Chapter 6 - The Image of the Beast.
Who is the "image of the beast?"
What does it do?
Who gives it power?
It gets more explosive as we go. It's all in Revelation 13. Here's the picture:
"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; (we've already learned that this is the United States) and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 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 . . . 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." Revelation 13:11,12,15-17.
Man! Just to think of it turns my stomach up-side down.
Even though it seems impossible, God's word says it will happen.
First let me say that I love my country. I just got back from Europe and it was great to be back. But this is what God's word says.
The United States (the two horned beast), will cause all to worship the first beast by enforcing the "mark" of the first beast by law! The word "cause" in the original Greek means "force."
A national Sunday law will be enforced in our country. In chapter one we've already seen that it is coming and some of the reasons why.
We've already learned that the "two horned beast" is the U.S. The first beast is the Papacy. The image of the beast is a religious power just like the beast in our country teaching many of the same false teachings - the majority of the Protestant world.
To say it plainly, Revelation 13 is revealing to us the astonishing fact that Protestant America will cause all to worship the Papacy and receive its "mark" by passing a national Sunday law, and that all who do not go along with it will suffer the consequences!
When man reaches the depth of spiritual decay and passes that law, it will not only make an "image" to the beast in our country - and copy the old papal principle of persecution, it will set up the procedure for all to receive the "mark of the beast!" (1)
It's coming clear! You see, it won't be the beast which enforces its "mark" by law in our country, it will be its "image" Protestant America.
It all boils down to our being forced to either obey the laws of our beloved country and disobey God, or having to violate the laws of the land in order to obey our Lord. That's a real test! If you are faithful and true to God, you'll find yourself, for a short time before Christ comes, without a job, without the right to buy or sell, and even under the death penalty!
Does this sound impossible? It's already in progress! Large religious groups such as the Lord's Day Alliance want it and already have articles in print concerning it. Is the principle of "separation of church and state" crumbling?
The national Catholic journal, Catholic Twin Circle, said, "All Americans would do well to petition the President and the Congress to make a Federal law - an amendment to the, Constitution if need be - to re-establish the Sabbath [meaning Sunday] as a national Day of Rest." (2)
These powerful groups have genuine concerns. They're working for many good things - better T.V. programs, to save the family, etc. But what they don't realize is that when the U.S. actually passes a national Sunday law, it has taken away the religious freedom of those who choose to keep God's day instead of the day of the sun which the Roman church brought in from pagan sun worship - it is enforcing the "mark of the beast!" Those who go along with this oppressive law while knowing what they are doing will most definitely receive the "mark of the beast." Why?
Because they will be disobeying the commandment of God in order to obey the tradition of men. Jesus said, "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men." Mark 7:7.
Don't get me wrong. I love my President and my country. I'm just sharing the facts.
If your head is still spinning at the shock of a future nationwide Sunday law and persecution in our country, (as mine was), all I can say is - draw close to God! - closer than you've ever been in your life. He will help you. These things are coming with swift surety.
Believe it or not, in Virginia, my home state, it's already been done. I mean a mandatory Sunday law - and the death sentence!
Get this shocking quote.
In 1610, the first Sunday law in America, in Virginia, required: "Every man and woman shall repair in the morning to the divine service and sermons preached upon the Sabbath (Sunday), and in the afternoon to divine service, and catechizing, upon pain for the first fault to lose their provision and the allowance for the whole week following; for the second, to lose the said allowance and also be whipped; and for the third to suffer death." !!! Laws and Orders, Divine, Politique, and Martial, for the Colony in Virginia: first established by Sir Thomas Gates, knight, Lieutenant - General, the 24th of May, 1610.
Did you know that the old Sunday blue laws are still on the books in Virginia? They have never been removed.
"It's unconstitutional," said a lawyer living in Richmond, (speaking of the Sunday law there). "It's a religious law and it's unconstitutional." But it's still there.
Most states have had these "blue laws" enforced on and off throughout the last two hundred years. But the national law will enforce the "mark" of the beast.
Do you see? God knows what He is talking about and has given us warning - a warning of love.
Identification cards, numbers - something like this will allow the followers of the Sunday law to buy and sell. They will have these "temporary" benefits. Tremendous pressure will be on - to conform.
What will stir the people to bring in a nation-wide Sunday law?
Crime will be a major factor. Have you noticed the death sentence coming back? Yes! Crime has shot out of control. People are scared. People are angry at crime - and this is what is bringing back the death sentence. Why, just a few hours ago I stopped at the post office. After seeing the headlines of the newspaper in the rack, I had to get one. The headlines read, "KILLER ORDERED EXECUTED."
A young man has been ordered executed for murdering a two year old little girl of Wildwood, Florida. The infant was kidnapped, molested, and buried alive. Man! You can see why, with crimes of this horrible magnitude, the death sentence is coming back.
The judge himself, pronounced that it was proved that "The capital felony was especially heinous, wicked, evil, atrocious, and cruel." Citrus Chronicle News.
"Several of the young man's family members", the paper said, "kissed and hugged the prosecutor after the proceedings were over."
The Bible in many places pronounces the death sentence for the crimes of murder, rape, witchcraft, homosexuality, etc. (Genesis 9:5,6; Deuteronomy 22:25-29; Leviticus 20:13; Exodus 22:18). Last year less than 400 people were on death row in the U.S. Now the figure tops 1100! Public opinion, only recently against capital punishment, now favors it two to one. According to Bible prophecy it will come back.
Of all horrors! It will come back and be used against those who love and obey God! "And he had power to give life unto 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 should be killed" Revelation l3:15.
