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The Image Of The Beast
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The leopard-like beast, the lamb-like beast, and the image of the beast are three powers described as symbols in Revelation, chapter 13. The lesson we are about to study focuses on dramatic events in the political and religious world.
The Lamb-Like Beast
1. Who represents the leopard-like beast?
“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 blasphemy. 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.” Revelation 13:1-2.
NOTE: "In chapter 13 (verses 1-10) is described another beast, 'like unto a leopard,' to which the dragon gave 'his power, and his seat, and great authority.' This symbol, as most Protestants have believed, represents the papacy, which succeeded to the power and seat and authority once held by the ancient Roman Empire. Of the leopard-like beast it is declared: 'There was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. . . . And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against Yahuwah, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 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.' This prophecy, which is nearly identical with the description of the little horn of Daniel 7, unquestionably points to the papacy." The Great Controversy 1911 ed, page 439.
2. As the first beast [Papacy] was being led away into captivity, what did John see?
“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.” Revelation 13:11.
“At that time the prophet beheld a new power coming up, represented by the beast with lamb-like horns. The appearance of this beast and the manner of its rise seem to indicate that the power which it represents is unlike those brought to view under the preceding symbols. The great kingdoms that have ruled the world obtained their dominion by conquest and revolution, and they were presented to the prophet Daniel as beasts of prey, rising when the 'four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.' [DAN. 7:2.] But the beast with horns like a lamb is seen 'coming up out of the earth;' [REV. 13:11.] signifying that instead of overthrowing other powers to establish itself, the nation thus represented arose in territory previously unoccupied, and grew up gradually and peacefully.” The Great Controversy 1884 ed, page 277.
There are very clear identification marks associated with the second beast and by these we can be sure as to who the power is:
It rises to power when the Papacy receives a deadly wound.
This power rises out of the earth, an area that is the opposite to the sea, from which the first beast arises. [Sea or waters represent peoples and nations. When troubled, they represent strife and warfare.]
It rises silently, like a plant growing out of the earth. This is the meaning of the Greek word 'anabaino' translated 'coming up'.
It is lamb-like. This means that it is youthful, innocent, harmless and gentle.
It has two symbols of power (horns) that are lamblike. Yahushua is represented as the Lamb of Yahuwah.
It ultimately possesses world-wide influence.
After the healing of the deadly wound, it enforces papal policy.
It promotes the formation of 'the image to the beast'.
It enforces obedience to 'the image to the beast.'
The form of enforcement is characterized by a particular mark, 'the mark of the beast'. The only power that fulfills ([or will fulfill] these points is the United States of America. (Condensed from Cooke, When Religious Persecution Returns, page 3.)
A Persecuting Power
3. Who could represent this image of the beast?
“But the stern tracings of the prophetic pencil reveal a change in this peaceful scene. The beast with lamb-like horns speaks with the voice of a dragon, and "exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him." The spirit of persecution manifested by paganism and the papacy is again to be revealed. Prophecy declares that this power will say "to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast." [REV. 13:14.] The image is made to the first or leopard-like beast, which is the one brought to view in the third angel's message. By this first beast is represented the Roman Church, an ecclesiastical body clothed with civil power, having authority to punish all dissenters. The image to the beast represents another religious body clothed with similar power. The formation of this image is the work of that beast whose peaceful rise and mild professions render it so striking a symbol of the United States. Here is to be found an image of the papacy.” The Great Controversy 1884 ed, page 277.
"When the churches of our land, [USA] uniting upon such points of faith as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and sustain their institutions, then will protestant America have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy. Then the true [ekklesia] will be assailed by persecution, as were [Yahuwah's] ancient people. Almost every century furnishes examples of what bigotry and malice can do under a plea of serving [Yahuwah] by protecting the rights of Church and State. Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliance with worldly powers have manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience. In the seventeenth century thousands of non-conformist ministers suffered under the rule of the Church of England. Persecution always follows religious favoritism on the part of secular governments." The Great Controversy 1884 ed, page 278.
Answer: We can see that the image would be a protestant religious ecclesiastical power united with the civil power of the state to force obedience to the rules and commands of the church, just like Catholicism.
