Editorial – Enforcing the Mark of the Beast

The Bible predicts in Revelation 13 that just before the end of the world the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:1–10) is going to be enforced upon the whole human race. If you do not consent to receive this mark or worship the image, to the beast you will not be able to buy or sell (verses 16, 17). Eventually there will be a law that if you do not receive this mark or worship the image you will be killed (verse 15). In spite of this pressure, the people of God will not receive it (verse 2).

God has written His official response to the enforcement of the mark of the beast and the worship of its image 2000 years before its occurrence. (See Revelation 14:9–12.) From this important passage of scripture, we can learn several important things. (1) The worship of any image is contrary to the second commandment and forbidden in the law of God. (2) Receiving the mark of the beast will expose you to receive the wrath of God (verse 10). The only people who receive the wrath of God are those who obey unrighteousness (Romans 2:8) so the mark of the beast involves unrighteousness. (3) All unrighteousness is sin (1 John 5:17). (4) Sin is the transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4) so the mark of the beast involves the breaking of one or more of the commandments. (5) Those who keep God’s commandments do not receive the mark of the beast (Revelation 14:12). (6) The special mark of this power is its deliberate attempt to change times and law (Daniel 7:25). A careful examination reveals that the little horn power of Daniel 7 and the beast power of Revelation 13:1–10 are the same entity. (7) The only time mentioned in God’s law is the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. (8) Those who receive the mark of the beast will also receive the seven last plagues (Revelation 16:2). (9) A great number of those who are deceived by the false prophet and receive the mark of the beast will still be alive when Jesus returns in the clouds of heaven (described in symbolic language in Revelation 19:11–21) and will at that time be destroyed (verses 20, 21). So, the destiny of those alive in the final generation of this world’s history will be determined by either keeping the commandments of God or receiving the mark of the beast in order to buy and sell.

Interestingly for the first time in the history of the world we are in a situation where the governments of the world are capable of preventing a person from buying or selling from centrally located computers that control the flow of digital money.

Facing the Crisis – Warnings of Coming Persecution

Every time I see the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor or see its picture in a book or in a magazine, I feel moisture gathering in my eyes and a heartbeat in my throat. For in America, the land that I love, its citizens will soon lose, and even now are losing, many of their freedoms. When people lose their freedom, one of the first segments to be curtailed is religious liberty—freedom to worship God and to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

America is represented in Revelation 13 as the lamb-like beast, but we are aware as well, that Revelation 13 also pictures America as becoming a persecuting dragon who will, through the papal power, set up and enforce the image of the beast. Soon there will come a time in America when true Christians will lose all their religious freedom.

There is a growing movement today within the United States for people control. This is hidden under the guise of such terms as a one-world order or a global government. Most Americans are unaware of the ultimate goals of these movements. Silently the stage is being set by the forces of evil to gain power to persecute those who obey the Commandments of God, including the fourth commandment.

Those who teach that Christ’s soon coming will end this world of sin and usher in an everlasting kingdom, not on this earth but in heaven above, will be targeted. On the other hand are the nominal churches who believe that when Christ comes He will set up His kingdom on earth and bring peace upon this world for a thousand years. These will not be subject to persecution. The real issue will be over the Sabbath day.

As the end draws near, under the leadership of the antichrist, an unstoppable movement is developing to enforce Sunday worship in the place of God’s command to keep holy the seventh-day Sabbath. Turning to the Spirit of Prophecy, we read, “In this warfare the Sabbath of the fourth commandment will be the great point of issue; for in the Sabbath commandment the great Lawgiver identifies Himself as the Creator of the heavens and the earth.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, 983.

“In America, laws to exalt the false Sabbath will be passed.… all who will not bow to the decree of the national councils, and obey the national laws to exalt the sabbath instituted by the man of sin to the disregard of God’s holy day, will feel, not the oppressive power of popery alone, but of the Protestant world, the image of the beast.” Selected Messages, book 3, 385.

Sabbath laws and persecution will spread over the entire world. “The decree enforcing the worship of this day is to go forth to all the world. As America, the land of religious liberty, shall unite with the papacy in forcing the conscience and compelling men to honor the false sabbath, the people of every country on the globe will be led to follow her example. Foreign nations will follow the example of the United States. Though she leads out, yet the same crisis will come upon our people in all parts of the world.” Maranatha, 214. All nations and tongues and peoples will be commanded to worship this spurious sabbath.

Revelation 13:8 says, “All that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Beloved, we need divine power to comprehend the fulfilling prophecies that are now taking place in preparation of accomplishing this hellish goal. In this article we will discuss the warnings of coming persecutions to all who will stand for the right though the heavens fall. We will look at the subtle changes that are taking place.

In the Scriptures, we find that Jesus spoke of this end time when great persecutions would face His followers. “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:9-13.

In 2 Timothy 3:12, 13, Paul writes, “…all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”

Once again, let us read from the Spirit of Prophecy. Mrs. White says the great deceiver’s “…principle concern is to silence this sect of Sabbath keepers….we will finally have a law to exterminate all who will not submit to our authority.” Testimony to Ministers, 473.

And again, “It is the purpose of Satan to cause them to be blotted from the earth, in order that his supremacy of the world may not be disputed.” Ibid., 37.

These messages are speaking of the end time battle between God’s true Sabbath and Satan’s false “Sunday sabbath” which is so soon to burst upon us. Since the first Advent of Christ there have been periods of persecutions directed against the followers of Christ. No sooner had Jesus Christ started His Christian church than persecutions began and continued for the next three hundred years.

This was Satan’s gigantic effort through apostate Judaism and pagan Rome to exterminate Christianity. During these years thousands upon thousands of Christians were beheaded, buried alive, fed to lions, boiled in oil, crucified and, by other means, tortured and put to death. Then some years later, through papal Rome, Satan made his greatest attack yet against Christians for 1,260 years.

Not merely thousands but millions were persecuted and put to death during this long period of papal supremacy. In The Great Controversy, Ellen White shares the inspired revelation of the terrible atrocities hurled against the Waldenses, the Hussites, the Lutherans, the Calvinists and the Anabaptists. You will further discover there how the Church of England persecuted and burned at the stake, the Pilgrims and the Puritans, a people who believed and taught the Scriptures.

The Inquisition banned the Bible and forbade the people to read the Scriptures. Yet what was the result of all these persecutions? “Notwithstanding all these continued persecutions and horrible punishment, the church daily increased.” Storm Warnings, 12

You may be surprised to learn that in the day in which we live millions of Christians have been, and are being, persecuted and many martyred by the enemies of Christianity. This is happening in Communistic countries such as China and Cuba, and in Socialistic Regimes such as Africa.

In a book published in 1999 entitled, Storm Warnings, the author, Don Mac Elvaney, states “Today millions of Christians are being persecuted, imprisoned or martyred in Communist China, while 2.1 million Christians have been martyred in Southern Sudan by the followers of Islam in 1990 alone. Over a million Christians have been martyred in Burundi, the Central African Republic, and in the Marxist front line states of Southern Africa in recent years. About one thousand Christians a day are being martyred somewhere in the world today. The greatest number since the beginning of the Christian Church.” (see page 10.)

The reality of such a truth should be very alarming. I have received word that Christians who recently emerged from such persecutions in Russia are now preparing to go back to underground organizations in order to serve God. The hundreds of letters that I receive from around the world reveal that great changes are sweeping the entire globe and from the Adventist Network of February 1, 2000, pages 7, 8, is evidence of the persecution of Seventh-day Adventists in Mexico where thousands were baptized despite ongoing persecutions:

“In Chiapas, Mexico, 33 pastors baptized more than 3,600 people in the ocean off Puerto Madero on Sunday, January 23, 2000. The Adventist church leader in this region reports that the baptisms were the result of a week–long evangelistic campaign held in the area in mid-January. At least 10,000 from across the region crowded on the shore to watch the event.

