Pope Francis, Two Beasts, and the Devil’s Deadly Mark (Part 2)
As most of us know, Pope Francis visited America September 22-27, 2015. Highlights included a September 24 speech before a joint-session of our U.S. Congress, a September 25 address at a large United Nations gathering in New York City, and a September 26 speech at The World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
Is it possible that these events tie in with biblical prophecy?
Part 1 of this series explored Revelation chapter 13 which contains a mysterious, shocking prophecy about two beasts and a deadly mark. My last articled focused on the first beast which rose out of the sea (13:1), has “a mouth speaking great things” (verse 5), wages “war against the saints” (verse 7), and is granted “authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation” (verse 7). Finally, “all the world marveled and followed the beast” (verse 3).
Whether you agree with their controversial conclusions or not, it is a sober fact of history that for nearly 400 years—from the 1500’s to the 1800’s—millions of reputable Bible-believing Protestant Christians like Martin Luther (Lutheran), John Calvin (Presbyterian), John Wesley (Methodist), Charles Spurgeon (Baptist), and Matthew Henry (world-famous Bible Commentary author) interpreted the highly-symbolic first “beast” of Revelation 13:1-10 to be the religious-political system (not Catholic people) of the Roman Church, led by popes.
Controversial indeed! Yet again, these are facts of history.
What about the second beast—a lamb-like beast rising from “the earth”—described in Revelation 13:11? Does it have anything to do with the United States of America? Let’s explore this. God’s Word predicted:
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon (Revelation 13:11).
Daniel chapter 7—which clearly parallels Revelation 13—plainly reveals that a symbolic “beast” in prophecy represents a great nation. Both Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 refer to beasts, ten horns, a boastful mouth speaking great things, and war against God’s saints (compare Daniel 7:3-8, 21 with Revelation 13:1-7). More specifically, Daniel 7 identifies a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a dragon-like creature, which are the exact same animals mentioned in Revelation 13:2. An angelic interpreter explained:
The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on earth (Daniel 7:23).
So we can nail this down: a “beast” in prophecy represents a mighty kingdom or nation. Historically, 98% of reputable Christian Bible commentaries have interpreted Daniel’s four beasts to represent the ancient nations of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome.
Back to Revelation 13:11: “I saw another beast coming out of the earth.” Thus John saw a great nation rising into power. From where? “Out of the earth,” predicted the prophet. In Daniel 7, all four beasts “came up from the sea” (Daniel 7:3). What does “the sea” or water represent? Prophecy provides the answer. A holy angel confirmed:
The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues (Revelation 17:15).
True to both prophecy and history, ancient Babylonia, Persia, Greece and Rome all arose from the midst of a sea of peoples in Europe and the Middle East. Not so with the Revelation 13:11 creature, which comes from the earth. Thus Revelation 13:11 points to a mighty nation rising out of a sparsely inhabited wilderness area.
“I saw another beast coming out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb.” Each word is critical. The primary Lamb of God is Jesus Christ. “Like a lamb,” indicates that this out-of-the-earth nation would have lamb-like or Christian features. Significantly, its “two horns” have no crowns, whereas the first beast’s ten horns do have crowns (Revelation 13:1). Crowns represent kingly power. Thus Revelation 13:11 depicts a new nation, with gentle, lamblike, Christian features, rising out of a sparsely inhabited area, led by a government without a king. Are the pieces coming together yet?
Only one nation today fits every prophetic detail.
The United States of America.
Here’s a shocker: The latter portion of Revelation 13’s prophecy teaches that the lamb-like beast (USA) will cooperate with, and even promote, the “worship” of the first beast (Papal Rome). God’s prophecy declares:
And he (the lamb-like beast) exercises all the authority of the first beast (the sea beast) in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed (Revelation 13:12, emphasis added).
Get it? In Revelation 13:12, the second beast honors the first beast, contributes to its worship, and both beasts work together near the close of time. Think soberly for a minute. For nearly 1,000 years, the Roman Church dominated Europe as a church/state combination. No one questions this. But America is different. It has “two horns [without crowns] like a lamb,” indicating a democratic-type government that promotes lamb-like, Christian freedoms. But finally, as a global crisis looms, both beasts work together toward a global “solution”—which eventually becomes “the mark” of the beast (see Revelation 13:16,17).
On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis’s monumental encyclical on “climate change” was released by the Vatican. On the very same day President Obama issued a press release from the White House stating:
I [President Obama] welcome His Holiness Pope Francis’s encyclical, and deeply admire the Pope’s decision to make the case — clearly, powerfully, and with the full moral authority of his position — for action on global climate change … I believe the United States must be a leader in this effort … (The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, June 18, 2015, emphasis added).
In spite of their differences, Pope Francis and President Obama are cooperating with each other. President Obama is also promoting Pope’s Francis’s encyclical on “climate change,” even stating that “the United States must be a leader in this effort.”
Dear reader, according to Bible prophecy, a global crisis is coming, and an apparent global solution.
Read the prophecy of Revelation 13. God has warned us in advance—because He loves us, wants to enlighten us, and to protect us—that the “solution” will be the final enforcement of the mark of the beast (read Revelation 13:16,17).
Steve Wohlberg’s bestselling book, End Time Delusions, explain this subject more fully. 1-800-782-4253.