All Bible texts are from the King James Version
Very soon there is coming to this sin sick world a crisis in which there will only be two sides. There will be no fence sitters, person with one foot on each side, nor anyone in the middle of the road. Each and every person alive upon this earth will have to choose one side or the other. Both sides will be told they will die if they choose the opposing side. One side will not be able to buy or sell anything which will make living extremely difficult, especially when you consider this includes buying food. However, the other side will suffer the full wrath of God poured out without mixture in the seven last plagues.
This whole crisis culminates with the end of the world as we know it, and the return of Jesus Christ - the Creator, Redeemer, Saviour, and Judge - of this world.
The big question is:-
Which side will you choose?
Before you make a choice that will affect if you live or die it is usually highly recommended that you understand what you are choosing between and the consequences of the choice.
So let us read these two opposing death threats found in consecutive chapter of Revelation :-
"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.
. . . 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.
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 13:12, end of 14, 15 - 17.
"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 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, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."
Revelation 14:9 - 11.
The two worshipping sides of this issue are :-
For any Christian this issue should be cut and dry. Most Christians would be horrified to think that people calling themselves Christians would worship a beast or an image especially if they have read the following Scriptures :-
"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 showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."
Exodus 20:4 - 6 (also see Deuteronomy 5:8-10).
"Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Matthew 4:10.
"And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. . . . And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things.
Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God." Revelation 19:10; 22:8, 9.
Yet this issue is obviously not as cut and dry as one would like to think because it involves deception on the part of those who make the image of the beast :-
"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; 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." Revelation 13:13, 14.
To make a conscious, rational, logical decision as to which side is right and which side is wrong you need to find out :-
Once you have done all this then you need to make your decision. To have knowledge of this information before the crisis occurs will most definitely be an advantage that any person should take. In fact, this is the reason why this information was given to John to write in a book which we call Revelation :-
". . . to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; . . . " Revelation 1:1 part only.
However, in the Bible the books of Daniel and the Revelation are called prophetic books because they use many symbols like beasts, sea, women, horns, etc., to depict certain things. To understand these symbols you need to interpret them. The interpretation of these symbols has not been left to human guesswork. Prophecy is history written in advance, and the book of Daniel provides the key to understanding it. A beast in prophecy symbolises a king or kingdom. "These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth." Daniel 7:17 and "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth," Daniel 7:23 indicate this. Note that 'king' and 'kingdom' are used interchangeably. Daniel 7:3 states that these four kings "came up from the sea", and sea or waters in prophecy represents "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Revelation 17:15.
To be able to identify what kingdom this beast represents we need to do a bit of digging and go back to the book of Daniel and compare symbols and what these kingdoms were prophesied to do. Then we can compare this with what is said about this beast in Revelation 13.
In Daniel chapter 2 we read that God gave Nebuchadnezzar a dream which he forgot but demanded his wise men tell him what he dreamt and interpret it for him. With God's help Daniel did this. In the dream the king saw an image with a head of gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. In verse 38 to 43 we read that Daniel interprets the dream with the head of gold being King Nebuchadnezzar or his kingdom of Babylon as the first kingdom, and the other three kingdoms will rise up after him and be inferior to him. The last kingdom of iron is broken up into ten kingdoms as the feet divide into ten toes.
Moving onto Daniel chapter 7 we see another prophecy about kingdoms using different symbols with all of them coming up out of the sea :-
So far we have only identified the first of these four kingdoms which is Babylon. The next chapter in Daniel, however, will identify the next two kingdoms. Reading Daniel chapter 8 we find :-
As we have identified the first three beasts or kingdoms as Babylon, Media and Persia, and Greece all we have to do is look to history to see what nation rose up after these which had world domination. The answer is Rome - first Pagan Rome then Papal Rome.
