ORDER OF LAST DAY EVENTS
In the study of the order of last day events, it soon becomes apparent that there is one event that emerges as a key happening in the sequence. It is quickly established as a peg in a sure place and having it in place it is possible to draw up the lines of sequence out from it in either directions. That event is the setting up of the image of the beast. Its setting up is foretold in Revelation 13:11-18.
It is assumed that the student will have a sound basic understanding of the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation and will therefore know that the first beast referred to in Revelation 13, as set forth in the first ten verses of the chapter, is none other than the Papal power that ruled supreme over the world for the 1260 years from 538-1798 A.D. It will be also understood that the Lamb-like beast that rises to power after the temporary demise of the first beast is none other than the power of Apostate Protestantism especially as cradled in the United Sates of America.
In this chapter (Rev.13) we are expressly told that this power as symbolized by the lamblike beast will set up an image of the first beast that had the wound by the sword and did live. What is an image? It is a likeness in the form of a reproduction of that which was before, the same thing all over again.
And there can be no mistake as to what this reproduction is. There can be no mistake on two counts. In the first case the actual image itself is described to us here in Rev. 13, and in the second case we have but to go back and study the character of the first beast to see what the image is to be. We find that they are identical.
"By this first beast is represented the Roman Church, an ecclesiastical body clothed with civil power, having authority to punish all dissenters. The image to the beast represents another religious body with similar powers. The formation of this image is the work of that beast whose peaceful rise and mild professions render it so striking a symbol of the United States. Here is to be found an image of the Papacy. When the churches of our land, uniting upon such points of faith as are held by them in common, shall influence the State to enforce their decrees and sustain their institutions, then will Protestant America have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy. Then the true church will be assailed by persecution, as were God's ancient people." Story of Redemption, p.381,382.
We find that we have a religious power that has enlisted the power of the state as her servant and uses that power to enforce her decrees even to the end, to the death penalty where men refuse to yield to her demands. Thus it was with the Papacy and thus we are plainly told it will be with the image. Rev.13:15-18. This is a picture of what is coming to that which is now the free world and, first of all, in that nation which has all along steadfastly held to the right of every man to the utmost freedom to choose as to how and where he will worship or as to whether he will worship at all.
There are those that cannot believe that this could ever be possible. But the word of God has declared that it will be and that is all that we have to believe. The more one studies the prophecies, then the more we see that things that men could never believe were possible but were foretold in the Word, did happen just as they were foretold to happen.
Of course there are factors that lead up to this. There are forces that gradually bring it about so that it does not exactly happen over night. These have also been clearly outlined in the prophetic word and it is important that we study them. This we will do in the proper order once we have established the actual fact of the setting up of the image of the beast in the United States of America and what is involved in that action.
To be continued