A Woman Rides a Beast

A Woman Rides a Beast

Lesson: 6
Who do the women and the beasts in Daniel and Revelation represent?
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Jëan Ross: Good evening, friends, and welcome again to "Prophecy Encounter," coming to you live here from Sanford, Florida. I'd like to extend a very warm welcome to our audience here. It's good to see you out again tonight as we continue our Bible study experience. And also to our friends joining us across the country and around the world on the various television networks, we want to just extend a warm welcome to you as well as our extended audience in this Bible study experience. Now, as mentioned to those of you who are here locally, we wanted to let our international audience and our national audience know about a resource that "Amazing Facts" has that goes along with this series. It's a set of lessons entitled "Prophecy Encounter," and this will be available for anybody interested in purchasing your own set of lessons at the "Prophecy Encounter" website. So, just go to prophecyencounter.com, and all of the information that you'll need about these brand new illustrated lessons, they're going to be there, and you can order it for yourself.

Well, it's come time for our study this evening. And today, well, I hope you--you probably need to fasten your seatbelt on this one. We're going to dive right into the very heart of the book of Revelation. Look in Revelation chapter 17, and there's beasts that we're going to be talking about, there's horns that we're going to be talking about, there is this mysterious entity called Babylon that we're going to be talking about. So, just a very important subject for tonight. And once again, we're just delighted that Pastor Doug Batchelor is going to be leading us through our time together. Pastor Doug is the president of Amazing Facts, also speaker, director. Pastor Doug, thank you so much.

Doug Batchelor: Thank you so much, Pastor Ross. Welcome once again, friends. We're just very thankful for each of you that has taken your time during the week to come here to our local venue in Sanford, Florida, the Spring Meadows church. And I want to welcome those, again, who are watching to the "Prophecy Encounters" series. Now, if this is the first time you're tuning in, you do need to brace yourself because we're going to be--you're going to be hearing just one of the most intense, controversial presentations that can be coming from the book of Revelation, and we just are praying for God's Spirit to be with us. You pray for me that I'll just say things gracefully, but I also want to be faithful in sharing the truth with you because, as Christ said, the time is at hand.

The presentation tonight is dealing with the subject a woman rides a beast. And this harkens from a prophecy and a picture that you'll find in Revelation 17. Now, in this presentation in particular, we're going to be talking about what is this beast that keeps reappearing in the books of Revelation and Daniel? A little while ago, a few years ago, a teenage girl in Virginia was kind of shocked when she saw in her backyard a turtle with two heads. And she felt sorry for the poor thing, and was a little shocked, and didn't know exactly how to react. She tried to feed it some lettuce and both heads were sort of fighting for the lettuce. Believe it or not, two-headedness is not completely unheard of in the animal kingdom. Usually those creatures do not live very long because they feel that the two minds are telling the body to do two different things, and they can never seem to agree, and they just don't seem to survive in the wild.

But you've never seen anything with four heads, and you've never seen anything with seven heads, but the Bible talks about creatures with four heads and seven heads. And in particular, there's a creature that keeps reappearing in the book of Revelation with seven heads and ten horns. And you'll find the ten horns on another beast in the book of Daniel. And as we look at the evidence, you'll see that this is typically talking about the same power. We need to identify that power because it's one of the main players in the last days. If you have your Bibles, you'll want to take a look at Revelation chapter 17. And there it says, "He carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns."

Now, we discussed this earlier, and we'll give you some more Scriptures for it, but in these Bible symbols, a woman represents a church. "Husbands, love your wives," Paul says, "even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it." "I've likened the daughter of Zion to a delicate and comely woman." All through the Old Testament, God compares Israel to his bride. So, his people is often identified with a woman. You got two different kinds of women that are there, both in the Old and the New Testament, the faithful and the unfaithful. And this woman is evidently not the faithful one because it says she's got a paragraph on her forehead that says Mother of Harlots. That would sort of be a clue, right? She's not the faithful wife. Now, you see these two women identified there in Revelation. Revelation 12, you've got the good one.

So, what is it--what's the connection now between the woman in Revelation 12? There's another beast that appears to her. You look in Revelation 12, verse 3, "There appeared another wonder in heaven, behold a great red dragon," same as the scarlet that you find in Revelation 17, "having seven heads and ten horns," same beast, "and seven crowns upon his heads." And it goes on to say that this beast is trying to attack this woman. So, here in Revelation 17, you got this red, 7 headed, 10 horned beast. The woman is riding the beast, they're in cooperation. And then you go to Revelation 12, and that same beast is trying to destroy this woman. She's clothed with light, symbol of God's church. Have another study talking about that.

Now, go to Revelation 13. You know Revelation 13. You've heard of 666, mark of the beast, that's Revelation 13. And you can read there, it says, "I saw a beast rising up out of the sea," notice the sea, "having seven heads and ten horns." Sound familiar? "And on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name." Blasphemy is when someone is degrading God by putting themself in the place of God, or claiming the prerogatives of God. And so, you notice that the woman, names of blasphemy, and Daniel 7 talks about this beast's power as blasphemy, and here you see that creature again. Now, I just need to tell everybody straight up as nicely as I can that--you want me to tell you the truth, right? Paul asks a question, he said, "Am I your enemy because I tell you the truth?"

