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The "image"

of

the beast


Revelation 13:11-18

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon.

And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him [in front of him], and causes the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Here is wisdom.

Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six.

At this point in the unfolding of the prophetic line another symbol is introduced. Both the appearance of this beast and the manner of its rise indicate that the nation which it represents is unlike those presented under the preceding symbols. The great kingdoms that have ruled the world were presented to the prophet Daniel as beasts of prey, rising when "the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea." Daniel 7:2. Even the leopard beast comes from the sea.

An angel explained to John that waters represent "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Revelation 17:15. Winds are a symbol of strife. The four winds of heaven striving upon the great sea represent the terrible scenes of conquest and revolution by which kingdoms have attained to power.

But the beast with lamblike horns was seen "coming up out of the earth." Instead of overthrowing other powers to establish itself, the nation thus represented must arise in territory previously unoccupied and grow up gradually and peacefully. It could not, then, arise among the crowded and struggling nationalities of the Old World - that turbulent sea of "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." It must be sought in the Western Continent.

What nation of the New World was in 1798 rising into power, giving promise of strength and greatness, and attracting the attention of the world? The application of the symbol admits of no question. One nation, and only one, meets the specifications of this prophecy; it points unmistakably to the United States of America. Again and again the thought, almost the exact words, of the sacred writer has been unconsciously employed by the orator and the historian in describing the rise and growth of this nation.

The beast was seen "coming up out of the earth;" and, according to some translators, the word here rendered "coming up" literally signifies "to grow or spring up as a plant." And, as we have seen, the nation must arise in territory previously unoccupied. A prominent writer, describing the rise of the United States, speaks of

"the mystery of her coming forth from vacancy," and says: "Like a silent seed we grew into empire."

G. A. Townsend, The New World Compared With the Old, page 462.

A European journal in 1850 spoke of the United States as a wonderful empire, which was "emerging," and "amid the silence of the earth daily adding to its power and pride."The Dublin Nation .

Edward Everett, in an oration on the Pilgrim founders of this nation, said:

"Did they look for a retired spot, inoffensive for its obscurity, and safe in its remoteness, where the little church of Leyden might enjoy the freedom of conscience? Behold the mighty regions over which, in peaceful conquest, . . . they have borne the banners of the cross!"

Speech delivered at Plymouth, Massachusetts, Dec. 22, 1824, page 11.

The lamblike horns indicate youth, innocence, and gentleness, fitly representing the character of the United States when presented to the prophet as "coming up" in 1798. Among the Christian exiles who first fled to America and sought an asylum from royal oppression and priestly intolerance were many who determined to establish a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty. Their views found place in the Declaration of Independence, which sets forth the great truth that "all men are created equal" and endowed with the inalienable right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

And the Constitution of the United States guarantees to the people the right of self-government, providing that representatives elected by the popular vote shall enact and administer the laws. Freedom of religious faith was also granted, every man being permitted to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. Republicanism and Protestantism (no king - no pope) became the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity. The oppressed and downtrodden throughout Christendom have turned to this land with interest and hope. Millions have sought its shores, and the United States has now risen to its place as the most powerful nation of the earth because "righteousness exalts a nation."

Through paganism, and then through the papacy, Satan exerted his power for many centuries in an effort to blot from the earth God's faithful witnesses. Pagans and papists were actuated by the same dragon spirit. They differed only in that the papacy, making a pretence of serving God, was the more dangerous and cruel foe. Through the agency of Roman Catholicism, Satan took the world captive. The professed church of God was swept into the ranks of this delusion, and for more than a thousand years the people of God suffered under the dragon's ire.

And when the papacy, robbed of its strength by its lack of popular consent, was forced to desist from persecution sometime before 1798, John beheld this new power coming up to echo the dragon's voice, and carry forward the same cruel and blasphemous work. This power, the last that is to wage war against the church and the law of God, was symbolized by a beast with lamblike horns. The beasts preceding it had risen from the sea, but this came up out of the earth, representing the peaceful rise of the nation which is symbolized.

The "two horns like a lamb" well represent the character of the United States Government, as expressed in its two fundamental principles, Republicanism and Protestantism. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity as a nation. Those who first found a safe haven on the shores of America rejoiced that they had reached a country free from the arrogant claims of popery and the tyranny of kingly rule. They determined to establish a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty.

But the wisdom of God has said that they would change and become the worst enemy of liberty! This process we are seeing today. From a nation which hesitated to be involved in world affairs (1914-1917), we can now see the United States dominating the United Nations and NATO.

The lamblike horns and dragon voice of the symbol point to a striking contradiction between the professions and the practice of the nation thus represented. The "speaking" of the nation is the action of its legislative and judicial authorities. By such action it will give the lie to those liberal and peaceful principles which it has put forth as the foundation of its policy. The prediction that it will speak "as a dragon" and exercise "all the power of the first beast" plainly foretells a development of the spirit of intolerance and persecution that was manifested by the nations represented by the dragon and the leopardlike beast.

