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More on the "beasts" of Revelation 13

Query for the Month

of

June 2015

Next up-date: July 1st 2015 (God willing).

Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.

Some perpetual questions ....

Is there really an immortal soul?

Do you know the difference between the "love" that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world?
Click here to find out!
 

Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share amongst your friends.   It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read! 

In the meantime, try this site.   

 

Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.

In this reply the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding.  Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library.  No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly.  All the ideas expressed in this article, right or wrong, are my own.   


The query:

Why is the second beast of Revelation 13 (the dragon-speaking one who makes the “image”) described as having “two horns like [pretending to be] a lamb” (ineffective horns, but they are there!), and why is it often called “the lamb-like beast” when it is clearly a dragon and not a lamb?

 šššš

 

One of the great mistakes of modern Adventism is to regard the professed Protestant churches as Christian because THEY say they are, and because they appear to call on the name of the LORD.  (Babylon has ALWAYS done that, but they mean “Lord” or “Boss”, by that name.) We are told to test the character of religious groups and not just accept their word:

1 John 4:1-3:

Beloved, believe not every spirit [every denomination], but try [test] the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know you the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh [as an ordinary Christian] is of God [not just in words, but in actions[1]]: and every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of anti [in place of] Christ, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.   

In addition to that, we have the word of God in which, regardless of their profession, God says that there are harlot (prostitute) “daughters” of Babylon and we should “come out” of them! 

Revelation 17:4-6:

“And the woman [the Babylonian figurehead] was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication. And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.  And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration [astonishment]”.

Revelation 18:1-5:

1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies”.

4 And I heard another Voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues”. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.   

As a third witness, we have:

{GC 382.3 - 383.2} 

Babylon is said to be “the mother of harlots”.  By her daughters must be symbolized churches that cling to her doctrines and traditions, and follow her example of sacrificing the truth and the approval of God, in order to form an unlawful alliance with the world. 

The message of Revelation 14 [the second angel], announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to religious bodies that were once pure [in this area] and have become corrupt.[2]  Since this message follows the warning of the judgment [the first angel], it must be given in the last days; therefore it cannot refer to the Roman Church alone, for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries. 

Furthermore, in the eighteenth chapter of the Revelation the people of God are called upon to come out of Babylon.  According to this scripture, many of God's people must still be in Babylon.  And in what religious bodies are the greater part of the followers of Christ now [1911] to be found? Without doubt, in the various churches professing the Protestant faith. 

At the time of their rise these churches took a noble stand for God and the truth [of separation of church and state], and His blessing was with them [the Reformers].  Even the unbelieving world was constrained to acknowledge the beneficent results that followed an acceptance of the principles of the gospel.  In the words of the prophet to Israel: “Your renown went forth among the heathen for your beauty: for it was perfect through My comeliness, which I had put upon you, says the LORD God”. 

But they fell by the same desire which was the curse and ruin of Israel – the desire of imitating the practices and courting the friendship of the ungodly.  “You did trust in your own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of your renown”.  Ezekiel 16:14, 15.   

Many of the Protestant churches are following Rome's example of iniquitous connection with “the kings of the earth” –

the state churches, by their relation to secular governments;

and other denominations, by seeking the favor of the world. 

And the term “Babylon” – confusion – may be appropriately applied to these bodies, all professing to derive their doctrines from the Bible, yet divided into almost innumerable sects, with widely conflicting creeds and theories.   

Besides a sinful union with the world, the churches that separated from Rome present other of her characteristics . . .

It was in response to these witnesses that in 1844 “I [John] heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues’” for the second part of Babylon (part 2 of 3, her daughters, Revelation 16:19) had now also fallen beyond redemption.  Revelation 18:4.  This is part of the “loud cry”.

God has always been calling His people out since the Reformers came into existence, but it was not until that year that the emerging saints recognised the “Protestants” as a part of “Babylon”, and that year (and ever since) God’s people have been told to leave them to their chosen fate. 

How do we know the difference today? 

Those who have set up their own day of worship, and their own “way” of salvation make no secret of it, and so we are told to look and choose.  Revelation 11:1.  If we agree and accept them as part of Christianity then we are a partaker of their sins!!

That’s what the Advent people did in 1844 even though they may not have recognised the scripture that told them to do so.

{Christian Experience and Teachings 50.4}  [assembled in 1922]

Our hopes now centered on the coming of the Lord in 1844 [after the disappointment of 1843]. This was also the time for the message of the second angel, who, flying through the midst of heaven, cried, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city.” Revelation 14:8. That message was first proclaimed by the servants of God in the summer [June/July] of 1844.  As a result, many left the fallen churches. In connection with this message the “midnight cry” [See Matthew 25:1-13.] was given: “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.” 

