Theme: True Worship

This prophecy highlights the inevitable corruption that occurs when church and state powers unite and try to force worship. It portrays a lamb-like beast that forces people to worship a beast from the sea. Those who agree, receive the mark of the Sea Beast and those who dissent, are persecuted, kept from buying and selling and are sentenced to death. It provides a clear delineation of the choice each person has to make; whether or not to obey God when human laws contradict God's law.

Revelation 13

“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).

Start Studying To begin, click on the "Start" button. Use the "Next" and "Back" buttons to navigate through the study.

A New Type of Roman Power

"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of the blasphemy" (Rev. 13:1).
The beast from the sea in this prophecy has 7 heads and 10 horns with crowns, just like the dragon we just studied in Revelation 12. This suggests it is the same kingdom, however it is different now, in a new phase, and has the additional characteristic of blasphemy. As we know from history and as detailed in previous presentations in this series, Papal Rome was the power that followed the Pagan Roman empire, and it was a power promoting Christianity.
"Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others... And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows" (Dan. 7:19-20).
The description of the Stout Horn (Papal Rome) in Daniel 7 is nearly identical with the description of this Sea Beast (more detail on this is included as this presentation continues). Remember that the Stout Horn grew out of the dreadful fourth beast that represented Pagan Rome. The kingdom continued, but the earthly power that controlled it changed.

Paganism Integrated

"And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority" (Rev. 13:2).
The Sea Beast has some features/characteristics like the beasts in Daniel 7 (lion=Babylon, bear=Medo-Persia and leopard=Greece), however, whereas Daniel listed them in order of appearance, John lists them in reverse order as he is looking back through time. This, and because it receives power from the Dragon, helps identify the Sea Beast as rising to power after the fourth kingdom is established.

As we've seen, the Dragon in Revelation 12 represented Satan primarily working through Pagan Rome. As the Roman Empire declined in power, authority and rule was handed over to the church; thus the Dragon (Pagan Rome) transitioned power to the Sea Beast (Papal Rome). Notice that Paganism was not defeated or conquered, but rather integrated.
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God... For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.(2 Thess. 2:3-8).
History outlines a gradual compromise between Paganism and Christianity. The church of the Middle Ages enticed converts by making Christianity more familiar to them. The purity of the Apostilic faith that had already been losing ground over several centuries was lost and the authority of human wisdom was put above God's Word. One of the ways the results of this can clearly be seen today, is in the pagan symbols and superstitions, which are entrenched throughout the church's architecture, ceremonies, verbage and doctrine.

The Deadly Wound

"And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?" (Rev. 13:3-4).
We've seen in previous prophecies how, after 1260 years of rule (Dan. 7:25, Rev. 12:14), the Papal power was broken in 1798 AD after the protestant reformation led the way back to faith in God’s word above the traditions of the church and the pope was finally taken prisoner. This severely "wounded" the Papacy, taking away its state power and influence, leaving it seemingly "dead". However, the prophecy says that the wound would be healed and all the world would wonder [admire, marvel] after the beast. Clearly, the Papacy has revived, receiving autonomy again in 1929 when it became an independent government and separate state, and continuing on to become one of the most influential powers on earth today. Since the reformation, and even through its wounded phase, it never ceased working through secret societies, and is now well situated to influence and determine the direction of the world's power centers, big-business, governments, banks, the entertainment industry and more.

Length of Power

"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months" (Rev. 13:5).
Here is another reference to the same 1260 year time period that we've seen several times before in this series, which applies to the Papal power during the Middle Ages (538 AD to 1798 AD). This is further evidence that the Sea Beast is indeed the Papacy. The list of texts referring to this time period are again included here for review.


"And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven" (Rev. 13:6).
A study into the blasphemous activities and characteristics of this Sea Beast make it even more apparent that it is the same stout and little horn power revealed in Daniel (see the chart regarding the activities of the Stout Horn in the presentation on Daniel 7 titled "The Four Beasts").
"And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations" (Rev. 13:7).
Both the little/stout horn and the Sea Beast:
  1. Interfere and oppose God's tabernacle/sanctuary (Dan. 8:11-12) - This refers to the substitution of earthly mediators in place of Christ's high priestly mediation in the heavenly sanctuary.

