Grace Bible Church
Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week Ending 111515
The Doctrine of the Pivot. Part 10.
The Importance of understanding how and why you need to study Biblical Prophecy.
In a world filled with chaos and confusion as man simply seems to be running wild, many people are anxious about the future and the uncertainty about the future and what lies ahead steadily which is growing worse and worse. As our Lord said concerning the last days: LUK 21:26, “Men’s hearts will be fainting them from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world;” Consider 20 million people every day search the Internet daily for answers from religion and Christianity. They are searching for answers about the future yet confusion abounds even though the apostle Paul said in 1CO 14:33, for God is not a God of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. So confusion abounds, so does fear, and so disillusionment and sadly so also does anger...that’s right even anger.
People have become divided because of the differences they have with biblical prophecies. This is because with so many opinions available, millions of believers and even unbelievers, simply do not know what to believe or whom to believe and what they should do. Yet the answers to their questions are available. In fact, these answers can be proven straight from the Bible. Remember the Bible says such things as JER 29:13, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
In the passage before you, our Lord said in JOH 7:17, “If any man is willing to do God’s will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I am just speaking from Myself.” I believe that one of the main problems is the fact that we have ignored certain Biblical principles such as in 2CO 11:3 where the apostle Paul said But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
We have also ignored certain Biblical principles such as in MAT 18:3-4, where the Lord said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” I am here to tell you this morning that if you are interested in this and you are willing to take the time to prove the truth, the fog of fear, anxiety, disillusionment and frustration will disappear. For example, if you have been following what we have been studying in the book of Revelation, you already have some idea about the first beast mentioned in REV 13:1; 17:1, the RCC and the Papacy, the Roman empire, and there will be much more for you...if you desire it. But YOU have to want it. You can have it, if you want it!
If you do and stick with some of the principles of learning I have given you - and I am about to give to you, I believe you will soon have no doubt about what the future holds! And not only that, but instead of fear and confusion I believe you will be looking forward to TIT 2:13, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus;
This is what the Bible reveals as the Rapture; our Lord coming back to meet us in the clouds of the air. Now, put on your thinking caps with me, and listen to what I am about to say. Too much is at stake for guess work or blind acceptance of man’s opinions, in fact, more is at stake now then you can even imagine. The diligent Bible student always examines what the Bible has to say about the subject they desire to learn about, ACT 17:10-11. God has revealed to me that the majority of the time, the answers that we are looking for are crystal clear, right in front of us - and right to the point. We are the ones that complicate things. Remember, He calls us sheep not genius. This is something that He has been leading me too. By the way, the pastor who stops learning, stops teaching.
Let me give you some illustrations of what I mean.
- If you could lose your salvation, like many teach, isn’t it such a serious doctrine that He would not hide it from us but come right out and state that for His sheep to understand it, since it is so important? Then why don’t we have a passage that warns us... “Beloved, make sure you do not lose your salvation?”
Secondly, what about what many of the Baptist teach, why don’t we have a command for the church-age believer that says; Thou shall tithe, or thou shall get baptized in water, Paul said two things about that in EPH 4:4; 1CO 1:14.
Nor does the word of God say: thou shall speak in tongues, thou shall not get sick or suffer because all sickness and suffering is of the devil, thou shall worship Mary as the sinless one, who is the mother of GOD! Why don’t we have these things in writing directly, and right to the point, after all we are sheep! Well, the answer is that we don’t have these commands because they are not true for us today.
Now, let’s take the book of Revelation. Would God foretell plagues upon all who receive the mark of the beast and then leave mankind in the dark about what it is? Would He say in effect, “I am going to pour out My wrath upon the earth with all kinds of plagues causing the death of countless millions on those who have the mark but I will not tell you what it is or make it available for you to understand it” I will not tell you how to avoid it or how to escape from getting it. I cannot explain the mark of the beast, all I can do is show you what God has revealed then it will be up to you! But that knowledge cannot come unless some very necessary background is given to you first.
Therefore, for your sake and mine, I cannot afford to get involved with foolish and unlearned questions that the Bible says just genders or produces strive. We’ll see more of this information as we go on in our study. So the world is in confusion...but what do you expect when the lights of the world are confused and the salt of the earth, believers, have lost their savor or their taste. Terrorism, war, famine, disease, poverty, ignorance, civil unrest and misery are widespread and growing worse.
Where are these conditions leading and why? The world seems to be just drifting along—sleepy, drunken and oblivious to what lies ahead. The average person has no idea what the future holds—and many do not care. Few are concerned beyond “tomorrow”—and fewer still remotely suspect what is coming in our time. James put it like this in JAM 4:13-16, Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.