I hope you didn't come because you just want me to preach smooth things. You want to know, what does the Bible really say? In the Old Testament, God's Word is very faithful to not only talk about the way He would bless His people, and there were many times God's people were faithful and there were miracles wrought. He said, "One of you will chase 1,000." And then He said, "You'll turn from Me, you'll worship other gods," and He prophesied their unfaithfulness. And the word that God used, He said, "You will go whoring after other gods." He's talking about His people. Now, He also does that in New Testament times. Even Paul said, "I know after my departure, grievous wolves will come in, not sparing the flock. From among your own selves, people will arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves." So, even Paul predicted something's going to happen to the church. The devil is going to come after the church, and there's going to be major unfaithfulness.

Well, I'm going to tell you right now in Revelation chapter 13, it's not just one beast. Revelation chapter 13, there are two beasts. Did you know that? We always talk about the mark of the beast. Chapter actually has two beasts. You'll see in chapter 13, first few verses, it talks about the first beast. Well, later on, you get to verse 11, it says, "And then I saw a second beast." I'll tell you right now who I believe they are, and this has been supported by history too. First beast is dealing with the Christian church based in Rome, better known as Catholicism. Second beast is talking about Protestantism based in the United States. We're all in this together because I'm technically a Protestant, I love being an American, but I've got to tell you this is what the Bible says. And some things have been fulfilled, some things are still going to be fulfilled. I'm not talking about people, Protestant, Catholic, or American. I'm talking about systems and areas where churches have been disobedient. And this has been foretold in prophecy. So, you want me to keep going? All right, just I want to be faithful, I want to be kind, but I don't want to mince words with you.

So, with that background, you've got this beast that keeps appearing, seven heads, ten horns. We're going to find out who is this beast. It's also known as the antichrist. Now, the word "antichrist" means against Christ. How many times does the word "antichrist" appear in Revelation? Not at all. I told you that earlier it's only in the letters of John. And John says there already were many antichrists, even in his day. So, the word "antichrist" can be used broadly, but the main beast is also called the antichrist. It's like the industrial strength antichrist on steroids that you find there through the book. All right, so let's find out first about beasts.

Question number one, what does a beast represent in prophecy? And we're going to let the Bible explain itself. If you look, for instance, in Daniel chapter 7, verse 17, it says, "Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings that will arise out of the earth." Not just kings, but it also includes kingdoms. If you look, for instance, in Daniel chapter 7, verse 17, "Those great beasts, which are four--" Or the fourth beast rather, "Shall be the fourth kingdom." So you got its kings, its kingdoms, it's talking about powers. Look in Daniel 8, verse 20, and you'll see there where there's this vision of sheep and goats. And it says, "The ram that you saw, having the two horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia, and the male goat is the kingdom of Greece." So, here it's got a goat that represents and it says, "The horn between his eyes is the first king." Later, we learn that's Alexander the Great, it makes it pretty clear.

So, you know, today, do we sometimes use countries to illustrate--or animals to illustrate countries? If I say bear, what country do you think of? Russia. And if I say eagle, the United States. And the lion is Great Britain, exactly. So, it's not new or unusual. Countries have done that, and so God does this also in prophecy. All right, question two, is there a beast with ten horns in Daniel chapter 7? Now, we're jumping to the Old Testament, and I just want to make sure we set the foundation for Revelation. You remember what I said? Out of 404 verses in the book of Revelation, 278 of them are found almost verbatim in the Old Testament. So, to understand Revelation, it's all rooted in the Old Testament, you've got to go back. And Daniel and Revelation are partner books. Look in Daniel chapter 7, verse 2 and 3. And Daniel says, "In my night vision, behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring upon the Great Sea." So, it talks about these winds striving. "And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the one before." Matter of fact, I'm going to read several verses here in Daniel chapter 7.

If you've brought your Bible with you, you may want to join me and turn there real quick. Let's just take a look, for instance, verse 3, Daniel 7:3, "Four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. The first was like a lion," like a what? "The first was like a lion, and it had eagle's wings, and I watched until the wings were plucked off, and it was lifted from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man's heart was given to it. And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear," it's not Russia, "and it was raised up on its side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it, 'Arise and devour much flesh.' And after this, I looked and there was another like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird, and the beast also had four heads." I told you you can find a beast with four heads in the Bible. "And dominion was given to it. And then--" Now, this is the beast that is the antichrist. "And then, after this, I saw in the night visions, behold, a fourth beast, strong, and dreadful, and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth. It was devouring and breaking in pieces and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns." That sound familiar?

I just want to read a little further. Let's go to verse 8, "I was considering the horns, and then there came up another horn, a little one coming up from among them before whom three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots." You know, when you're young and a kid starts getting their grown up teeth and starts pushing out the baby teeth, it's almost that kind of a picture that this little horn comes up, but it's pushing out three horns as it makes its way. And so--and it says, "In this horn," don't miss this, "were the eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great, pompous words." That can be interpreted blasphemous words. All right, and this final beast Daniel really is worried about because it persecutes God's people, you read on the rest of the chapter there.

But I just want to give you the foundation about the beast because we're going to try to identify this beast in Revelation. I should say the beasts in Revelation that will have a prominent role in the last days. And so, we'd learned that one of those beasts in Daniel, the fourth beast, also had ten horns. "Devouring, breaking in pieces, stomping the residue with the feet." It's different from all the beasts that were before it. And so, I want you to notice some of these points. All right, first of all, these creatures in Daniel, they come up out of the sea.