“The baptisms came at a time of increasing difficulty for Adventists in a nearby village. Since 1994 ongoing conflict between different Christian groups in the region has forced at least 20 Adventist families to leave the area and ten homes have been burned down. The current dispute results from plans by the five remaining Adventist families to build a new church in the village on land donated by church members.

“The general assembly, a local governing power, has refused to allow the building to go ahead and is threatening to evict the Adventists from the village. In spite of the persecutions the brethren have continued to spread the gospel while working to establish better relations and mutual respect with the locals who have persecuted them for their beliefs.”

Here in America the prosperity that has been ours since the end of World War II has caused millions of professed Christians to believe that the good life will continue forever. But a small remnant have not succumbed to this deep sleep. They are aware of a growing political power of anti-Biblical sentiments that are taking control of our country. Christian standards and beliefs are ridiculed and belittled on the television and in the movies.

Christianity is being attacked in popular books and even by the media in newscasts. “The decline of America should be obvious to any thinking American. The explosion of crime, gang warfare and drive-by shootings in our cities; the disintegration of the American family with proliferating divorce, infidelity, child abuse, single-parent families and teen age rebellion; the explosion of drug usage, the highest in the world; the rampant spread of promiscuity, pornography, homosexuality and sexually transmitted diseases; the gross immorality and corruption at the highest levels of
U. S. government are all irrefutable evidence of a country whose culture, morality conditions and spiritual life are in a free fall.” Storm Warnings, 23-24. (please note that this author is writing from a non-Adventist perspective.)

Faced with this reality, is it any wonder that the judgments of God have been steadily increasing, especially in the past two decades? God is endeavoring to awaken the inhabitants of our country to their sins and to their need of repentance. We have become so accustomed to hearing and seeing on TV the results of earthquakes, storms, fires, and other disasters, that I feel it necessary to summarize the catastrophic events that have taken place recently.

Beginning in the early 1980s America suffered a terrible drought followed by severe flooding in the Midwest and in California, which destroyed huge amounts of crops. Then came Hurricane Hugo in 1989 which caused great damage in South Carolina. Soon after, in 1992, a very powerful earthquake rocked San Francisco followed by four powerful earthquakes in California.

Next came Hurricane Andrew striking Southern Florida with the most expensive disaster in our nation’s history, some $33 billion in damage. This was followed in Los Angeles by the worst rioting in our country since the Civil War. Then in 1993 another record storm hit the East Coast followed by the worst terrorist attack in American history in New York at the World Trade Center. This was soon followed by the bombing of a government building in Oklahoma City, which killed scores of innocent men, women and children.

Incredible disasters continued. In 1994 with temperatures the lowest since recording began in 1890, a vast portion of the Midwest sustained a wind chill of 90 degrees below zero. Next, the state of Pennsylvania was hit by the strongest earthquake ever recorded in that state, centering in Reading. Two days later a large earthquake struck Los Angeles, creating some $10 billion in damage and leaving thousands homeless.

During the year 1994, America crossed the line from being the world’s largest creditor nation to being the world’s largest debtor nation. Almost 1.5 million personal bankruptcies took place in 1998 alone, a record since the great depression. Now, friend, do not miss the facts by looking at this total picture. I believe God is permitting these tragic events to happen because America is following and tolerating a lifestyle which, the Bible clearly states, removes God’s blessings.

Sins such as fornication, adultery, sodomy, sexual perversions and the shedding of blood of the unborn are everyday occurrences. Do you realize that America aborts 1.6 million babies a year, that since 1973, some forty million children have been killed in the womb? (See Storm Warning, 30.)

Morally this nation hit the bottom with its 1998 gay-lesbian celebration at the Disney World in Orlando, Florida. “A review of the gay days, 1998, scheduled events was amazing. On June 3 from 9pm to 3am was an event titled, ‘Who Is Your Daddy?’ The description of the event followed: A leather, latex and bondage party featuring live flogging and spanking; masters and slaves; plus piercings. Sponsored by the Absolute Leather ED and SM group of Florida. There were two events called Seductive Dancing. There were male strippers and female impersonators. Gay days ended on June 7 with a Sunday Gospel brunch from 10:15am until 3:30pm, an event entitled ‘Sin Tonight, Repent Tomorrow.’ And wonder of wonders, the President of the United States sent a letter of congratulations for events like this!” Ibid., 41.

Listen, friend, America cannot continue in this direction and remain a great nation. Proverbs 14:34 reads, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” I totally agree with the following found in Storm Warning, 46. “The Bible states that ‘If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?’ Psalm 11:3. The foundations of America have been destroyed. The husband and wife family unit, which is ordained by God, is being replaced with a term ‘domestic partners,’ and homosexuals are being allowed to adopt children. America is becoming unglued. The nation is full of violence as innocent blood is being shed from coast to coast. It seems every week a mass murderer kills several people. This was virtually unheard of before 1963. The violence started against children in the womb has spread like a cancer throughout the entire society. It is truly ironic that America has developed the technology to allow men to walk safely in space, yet in most of our cities it is unsafe to walk the streets.”

The Bible speaks, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20. Woe to those who acquit the guilty but deny justice to the innocent.

And now Ellen White speaks. “The earth groans under the burden of accumulated guilt, and everywhere dying mortals are compelled to experience the wretchedness included in the wages of unrighteousness. I was shown that men have carried out the purposes of Satan by craft and deceit, and a dreadful blow has recently been given. It can be truly said: ‘Justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter,’ ‘and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey.’ In some of the free states the standard of morality is sinking lower and lower. Men with depraved appetites and corrupt lives have now an opportunity to triumph. They have chosen for their rulers those whose principles are debasing, who would not check evil, or repress the depraved appetites of men, but let them have full sway. If those who choose to become like the beasts, by drinking liquid poison, were the only sufferers; if they alone would reap the fruit of their own doings, then the evil would not be so great. But many, very many, must pass through incredible suffering on account of others’ sins. Wives and children, although innocent, must drain the bitter cup to its dregs. Without the grace of God, men love to do evil. They walk in darkness, and do not possess the power of self-control. They give loose reign to their passions and appetites until all the finer feelings are lost and only the animal passions are manifested. Such men need to feel a higher, controlling power, which will constrain them to obey. If rulers do not exercise a power to terrify the evildoer, he will sink to the level of the brute. The earth is growing more and more corrupt.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 362.

And what about Communism which has wrought such brutality and wickedness in past years? Do not be misled. Communism, even in America, is not dead but is much alive. Mikhail Gorbechev is still one of the most powerful leaders of the New World Order and he has headquarters in the Presidio, formerly the U. S. Army or government military base in San Francisco, California. That is amazing!

There are literally scores of organizations with papal cooperation who are pushing for a New World Order or a Global Government. When this happens, freedom will be a thing of the past. Never forget, it was through 1,260 years of papal rule by cruel persecution that the papacy once controlled the nations of earth.

One way to accomplish this goal again would be the passage of laws to punish hate crimes. A hate crime would be defined as anything derogatory that might be said of religious groups, races, lifestyle, etc. The Word of God identifies the Roman religious system as an enemy of the Law of God and of His Holy Sabbath Day. If the law against hate crimes should be passed, then if one were to teach Bible truths regarding this power or if he should pass out a book like The Great Controversy written by Ellen White or other literature that would identify the papacy and expose her sins and aims, he could be accused of breaking the law. He might be imprisoned and fined for simply sharing God’s Word.

The near future could very well bring such persecutions upon God’s people. Yet we have the divine commission to teach all the truths of God’s Word to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. In Revelation 13:15-18 God foretold that terrible persecutions will be executed under the reign of the image of the beast, “And 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. And 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: 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 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.”

