Revelation Chapter 17, Part 9
Verse 12 “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but
they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.”
AND THE TEN HORNS WHICH YOU SAW: “Which you saw” is important. The Revelator is mopping
up details. He has disposed of the heads, the eight kings, and the body of the beast in his predictions to
this point. He realizes that we also “have seen” horns and a harlot. He will, from this point on, tell us
how these end up in this story of Babylon’s fall. The ten horns, of course, have been the supporting
powers (nations) which have cooperatively sustained the great heads (empires) through the
age. They have not always been the same ten, but they have always been there to bolster up the system.
As we continue the narrative, we are looking at the supportive powers of the 20th Century.
ARE TEN KINGS: -- ten nations yet on earth, but FORMERLY supportive of the beast. Remember
that the beast has been “downsizing” since Napoleon. By the time Victor Emanuel rules, it has shrunken
so that, functionally, only Italy remains. The Nazi empire TRIED to return a more continental size to the
beast, but failed. By 1945, the beast had lost its seventh head.
Thus these 10 kings are no longer to be considered horns upon a beast, because presently the
beast is not being supported. They are now, functionally KINGS, not horns. Thus, note with
interest this other CHANGE IN SYMBOLISM: in Verse 10, the heads became kings. In Verse 12,
the horns become kings -- and ALL FOR THE SAME REASON. There is now no head to support
(the last being the seventh, the Nazi empire). But these “horns” have NOT VANISHED. They are not
now horns, but kings -- nations not currently supporting a beast.
WHO HAVE NOT YET RECEIVED A KINGDOM: Note carefully that it DOESN’T say they haven’t
received kingdom(s). They ARE kingdoms (nations), but they have not COLLECTIVELY received
a kingdom -- an overall beast-type of empire. They DO eventually receive one as is proven by
Verse 17. When they DO receive this kingdom, they give it to the beast – the PARTIAL beast
which made its first appearance as the French Republic.
BUT THEY RECEIVE AUTHORITY AS KINGS WITH THE BEAST: Thus, eventually, they
COLLECTIVELY have some kind of authority in cooperation with this re-emerged body of the
beast. The thought seems clear. For a while they are merely ten different nations (kings). Eventually
they COOPERATE (“in unity is strength”) and support (sort of like new horns – which they are again
called in Verse 16) the beast that “was” and which will have made its comeback. This gives them a
collective “authority” they could never have enjoyed individually.
FOR ONE HOUR: An hour is a non-specific time with a specific characteristic. The addition of the
word “one” intensifies the peculiar nature of the time. Thus, this will be ONE UNUSUAL time in history.
It is likely that the first half (or maybe the “middle half”!) is the period of time referred to in the seventh
seal (Rev 8:1). While, scripturally, an hour can be long or short, the nature of this time and the
description here given suggests that it will, in this instance, be quite short. The thought seems to be
that Europe’s nations (?) will collectively support some new continent-wide republic -- perhaps
one which comes into existence (as in France) from an uprising. And for a time (one unusual time,
indeed,) this arrangement will give great power through shared authority.
Verse 13 “These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast."
THESE HAVE ONE PURPOSE (MIND): Their purpose is not stated, but it likely will be
self-preservation. It is probably that this is in some way connected to the ideas of the sixth plague.
AND THEY GIVE THEIR POWER AND AUTHORITY TO THE BEAST: Note the contrast to Verse 12.
In Verse 12 the kings RECEIVE authority. In Verse 13 they GIVE authority. It is very clear that
this is a two-way cooperative arrangement. “You scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours.” It is also clear by
comparing these verses that each (king and beast) retain their own individuality while cooperating. This is
not a United States of Europe. This is independent European nations COOPERATING with a
Verse 14 “These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord
of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.”
THESE: kings and beast
WILL WAGE WAR AGAINST THE LAMB: There are two thoughts here, one far more important to
us than the other.
The first is that, by trying to bolster up the old order through their confederacy, this unholy
alliance is warring against the incoming kingdom.
The second thought, and personally most important to the saints, is that this alliance will be an
enemy of saints -- probably (as in France) of religion as a whole. Whatever final experiences are
in store for church and/or the Great Company, this will be the time they will occur. It is not
unlikely that the Church will be gone in the early part of this time.
AND THE LAMB WILL OVERCOME THEM: There is no question that the alliance will fail -- to the good
against him whom God has established as judge of all -- once the time has come.
BECAUSE HE IS LORD OF LORDS AND KING OF KINGS: (Compare Rev 19:15, 16) It is impossible
to prevail against him whom God has established as judge of all -- once the time has come.
AND THOSE WHO ARE WITH HIM: -- the completed Church.
ARE THE CALLED, CHOSEN, AND FAITHFUL: Having gone through all, these are then found standing
with the Lamb on Mount Zion (Rev 14:1). Verse 14 ended one part of the narrative, the story, in a
sense, is complete at this point. The Lamb has overcome the enemy. But we need more detail;
so, in the following verses, the seventh angel supplies it. (N.A.N.O.R. Pages 139, 140)
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