Making an Image to the Beast
THE PROPHECY OF REVELATION 13
WHEN was the papal head of the first beast of Revelation 13 wounded?
In 1793-98, by the French Revolution and the temporary overthrow of the Papacy in the latter year.
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.” Rev. 3:11.
NOTES.-Mr. Wesley, in his notes on Revelation 13, written in 1754, says of the two-horned beast: “He is not yet come, though he cannot be far off; for he is to appear at the end of the forty-two months of the first beast.”
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); while this one comes up out of the “earth.” This would indicate that the later beast would arise where there had not before been “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” In 1798, when the papal power received its deadly wound, the government of the United States, located in the western continent, was the only great and independent nation then coming into prominence in territory not previously occupied by people, multitudes, and nations. Only nine years receding this (1789), the United States adopted its national Constitution.
It is within the territory of the United States, therefore, that we may look, according to the prophecy, for an ecclesiastical movement to arise, and exercise a dominating control, not only in the civil government of this country, but also in the other nations of the whole world as well.
What is the character of this new power?
“He had two horns like a lamb.” Rev. 13:11.
NOTE.-The Pilgrim Fathers were the vanguard of a great multitude of Protestants, who, when persecuted and outlawed in the lands of their birth, sought refuge in the New World, where they developed rapidly under the protection of a government founded on the great Christian principles of civil and religious freedom. The two horns may well symbolize these two fundamental principles.
Not withstanding the lamblike appearance of this power, what is it ultimately to do?
“And he spake as a dragon.” Rev. 13:11.
NOTE.-The voice of the dragon is the voice of intolerance and persecution. This indicates that the ecclesiastical development dealt with in this prophecy, obtaining a foothold for its initial power and influence in the government of the United States, will repudiate the mild and lamblike principles of civil and religious liberty, and become like the beast before it, a world-wide persecuting power. This is why in Rev. 19:20 it is called “the false prophet.” Born of the Reformation, it will repudiate Reformation principles.
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.” Rev. 13:12.
NOTE.-The “first beast before him” (papal Rome) exercised the power of persecution and putting to death all who differed from it in religious matters. The only way the earth can be made to worship is by causing work to cease on it through voluntary or enforced rest, or sabbath keeping. “For as long as she [the land] lay desolate she kept sabbath.” 2 Chron. 36:21. Enforced Sunday observance is evidently implied here.
What means will be employed to lead the people back into this 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.” Rev. 13:14, 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.” Rev. 13:14, 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. In other words, it was a union of church and state, and enforced its religious dogmas by the civil power, under pain of confiscation of goods, imprisonment, and death. An image to this beast would be another ecclesiastical organization clothed with civil power – another union of church and state – to enforce religious dogmas by law.
Is there any evidence that such an image will be made?
Large and influential organizations, such as the National Reform Association, the International Reform Bureau, the Lord’s Day Alliance of the United States, and the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, have been formed, by professed Protestants, and for years have been persistently working to that end. Many Roman Catholic societies recently formed in the United States, such as the Knights of Columbus and the American Federation of Catholic Societies, are looking to a like end – that of making America Catholic.
What according to its constitution, is the avowed object of the National Reform Association?
“To secure such an amendment to the Constitution of the United States as shall . . . indicate that this is a Christian nation, and place all the Christian laws, institutions, and usages of the government on a undeniably legal basis in the fundamental law of the land.” – Article II of the Constitution.
NOTES.-Upon the question of making this a “Christian nation,” Bishop Earl Cranston, D. D., of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in an address delivered in Foundry Methodist Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C., March 13, 1910, made the following observation:-
“Suppose this were to be declared a Christian nation by a Constitutional interpretation to that effect. What would that mean? Which of the two contending definitions of Christianity would the word Christian indicate? – The Protestant idea, of course, for under our system majorities rule, and the majority of Americans are Protestants. Very well. But suppose that by the addition of certain contiguous territory with twelve or more millions of Roman Catholics, the annexation of a few more islands with half as many more, and the same rate of immigration as now, the majority some years hence should be Roman Catholics, – who doubts for a moment that the reigning Pope would assume control of legislation and government? He would say, with all confidence and consistency, ‘This is a Christian nation. It was so claimed from the beginning and so declared many years ago. A majority defined then what Christianity was, the majority will define now what Christianity now is and is to be.’ That ‘majority’ would be the Pope.” – “The Church and the Government,” page 7.