Concerning this time Jesus warns, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for My name’s sake.” Matthew 24:9. “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” John 16:2.

Now let us conclude by reading the inspired instructions God has given to His remnant, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, as found in the book The Great Controversy, Chapter 35, “Liberty of Conscience Threatened.” “In the movements now in progress in the United States to secure for the institutions and usages of the church the support of the state, Protestants are following in the steps of papists. Nay, more, they are opening the door for the papacy to regain in Protestant America the supremacy which she has lost in the Old World. And that which gives greater significance to this movement is the fact that the principal object contemplated is the enforcement of Sunday observance—a custom which originated with Rome, and which she claims as the sign of her authority. It is the spirit of the papacy—the spirit of conformity to worldly customs, the veneration for human traditions above the commandments of God—that is permeating the Protestant churches and leading them to do the same work of Sunday exaltation which the papacy has done before them.

If the reader would understand the agencies to be employed in the soon-coming contest, he has but to trace the record of the means which Rome employed for the same object in ages past. If he would know how papists and Protestants united will deal with those who reject their dogmas, let him see the spirit which Rome manifested toward the Sabbath and its defenders.” Ibid., 573.

“Romanism is now regarded by Protestants with far greater favor than in former years. In those countries where Catholicism is not in the ascendancy, and the papists are taking a conciliatory course in order to gain influence, there is an increasing indifference concerning the doctrines that separate the reformed churches from the papal hierarchy; the opinion is gaining ground that, after all, we do not differ so widely upon vital points as has been supposed, and that a little concession on our part will bring us into a better understanding with Rome. The time was when Protestants placed a high value upon the liberty of conscience which had been so dearly purchased. They taught their children to abhor popery and held that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God. But how widely different are the sentiments now expressed! [Even by some of our own church leaders.]

“The defenders of the papacy declare that the church has been maligned, and the Protestant world are inclined to accept the statement. Many urge that it is unjust to judge the church of today by the abominations and absurdities that marked her reign during the centuries of ignorance and darkness. They excuse her horrible cruelty as the result of the barbarism of the times and plead that the influence of modern civilization has changed her sentiments.

“Have these persons forgotten the claim of infallibility put forth for eight hundred years by this haughty power? So far from being relinquished, this claim was affirmed in the nineteenth century with greater positiveness than ever before. As Rome asserts that the ‘church never erred; nor will it, according to the Scriptures, ever err’ (John L. von Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, book 3, century II, part 2, chapter 2, section 9, note 17), how can she renounce the principles which governed her course in past ages?”

“The papal church will never relinquish her claim to infallibility. All that she has done in her persecution of those who reject her dogmas she holds to be right; and would she not repeat the same acts, should the opportunity be presented? Let the restraints now imposed by secular governments be removed and Rome be reinstated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution.” Ibid., 563, 564.

“The Constitution of the United States guarantees liberty of conscience. Nothing is dearer or more fundamental. Pope Pius IX, in his Encyclical Letter of August 15, 1854, said: ‘The absurd and erroneous doctrines or ravings in defense of liberty of conscience are a most pestilential error—a pest, of all others, most to be dreaded in a state.’ The same pope, in his Encyclical Letter of December 8, 1864, anathematized ‘those who assert the liberty of conscience and of religious worship,’ also ‘all such as maintain that the church may not employ force.’ [Did you get that? That the church may not employ force?]

“The pacific tone of Rome in the United States does not imply a change of heart. She is tolerant where she is helpless. Says Bishop O’Connor: ‘Religious liberty is merely endured until the opposite can be carried into effect without peril to the Catholic world.’…The archbishop of St. Louis once said: ‘Heresy and unbelief are crimes; and in Christian countries, as in Italy and Spain, for instance, where all the people are Catholics, and where the Catholic religion is an essential part of the law of the land, they are punished as other crimes.’…

“Every cardinal, archbishop, and bishop in the Catholic Church takes an oath of allegiance to the pope, in which occur the following words: ‘Heretics, schismatics, and rebels to our said lord (the pope), or his aforesaid successors, I will to my utmost persecute and oppose.’” Ibid., 564, 565.

And what about the attitude of John Paul II? We should note that it is really not different from the above testimony of the archbishop of St. Louis when he said that heresy and unbelief are crimes. John Paul’s grand design is set forth by Malachi Martin in his book, The Keys of This Blood. This book, published only ten years ago, reveals John Paul’s grand design to bring the whole world under his control. Martin refers to this as the “coming global government.”

On page 287, he writes, “…to defend every person’s right to be wrong…sets [them] apart from John Paul.” He continues by saying, “…it is axiomatic for John Paul that no one has the right—democratic or otherwise—to a moral wrong; and no religion based on divine revelation has a moral right to teach such a moral wrong or abide by it.”

Now listen to me carefully. Is not Martin actually saying here that, according to the present pope, no one, including Seventh-day Adventists, has the right to believe or teach a different doctrine than that taught by the Roman pontiff? And is not this echoing the sentiment of the archbishop of St. Louis as documented in The Great Controversy? Frightening, is it not?

Should not such a statement as this awaken us as to what the purposes of Rome really are? Prophecy shows that the great day of God is right upon us. It hasteneth greatly. (See Testimonies vol. 1, 361.)

Can we not see that even now the deadly wound is almost fully healed? Soon the pope will be in a position to persecute those whose understanding of the Scriptures differ from his own. Turning again to The Great Controversy, 581 we read, “God’s Word has given warning of the impending danger; let this be unheeded, and the Protestant world will learn what the purposes of Rome really are, only when it is too late to escape the snare. She is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men. She is piling up her lofty and massive structures in the secret recesses of which her former persecutions will be repeated. Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces to further her own ends when the time shall come for her to strike. All that she desires is vantage ground, and this is already being given her. We shall soon see and shall feel what the purpose of the Roman element is. Whoever shall believe and obey the Word of God will thereby incur reproach and persecution.”

And so, beloved, let us not wait until it is too late in order to escape her snare. We must understand what her purposes are now, right now.

If the Foundations be Destroyed, Part II

The Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy give us important information to let us know how near we really are to the close of human probation. As we continue this study, I encourage you to continually ask yourself, Am I ready for Jesus to come?

Coming Storm

This portion of the study will begin with Revelation 13. This chapter should be extremely familiar to each one of us, so this should just be a review of what the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy tell us about this chapter and what is happening right now. We are told that a storm is coming that is relentless in its fury, and that it is going to burst upon both Seventh-day Adventists and those in the world alike, as an overwhelming surprise.

To make sure that we are all on the same page, before we begin this study, look first at verses 1 and 2: “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like [the feet of] a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” About whom is this speaking? It is the papacy. The leopard-like beast is the papacy. It is the first beast of Revelation 13.

Eight Identifiers

Now, read verse 11, in which eight identifying marks of a second power are given: “Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.” Take a closer look at the identifying marks: (1) “Then,” meaning another power, or another nation, was arising at that time when the papacy received a deadly wound in 1798. (2) It is “another beast.” Remember that a beast in Bible prophecy is a nation or a power. (3) Not so readily identified is the mark of “coming up.” This is translated from the Greek word anabaino, which means, “to spring up like a plant.” Here is a nation that is growing into power. Unlike the other nations that conquered through war, it is coming up out of the earth. (4) The “earth” represents a sparsely populated area. The first beast (verses 1, 2) came up out of the sea, which represents people, multitudes, tongues, and nations. (See Revelation 17:15.) This “lamb” represents the United States of America. (See The Great Controversy, 440.) (5) And then the text says that this beast had “two horns.” These represent Republicanism and Protestantism. (See The Great Controversy, 441.) (6) This beast is “like a lamb.” The word lamb is used 27 times in the Book of Revelation, and 26 of those times it is used as a symbol for Jesus. In this text, it represents a Christ-like nation. (7) And, it says, “he spake.” How does a nation speak? It speaks through its legislation. (8) Then it is described as being “like a dragon.” From Revelation 12:9 and 20:2, we know that a dragon represents Satan! The two horns of this beast are going to speak like a dragon!