So, what does the wind and the sea represent? Well, wind, we talked about the winds of strife there, remember, in Revelation chapter 7. It's talking about turmoil and strife, destruction, commotion. And when you talk about the waters, the definition for these symbols is in the Bible. The angel told John in Revelation 17, verse 15, "The waters are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." It's talking about vast numbers of peoples. By the way, if you read in Daniel chapter 9, it says that the wicked power would come like a flood, talking about a flood of army, a flood of people. And so, this beast power rises up out of a densely populated part of civilization in the world.

All right, next question, four, what kingdom does the lion represent? I want to march through because in order to understand the fourth beast, you got to look at the sequence of history, and it just becomes really clear. What kingdom does the lion represent? The lion is Babylon. If you look in chapter 2 of Daniel, Daniel makes it pretty clear to Nebuchadnezzar, he said, "You are that first primary kingdom, you are the head of gold." Says Babylon is a lion. Matter of fact, if you go to some of the museums, they have recovered some of the ancient gates from Babylon. I think they call it the Ishtar Gate, and you can even see they had lions with wings that were on--it's like in Daniel's vision, a lion with two wings. Why did Daniel say the lion would stand on its feet like a man? Because King Nebuchadnezzar ended up being converted. Instead of being a beast, he became a son of God. He became converted before the end of his life, and he glorified God. If you've read Daniel chapter 4, that would be it.

What kingdom does the bear represent? So, you got Babylon, then you got the next kingdom. He represents in Daniel chapter 7:5, and what do the three ribs in his mouth symbolize? This is the Medo-Persian kingdom, later the Persians. They were more powerful, and that's why it says the bear was raised up on one side. He's stronger on one side. He's got three ribs in his mouth, this represents the three kingdoms that the Medo-Persians conquered when they took the empire away, this world power, from Babylon. And that was, of course, Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt. That's the three ribs in his mouth. And so, all these things happened historically.

So, what kingdom is represented by the leopard with four heads? What followed the Persian kingdom? I think we all know Alexander the Great defeated Darius. He was that notable horn that was in the ram's head--or in the goat's head. And then he also represents the first king of the leopard, but he died, and his kingdom was then spread among his four generals. And you can see that they had a vast empire. The four generals who headed the divisions of Alexander's kingdom were Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus. And so, these are the four empires. You can see the scope of Alexander's kingdom there. Someone told me that in just 10 years, he marched his soldiers 22,000 miles. And nobody has ever done anything like that in history, just conquering everything, everyone. And his approach was very different. He didn't want to just conquer, he wanted to spread their philosophy and way of life. They call it Hellenization because that influence even stayed with the next empire that we're going to get to.

Which world kingdom is represented by the fourth beast? Now, if you know your history, the world empire surrounding the Mediterranean that occupied Israel, you've got Babylon, you've got Medo-Persia, you've got Greece, then who conquered the Greeks? Rome. And you know what's also interesting is each kingdom lasted a little longer than the one before it. So, the devil's learning something along the way, and they're getting stronger, and they're lasting longer. You can read which kingdom it was, it's right there in the New Testament. Luke 2, verse 1, "It came to pass in those day that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus." Octavian, Augustus Caesar issued that decree that all the world should be taxed. Why would Rome be compared with the ten horns? Why is it the fourth beast? Who is ruling the world when Jesus is born? Rome. It was Roman soldiers that crucified him, a Roman spear pierced his side, the Roman nails pierced his hands, Roman guards were at the tomb. Rome was the principle power that was responsible at that time, and Rome was very involved in especially persecuting the early church, as you probably know from just your elementary school. You all heard about how they used to burn the Christians in the coliseums. So, the 10 horns, which you saw, you read in Revelation 17:12, are 10 kings.

What happened when Rome ruled by the Caesars, that's better known as pagan Rome, when it began to fall because the barbarian hordes were attacking different parts of their realm? They started losing control. They had plunged into so much decadence, they became preoccupied with entertainment. I don't know if you know that, kind of happening to us. Became so preoccupied with entertainment that the barbarians started conquering the edges of the kingdom and, pretty soon Rome fell. It wasn't built in a day, but it fell pretty quick, about 476 AD. What was in its place when it fell? The Roman empire, and here's a map that represents the vastness of that empire at its zenith, it then disintegrated, and it largely was in the northwestern territory. It fell into ten divisions, the ten branches of the Roman empire. And this is a map with some of the ancient names of those divisions of the Roman empire. You might know them by some of the modern names. You have the Alemanni. Any of you speak Spanish? How do you say German? Allemagne, yeah. So, you've got the Alemanni were the German, the Franks were the French, the Anglo-Saxons were the English, the Burgundians were Switzerland, the Suevi was Portugal; the Lombards, Italy; the Visigoths, Spain. And then you'll notice three that you don't hear from much anymore. We've got all the others, they're still there. You've got the Vandals, the Heruli, and the Ostrogoths.

