The Beast of Revelation 13, Pt. 3

The Beast of Revelation 13, Pt. 3

What does Constantine the Great have to do with Bible Prophecy?
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Speaker 1: On December the 25th of the first times they could tell that the sun was coming back. The days were lengthening out December the 21st is the shortest day. Then they began to lengthen and so they noticed it on December 25 and they said the sun is reborn to us and they called it the birthday of the sun the S-U-N and they observed that day.

Speaker 2: The conversion of Constantine to Christianity brought a flood of pagan compromise into the church. Today Joe Crews continues his amazing facts crusade series on The Beast of Revelation 13.

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Speaker 1: Now, the question comes where did this beast get this authority to kill all these people 50 million of them put to death during the dark ages? Where did he get this power and this authority to do these things? We have the answer of course in Revelation 13:2, please notice these words very, very carefully and the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard and his feet was a feet of a bear and his mouth was a mouth of a lion and the dragon, listen and the dragon gave him his power and his seat and great authority. That's where he got his power friends from the dragon, you say well who's the dragon? Let's get the answer to that now. Revelation 12 beginning with Verse 7 and there was war in

heaven, Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon fought and his angels and prevail not neither was their place found anymore in heaven and the great dragon was cast out. That old serpent called the devil and Satan which deceive the whole world. He was cast out on the earth and his angels were cast out with him. Now, tell me who was the dragon friends?

Audience: The devil.

Speaker 1: It was the devil, that's right. We're told very plainly there that the dragon was the devil and it says that the dragon gave the beast his power and seat and great authority but now friends let me ask you something. When did the devil deceive the whole world? Now, this verse says that he deceived the whole world. Now, he doesn't do that today, he comes maybe close to it but everybody is not blinded and deceived today by the devil but let me tell you there was a time when this was true.

That everybody in the world was overcome by his clever attack and you know when that was. He was cast out of heaven into the earth the Bible says and when he came to this earth the only people here was Adam and Eve. He came right to that beautiful garden that God had made for them and he came to that one tree that had been forbidden to them and there he took his abode. Then Eve came you remember in the vicinity of that tree and the dragon, the devil, the serpent began to talk to Eve and he her and deceived her and she sinned. She took the fruit and took it to her husband and sin came into this world for the first time.

It was transferred out of heaven down to this earth and immediately after that original sin took place God came down to face those who participated in it and to pronounce a curse upon each one who had a part in that sin. Now, you remember of course what he said to the different ones who took part in it. To Adam he said, “Because of your sin in this way the ground is cursed and it will not give forth its strength, it will bring forth thorns and thistles and you will have to labor in the sweat of your brow to make a living and arrest out of the cursed ground a livelihood.”

Then to the woman he said, “Because of your sin and your part in this transgression you will bear children in sorrow and pain,” and then he said, “And your husband will rule over you.” I'm sorry ladies I had to bring that out too. He said that was a part of it, he said, “Your husband will be the head now and he will rule over you.”

Then friends he came to the third person or the third party who had any part in that original sin and he spoke to the dragon and notice what he said to him and the curse that he placed upon him in Genesis3:15. He said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed. It shall bruise thy head and thou shall bruise his heel.” Now, my friends here is a prediction of God that they would be an eternal enmity between good and evil, between God and Satan and between the followers of God and the followers of Satan, because the woman as we're going to find out in a moment of course is God's people and the seed of the dragon or the followers of Satan.

There was to be an eternal warfare or enmity between these two groups of people and the result of this great controversy between good and evil would finally result in the seed of the woman receiving a bruise of the heel. Now, do you know who the seed of the woman is friends? We're going to read it just a moment but that was Jesus. That was Jesus and when he was crucified on the cross that was a bruise of the heel because he wasn't destroyed by that was he? He came out of that tomb you remember and that was only a bruise.

What is going to happen to the serpent, to the dragon, to the devil as a result of the great controversy friends he says his head is going to be crushed. That's a fatal blow. Thank God my friends, we know who's going to win the battle already, don't we? In fact we know who has already won the battle it's the Lord Jesus Christ. The prediction here is that the serpent will be crushed. He'll be destroyed and wiped out at the very end as a result of this tremendous battle and conflict.

Now, let me ask you something. Do you see this great battle taking place between Adam and Eve on children? Do you remember their children Cain and Abel? Here were the two sides represented in the first family on earth. Abel belonged to God's side, didn’t he? He did what God said. God said, “Bring a lamb,” remember and Abel brought a lamb and complete obedience to God. Cain brought a substitute instead now you can mark this down friends. One of the trademarks of the dragon side is to counterfeit and substitute, see?

