THE LAST END-TIME PROPHECY
By: Elder Lawrence Nelson
This sermon is part of a series entitled SpiritualismNote : Chart included at the end of this article
Let us begin this study by asking a question. "Does the Bible contain a prophecy that deals with the culmination of Satan's masterpiece of spiritualism?" The answer is a very definite, "Yes."
Revelation chapter 17 is a prophecy of the final objective to which the papacy has been working under the daily guidance of Mary to unite the world by the year 2000. This achievement will make possible the millennium of peace in which the antichrist will be the ruler of the New World Order for a very short period of time, ending when Jesus Christ shall come as King of kings.
But before we proceed let us seek for heavenly guidance. Loving Father, grant us Thy divine wisdom as we explore the final achievements of spiritism as prophesied in Thy Word. Open to our understanding how Satan will set up his throne here on this earth to fulfil his satanic desire to be a king like the Most High. Help us to unravel this masterpiece of Satan as described in Thy Holy Word as "mystery Babylon," "the mother of harlots." May the Holy Spirit touch our spiritual eyesight that we might think Thy thoughts and discover the truth that we may not be misled by spiritism. This we ask in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Now, we are ready to study God's Word. I am reading from Revelation 17:1-5, "And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
"And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABONINATIONS OF THE EARTH."
Now, please keep in mind that there must be no guessing about this woman who is riding a beast, for this is a life and death issue. To be more pointed, it is a matter of heaven or hell. I invite you, at this time, to place the chart of the eight beasts before you. This chart was enclosed with this tape. If for some reason you do not have the chart you will find one in the back of the book The Antichrist. These beasts on this chart portray the earthly kingdoms covering some 6000 years from the creation of our world down to the last days when Christ has promised to return and usher in His everlasting kingdom.
Now, with this background, we are ready for a quick review of the first seven beasts which will help us to clearly understand the eighth beast which is the antichrist who has used spiritism to enthrone himself in a New World Order.
Now the Bible tells us exactly how this all started. The war broke out in heaven between Christ and His angels, and Satan and his angels who chose to follow him. The devil and his angels were cast out of heaven and came to this world where Adam and Eve had been given dominion over this earth. Let us read this in Revelation 12:7-9. Notice, "There was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
It was not long before Satan, coming to this world, deceived Adam and Eve, causing them to sin against God by eating of the forbidden fruit. This disobedience automatically placed the family of man on the side of Satan in the battle against God. Thus, the war, which began in heaven, continues on this earth with two opposing forces – the sons of God (who obey God the Creator) and the sons of men (who are loyal to Satan).
In prophecy God pictures this enemy power, now on this earth, as a great red dragon. This is beast #1 on the chart you have before you. Since God knows the end from the beginning, He has given us this picture of Satan's power which will continue to control this world until the end, when Jesus will come the second time to fight and to win the last battle called Armageddon, destroying Satan's kingdom forever.
Notice how God describes in detail how the devil's kingdom got started here on this earth. I'm reading Revelation 12:3,4, "There appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth." These seven heads of the dragon symbolize the seven time periods in which the dragon power controls the people under his influence beginning with the antediluvians, who became so evil that God destroyed them with a world-wide flood.
After the flood Satan continued his control over the world by developing a universal pagan kingdom in the year 606 BC called Babylon. (Are you looking at your chart?) You will notice that God used a lion, the second world power, with wings to portray this powerful kingdom of Satan. But Babylon was conquered by the next kingdom (the third kingdom) called the Medes and the Persians in 538 BC. The prophet portrayed this transfer of the dragon power by picturing a bear representing Persia which was devouring the three provinces of Babylon and eventually overthrew the Medes. Look at your chart.
Next, the fourth beast was a leopard with wings representing Greece when it conquered Persia in 331 BC. Then came pagan Rome which arose in 168 BC to conquer Greece. Thus the dragon power again was transferred for in AD 31 the devil, through pagan Rome, (the fifth world kingdom) crucified our Savior in an attempt to destroy Jesus Christ forever. But, praise God, Jesus arose from the tomb victorious over Satan and is alive today in heaven.
Pagan Rome continued as the universal kingdom on this earth, as the dragon power until the year 476 AD when it divided into ten separate kingdoms just as God had prophesied in Daniel 7:7, as a beast having ten horns. But in the year 538 AD a little horn power destroyed three of the ten kingdoms which caused the remaining seven kingdoms to accept the next (sixth) world power of papal rule over them. Thus the dragon continued to control the world.
Now at this point God has given us a caricature of this beast of Revelation 13 as you read in Revelation 13. "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."