Now, the Vandals were in North Africa. You ever heard of vandalism? They were a lot a Christians that spread through the Roman empire because even before Paul was dead, he said the gospel's gone to every creature. He meant throughout the Roman empire. There were Christians all through North Africa. And when the Christians in Rome began to get involved in idolatry, the Christians in North Africa said, "That's against the law," and they would deface the Roman gods. They called it vandalism. So, whenever anybody in Rome broke the arms off--you ever seen Roman statues, and they're missing an arm, and their nose is--a lot of that was done by Vandals. They said, "This is idolatry, you're worshipping these Roman gods." But those kingdoms were later attacked.

All right, so before I leave Daniel, I want you to notice something. For those of you who are Bible scholars, you'll notice that there are some similarities between Daniel 2, where there's this image outlining the kingdoms of the world. That prophecy is given in a great idol that is the--it's then destroyed. It's a great idol with a head of gold, and arms of silver, and a belly of bronze, and legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay. In the fourth beast, what kind of teeth did it have? Iron teeth. And in the toes, you got iron and clay, and there's ten toes. And so, you'll see that there's similarities, right away you'll notice, between Daniel 2, Daniel 7, Revelation 13, Revelation 12. You're going to see that all of these things are talking about the same world powers that would impact God's kingdom in the last days.

And so, if you look now in question number nine, in the Daniel 7 prophecy, what happens next? It says, "I considered--" And I started reading this to you, "I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn, and before whom three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots." So, you got these ten divisions of the Roman empire, and it included the Vandals, the Heruli, and the Ostrogoths. But when this little horn power comes up that speaks great words against the Most High, and wears out the saints of the Most High, and thinks to change times and laws, that power, when it comes up, it uproots three. Make a note of that, I'm going to show you historically how that was fulfilled. "And, behold, in this horn were the eyes like the eyes of a man," something different about this power, "and a mouth speaking pompous words, or great things."

So, how is the beast in Revelation 13 now similar to the vision in Daniel chapter 7? "And now the beast that I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth was like the mouth of a lion." Now, did you see in Daniel 7 a lion, a bear, and a leopard? That means this beast is all built on the history of those forming kingdoms. There's a connection here. You might notice that in Daniel, it says lion, bear, leopard. In Revelation, it says leopard, bear, lion. It's opposite, why? Very simple, because Daniel is looking forward in his prophecy, John is now looking back. So, you get the exact same sequence too from their perspective. And so, it's talking about these powers that had occupied God's people, and persecuted God's people in the Jewish history, and then there's a new power that was happening in Revelation, right during the time when John wrote it. Rome was in power. John was a prisoner on the isle of Patmos by the kingdom of Rome for his faith. And it says, "In this beast," it says, "his mouth was like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority."

Now, we all know that the dragon--of course, behind the dragon you've got the devil. Calls him the old serpent, the dragon. But the dragon was operating through the power of Rome. When it says, "The dragon tried to devour the man-child as soon as it was born." Well, the Roman power, the devil used the Roman power to destroy Jesus, or tried to destroy him when he was a baby. So, the devil was working through Rome when Christ was crucified. The devil was using that kingdom to persecute Christianity. But it was a kingdom of pagan Rome. But pagan Rome then goes through a change when it falls. Before I move on, consider some of the parallels now that we've just found between the antichrist of Daniel and Revelation. It says in Daniel 7 and Daniel 13, you both have a lion, both have a bear, both have a leopard, both have a dragon.

You got ten horns, you got a mouth, they both make war on the saints and overcome them, and there is a time period. Now, their time period is the same time period, but it's given differently. Time period in Daniel, it says, "A time, a time, and half a time." Revelation, it says, "Forty-two months." They are the same time period. A time in Hebrew meant a year, complete cycle of the season. A times meant a pair or a couple. That's two more. The dividing of a time meant you dissect it, half. Three and a half Jewish years, three hundred and sixty days to a year, is the same as forty-two months. They had 30 days in their months. You'll also read about it as being 1,260. And so, this time period continues to appear.

So, what are some of the primary clues to identify the antichrist beast that you find in Revelation 17? Now we're going back to Revelation 17 because you get the same beast, except now the woman's sitting on the beast. I haven't read that with you yet, have I? Turn in your Bibles real quick. Revelation chapter 17, and this is where you need to, like, take a deep breath, "Then one of the seven angels," verse 1, "who had the seven bowls, he came and he talked with me saying, 'Come and I'll show you the judgment of the great harlot,'" that's obvious she's not good, "who sits on many waters." What do the waters represent? Control over many people. "With whom the kings of the earth," the governments, "'have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.' So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed," she's clothed, "in purple and scarlet." What colors did I say? "And adorned with gold and precious stones, and pearls," sounds beautiful. "And a golden cup, full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication, was in her hand. And her forehead, a name is written, 'Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.' And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints," or with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. "And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement. The angel said, 'Did you marvel? I'll tell you mystery of the woman and the beast that carries her.'"

So, let's go ahead now and go into the interpretations that you'll find here. Who is this woman? "And the woman that you saw--" You look in the last verse in chapter 17 if you got your Bible there, it says, "The woman that you saw is that great city that reigns over the kingdoms of the earth." When John was a prisoner on the isle of Patmos, what great city was reigning over the kings of the earth? Rome. So, what does the woman represent? A woman, a church. So, you got a woman riding Rome. If I said nothing else, you ought to start getting it right there, but we're going to keep going. And just this is, I think, a pretty vivid example of Bible prophecy being clear. It says there's seven heads. What does seven heads represent? If you want to argue with Gabriel, you take it up with him. But he told John, "Here's the mind that has wisdom, the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits."