The National Reformers in their attempts to justify the legal establishment of Christianity as the national religion, have erroneously declared that the statement of Justice Brewer of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1892, “This is a Christian nation,” is a decision of the court, whereas it was only a statement in the argument leading up to the decision of the court.
In a sermon at the centenary of the establishment of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the United States, in 1889, Archbishop Ireland said: “Our work is to make America Catholic. . . . Our cry shall be, ‘God wills it,’ and our hearts shall leap with crusader enthusiasm.”
The theory of the National Reformers is thus expressed: “Every government by equitable laws, is a government of God; a republic thus governed is of Him, and is as truly and really a theocracy as the commonwealth of Israel.” – “Cincinnati National Reform Convention,” page 28.
How does this association regard the Catholic Church on this point?
“We cordially, gladly, recognize the fact that in South American republics, 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 cooperate 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.” – Christian Statesman, Dec. 11, 1884, official organ of the National Reform Association.
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.” – Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, “Immortale Dei,” Nov. 1, 1885, “The Great Encyclical Letters of Leo XIII,” page 132.
NOTE.-The prophecy says that this power will make an image to the Papacy. In the days of Constantine and his successors, the church made use of the civil power to carry out her aims: through this means the Papacy was developed. In our own day the same theory is advocated, and prominent men in the nation, in both church and state, are doing all they can to bring about the same result, which, when their work is completed, cannot fail to fulfill the specifications of the prophecy. The climax will be an image of the Papacy.
What is the object of the International Reform Bureau?
“The Reform Bureau 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,” by its founder and superintendent Rev. W. F. Crafts, page 2.
NOTE.-The securing of compulsory Sunday legislation is one of the chief objects of this and other like organizations.
What are the objects of the Lord’s Day Alliance of the United States?
“(1) To preserve the Lord’s day [Sunday] for America;
(2) to secure an active Alliance in every State not yet organized; (3) to induce the general government as far as possible to set the example of Sabbath observance; (4) to press the rest-day feature of the fourth commandment, until every toiler in the land has guaranteed unto him fifty-two full rest days a year.”- From leaflet published by the Alliance.
NOTE.- By all of which is meant the securing, as far as possible, of compulsory State and national Sunday legislation,-the very means by which the church gained control of the state and by which church and state were united in the fourth and fifth centuries of the Christian era.
What is the purpose of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America?
“That the great Christian bodies of our country should stand together” in dealing with “questions like those of marriage and divorce, Sabbath desecration, social evils,” etc.-“Report of Federal Council” (1908), pages 5, 6.
How does it propose that the matter of “Sabbath desecration” shall be dealt with?
“That all encroachments upon the claims and the sanctities 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.” – Id., page 103.
NOTE.-Thus it will be seen that the securing of laws for the enforcement of Sunday observance is a prominent feature in all these organizations in their efforts to “Christianize” the nation. In doing this many fail to see that they are repudiating the principles of Christianity, of Protestantism, and of the United States government, and playing directly into the hand of that power which originated the Sunday sabbath, and gained control of the civil power through Sunday legislation – the Papacy.
What action of the American Federation of Catholic Societies indicates that Catholics will gladly “join hand” with Protestants in enforcing Sunday observance by law?
“Our Societies in the various parts of the United States have been urging the abolition of Sunday labor, and have indorsed and assisted the movement of closing the post-office on Sunday.” – Tenth Annual Convention of American Federation of Catholic Societies, Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 20-24, 1911.
NOTES.-With the active cooperation of the Lord’s Day Alliance of the United States, a Protestant organization, a proviso was attached to the post-office appropriation bill, 1912, requiring that “hereafter post-offices of the first and second classes shall not be opened on Sundays for the purpose of delivering mail to the general public.”
The following resolution was adopted by the Boston Archdiocesan Federation of Catholic Societies:-
“We are unalterable opposed to any relaxation of the Sunday laws. Sunday is a day of rest to be devoted to the praise and service of God. We hold the safest public policy at present is to adhere to the rigid observance of the laws now safeguarding the sanctity of the Lord’s day.”-Boston Pilot, official organ of Cardinal O’Connell, March 16, 1912.
What complaint is made against Sunday trains and Sunday newspapers?
“They get a great many passengers, and so break up a great many congregations.” “The laboring classes are apt to rise late on Sunday morning, read the Sunday papers, and allow the hour of worship to go by unheeded.” –Elgin (Ill.) Sunday-law Convention, November, 1887.