Now to reveal that this pagan power it nothing more than a continuation of the dragon power which revealed itself in all of the past universal kingdoms of this earth, look carefully now at this chart. In the developing of this caricature, Inspiration reaches back through past history by taking the horns from pagan Rome, the body from the leopard beast of Greece, the feet from the bear (Medo-Persia), the head from the lion (Babylon) and then Inspiration adds, "the dragon gave him his power." (Revelation 13:2). This brings us back in time to the very beginning when the dragon seized control of the world soon after creation.
Now, however, as you look forward in time, (look at the beast chart before you) you suddenly make an important discovery. This Satanic power of this first beast, the dragon, was passed on from one world empire to the next succeeding kingdom such as the dragon to Babylon, then to Medo-Persia, then to Greece, then to pagan Rome and finally to papal Rome. This is clearly indicated in Revelation 13 for it says, "The dragon gave him his power."
But this papal power of the dragon, suffered a setback in the year 1798 AD when Napoleon dethroned the pope, causing him to die in exile. The scripture speaks of this as receiving a "deadly wound." (Revelation 13:3). In that same year that the wound was inflicted in 1798, the seventh beast (are you looking at your chart?) the United States of America was recognized as the coming world power. Prophecy predicted it would be an uncrowned, two-horned beast. The two horns, representing Republicanism and Protestantism – that which the world had not seen for centuries, a church without a pope and a nation without a king. During this time period the deadly wound, which had been inflicted in the year 1798 began to heal.
When Mussolini agreed to make the Vatican a papal state in 1929 we read the following words of scripture in Revelation 13:14 in which this two-horned beast says to its citizens, "That they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live." For it says in Revelation 13:11 (speaking of the United States), "He spake as a dragon."
The restoration of power to the Vatican makes it possible for the appearance of the last and final beast to control the world in a New World Order developed through spiritualism. This beast of Revelation 17 is described as an evil woman riding upon it which depicts the antichrist.
Now you will notice that God has given eight points of identity of this last beast.
1. The woman is seated on the beast. This is very significant. We have learned from God's Word that a woman represents a church in Jeremiah 6:2 and Isaiah 51:16. A pure woman in white indicates a pure church. An impure, or scarlet colored woman, depicts an impure woman such as a whore or an apostate church. Here we have a woman, seated upon a scarlet colored beast (the civil authorities), by which she is upheld and which she is controlling and guiding to her own ends - just as a rider controls the animals upon which he is seated. Thus the antichrist, the papal power, is to be in absolute control of the New World Order.
2. This woman holds a cup in her hand from which she causes the inhabitants of this earth to drink and become drunk with the wine of her false doctrines. This wine represents the deceptive false teachings and policies from which the inhabitants of the earth have become unstable (or drunk), leading to a universal breakdown of law and order.
3. This woman is riding the beast and is called "The Mother of Harlots" revealing that as a result of the spiritualistic, ecumenical movement the entire religious systems of the world have joined hands with her in religious unity of their doctrines which are held in common.
4. The deadly wound inflicted in 1798 has been completely healed, for you notice she rules the entire world. Revelation 17:8 makes this clear. "Behold the beast that was (538 – 1798), and is not (1798 – 1929), and yet is (1929 – today)."
5. The color of the beast and the woman's dress are very important. We shall read Revelation 17:4, "And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication." Now take note – these are the official colors portrayed in papal church pageantry.
6. Notice these words, "Full of names of blasphemy." This is the same beast of Revelation 13 which claims to have changed the divine law of God by removing the second commandment and changing the fourth commandment. Thus the seventh day, God's holy, Sabbath day, has been changed to a false first day – Sunday worship; and this beast is responsible for enforcing the mark of the beast by making it impossible to buy or to sell unless this mark of authority (Sunday) is accepted.
7. This papal power portrayed by God, is stated to be drunken with the blood of saints. "And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." Revelation 17:6. History reveals that the papal Rome destroyed millions of God's saints.
8. Finally, the unthinkable – for Paul calls the antichrist "the mystery of iniquity," (2 Thessalonians 2:7) which will attempt to fight the return of Jesus Christ to this world in the final battle of Armageddon. God clearly reveals this in Revelation 17:10-14: "And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. (Then these words...) These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful."
Now in Revelation 17:10 the scripture states of these beasts, "There are seven kings: five are fallen, (Now look back at your chart. Now count the beasts starting with the dragon as displayed on this chart. These time periods or world powers, which are controlled by Satan, were described by God as 1. The dragon (during the time of the antediluvians) 2. The lion (Babylon) 3. The bear (Medo-Persia) 4. The leopard (Greece) 5. The monster (pagan Rome). These were all in the past as scripture states. All are fallen. [And now let's read Revelation 17:10 again:] "Five are fallen (beast #6 refers to the papacy and the beast of Revelation 13 which is composed of a part of each of the previous beast powers) [now the scripture continues], and one is, and the other is not yet come." (referring to #7 - the United States of America.).