"The image is made to the first or leopard-like beast, which is the one brought to view in the third angel's message. By this first beast is represented the Roman church, an ecclesiastical body clothed with civil power, having authority to punish all dissenters. The image to the beast represents another religious body clothed with similar power." Ibid, page 278.
So when the protestant churches waive their differences in doctrinal beliefs and unite upon the same common points of faith and shall call upon and influence the civil authorities to enforce their rules and commands, then will the different churches of protestantism have formed themselves into an image of the beast.
4. What must occur before any of the protestant churches can form themselves into an image of the Catholic Church?
"It was apostasy that led the early [ekklesia] to seek the aid of the civil government, and this prepared the way for the development of the papacy--the beast....So apostasy in the [ekklesia] will prepare the way for the image to the beast." The Great Controversy 1911 ed, page 443-44.
“The image to the beast represents another religious body clothed with similar power. The formation of this image is the work of that beast whose peaceful rise and mild professions render it so striking a symbol of the United States. Here is to be found an image of the papacy.” The Great Controversy 1884 ed., page 277.
Answer: So before any of the protestant churches can form themselves into an image of the beast they must first refuse to obey Yahuwah's light and truths and choose apostasy and Satan's darkness instead. And the greater the light they reject, the greater the apostasy and darkness that will occur. And the greater the apostasy, the more closely will that church resemble Rome.
5. What are some of the names of the protestant churches?
--Baptist and etc.
6. Of all these different protestant churches which we named, have all of them rejected the light of Heaven and Yahuwah's truth to choose darkness and apostasy instead?
7. How does the second beast [Protestant America] resemble the first [Papacy or Roman Catholic Church]?
“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.” Revelation 13:12.
“Here is a striking figure of the rise and growth of our own nation. And the lamb-like horns, emblems of innocence and gentleness, well represent the character of our government, as expressed in its two fundamental principles, Republicanism and Protestantism. The Christian exiles who first fled to America, sought an asylum from royal oppression and priestly intolerance, and they determined to establish a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty. These principles are the secret of our power and prosperity as a nation. Millions from other lands have sought our shores, and the United States has risen to a place among the most powerful nations of the earth.
"But the stern tracings of the prophetic pencil reveal a change in this peaceful scene. The beast with lamb-like horns speaks with the voice of a dragon, and 'exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him.' The spirit of persecution manifested by paganism and the papacy is again to be revealed.” The Great Controversy, 1884 ed., page 277.
8. What means will be used to induce people to worship the first beast [Papacy or Roman Catholic Church]?
“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.” Revelation 13:13.
NOTE: "Some will be tempted to receive these wonders as from [Yahuwah]. The sick will be healed before us. Miracles will be performed in our sight. Are we prepared for the trial which awaits us when the lying wonders of Satan shall be more fully exhibited? Will not many be ensnared and taken? By departing from the plain precepts and commandments of [Yahuwah] and giving heed to fables, the minds of many are preparing to receive these lying wonders. We must all now seek to arm ourselves for the contest in which we must soon engage. Faith in [Yahuwah's] word, prayerfully studied and practically applied, will be our shield from Satan's power and will bring us off conquerors through the blood of [Yahushua]." Marantha, page 208.
9. What is the purpose of these wonders and miracles?
“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; 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.” “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause Yahuwah shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” “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.” Revelation 13:14. Compare 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11 & Revelation 16:13-14.
NOTE: "Among the most successful agencies of the great deceiver are the delusive teachings and lying wonders of spiritualism. Disguised as an angel of light, he spreads his nets where least suspected. If men would but study the Book of [Yahuwah] with earnest prayer that they might understand it, they would not be left in darkness to receive false doctrines. But as they reject the truth they fall a prey to deception… Many endeavour to account for spiritual manifestations by attributing them wholly to fraud and sleight of hand on the part of the medium. But while it is true that the results of trickery have often been palmed off as genuine manifestations, there have been, also, marked exhibitions of supernatural power… But none need be deceived by the lying claims of spiritualism. [Yahuwah] has given the world sufficient light to enable them to discover the snare. As already shown, the theory which forms the very foundation of spiritualism is at war with the plainest statements of Scripture. The Bible declares that the dead know not anything, that their thoughts have perished; they have no part in anything that is done under the sun; they know nothing of the joys or sorrows of those who were dearest to them on earth." The Great Controversy, 1911 ed., pages 524, 553 & 556.