NOTES.-In the fourth century, Sunday games and Sunday theaters, 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 enforce Sunday observance by law. “In this way,” says Neander, “the church received help from the state for the furtherance of her ends.” In this way church and state were united, and the Papacy was placed in power. The same course pursued now will produce the same results.
It is proper and right for the church to teach Sabbath observance, and decry Sabbath desecration; but it should not attempt to secure Sabbath observance through compulsory legislation; nor should it seek to fasten upon the people by any means the observance of a day which God has never enjoined and for which, as is admitted on all hands, there is no Scriptural command.
What does the prophet say the two-horned-beast 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 foreheads.” Rev. 13:16.
NOTES.-This mark is the mark of the beast, or the false Sabbath. See Rev. 14:9,10. God’s seal, or mark, is set in the forehead (Rev. 7:3; 14:1), the seat of the mind, the Lord accepting only the worship of conviction of conscience. The mark of the beast however, is said to be received in the hand or forehead. Some are deceived and give assent to the false teaching with their minds, receiving the mark in the forehead; others, coerced or indifferent, give formal, outward consent, and so receive the mark in the hand.
Let the reader note this twofold aspect of the Sunday sabbath, as expressed by one of the most ardent and active Sunday-law advocates in the United States: “We, the Sabbath Union, W.C.T.U., all the churches, and the Y.M.C.A., are laboring with all our might to carry the religious sabbath with our right arm, and the civil sabbath with our left. Hundreds of thousands will receive it as a religious institution, and all the rest will receive it as a civil institution, and thus we will sweep in the whole nation.”-Rev. W. F. Crafts, in Sunday Union Convention, Wichita, Kans., Sept. 20, 1889.
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.” Rev. 13:17.
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. Already this spirit has begun to manifest itself in the movement to enforce Sunday observance. In a sermon preached in Burlington, Kans., Sunday, Jan. 31, 1904, Rev. Bascom Robins said:-
“In the Christian Decalogue the first day was made the Sabbath by divine appointment. But there is a class of people who will not keep the Christian sabbath unless they are forced to do so. But that can be easily done. We have twenty million of men, besides women and children, in this country, who want this country to keep the Christian sabbath. If we would say we will not sell anything to them, we will not buy anything from them, we will not work for them or hire them to work for us, the thing could be wiped out, and all the world would keep the Christian sabbath.”
20. By what authority was Sunday sabbath-keeping instituted?
By the authority of the Catholic Church. See Chapter 97. of this book.
Why were the ancient Sunday laws demanded?
“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.” – Neander’s “Church History,” Vol. II, pages 297, 301.
NOTE.-In short, it was to secure the enforced observance of the day, and through this means church attendance, and control over the people in religious things.
Why are they demanded now?
“Give us good Sunday laws, well enforced by men in local authority, and our churches will be full of worshipers, and our young men and women will be attracted to the divine service. A mighty combination of the churches of the United States could win from Congress, the State legislatures, and municipal councils, all legislation essential to this splendid consummation.” –Rev. S. V. Leech, D. D., in Homiletic Review, November, 1892.
Who is responsible for the present State Sunday laws of the United States?
“During nearly all our American history the churches have influence the States to make and improve Sabbath laws.”- Rev. W. F. Crafts, in Christian Statesman, July 3, 1890.
NOTES.-“These Sunday laws are a survival of the complete union of church and state which existed at the founding of the colony.” -Boston Post, April 14, 1907.
“Such laws [as the Maryland Sunday law 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.
The first Sunday law in America, that of Virginia, in 1610, required church attendance, and prescribed the death penalty for the third offense. See “American State Papers,” edition 1911, page 33.
Why is a national Sunday law demanded?
“The national Sunday law is needed to make the State laws complete and effective.” – Christian Statesman, April 11, 1889.
Since the Sunday sabbath originated with the Roman power (the 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.” Rom. 6:16.
NOTES.-“The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] church.”- Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today,” page 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 Sabbath-keeping. It is only when light comes that sin in 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.” Matt. 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.” Rev. 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 an idolatrous and 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.” Rev. 13:15.
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.” Rev. 15:2.
What song will they sing?
“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.” Rev. 15:3.
What was the song of Moses?
A song of deliverance from oppression. See Exodus 15.