The apostle Paul said in EPH 5:14-18, “Awake, sleeper [or sleeping ones spiritually speaking], And arise from the dead[ones-other reversionists], And Christ will shine on you.” Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
When God’s Plan is understood, confusion, mystery and misunderstanding disappear. Events become clear! Historians can only record what has already happened. They cannot see into the future. Yet, one third of the Bible is prophecy, history written in advance.
ISA 41:21-24, “Present your case,” the Lord says. “Bring forward your strong arguments,” The King of Jacob says. Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place; As for the former events, declare what they were, That we may consider them, and know their outcome; Or announce to us what is coming. Declare the things that are going to come afterward, that we may know that you are gods; Indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together. Behold, you are of no account, And your work amounts to nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination.
Then notice ISA 42:9, “Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things; Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”
Then in ISA 44:7,‘And who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place.
ISA 46:9-11, “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.
God foretells major events before they happen. He wants you to know what the future holds—what lies ahead for the world. Much Bible prophecy remains unfulfilled. Many major events must yet come to pass. Conditions in Europe and around the world will soon dictate that the world is getting ready to receive a single great authority for a short time. The point is that behind the scenes, enormous events are now taking shape. Prophesied world trouble will end in events terrifying beyond description. They will soon stun and shake every nation on Earth! You say, that sounds like dooms day teaching! Have you been watching, listening, or reading what’s going on right before your eyes? Are you going to be like those who Peter warned us about in 2PE 3:3-4, when he said “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”
There will always be pessimists, those critical individuals who just simply can’t stand to see others excited and pumped up about the Word of God. World history is the study of the rise and fall of empires. But few know why great “civilizations” come and go, governments rise and fall—why events move as they do. This thinking is about to change—in a BIG WAY!
We are answering certain questions concerning who the Two Beasts are who are mentioned in the book of Revelation and whether or not the United States of America has a role and if it does, will there be a pivot that is in view in the last days of biblical prophecy. We have already answered two of the important questions we needed to understand as it relates to Bible prophecy.
- The first statement and question was that there are two world powers which are symbolized in Rev 13 and so who or what is the first beast or power mentioned? We noted that one of the most popular translations concerning this question is that The beast with seven heads is none other than referring to the Roman Empire, especially the Roman papacy or the RCC and the place of the Pope. This beast or empire is mentioned in the book of Daniel which identifies certain nations in Europe who were a part of the Roman Empire. And I have already mentioned who they could be referring to in our previous studies.
- Our second point or question is: In what year did the RCC and the papacy begin its’ world influence and power and in when would it lose that influence and power?
Answer:We noted that the RCC and the Papacy began its world influence and power in 538 AD and as the Bible seems to predict, it would lose its world influence and power in 1260 years later in 1798, when Napoleon’s General Berthier took the pope captive and the papal power received its deadly wound. The Bible predicted that the Papacy would lose its world influence and power at the end of the 42 months. This prophecy was fulfilled in 1798, when Napoleon’s General Berthier took the Pope captive and the Papal power received its deadly wound.
So, here is my conclusion I gave ion closing on Friday that I need to give again because I have added some things to it. The Bible predicted that the papacy would have 42 prophetic months, or 1,260 literal years. This prophecy was fulfilled in 1798 when General Berthier, one of Napoleon’s Generals, took the Pope captive and the papacy received its deadly wound (REV 13:3).Beginning in REV 13:11, what nation would rise around the same time that the papal power was wounded? REV 13:11, 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.Therefore, and this is not an absolute interpretation but an absolute consideration or question, what new nation arose at the time that the first beast lost its power and influence? The RCC and the Papacy received its deadly wound in 1798. The United States declared independence in 1776, voted the Constitution in 1787, adopted the Bill of Rights in 1791, and was definitely a world power by 1798.
In Daniel an Revelation, most nations are said to “rise out of the sea.” This new nation is different. For example, in REV 13:1, And he stood on the sand of the seashore and I saw a beast coming up out of the sea,
DAN 7:3, “And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.”
However, here it says that it rose out of the earth. What does this mean? Look at REV 13:11, And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. Revelation shows that water symbolizes areas that have large populations (REV 17:15), such as in Europe. The earth would be the opposite. This new nation would arise in a sparingly populated area. For example, look at REV 17:15, And he said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.”
This second beast or nation begins with just a few individuals involved. History says that the U.S. always was large in terms of area, but its population was small, only 4 million in 1790, reaching 7.2 million in 1810, 32 million in 1860, 76 million in 1900, 132 million in 1940, and 321 million in 2015. However, the point is it began as a small nation as far as population was concerned!