  2. Speak against God (Dan. 7:25) - Two of the main ways blasphemy is defined in the Bible is (a) a man claiming to forgive sins (Mark 2:7) and (b) a man making himself out to be God (John 10:33, Matt. 26:65). Both of these claims, and more, are made by Papal Rome.

  3. Make war with the saints (Dan. 7:21) - The Papal power persecuted millions during the Middle Ages, killing and torturing people, often for nothing more than living peaceably according to their conscience.

  4. Have power for 1260 years (Dan. 7:25) - Papal Rome had power for 1260 years, from 538 AD to 1798 AD.

Promise of Justice

"And 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. If any man have an ear, let him hear" (Rev. 13:8-9).
Here is another reference to the time period after the healing of the beast's wound (sometime after 1798) when all the world wonders after and worships the beast.
"He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints" (Rev. 13:10-11).
The Papacy had imprisoned many during its 1260 years of power, but at the end, the Pope was led into captivity himself. The Papal supremacy and authority was "killed".

In Daniel 7, we learned that after the end of the Little Horn's (Sea Beast) power it would be judged and its dominion taken away. It portrayed a court scene and in Daniel 12 those found in the book of life are saved. Here again, we find that the saints, though terribly tried and assailed, were assured that justice would come and their persecution brought to an end.

A New Power Arises

"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. 13:11).
The prophecy next introduces a new power with a unique set of characteristics and circumstances. Let's examine each characteristic...
1. Initially comes up out of the earth. Previous beasts that represented Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome would stamp, conquer, devour and destroy, and were from the sea (nations, populated areas - Rev. 17:15). But this beast comes up from the earth, slowly and more peacably, from a less populated or turbulent area.

2. Has two horns like a lamb. The lamb in prophecy represents Christ (John 1:29, 36, Rev. 17:14, 19:7, 21:14). This beast has Christ-like characteristics or espouses good principles.

3. No crowns. The first beast has crowns, which signifies a king or ruler. The Lamblike beast has no crowns. There is no King or Queen ruling this kingdom.
4. Rises up as first beast goes down. The first beast has power for 42 months and then receives a deadly wound in 1798 (Rev. 13:3, 10). This Lamblike beast is seen rising to power as the first beast loses power (Rev. 13:11).

5. Speaks for, and promotes the first beast. This beast is also called the "false prophet" (Rev. 19:20, 16:13). A Bible prophet speaks for God. This lamblike beast is a false prophet because it speaks for a false God, which is the beast that sets itself up as if it were God (Dan. 11:36, 2 Thes. 2:4). This lamblike beast promotes the worship of the first beast to the whole world.
6. Obtains global influence and significant power. This beast has enough power and influence to cause the whole world to worship the first beast (after its wound was healed). It also forces all to receive the mark of the beast (Rev. 13:15-16). This kingdom cannot be a small player in the world, but must have global influence and most likely great military, social and economic might.

The United States of America

Revelation 13:
  1. Initially comes up out of the earth.
  2. Has two horns like a lamb.
  3. No crowns.
  4. Rises up as first beast goes down.
  5. Speaks for, and promotes the first beast.
  6. Obtains global influence and significant power.
Only one nation fulfills all of these characteristics.

As you've no doubt guessed by now, the only country fulfilling all of these characteristics is the USA. This prophecy, unfortunately, reveals that the USA will not always be lamb-like, but will speak like a dragon, deceive with miracles, enforce false worship, and persecute as did the church of the Middle Ages. The separation of church and state which has protected the rights of Americans for so long, will disintegrate. Let's examine how the USA fulfills this prophecy in more detail...