And the statement that the beast with two horns "causes the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast" indicates that the authority of this nation is to be exercised in enforcing some observance which shall be an act of homage to the papacy.

Such action would be directly contrary to the principles of its government, to the origin of its free institutions, to the direct and solemn avowals of the Declaration of Independence, and to the Constitution. The founders of the nation wisely sought to guard against the employment of civil power on the part of the church, with its inevitable result - intolerance and persecution.

The Constitution provides that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," and that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office of public trust under the United States." Only in flagrant violation of these safeguards to the nation's liberty, can any religious observance be enforced by civil authority. But the inconsistency of such action is no greater than is represented in the symbol. It is the beast with lamblike horns - in profession pure, gentle, and harmless - that speaks as a dragon.

Revelation 13:14 The origin of the image

Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast.

Here is clearly presented a form of government in which the legislative power rests with the people (a democracy), a most striking evidence that the United States is the nation denoted in the prophecy.

But what is the "image to the beast"? and how is it to be formed?

The image is made by the two-horned lamb-like beast, and is an image to the first beast. It is also called an image of the beast. Then to learn what the image is like and how it is to be formed we must study the characteristics of the beast itself - civil authority ruled by the papacy, an animal ridden by a woman.

When the early Christian church became corrupted by departing from the simplicity of the gospel and accepting heathen rites and customs, she lost the Spirit and power of God; and in order to control the consciences of the people, she sought the support of the secular power. The result was the papacy, a church that controlled the power of the state and employed it to further her own ends, especially for the punishment of "heresy."

In order for the United States to form an image of the beast, the religious powers of the nation must so control the federal government that the authority of the states will also be employed by the churches to accomplish their own ends. This will require a union of the Protestant churches and this can been seen in the making already.

Control of heresy

Whenever any church has obtained secular power, she has employed it to punish dissent from her doctrines. Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliance with worldly powers have already manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience.

An example of this is given in the long-continued persecution of dissenters by the Church of England. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, thousands of nonconformist ministers were forced to flee from their churches, and many, both of pastors and people, were subjected to fine, imprisonment, torture, and martyrdom.

It was apostasy that led the early Christian church to seek the aid of the civil government, and this prepared the way for the development of the papacy - the rider on the beast. Said Paul: "There" shall "come a falling away, . . . and that man of sin be revealed." 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

So apostasy in the Protestant churches of the United States of America will prepare the way for the image to the beast.

The Bible declares that before the coming of the Lord there will exist a state of religious decline similar to that in the first centuries.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

In the last days perilous times shall come. For men [the leaders in the churches!] shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.

1 Timothy 4:1

Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.

Satan will work "with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness." And all that "received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved," will be left to accept a "strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11.

When this state of ungodliness shall be reached, the same results will follow as in the first centuries. We have the word of God which tells us that this beast will perform miracles in its effort to persuade the people of the nation that religious union is necessary. Then will come the "clay and iron" of the statue.

And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

The original wide diversity of belief in the Protestant ministry was regarded by many as decisive proof that no effort to secure a forced uniformity could ever be made. But there has been for years, in churches of the Protestant faith, a strong and growing sentiment in favour of a union based upon common points of doctrine. To secure such a union, the discussion of subjects upon which all were not agreed - however important they might be from a Bible standpoint - must necessarily be waived. They will agree to disagree. It is on their basic philosophy that they will unite, and that is Baal worship with the sun's day as its symbol.

Some old, but very pertinent statements

Charles Beecher, a Protestant minister himself, in a sermon in the year 1846 (the preparation for the making of the image started a long time ago), declared that the ministry of :-

"the evangelical Protestant denominations" is "not only formed all the way up under a tremendous pressure of merely human fear, but they live, and move, and breathe in a state of things radically corrupt, and appealing every hour to every baser element of their nature to hush up the truth, and bow the knee to the power of apostasy."

"Was not this the way things went with Rome? Are we not living her life over again? And what do we see just ahead? Another general council! A world's convention! Evangelical alliance, and universal creed!" –

Sermon on "The Bible a Sufficient Creed," delivered at Fort Wayne, Indiana, Feb. 22, 1846.

Rome withheld the Bible from the people and required all men to accept her teachings in its place. It was the work of the Reformation to restore to men the word of God; but is it not too true that in the churches of our time men and women are taught to rest their faith upon their creed and the teachings of their church rather than on the Scriptures? Charles Beecher, speaking of the Protestant churches again in the same sermon, said:

"They shrink from any rude word against creeds with the same sensitiveness with which those holy fathers [of the Roman Catholic church] would have shrunk from a rude word against the rising veneration of saints and martyrs which they were fostering. . . . The Protestant evangelical denominations have so tied up one another's hands, and their own, that, between them all, a man cannot become a preacher at all, anywhere, without accepting some book besides the Bible.... There is nothing imaginary in the statement that the creed power is now beginning to prohibit the Bible as really as Rome did, though in a subtler way."