Now, is everybody here aware that if you just look in the encyclopedia, it's going to tell you Rome is called the city of seven hills? And it will name them for you. I'm not going to try and do that because I can't speak Italian very well, but it's got the seven hills of Rome. Rome is historically known as the city of seven hills. How many of you have heard that before? Is there a principle church that has its headquarters in Rome? What colors is she wearing? Purple and scarlet. And if you look even in the teachings of the Catholic church, the Roman Catholic church, purple and scarlet are the official colors of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church. Cardinals wear scarlet robes and the archbishops wear purple. And you'll even find times where the Pope will wear both.

What other clues were given there in chapter 17? It says that the woman is adorned with precious stones, with gold and precious stones and pearls. Well, have any of you been to Rome, seen the Vatican and some of the treasures there? It's absolutely amazing. It says the Vatican treasure of solid gold has been estimated by the United Nations World Magazine, it numbers in several billion dollars. Now, that's just the holdings of gold. That's the gold that is in the American reserve, it's in Switzerland, it's in a variety of banks. That's not counting the gold in the actual priceless treasures they own, and it doesn't count the real estate, it does not count all their holdings in silver, and the cash that they have invested. They are one of the wealthiest institutions in the world. It says she's got a golden cup in her hand.

If you know something about the Catholic liturgy--I used to go to--I went to two different Catholic schools, lovely people. We're not talking about people, right? They do wonderful work around the world. They've got a hospital system, missions, and orphanages, they do some wonderful work. Does everyone understand we're not talking about people? I got a lot of Catholic friends. I'm sure you do too. Good people. Well, they're like any church, you've got good and bad, right? We've got some great people in my church, and we've got some fruitcakes too. Every church, every church has got this. And we're not talking about people, right? We're talking about what prophecy says. You take it up with the Lord, okay?

She's got a golden cup in her hand. And if you read in--it says the golden chalice. In there, you can go to the Catholic encyclopedia, it occupies first place among all the sacred vessels of the church. Now, where is that in the Bible? Is that a Bible teaching? And then the title that the woman has is mother of harlots and abominations of the earth. You know, the Pope is, of course, the leader of the Catholic church, but did you know that the Pope is also a pastor of a congregation in Rome? It's the Lateran church. And you know what it says on the plaque there where the Pope is? It says, "This is the Pope's church, the Lateran church, the mother of all churches." It uses that--it's got a marble plaque there, it says the same thing. I forgot to put that picture up on the screen.

Number 12, are there any clear points from which we can draw from Daniel 7 to help us identify the antichrist power? All right, so now we're looking back in Daniel 7, we're comparing Scripture with Scripture, and it gives us ten characteristics. I've put them in letters here. And so, you can see, it'll go A through J. And it says that, first of all, it arises from among the ten. It's a human leader. It uproots three other leaders. It's diverse or different. It's a persecuting power. And after 476 AD, it divides, it rules for 1,260 years, or a time, a time, and a dividing of time. It's guilty of blasphemy. It's changed God's law, he would think to change times and laws. And there's this little horn power that's got--it's unique or different from the others.

So, now let's see if--and like I said, we're going to be talking about Protestantism and American prophecy another night. We're just talking about these main religious powers and how they're foretold. Does the papacy fit these ten points that we just saw? Look here, first of all, did it come up from among the main nations that you find in Europe? It did. Where's Italy? It was right in the very middle of Rome. It came up in the middle of the Mediterranean. You notice what it said in Daniel 7? "I saw these beasts come up from the Great Sea." What was the Great Sea for Bible writers? They had the Sea of Galilee, they had the Dead Sea, and then they had the Great Sea, which is the Mediterranean. And of course, Italy is a peninsula in the very midst of the Great Sea. And so, that's where it says this power rises up. It says, "The dragon gave him his power, his seat, and great authority." So, pagan Rome, which is the dragon, then gives the very position to this new institution that developed. And you can just read about that.

With the conversion of Constantine--do you realize Christianity was called religio illicita in Rome to begin with? Christians were chased out of Rome at one point, and Jews. You can read that in the book of Acts. And it was forbidden, and they were terribly persecuted. But over time--Constantine was fighting battles on the outside, he was a Roman emperor. And he said, "You know, Christians aren't hurting anybody. They're pretty peaceful." Nero wanted to wipe them out, but it didn't work. The more they persecuted them, then the more they grew. And he claimed to have a vision, he said, "I'm now to fight and conquer under the sign of the cross." Constantine legalized Christianity, and his mother was a Christian. And almost overnight, it became vogue to be a Christian. And everybody in the government wanted to be a Christian. And all of a sudden, all the pagan priests and the pagan gods in Rome, they said, you know, "What do we do with our gods?" And there was a big rush. All of a sudden, everyone wanted to be a Christian. But what the devil could not do in trying to destroy the church on the outside by persecution, feeding the Christians to lions, chasing them underground to the catacombs, the devil now accomplished by joining the church. He legalized it. And all of a sudden, there was great compromise that came into the church.