Protestant USA Fulfillment

1. Initially comes up out of the earth. The USA rose to power far from the dense populations of the world. It rose steadily and silently (the Greek word for "coming up" is also used to describe a plant growing), primarily without conquering other nations (previous beasts were portrayed as devouring, stamping, conquering, etc.).

2. Has two horns like a lamb. The USA was founded on principles like liberty, freedom of conscience, and equality. It was radically different from other nations in that it offered religious and civil liberty. Just like Christ taught liberty and freedom of choice, the USA set out to ensure that no one was forced to believe a certain way.
3. No crowns. The USA is a republic. There is no King or Queen, but rather it is a nation governed by the people. This was a remarkable shift from the old world's style of government.

4. Rises up as first beast goes down. The 42 months (1260 years) of the first beast ended in 1798 when the power of the papacy was broken and the pope was taken prisoner. The USA was rising to power in the late 1700’s, exactly at the right time. In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted and the Bill of Rights, was adopted in 1791.
5. Speaks for, and promotes the first beast. As the "wound" heals, the USA and the Papacy are uniting more and more. Within the past few decades the USA and the Vatican have established official diplomatic relations, conspired to overthrow communism and shaped numerous policies together. Amazingly, three former presidents and other leaders even kneeled before the Pope's casket in 2005, making a strong statement to the world.

6. Obtains global influence and significant power. The USA is currently the most powerful nation on earth. It is certainly capable of exerting world-wide influence and does so quite often. The prophecy even predicts that it performs miracles and wonders, which increase its influence even more.

Forcing Worship

"And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therin to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed" (Rev. 13:12).
A central issue in the book of Revelation is that of force and worship. Throughout scriptures, it is clear that God does not force worship, but lovingly draws people to him (Jer. 31:3). He knocks at our door (Rev. 3:20), requesting entrance into our heart. Logic dictates that this is not only the best approach, but the only way true worship can happen. True love cannot be forced. This behavior is contrasted with Satan and earthly powers in prophecy who repeatedly persecute those who do not comply with their views. This lamblike beast also persecutes and forces all to worship on its terms, or else.
"...worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters...If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God" (Rev. 14:7-10).
The next study on Revelation 14 reveals how God sends a three-fold message to the world that warns everyone against worshipping the beast and also details how God wants us to worship Him. He does not leave us guessing what is best for us, but tells us simply and clearly what we are to do to avoid unhappiness, pain and death. While God does not force us to worship Him, He eventually destroys those who do not worship Him, because they have chosen a life that destroys themselves, others and the earth (Rev. 11:18). This only occurs, however, after He endures long with every individual and every nation.

Supernatural Wonders

"And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 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. 13:13-14).
The Lamblike beast will even perform miracles. However, we discover here that not all miracles are from God. If a supernatural occurrence is not from God, then it must be from the Devil and his angels. Indeed, we learned in the previous presentation on Revelation 12 that when earthly powers persecute, Satan is the force behind them.
"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destoy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness..." (2 Thes. 2:8-10).
There are a myriad of tricks people do in attempts to give the appearance that a miracle has been performed. Many popular protestant organizations in the USA build their whole message and image around "healings" and other "miracles". There are also miracles that are not tricks or pretended magic; they are actual miracles which Satan's agents have power to do. This is extremely deceptive, even for God's people (Matt. 24:24).

At the same time, we know that God is working mighty miracles, pouring out His Spirit, healing and converting many. How can we tell between the true and the false? By studying God's word and being firmly grounded in truth. By taking heed of what Christ has told us (Luke 21:8).

Image of the Beast

"...and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws" (Dan. 7:24-25).
The Sea Beast (Horn in Daniel) was different, in that it was a religious-political power. As such, the Papacy enforced its religious views through the power of the state by enacting laws. The "image of the beast" is the formation of another power that will resemble the Papacy by enacting laws that attempt to force the conscience and are contrary to God's law.
"...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. 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" (Rev. 13:14-15).
This may seem like an impossible occurrence in the United States of America, the land of freedom. But, an examination of the country's direction shows a degrading of liberties. One can imagine that severe economic troubles, terrorism and increasing natural disasters could very well cause the rights of individuals to be trampled upon. In seeking order out of chaos, many would unite and do whatever it takes to overcome mass panic and threatening situations.

