They Reigned as One Hour

The Ten Kings and the Beast

The first hour described in the Book of Revelation is the reign of Ten Kings with the beast, as for one hour. 

We understand the Ten Kings from the Book of Daniel. 

The Ten Toes on the statue in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream were Ten Kingdoms, that would not adhere to one another in the seed of men. In Daniel Chapter 7, are described as Ten Horns that come out of an exceedingly dreadful beast, which we know to be Rome. In verse 24, we are told that “the Ten horns are Ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom.”

A “little horn” came up among these Ten Kings whose appearance was different. In Chapter 8, we read that he “exalted himself as high as the Captain of the Armies,” as high as Christ. Therefore, the Apostle John called him “the Antichrist” in his Epistles, and in Revelation Chapters 11, and 17, John called him, “the beast who comes up from the abyss.”

This little horn was the Bishop of Rome who first exalted himself as high as Christ when he wrote letters of excommunication to the Churches of Asia. The Bishop of Rome was actually called the substitute Christ, “Vicar of Christ,” which in Greek is Antichrist.

After the East-West Schism of 1054 AD, only Ten States remained with the Pope. This included the Bohemians, in the North-West part of Hungary, who first broke free from the Papacy in 1471. But the actual political power of Rome did not end until the 16th Century.

The Pope gave power to these Kings of Europe, even appointing them as Kings. The Book of Revelation was very precise, when it said, “they receive authority as Kings with the beast for one hour.”

The War with the Lamb

John described the war of the Ten States against the saints,  “these will make war with the Lamb and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of Kings, and those who are with Him, called chosen and faithful.”

The Ten Kings warred against Christ, through their relationship with the Pope. They oppressed anyone that the Pope considered to be a heretic. The Pope was the King of Kings.

In the Book of Daniel, the King of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar became a beast when he was forced to eat grass as a beast, until “seven times passed over him.” He represented the King of Mystery Babylon in the Book of Revelation, and was called the “King of Kings.”

Of course, Christ is supposed to be the King of the Kings, and so “the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of Kings.”

He will be broken without Human Means

Daniel said the little horn, the Antichrist, “shall be broken without humans means.” In Chapter Two, he described the stone that was cut out of the mountain “without human hands,”  and smashed the Ten Toes of the Image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.  That is the power of the Ten States with the Antichrist, who gave these Ten Kings their authority, as John told us.

From Isaiah, we know that the stone that struck the image was Christ, “Behold, I lay in Zion, a stone for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone” (Isaiah 28:16).

The victory of the Spirit of Christ came by the testimony of two witnesses, the two Olive trees described in the Book of Zechariah, who overcome, “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.” Here, the Targumist wrote “by My Word.”

The Two Witnesses

These two witnesses appear in Revelation Chapter 11, where the Greek text reads, “I will give two witnesses of Me, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days.”

These 1,260 days were the time, times and half a time that the saints were in the hands of the beast. Of course, there were many more than two witnesses over these 1,260 years. But Paul told us that the Law only required two witnesses to confirm any matter.

The dark ages, from the 5th to the 15th Century are called “the dark ages” because the Church kept people in a state of darkness, in ignorance. It suppressed any  personal thought.

Anyone found guilty of holding a different view than the Church could be burned at the stake, and their writings were burned in the fire.

By the time of the Reformation, the Church was selling the forgiveness of sins by way of “indulgences.” Indulgences were payments for relief from purgatory. The Church taught that purgatory was a place of suffering to be endured, before entering heaven.  This was only one of many deviations from the Gospel of Christ.

But the translation of the Bible into the language of the people, changed everything.

In the late 14th Century, John Wycliffe translated the Bible into English, and preached that the Bible should be the only authority. He said that the claims of the papacy were unhistorical, and that the moral depravity of the priests invalidated their sacraments. 

In 1411, John Wycliffe’s ideas were preached by Jan Huss in Bohemia. Jan Huss also preached against indulgences, more than 100 years before Martin Luther attacked them in his famous 95 theses.

Martin Luther continued the fight against indulgences, and advanced the message of “salvation by faith.” His writings paved the way for all of Europe to break free from the power of the Papacy.

From the Book of Daniel, we understand these two witnesses as Jan Huss and Martin Luther.

In chapter 12, verses 11-12, we read, “from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be 1,290 days. Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the 1,335 days.”

The first witness was Jan Huss, who freed the saints from the hands of the beast. Jan Huss protested against the beast, and was burned at the stake in 1415. But in 1471, the “Hussites” broke free from its power. This ended the “time, times and half a time,” which Daniel called 1,290 days.

By the words, “blessed is he who waits, and comes to the 1,335 days” we know that the Angel had another person in mind.

The second witness was Martin Luther, who after 1,335 days, 45 days later, appeared to start his Reformation, which, according to the Lutheran Church began in 1516.

The whole world became a courtroom, as the two witnesses made their testimony against the “beast that comes up from the abyss,” and “the Great City” described in Revelation 11, verses 7, and 8. These same expressions would be used in Revelation 17, verses 8, and 18, to describe the beast and the Great Harlot.

The testimony of the two witnesses ended the “time, times and half a time,” as prophesied by Daniel:

Then the saints shall be given into his hand for time, times and half a time. But the court shall be seated and they shall take away his dominion.

Daniel 7:25-26

The Two Lampstands

Revelation 11, verse 4 tells us that the two witnesses are the two olive trees and two lampstands that stand beside the Lord of the whole earth.

The meaning of a lampstand is given in Revelation Chapter 1. Jesus called the seven churches in Revelation: the seven lampstands.

