Revelation Chapter Thirteen - Part Two
11And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
Author: In verse eleven God reveals another beast/kingdom coming up but this one comes out of the earth rather than the sea. These identifying points show us that a special nation is arising that prophecy states will play a major role in the future of the world.
The difference between the Beast and the Two Horned Beast is that the Roman Catholic Church rose up in the populated nations (seas of Europe Revelation 17:15) and was established by warfare. The kingdom/government that came up in verse eleven came out of the earth, or a sparsely populated area. This kingdom was arising around the time of the death wound of the Beast in 1798.
With the above data in mind the identification of the nation would come down to two nations Australia or the United States, for both nations came up around this time in population desolate areas. Time has indicated that the United States of America has been the nation that has grown the largest, and most powerful of these two nations, and has had the greatest influence on the world in the setting of religious events. (See The Great Controversy pages 439-445).
The next concept in this text is that this nation, the United States of America, had two horns like a lamb. This would indicate that in its beginnings that the United States would be humble and as peaceful as a lamb. That the United States would not start out as an aggressive nation, in comparison with other nations, but would a nation that promoted peace and freedom.
The two horns on this beast would indicate that there were two sources of its power. In the book the Great Controversy page 441 these horns are identified as Protestantism and Republicanism. These two traits were the opposite of the principles of Europe which were Popery and Royalty.
Sadly the text does not end here but prophesies a change in the mannerisms of this Beast. God states that in its future the United States of America would change from the land of the free and the home of the brave. God states that eventually the United States of America would speak as a dragon – meaning that it would make laws that would restrict religious freedoms. That would indicate that in time changes would occur in America and that it would begin to act like the Beast that came up out of the sea. Soon America would become a persecuting government that tried to control the consciences of men, rather than allowing them the freedom to follow their own convictions. ( See The Great Controversy page 443).
12And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Prophecy states that in the near future the United States of America would exercise the same kinds of behaviors that the Papacy did – to persecute people who do not see things the same way as they do. Not only that but prophecy states that the United States would cause the people in the United States to worship the Roman Catholic Church. So this clearly indicates that the United States will persecute and force people on a religious basis for it demands worship, an arena that the state is forbidden to enter into. Jesus said that we are to give Caesar what is his but we are to give God what belongs to Him. (Matthew 22:21) Caesar and God cannot combine without persecution happening.
The fact of the United States persecuting on a religious basis indicates that one of the founding principles of the United States, religious freedom, has been overcome and a change in the constitution of the United States will have happened. Freedom of religion will have been removed from the constitution either by law, or by neglect.
13And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
Author: God says that in the end of the United States of America it will have taken on such a religious atmosphere that it is empowered by Satan to do great wonders in the sight of men. (II Thessalonians 2:9; Job 1:13-19). One of the signs of Satanic power is call fire down from heaven. This sign is a powerful sign for it steals a sign from God. In II Chronicles 7:1-3 God blesses the temple that Solomon had built by sending fire from heaven to consume the burnt offering. This displayed the approval of God in blessing the temple. In I Kings 18:17-40 fire came down to testify to the fact of Elijah being a prophet of God, and it acted as a call to return to God. In Acts 2:1-11 God sent fire down from heaven to bless the start of the New Testament Church. All of these displays of fire showed the presence and power of God. The Two Horned Beast, under the power of Satan will attempt to counterfeit this miracle to claim that God is with the Two Horned Beast (the United States of America in rebellion against God) and that people can trust this Beast and all that it is teaching.
14And deceiveth 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.
Author: God says that the reason that the Two Horned Beast calls fire down from heaven is for the purpose of deceiving the people in the United States. God also says that the Two Horned Beast has power to do the miracles, it is not pretend, but in fact. But the power does not come from God but from Satan, who gave his power to Beast who had received the death wound and did live – the Leopard Beast – the Roman Catholic Church. (Revelation 13:2, 4).
In addition God states that the Unites States of America, after displaying this religious power through miracles, will say unto the people of the United States, and all of the people whom the United States influences, to make an image to the Leopard Beast – the Roman Catholic Church. This image to the Beast will be to form the same kind of government as the Roman Catholic Church had made in the Middle Ages (the Dark Ages). This government was to be a religiously dominated government that would use the arms of the state to punish any dissenters from Apostate Protestantism – the religion of the United States. Any time a church gains the power of the state history indicates that it always leads to persecution of anyone who deviates from the doctrines of the dominant church. So when the United States, and the leading churches of the land, unite to formulate religiously oriented laws that deviate from the plain sayings of the Word of God, then the image to the Roman Catholic Church will be established. (See The Great Controversy 443).
15And he had power to give life unto 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.