Protestants, who fled the persecution of Papal Rome during the Middle Ages, will become a persecuting power themselves. The very nation they built to protect freedoms, Protestants will influence to make laws that trample on freedoms.

In the Hand and Forehead

"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..." (Rev. 13:16-17).
Before the Lamb-like beast tries to kill all those who do not worship the image of the beast (those who do not obey the religious-based laws enforced through the state powers that contradict God's law), it apparently tries to convince them to obey by making life difficult for them. Not being able to buy or sell would mean a very difficult existence for many people across the globe. For those who choose to obey God's law above man's law, life will become quite tough.
"Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes" (Deut. 11:18) (see also Deut 6:8, Ex. 13:9,16).
The Israelites were instructed to bind God's laws on their hand and between their eyes. This meant that God wanted His people to obey and do them (hand) and believe and think them (forehead). In the same way, He also wants us today to believe and do what He commands. This is possible because He writes the law in our hearts (Heb. 8:10). The mark of the beast is not a tattoo or computer chip, but rather it is the Sea Beast's law that a person chooses to follow. The beast wants to put its own law on your hand or between your eyes.

A Test of Loyalty

"...and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Rev. 14:11-12).
We previously referred to the next chapter, Revelation 14, where the warning message is given to the world to avoid the mark of the beast. At the end of the warning, the prophecy contrasts those who worship the beast and its image and receive its mark, with those who keep God's commandments. A simple distinction is made between those who receive the mark of the beast and those who do not; those who follow the beast's law receive its mark, and those who follow God's law receive God's mark.
"Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold... And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace" (Dan. 3:1, 6).
The famous story of the fiery furnace in Daniel 3 provides an illustration of this last day event. Nebuchadnezzar tried to force everyone to worship the image he had made, or else die. Daniel's three friends were good citizens, even being promoted to leadership positions in Babylon. They followed the laws of the land, until the laws conflicted with God's law. The same test of loyalty is repeated in the last days when believers are forced to worship the image of the beast, or else die.

Following Man's Law Above God's Law

What are the Sea Beast's laws and how do they contradict God's laws? The times and laws that the Papacy thought to change (Dan. 7:25) and enforce through the state powers, were obviously not civil laws, because all nations have to create and modify laws to accommodate their specific culture, changing technologies and new situations. There is nothing unique or wrong about that and Jesus and other Bible writers taught to obey the laws of the land (unless it opposes God's law). So, it must be God's law that the Papacy would try to change. This makes sense since this power is described as speaking great words against the most High, magnifying himself even to the prince of the host, casting truth to the ground and blaspheming.

Let's examine how the Papacy has changed God's law...
The Catholic 10 Commandments
(short version) Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church

1. I am the LORD your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.

2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

3. Remember to keep holy the LORD'S Day.

4. Honor your father and your mother.

5. You shall not kill.

6. You shall not commit adultery.

7. You shall not steal.

8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

9. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.

Changing "Times and Laws"

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them htat love me, and keep my commandments" (Ex. 20:4-6
The Catholic 2nd Commandment:
2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

At first glance, the 10 commandments as taught by the Papacy appear basically the same as the original text. However, there are two major differences. One is that the second commandment forbidding graven images has been omitted (note: they split the 10th commandment into two in order to still have 10 total commandments). Some reason that the second commandment is included in the first, so it is unnecessary. Because of this stance, this change in God's law cannot by itself fulfill the prophecy, because the horn would "think to change the times and the law". It would be an intentional, deliberate change.
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it" (Exodus 20:8-11).
The Catholic 3rd Commandment:
3. Remember to keep holy the LORD'S Day.

