ANOTHER BEAST APPEARS
WHEN was the papal head of the first beast of Revelation 13 wounded?
In 1798, when the Papacy was temporarily overthrown by the French, under General Berthier. (See preceding reading.)
What did the prophet see coming up at this time?
"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon." Reve- lation 13:11.
NOTE.—John Wesley, in his note on Revelation 13:11, written in 1754, says of the two-horned beast: "He is not yet come: tho' he cannot be far off. For he is to appear at the End of the forty-two Months of the first Beast." —Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament (1791 ed.), vol. 3, p. 299.
The previous beast came up out of the "sea," which indicates its rise among the peoples and nations of the world then in existence (Rev. 17:15); whereas this latter power comes up out of the "earth," where there had not before been "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." In 1798, when the papal power received its deadly wound, the United States, located in the western continent, was the only great world power then coming into prominence in territory not previously occupied by peoples, multitudes, and nations. Only nine years preceding this (in 1789), the United States adopted its national Constitution. It is within the territory of the United States, there- fore, that we may look for a fulfillment of this prophecy.
The eminent American preacher De Witt Talmage based a sermon, "America for God," on the text of Revelation 13:11, interpreting the beast with two horns like a lamb as referring to the United States. "Is it reasonable," he said, "to suppose that God would leave out from the prophecies of his Book this whole Western Hemisphere? No, No!" See his 500 Selected Sermons, vol. 2 (1900), p. 9.
What is the character of this new power?
"He had two horns like a lamb." Revelation 13:11.
NOTE.—How fittingly is the United States characterized in these words! The nations of the past, pictured in the Bible as beasts of prey, were filled with intolerance, persecution, and oppression. In sharp contrast, the United States was founded on the principles of liberty, equality, and tolerance. The men who had fled the tribulations of the Old World were determined that those trials should not be repeated in the New.
The principles of civil and religious liberty which have made the United States great were incorporated into the fundamental law of the nation at its very founding. We quote from the first amendments to the Constitution, commonly known as the Bill of Rights:
Article I. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." Article IV. "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated." Article V. "No person shall be . . . subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; nor to be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation."
For these principles men have fought and died. For them high-minded statesmen have valiantly contended throughout the nation's history. For these liberties, millions today are ready to sacrifice even life itself.
THE DRAGON'S VOICE HEARD AGAIN
Notwithstanding the lamblike appearance of this power, what will ultimately happen?
"And he spake as a dragon." Revelation 13:11.
NOTE.—The voice of the dragon is the voice of intolerance and persecution. It is repugnant to the American mind to think that religious persecution might mar the fair record of the nation founded on liberty to all. But all through the history of the country, from its very founding, far-seeing states- men have recognized that the tendency to enforce religious dogmas by civil law is all too common with mankind, and is liable to break out in active persecution in unexpected places unless specifically guarded against.
Said Thomas Jefferson, at the very beginning of the nation's existence, "The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecution, and better men be his victims."—Notes on Virginia, Query XVII in The Works of Thomas Jefferson (Ford ed., 1904-05), vol. 4, pp. 81, 82.
In a letter to Rabbi Mordecai M. Noah, this same great American wrote: "Your sect by its sufferings has furnished a remarkable proof of the universal spirit of religious intolerance, inherent in every sect. . . . Our laws have applied the only antidote to the vice. . . . But more remains to be done; for although we are free by the law, we are not so in practice; public opinion erects itself into an Inquisition, and exercises its office with as much fanaticism as fans the flames of an auto da fe."—Letter to Mordecai M. Noah, May 28, 1818, Thomas Jefferson Papers, vol. 213, p. 37988, in Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
To the honor of the nation, it should be said that noble statesmen have largely held in check the tendency which Thomas Jefferson foresaw working in the body politic. But no American can shut his eyes to the fact that parallel- ing these noble efforts, zealous but misguided religious leaders have sought civil enforcement of religious usages
How much power will this beast exercise?
"And 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." Verse 12.
NOTE.—The "first beast before him"—papal Rome (see preceding read- ing)—exercised the power of persecuting all who differed with it in religious matters. What means will be employed to lead the people back into false worship? "And 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." Verse 14, first part.
What will this power propose that the people shall do?
"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." Verse 14, latter part.
NOTE.—The beast "which had the wound by a sword, and did live," is the Papacy. That was a church dominating the civil power, a union of church and state, enforcing its religious dogmas by the civil power, by confiscation, imprisonment, and death. An image to this beast would be another ecclesi- astical organization clothed with civil power—another union of church and state—to enforce religion by law.
SUNDAY LAW ADVOCATES .
Does the history of the United States show that religious organizations_ have attempted to secure legislation involving religion?
Organizations such as the National Reform Association, the International Reform Federation, the Lord's Day Alliance of the United States, the New York Sabbath Committee, and to a lesser degree, the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, formed by professed Protestants, have for years worked to secure Sunday legislation.
What, according to its constitution, is an avowed object of the National Reform Association?