For example, you know there's a commandment that says do not make images and pray to them. That's one of the Ten Commandments, right? You got to take that up with the Lord. That's what it says, right? Second Commandment. Well, they had all these idols of all the gods all over Rome. Man, they had--someone said they had more idols in Rome than they had birds. They were everywhere. They had Mercury, and Apollos, and Zeus, and all the Greek gods that they mingled with the Roman gods. They had pantheons of gods. And even Paul in the book of Acts, he goes and he preaches to the Greeks, he said, "As I was looking at all your gods." They had idols and statues of Diana, and Athena, and all. And when everyone became a Christian, and the Bible said, you know, praise and worship God. They said, "What do we do with our idols?" Well, they didn't want to lose the pagans, and they said, "Well, you know, we need to teach them gradually." And so, they said, "Give them Christian names to start with." And so, they started calling their idols Peter, James, John, Jesus, Mary, and they kept praying to them. And almost overnight, idolatry began to come into the church. In fact, if you go to St. Peter's, there is a statue of St. Peter in the Vatican that is older than St. Peter. It is a statue that was once the statue of Jupiter, but it was a beautiful work of art, and they brought it in the Vatican, they said, "Let's just call it Peter." It's got a big solar disc around his head, and they've actually kissed the toe off of St. Peter several times. And I think I've got a picture of that later in the presentation. All of a sudden, everything began to change in the church. Good people, but they began to compromise. And you know, some of the Christian leaders, they said, "Well, you know, we'll get more people into the church if we make a few compromises. We'll bring more in." And that was the whole idea.

The transfer of the emperor's residence to Constantinople was a sad blow to the prestige of Rome. Now, it says that they got their power, seat, and authority from this fourth beast, Rome. When the emperor moved the capital from Rome to Constantinople, it looked like Rome was going to lose its glory. But listen to what the historians say, "Someone might have predicted at that time her speedy decline, but the development of the church and the growing authority of the bishop of Rome, better known as the pope, it gave her a new lease on life, and made her again the capital, this time the religious capital, of the world." Where it used to be in Jerusalem, now the Christian capital moved to Rome. And where Rome was the world empire for political power, now it became the spiritual capital of the world. And that hasn't changed in over 1,000 years, of course. "To the succession of the Caesar's came the succession of the Pontiffs in Rome." And so, instead of it now having a succession of one Caesar following another, the Caesars sort of left town, they began to lose power, but the church in Rome began to gain power. They were actually given an army to enforce religion, and we'll get to that in a moment.

"When Constantine left Rome he gave his seat to the Pontiff." Isn't that what we just read from the Bible? Got his power and his seat from the dragon. That's exactly what happened historically. You can see here it would have--it would have a man, one of the things that we understood. It says that this indicator would be it would have a man as its head, who would speak for the papacy. And the papacy, of course, has one man, the pope, who speaks for it. So, it's a single individual that is the leader of this organization. It meets that criteria as well. It says, "An authority was given to him over every tribe, tongue, and nation."

What does the word "catholic" mean? It means universal. Matter of fact, there's some of you, you may even be a Protestant, and you may have, from time to time, read what they call the Apostle's Creed. And it says "I am part of the holy catholic church." When I first read that in a Protestant church, I said, "What?" And they said, "No, the word 'catholic' means universal." And so, it is a global movement, it's not just localized. And another statement, it says here--Pope Boniface VIII said, "We, moreover, proclaim, and declare, and pronounce that it is altogether necessary for salvation for every human being to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." They say this is--there are teachings that he is to have absolute respect as the supreme authority. It says it was a man with a mouth speaking great things.

It goes on and tells us then that this power would pluck up or uproot three other kingdoms. Remember, that little horn comes up, three other horns are sort of displaced because of that. How did that happen? You look in history, it says the three Arian kingdoms that did not support the papacy, the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths. When the pope came into power with an army about 538, one of the first things he did was he sent his armies to fight against these kingdoms that would not recognize his authority and did not agree with their theology, and they were destroyed. And that's why you don't see the Ostrogoths, and the Vandals, and the Heruli anymore. It's because those kingdoms were uprooted, just as it said. But up until then, it had ten horns. Three of those horns were uprooted. That happened between 493 and 538. What time? The last date, 493 to 538. I want you to make a mental note of that.

It says it would be diverse from, or different from, the other kingdoms. This is a worldwide movement. It's diverse in that it's not just a government, it's a religion. And the Roman church has got about 1.2 billion members at the time of this recording, I just checked the figure. There are about 2.2 billion Christians in the world today because you add the Protestants. There's about 1.7 billion Muslims in the world. They are the largest two religious groups on the planet right now. But Catholics are the largest single group, Roman Catholics.

It goes on and tells us that this power would make war with and persecute the saints. Did that all happen? It's a fact of history that there was great persecutions that took place. You can go to Europe, I've been there, they've taken me in churches and they say, "Want to see the dungeon?" And you can go to the dungeon, they say, "Here's the torture chambers," and they have these implements of torture on display in the basements of the churches. And so, it's a pretty clear fact of history that it would make war. And this is what it says in Revelation 13, "That it would make war with the saints, and overcome them." They had to go underground during that time. One historian said it is a well-known fact that the church did persecute. The papacy clearly admits doing so. They've had several public meetings where they've apologized for that. And I know that the church, it seems so much nicer today than what happened during the Dark Ages. But you need to know your history, that prophecy was fulfilled, right? British historian William Edward Lecky wrote, "That the church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind will be questioned by no Protestant who has a competent knowledge of history." And they estimate that between 30 and 40 million people, I mean, that's worse than what Stalin did or Hitler did. That's a lot of people. That's--of course, it didn't happen in 2 or 3 years, this happened over a course of over a 1,000 years. But a lot of people died.