This is confirmed in Revelation 17 where is depicts a woman or church (see 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ezekiel 23:2-4) sitting on a beast with seven heads and ten horns. Five of the heads have already fallen, one is, and one is yet to come. This shows that these heads reign one after the other not at the same time. It then talks of a eighth head which is of the seven which appears to die but does not, then finally goes into eternal punishment. Paul finishes this chapter by saying, "the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth." and this was most definitely Rome. (verses 3 - 18)
To confirm that "the beast" or the first beast of Revelation 13 is indeed the same one as we have just identified, we need to compare what is said about it in Revelation 13 :-
|Rose up from the sea||Revelation 13:1 Daniel 7:3|
|Ten horns||Revelation 13:1 Daniel 7:7, 20|
|Seven heads||Revelation 13:1 Revelation 17:3|
|Upon his heads the name of blasphemy||Revelation 13:1 Revelation 17:3|
|One of his heads were wounded to death but lived||Revelation 13:2 Dan 8:25 Rev 17:11|
|Very war like and crushed opponents||Revelation 13:4 Daniel 7:25|
|Spoke great things and blasphemies||Revelation 13:5 Daniel 7:20|
|Was given 42 months, or a time, times and the dividing of time (1,260 years)||Revelation 13:5 Daniel 7:25|
|Blasphemy against God, his name, his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven||Revelation 13:6 Daniel 7:25; 8:11, 25|
|Made war with the saints and overcome them||Revelation 13:7 Daniel 7:21, 25; 8:24|
Rising up from the sea means that the kingdom arose in a heavily populated area and was fought for, unlike America or Australia which was sparsely populated and was taken over with no great war.
The ten horns and the ten toes represent the ten kingdoms that Pagan Rome divided into. Their ancient and modern names are:-
Of these ten horns three were plucked out by the root and in their place rose up a stout horn with eyes and a mouth saying very great things. The three that were plucked out were the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths.
The seven heads on this beast represent the seven forms of government that Rome used which were Kings, Consuls, Decemvirs, Dictators, Triumvirs, Caesars (or Emperors), and the External Caesars (under which would come in the Exarchate of Ravennal). The Popes would be the eighth head which is of the seven (Revelation 17:11).
In Revelation 12:3 we see that the dragon had crowns upon its seven heads. However, in Revelation 13:1 the composite beast has crowns on the ten horns showing a shift in power from Pagan Rome which were the seven heads, to Papal Rome which was the stout horn that plucked out three horns as it rose up. In verse 2 it says that the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. What dragon? The one from chapter 12 which was Pagan Rome.
No one who knows anything about history will deny the fact that Rome was a very war like nation. That it crushed all its opponents, and ruled with an iron fist. Not only this, but that it persecuted anyone and everyone who would agree with their religious dictates. Their rule lasted many hundreds of years which most of us call the "Dark Ages". Scripture refers to this time as a time, times, and the dividing of time (time = 1 year = 360 days, times = 2 years = 720 days, dividing of time = 1/2 year = 180, totalling 1260 days or prophetic years; and 42 months (42 x 30 days = 1260 days or prophetic years). This time is also referred to in Scripture in Revelation 12:14 where it speaks about the woman or God's church fleeing into the wilderness to escape persecution for a time, and times, and half a time.
This power, then, would reign supreme for 1260 days, each day standing for a year, or 1260 years (Ezekiel 4:6, Numbers 14:34); from 538 A.D., when the last of the opposing 'horns' was uprooted, till 1798. At the end of this time one of his heads were wounded to death. In the year 1798 Berthier, one of Napoleon's generals, took the French army to Rome, made the Bishop of Rome, Pope Pius VI prisoner, and carried him to France where he died. The civil power of the Papacy finally ceased and a republic was set up in Rome.
But the prophecy about the Papacy does not end here. It goes on to say that the deadly wound was healed. In 1800 another pope was elected; his palace and temporal dominion were restored, and every prerogative except that of a systematic persecutor, was again under his control; and thus the wound was healed. The Papacy is to continue until the close of time because as yet it has not done its full work.
From all of this evidence the only logical conclusion we can draw is that Papal Rome or the Roman Catholic Church which is not just a religious power but a political one too, is "the beast" or the first beast of Revelation 13. This in no wise means that all Roman Catholics are evil people, for nothing could be further from the truth. What it does mean is that the organisation called the Roman Catholic Church is not the true Christian Church but actually persecutes true Christians.
One of the last things that Revelation chapter 13 says about the first beast is, "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity." The next verse, verse 11, says that John saw another beast coming up. This sequence of events shows us that we are to look for a new kingdom arising at about the same time that the Pope was lead into captivity which was in 1798.
Not only this but this kingdom comes up out of the earth or a sparsely populated area. It is a country discovered, not conquered. It has "two horns like a lamb" indicating youth, gentleness and represents civil and religious freedom. But "he spake as a dragon" indicating that though professing to be followers of the Lamb of God, men become imbued with the spirit of the dragon. They profess to be meek and humble but they speak and legislate with the spirit of Satan, showing by their actions that they are the opposite of what they profess to be.
Only one power in history meets these prophetic specifications, namely the United States of America.