Exercise All Power

Laws are going to be framed in the United States to restrict liberty of conscience. We are told, in verse 12, that he, the lamb-like beast with two horns—Republicanism and Protestantism—shall exercise all the power of the first beast—the papacy, the leopard-like beast. And, this passage continues, “[he] causes the earth and those who dwell in it 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 he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.” Verses 12–14.

“An image” could be stated as “a likeness to.” It would be correct terminology to state that this beast, this image, is a likeness to the papacy. In other words, we are going to see the two horns, Republicanism and Protestantism, unite as they did in the Dark Ages, when the state gained control of the church and restricted religious freedom.

“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak” through its laws, “and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Verse 15.

In 1780, Benjamin Franklin said, “When a religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” “Benjamin Franklin on Religion,” http://www.worldpolicy.org/.


Let us look at this image to the beast for a moment. Ellen White wrote: “It was apostasy that led the early church to seek the aid of the civil government, and this prepared the way for the development of the papacy—the beast. Said Paul: ‘There’ shall ‘come a falling away, . . . and that man of sin be revealed.’ 11 Thessalonians 2:3.” The Great Controversy, 443, 444. What is apostasy? It is when you turn your back on the truth. What do you accept when you turn your back on the truth? Error! This is what led the early church to seek the aid of the civil government, and it prepared the way for the development of the papacy, the beast.

When the church turns its back upon the truth, that means it is going to prepare the way for the image to the beast, and the image is going to speak “and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”

Continuing from The Great Controversy, 443, we read: “But what is the ‘image to the beast’? and how is it to be formed? The image is made by the two-horned beast, and is an image to the 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—the papacy.

“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.”

Did you take notice of what happens as a church departs from truth? It apostatizes, and it turns its back on truth and accepts error and fables in its stead. It loses the Spirit and power of God.


If the early church would have remained faithful to God, the whole world could have been converted. But as a result of the church backing away from the truth, she lost the Spirit and power of God and the power to convert souls. The church lost the power to go out and preach, as did Peter on the day of Pentecost, when 3,000 souls were added to the number of believers. (Acts 2:38–41.) She lost that power, and any church that follows in that same path today will lose the power and Spirit of God. What, then, shall prevail in society? Lawlessness!

Just as Jesus said, iniquity, or lawlessness, shall abound. (See Matthew 24:11, 12.) We have been hearing from pulpits all around the land that the law has been done away. What do we expect to happen to society when the law has been done away? Lawlessness! That is the inevitable result of such preaching.

“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.’ ” Ibid. That is a doctrine not sanctioned by the church.

“The ‘image to the beast’ represents that form of apostate Protestantism which will be developed when the Protestant churches shall seek the aid of the civil power for the enforcement of their dogmas.” Ibid., 445. Is this becoming increasingly clear? We see those two horns coming together; church and state shall unite.

Common Points

Over a hundred years ago, Ellen White penned: “The wide diversity of belief in the Protestant churches is regarded by many as decisive proof that no effort to secure a forced uniformity can ever be made. But there has been for years, in churches of the Protestant faith, a strong and growing sentiment in favor 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.” Ibid., 444.

What is going to happen in the United States? Churches are going to unite on common points of doctrine and on those things that are not important; those doctrines that are not essential, they say, have to be waived.

Notice this: “When this shall be gained, then, in the effort to secure complete uniformity, it will be only a step to the resort to force.” Ibid., 445. Do you know how close we are to this right now? I believe that God is holding this wind back for just a little while longer, and He is allowing it to happen in little, tiny increments, because He sees that we are not ready.

We are not ready! We are not prepared for what is going to come upon this earth, especially in the United States.

“When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state 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.” Ibid., 445.

Is this happening today? Are churches uniting today? Friend, what are we still doing? If we know this, what are we doing right now to prepare for this crisis? Ellen White wrote about it over a hundred years ago, and we are still here today! This unification has been happening, increments at a time. It has been happening, and Seventh-day Adventists have not been aware of it.

Catholic Ascendancy

In 1963, the July 25 issue of Catholic News quoted from a former Catholic priest: “There is, ere long, to be a state religion in this country, and that state religion is to be the Roman Catholic. . . . The Roman Catholic is to wield his vote for the purpose of securing Catholic ascendancy in this country.” Frank Hecker, Catholic World, July 1870.

What do you suppose it is today? In 1964, Cardinal Richard Cushing, the renowned archbishop of Boston, Massachusetts, shook up the Catholic Church by praising Billy Graham! He encouraged Catholics to hear the evangelist. Cushing remarked that he would stop worrying about the Catholic Church’s future in America if they had half a dozen men like Graham. (Billy Graham, “We Are Brothers,” “A Christianity Today editorial,” Christianity Today, June 2005, http://www.ctlibrary.com/ct/2005/june/17.28.html, posted May 24, 2005.)

Catholic and evangelical efforts towards fellowship have largely followed the Cushing-Graham model in unofficial individual and sporadic meetings. For this reason, Pope John Paul’s encyclical letter, in which he stated, “ . . . that they may be one,” is so important. Released in 1995, this teaching fueled the ecumenical movement and started at the second Vatican Council by inviting debate about Catholic doctrine. The document acknowledges for the first time in papal history that the Vatican authority hinders cooperation between such church traditions. (Graham, Christianity Today, June 2005.)

Do you realize that as far back as the 1960s Billy Graham never had a crusade without Catholic priests and nuns present in his audience? And whenever he made his famous altar calls, he would have every single card completed by those individuals who came forward given to the priests and the nuns. (Dr. Cathy Burns, Billy Graham and His Friends: A Hidden Agenda? Sharing, November 2001, 35.)

Billy Graham had never met a pope until John Paul II invited him to Rome in 1981. Ushered into the papal apartments by the Vatican’s swift guards, Graham marveled at the pomp. He and the Pope chatted like long lost friends for 30 minutes, swapping photos, gifts, and travel stories. Before Graham left, John Paul II reached over and clutched Graham’s thumb, and told him, “We are brothers.” Graham revealed nothing of the Pope’s message in 1981. At the time of their meeting, John Paul II had been pope for less than three years. An assertion of spiritual kinship would have been ill received by the bulk of their constituencies, both Catholic and Protestant, but by 1990, when Graham related this story to Time magazine journalist David Akman, the climate had changed considerably. Key to the thaw was John Paul II’s effort to beat back Communism worldwide. He became the hero of freedom. (Graham, Christianity Today, June 2005.)

From what we have read, as given in the Spirit of Prophecy, and from what has been given in the previous paragraphs, does the papacy ever change? No, she shall never change! She is the same despotic, cruel, persecuting power that she was during the Dark Ages. She is only waiting to spring into power.

Moral Relativism

The late Pope John Paul II has been lionized in evangelical eulogies and lauded by the United States President, George W. Bush, as a humble, wise, and fearless priest who became one of history’s greatest moral leaders and a hero for the ages. Why the sudden change? John Paul II offered a winsome face of Christianity to the world and leaves behind a Roman Catholic Church firmly opposed to moral relativism.

You may read more about this at the following web sites:



Allow me to interject a thought here from the Spirit of Prophecy: “It is a part of her policy to assume the character which will best accomplish her purpose; but beneath the variable appearance of the chameleon she conceals the invariable venom of the serpent.” The Great Controversy, 571.