To not fully obey God and so Cain was on the dragon side, Abel was on God's side and this presumptuous sin of Cain and bringing fruit and vegetables instead of bringing a lamb led him finally become the world's first murderer. He killed his brother Abel and the sin spread out over the entire world until the earth was corrupted by it. God finally had to come down here and by the way God put a mark on Cain remember that? Remember this, a mark of Cain.

Now, you're going to learn later that the devil's followers also have a mark in the book of Revelation later. We'll read about the mark of the beast and here's the dragon walking way back in the very beginning. Here's a mark of Cain that's put on him because of his sin and then the flood came. God saw that he had to destroy the word because the result of this sin of Cain led to the whole corruption of the world and so the earth was destroyed. After the flood the two sides appeared again.

Remember one group went over and said, “We're going to build a tower, it'll reach up to heaven we'll save ourselves many more floods. We'll build a great name for ourselves of building this tower up to heaven.” God said, “Don't do it,” and the Babel builders kept on building , it got bigger and bigger and higher and higher and finally God had to come down you remember and actually confuse their language so that they couldn't do it anymore.

They call for mud and they bring mortar instead and finally they had to give up and the ones who could understand each other went off together to live together and by the way that's the origin of the languages of the earth. The two sides appeared again after the flood. Then friends right there on the site of the old tower of Babel the devil decided to establish his first headquarter city in this earth from which he would launch an attack against God and against the people of God. He built up a city right there on the site of the tower of Babel.

By the way what does the word babel mean? Confusion and what city do you think was built up right there on the side of the old tower of Babel? The city of Babylon, that's right. Babylon represented here by the lion in our prophet . Babylon was always fighting against God and against God's people introducing sun worship and all manner of heathen customs of idolatry. The old devil thought now I've got a place from which I can strike against God and against his government and against his people.

Babylon was a dragon kingdom, see there are only two powers now remember, the two sides? God's side and the dragon side, Babylon is the dragon's side but pretty soon they quarreled among themselves and Middle Persian took over. Now, friends what side was Middle Persian on? Was that God's side or the dragon's side? That was a dragon side too wasn't it because wasn't it under ? The old King there of Middle Persian that he wanted to put all the Jews to death, remember that?

He was going to destroy them all God's people fighting against God's people. Then the Middle Persians quarreled among themselves and Greece came up. Now, what side was Greece on? God's side or the dragon side? Well, that was a dragon side also. Didn't they have their Parthenon and all of their multitudes of gods and goddesses there and the Greek culture? Of course, they did.

In fact, my friends through Hellenization the Greek culture almost destroyed God's people. They became assimilated with that Greek culture and even changed the names of their children from the names of Jehovah God to the names of those pagan gods and goddesses. That whole story of the intertestamental period between Malachi and Matthew is filled with the stories of compromise on how the Greek civilization almost engulfed and destroyed God's people. The Jews at the very time they should have been proclaiming the coming of the Messiah to the world. Now, pretty soon the Greeks quarreled among themselves and Rome came up. Now, which side was Rome on? Was that God's side or the dragon side? Well, that was the dragon side of course.

They had Mithraism there in the days of Rome, remember that? The sun god, They worship these pagan gods of wood and stone. Rome was ruling the world when it was time for the seed of the woman to appear. Now, remember the prophecy in Genesis 3:15, what was the prediction? I will put the enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed. Now, it's time for the seed of the woman to appear. Who was that seed? Come with me in your bible now to revelation 12.

Revelation 12 and this gets very, very exciting friends. In verse 1 and there appeared a great wonder in heaven a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet and upon her head a crown of 12 stars. Now, here's the woman that was being referred to back in the book of Genesis. Here's the woman of prophecy my friend, the woman who is used all through the bible, to represent God's people.

Now, mark this down. The symbol of God's church of his faithful followers is a pure woman, the bride of Jesus. He's the bridegroom, married to his people and his people are represented in both Old Testament and New Testament as being a beautiful virgin bride, a pure woman. Here is that woman now representing God's people, and clothed with the glory of the sun. The next verse says, she being with child cried, travailing in birth and pain to be delivered. By the way, if you want more evidence on that Jeremiah 6:2, God says, “I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.”

Then Isaiah says, in Isaiah 51:16, I would say unto Zion, thou art my people. You see God's people are Zion, and he says, “I'd like the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.” Here she is, now the beautiful woman, the bride of Christ, the people of God and the 12 stars here representing the 12 apostles. It says, that the woman travailed in birth and pain to be delivered, and there appeared another wonder in heaven and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and 10 horns and seven crowns upon his head.