It would emerge then from the fourth kingdom of iron. It tells us that this power, it comes up out of the Roman power, that fourth kingdom. Just like in Daniel's vision, you got iron, which is the Roman part of the vision, but the feet are iron and clay. Religion is now mixed in with Roman religion. And you know, in the Roman Catholic religion, you'll still see there's a number of things that are not in the Bible that it was a little bit of a comingling of the Roman religion and Christianity. And it's kind of why you get some of the--you know, where in the Bible do you see the priestly garments that they wear? Those fish hats and things, that doesn't come from the Bible. And you're going to see that there's a lot of ceremonies and rites that are connected with pagan ceremonies and sun worship. Why do you have all the saints with halos? But you'll notice in the pagan religions, they've all got solar discs on their head, and you see a little bit of some of the smatterings of sun worship, and a little bit of it is mixed up. It goes on to tell us that God's people, the saints, would be given into its hand for a period of time. What is that period of time? It says, "A times, and the dividing of time, and a time." That's three and a half years. "Power was given--" Look in Revelation 13:5, "Power was given unto him to continue forty and two months." And this is a period of time.

Now, I told you the starting date, 538 is when he finally secured his power. And so, we're going to look at that. If you go from 538, 1,260 years, that's a time--remember, in Bible prophecy, a day equals what? You find that in Ezekiel 4:6, and Numbers, and Luke. You find several passages that teach us that's a principle. If you go from the starting point of 538, at 538 the Roman emperor Justinian left town, he gave the pope an army. The pope was the supreme ruler. They began to use force to compel people to believe. Did Jesus ever endorse that we use armies to get converts? And threaten with death or persecute? No, he said, "Whosoever will come." It's to be free, it's not to be compulsory. And you find that that starts in 538, and it reaches to 1798.

Now, here you've got--this is actually a mosaic of Constantine. The legally recognized supremacy of the pope began in 538 AD, when there went into effect a decree of Emperor Justinian making the bishop of Rome, better known as the pope, to be head over all the churches. How did the leader of the Christian church get to Rome? Didn't the early councils of the church happen in Jerusalem? You ever wondered about that? Making the bishop of Rome the head over all the churches, the definer of doctrine, and the corrector of heretics. You can also read in the history of the Christian church Vigilius ascended the papal chair, 538 AD, under the military protection of Belisarius. And the date is pretty well established, you start with 538. And it says you go 1,260 years, 42 months, same time period, a time, a time, and half a time. That time period is a very important time period, and it's going to reach unto something happening. Revelation 13:3, it says, "One of the heads was wounded as it were to death by the sword."

What does the sword represent? The Word of God. And the Word of God began to get printed again in the language of the people. They started seeing some of the inconsistencies. That's when the Protestant Reformation started in the 1500s. But finally, they lost their political power. It says, "There was a deadly wound, but the wound would be healed, and all the world would wonder after the beast." All right, so how did this happen? You've heard of Napoleon Bonaparte. He's sweeping across Europe, had great control, he conquered Italy. One of the things that he did is he didn't really like that the church in Rome was not supporting his empire. You know, he declared himself to be the emperor. And they had too much influence. You've probably heard of the French Revolution. And so, the murder of a Frenchmen in Rome gave them the excuse for him to send his general, Berthier, into Rome. He arrested the pope, he abolished the papal government. That happened in 1798, exactly 1,260 years after 538. They received a deadly wound, they lost their political power, and then you had France fighting for power, and England fighting for power, and there were great changes that happened. But it said the deadly wound would be healed, and all the world would wonder after the beast.

Another characteristic we learned, it said this beast power would be guilty of blasphemy. Blasphemy, by definition there are two things. It means, first of all, one claiming the powers or prerogatives that belong to God, claiming to be able to forgive sins. And so, does this beast power meet those two definitions? Are we still friends? Do you want me to keep going? Just reading you what the official teachings are here. April 30, 1922, Pope Pius said, "You know that I am the Holy Father, the representative of God on earth. The vicar of Christ, which means I am God on earth." That's an official statement, the declaration of the pope. Pope Leo XIII, "The supreme teacher in the church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord that in the one faith, complete submission and obedience of will to the church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God himself." See, Protestants typically would categorize that as blasphemy. One more. You can read in 2 Thessalonians, Paul said, "In the last days, this antichrist power will sit in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." Now that--the temple of God doesn't mean Jewish temple. The Bible says, "Don't you know that you are the temple of God." Means, there would be a religious power that would sit over the people of God, claiming prerogatives that belong to God.

So, when we pray, do we need to go through the pope? Do we need to go through the priests? Do we need to go through Mary? Or through the Holy Spirit, do we go directly to Jesus? And through Jesus, we go to the Father, right? And so, things changed in the church that separated it from the Bible, and it obscured the truth. That's why this is all so very important. It says, "He opposes and exalts himself all that is--above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." Second definition of blasphemy was claiming to be able to forgive sins. Well, if you look in the writings of the priesthood--these are not things that I've written. It says that, "God himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of his priests. God is obliged to abide by the judgment of his priests, and either to pardon or not to pardon, according as they refuse or give absolution." So, the priests decide whether or not God is going to pardon a person.