Graham, in his June 2005 Christianity Today editorial, stated, “He [Pope John Paul II] reinforced the Second Vatican Council’s commitment to seek renewal in the sources of classic Christianity, Scripture, and the church fathers. And while significant differences remain, examples include ecclesiastical authority, the means of grace, and the relationship of justification through sanctification. Evangelicals can confidently engage a Catholic Church committed to fundamental truths.” Are they committed to the truths of God’s Word? This is not what I read!


Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) is a group comprised equally of Evangelicals and Catholics—40 altogether. If I named the members, you would recognize every single one. In one of its documents, “The Christian Mission In The Third Millennium,” it is shown what these Catholics and Evangelicals agreed upon when they met together. You may read the complete 25-page document on the Internet.

Upon what did the Spirit of Prophecy say Protestants and Catholics are going to unite? “Common points of doctrine,” and when this uniformity is secure, what is going to happen? “When this shall be gained, then, in the effort to secure complete uniformity, it will be only a step to the resort to force.”

Following are some of the points upon which the ECT agreed:

Number One: Jesus Christ is Lord. Do you suppose that Catholics and Protestants can agree upon that? Can they agree upon it when Catholics call the pope, “the Lord God” upon earth?

Number Two: Salvation is only in Christ. Can Catholics and Protestants agree upon those two things? From what I read, the Catholic gains his grace through the Mass, not through Christ.

Number Three: All who accept Jesus are brothers. “Evangelicals and Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ.”

Ellen White wrote: “The Christian world has sanctioned his [the papacy] efforts by adopting this child of the papacy,—the Sunday institution. They have nourished it, and will continue to nourish it, until Protestantism shall give the hand of fellowship to the Roman power. Then there will be a law against the Sabbath of God’s creation, and then it is that God ‘will do a strange work in the earth.’ ” Review and Herald, March 9, 1886.

Protestantism is giving that right hand of fellowship to the Roman power.

To be continued . . .

Pastor Mike Bauler serves as pastor of the Historic Message Church in Portland, Oregon. He may be contacted by e-mail at: mbauler@earthlink.net.

The Beast’s Mark

by Michael C. Wells

The Beast's MarkHave you ever wondered why so many people today are fearful of the future? Many are afraid because of a prophecy in Revelation that warns the world about a dreaded mark that every person will receive if they follow the “beast.” The penalty for receiving this mark is death! Is it no wonder people are scared to receive it and want to avoid it at all cost? Yet today, society is so complacent about the book of Revelation that many preachers are teaching that it doesn’t apply to Christians at all, but only to those who will be left here to face the wrath of God. Is this what the Bible says? Why would Jesus spend His time giving a personal prophecy about these end times if it didn’t apply to you and me?

Unfortunately, people are easily deceived into believing doctrines that make them feel safe and secure. Paul tells us to watch out for such doctrines, “For when they say, ‘Peace and safety! ’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape [destruction].” I Thessalonians 5:3. If I came running into you’re house screaming “Fire! Fire!” would you be alarmed and take action, or would you just let yourself die in the fire? But so many times when we hear a warning from the Bible, we dismiss it as not important or not being applicable to us.

John the Revelator writes concerning this mark, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Revelation 14: 9- 11. What a warning! I don’t think there is anyone who wants to receive the mark of the beast.

What is this mark and how do we avoid receiving it?

What is this mark and how do we avoid receiving it? That is the question at hand. In order to answer that question, we must look at what this mark entails. Notice that this beast is involved in worship. “So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him. ’ All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13: 4,8. Therefore, this must be a religious power. Only religious organizations are involved in invoking the worship of someone.

He is also involved in civil authority and government. He will be involved in the persecution and killing of those who oppose him. He will use his agents to do his work for him while he sits behind the scenes and reaps the results. “It was granted to him [the first beast] to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. And he [the second beast] exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Revelation 13: 7, 12, 15- 17.

This power will subjugate the people of the earth to do his will. He will cause them to worship him, which is against God’s law. Therefore, he will teach the people of the earth to break God’s law! This is not just speaking about those who do not believe in God, but also those who profess to be His people. Could you receive the mark of the beast and still think you are following God? Jesus said many would have this experience. We read in Matthew 7: 21- 23, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ (notice that they are acknowledging Jesus as Lord. These are professed Christians), shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, ’ have we not prophesied in Your name, cast our demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”

These people really thought they were Christians. They thought they were “filled with the Holy Spirit,” but they had not searched hard enough for God’s will and were not willing to submit fully to His law. Jesus says to them “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do the things which I say?” Luke 6: 46. They are lawbreakers. They are those who claim that God’s law is not binding on Christians today. Someone might say, “Doesn’t the Bible say we live under grace and not the law? That we live by the Spirit of the law, not by the letter?” The answer is yes! But what does it mean to live under grace? If you were a murderer in prison on death row waiting to be executed, and the warden gave you a pardon and freed you, you would have just moved from condemnation to grace. Now that you are under grace do you have the right to go out and kill someone again? Does grace give you the authority to break the law or are you still required to keep it?

You see how simple it is. This is the spirit of the law, that you keep it out of gratitude for your life and because it is right in the sight of God. It shows where our loyalties lie, and how our character is formed. It is an outward sign of an inward change. The letter of the law brings condemnation, because we are keeping it solely out of the fear of the punishment for breaking it. The letter of the law kills not because the commandments are wrong or bad, but because a book with words in it can not make a change in us if we do not apply it to our lives. Children who obey their parents exclusively out of fear of punishment may well break the laws of the land, because they were not instilled with a love for truth and righteousness. We must keep God’s law, because we love Jesus and we want to obey Him, otherwise, we are doing it out of “works” and not “faith.” Jesus came to set us free from condemnation by His great sacrifice of His life on the cross, one of the worse forms of torture ever devised by man.

He gave us His pardon (grace) from the sentence of death that hung over our heads, yet He did not say “go and sin as much as you want,” but “Go, sin no more.” John 8: 11. He wants to help us overcome sin by writing His laws on our hearts and establishing them in our minds (Hebrews 10: 16), not by doing away with them. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” and He said, “I do not change.” Hebrews 13: 8; Malachi 3: 6.

What is Sin?

What is sin anyway? “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness (or transgression of the law), and sin is lawlessness.” I John 3: 4. So sin is breaking God’s Ten Commandment law. James 2: 10 speaks to this when he quotes from the Ten Commandments and declares “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one, he is guilty of all.” Every person has committed sin in his or her life. Paul exclaims, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” and “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 3: 23; 6: 23. That is why we need Jesus. Someone had to pay the penalty for our sin, and if not ourselves, someone else had to die for the wickedness that we have committed. Jesus made that sacrifice for you and me so that we might have life. It is a free gift, but we have a part to play in receiving it.

We know that the beast power in Revelation 13: 1- 10 is the antichrist power because it says, “he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God,” Revelation 13: 6. In two other places in the Bible the antichrist power is also described, first in Daniel 7 where the antichrist power is described as the “little horn.” We know that this is the antichrist power, because it says, “he shall speak great words against the Most High,” Daniel 7: 25. Then in II Thessalonians 2: 3 where the antichrist power is described as the “man of sin.” We know that here, Paul is talking about the antichrist power because he says concerning this “man of sin” that he “opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, [among God’s professed people, the professed church of God] showing himself that he is God.” II Thessalonians 2: 4, Concerning the antichrist power, Paul shows us that he teaches people to break God’s law: “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” II Thessalonians 2: 8.

In fact, not only will this beast power break God’s law, but he will also think to change God’s law. Can you imagine someone thinking that they could get away with changing God’s law? No way, you might say! But look at Bible prophecy and again notice that this is the same power. It has all the same identifying marks as those we find in Revelation 13 and II Thessalonians, “he shall speak pompous (great, blasphemous) words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law . Then the saints shall be given into his hand (to be persecuted) for a time and times and half a time.” Daniel 7:25.