Now, listen and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered for to devour her child as soon as it was born. She brought forth a man child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron, and her child was caught up to God and to his throne. Now, friends tell me something. Who is this man child that was born of this woman? Well, that had to be Jesus, wasn't it? Was there any other man child ever born who was to rule all nations and who was finally caught up to the throne of God? Never, so this is talking about Jesus.

Yet it says that the dragon was standing there before the woman to devour that child when he was born. Now, who tried to kill Jesus at his birth? Why it was Herod, wasn't the old roman king, the representative of the old pagan Roman Empire. He sent out a decree, you remember, that every baby two years and under, every a little boy would be put to death. Joseph and Mary were warned in a dream and fled down to Egypt and barely escaped. There they remained with that baby until the king was dead. Then later they returned and settled in Nazareth, you remember, and there Jesus grew up.

The old devil didn't give up of course, did he? When he saw that Christ had eluded him, he began to try to destroy him still followed him around all of his life trying to get him destroyed, put to death. Finally, he really did put it in the heart of those Roman soldiers and those Jewish leaders, to destroy Christ. They brought him into that mockery of a trial you remember and condemned him and crucified him and buried him in that Roman tomb. My friends a grave could not contain the son of God. On the third day he burst out of that grave, and then he was caught back to his father in heaven. Then, what do you think the devil?

He made an attack upon the people of God. That little church back there, the little handful of Christians who were holding onto the faith. The devil thought if I can just wipe them out and destroy them before this thing spreads, I will still frustrate the plan of salvation. He focused his attack against those few thousands who constituted that little infant church of that day. I'll tell you my friends, the blood of the martyrs was like the seed of the church. One would die and a hundred more would spring up to take the place of them.

Paul preached right up to the very gates of Rome, you remember. The old devil got worried and he saw that it was time for him to bring forth his seed. All right, remember the promise, the promise of God was, I will put enmity between thee and the woman between thy seed and her seed. We found out who the seed of the woman was, Jesus. Now, it's time for the seed of the dragon to appear. Do you know what it was my friends?

Listen, the dragon finally concluded that he could never destroy the people of God by violence or persecution. It wasn't working, when one would die, a hundred more would spring up to take their place. He saw he had had to try something else, some other plan, some other strategy in order to destroy the truth.

My friends, he decided to bring forth his own religion, which would be a substitute, if you please which is the mark of his program from the very beginning. My friends the dragon and brought forth his seed in the form of the beast of Revelation 13, which was a combination of paganism mingle with Christianity, that would destroy just as surely as persecution had done, and even more effectively than persecution could ever do it.

He brought forth his own religious system that would deceive and destroy millions of people. Now, friends why does God represent this modern religious system that we've identified tonight? Why does he describe it as being made up of these old pagan kingdoms? Babylon Middle Persian, Greece and Rome, I'll tell you why. Because when it was formed, it actually drew many of its doctrines and its philosophies and its teachings right out of paganism, combined them with Christianity to make a great counterfeit system of religion.

You say well, that's hard to believe. I don't understand how that could ever be done. Then let me explain to you here friends. In closing tonight, I want you to see how easy it was for the devil to do this. Let me ask you a question right here, let's think about Christmas for just a moment, December 25th, it'll be coming up you're one of these days. Listen December the 25th, is that the birthday of Jesus? Of course, it's not the birthday of Jesus. Everybody knows that December 25th is not the birthday of Jesus. It could not be, it could never be, but you say, then why do we have December the 25th, as the date for the birth of Jesus. If it's not really that date and we know it's not that date then how did that date ever come to be accepted by Christian people as the birthday of Jesus?

Let me try to explain that friends. Do you know that they were observing December the 25th all the way back here to the days of Babylon, 600 years before Jesus was born? They were observing December the 25th. You know why those pagans were doing it? Because they worship the sun, that was their chief god and they noticed, that in December the sun seemed to be getting farther and farther away from them. The days were getting shorter and shorter and shorter.

On December the 25th they could notice for the first time that the days were lengthening out again, and they said the sun, is coming back to us. You see they thought the sun was leaving them and they would all die. They were praying and sacrificing to the sun god that he would return. On December the 25th for the first time, they could tell that the sun was coming back. The days were lengthening out. You know December the 21st is the shortest day and then they began to lengthen and so they noticed it on December 25. They said, the sun is reborn to us. They called it the birthday of the sun, the S-U-N.

They observed that day right on down through Babylon, Middle Persia, Greece and. That was a day which was dedicated to the sun god. 300 years after Christ something happened. Constantine, the pagan Roman Caesar was going out to fight a battle, the Battle of Milvian Bridge. On the way he thought he had a vision and saw a cross up in the sky and underneath that cross it's said, “In this sign conquer.” He thought that meant he should be a Christian in order to win his battles, and so he marched his pagan Army through a river and he said, "Now you're all Christians, you're baptized."