"To secure such an amendment to the Constitution of the United States as will . . . indicate that this is a Christian nation, and place all the Christian laws, institutions, and usages of our government on an undeniably legal basis in the fundamental law of the land."— DAVID MCALLISTER, The National Reform Movement . . . a Manualof Christian Civil Government (1898 ed.), "Article II of Constitu- tion," pp. 15, 16.
NoTE.—The general superintendent of the National Reform Association and editor of the Christian Statesman propounds the following amendment to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution:
"How to take a most dangerous weapon out of the hands of secularists: Amend the highest written law of the land, our Federal Constitution, so that it shall plainly proclaim the will of the Lord of nations as the rule of our national life and the standard of our national conduct in dealing with all our problems—internal and external, national and international. As that Constitution now stands, the secularist is perpetually quoting it on his side, loudly proclaiming that there is in it nothing that warrants the Christian usages, and as loudly and persistently demanding that all these and their like shall go out of the latter that it may be brought into perfect harmony with the former. Our answer should be—Never! But we will instead change the written document that it may be in perfect harmony with the unwritten and so furnish an undeniably legal basis for all we have that is Christian in our national life and character and also for more of its kind that is still needed." —Christian Statesman, August, 1921, p. 25.
At first glance, such a statement as this might appear worthy of endorse- ment. But a closer examination reveals a reasoning basically the same as that employed by religious leaders of past ages, who persecuted all who differed with them. If the laws of the land should regulate religious observances, a man could be forced to attend church, to be baptized, or to pay for the support of the clergy. What has this association said on this point regarding the Catholic Church? "We cordially, gladly, recognize the fact that in South American Republics, and in France and other European countries, the Roman Catholics are the recognized advocates of national Christianity, and stand opposed to all the proposals of secularism. . . . Whenever they are willing to co-operate in resisting the progress of political atheism, we will gladly join hands with them in a World's Conference for the promotion of National Christianity,—which ought to be held at no distant day—many countries could be represented only by Roman Catholics."—Editorial, Christian Statesman (official organ of the National Reform Association), Dec. 11, 1884, p. 2.
What has the pope commanded all Catholics to do?
"First and foremost it is the duty of all Catholics worthy of the name and wishful to be known as the most loving children of the Church . . . to endeavor to bring back all civil society to the pattern and form of Christianity which We have described."—The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII, "Encyclical Letter Immortale Dei, Nov. 1, 1885, page 132.
NoTE.—On September 7, 1947, Pope Pius XII declared that " 'the time for reflection and planning is past' in religious and moral fields and the 'time for action' has arrived." He said that "the battle in religious and moral fields hinged on five points: Religious culture, the sanctifying of Sunday, the saving of the Christian family, social justice and loyalty and truthfulness in dealings."—Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), Sept. 8, 1947.
What is the object of the International Reform Federation?
"The Reform Bureau [now Federation] is the first 'Christian lobby' established at our national capital to speak to government in behalf of all denominations."—History of the International Reform Bureau (1911), p. 2. NOTE.—The securing of compulsory Sunday legislation is one of the chief objects of this and other like organizations. (See pages 60-62 of the above- named work.)
What is the object of the Lord's Day Alliance?
, "This organization proposes in every possible way to aid in pre- serving Sunday as a civil institution. Our national security requires the active support of all good citizens in the maintenance of our American Sabbath. Sunday laws must be enacted and enforced."— Quoted as "principles contained in the Constitution" of the original organization (then called the American Sabbath Union), cited in The Lord's Day Alliance, Twenty-fifth Annual Report (1913), p. 6.
What was one of the first objectives stated by the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America?
"That all encroachments upon the claims and the sancti- ties of the Lord's Day should be stoutly resisted through the press, the Lord's Day associations and alliances, and by such legislation as may be secured to protect and preserve this bulwark of our American Christianity."—Resolution passed in the first meeting of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America (1908), in its first Biennial Report, p. 103.
NOTE.—Thus it will be seen that the securing of laws for the enforce- ment of Sunday observance is a prominent feature in all these organizations in their efforts to "Christianize" the nation. In doing this many tail to see that they are repudiating the principles of Christianity, of Protestantism, and of the United States Constitution, and playing directly into the hand of that power which originated the Sunday sabbath—the Papacy. (See reading on page 431.)
What arguments have been offered for Sunday laws?
"That the day might be devoted with less interruption to the purposes of devotion." "That the devotion of the faithful might be free from all disturbance."—AuGusTus NEANDER, General History of the Christian Religion and Church, Torrey translation (3d American ed.), vol. 2, p. 301.
NOTE.—In the fourth and fifth centuries, Sunday shows and Sunday thea- ters, it was complained, hindered the "devotion of the faithful," because many of the members attended them in preference to the church services. The church, therefore, demanded that the state should interfere, and promote Sun- day observance by law. "In this way," says Neander (pages 300, 301), "the church received help from the state for the furtherance of her ends." This union of church and state served to establish the Papacy in power. A similar course pursued now will produce the same results.