Remember when the book of Revelation was written this was before the rise of the United States in this earth. These last six words refer to the United States. The prophet continues by stating that this seventh power, the United States, would continue a short space after it appeared which means an indefinite period of time. If God had given a date when it would end we would know the exact time when Christ would come and men would procrastinate and not be ready for His coming.
It is during this short time period that scripture states in Revelation 13:11,12 regarding the United States of America, "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." Notice that this beast with the lamb-like horns is to speak as a dragon. This reveals that there is to be a complete change of character in the actions of the United States. Thus speaking like a dragon is its very last activity just before the Second Coming of Christ.
Today, America has become the only political and military superpower and has begun to express this power, such as in the bombing of Libya for a terrorist attack. The United States under President Reagan worked together with the pope breaking the power of communism. Then there was the Gulf War with Iraq in 1991 and again in the middle of 1996 when she bombed Iraq's storage facilities. She is continuing to cause this nation to submit to the dealings of the United Nations and we also know that she sent missiles into Afghanistan to destroy the headquarters of a Middle East terrorist organization.
John Januik states in his book, The Great Controversy Endgame p. 37,38 that Bill Clinton, president of America, has made the statement, "The world is looking to America to act as a policeman to the world." This is exemplified now, as she is the main mediator in the Middle East Peace process. She is also playing the main role in solving the ethnic war in Bosnia (the former Yugoslavia) and in all troubles and problems and conflicts in our world today.
These are the preparatory events to the direct fulfillment of the end-time prophecy in Revelation 13:11-17 that soon, very soon, America will speak as a dragon in a religious context and we will show you how soon. For scripture says the beast coming up out of the earth which had the two horns like a lamb and speaks as a dragon will make an image to the beast.
At the present time in America, church and state is separated. But when this separation is abolished, at that time the image to the beast will have been established. I would like to share with you the latest development in the United States, in order that we might understand what is happening at the present time, and how the end-time prophecies are beginning to fulfill before our very eyes.
Note the following: This statement which was taken from the Washington state newspaper about the Moral Majority which says, "Separation of church and state is a dangerous concept. Wipe the phrase 'Separation of church and state' out of your vocabulary. This means wipe it out! Don't even talk about it." W.A. Criswell, the pastor of one of the largest United Churches in the United States and a speaker at the Republican Convention said, "I believe that this notion of the separation of church and state was a figment of some infidel's imagination." Can you imagine!
Thus the situation in the United States with regard to the separation of church and state is changing decisively today. In the United States there is a strong movement called the Christian Coalition. The founder and the leader of this Christian Coalition is Pat Robertson. In 1988 he was a candidate for Republican nomination for the presidency of the United States, but George Bush was selected.
He then established an organization known as the Christian Coalition. He is a charismatic, television preacher. He owns Regent University and seven hundred religious broadcasting outlets, which are under his control in the United States. He is one of the most powerful religious voices in the United States today. The Christian Coalition is a gathering together of Protestants, Roman Catholics and Jews. These peoples have come together with a common goal and aim. The common purpose is to bring America back to God.
They have an agenda that includes traditional Christian family values. They are against abortion and special privileges for homosexuals; they want prayer in the public schools and no separation between church and state. And they also want Sunday to be the family day when people go to church. They want to see the church controlling the government. They want the church to use the power of government to enforce moral values on its society. They are already planning and speaking in this way.
The Christian Coalition is really moving mountains in the United States. Have you noticed that now it is possible for a state to pay for the education of its children in religious schools - that this was upheld by the Supreme Court? The separation of church and state is falling apart before our very eyes. As a result, I predict it will not be long before this happens in every state of this union.
During the last convention, the Republican Party and the Christian Coalition was on TV. They said, "We control this party." What does that mean? In the history of the United States there has never been a time such as this in which the church has moved to control civil power. In the light of all this, and from a study of the end-time prophesy and events currently happening in America I believe that soon, very soon, she will make an image to the beast and will speak as a dragon in a religious context. A national Sunday Law will be issued in America. This is where we are at the present time. "God's Word outlines very clearly the course of earth's history from the time of Daniel right to the time of the end of the world and the Second Coming of Christ. Our Savior has revealed to us what will happen just before He comes to this earth the second time. And I believe we are seeing these events taking place right now." Sunday's Coming p. 3.
Let's go back to the scriptures. Revelation 17:11 states, "The beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven." Here is a perfect synopsis of the papacy ruling the world from 538 – 1798 and then, because of the deadly wound, "it is not" until 1929 when the wound began to heal to a full worldwide reign again. Then God adds these significant words, "and is of the seven," revealing that the power of Satan, which is found in all seven preceding beasts, is now fully developed in the eighth beast through spiritualism.