Paul says that this “man of sin” or beast power was already working in his day, he said, “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.” II Thessalonians 2:7. Paul also makes it clear that this power will continue until Jesus returns to this world again and that it will then be destroyed: “And then shall the lawless one be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” II Thessalonians 2: 8. Peter tells us from where this power will come. He points specifically to where the “man of sin” power will emerge. “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way the truth will be blasphemed.” II Peter 2:1,2. Where does Peter say he will arise? Right among the believers of Christ! This man of sin will come out of the early church and will use his false doctrines to contaminate the pure doctrine of Jesus. He will introduce false teachings and deceptive lies to turn people from the true worship of God, to a false worship of man, and most of the people will put up with it! (See II Corinthians 11:3,4).

Obviously, if this beast power (better known as the antichrist) was alive in Paul’s day, and he is still work today, this cannot be speaking of an individual man, but a system of religion. Notice how long this system was to persecute the saints. “And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty- two months. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.” “Then the saints shall be given into his hands for a time, times, and half a time.” Revelation 13:5,7; Daniel 7:25. We have two prophecies that deal with time here. Because this is the same power that is being described in both Daniel and Revelation, the time prophecies both deal with this same “beast/ little horn” power.

The Bible gives two examples of prophecies dealing with time. One is in Ezekiel 4: 4- 6, and the other is in Numbers 14: 34, which says, “According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear you guilt one year, namely forty year, and you shall know My rejection.” So the Lord uses a day to equal a year in Bible prophecies. In Revelation and in Daniel we see two time prophecies, one for forty- two months, and the other for a “time, times, and half a time.” A “time” represents one year, so “times” would speak of two years, and, of course, half a time would be a half a year. The total years mentioned here would be three and a half years. Since a day equals a year in Bible prophecy, we must convert these years and months into days.

First let’s calculate the months of Revelation. Forty- two multiplied by 30 days for each month (the Bible specifies 30 days for one month see Genesis 7: 11; 8: 3, 4) will give us a total of 1260 days, which would convert to 1260 years. Now the 3½ years multiplied by 360 would again give us 1260 days/ years. Again we see that still another characteristic of this beast/ little horn power is the same. If this power will be around for at least 1260 years, these prophecies cannot be speaking of a person, but a religious power that will endure for a long time.

Now notice what will happen to this power. “And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.” This beast was to be “mortally wounded.” If you are mortally wounded it means that you are close to death. The King James Bible translates this term as “wounded to death.” This beast, or religious power, was to be wounded so bad (lost so much power and prestige) that all the world will believe that it was to become extinct, yet its “deadly wound was healed.”

This antichrist power was to arise out of the fourth beast in Daniel 7. A beast represents a kingdom or empire. “The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces.” Daniel 7: 23. Out of this fourth kingdom will arise ten horns. A horn also represents a kingdom. “The ten horns are ten kings (kingdoms) who shall arise from this kingdom” (verse 24). So ten other kings, or kingdoms will come up out of this fourth beast.

Notice that another “horn” or kingdom will also arise. “And another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings,” Daniel 7: 24. This kingdom will arise after the other ten kingdoms have been established and will be different than the rest. Yet this power will be a persecuting power. It subdues three of the kingdoms, or in other words, he destroys them. “I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots . And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man (there will be a man at the head of this power), and a mouth speaking pompous words,” Daniel 7: 8. “And the ten horns were on its head (the head of the fourth beast), and the other horn which came up, before which three fell , namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. I watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom” (Daniel 17: 20- 22).

Identifying marks of the “little horn” from Daniel 7

Here are some identifying marks of this “little horn” that are found here in Daniel 7.

  1. It arose out of the fourth beast. Verses 7,8
  2. It arose after the ten horns. Verse 24
  3. It arose among or in the same geographical area of the ten horns. Verse 8
  4. It was “different” from the other horns. Verse 24
  5. It destroyed three of the other horns Verses 8,20,24
  6. Its appearance was greater than the other horns (meaning it became more prominent). Verse 20
  7. It speaks pompous (blasphemous) against the Most High. Verse 25
  8. Thought to change times and God’s law. Verse 25
  9. Would have temporal power (civil govern mental authority) for 1260 years. Verse 25
  10. Would persecute God’s people (true Christians). Verse 25
  11. A man would be at the head of this power. Verse 24, 25.

In our booklet, The End of War and Injustice, we examined the four beasts of Daniel 7: 3- 7, showing that they represent four world empires. These consisted of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and the fourth was Rome. Notice that this little horn power comes out of the fourth kingdom (Rome). Also notice that it comes up after the ten kingdoms that split off and divided the Roman Empire. So we can say that this little horn power, which is diverse from the rest of the kingdoms, takes its power from Rome. This is made clear when we take the prophecies of Revelation and combine them with Daniel. This beast in Revelation 13 takes its power from the dragon and is a composite of all the beasts of Daniel 7. “Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” Revelation 13:2.

Clearly, we can see this is like no other beast on the face of the earth. If this beast really existed, some carnival or circus would be making big money showing it off. No, this beast represents the characteristics of each of the following beasts before it. This was a swift power like a leopard. A leopard is so fast that it can chase down its prey quickly. It also has great agility to get out of scrapes. This beast power has these same abilities to be able to survive through varying situations. It also has feet like a bear. A bear’s feet are big, strong and very sure- footed. He really can put some weight behind him when he “puts his foot down.” So it is with this beast power. He has authority and power to actuate his policies and doctrines. He has the weight of political and religious power behind him. Remember that we notice earlier that he would be involved in worship (or religion). The beast speaks as the lion of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar. He speaks pompous words as the king of Babylon did. Check out the words of King Nebuchadnezzar in defiance to God, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?” Daniel 4: 30.

As King Nebuchadnezzar exalted himself and did not give God the glory for what he had, so does the beast or Revelation 13. It is common among rulers, kings, and religious leaders to forget where their sovereignty came from. Daniel reminds the king of Babylon in Daniel 2: 20,21, “Daniel answered and said: ‘Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.”

Finally, let’s investigate the power base of this beast. He receives his power, authority, and throne from the dragon. Who does this dragon represent? “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12: 9. Ultimately, it is Satan who gives this beast his authority. But does this dragon also represent an earthly power, too? In Revelation 12, we find the prophecy of Jesus’ birth and the oppression that the “dragon” gave Him at His birth, What tyrannical power tried to destroy the Christ child at birth? It was Rome, of course. The Roman soldiers, under the direction of Herod the Great, killed all the children of Bethlehem up to the age of two years old. It was also the Roman Empire, through its despotic and cruel leaders, who pursued and tried to destroy the early church through murder and torture.

