Revelation 17:12

Saturday, 29 May 2021

“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. Revelation 17:12

The mystery of the beast which has seven heads and ten horns continues in this verse. The angel now explicitly states the symbolism of the horns, saying, “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings.” There is no need to go further than this as far as “what” they are, except to say that kings can represent kingdoms. Thus, ten powers led by ten rulers can be implied. Along with this, more can be determined concerning them. The first thing of note is that they are ten kings “who have received no kingdom as yet.”

The ten kings receiving authority will rule together at the same time, not in sequence. Further, at the time of John, they had not received a kingdom. They also are not rightly explained as identifiable kings since the time of John. In other words, this is a future revelation and not something that happened in the past as the preterist belief holds.

The ten kings will arise and will “receive authority.” The source of the authority isn’t stated, but it could be as simple as the alignment of nations, such as the EU today, where a controlling government is formed out of individual nations. This set of ten kings is more than likely a vision complementing that of what Daniel saw –

“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.” Daniel 7:7, 8

This little horn that rises up and replaces three horns is believed to be the antichrist. As this final kingdom will have ten kings, John is told that they receive their authority “for one hour.’

One hour is a metaphor for a short time. This goes right back to the words of Jesus in Revelation 3:10 – “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

Various calculations have been made based on the term “one hour.” By taking the time of seven years and determining what one hour is in relation to this, guesses have been made about exactly how long these kings will rule. Such calculations are then turned into speculation about the exact time of the rapture or the exact time of the return of Christ, and so on. This is not responsible theology. The term (as just noted above) simply means “for a short time.” These kings will have a very short rule before their authority ends. And it will be a sad end for them because they rule “as kings with the beast.”

The fate of the beast will not be a happy one, and the fate of those kings who rule will surely not be pleasant.

Life application: There is a period of trial coming upon the whole world, but the faithful believers at the end of the Christian Era will be saved from it at the rapture. Here are a couple S/W videos on the rapture –

After the rapture, the world will face these things, including the rise of this beast which is headed by the antichrist and to which these ten leaders are aligned.

It cannot be determined who these kings are because they haven’t yet received their power. They could be a part of the revived Roman Empire, a separate entity within Europe who joins them, an Islamic coalition that joins them, etc. Whoever they are, they will receive authority, but as Jesus says – “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:16).

All the power and prestige that these kings think they have will fade into destruction and hell. Their temporary rule will result in eternal punishment… not a very good deal for them after all. As believers will be taken out at the rapture, thus avoiding the terrors that are coming, wouldn’t you be wise to be a part of that glorious departure? It can happen if you will simply accept God’s offer of peace and reconciliation. Accept the good news today! Call out to JESUS.

Heavenly Father, too often we look at wealth, power, and prestige as if it should be our ultimate goal, and we forget that all these worldly things are passing away. Help us to make right choices that will result in eternal rewards. May we not focus on the short-term worldly gain that has no true importance. Give us right reasoning in these things, O God. Amen.