western Roman Empire by Constantine I prior to re-unification, and after separation into Western and Eastern Roman Empire under Honorius.

It happened as follows-Emperor Constantine I “the Great”, who ruled initially the Western Roman Empire prior to re-uniting the Roman Empire under his sole control, was jointly succeeded by his two sons, namely, Constantius II and Constans I , who were in turned followed by  five (5) successions, either solely or jointly, at a time, by the following rulers, namely 1) Julian “the Apostate” 2) Jovian 3) jointly by Valentinian I and Valens, 4) Gratian and 5) Theodosius I “the Great”, who was the last ruler of the entire Roman Empire, with extension to the reign by his younger son Honorius (395 to 423 AD), who became emperor in the  Western Roman Empire. The latter’s rule is the ending counter-part of the time opposite to Emperor Constantine I’s initial rule of the separated Western Roman Empire.

The phrase “and upon his horns ten crowns” in verse 1 refers to the ten successors of Emperor Constantine I in the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire, who adopted his name. They are as follows: Tiberius II Constantine, Constantine III, Constantine IV “the Bearded”, Constantine V “the Dung-named”, Constantine VI, Constantine VII “the Purple-born”, Constantine VIII “the Purple-born”, Constantine IX Monomachos, Constantine X Doukas and Constantine XI Palaiologos.

In conclusion, the little horn in Daniel 7:8 and his religious-political empire is the first beast in Revelation 13, which spanned from Emperor Constantine I ‘s reign until the last ruler of the Byzantine empire. This includes the institution of the Roman Catholic Church and the separatist Orthodox Church, which became the connecting line between the first and the second beasts.

Wikipedia describes Constantine’s religious attachment to Christianity, as follows:

“Some scholars allege that his main objective was to gain unanimous approval and submission to his authority from all classes, and therefore chose Christianity to conduct his political propaganda, believing that it was the most appropriate religion that could fit with the Imperial cult (see also Sol Invictus). Regardless, under Constantine’s rule Christianity expanded throughout the Empire, launching the era of Christian Church‘s dominance under the Constantinian dynasty.[1]

Aside from influencing the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 into adopting “Jesus Christ” not only as the son but also as part of the trinity, hence, elevating the status of the son equivalent to the status of Father in the trinity doctrine, Constantine likewise decreed on March 7, 321 dies Solis—day of the Sun, “Sunday“—as the Roman day of rest (Codex Justinianus 3.12.2), which states:

On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.[33]

Other author opined:

The prevailing spirit of Constantine’s government was one of conservatorism. His conversion to and support of Christianity produced fewer innovations than one might have expected; indeed they served an entirely conservative end, the preservation and continuation of the Empire.— Hans Pohlsander, The Emperor Constantine[7]

Finally, the phrase “and upon his heads (or emperors-successors) the name of blasphemy” in verse 1 only means that said name of blasphemy was already in existence at the time of the first beast or during the reign of Constantine I and his successors.This is in view of the adoption of  Constantinian Christianity, as called by some historians, where Greek name of blasphemy Iesous (now Jesus) and the cross became the rallying point of Emperor Constantine I’s political-religious agenda.This “Iesous” name, as institutionalized by the Roman-Byzantine Empire, evolved into “Jesus Christ” entity, which became the subject of the blasphemous worship by all Christians. 

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