We can see that the dragon not only symbolizes Satan but also denotes Pagan Rome. So from Rome, this beast receives power and authority (muscle to enforce its will) to rule over all the people of the world. It also receives its “throne” from the Roman Empire. It is always so interesting how God presents His truth so clearly, leaving nothing to speculation. In 532 A. D., the Roman Emperor Justinian made a decree to force everyone to submit to the papacy. The historian says, “By an edict which he issued to unite all men in one faith, whether Jews, Gentiles or Christians, such as did not, in the term of three months, embrace and profess the Catholic faith, were declared infamous, and as, such, excluded from all employments both civil and military, rendered incapable of leaving anything by will, and their estates confiscated, whether real or personal. These were convincing arguments of the truth of the Catholic faith; but many, however, withstood them; and against such as did, the imperial edict was executed with the utmost rigor. Great numbers were driven from their habitations with their wives and children, stripped and naked.” Bower, The History of the Popes, vol. 1 p. In 533 A. D Justinian exalted the papacy as “the head of all the holy churches.” Croly The Apocalypse of St. John pages 167, 168. But this could not be put into effect as long as the Arian nations did not acknowledge it. The kingdom of Odoacer which had ruled Italy had already been destroyed in 493 A. D. and his people universally massacred (Italy and Her Invaders, book IV chap VI) In 533 A. D Justinian sent his armies to conquer the Vandals in Northern Africa. When this was accomplished by his general Belisarius in 534, “Impatient to abolish the temporal and spiritual tyranny of the Vandals, he proceeded, without delay, to the full establishment of the Catholic Church. . . .Arian worship was suppressed, the Donatist meetings were proscribed;” Gibbon Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire chapter 12) As soon as this was done, Justinian turned his arms against the East Goths (Ostrogoths) in Italy itself who also were Arian Christians and not Catholic. In March of A. D 538, for the first time Rome was delivered completely from the rule of the Ostrogothic kingdom, “They (the Ostrogoths) had lost their king (an inconsiderable loss), their capital, their treasures, the provinces from Sicily to the Alps, and the military force of two hundred thousand barbarians, magnificently equipped with horses and arms.” (Gibbon Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire chapters 41, 43) The historian Milman in History of Latin Christianity book 3 chapter 4 states it like this, “The conquest of Italy by the Greeks was, to a great extent at least, the work of the Catholic clergy… The overthrow of the Gothic kingdom was to Italy an unmitigated evil… In their overthrow began the fatal policy of the Roman see… which never would permit a powerful native kingdom to unite Italy, or a very large part of it, under one dominion. Whatever it may have been to Christendom, the papacy has been the eternal, implacable foe of Italian independence and Italian unity; and to the welfare of Italy.” Emphasis supplied. So A. D. 538 is the year that marks not only the destruction of the kingdom of the east Goths but, the true date which marks the establishment of the independent temporal authority of the papacy and the exercise of such authority as a world power.

Characteristics of the “Beast” of Revelation 13

Let’s list some of the characteristics of the “beast” of Revelation 13 and see if there are not a lot of similarities to the little horn in Daniel.

  1. He receives his power, seat, and authority from the pagan Roman empire. Verse 2. Arises among the ten horns on the fourth beast Daniel 7: 8
  2. Speaks blasphemy (pompous words) against God and His tabernacle (His church). Verses 5,6 Speaks great things or pompous words against the Most High Daniel 7:25
  3. Is a superpower- has authority over all nations Revelation 13: 7
  4. His appearance is greater than his fellows Daniel 7: 20
  5. Is not only a superpower (see #4 above) but is a religious power because it is worshiped. Revelation 13: 4, 8, 12; the little horn is different from the other horns Daniel 7:24
  6. Receives a deadly wound that was later healed. Verse 3 6. Persecutes the saints of the Most High (people of God). Verse 7 also Daniel 7:25
  7. It is a worldwide religious and political power that the whole world will follow and worship in one form or another. Verse 3,4,8
  8. Will continue for forty- two months (1260 years). Verse 5; also Daniel 7: 25
  9. Will be led into captivity at the end of the 1260- year period. Verse 10
  10. Has a man at its head that has a number of 666. Verse 18

After examining all of the identifying attributes of this power, it is not hard to figure out whom it designates. God makes sure that we can identify who the beast is, for He does not want us to be deceived. If we know just a little bit of history it certainly appears that the little horn/beast power cannot apply to any other power than the papacy. But let us go through the identifying marks in Revelation 13 again and see if every single one is an exact fit- if even one identifying mark did not fit then we would know that we have made a mistake because it is impossible for God to lie.

  1. Did the papacy receive its power, seat (throne) and authority from the Pagan Roman Empire? We will give the answer from a Catholic source. “Long ages ago, when Rome, through the neglect of the Western emperors, was left to the mercy of the barbarous hordes, the Romans turned to one figure for aid and protection, and asked him to rule them; . . . and thus. . .commenced the temporal sovereignty of the popes. And meekly stepping to the throne of Caesar, the vicar of Christ took up the scepter to which the emperors and kings of Europe were to bow in reverence through so many ages.” –James P. Conroy, American Catholic Quarterly Review, April 1911.
  2. Does the papacy have a “blasphemous name?” The Jewish definition of blasphemy in the days of Christ was when a man claimed to be able to forgive sins (Matthew 9) and when a man claimed to be God (John 10). The name will be discussed under item 10 below.
  3. Has the papacy spoken great words (pompous words Daniel 7: 20, 25) against the Most High (against God). Again, let us look at the official Catholic teachings. The Council of Trent defines papal power thus: “We define that the Holy Apostolic See and Roman Pontiff holds the primacy over the whole world.” –Labbe and Cossart (A. C.), The Most Holy Councils, Vol. XIII, col. 1167.
    When the triple crown is placed on the head of a new pope at his “coronation” ceremony, the ritual prescribes the following declaration by the officiating cardinal: “Receive the tiara adorned with three crowns, and know that thou art the Father of Princes and Kings, Ruler of the World, the Vicar of Our Savior Jesus Christ.” National Catholic Almanac
    The New Catechism, under the section of the pope, states: “The pope takes the place of Jesus Christ on earth… He is the infallible ruler, the founder of dogmas, the author of and the judge of councils; the universal ruler of truth, the arbiter, the judge of all, being judged by no one, God himself on earth.”
    Does the Papacy fit the prophecy that it would “speak pompous words”? Again, let the record speak for itself.
    In an encyclical letter by Pope Leo XIII, on June 20, 1894 (notice, this is NOT that long ago, this was not during the Dark Ages, but was an official statement by a pope that ended his pontifical reign in this very century- 1903), he stated: “We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty.” This is in the official records and can be checked out by any caring student. Could more pompous words be spoken? What else could possibly be said to more accurately fit the description? Moreover, the pope is declared to be infallible when speaking ex-cathedra according to Vatican Council I in 1870, again, not that long ago.
  4. Is the papacy a superpower with influence over all the nations of the earth? Anybody that listens to the news or reads the news knows the answer to this question.
  5. Nobody of any belief would argue against the papacy being a religious power that is worshiped.
  6. Did the papacy at one time receive a deadly wound that today has been healed? In 1798, Napoleon’s general, Berthier, captured the pope and removed him to prison, where he died and for a short time there was no papacy. At that time much of the world believed the papacy was finished and would never hold temporal power over the earth again. Yet in 1929, Pope Pius XI signed the Treaty of the Lateran with Mussolini, whereby Vatican City was established and the papacy now had back its temporal governing power. The deadly wound was healed and Bible prophecy claimed that after this all the world would marvel and follow and worship this power (Revelation 13: 3, 4, 8)
  7. Has the papacy persecuted the saints of the Most High? In the massacre of St. Bartholemew alone most of 100,000 Protestants were slain. That the Catholic Church hunted down, tortured, and burned people at the stake throughout the Middle Ages hardly even needs to be said. That is common history. In one sweep in the year 1208, a crusade organized by Pope Innocent III crushed out the lives of approximately one million Waldenses and Albigenses in upper Italy and lower France. Was it their crime? They were teaching and disseminating copies of the Scriptures to people throughout Europe in their own language.
    Estimates range from the most conservative figure of around 50,000,000 upwards to much larger numbers of martyrs who lost their lives during the Dark Ages at the hands of the Catholic Church during the years of its supremacy.
    Does the prophecy fit? Again, history speaks for itself. As even the Roman Catholic paper, the Western Watchman, declared, “The church has persecuted, only a tyro (one uninformed in church history) will deny that.”- December 24, 1909.
  8. Is the papacy a worldwide religious and political power that people from every country all over the world are worshipping today? Anyone who has traveled the world knows that this is the case.
  9. Did the papacy continue as a religious and political (civil) power that is as a union of church and state through the dark ages for 1260 years? It did. Beginning with its acquirement of independent civil authority for the first time in 538 1260 years last until 1798, the very year that the pope was taken prisoner and the papacy ceased to exist for a short time.
  10. Does the papacy have a man at its head who has the number 666? We noticed that the little horn (papacy) would “intend to change times and law.” This has been one of the primary doctrines of the Roman Pontiff and the Catholic Church. And by changing God’s law, it gives credence to their suggestion that the pope has all power and authority. “The Pope can modify [change] the Divine Law.” Lucius Ferraris, Ecclesiastical Dictionary. They claim that the ability to change God’s law is their mark of authority. For instance, if you look in the Catechism, you will find the second commandment has been removed, relating to graven images and bowing down to them, and the tenth commandment split into two commandments. Mary is referred to as a Mediatrix (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1994 p 252), but, the Bible says, “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man, Christ Jesus.” I Timothy 2: 5.

