Answer : ____________________
NOTE: In the Old Testament, Jezebel and her daughter Athaliah were known for violently controlling the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and for forcing pagan worship on God's people.
NOTE: Revelation 14 contains an urgent three-point message that must reach the entire world before Jesus' second coming. In this lesson we will look at the second point of that message. God's indictment of Babylon is given because she has made all nations drunk with her intoxicating wine. This lesson will address some very straight, and perhaps disturbing, messages to both Catholic and Protestant believers. Remember that the second angel's message is from Jesus, the One we all love. Open your heart to His truth, for His only aim is to save and to bless you.
NOTE: In Bible prophecy, a woman symbolizes a church. A pure woman represents God's true church as described in Revelation 12. An unfaithful woman represents a church that has departed from the Scriptures. We can be certain who this fallen woman is, because Revelation 17:18 says she was ruling when Revelation was written. History tells us it was pagan Rome (Luke 2:1) that eventually turned over its authority, capital city, and power to papal Rome.
NOTE: Papal Rome fits every description. Its headquarters is in Rome--"the city of seven hills." Scarlet is the color of cardinals' robes, and the pope often wears the royal color of purple at important functions. The Roman Catholic church freely admits that during the Middle Ages, she persecuted the saints and ruled over the kings of the earth. (For evidence that the papacy is guilty of blasphemy, review Lesson 13.) God's symbolism fits perfectly--a fallen mother church whose fallen daughters protested and thus began to be called Protestants. Notice this quote from Father James A. O'Brien: "That observance [of Sunday instead of Saturday] remains as a reminder of the Mother Church from which the non-Catholic sects broke away."1
1The Faith of Millions (Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 1974), p. 401.
NOTE: The beast of Revelation 13:1-10 and the beast of Revelation 17 are obviously the same. Both symbolize this Roman power. Revelation 17 points out the church-state coalition, with the church (the fallen woman) riding and controlling the state (the beast). Revelation 13 also portrays two beasts involved in forcing others to worship. The first beast is the same power as the "mother of harlots" described in Revelation 17. This lesson will soon reveal the identity of the second beast.
NOTE: The terms "Babel" and "Babylon" both mean confusion. The name originated at the Tower of Babel, built by defiant pagans after the Flood. They hoped to build it so high that no future floodwaters could cover it. But the Lord confused their languages, which created such chaos that the project was abandoned. Babylon later arose to be an idolatrous world kingdom that persecuted God's people. In the book of Revelation, the term "Babylon" signifies a counterfeit religious kingdom that is an enemy of God's spiritual Israel.
NOTE: God says that Babylon has fallen and has become the home of devils and evil spirits. He warns that her sins are so offensive that Babylon must be destroyed. God's people must come out quickly, or else be destroyed with Babylon's plagues.
NOTE: Her wine cup is full of intoxicating lies (Proverbs 12:22), or false teachings that make people spiritually drunk. Here is a partial list of her beguiling lies: A. The Ten Commandments are not binding (see Lesson 6). B. Sunday sacredness (see Lesson 14). C. Secret rapture (see Lesson 3). D. Immortality of the soul (see Lesson 9). E. An eternal torment in hell (see Lesson 10). F. Confessing your sins to a priest (see Lesson 13). G. Counterfeit baptisms (see Lesson 11). H. A confusion of tongues (see Lesson 23). The sad truth is that once Babylon's messages are accepted, a person becomes spiritually drunk and virtually unable to understand what the Bible really says, because these false doctrines dull a person's ability to comprehend the truth.
NOTE: Brace yourself! This second beast of Revelation 13 symbolizes the United States of America. Consider the evidence:A. The time it arose.God described this power as rising up about the same time the first beast goes into captivity and receives its deadly wound (Revelation 13:10, 11). The United States of America arose about the time the papacy's power was broken at the end of the 1,260 years, which was in 1798. America declared its independence in 1776, voted the Constitution in 1787, adopted the Bill of Rights in 1791, and was clearly recognized as a world power in 1798.B. It arose from the earth.As we've studied before, the waters from which most kingdoms (beasts) arose represent a densely populated area (Revelation 17:15). The earth represents the opposite. The United States fits this point perfectly because it was established on a sparsely populated continent.C. It had two horns like a lamb.In prophecy, a lamb represents Jesus and a horn represents power. The two great horns represent Protestant principles upon which America was founded civil and religious liberty. The founding fathers fled from Europe to escape religious and political persecution. They established a society based on the principles of civil and religious freedom-"government without a king and religion without a Pope."
NOTE: Speaking as a dragon means that the United States, under the influence of Satan, will reverse its original Protestant principles of the separation of church and state. It will pass religious laws forcing people to worship contrary to conscience or else be punished with economic sanctions (verses 16, 17) and finally death (verse 15).
NOTE: The dragon is Satan (Revelation 12:9), working through pagan religions. The beast of Revelation 13:1-10 is the papacy. The false prophet in Revelation 16 is apostate Protestantism in America, which is the same power as the beast of Revelation 13:11-17 that has two horns like a lamb but will later speak as a dragon. This is the power that does "great wonders" 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." Revelation 13:13, 14. (Compare with the description of the false prophet given in Revelation 19:20.)
NOTE: Yes, God says they will unite. Notice that they are united in their work of spreading deception and building a confederacy against God's people. The "battle of that great day of God Almighty" is the same event as the dragon making war with the woman's offspring (Revelation 12:17).
NOTE: This end-time coalition will work mighty miracles by the spirits of devils, and almost the entire world will be convinced (Revelation 13:3) and deceived. Revelation 18:23 says, "By thy sorceries were all nations deceived."
NOTE: God's people will need to test everything by the Bible. They will not be deceived, because they will test the miracles and teachings to determine whether they come from spirits of devils or from the Lord.
How Powerful Are the USA and Rome?Revelation chapter 13 points out that in the end-time, the papacy and the United States will team up to influence the entire world to worship the beast. Are these entities powerful enough to accomplish this?The papacy is by far the strongest religio-political power in the world. Nearly every leading country has an official ambassador or state representative at the Vatican. The pope is revered and welcomed by virtually all countries. Former U.S.S.R. leader Mikhail Gorbachev said, "Everything which took place in Eastern Europe in recent years would have been impossible without the Pope's efforts and the enormous role, including the political role, which he played in the world arena."1 The pope has made more than 50 world trips to achieve his goal of unifying the religious world under the papacy's leadership.America is now looked upon as the number one military power and center of influence. "[America is] the planet's sole remaining superpower."2"America's power will now determine all major global events."3 Bible prophecy predicts with clarity that the United States of America and the papacy will join hands, and world events clearly show that the coalition is being formed.1Toronto Star, March 9, 1992, p. A-1.2"The UN Obsession," Time, May 9, 1994, p. 86.3Jim Hoaglad, "Of Heroes ...," The Washington Post, August 21, 1991, p. A-23.