Now, that is a very convenient teaching because it means you can't be forgiven without going through the papal hierarchy. But the Bible says you can go directly, I can come boldly before the throne of grace through Jesus. And don't miss--there are good people. And even some of the leadership I think don't understand these things. I've had priests that have come to or watched these programs and said, "Pastor Doug, for the first time in my life, my eyes were opened," and they came to Christ, and they understood the Bible. And so, you know, you got to preach the truth. And you're not always going to make friends when you preach the truth, but the truth is the truth, and it doesn't change. Jesus said, "I'm the same yesterday, today, and forever." Oh, by the way, I didn't finish that quote. It goes on to say, "The sentence of the priest precedes, and God subscribes, he follows the sentence of the priest." It says it would go on.

This beast power would think to change times and laws. Did you know that in the official writings of the Catholic church, and you've got the reference there on the screen, it says, "The pope has power to change times, to abrogate laws, and to dispense with all things, even the precepts of Christ," teachings of Christ. I don't believe that that's true. I think that the Word of God does not change, amen? I told you that if you go to St. Peter's, you've got the statue of St. Peter, and people line up, and they kiss the toe.

One of the things that's changed, if you look--whenever I go play racquetball in Sacramento, I drive by this Catholic congregation, very nice, and they got a Ten Commandments outside., I appreciate that. And I stopped one time to look at it, a beautiful piece of art. They don't have the second commandment. It's been removed. What they did is they divided the tenth commandment, check for yourself. They divided the tenth commandment, they took out the one about idolatry so that they'd still have the number ten. They simply said, "Thou shall not have other gods," they skip over the whole thing about making idols and bowing down. I'm sorry, friends, it's the law of God. You got to stick with the law of God. God spoke it. If I've got to make someone happy, I'm going to make God happy, all right?

It says it would be a worldwide power. We already talked about that, it is universal in nature. And I think who can dispute, after the pope's incredible visit recently to the United States, where a joint session of Congress comes to be addressed by the pope. Isn't he a pastor? Or maybe he's not just a pastor. Do you know the Vatican is an independent country? It's a kingdom. They don't pay taxes to Italy. They have their own army, it's called the Swiss Guard. They've got about 109 acres, 1,000 people live there. They've got ambassadors from around the world. The US has an ambassador to the Vatican. It's a church. They will not have religious presidents of other denominations that will address the United Nations. They'll not have them--they'll not gather on the Lincoln Mall.

Friends, this is something that prophecy foretold. It is more than just a denomination. This is a political religious power with incredible clout. And you know, I'd love to meet Pope Francis, he seems like such a nice man. He reminds me of my grandfather, looks like my grandfather. I could probably impersonate the pope. After I shave my mustache, but I mean, he seems like a nice guy. You understand we're not talking about people. I'd like to give him a Bible study, actually, if you want to know the truth. I don't know how that would end. But this is what the Bible teaches. The whole United Nations, this is world leaders, gathered to be addressed by the pastor of a denomination technically. But they know it's more than that. It is a very powerful institution in its wealth, in its influence. Who brokered this peace deal between Cuba and the US? Pope flew to Cuba. He met there with one of the leaders--well, he did it first on the phone. A very powerful institution.

Now friends, as I share these things with you, the main thing I want you to do is say, "What does the Bible say?" Did God foretell what was going to happen in the world? Now, I've talked a little bit tonight about Catholicism and prophecy. On another night, I'll be talking about, you know, in Revelations 17, it says that woman that rides the beast is called the mother of harlots. So, she has daughters. What does a woman represent? A church. That means there's others. And because she's a harlot, her daughters are also unfaithful. And here we're finding out that there's a lot of other Christians and other denominations, daughters that have come out of the mother church, that are also unfaithful. So, I'm going to be talking because prophecy talks about a lot of unfaithfulness that has taken place in prophecy.

Jesus wants to bring his people back to the Word before he returns, and that's why we proclaim these messages. The idea of prophecy is redemptive. This isn't about building up or putting down one institution over another. It's about saying, "What are the teachings of Jesus? What is the truth that will save us from our sins?" Christ gave us these prophecies not to intrigue us, but to be redemptive, to save us. And there's a lot of dear people that are mixed up in false teachings. And with every truth that a person learns, Jesus said, "The truth will set you free." It liberates, it saves, it helps people to see the light and to understand that character of God better. Can you say amen? And that's why we're doing these programs.

I hope that you'll study these things for yourself. Read the prophecies that we've shared there, Revelation 17, Revelation 13, Revelation 12, Daniel 7. You see if it doesn't all add up. And I believe if you go by the Bible, there's almost no other interpretation you can come to for those prophecies. Now, the most important thing, though, is that we give God our hearts. Is that your desire? Can I pray with you, friends, as we close to that end? Dear Father, please give us your Spirit. You said that if we seek, we will find. And we're so thankful that you say there is a people in the last days that will gather on the sea of glass who have gotten the victory over the beast and his adversaries. And so, I pray that each of us can be in that group, in Jesus' name, amen. God bless you, friends. Don't miss tomorrow night, 144,000 and the seal of God, thank you. ♪♪♪

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