“How many Beasts are represented in Revelation 13?” The answer most commonly given is Two:
1. The Papal Beast (that received a mortal wound), and
2. The two-horned American Beast (which was “coming up” in 1798 as the Papacy was going down).
And yet, as one of our pioneers once wrote, “A superficial view of this prophecy has led many [SDA] writers to err on this point”. (J.H. Waggoner).
Waggoner’s statement is more fully expressed : “This Image is not one erected by the Papal power, but it is an image or likeness of that [Papal] power erected by another power in another locality. A superficial view of this prophecy has led many writers to err on this point, supposing it might be fulfilled by the Catholic Church making an image for its own worship; but that does not meet the demands of this scripture.” (J.H. Waggoner).
James White also writes that the “Image of the Beast” represents “another ecclesiastical body”, quite distinct from the Roman Church. And in the same way, A.T. Jones comments that the Image of the Beast is “an American Papacy, distinct from, but no better than, the Roman Papacy.”
It quickly becomes apparent in the writings of our pioneers, that THREE distinct Beasts are brought to view in Revelation 13 – The Papal Beast, the American Beast, and the Image Beast. (Note that Mrs. White also speaks of “the Image Beast” in A Word to the Little Flock p.19)
So which of these three Beasts brings in the “mark of the Beast”?
Now “the mark of the beast is the papal Sabbath” (Evangelism p.234). This is a fact. But who introduces the “mark” (the Papal Sabbath), and who enforces it? The Papacy? No, the Papacy will not be the one to bring that “mark” upon the world. It will be brought in and enforced by another agency – a Papal Twin/Copy/Image.
Consider part of the sequence given in Revelation 13.
The Second Beast [the United States] says “to them that dwell on the earth [i.e. to the American people (GC 443)], that THEY should make an Image to the Beast, which had the wound by a sword and did live.”
[The making of this Image (or Twin) to the Papal system, means the creation of a Church/State system. (Because the Papal system is a Church/State system.) But for this to happen in the United States, a change would need to be made in the American Constitution. (Of course the Constitution currently maintains a separation of Church and State.) Thus the prophecy represents a call to the people. All the American population must be called upon for the creation of this Papal Twin, because for the Constitution to be changed, the American people must all be involved. The power to create a Papal Twin lies exclusively with them.]
When the people have ‘made’ the Image, “he [the United States] had power to give life unto the Image of the Beast, [so] that the Image of the Beast should both speak [i.e. legislate (GC 442)] and cause as many as would not worship the Image of the Beast should be killed.” (Rev 13:15)
Thus we may see that the “Image” is not the Papacy; nor is it the United States – it will be another ecclesiastical body altogether. It will be “an American Papacy, distinct from, but no better than, the Roman Papacy.” (A.T. Jones.)
The prophecy teaches that the United States has power “to give life” to the Image Beast, once the people have ‘made’ it. [It appears that the United States and the Image both retain a distinct identity... America is not represented as simply changing into an Image of the Papacy.]
Of course the Image is not going to be a statue, a picture on paper, or anything like that. It will be a living image/copy of the old Papal organization. It will "live" like the old Papacy, and it will "speak" like the old Papacy, and it will "act" like the old Papacy.
The Papacy was given a “mouth” – the “mouth of a Lion... speaking great things and blasphemies”. (Rev 13:2,5). A Lion’s mouth is a bold mouth, and so it was with the Papacy. Among it’s bold, daring, claims was the claim to infallibility. It also claimed the power to forgive sins. It offered the sale of “indulgences” so that a person might sin with impunity, which is to say, with no consequence. Perhaps these are among the most daring and blasphemous claims to proceed from its mouth.
We may be sure that the Image will “speak” with the same kind of boldness against the God of Heaven.
So you don't believe that the image to and of the beast is an obvious reflection of Daniel 3. Consequently, you obviously reject the SOP since you don't believe that the image of the beast must be understood in that light.
That is not a parallel question.
Sure it is. You are saying that Caesar is a part of his image. And I’m saying that you have it backwards and that you refuse to submit to the authority of God's word. Caesar’s image is just a crude likeness of Caesar.
Don't be afraid of understanding the language of Scripture and letting Scripture explain itself.
Image. Gr. eikōn, "a likeness," "an image." In 2 Cor. 4:4 and Col. 1:15 Christ is spoken of as the eikōn of God. It is the purpose of the plan of salvation to transform man into the eikōn of Christ. An eikōn implies an archetype and in many respects is like its archetype.