REV 13:11 says that the beast “out of the earth” will have two horns like a lamb. And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, also note that these horns do not have crowns like the First Beast. The First Beast is said to have diadems or crowns in REV 13:1, And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems or ten crowns. What do the horns represent? In DAN 7:24, it says that horns represent kings or governments.
DAN 7:24, “As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.”
In the case of this beast, the two horns could represent America’s two governing principles: civil and religious liberty, or church and state. In the early day of our nation you could also call these Republicanism and Protestantism. America was the first country to give you freedom of worship without government interference. The absence of crowns on the horns represents a republican form of government, rather than being a monarchy. A monarchy is a country that is ruled by a monarch, and monarchy is this system or form of government. A monarch, such as a king or queen, rules a kingdom or empire.
Lamb-like horns symbolize an innocent, young, and spiritual nation. This new beast, or government, would try to uphold its beginning doctrinal principles. Therefore, only America could fit the correct time-slot and characteristics of this Second Beast. America started out innocent and non-oppressive. The Bible tells us, though, that a major nation will soon war against the saints. In REV 13:11, we have another description of this nation when it says that the Second Beast which comes up out of the earth; not only has two horns like a lamb, but he also spoke as a dragon. Could it be that America will “speak like a dragon,” because speaking like a dragon could refer to the viewpoint of Satan and he will attempt to destroy God’s true people and force everyone to obey him.
So America could try and force people to worship against their own beliefs. But, Revelation doesn’t stop there. What else does it say America could do, if this is in view? In REV 13:12, And he exercises all the authority of the First Beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the First Beast, whose fatal wound was healed. This Second Beast will be a nation which “exercises all the power and the authority of the First Beast which was before him.” in REV 13:12. And then it says that the Second Beast makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the beast. Could America become a persecuting power that will try and force people to go against their conscience, just like Papal Rome, the First Beast of Revelation 13 did?
REV 13:12, And he exercises all the authority of the First Beast in his presence. And he causes earth and those who dwell in it to worship the First Beast, whose fatal wound was healed.
Without taking scriptures out of context, that the Second Beast causes those who are alive in the earth to worship the First Beast, who fatal wound was healed. Could it be that the United States will lead all nations of the world in forcing the worship of the First Beast, the Papal Antichrist. Do you think that an Arab nation who calls their God Allah, who they believe is greater than the Savior the Lord Jesus Christ, do you believe they will have the power to deceive all those who profess to be Christians to now worship Allah and follow the teaching of Mohammad?
I don’t think so!
I think that the Second Beast will be identified as a Christian nation who points to the First Beast, led by the Pope and Papal authority and the Second Beast will promote Jesus but not the Jesus of the Bible. They will promote a Jesus, but it will not be the Jesus of the Bible it will be what Paul warned the Corinthians of, another Jesus in 2CO 11:4, For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different gospel which you have not accepted, but you receive beautifully.
They will promote another doctrine but it will be doctrines from demons, 1TI 4:1. In other words, the Second Beast will point to the First Beast and promote: Another Jesus, another Spirit, another Gospel, another doctrine. That’s what we have to be concerned about! The Second Beast make it appear deeply spiritual as the Second Beast will also elevate signs and wonders and miracles. For in REV 13:13, concerning the Second Beast we read, And he performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. Remember that there are passages like MAT 16:4, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign;”
Notice REV 13:14, And he [the Second Beast] deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. Could be that America, the U.S.A. will make an image to the beast by making laws about religious practice. Even going so far as it did when the First Beast was ruling for a certain time, especially during the middle or dark ages, could it be that the Second Beast will require worship to the point of fear of death. This will be an image of the Church-state power that the papacy used in the Middle Ages, slaying millions of saints for their faith. The U.S. could join civil government and apostate Protestantism into a partnership that will support the Papacy.
Notice that in REV 13:15 we read And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. This Second Beast, this nation that we might be closer to than what we have thought before, as leader of this international apostasy, will impose a universal death sentence upon those who don’t worship the beast or his image. But, and here’s a very important question to consider, “Over what issue will force be used and the death sentence be passed?”
Well, let’s just read the passage even though these things may have stirred up many more questions that we now have that we did not have before we considered what we have been noting. REV 13:15-17, And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand, or on their forehead, and he provides that no one should be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.
The final issue will be about this: Are you willing to search out the truth and pay the price no matter what the consequences may be or would you rather not! Revelation reveals that there will be two superpowers at the end of time: could it be the United States of America and the RCC and the papacy working together?
The beast of REV 13:11-18 has some very interesting similarities and comparisons with America and there are many who even believe that the beast mentioned could symbolize America.