This not to say that the people in the “fallen” organisations are all lost (although the systems are), because we know that many individuals who remained Sunday-keepers in past years (and even those in the present) will be judged on what they knew, not what they should have known. 

God told them,

“But to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira [1517-1833], as many as have not [accepted] this [false] doctrine [the union of church and state, verses 20-23], and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak [his deepest plans; his real agenda]; I will put upon you none other burden.  But that which you have already hold fast till I come”.  Revelation 2:24-25.  

In passing, we should note that the Spirit does NOT say that it is “Israel” which has fallen, but “Babylon” that has done this!  Therefore this does not mean that they have fallen from Israel as so many believe, for like their “mother” the multitude of denominations have always been part of the family of Babylon, but by 1844 there was no hope at all of bringing these organisations into the truth. 

So what have they fallen from?  Their place in the minds of the people who follow the Lamb!

Up until that time God had hoped that He might be able to procure a corporate or denominational repentance among some of them.  Of the mother and the daughters God says: “And I gave her space [time] to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds”.  Revelation 2:21-22.  So the denominations had an opportunity to repent just like the common sinners that they were.

The Son of God said to them:

Revelation 3:

1 And to the angel of the church in Sardis [the Reformation time, 1517-1833] write; These things says He that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know your works, that you have a name that you live [in men’s eyes], and are dead [in Mine]. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works perfect before God.

3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.  If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you [October 22, 1844]

4 You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy. 5 He that overcomes [himself], the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels [in the judgment].   

But after the call of the early Adventists the invitation to become the bride of Christ lapsed, and God’s people who were in them were told to come out from them.  Of course, there have always been genuine Sabbath-keeping Christians separate from them, but the majority of the early Adventists were Sunday-keepers, and now was the time to re-establish the truth more openly, and the second angel’s message was designed to do that.  For more on this see,

                            http://ancient-sda.com/centuries/centuries.html

In 1844 the descendants of the Reformers had to be SEEN in the minds of God’s people to be rejecters of God’s way.   

It is here that we must make very clear in our minds the distinction between the religious organisation and the congregation. The organisation is the system and the clergy who uphold it, while the people are the laity who follow it and them. 

That may not mean much to us, but in the Babylonian system it means a great deal, for the clergy are the bosses and the laity are the sheep.

 God tells us that in the following diagram:

 diagram who sits on whatText Box:  
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For example, the world sees the “mother” like this:

***************(Begin Quote)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Laity

There are estimated to be over one billion Roman Catholics in the world.[1] The majority of these are lay Catholics, otherwise known as the “laity“. The Catholic Church is overseen by the Pope, two hundred cardinals and just over 31,000 bishops. The Pope, cardinals, and bishops are known collectively as the Catholic Hierarchy and are responsible for the supervision, management, and pastoral care of all members the Catholic Church, including clergy, religious, and the laity.[2]

***************(End Quote)

The Protestant movement of the 1500’s in the main rejected the ranks of bishop and above but retained all the lower ones (with the notable exception of the Church of England which kept them all, with their monarch as their pope).

***************(Begin Quote)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clergy

Clergy are some of the formal leaders within certain religions. The roles and functions of clergy vary in different religious traditions but these usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's doctrines and practices. Some of the terms used for individual clergy are cleric, clergyman, clergywoman, clergyperson, and churchman.

In Christianity the specific names and roles of clergy vary by denomination and there is a wide range of formal and informal clergy positions, including deacons, priests, bishops, preachers, pastors, and ministers. In Islam, a religious leader is often known as an imam or ayatollah. In Jewish tradition, a religious leader is often a rabbi or hazzan (cantor).

***************(End Quote)

 

That’s why Jesus told the Jews, and us:

***************(Begin Quote)

Matthew 23:

1 Then spoke Jesus to the multitude, and to His disciples, 2 saying,

The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat [reading his words in the Bible]: 3 all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe [from his writings], that observe and do; but do not you after their works: for they say, and do not.

4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders [as religious duties]; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad [large] their phylacteries [boxes worn on the arm and the head containing scriptural texts], and enlarge the borders of their garments [a sign of their inportant office],

6 and love the uppermost rooms [being in the forefront] at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, “Rabbi, Rabbi” [Father, Father; Pastor, Pastor; Reverend; Senior, etc]

8 But be not you called Rabbi [Boss]: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all you are brothers [and sisters, equals in the church].