An image to the first beast would be an organization functioning on much the same principles as that beast's organization. -- Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Vol 7. p. 821.
I agree Colporteur,
the image OF the Beast and the image TO the Beast are in essence the same. But still I suggest that the "Papal Beast" and the "Image Beast" (formed in, and by, the United States) will be two separate things.
The old thought that "the observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the [Roman Catholic] Church" implies that Protestants can pay "homage" to the Papacy, quite unconsciously. (Of course Luther and many other Protestants did that. They were not aware that they were still supporting the Roman Church by honoring Sunday, the "Papal Sabbath".)
In like manner, when the American people make a Copy of the Papal system, many of those people will not be aware that that is what they are doing.
Shubee, I hope you don't think I am being judgmental but your words drip with a hateful tone against Jews, Catholics, and anyone else who isn't an SDA. None of us were born Adventists. Some of you may have been born into an Adventist family but it's by the grace of God you are a Christian if you're truly converted.
My disapproval of Zionism is very comparable to the passionate disapproval of Zionism by righteous Jews.
Name one hateful thing that I have said against Jews, Catholics and anyone else that isn't a Seventh-day Adventist.
I was referencing your first post on this topic. The tone sounded harsh; maybe it's just the way I was reading it.
Thanks Stewart for this information; I was just reviewing some information last week relating to Revelation chapter 13 and 17 after watch Amazing Facts. I’m personally not convinced that this second beast of Revelation 13 is the United States of America.
First I would ask; where is the United States in the Bible? Do we see it anywhere else other than where (we) say it is? God introduces all the beast powers in Daniel chapter two and seven; beast powers are those powers that are against God and the people of God.
In Revelation 13 and 17, John is seeing this forth beast power in full.
And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.
When the Roman Empire fell in 476 AD another power shortly came up in its place
11Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. 12It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.
The Holy Roman Empire, it exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf. It looked like a lamb (Christ like) it was a religious system but its actions resemble that of a dragon.
This beast from the sea has seven heads, which means it is not easily destroyed and over the course of time, history it will be reviving itself with the help of the church (the holy Roman Empire, the woman, the false prophet).
Can God make a clearer picture? In Revelation 17
Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast…
The woman isn’t a beast at this point and time, but is sitting on the beast controlling it.
The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. 10They are also seven kings.
Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while.
11The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction. (Revelation 17: 9-11)
The other (head, king, power) has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while.
12“The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.
40Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay. Daniel 2:40-43
Internationally, can you see a power rising up on the international scene at this end-time?
Voters must decide for or against a United States of Europe during EU elections this spring, says vice president of the European Commission
In the run up to the springtime pan-European vote, the EU is gearing up to mount an unprecedented campaign for the hearts and minds of voters
Please show what other Christian superpower coming up out of relative sparseness of people after 1798 A.D. has two Christlike horns or forms of government and works with the papacy forcing the world to worship her.
The papacy did not rise up among few people. It did not rise up after 1798. You must unravel most of the prophetic understanding in order to have your conclusion and you must disregard the prophetic gift of the church for the end. As SDAs we believe in the Bible and the Testimony of Jesus which is a confirmation and amplification of what is in the Scriptures.
Did you not see Time Magazine's front cover when Reagan was president. Pope John Paul two was sitting in a high backed chair beside Ronald Reagan ? The headline said " The Holy Alliance Working Together." There has been a continual flow of like scenes ever since.
The bible identifies this second beast as the false prophet; can the United States be a false prophet?
I understand and appreciated that you believe in the bible and the SOP, I’m not trying to take that away from you or anyone else. I did preference my comments by saying personally, and personally I don’t see the relevance of this date 1798 as it relates to the US and the two horn beast.
11And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12And 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.
13And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
14And 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. 15And 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. (Revelation 13: 11-14)
19And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20And the beast was taken…
…and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles (Rev 13:14) before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image (Rev. 13:15). These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
I’m personally not convinced that this second beast of Revelation 13 is the United States of America.
The identity of the false prophet is revealed by the obvious one-to-one parallel between the three temptations in Matthew 4 and the spirits seen coming out of the dragon, beast and false prophet.
Consequently, we should expect that the false prophet power is marvelously exemplified by the desire of selling it's soul for world control. Who could that be?
The false prophet is clearly fallen protestantism. It unites with the papacy. This is happening like never before as we speak. The two beasts are fueled by spiritualism.
You only imagine knowing what the future will be. The fact that you do not discern the meaning of the prophetic Scriptures and have an extremely limited understanding of relevant current events means that your testimony is shallow and untrustworthy.