Author: The religious entity spoken of here is the image to the Beast – a church system that would look like and act likes it master – the Leopard Beast the Roman Catholic Church and the Dragon, the Serpent, the Devil. This image would have power to pass laws of persecution, and would cause as many as who would not worship this image would be killed. This text takes us back to Daniel 2-3 where King Nebuchadnezzar created an image and tried to force the people of his lands to worship this image in contrast to the commandment of God to not worship images. (Exodus 20:4-6). In Daniel 3 the death penalty was established and God’s faithful people were thrown into a burning furnace, but God delivered His people from the fire and from the king. God will do this same for us. (See Mordecai and Esther in Esther 3-9).
16And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
Author: God says that the Image to the Beast will cause all people in the United States, and all who are influenced by the United States, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads. This mark is of great Biblical significance.
In Exodus 12:1-23 the Lord speaks of a token (verse 13 the English word token is the Hebrew word oth and is defined as a mark or sign) that God’s true people will put on the doorposts of their homes. This token was to be the blood of the lamb slain for the deliverance of the people of God from Egypt. This Passover mark was to show ones loyalty to God and to testify of His power to save.
This Passover mark was to be placed on the hands and foreheads of God’s people to testify that they understood the significance of this mark and they would obey the principles of this mark in the actions of their lives. (Exodus 13:9-16). This same principle was applied to the laws of God in Deuteronomy 6:1-25 especially verse 8 and 11:18-21 especially verses 18-20.
This concept was also applied to Rahab the great great grandmother of Jesus in Joshua 2:18 to symbolize the protective of the blood of Jesus through covenant relationship with God and His people. This concept is also applied to the seventh day Sabbath in Ezekiel 20:10-13 and 18-21.
The sign and seal of God is also applied to the Holy Spirit in II Corinthians 1:21-22 and Ephesians 4:30. This seal is to testify that God has blessed His obedient people (Acts 5:31-32) with the gift of the Holy Spirit to lead them to keep His commandment in His power and grace. (John 14:15-26; 16:7-15).
All of the above information is to testify that God seals us, or marks us, with a sign that is visible to all and that testifies to our obedience to God. This sign, for God, God is most clearly testified to by the Sabbath for it is a visible sign, it testified to our obedience to God, and it is the mark of God that has been most thoroughly attacked by Satan, and His emissaries the Leopard Beast – the Roman Catholic Church, and the Two Horned Beast- the United States of America, and the Image to the Beast – Apostate Protestantism who are trying their best to emulate the Roman Catholic Church.
In addition the Sabbath is one of the laws of God that the Roman Catholic Church has “thought” to change. God stated in Daniel 7:25 the following:
“And he (the Little Horn – Roman Catholic Church) shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”
The RCC has changed several of God’s laws but the greatest attempt to change a law of God is regarding the Sabbath day. The Bible says that God’s day of worship is the 7th day of the week or Saturday. The Roman Catholic Church has stated that they believe that God granted them power to change His laws as they saw fit. The Roman Catholic Church claims to have the power to change God’s seventh day Sabbath to the first day of the week – Sunday. Here is a quotation from The Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine by Reverend Peter Geiermann in 1942. He states the following series of questions on pages 49-50:
“Question: What is the Third Commandment?
Answer: the Third Commandment is: Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath Day.
Question: Which is the Sabbath Day?
Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath Day.
Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea (AD 336), transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday.
Question: Why did the Catholic Church substitute Sunday for Saturday?
Answer: The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday, because Christ rose from the dead on a Sunday, and the Holy Ghosts descended upon the Apostles on a Sunday.
Question: By what authority did the Church substitute Sunday for Saturday?
Answer: The Church substituted Sunday for Saturday by the plenitude of that divine power which Jesus Christ bestowed upon her.”
The above quotation states the basic issues. The RCC chose to attempt to change the laws of God about 300 years after Jesus died in AD 31. They chose to attempt this after Jesus had sealed the covenant of His relationship with His church after He had died. Galatians 3:15 says that one cannot change a covenant after the Testator has died. Nobody can change it and nobody can add anything to it or take anything away from it. So for the RCC to attempt to change God’s laws is an attempt to do something that Jesus has not authorized and to think to do it violates the authority of God.
The above quotation also states that the reason that the RCC attempted to change God’s laws is because they believe that they have been granted divine power to change His laws without His approval. God did not claim this change and to make this attempt is to claim divinity without God thus the church has assumed a position higher than God, and has claimed the authority to improve upon God’s Word which He gave us. These are the great words against God spoken of in Daniel 7:25. This position is blasphemy against God.