Receiving The Mark
10. How will the worship of the beast and its image be enforced?
“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 13:16-17.
NOTE: “The beast with lamb-like horns commands "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." [REV. 13:16, 17.] This is the mark concerning which the third angel utters his warning. It is the mark of the first beast, or the papacy, and is therefore to be sought among the distinguishing characteristics of that power. The prophet Daniel declared that the Roman Church, symbolized by the little horn, was to think to change times and laws, [DAN. 7:25.] while Paul styled it the man of sin, [2 THESS. 2:3, 4.] who was to exalt himself above Yahuwah. Only by changing Yahuwah's law could the papacy exalt itself above Yahuwah; whoever should understandingly keep the law as thus changed would be giving supreme honor to that power by which the change was made. Such an act of obedience to papal laws would be a mark of allegiance to the pope in the place of Yahuwah.
"The papacy has attempted to change the law of [Yahuwah]. The second commandment, forbidding image worship, has been dropped from the law, and the fourth commandment has been so changed as to authorize the observance of the first instead of the seventh day as the Sabbath. But papists urge as a reason for omitting the second commandment, that it is unnecessary, being included in the first, and that they are giving the law exactly as [Yahuwah] designed it to be understood. This cannot be the change foretold by the prophet. An intentional, deliberate change is brought to view: "He shall think to change times and laws." The change in the fourth commandment exactly fulfills the prophecy. For this change the only authority claimed is that of the church. Here the papal power openly sets itself above [Yahuwah].” The Great Controversy 1884 ed, page 279
11. What threat will hang over those who refuse to conform to these laws?
“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.” Revelation 13:15.
Answer: Death decree.
Satan Impersonates Yahushua
12. What is the crowning act of this image beast power?
“As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will attempt to personate [Yahushua]. The [ekklesia] has long professed to look to the Saviour's advent as the consummation of her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that [Yahushua] has come. In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of [Yahuwah] given by John in the Revelation. [REV. 1:13-15.] The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air, 'Christ has come! Christ has come!' The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands, and pronounces a blessing upon them, as [Yahushua] blessed his disciples when he was personally upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of [Yahushua], he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion. Like the Samaritans who were deceived by Simon Magus, the multitudes, from the least to the greatest, give heed to these sorceries, saying, This is ‘the great power of [Yahuwah].’" The Great Controversy, 1884 ed., pages 442-3.
13. What is Satan not permitted to counterfeit?
Answer: Satan is not permitted to counterfeit the manner of Yahushua’s advent.
“But the people of [Yahuwah] will not be misled. The teachings of this false christ are not in accordance with the Scriptures. His blessing is pronounced upon the worshipers of the beast and his image,--the very class upon whom the Bible declares that [Yahuwah's] unmingled wrath shall be poured out. And, furthermore, Satan is not permitted to counterfeit the manner of [Yahushua's] advent. The Scriptures teach that "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. 24:27.] that he "cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him;" [REV. 1:7.] that he will "descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of [Yahuwah];" [1 THESS. 4:16.] that he will "come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him," [MATT. 25:31.] and will "send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect." [MATT. 24:31.] Those who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive. By the testimony of the Scriptures they will detect the deceiver in his disguise.” The Great Controversy 1884 ed, page 443.
The Law And The Testimony
14. Who only will not be deceived?
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24.
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause Yahuwah shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10, 11.
“To all, the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation, the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of [Yahuwah] now so firmly established upon his word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible, and the Bible only? Satan will, if possible, prevent them from obtaining a preparation to stand in that day. He will so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of this life, and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief.” The Great Controversy, 1884 ed., page 443.
15. What two texts should keep us from falling into these deceptions?
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20.
“And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” John 14:29.
Is it your heart desire to follow Yahuwah regardless of any and all human pressure to follow another master?