The lampstands of the two witnesses were the Moravian and Lutheran churches, begun by Jan Huss and Martin Luther.

The relationship of the two, was emphasized by both of them. When Jan Huss was burned at the stake, he said to his executioner, “Today you burn a goose, but in one hundred years a swan will arise which you will prove unable to boil or roast.” The word “Huss” in Czech literally means “goose.”

Martin Luther saw himself as the fulfillment of that prophecy. In his famous trial at the Diet of Worms, he said, “I am a Hussite.” Today, the pulpits of Lutheran churches are often in the shape of a swan, to remember this prophecy by Jan Huss.

Fire comes up from their Mouth

In Revelation 11, verse 5, we read that “fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them they must be killed in this way.”

This fire represents the preaching of the word of God as the prophet Jeremiah wrote, “is not My word as fire” (Jeremiah 23:29).

These have the power to shut up the sky

In verse 6, we learn that the two witnesses “have the power to shut up the sky in the days of their prophesying.” This was a comparison to Elijah who prayed that it would not rain. Then after 3 ½ years, he prayed again, and the rain once again watered the earth.  This was a metaphor for the outpouring of the Spirit. The Spirit of Christ was the “spiritual rain” that broke the power of the beast after “time, times and a half a time,” 3 ½ years, which were actually 1278 days, as years. The Spirit of Christ was the oil of the two golden pipes, and two Olive trees that were described by Zechariah, “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.”

The Power to turn the waters into blood

In  verse 6, we read that the two witnesses have “the power to turn the waters into blood.” In the second bowl of wrath, in Revelation 16, the Angel poured his bowl into the sea, and it became blood, and every living thing died. The “sea” represents salvation throughout the Book of Revelation, and blood symbolizes the spiritual death of those who worship the beast, or his image and receive his mark.

The Power to strike the Earth with a Plague

Verse 6 concludes to say, “they have the power to strike the earth with a plague.” The “earth” throughout the Book of Revelation represents the people of the world. For example, in Chapter 12, we are told “the earth helped the woman.” 

The two witnesses freed the saints from “the Great City mystically called Egypt,” and so they were compared to Moses and Aaron, who were given the power of plagues to free the Israelites from Egypt. The first plague of Moses and Aaron was to turn the river into blood. The two witnesses also turn the water into blood. But their plagues are spiritual plagues.

When they have finished their testimony

In verse 7, we read, “when they have finished their testimony the Beast that came up from the Abyss will make war with them and overcome them and kill them.”

The death of John Huss caused outrage in Bohemia, and resulted in an army of “Hussites” who continued his testimony. The greatest desire of the Hussites was to separate themselves from the corrupt Church. Even the moderate Hussites, believed the Church was the whore of Babylon, and the Pope was the Antichrist.

But they were afraid of the military power of the state. And many of the common people were yet not confident enough in their understanding of the Bible to reject the Church. As a result, they were forced to rely on the Catholic priests for the observance of communion, and baptisms. But they despised the idea of confessing their sins to men who had the mark of the beast on their foreheads.

Finally, in 1467, a devout group of Hussites, called the “Unity of the Brethren” gathered the courage to declare their complete separation from the Catholic Church. At the Synod of Lhota, they drew from 12 slips of paper, and selected three brothers as the ministers of their Church. These three ministers rebaptized all the members into the new and independent Moravian Church.

But fearing that the common people would not accept these ministers, without proper “apostolic authority,” the Brethren approached Bishop Stephan, of the Waldenesian sect. They believed his succession as a  bishop traced back to the Apostles themselves. Stephan’s pious and blameless life made him the perfect candidate, and he was more than happy to ordain the new clergyman.

The Beast that came up from the Abyss will make war with them and overcome them and kill them

After ordaining the clergymen of the Moravian Church, Bishop Stephan fell into the hands of the Catholic authorities., and was burned at the stake in Vienna, in August of 1467. The Moravian brethren were scattered, and hunted like deer, in the forest of Bohemia, until 1471.

John told us that “the Beast that came up from the Abyss will make war with them and overcome them and kill them.”

Their bodies will lie in the street,

John described the death of the Moravians saying, “their bodies will lie in the street of the Great City, which is mystically called Sodom and Egypt where also their Lord was crucified.”

The Greek word for street can refer to a broad public place. The meaning is simply that the witnesses were killed in the view of all, just as their Lord was also crucified.

which is mystically called Sodom and Egypt

The Great City was mystically called Egypt, because it was the place of captivity, and Sodom because it was a place of great immorality. 

Sodom was the most notorious and sinful city where homosexuality was a common practice.

The sins of the Great City of Babylon cannot be described properly with few words, but for the purpose of illustration, let us consider the personal lives of the Popes.

  1. Pope Sixtus IV, who reigned from 1441 to 1484, was a “lover of boys and sodomites.”
  2. Pope Innocent VIII, from 1484 to 1492, admitted to 8 illegitimate children.
  3. Pope Alexander VI, from 1492 to 1503, had several mistresses, and several children by them, and
  4. Pope Julius II, from 1503 to 1513 contracted a severe case of syphilis from prostitutes. It is said that no one could kiss his feet because they were covered by sores of syphilis.

The immorality of the Church was not limited to the Pope. All levels of the clergy participated in it.

Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days

John described the death of the two witnesses, saying, “those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days.”

After Bishop Stephan was burned at the stake in August of 1467, the Moravian Church brothers were slaughtered in the forest, until Jan Rokycana, the Archbishop, and King George Prodebrady, died, on February 21, and March 22, 1471.

This was three and a half days, or years, after the death of Bishop Stephan.