The one commandment that God said to remember, the Catholic Church has disregarded, and they have convinced the rest of the world to follow suit. Through reasoning and human philosophy, men have rejected the one commandment that was to give men rest. They have profaned and polluted that commandment which was meant to give life and happiness. It was to be a sign between God and us to identify us as His people. “Moreover I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. Hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I an the Lord your God.” Ezekiel 20: 12,20.

The papacy claims the authority to change God’s law, especially this very commandment about worship. “Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of Solemn rest, a holy convocation [worship day]. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings.” Leviticus 23: 3. If God set a day aside for worship, does any man have the right to decide that any other day is just as acceptable? Who is God and who is the created being? Yet the papacy has claimed the authority to switch days for God’s day of rest and worship.

They even claim that by doing this, and the world following its lead, that it is the Mark of their authority. “Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change [of the Sabbath to Sunday] was her act . . . and the act is a mark of the ecclesiastical power.” – From the office of Cardinal Gibbons, through Chancellor H. F. Thomas, November 11, 1895. The Roman Church derides Protestants for claiming to believe in the Bible while keeping Sunday as their “Sabbath.” “If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath Day [Saturday]. In keeping the Sunday they are following a law of the Catholic Church.” Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal in a letter dated February 10, 1920.

Yet in another bold statement, a priest says, “Prove to me from the Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the holy Catholic Church alone. The Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. ’ The Catholic Church says, no. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week. And lo! The entire civilized world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the Holy Catholic Church.”- Priest Thomas Enright, CSSR, President of Redemptorist College, Kansas City, Mo., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, February 22, 1884, and the American Sentinel, a New York Roman Catholic journal in June 1893, page 173.

Who will you worship?

It is evident from these statements that the issue of worship will be over who is God. The Lord of the heavens has given His “mark” or “sign,” which is the Sabbath Day. Only God can make a day holy, and only God can sanctify it. Only God has the ability to work miracles in the lives of people, and only God can sanctify a people for Himself. God’s sign is His commandments and specifically His Sabbath. The Beast’s Mark is the counterfeit worship day- Sunday. “Sunday is our mark of authority… The Church is above the Bible, and the transference of the Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” The Catholic record, London, Ontario, Canada, September 1, 1923. In the last generation, all, who continue to worship the beast by honoring his “mark” of authority (Sunday worship) after they have seen the truth, will receive of the plagues, the unmixed wrath of God. “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice (this is so important that the Lord is having His messenger shout out this last day warning), ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead (has allowed himself to be deceived into believing the lie) or on his hand (performs this form of worship for fear of his life and livelihood), he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the lamb.” Revelation 14: 9,10.

This is a life and death message to the world. Wake Up! Search the scriptures and find the truth, God says to His people. Maybe for years you have believed false doctrines and have lived up to all the light (truth) you knew. Now that God has opened your eyes to more Biblical wisdom, will you turn away and shut your mind and heart away from His righteousness? “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,” Matthew 6: 33 Jesus commands. Those in past times were destroyed because they did not have a love for the truth. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” Hosea 4: 6. And all who reject His knowledge today will also be rejected by Him. “And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” II Thessalonians 2: 11,12.

God is not a God of force. He will not force you to love Him, to follow Him, or to receive the gifts that He wants so badly to give to you. Yet He cannot allow this world to continue forever in sin and degradation. He is working to create for Himself a people who will be loyal to Him in all that He says. All, who will not follow Him and allow Him to remove sin (the breaking of His Ten Commandments I John 3: 4; James 2: 10- 12) from their hearts, will be die in their sins. All who are not willing to listen to His counsel and truth will be given over to the adversary and will be allowed to believe the lies of the devil. God will eventually fully withdraw His Holy Spirit from working on the hearts of those who continue in rebellion. They will fall into strong delusions, that they may be condemned because of their love for sinful pleasure and disobedience to His law.

The mark of the beast is not an outward mark that all can see, but an inward mark of a deceptive thought process and a corrupted heart. Just as God’s sign will be written on our hearts and minds, the Beast’s mark will be written on the hearts and minds of all who follow his doctrines and theology. These will have their place in the lake of fire along with the devil, the beast, and the false prophet. See Revelation 20: 10,15.

This is an urgent message to the world! God is exerting untold energy in the attempt to turn mankind from their sinful path and bring them to a condition of salvation. God is calling you and me today. He is long suffering, but cannot wait forever for us. He is giving us that chance today. What will be your decision? Do you love Jesus more than the customs of this world? Paul said, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” “ Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he shall reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Colossians 2: 8; Galatians 6: 7,8.

Do not deceive yourselves today thinking that God’s Sabbath is not important. We will be keeping His Sabbath in the new heavens and earth (Isaiah 66: 22,23). His Sabbath is an everlasting covenant which can never be changed (Exodus 31: 12- 18), because God Himself wrote it with His own finger. There is an over abundance of evidence that all the apostles kept the Sabbath, and neither Jesus or any of His apostles ever commanded or kept Sunday as a holy day. This would have gone directly against the prophecy of Revelation 13. Who are God’s last day people? “Here is the patience (steadfastness) of the saints (God’s people); here are those who keep the commandments of God (including the Sabbath commandment) and the faith of Jesus.” Revelation 14: 12. Who are called blessed and will enter into New Jerusalem? “Blessed are those who do his commandment, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:14.

Here is the bottom line for each of us. If God says one thing, and we believe another, who should change his mind, God or us? The question is over who will be God! Who are we truly worshipping when we break His Sabbath and worship on the day that has only human authority as a day of worship? Who has the right to change God’s law? God said “My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my mouth,” Psalms 89: 34 and “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4: 4. God sends this last day warning to all his people because He loves them and does not want to see them destroyed. When Sunday worship is set up as a law under penalty of death, the mark of the beast will be enforced. Which side will you be found on in these last days of Bible prophecy. When the roll is called up in heaven, will you truly be found there? Will you today devote your life to God and obey His voice? Will you let Him give you His special sign? Will you worship the Lord your God on His Sabbath day as He has asked and avoid receiving the mark that brings death and destruction? The decision is in your hands.


  • Beyond Pitcairn, Harvestime Books.
  • Wilkinson, B. G., Truth Triumphant.
  • J. T. C., Smokescreens.
  • White, E. G., Great Controversy.
  • Grosboll, John J., God Predicts Your Future.
  • The Bulwark, Oct. 1922, pg. 104.
  • The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, pg. 304.
  • Philippe Labbe and Gabriel Cossart, The Most Holy Councils, vol. 13, col. 1167, on “The Council of Trent.
  • Lucius Ferraris, Ecclesiastical Dictionary.
  • From the office of Cardinal Gibbons, through Chancellor H. F. Thomas, November 11, 1895.
  • Albert Smith, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the Cardinal in a letter dated February 10, 1920.
  • Priest Thomas Enright, CSSR, President of Redemptorist College, Kansas City, Mo., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, February 22, 1884, and the American Sentinel, a New York Roman Catholic Journal in June 1893, page 173.
  • The Catholic Record, London, Ontario, Canada, September 1, 1923.

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