Photo Credit by Flickr/Orin Zebest

Photo Credit by Flickr/Orin Zebest

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Study for the Month of January 2015

The Image of the Beast-Part V

By Nathaniel Fajardo

Whole Gospel Ministries

email: natfajardo777@yahoo.com

Spirit of Prophecy References on the Image of the Beast, Mark of the Beast

This is a reference issue for the reader on what Ellen G. White wrote regarding the Image of the Beast, the beast and the mark of the beast, when and how it is received. It is not exhaustive but certainly clearly represents her exhaustive Bible-based teachings on the subject as well as that of the other respected Protestant scholars and writers before and after her time.

We firmly subscribe to and propagate the truths of her writings to as many and as quickly as we can through our limited sphere and means, seeing the shortness of time, believing that “our reward is in heaven.” This follows the alphabetical listing of the Comprehensive Index to the Writings of Ellen G. White, Volume II, Pacific Press Publishing Association, Boise, Idaho, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, Prepared Under the Direction of the Board of Trustees of the Ellen G. White Estate.

Warning: “We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Prophecy is fast fulfilling. The Lord is at the door. There is soon to open before us a period of overwhelming interest to all living.  The controversies of the past are to be revived; new controversies will arise. [could this refer to the new problems of cyber technology and the war on “terrorism” and against Islam extremists,  ISIS/ISIL, Boko Haram, Al Shabab, sleeper cells, and so-called lone-wolf terrorists, etc.]. The scenes to be enacted in our world are not yet even dreamed of. Satan is at work through human agencies. Those who are making an effort to change the Constitution and secure a law enforcing Sunday observance little realize what will be the result. A crisis is just upon us.” – Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 753.

 

Tracing the future development of the image of beast from the earliest beginnings, Great Controversy, (1911 ed.), pp. 438-450:

   “In contrast to those who keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus, the third angel points to another class, against whose errors a solemn and fearful warning is uttered: ‘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: 9.

   

    “A correct interpretation of the symbols employed is necessary to an understanding of this message. What is represented by the beast, the image, the mark?

     “The line of prophecy which these symbols are found begins with Revelation 12, with the dragon that sought to destroy Christ at His birth. The dragon is said to be Satan (Rev. 12: 9); he it was that moved upon Herod to put the Savior to death. But the chief agent of Satan in making war upon Christ and His people during the first centuries of the Christian Era [C.E.] was the Roman Empire, in which paganism was the prevailing religion. Thus while the dragon primarily, represents Satan, it is, in a secondary sense, a symbol of pagan Rome.

    

     “In chapter 13 (verses 1-10) is described another beast, ‘like unto a leopard,’ to which the dragon [pagan Rome] 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 God, 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.

     “‘Power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.’ And, says the prophet, I saw one of his heads as it were wounded unto death.’ And again: ‘He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with  the sword.’

     “The forty and two months are the same as the ‘time and times and the dividing of time,’ three years and a half, or 1260 days, of Daniel 7—the time during which the papal power was to oppress God’s people.

     “This period, as stated in the preceding chapters, began with the supremacy of the papacy, A.D. 538, and terminated in 1798. At that time the pope was made captive by the French army, the papal power received its deadly wound, and the prediction was fulfilled, ‘He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity.’

     “At this point another symbol is introduced. Says the prophet: ‘I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb,’ Verse 11. Both the appearance of this beast and the manner of its rise indicate that the nation which it represents is unlike those presented under the preceding symbols. The great kingdoms that have ruled the world were presented to the prophet Daniel as beasts of prey rising when ‘the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.’ Daniel 7: 2. In Revelation 17 an angel explained that waters represent peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.’

     “Winds are a symbol of strife. The four winds of heaven striving upon the great sea represent the terrible scenes of conquest and revolution by which kingdoms have attained to power.

     “But the beast with lamblike horns was seen ‘coming up out of the earth.’ Instead of overthrowing other powers to establish itself, the nation thus represented must arise in territory previously unoccupied and grow up gradually and peacefully. It could not be, then, arise among the crowded and struggling nationalities of the Old World—the turbulent sea of ‘peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues [languages].’ It must be sought in the Western Continent.