The prophecy continues that this kingdom will exercise all the power of the first beast. Rome held much sway in the courts of Kings during it's 1,260 year rule, and those who did not comply with their wishes were excommunicated. Today we see countries have trade sanctions placed against them if they don't comply to American's dictates, and the President of America has been heard on numerous occasions calling these independent sovereign nations "rouge states." Often when spoken of in the news the United States President is simply called "the President" as if the world only has one.
In the prophecy America goes on to cause all the earth to worship the Roman Catholic Church and make an image of the Roman Catholic Church. There is one thing that made/s the Roman Catholic Church different from most other powers - it is both a religious as well as political power. It is a church, and a state. It has priests and nuns, also it sends political diplomats to countries all over the world. When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.
The mark of the beast must be something that he sees as being something he has done by his own authority. Daniel 7:25 tells us that this beast power shall "think to change times and laws." This the Papacy has done by disposing of the second commandment (forbidding the worship of idols) and changing the fourth (the only one dealing with time). Go into any Catholic Church and you will see images or idols everywhere, and people worshipping them. Sunday, a pagan day of worship has been set up in place of the original seventh-day Sabbath kept by Christ and the apostles which has it's origin way back at Creation, and was kept by the Israelites before they reach Mt Sinai and will be kept in heaven (Exodus 16; Isaiah 66:23).
The Papacy claims the change of God's Sabbath to the first day of the week was her act and is the mark of her authority in religious things.
The mark of the beast is not merely an outward symbol. If so, it could be forced on those opposed to it. The mark of the beast will be received on the forehead or in the hand - the forehead symbolising belief, the hand co-operation with the authority.
No one has the mark today. It will be received only when a national or international Sunday law is enforced by legislation, to restrict the consciences of men, women and children in regard to their freedom of worship.
But when Sunday observance shall be enforced by law, and the world shall be enlightened concerning the obligation of the true Sabbath, then whoever shall transgress the command of God, to obey a precept which has no higher authority than that of Rome, will thereby honour popery above God. He is paying homage to Rome and to the power which enforces the institution ordained by Rome. He is worshipping the beast and his image. As men then reject the institution which God has declared to be the sign of His authority, and honour in its stead that which Rome has chosen as the token of her supremacy, they will thereby accept the sign of allegiance to Rome - "the mark of the beast." And it is not until the issue is thus plainly set before the people, and they are brought to choose between the commandments of God and the commandments of men, that those who continue in transgression will receive "the mark of the beast."
As the Beast has already been identified, the number, whatever significance it may have, must have a relationship to this power and is not it's mark. The number, says the prophecy, is the number of a man, and if it is to be derived from a name or title, the natural conclusion would be that is must be the name or title of some particular man. Vicarious Filii Dei, meaning "Vicar of the Son of God," is one of the titles for the Pope of Rome. The numerical value of the component letter of this title totals 666 as shown in the image below. (* Note:- U and V are interchangable.)
|V =||5||F =||0||D =||500||112|
|I =||1||I =||1||E =||0||53|
|C =||100||L =||50||I =||1||+ 501|
|A =||0||I =||1||=||501||= 666|
|R =||0||I =||1|
Throughout the Bible we read of wonderful miracles that happen for the benefit of those who have faith, even if that faith is very small. This was especially true of the disciples after Jesus returned to heaven (Mark 16:17, 18). When the Holy Spirit was poured out on Christ's disciples at Pentecost it was called the former rain. So in these last days of earth's history we can expect the latter rain or a more full outpouring of the Holy Spirit would it not stand to reason then that we should expect many miracles would be performed?
That is totally logical reasoning and we do see many miracles today in the Churches especially in those who believe in faith healing.
However, in Revelation 13 when talking about the second beast of this chapter - America - it says :-
"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;" Revelation 13:14.
Not only does this power who worships the Church who persecutes God's people, but it also does miracles to deceive people into believing that God is with them.
There is another time in Scripture where the people were called to choose between worshipping God or an idol. The one who answered by fire from heaven was to be proclaimed the true God (1 Kings 18:19 -39). On the surface this would seem a very definitive test, yet God's Word says :-
"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.
So in the last days the working of miracles is no proof that one is from God. Everyone who claims to be a messenger, prophet, etc. will have to stand the test of Isaiah 8:20 :-
"To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
So in this last conflict more that ever before we need to test everything we hear by God's Holy Word to see if it is really true or a deception, and most definitely not reply on that fact that a person performs miracles or great wonders.
The First Angel's Message :-
The first of these warnings announces the approaching judgement.
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgement is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." Revelation 14:6, 7.
