Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, October 1, 2015
My friends, I must admit that this devotional thought has been the most complex I have undertaken in this series, and it’s not because the content is unclear. It’s actually easier to accurately trace than the seven trumpets. One reason writing a devotional such as this is complex is because it has such overwhelming implications, that nobody in this world, whether religious, irreligious, or otherwise (whatever that means) can afford to miss. There is a built-in flaw in attempting to present the issues of Revelation 13 in a devotional format, especially when you have a technical mind like mine. I believe it is necessary to substantiate every claim we make here, yet since this is not a Bible study format, and entire books have been dedicated to this subject for the purpose of clarity; I thought it necessary to direct you to some incredible outside resources to provide such clarity. While I have begun writing on the subject, it is best that I give you a synopsis of the subject matter with the hopes that you will refer to the resources provided for full substantiation of the claims I will make as a matter of fact. Once I have given the synopsis of the text, please be certain to read it in its entirety below.
Thanks much for your patience, and prayerful consideration of this vital subject.
Five great resources for unpacking Revelation 13
2. Terrible Beast’s Horns in Daniel 7 by Amazing Discoveries: http://amazingdiscoveries.org/S-deception_end-time_Antichri…
3. The Beast of Revelation 13, Parts 1-3 by Amazing Facts: http://www.amazingfacts.org/…/the-beast-of-revelation-13–p…
4. Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith: http://www.amazon.com/Daniel-Revelation-Uriah…/…/ref=sr_1_5…
5. The United States in the Light of Prophecy Or, an Exposition of Rev. 13:11-17: http://www.amazon.com/United-States-Light-Pro…/…/ref=sr_1_3…
Through the use of several, easily applied symbols from Daniel 7, and well-documented history, the Lord communicated an astounding vision to His servant John.
Following the successive world empires accurately prophesied to Nebuchadnezzar in a dream (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and pagan Rome), another unusual power arose from among the populace—papal Rome. She was unusual in the sense that she had both religious and political authority. Through an incredible saga of events, papal Rome blasphemously amended the Ten Commandment Law, making adjustments to God’s command to refrain from worshiping idols, and His command to keep holy the seventh-day Sabbath. Further flexing her purported ecclesiastical authority, papal Rome welcomed all seekers to confess even their secret sins to equally sinful priests so the priests could mediate their absolution, even though the Bible says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2:5–6). And remarkably, this power martyred thousands of God’s people who refused to bow to their dogma above the Bible’s clear teachings, for exactly 1,260 long years. It was a time of trouble on a level the world had never before seen. It seemed that nobody could end this onslaught.
But the Lord was good to His people. In the year 1798, Napoleon’s general Berthier marched into Rome with his troops and arrested the Pope, thereby ending that 1,260 year nightmare. The papacy had suffered a deadly wound.
However, in another twist nobody may have expected, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini coordinated what is called the Lateran Treaty of 1929, wherein the Kingdom of Italy agreed to give financial support to the papacy in exchange for public support. The treaty had been upheld since that time until it was incorporated into the democratic Constitution of Italy, that the Holy See in the State of Vatican City would have sovereignty. The wound from 1798 was rapidly being healed and the papacy received both religious and political authority.
Predictably, another power would rise from a sparsely populated area nowhere near Europe very near the time of Napoleon’s move on the Pope. The United States of America, the country of freedom and justice for all would arise with two invaluable principles, which made her great—Protestantism (no Pope) and Popular Sovereignty (no Monarch). As long as this land of opportunity, which has opened her shores to peoples from around the world continues to be a shining light of freedom, she will continue to be great! Many went to the new world to be able to worship according to the dictates of their conscience, and not papal mandates. In America, all can worship (or not) as we please.
However, prophecy predicts an unconscionable twist that may seem impossible. Unfortunately, events will become so complicated that the land of the free will one day enact laws that subject its citizens to worshipping the ideologies of the papacy, which will mysteriously spread around the world. One of the papacy’s claims to fame, which we already alluded to was her purported authority to switch the solemnity of the seventh-day Sabbath time that is firmly sealed in the center of God’s Holy Law, to the first day of the week. This will one day become the central discussion in both the religious and political worlds, to the point that laws that compel conscience on the pain of death, will be enacted and somehow fully restore the papacy to prominence. I admit this seems far-fetched, but we have gotten glimpses of Sunday blue laws for hundreds of years. America actually even considered a national Sunday bill introduced by Senator Blair in the 50th Congress, which Alonzo T. Jones ably argued against before the United States Senate Committee on Education and Labor on December 13, 1888.
As we have seen from the moment we started surveying the book of Revelation, God’s supreme interest is saving the entire world from sin. Jesus came and died in our stead, so we can live with Him, having confessed and forsaken our sins forever. We all have a choice. We can read the prophecies and see them as cryptic and nonsensical, or ask God to open our eyes to the reality of what is coming, so we can be safe on His side. I admit that it will take some time for many of you to process the information I quickly dropped into your lap, but I beg you to be prayerful and have a deep look at the five resources I provided earlier for substantiation of the facts. See what the Lord is saying, and ask Him what He wants you to do about it.
“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. 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? 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.” (Revelation 13:1–18).
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, will you please give us special skill and wisdom today? In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.-