This is God's explanation of the antichrist for he rules through his earthly representative which the Bible calls the "eighth beast" the papacy. In Revelation 13:3, 8 we read, "All the world wondered after the beast. 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." This shows the world's attitude toward the beast of Revelation 13 when its deadly wound is healed.
I believe that when Satan counterfeits the Second Coming of Jesus Christ that a Catholic spiritualistic prophesy will be fulfilled which says, "When Jesus comes, the pope will give Him his tiara and throne and Jesus will give him the keys and bless the pope." As the people of the world watch this on worldwide television the entire world will worship Satan as Christ and the pope as the Vicar of Christ.
This is exactly what the scripture says in Revelation 13:4, "And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast (for the people say,) Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?" This will be the time when all nations give their power and their authority to the beast.
Does not the scripture say, "All the world wondered after the beast?" Thus the eighth beast, whose deadly wound is healed, will commence its brief, worldwide reign in a New World Order. "Now we know why Pope John Paul II has been working as no other pope in history since the reformation to unify the world by the year 2000." Sunday's Coming p. 8.
And Ellen White adds, "Under one head, the papal power, the people will unite." Testimonies for the Church, Volume 8, p. 182. Bible Commentaries, Volume 7, p. 857 states, "The nations of the earth represented by ten horns are here purposed to unite with the beast. To unite the world under her beast control. This is the climax of Satanic planning for the unification of the world through a compact between the apostate religious organizations of the earth and the political powers of the earth."
Ellen White in her comment on this prophecy states, "There will be a universal bond of union; one great harmony. A confederacy of Satan's forces and shall give their power and strength unto the beast." Manuscript 24, 1891. "Reconciliation and unity" is the trend and the spirit that is found in our world today under the bewitching power of spiritualism.
Now as a climax to this study you may ask, "What is Satan trying to achieve in all of this?" The answer is found in Great Controversy p. 50. "That gigantic system of false religion (speaking of the Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of the papacy) is a masterpiece of Satan's power; (and notice these words) a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will."
And this is exactly what Satan has wanted to do in heaven - to be a god and rule a domain. Isaiah the prophet expressed these intentions of Lucifer when he was still in heaven. In Isaiah 14: 13,14 we read, "For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."
So you can see what Satan wants to accomplish – to seat himself upon the papal throne to rule this earth. In the Review and Herald, August 9, 1906 are these words, "The time is at hand when Satan will work miracles to confirm minds in the belief that he is God." And in Testimonies to Ministers p. 64 it tells us that he will succeed. "Men will be deceived and will exalt Satan to the place of God and deify him."
This is why Satan will demand worship by a worldwide law to worship him on Sunday. But there will be a very few who believe that God, the Creator, is the only one who should be worshipped, for He, "in six days...made the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the [Sabbath] day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." Exodus 20:11.
Ellen White saw in vision that Satan, with his demons, in a meeting was discussing how to deal with the very end-time people who will not submit to his authority. "We will finally have a law to exterminate all who will not submit to our authority." Testimonies to Ministers p. 473. So, in the end there will be only two groups of people on the face of this earth in the end-time. There will be those who worship on Sunday at the pope's command, and who receive the mark of the beast and become a part of great Babylon; and the other group, a small remnant, who keep the commandments, the seventh-day Sabbath, and receive the seal of the living God.
It is this remnant that Satan plans to blot from the face of the earth so that every living soul on the earth will worship him as God. In Revelation 13:15,16 I read 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." In this verse are two words "speak" and "cause" – what do they mean? "Speak" means to legislate; "cause" means to enforce. This indicates legislation of a death decree upon God's people which will be enforced by law. In the next two verses I read, "And he causeth (or enforces) 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."
The Great Controversy p. 581 states, " Rome is aiming to reestablish her power, to recover her lost supremacy, (and then these words…) her former persecution will be repeated." But beloved, never forget, there is a promise to those who obey God, the Creator, and who are living ready to meet Jesus; a remnant who will have nothing to do with Satan's masterpiece of spiritualism.
I am reading from Daniel 12:1, "At that time...thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book of life." Oh friend, praise God! Hallelujah! The end is very near. We have the possibility to belong to the 144,000 who will see Jesus coming in the clouds as our Savior to deliver us from the great destroyer. Don't you agree that it is high time, now to fully surrender our lives and our means and our talents to Jesus? Isn't it time to share the Three Angel's Messages with others that they to can be ready to meet Jesus? Oh the Lord is coming quickly. Soon He will come and "present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy." Jude 24.
Let us pray. Precious Jesus, in Thy name we beseech Thy Father to wake us up and to arouse us in action to be ready. Grant us Thy almighty power to transform our lives to be in complete harmony with Thy righteous character. Amen.