To conclude on the Mark of the Beast, we must make one more statement. The Mark of the Beast is sign, a display, that tells the world which side one is one. This process has gone on all through the history of sin. In heaven the angels had to decide whose side they were on. In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve chose to eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree and were cast out of Eden. Cain received a mark for his part in rejecting the sanctuary doctrine of Jesus and for killing his brother over the correct worship system. In the time of Noah each person had to decide whether to walk the plank or not. In the time of the Exodus each person in Egypt had to decide whether to put the blood on the doorpost or not. In the time of Christ each person in Jerusalem had to decide to publicly choose Jesus or Barabbas/Caesar. In the time of the end of Revelation Thirteen each person will have to decide whether to keep the law of God – the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, or to keep the traditions of men – the first day of the week Sunday. When a person knows, and is convicted in their heart by the Holy Spirit, and then decides to follow the traditions of men over the commandments of God then they will have chosen who they believe to be God and will receive the Mark of the Beast – Sunday rather than the Seal of God – Sabbath.
17And 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.
Author: In this verse God tells all who will follow Him that the time will come when they will not be able to buy or sell things like food, clothing, and shelter; and the time will come when people will not be able to buy the gospel either. (Isaiah 55:1-5). Men and women will see all over the world to buy of the gospel and will not be able to find it.(Amos 8:11-12). But those who have chosen Jesus will have their bread and water supplied as Israel of old and will be under the covering of Jesus and will be safe. (Isaiah 33:16-17; Psalm 91:4-15; Isaiah 26:20-21.
God tells us that there is a three-fold warning, do not get the mark of the beast – he Sunday abomination, do not get the name of the beast – his character (Exodus 33:18-19; 34:5-7 God proclaimed His name – His character), and do not get the number of his name. We will discuss the number in more detail in the next verse. These three things identify one as being a rebel against God.
18Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
Author: In the final verse of Revelation thirteen God has one more major message. God wants us to understand the number 666 in Bible terms.
There are a number of different interpretations of this verse but I want to stick to the Bible and the Bible alone. I would like to share a bit about this number – 666.
In the Old Testament God gives us a powerful example of 666. In I Kings 10:14 we find a text that discusses the number 666 the following way:
“Now the weight of Gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of Gold.” I Kings 10:14.
This text states that Solomon received a unique amount of Gold in one year – 666 talents of gold to be exact. Now this is simply a random number or God is inviting us to take a deeper look at this and see if we can find His message. God told Solomon, in Deuteronomy 17:14-20 to not do a number of issues. God told Solomon to not multiply horses, to not return to Egypt, to not multiply wives to himself, to not multiply gold to himself, and to not stop reading the law of God so that he would not exalt himself above his brethren. In I Kings 1-11 God tells us that Solomon violated each and every one of the above commands. Solomon went back to Egypt; he purchased thousands of horses there, and he acquired many heathen wives. (I Kings 10:26-29; I Kings 11:1-9). In addition Solomon acquired so much gold in the kingdom that silver was thought of as nothing. ( I Kings 10:27). Solomon, in fact, gathered so much gold that he was one of the richest kingdoms in the history of the world and God assigned a number to Solomon – he acquired 666 talents of gold per year.
What all of this wealth, and deviation from the laws of God accomplished, was a nation that trusted in the power of military, the horses, that trusted in the gospel of Egypt (the linen of I Kings 10:28), he trusted in alliances with pagan kingdoms thorough the marriage of their princess, and Solomon trusted in money. Solomon, and Israel, put their trust in the things of the world rather than the things of God.
In the end the cumulative effect of this phenomenon of 666, is that Solomon turned his heart away from God by listening to the ecumenical calls from his pagan wives. Finally, while indulging in pagan worship, he was willing to attempt to persecute/kill the Lord’s anointed in Jereboam the Son of Nebat who had been anointed by the prophet of God. (I Kings 11:11-40). This experience of Solomon, in rebellion against God, is the Bible’s example of what a 666 experience is like. A nation, who once knew God, turned away from God, and became a persecuting nation, especially against God’s people. This example is verified in The Great Controversy 443:
“When the early 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.”…”
The summary of this verse is that if a person, a church, or a nation chooses to rebel against the revealed will of God, it will accomplish three things, it will eventually acquire the character/name of the papacy, it will have a 666 like experience of turning away from the revealed will of God, and it will acquire the mark of the beast – which in the end of time will be Sunday over Sabbath – man over God. (Matthew 15:1-9)
I pray to God that all of us will be delivered from these three signs of Satan.
For a more detailed study on Solomon and 666 please see the study with this title at www.the1844way.com
For a more detailed study of other interpretations of Revelation 13 including the issue of Vicarius Filii Dei please see the following site http://biblelight.net/