That deliberate change is fulfilled in the Papacy's claim to have authority to change the fourth commandment (which they made into the 3rd). This also addresses both "the times and the law" aspects of the prophecy, because the 4th commandment involves a time period in its law. The Catholic Church openly claims to have the authority to change the Sabbath day from the 7th day to the 1st day of the week. The next few screens include various quotes from Catholic leaders and sources for your review.

Quotes From Catholic Sources

The following quotes are from Catholic sources for your review. As you read the quotes, keep in mind that no one has the mark of the beast until the image of the beast is setup. Until laws are enforced that require following the beast's law over God's law, no one has received the mark. We learn in a later study that God sends a final message to the entire world, which lets them know how to avoid the mark of the beast. Until hearing that warning, those living according to the information God has given them are loyal to God, even if they are not yet aware of the differences in the Beast's law and God's law.
"Sunday is a Catholic institution, and its claims to observance can be defended only on Catholic principles...From beginning to end of scripture there is not a single passage that warrants the transfer of weekly public worship from the last day of the week to the first." Catholic Press, Sydney, Australia, August, 1900.

“Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change [from Saturday to Sunday] was her act. It could not have been otherwise, as none in those days would have dreamed of doing anything in matters spiritual and religious without her, and the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters." Letter from H.F. Thomas, Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons.
"It was the Catholic Church which, by the authority of Jesus Christ, has transferred this rest [from the Bible Sabbath] to the Sunday... Thus the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] Church." Monsignor Louis Segur, "Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today," p. 213.

"Protestants...accept Sunday rather than Saturday as the day for public worship after the Catholic Church made the change...In observing the Sunday, they are accepting the authority of the spokesman for the church, the Pope." Our Sunday Visitor, February 5, 1950.
"Ques.--Have you any other way of proving that the [Catholic] Church has power to institute festivals of precept [to command holy days]?"

"Ans.--Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her: She could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority." Stephan Keenan, "A Doctrinal Catechism," p. 176.

Quotes From Catholic Sources (continued)

Not the Creator of the Universe, in Genesis 2:1-3, --but the Catholic Church "can claim the honor of having granted man a pause to his work every seven days" S.D. Moana, "Storia della Domenica," 1969, pp. 366-367. "...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, Redemptorist Catholic College, Kansas City, Mo., lecture "Sunday in History", p 56, February 18, 1884.
It seems almost implausible that an individual or organization would deliberately attempt to change God's law in full knowledge that it conflicts with scripture. But, examine the following claims of the Catholic Church. There is no doubt that an extraordinary exalting of self, to a place even above God, is taking place. With this kind of positioning, it becomes a small thing to claim the authority to change the Law of God.
"We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty." Pope Leo XIII, in an Encyclical Letter, dated June 20, 1894.

"The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ Himself, hidden under veil of flesh." "The Catholic National, "July 1895.

"We define that the Holy Apostolic See [the Vatican] and the Roman Pontiff holds the primacy over the whole world." A Decree of the Council of Trent, quoted in Philippe Labbe and Gabriel Cossart, 'The Most Holy Councils," Vol. 13, col. 1167.

The Number of the Beast

"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" (Rev. 13:17-18).
The number of the beast is also the number of a man. Since the beast is Papal Rome, then it makes sense to look for the number in the name or title of its leader. (Note that Jesus' title is also referred to as a name in Rev. 19:16.) Many have done this with the letters in one of the titles of the Pope, "Vicarius Filii Dei" (Vicar of The Son of God), which are summed to total 666 in Roman numerals.

Many names throughout history have been calculated to add up to 666. This number alone, cannot be used to identify the Beast. But, with a plentitude of other pointed evidence throughout prophecy, the true identity of the Sea Beast is clear and the number must apply to it, whether in this title or in some other way. (Note: The number 666 can also be tied to Satan and sun worship, however it is the "number of a man", which indicates a human, not an angel, is the primary symbolism intended.)

False Worship Permeates the World

"...and all the world wondered after the beast" (Rev. 13:3).

