The people respected the BEAST saying: “Who is able to make war with him?” – who would be able to withstand the withering curse of Papacy, the spiritual empire?
“And there was given him a mouth (Lion-like – strong – terrible utterance) speaking great and blasphemous things, and authority was given him to act forty-two months.” (Verse 5.) God permitted Papacy to jail, torture and execute the saints of God, whom they called “heretics.” These 42 symbolic months or 1260 symbolic days are the same as mentioned in the preceding chapter and also foretold by Daniel 12:7 as 3½ times. (3½ times or symbolic years = 42 symbolic months = 1260 symbolic days.) Understanding that a symbolic day equals one year, Ezekiel 4:6, this was a period of 1260 years. With the end of those 1260 years, Papacy’s power to act – or execute for heresy – ended in 1799.
There the delusion that none could successfully war or oppose Papacy was shown, when French forces in defiance of the curse, took Pope Pius VI a prisoner to Paris where he died. The dread of this BEAST has not been so great since, and the various horns (kingdoms) which once defended, have made war (don’t submit to Papacy’s rule) with the woman (Papacy). The dominion has been taken away. (Revelation 17:16.)
The scriptures tell us how this BEAST succeeded during its career of power. We read (verse 6): “And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle, and those who tabernacle in heaven.”
This BEAST power was a slur upon God and upon the true coming kingdom. Verses 7 and 8, “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them; and there was given to him authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation.”