|“From the earth” is
a dividing point. The futurists insist
that this can mean nothing other than Palestine. They insist that “earth”, when used
symbolically, always means Palestine.
Unfortunately, that view does not seem to be born out in
Scripture. The best that can be said
is that they may be right. Since in
the futurist timetable this must be an individual person, that person
must be born in Israel.
|A much more
consistent alternative is gained by looking at the contrast between “from the
earth” and “from the sea.” We have
seen that the sea represents the disordered, churning mass of humanity; the earth might then be taken for the
orderly portion -- which in John’s time would be the Roman Empire.
|Two horns are
noted. Most commentators agree: this represents both spiritual and
political power. Note that they are
not crowned heads -- implying that the possessor is not a king, but does have
|The historicist now
sees the Pope; the futurist the false
prophet (of whom more in chapter 16).
But there is a poetic point worth making here too: any church which does not truly follow
Jesus Christ will, sooner or later, ally herself with the state or with Satan
-- or with both.
|“Like a lamb”
certainly implies a counterfeit of Christ (hence the identification with the
false prophet by the futurists). For
the historicist, this is the claim of the Pope to speak for Christ.
be commanded by this beast. That
also. For those who see in this the
Papacy, there is little difficulty in seeing miraculous signs at the feast
days of saints, appearances of the Virgin Mary, etc... This is little publicized in the United
States, but major business in Catholic countries. Our Lady of Fatima to Our Lady of
Guadalupe, the “miracles” of the Roman Catholic church would serve as a model
if nothing else.
|You can see the
problem with the historicist theory quite clearly now. If all these things are false, then how are
they done? Lindsey gives a clear
again is a cause for debate. The word
in the Greek is eikon, from which we get “icon.” Is this a literal image, in the literal
millennial temple (paralleling Antiochus Epiphanes’ statue of Zeus), or is it
more symbolic -- the veneration of the “Holy City”.