     “What nation of the New World was in 1798 rising into power, giving promise of strength and greatness, and attracting the attention of the world? The application of the symbols admit of no question. One nation, and only one, meets the specification of this prophecy; it points unmistakably to the United States of America.

     “Again and again the thought, almost the exact words, of the sacred writer [John] has been unconsciously employed by the orator and the historian in describing the rise of and growth of this nation. The beast was seen ‘coming up out of the earth;’ and, according to the translators, the word here rendered ‘coming up’ literally signifies ‘to grow or spring up as a plant.’ And, as we have seen, the nation must arise in territory previously unoccupied.

     “A prominent writer, describing the rise of the United States, speaks of ‘the mystery of her coming forth from vacancy,’ and says: ‘Like a silent seed we grew into an empire.’ –G.A. Townsend, The New World Compared With the Old, page 462.

    “A European journal in 1850 spoke of the United States as a wonderful empire, which was ‘emerging,’ and ‘amid the silence of the earth daily adding to its power and pride.’ —The Dublin Nation.

     “Edward Everett, in an oration on the Pilgrim founders of this nation, said: ‘Did they look for a retired spot, inoffensive for its obscurity, and safe in its remoteness, where the little church of Leyden might enjoy the freedom of conscience? Behold the mighty regions over which, in peaceful conquest, . . . . they have borne the banners of the cross!’ – Speech delivered at Plymouth, Massachusettes, Dec. 22, 1824, page 11.

    “‘And he had two horns like a lamb.’ The lamblike horns indicate youth, innocence, and gentleness, fitly representing the character of the United States when presented to the prophet as ‘coming up’ in 1798. Among the Christian exiles who first fled to America and sought an asylum from royal oppression and priestly intolerance were many who determined to set up a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty. Their views found place in the Declaration of Independence, which sets forth the great truth that ‘all men are created equal’ and endowed with the inalienable right to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’

     “And the constitution guaranties to the people the right of self-government, providing that representatives elected by the popular vote shall enact and administer the laws.

     “Freedom of religious faith was also granted, every man being permitted to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. Republicanism and Protestantism became the fundamental principle of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity. The oppressed and downtrodden throughout Christendom have turned to this land with interest and hope. Millions have sought its shores, and the United States has risen to a place among the most powerful nations of the earth.

     “But the beast with lamblike horns, ‘spake like a dragon. 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.’ Revelation 13: 11-14.

     “The lamblike horns and dragon voice of the symbol point to striking contradiction between the professions and the practice of the nation thus represented. The ‘speaking’ of the nation is the action of its legislative and judicial authorities. By such action it will give the lie to those liberal and peaceful principles which it has put forth as the foundation of its policy. The prediction that it will ‘speak as a dragon’ and exercise ‘all the powers of the first beast’ plainly foretells a development of the spirit of intolerance and persecution that was manifested by the nations represented by the dragon [pagan Rome] and the leopard-like beast [papal Rome]. And the statement that the beast with two horns ‘causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast’ indicates that the authority of this nation is to be exercised in enforcing some observance which shall be an act of homage to the papacy.

     “Such action would be directly contrary to the {1] principles of this government, [2] to the genius of its free institutions, [3] to the direct and solemn avowals of the Declaration of Independence, and [4] to the Constitution. The founders of the nation wisely sought to guard against the employment of secular power on the part of the church, with its inevitable result—intolerance and persecution.

     “The Constitution provides that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ and that ‘no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office of public trust under the United States.’ Only in flagrant violation of these safeguards to the nation’s liberty, can any religious observance be enforced by civil authority. But the inconsistency of such action is no greater than is represented in the symbol. It is the beast with lamblike horns—in profession, pure, gentle, and harmless—that speaks as a dragon.

    “‘Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast.’ Here is clearly presented a form of government in which the legislative power rests with the people, a most striking evidence that the United States is the nation denoted in the prophecy. …

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