He took them right into the church. Well now listen, when they came in these millions of pagans into the church they brought with them their old pagan customs. One of their pagan customs was December the 25th, the birthday of their sun god. On which they had their special worship of the sun and Constantine said, "Well you know that don't make any difference. We want to make it easy for all these pagans to become Christians and so we'll just call that the birthday of the S-O-N and instead the S-U-N. They called it Christ Mass. The event of Christ's birth is a wonderful event and we ought to think about it and sing about it and talk about it. Don't attach any sacred religious meaning to that day of December 25. That is not the day our Lord was born. It was a day that was dedicated to the pagan sun god.

Anyway, I'm only using this as an illustration. I'm not here preaching any sermon against Christmas. Please don't misunderstand me. I want you to see tonight how easy it was for a pagan custom to get into the church. We don't really know when Jesus was born. I think maybe the Lord had a reason for holding that information back, don't you? When you see how people celebrate it? Don't you see maybe and understand a little bit why God didn't reveal that to have his son dishonored by the things that go on at that time of the year. I think maybe there's a reason for that, but I am just saying that here is a perfect illustration an example of how something purely pagan can be brought in and made a part of Christianity and of a religious system.

Now, let's go on to one more thing here tonight, what about Easter? What about Easter? You say, "Brother Joe I know that Easter is not the resurrection of Jesus because it comes three weeks apart some years, surely does, doesn't it?” Two or three weeks apart, so we know that that day called Easter is not the day that Jesus was resurrected. Then how in the world did that day get into the Christian system?

Did you know they were also observing Easter all the way back here to the days of Babylon? They were keeping Easter. In fact those Babylonians they had a certain goddess back there that they worshiped a great deal who was called Ishtar. Ishtar and that's where we get the word Easter. Ishtar was the goddess of reproduction and these pagan peoples back there wanted to choose a day in the early spring when everything was growing and reproducing. They wanted to choose a day to honor their goddess of reproduction, and so they chose a day. Now, you can find out when it's going to be next year, the next year and next year.

Has nothing to do with the time of the resurrection of Jesus. It has to do with the phases of the moon and the movement of the heavenly bodies. Those pagan peoples of course chose these days to honor their gods and goddesses whom they believe to dwell in those heavenly bodies. Ishtar's day, came right on down through Babylon, Middle Persian, Greece and Rome and 300 years after Christ when Constantine took all these pagans into the church.

Well, here they came not only with December the 25th but they came along also with Easter's day. Constantine said, "Well, instead of letting this represent the new life that comes to nature through the goddess of reproduction, the goddess Ishtar. Will let it represent the new life that comes to Jesus and the resurrection from the dead." That old pagan day with its customs were just shifted right over into Christianity through the beast power and then into Christianity. By the way did you ever wonder what in the world bunny rabbits and Easter eggs have to do with the resurrection of Jesus? Did you ever wonder about that? Let me tell you something my friend it has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Those pagan people back there chose the rabbit as a symbol of Easter because it was the most prolific reproduced that they knew, and they chose the egg because that's the symbol of fertility. They had all kinds of immoralities connected with the worship of the goddess of reproduction as you can imagine. A lot of immoralities, and all of that was transferred into Christianity by the by the counterfeit system here which combined paganism and Christianity together in which is passed along a lot to us today. I'll tell you something that does worry me though friends, if God had revealed the birthday of Jesus and the day of the resurrection and had given us commandment to keep those days then I'd be very upset and concerned about Easter and Christmas, wouldn't you?

In other words to have some pagan custom brought in there and substituted for something that God had actually commanded us to do. I would be excited about that tonight and I'd be talking a lot stronger than I'm talking. Well, let me tell you something Friends, did you know that the devil has actually done that?

As we keep on studying here we're going to learn that this is just the tip of the iceberg. A lot of paganism came in back. I've just mentioned two or three things to you tonight, but I'm telling you that next Tuesday night when we talk about the mark of the beast, your hair is going to stand up on your head, those of you that have hair. Really, I mean at friends that this thing gets serious, it gets very serious.

We're going to discover that the devil has brought in Paganism and has actually tried to substitute it for God's commandments and that is what is very, very serious. As I come to the end of this message tonight that text rings in my mind, if any man worship the beast and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.

Don't you see now that all Protestants are involved in the same? I told you the other night that that all Protestants are involved, every one of us, because we're going to learn some things here my friends that will open our eyes and show why God has warned us about this great system that would arise down here at the end of the world and what you and I should do about it in order to safeguard ourselves from deception. In other words God wants us to follow this book and this book alone, aren't you thankful for that friends? We can be preserved from deception by just studying this book and understanding it.

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