Just days ago, on a city street in Atlantic City, New Jersy, a group of people talked with a man who keeps the Bible Sabbath. They said to him (Tony is his name), "What would you do if you were forced to worship on Sunday now instead of Saturday?" And then they added, "What if it costs you your life?"
"You can have my life," Tony said, "I'm following the Bible."
Amazing! Did that group on the street know what they were saying?
Do people know what's going on? To use force is to use the methods of the "dragon." I pray to God that He will hold such atrocities back in our country. I'm thankful to know that He will - until "the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads."
The second reason that the Sunday law is being urged is the economic crisis. You are so aware of the situation, that I don't even have to comment on it.
The third reason is - the religious leaders - of all people, are stirring up the nation for this law which they will make people think is so needful. As stated in chapter one, already media messages and articles have been circulating all over the country urging the populace that - "There will be no relief from mounting economic disaster until Sunday is strictly enforced by government decrees and action." (3) Now you and I can see clearly that this is a fulfillment of prophecy, urging the nation to enforce the "mark of the beast!" But to the average person who knows almost nothing about the Bible, this plea sounds pretty good.
Another thing that will help it come is miracles. Have you noticed the tremendous surge of interest in the supernatural lately? God is certainly a God of miracles. And because of this, many believe that all miracles are from God. Not knowing their Bibles, they will be the more easily fooled by Satan's miracles. Get this -
"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world." Revelation 16:13, 14.
The point here is that devils work miracles as well as God. By this deceptive means, the whole world will be deceived into worshiping the beast and receiving its mark. Through miracles, many will think that they have conclusive evidence that the oppressive law is of God and that they should go along with it to save the economy, and the nation!
One of the main ways these lying miracles will fool millions is through people trying to contact dead loved ones who are supposedly communicating from heaven. To people who do not know the plain word of God, this will be an overwhelming delusion!
The Bible forbids anyone to try to contact the dead because when they do, they are inviting evil spirits to speak to them. This is why people who did this type of thing in Bible times were put to death.
But those in our modern society will fall into this very pit! Already Satan is setting things up for it. "According to the Greeley poll, one in four Americans has tried to contact the dead! And half of the widows in America and Iceland admit to communication with the dead! (4)
In order to pass a national Sunday law, the constitution must first be effected. The grand principle of separation of church and state, must first be undermined (especially the first amendment).
Have you noticed anyone talking about changing the first amendment lately? Many states have requested a constitutional convention; but the alarming thing is that many leaders do not believe now that "separation of church and state" even exists! According to prophecy, these great principles of the constitution will be repudiated. But God expects us as His children to do all we can to hold it back. The pilgrims shed their blood to provide for us a nation free from religious persecution and intolerance. Should we see our religious freedom go down the drain and do nothing?
The churches which have Sunday in common will unite in a grand movement so that the world can be converted. Already, the religious leaders have been getting their church people into politics. (Since the national Sunday law will be a religious law, it makes sense for the devil to have them get the churches into politics, and try to collapse the separation of church and state to get religious laws). It's shocking, but most of the great political as well as religious leaders are against the separation of church and state now. Have you noticed it? They're not trying to hide it. Oh yes! It's shocking.
The Sunday law will be seen as just the thing to solve the horrendous problems we're facing, and to unite the whole Christian world.
Cold chills went down my spine as, in the middle of the night, on a powerful AM station near Washington D.C., I heard a deep voice. Cold as steel, it proclaimed that the curse of God rests upon us and will not be removed until the nation repents, and turns back to God by keeping Sunday holy. It will be the religious leaders to a large degree who will compel all to "worship the first beast." To worship the first beast, you don't have to join a certain church. All you would have to do is follow the mark of its authority instead of the sign of God's authority - and you would be honoring that power more than God; in His sight - worshiping it.
Believe it or not, the Bible foretells that the atrocities of the dark ages are to be repeated! Society is being manipulated to the degree that in the near future, to receive the "mark of the beast" will be the popular thing to do! "And all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" Revelation 13:3,4. Those who dare oppose this law will be seen as "rejects of society." About the worst thing you can say about a person now days is to call him a member of a "cult" or a "sect." Those who oppose the mark of the beast, will be seen as "cultists" of the worst kind. They'll be worked with by the authorities. When fines and all manner of economic boycott have failed, then they will be sentenced to death. Revelation 13:15-17.
Men, women, and children from all walks of life will be fleeing for their lives and hiding in the most desolate areas, or, if caught, cast into jails to await the penalty. The war, strife, and terrible calamities of nature will be blamed on them. Like their Saviour, and millions of martyrs before them, they'll be rejected by loved ones, mocked, and looked upon as the "poor fools who have brought all this trouble on us."
As those loyal to God are brought to court for their faith, the issues about God's true Sabbath will spread around the world. The truth of God's fourth commandment will be seen in contrast with the counterfeit day which the image of the beast is trying to enforce by law. Notwithstanding the strife, pleasure seeking, and chaos of this world, all will be led to receive either the "seal of God" or the "mark of the beast."
Spirits of devils go out to deceive the whole world. Those who make the word of God their guide will not fall for this world-wide hoax. They will discover the truth about Jesus' holy day, and will observe it in obedience and loving gratitude - even in the face of mockery and death.
Then - when all have decided (which won't be long), the close of probation comes and Jesus pronounces the most solemn sentence - "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still." Revelation 22:11.
Every case has been decided for life or death. Then - the seven last, terrible plagues of Revelation 16 are poured out Upon the wicked, and a global conflict takes place under the sixth plague.
No matter which way you look at this thing, a great crisis is stealing upon our world.
This global conflict will be like nothing you've ever dreamed of before - your wildest imagination has never pictured it.
What will it be like?