"On the baseless assumption that the seventh day, set apart and established in the law, has been in some way superseded by the first day, recognized in the gospel, a good deal of hurtful legislation has been enacted on the pretext of sanctifying the Sabbath and honoring God. Men who really do know better are willing to wrest the Scriptures and appeal to popular ignorance in order to gain a point. Such conduct is unworthy of any good cause.
"This error had its origin in the iniquitous union of church and state, and is a relic of that oppressive system. . . . In current usage the so-called Sabbath legislation does not apply to the Bible Sabbath at all, but to the first day of the week. The practical effect of such legislation generally is to annul the divine commandment, and to put in its place a human statute. The vicious assumption underlying such legislation is that divine law may be changed or amended by human enactment. In thousands of minds to-day the law of God concerning the Sabbath day is rendered of none effect by the so-called Sabbath legislation enacted by civil governments. Such legislation belittles the authority of Jehovah."—J. J. TAYLOR (Baptist), The Sabbatic Question (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1914), pp. 51, 52, 58. (See pages 435-440, 448, 449, 452, 453, 455 for admissions from various denominations.)
EARLY AND MODERN SUNDAY LAWS
Who is responsible for the present State' Sunday laws of the United States?
"During nearly all our American history the churches have influenced the States to make and improve Sabbath laws."—W. F. CRAFTS in Christian Statesman, July 3, 1890, p. 5.
NOTE.—These Sunday laws are a survival of the complete union of church and state which existed at the founding of the colonies. "Such laws [as the Maryland Sunday law of 1723] were the outgrowth of the system of religious intolerance that prevailed in many of the colonies."—Decision of Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia, Jan. 21, 1908, in Washington Law Re- porter, Feb. 14, 1908, p. 103. The first Sunday law imposed on an American colony (Virginia, 1610) required church attendance, .and prescribed the death penalty for the third offense.—PETER FORCE, Tracts Relating to the Colonies in North America (1844 ed.), vol. 3, no. 2, p. 11.
Why is a national Sunday law demanded?
"National Sunday legislation is needed to make the State laws complete and effective," say its advocates.
NoTE.—The state laws enforcing a religious day are relics of a union of church and state in colonial times. But the nation whose foundation principles of civil and religious freedom are aptly symbolized by two lamblike horns does not exercise "all the power of the first beast" and require men "to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed," until it abandons its separa- tion of church and state to the extent of enforcing religious requirements on a national scale, thus constituting an "image," or likeness, to the first beast.
THE MARK OF PAPAL AUTHORITY
What does the prophet say, this second ecclesiastico-political power will attempt to enforce upon all the people?
"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 fore- heads." Revelation 13:16.
Note.—This mark, called in verse 17 "the mark . . . of the beast," is set over against the seal of God in the book of Revelation. (See Revelation 14:9, 10, and the reading on page 441.)
What means will be employed to compel all to receive this mark?
"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." Verse 17.
NoTE.—That is, all who refuse to receive this mark will be boycotted, or denied the rights and privileges of business and trade, or the ordinary means of gaining a livelihood.
What is claimed as the mark of papal authority?
The setting aside of the Sabbath given by God in the fourth com- mandment—the seventh day—and the substitution of Sunday by the authority of the Catholic Church. (See page 432.)
NOTE.—"Ques.—How prove you that the [Roman Catholic] Church hath power to command feasts and holydays? "Ans.—By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protes- tants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church."—HENRY TUBERVILLE, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine (re- print with 'approbation, 1833), p. 58. The mark, then, of the papal power—the beast (see readings on pages 255 and 265)—is the false sabbath in opposition to God's true Sabbath.
Since the Sunday sabbath originated with the Roman power (the first beast ), to whom will men yield homage when, knowing the facts, they choose to observe Sunday, instead of the Bible Sabbath, in deference to compulsory Sunday laws?
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?" Romans 6:16.
NOTE.—"The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] Church."—Louis SEGUR, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today (1868 ed.), p. 213. The conscientious observance of Sunday as the Sabbath on the part of those who hitherto have supposed it to be the Sabbath, has, without doubt, been accepted of God as Sabbathkeeping. It is only when light comes that sin is imputed. (John 9:41; 15:22; Acts 17:30.)
What does Christ say about our duty to the state?
"Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are 'God's." Matthew 22:21.
NoTE.—The Sabbath belongs to God. Its observance, therefore, should be rendered only to Him.
What special miracle is finally to be performed to deceive men, and fasten them in deception?
"And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men." Revelation 13:13.
NOTE.—In the time of Elijah, in the controversy over Baal-worship, this was the test as to who was the true God—the God that answered by fire. (1 Kings 18:24.) Now, as a counterfeit test, fire will be made to come down from heaven to confirm men in false worship. To what length will this effort to enforce the worship of the image of the beast be carried? "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause [decree] that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." Verse 15.
GOD'S PEOPLE DELIVERED
What deliverance will God finally bring to His people in this controversy?
"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." Revelation 15:2.
What song will they sing?
"And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb." Verse 3.
What was the song of Moses?
A song of deliverance from oppression. (See Exodus 15.)
Contact | SiteMap
- Alpha and Omega © Jesus Christ