If this was true 150 years ago, what must the condition of the churches be today? What is the secret agenda of the World Council of Churches?

The emergence of the "image"

When the first union with the civil authority shall be gained by deception, then, in the effort to secure complete uniformity, it will be only a step to the resort to force. When the ministers of the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the Federal government to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.

The beast with two lamblike horns:-

... causes [commands] all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 13:16, 17.

The third angel's warning is:-

Revelation 14:9-10

If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.

The "beast" mentioned in this message, whose worship is enforced by the two-horned lamblike beast, is the first, or leopardlike beast of Revelation 13, the one with seven heads and ten horns with crowns on the horns. That form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches of the world shall seek the aid of the civil powers for the enforcement of their dogmas is one of the heads of Satan's kingdom. It is the seventh "head" and we have been told that it will last for only a short time, for its power is soon taken over by the image of the beast, decribed in this symbol as the ten horns with the crowns on them. Speaking of the heads, the Spirit says:-

Revelation 17:10

10 And there are seven kings:

five are fallen,

and one is,

and the other is not yet come;

and when he comes, he must continue a short space.

 

The mark of the beast

The "mark of the beast" still remains to be defined, but if not received then a death decree is mentioned as the penalty!

And he had power to give life to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Here it can be seen that it is the voice of the dragon which requires worship of the image of the beast. It is not the first beast (under the control of the Roman Catholic church) which is being spoken of. It is not Europe which will lead out in this work of the devil. It is the image. It is the Protestant churches of America speaking with one voice (through the Federal Government) which will eventually require worship - on the day of their choice (which will be the papacy's child - Sunday). In this way the "mark" of the IMAGE beast will also be the "mark" of the first beast. That is why it is called an "image" or "copy" of the first system.

But it really is the mark of the dragon, for it is at the opposite end of the week, the first day as a sign of selfishness, instead of the last which represents unselfishness.

When Sunday worship becomes mandatory under the law of the United States it will soon spread to every other country in the world just as all other "fashions" from that country do today. Then it will be true that "ALL the world wondered after the beast" and its "mark" will be accepted or rejected as the case may be.

Buy and sell

The first decrees will be of the "buy and sell" variety. They will merely set Sunday aside all over the world as a special day which should be observed by all and sundry, regardless of religion. Shops and businesses will be forced to close in the hope that the workers will join the churches. When this does not occur, and the workers use it as a day of entertainment and sport, then new laws will gradually prohibit those pleasures. The leaders of the churches will be sure then that their pews will be filled. But again, the people of the world will prefer to lie about and do nothing so a decree enforcing church attendance will follow.

At first, any church will do and Friday and Sabbath observers will not be too inconvenienced for they can keep both days, their own as well as Sunday. However, as the world conditions deteriorate even further, and the people enquire why "god" is angry with them, the church leaders will point to those who observe another day as well as Sunday, and claim that they must be stopped and only Sunday honoured. Then it will be that the ordinary person will agree that Sunday observance must be enforced by stricter laws.

At first there will be fines for non-compliance, then jail sentences for persistent objecters, and, finally, a death decree for those who are thought to "trouble Israel", for as the people of the world move away from God His protection weakens and the elements of the world will begin to really break up. That will be the time for "Elijah" and "Ahab" to meet along with the "prophets of Baal", and for the people of the world to make a decision - for Baal or the living God. (Notice that Jezebel stayed at home waiting the outcome.) The breakup of the world will be evidenced by geographical problems of floods and droughts and other such disasters, far worse than the present El Ninós and La Ninás. These are all caused by human interference in the laws of nature and God's inability to stop that interference without interfering with man's freedom of action..

Isaiah 51:6-7

Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but My salvation shall be for ever, and My righteousness shall not be abolished. Hearken to Me, you that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is My law; fear you not the reproach of men, neither be you afraid of their revilings.

Hebrews 1:10-12

And, You, Lord, in the beginning have laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of Your hands. They shall perish; but You remain; and they all shall wax old as does a garment; and as a vesture shall You fold them up, and they shall be changed: but You are the same, and Your years shall not fail.

These are the issues to which the world will be brought in the second "war". How do I know all this? Because it has happened before in the first "war" and, "That which is done, is that which shall be done: there is no new thing under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9. It was in this way that Sunday first came in under the Roman Catholic church and this is the also the way in which the image of that system will work.

 

For details, see "The Original Sunday Law"

 

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