The announcement, "The hour of His judgement is come," points to the closing work of Christ's ministration for the salvation of men. It heralds a truth which must be proclaimed until the Saviour's intercession shall cease and He shall return to the earth to take His people to Himself. The work of judgement which began in 1844 must continue until the cases of all are decided, both of the living and the dead; hence it will extend to the close of human probation. That men may be prepared to stand in the judgement, the message commands them to "fear God, and give glory to Him," "and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." The result of an acceptance of these messages is given in the word: "Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." In order to be prepared for the judgment, it is necessary that men should keep the law of God. That law will be the standard of character in the judgment. The apostle Paul declares: "As many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law, . . . in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ." And he says the "the doers of the law shall be justified." Romans 2:12 - 16. Faith is essential in order to the keeping of the law of God; for "without faith it is impossible to please Him." And "whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Hebrews 11:6; Romans 14:23.
By the first angel, men are called upon to "fear God and give glory to Him" and to worship Him as the Creator of the heavens and the earth. In order to do this, they must obey His law. Says the wise man: "Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:13. Without obedience to His commandments no worship can be pleasing to God. "This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments." 1 John 5:3. "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination." Proverbs 28:9.
The Second Angel's Message :-
The first angel is followed by a second proclaiming: "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Revelation 14:8. The term "Babylon" is derived from "Babel," and signifies confusion. It is employed in Scripture to designate the various forms of false or apostate religion.
The message of Revelation 14:8, announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt. Since this message follows the warning of the judgement, it must be given in the last days; therefore it cannot refer to the Roman Church alone, for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries. Furthermore, in the eighteenth chapter of the Revelation the people of God are called upon to come out of Babylon. According to this scripture, many of God's people must still be in Babylon. And in what religious bodies are the greater part of the followers of Christ now to be found? Without doubt, in the various churches professing the Protestant faith.
Many of the Protestant churches are following Rome's example of iniquitous connection with "the kings of the earth" - the state churches, by their relation to secular governments; and other denominations, by seeking the favour of the world. And the term "Babylon" - confusion - may be appropriately applied to these bodies, all professing to derive their doctrines from the Bible, yet divided into almost innumerable sects, with widely conflicting creeds and theories.
Besides a sinful union with the world, the churches that separated from Rome present other of her characteristics and doctrines:-
Idolatry in relation to the saints and statutes.
Anti Christian spirit and practices.
Natural immortality of the soul.
Eternal hell fire.
Righteous dead in heaven.
Denial of the pre-existence of Christ prior to his birth in Bethlehem.
God's church or people is to come out of the various denominations who are united with the state or civil government and/or whose doctrines cannot be fully supported by the Word of God.
The Third Angel's Message :-
"And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 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, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; 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." Revelation 14:9 - 12.
Here we read that anyone who worships the Beast - The Roman Catholic Church - and his image - Protestant churches uniting with the state to pass religious laws - and receive his mark - Sunday worship enforced by law - in his forehead - believes it to be correct - or in his hand - cooperation with authorities to avoid punishment - shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture - will be punished by God in a fire that will totally consume them so that they will be forgotten by those that are saved.
Despite how grim and fearful this warning is, it is immediately followed by a positive identification of those who will not be punished. They keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus Christ.
The Seal of God :-
A sign or seal is used with the same meaning in the Bible as in connection with laws or legal documents.
Note: An official seal must show three things:-
The seal of God is connected with His Law and is found in the fourth commandment.
Exodus 20:8-11 "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 they 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."
Read through all the ten commandments. Only in the fourth do we find:-
Ezekiel speaks of the Sabbath as being God's sign (seal). "Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them." Ezekiel 20:12.
Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Matthew 5:17, 18.
There was one who came to Jesus, asking, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. . . Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal . . ." Matthew 19:16-19.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth." John 1:1-3, 14. The seventh day Sabbath is an integral part of God's law, a weekly reminder of Christ our Creator and Redeemer.
God's people or church in the last days upholds all God's law: "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Revelation 12:17. (A woman in prophecy represents a church.)
So the other group of people who don't worship the beast, his image or receive him mark or the number of his name are clearly identified by one simple thing - they keep God's holy Law. Not just some of them, or nearly all of them, but they keep all ten of them.
Now that both sides have been identified, the choice you have to make has been shown, and the consequences of that choice has been clearly defined there is only one thing left to do - you have to make a decision!
"Here is the patience of the saints:
here are they that keep the commandments of God,
and the faith of Jesus."
"Choose you this day whom ye will serve;
whether the gods which your fathers served
that were on the other side of the flood,
or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell:
but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
© S. D. Goeldner
© S. D. Goeldner, February, 2011. Last updated November, 2019.
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