Presdients and our Constitution

The Last Nation in Prophecy

In the first ten verses of Revelation 13, we see a beast that represents a religio-political power that would war against God’s people, overcoming them for a time. It is revealed, however, that one of the heads of this beast would receive a deadly wound; yet this wound, though apparently deadly, would in time be healed.

In the second half of this same chapter, another beast is brought to view. This beast, it is indicated, will play a significant role in reestablishing the power of the first beast, assisting in the healing of the deadly wound it had received. So complete is this healing that under the leadership of this second beast, the whole world, except for those whose names are written in the book of life, are led to accept the first beast’s mark in their foreheads or in their hands.

“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 13:11–18

As with the first beast, so with this beast there are several important points, or clues, given that help us to determine with certainty what nation, or power, is being pointed out.

Important Characteristics of the Beast

1. This beast comes out of the earth,

2. Comes up after the first beast,

3. Has two lamblike horns,

4. Speaks as a dragon,

5. Exercises all the power of the first beast,

6. Causes all the earth to worship the first beast,

7. Performs great wonders,

8. Makes fire come down from heaven,

9. Deceives the whole earth by means of these wonders,

10. Says that the earth should make an image to the first beast.

In prophecy, nations and kingdoms are at times represented by various animals, or beasts. (See Daniel 2 and 7) In most cases, these beasts are pictured as coming up out of water, which, as Revelation 17:15 tells us, represents peoples, or populated areas. Since water represents populated areas, we conclude that the land out of which this beast arose represents a sparsely populated area.

We notice also that this beast arises at the time, or shortly after, the first beast was wounded. This dates the emergence of this power at about the year 1798, or soon thereafter.

This beast is also said to have had two horns like a lamb; but, in stark contrast to its appearance, when it speaks, it is with the voice of the dragon. No beast is more harmless and peace-loving than a lamb. For this reason it was used as a symbol of Christ. (See John 1:29, 36) We might, therefore, also expect that this nation would be essentially Christian in nature.

Looking at history, you will find that the United States is unlike any other nation. It arose from a very sparsely populated area about the time that the papal power received its deathblow by the armies of Napoleon. Its advance to power was not marked by the overthrow of another nation or any great wars. The acquisitions of land were primarily made through purchases, rather than by conquest. Neither does it have a history as an aggressive power. This characteristic is in keeping with the fact that it has been predominantly a Protestant nation. It is a principle of Protestantism that individuals have the right to choose their own destiny, without interference by outside powers.

Without Kingly Power

The first beast also had horns; but its horns had crowns on them, representing kingly power. The horns of the second beast have no crowns but are lamb-like. The strength of the United States has been in its unique form of government. While the European nations were ruled by kings who gave their armies to do the bidding of the papacy, here is brought to view a different type of system. The American government was republican in form and the nation Protestant in religion. It is in these two separate and distinct powers that America has found her strength.

America was established upon an individual belief in God and the Bible as a rule of faith. It is the present loss of these values that has led to the general deterioration of society. This loss has led many to believe that we can restore our national greatness only by a restoration of these principles. While there is much truth in this belief, they fail to realize that it was individual values that gave us the strength, not those legislated by government. In their efforts to reestablish these values, they look to government to legislate them, pointing to the theocracy of the Old Testament as a pattern for doing so.

Israel, the Last Theocracy?

A theocracy is a government that is governed by God. Israel had a true theocracy. Even when the kings ruled, they ruled subject to God and His laws until such a time as their wicked rebellion was so great that the kingdom could not continue as a theocracy. God’s response to this condition is found in Ezekiel 21:25–27. “And thou, profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord GOD: Remove the diadem, and take off the crown: this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.”

Even at the time that this prophecy was given, Israel’s servitude to Babylon had begun, though Jehoiachin reigned as vassal to Nebuchadnezzar. According to the prophecy, there would be three more overturnings before He would come whose right it was to reign. As we have seen, Babylon was followed by Medo-Persia, which in its turn was overthrown by Greece. After a period of years, Greece was likewise replaced by Rome, making three overturnings.

It was during the rule of Rome that Jesus came, Whose right it was to reign. Jesus, however, was very clear when He said: “Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28. It was to be at the time of the regeneration that Jesus would establish His kingdom. Later, before Pilate, Jesus again expressed this thought.

“My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is My kingdom not from hence.” John 18:36. When approached by the disciples of the Pharisees and the Herodians, Jesus clearly enunciated the concept of separation of civil and religious power in this world. “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marveled at Him.” Mark 12:17

Government as it Relates to the Church

Only in a theocracy can there be a union of civil and religious authority. There was not, however, to be another government of this nature until Christ should set up His kingdom. As Christ Himself has clearly stated that this will take place only at His return, every theory or idea that would propose such a government in this present world is a false theory.

God gave the early church His Holy Spirit as a source of power. For the church to seek to establish a relationship with the governments of earth, using the force of civil government to enforce religious precepts and doctrines, is to reject the authority of God and His power for the power of the state. This is an unlawful relationship.

In the Bible, a church is represented by a woman. God’s church has a lawful husband. “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2. In Revelation 17, we see a different kind of woman brought to view. This woman is a harlot. She is a harlot because she has committed fornication with the kings of the earth. (See Revelation 17:2) That is to say, she has had an unlawful relationship with them.

It has been the practice of the papacy, wherever possible, to exercise her authority through civil government to further her own ends. Whatever may have been a church’s relationship to Christ, when that church seeks to use civil authority to force the conscience of men, she has left her relationship with Christ in favor of an unlawful, or an adulterous relationship with the world. In so doing, she has left the manner of Christ in favor of the methods of the dragon.

We have to realize that for the United States to become a persecuting power, it would require a radical change of policy. To many this seems unthinkable; but as men depart from God, they become immoral. The result is the withdrawal of God’s Spirit, and disasters follow. Responding to these calamities, the religious leaders will tell people that these things are the result of failing to have religious standards. In this they are correct; but they fail to remember that God’s invitation is, “Whosoever will, let him come” (see Revelation 22:17), and that heart religion is the only religion that is acceptable to God. Rather than seeking for reformation and revival and looking to God for the power to live godly lives, they seek to the state to supply the lacking power.

Miracles that Deceive

This is not to say that all power is lacking. As we noted in verses 13 and 14, there is to be an exhibition of power in miracles that will be pointed to as evidence that it is the power of God working, when in reality the power comes from a far different source. In Matthew 7:21–23, Jesus declares: “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.”

Professing to be lamb-like in character, they speak as the dragon. Those who think that they are enforcing God’s will, in fact, force Satan’s mark upon the people.

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