"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life..." (Rev. 13:8).
While the evidence shows that the identity of the Sea Beast is Papal Rome, it also reveals the Lamb-like Beast is Protestant USA. In a later study we see Babylon being comprised of three parts;
  1. Catholicism,
  2. Protestantism and
  3. Spiritualism.
So, the whole Christian world is caught up in this system of false worship. The goal here is not to point an accusing finger, but to expose deceptions that many have no idea exist, and to encourage all of us to look at our own lives and examine whether we are ready to follow God no matter where He leads.
" out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philip. 2:12).
It is also important to note that it is false organizations and religious systems that God is exposing with these prophecies. It is not church members or followers within the organizations that are being symbolized. Rather, as we will study in an upcoming presentation, God is calling His people out of these false systems to true worship. He calls them "My people" (Rev. 18:4)! This is another reason to study carefully what He says and to closely examine the organizations to which we belong and support.

Your Choice

"Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments" (Rev. 16:7).

"Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good" (Rom. 7:12).
Taking the time to get to know Jesus Christ results in trust and appreciation for how He treats people and how He will run His kingdom. If we see and believe His love, justice and rightness, then it naturally follows that we would want to obey His law. Why wouldn't we trust in God's wisdom above human wisdom?
"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

“But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" (Matt. 15:3).

“Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Mark 7:7).
Prophecy reveals that all the symbolism, calculations and powers involved, are converging on one thing; your choice. Who will you worship and how? Will you obey God and follow His law, the way He wrote it, or will you follow man’s modified version and traditions?

Prophecy Timeline

Appendix: Legislative Limits

"He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself" (Luke 10:26-27).
As an involved citizen and concerned Christian, how can we advocate justice, promote protection and safety, create good laws and yet not cross the line into matters of worship and restricting freedom? The Bible provides guidance for this difficult question. When Jesus summarized the law for a certain lawyer, He mentioned two categories; (a) love God, and (b) love neighbor.
"On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matt. 22:40).
The first four commandments deal with our love for God (idols, name in vain, Sabbath), and the last six deal with our love for our fellow humans (murder, stealing, adultery, etc.). This distinction provides a safe line upon which we can base legislation efforts. We need laws to protect one person from another. However, we should not legislate laws to control a person's relationship with God. This is where a dangerous church-state relationship occurs that will inevitably result in corruption and persecution, just like prophesy has shown to be true in the past and predicts will occur in the future. Let us all work to keep this line distinct, to protect rights and freedoms and allow the worship of God to function how He desires it...out of a willing and true heart.

Appendix: Restoration of the Theocracy

"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory" (Matt. 25:31).

"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Rev. 11:15).
It is true that the Israelite nation had laws regarding their relationship to God and penalties for breaking those first four commandments. This was correct and right because God was the direct ruler of the nation (up until the time they chose to have a human king instead). Only when a ruler can read the heart, is he capable of legislating matters relating to the heart. Of course, only God can read the heart (Heb. 4:13, Psalm 44:21), so until He restores a theocratic type of government, it would follow that we should not attempt any legal involvement in these matters.
“And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return" (Luke 19:11-12).

“Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here [is] Christ, or there; believe [it] not...Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, [he is] in the secret chambers; believe [it] not...For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matt. 24:23-27).
Christ's kingdom is yet future. He will not rule until after He receives His kingdom and returns a second time (which the Bible teaches is a visible and loud event that everyone will see - Rev. 1:7). So do not be deceived by earthly powers into supporting (a) laws that contradict God's law, (b) laws that legislate the first four commandments, or (c) laws claimed to be issued by an angel or Christ Himself who is supposedly somewhere on earth.

End of Study

Examine what the scriptures teach about other topics at...

Copyright ©2020 Dennis Wagner. Reproduction and/or distribution of this Bible study is encouraged. However, no part of this Bible study may be modified in any way without the written consent of the copyright holder. For comments and questions, please contact us.

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (KJV). Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. The "NIV" and "New International Version" are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™