And call no man your [religious] father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 

10 Neither be you called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 

11 But he that is great among you shall be your servant [helper]. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. 13 But woe [shall come] to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  

For [by your actions] you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves [you have chosen], neither suffer you them that are entering [think they are going there] to go in.

***************(End Quote)

It is written of the Second Advent:

{GC 654.2} 

The wicked [the rejecters] are filled with regret, not because of their sinful neglect of God and their fellow men, but because God has conquered. They lament that the result is what it is; but they do not repent of their wickedness. They would leave no means untried to conquer if they could . . .

{GC 655.3-4} 

Ministers and people see that they have not sustained the right relation to God. They see that they have rebelled against the Author of all just and righteous law. The setting aside of the divine precepts gave rise to thousands of springs of evil, discord, hatred, iniquity, until the earth became one vast field of strife, one sink of corruption. This is the view that now appears to those who rejected truth and chose to cherish error. No language can express the longing which the disobedient and disloyal feel for that which they have lost forever -- eternal life.

Men whom the world has worshiped for their talents and eloquence now see these things in their true light. They realize what they have forfeited by transgression, and they fall at the feet of those whose fidelity they have despised and derided, and confess that God has loved them. [See Revelation 3:9.] 

The people see that they have been deluded. They accuse one another of having led them to destruction; but all unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers. Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy.

Now, in their despair, these teachers confess before the world their work of deception.

The multitudes are filled with fury. “We are lost!” they cry, “and you are the cause of our ruin;” and they turn upon the false shepherds. The very ones that once admired them most will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them. The very hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction. The swords which were to slay God's people are now employed to destroy their enemies. Everywhere there is strife and bloodshed. 

This is what is commonly called, “the battle of Armageddon”.

But the query relates specifically to the United States of America, the second beast of Revelation 13, so we need to come back to that nation.  It is a grave mistake to call it a Christian nation, as many among us have done.  It was NEVER set up as a nation for any religion; in fact, it was carefully set up as a disestablished one! And that is what the horns represented – small nubs with no power. 

There are always government and religion in any nation, but in this one (the USA) they were to be impotent.

The first amendment to the original constitution of the United States of America (December 15, 1792) specifically says that the Federal government was not to favour any one religion above another, but to ensure that all worshippers of every kind had the freedom to follow their consciences.  

The Constitution of the United States of America was carefully written in 1776 by earnest Christians who knew that separation of religion and state was the only way to go.  Therefore they made the first amendment in 1792 regarding that very point. (It was not till ten years after that (i.e. 1802) the words “so building a wall of separation between church and state” were penned, and that was in a private letter.[3]   

But that word “church” implies a “Christian” connection, for other religions do not have “churches” and so the phrase has been the cause of confusion ever since!!)

 

Here is a statement I garnered many years ago but can’t seem to find now:

***************(Begin Quote)

http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/constitution/amdt1.html

I. Brant, James Madison--Father of the Constitution 1787-1800 at 271 (1950).”  [4]

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

An Overview

        “Madison's original proposal for a bill of rights provision concerning religion read:  

“The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed.”

\1\ The language was altered in the House to read: “Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience.”

\2\ In the Senate, the section adopted read: “Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith, or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion, . . .”

\3\ It was in the conference committee of the two bodies, chaired by Madison, that the present language was written with its somewhat more indefinite “respecting” phraseology. [[Page 970]]

\4\ Debate in Congress lends little assistance in interpreting the religion clauses; Madison's position, as well as that of Jefferson who influenced him, is fairly clear,

\5\ but the intent, insofar as there was one, of the others in Congress who voted for the language and those in the States who voted to ratify is subject to speculation.

 

\1\1 Annals of Congress 434 (June 8, 1789).

\2\ The committee appointed to consider Madison's proposals, and on which Madison served, with Vining as chairman, had rewritten the religion section to read: “No religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed.” After some debate during which Madison suggested that the word “national” might be inserted before the word “religion” as “point[ing] the amendment directly to the object it was intended to prevent,” the House adopted a substitute reading: “Congress shall make no laws touching religion, or infringing the rights of conscience.”

 

1 Annals of Congress 729-31 (August 15, 1789).

On August 20, on motion of Fisher Ames, the language of the clause as quoted in the text was adopted. Id. at 766.

According to Madison's biographer, “[t]here can be little doubt that this was written by Madison.”

***************(End Quote)

 

But I did find this quote today:

***************(Begin Quote)

The Bill of Rights

Center for Legislative Archives

National Archives and Records Administration

www.archives.gov/legislative

Handout 2

:

James Madison’s Proposed

Amendments to the Constitution, June 8, 1789

Source: Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 1st Congress, 1st Session, June 8, 1789, p. 451 - 53, Washington, DC: Gales and Seaton, 1834.

              http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llac&fileName=001/llac001.db&recNum=227

First.

That there be prefixed to the Constitution a declaration, that all power is originally vested in, and consequently derived from, the people. That Government is instituted and ought to be exercised for the benefit of the people; which consists in the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right of acquiring and using property, and generally of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. That the people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their Government, whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purposes of its institution . . .

 

Fourthly.

That in article 1st, section 9, between clauses 3 and 4, be inserted these clauses, to wit: The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.

The people shall not be deprived or abridged of their right to speak, or to write, or to publish their sentiments; and the freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable.

The people shall not be restrained from peaceably assembling and consulting for their common good; nor from applying to the Legislature by petitions, remonstrances, for redress of their grievances.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person. No soldiers shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor at any time, but in a manner warranted by law.

No person shall be subject, except in cases of impeachment, to more than one punishment or one trial for the same offence; nor shall be compelled to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without

due process of law; nor be obliged to relinquish his property, where it may be necessary for public use, without a just compensation.

***************(End Quote)

Conclusion:

Thus we can see that the founding fathers of the United States wanted a nation which would harbour all religions and allow the free and full expression of all of them, without fear or favour.  Having recently escaped from the horrors of Europe and its sectarian views, and knowing that having an established religion leads inevitably to fierce persecution of dissenters (even to the death penalty for having differing views), they wisely chose to establish a state without a king or a religious head [the two horn stubs]. 

(Yet every individual State in the United States does have what are called “blue [religious] laws”, some of which call for the death penalty.)

Therefore to say or think that the United States of America is a Christian nation, a lamb, or a lamb which will change itself (or be changed) into a dragon, is to ignore the fact that God says it is already a “dragon”, and always has been. 

And we don’t believe in evolution, or do we?

oooOooo

 

For more on this subject, try 

        http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llac&fileName=001/llac001.db&recNum=227

The page numbers from 221 to 227 (images 449-451) make interesting reading! (Click on PREV IMAGE or NEXT IMAGE to move between them.)

 

 


 

 

Note 1:

***************(Begin Quote)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Madison

James Madison, Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, political theorist, and the fourth President of the United States (1809–17). He is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for being instrumental in the drafting of the U.S. Constitution and as the key champion and author of the Bill of Rights.[2] He served as a politician much of his adult life.

After the constitution had been drafted, Madison became one of the leaders in the movement to ratify it. His collaboration with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay produced The Federalist Papers (1788). Circulated only in New York at the time, they would later be considered among the most important treatises in support of the Constitution. He was also a delegate to the Virginia constitutional ratifying convention, and was instrumental to the successful ratification effort in Virginia. Like most of his contemporaries, Madison changed his political views during his life. During the drafting and ratification of the constitution, he favored a strong national government, though later he grew to favor stronger state governments, before settling between the two extremes late in his life.

In 1789, Madison became a leader in the new House of Representatives, drafting many basic laws. He is notable for drafting the first ten amendments to the Constitution, and thus is known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights".[3] Madison worked closely with President George Washington to organize the new federal government. Breaking with Hamilton and what became the Federalist Party in 1791, Madison and Thomas Jefferson organized what they called the Republican Party (later called by historians the Democratic-Republican Party).

As Jefferson's Secretary of State (1801–09), Madison supervised the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the nation's size. After his election to the presidency, he presided over renewed prosperity for several years. As president (1809–17), after the failure of diplomatic protests and a trade embargo against Great Britain, he led the nation into the War of 1812BACK

***************(End Quote)

 

 

 


 

[1]  This means that any genuine Christian led by the Spirit can do what He did, for He did nothing that had not already been done by other humans!   BACK

[2]  “once pure” = unmarried (virgin); “corrupt” = joined to state (non-virgin).   BACK

[3]  “Thomas Jefferson, in a private communication”  The First Amendment and The Remnant,  by Leonard Verduin, page 2, 1998.  BACK

[4] For information on Madison, see Endnote 1

 

 


Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated,

but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.

 

Next query. To be discussed from July 1st 2015.

 

Next query:

Why, when there are two “beasts” in Revelation 13, and one of them makes a “copy (image)” of the other, do we not see that there are then three of them?  

The original, the second and then the copy? 

The three "beasts" are:  a “has been (in the past)”;  an “ineffective” (present) one;   and the real exposed one (of the future).

 

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