Study for the Month of February 2015
The Image of the Beast-Part VI
By Nathaniel Fajardo
Whole Gospel Ministries
References on the Image of or to the Beast-Part II
This is a continuation from last month’s study, focusing on who, what, where, when, and how the Image of the Beast is formed. Image is the Greek eikon, meaning “a likeness,” “an image.” In 2 Cor. 4: 4 and Col. 1: 15 Christ is spoken of as the eikon of God. An eikon implies an archetype and in many respects is like its archetype. An image to the first beast would be an organization functioning on much the same principles as that beast’s organization. Among the principles by which the first beast operated was the use of the secular arm to support religious institutions. In imitation the second beast will repudiate its principles of freedom. The church will prevail upon the state to enforce its dogmas. State and church will unite, and the result will be the loss of religious liberty and persecution of dissenting minorities. Compare on Revelation 13: 12; see Great Controversy 443-448.” – Footnote on Revelation 13: 14, An Exhaustive E. G. White Commentary on Revelation, Vol. 2, p. 872.
“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth…That they should make an image to the beast. Rev. 13: 14.
“Here is clearly presented a form of government in which the legislative power rests with the people, a striking evidence that the United States is the nation denoted in the prophecy.
“But what is the ‘image to the beast’? and how is it to be formed? The image is made by the two-horned beast, and is an image to the beast. It is also called an image of the beast. Then to learn what the image is like and how it is to be formed we must study the characteristics of the beast itself—the papacy.
“When the early church became corrupted by the departure from the simplicity of the gospel and accepting heathen rites and customs, she lost the Spirit and the power of God; and in order to control the consciences of the people, she sought the support of the secular power. The result was the papacy, a church that controlled the power of the state and employed it to further her own ends, especially for the punishment of ‘heresy.’
“In order for the United States to form an image of the beast, the religious power must so control the civil government that the authority of the state will also be employed by the church to accomplish her own ends.”- E. G. White, Great Controversy, pp. 442-3 (1911 ed.)
“John was now prepared to witness the thrilling scenes in the great conflict between those who keep the commandments of God and those who make void His law. He saw the wonder-working power arise that was to deceive all who should dwell upon the earth, who were not connected with God, ‘saying to the them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had a wound by the sword, and did live.” Read Rev. 13: 14-17.” –Ibid, The Home Missionary (HM) periodical, Nov. 1, 1893.
“But, says John, in speaking of the deceiver that doeth great wonders, he shall make an image to the beast, and shall cause all to receive his mark. (See Rev. 13: 14-16). Will you please consider this matter? Search the Scriptures and see. There is a wonder-working power to appear, and it will be when men are claiming sanctification, and holiness, lifting themselves up higher and higher and boasting of themselves.
“Look at Moses and the prophets; look at Daniel and Joseph and Elijah. Look at these men and find one sentence where they ever claim to be sinless. The very soul that is in close relation to Christ, beholding His purity and excellence, will fall before Him with shamefacedness.” –Ibid, Sermons and Talks, vol. 1 (SAT), p 21.
“Satan has been persevering and untiring in his efforts to prosecute the work he began in heaven, to change the law of God. Her has succeeded in making the world believe the theory he presented in heaven before his fall, that the law of God is faulty, and needed revising. A large part of the professed Christian church, by their attitude, if not by their words, show that they have accepted the same error. But if in one jot or tittle the law of God has been changed, Satan has gained on earth that which he could not gain in heaven. He has prepared his delusive snare, hoping to take captive the church and the world. But not all will be taken in snare. A line of distinction is being drawn between the children of disobedience and the children of disobedience, the loyal and true and the disloyal and untrue. Two great parties are developed, the worshippers of the beast and his image, and the worshippers of the true and living God.”- Ibid, Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 107.
“Already preparations are advancing, and movements are in progress, which will result in making an image to the beast. Events will be brought about in the earth’s history that will fulfill the predictions of prophecy for these last days.” (Review & Herald, Apr. 23, 1889.)/ E. G. White Bible Commentary , Vol. 7, p. 976.
NOTE: This did occur in the year 1888 when Sunday Law Bills were introduced into the U.S. Congress for hearings, sponsored by an alliance of the largest Protestant denominations at that time. It was aborted by God in His mercy because the members of the commandment-keeping remnant church of prophecy were not character-ready for stupendous closing events. He held back the unloosing of the four winds of strife described in Revelation 7: 1-8—“until His servants are sealed in their foreheads.” The last one coming soon will no longer be aborted again. At that point the “final movements will be rapid ones.”
“When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall so influence the state to enforce her decrees and sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” – Ibid, Great Controversy (1911 ed), p. 445.
NOTE: Who are the Protestant churches and denominations of the United States today? Briefly, not in their order of numerical membership but alphabetically, they are: Anabaptists, Anglicans, Baptists, Calvinists, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists, Moravians, Presbyterians, Puritans, Quakers, Shakers. The leading, or most prominent ones with the largest memberships are the Baptists, Lutherans, and Methodists. For a recent listing of the “Top 100 largest (and fastest growing) churches in America,” also referred to as “megachurches,” largely “Evangelical,” “Pentecostal,” or “non-denominational” but all Sunday-keeping, see on the internet www.sermoncentral.com/article.asp? Article=Top-100-Largest-churches. Number 1 was Lakewood Church with Pastor ]oel Osteen; No. 2 Second Baptist Church of Pastor Ed Young; No. 3 North Point Community Church of Pastor Andy Stanley, etc.
The Protestant denominations that allied together back in the years leading up into 1888-1889, called on Senator H.W. Blair of New Hampshire to introduce the Lord’s Day Bill to the U.S. Senate. Charles S. Longacre, then General Secretary, Religious Liberty Association; and editor of Liberty, a magazine of religious freedom, published at Washington, D.C. records this event:
“The first legislative program which the National Reform Association attempted to put through Congress was definitely launched in 1888. At that time the American Sabbath Union, later transformed into the Lord’s Day Alliance, claimed to be an auxiliary of the National Reform Association, and functioned for it on the exclusive topic of Sunday legislation. The American Sabbath Union, composed entirely of the same constituent membership of the National Reform Association, framed a compulsory Sunday observance bill to ‘promote’ the observance of the ‘Lord’s Day,’ as a day of religious worship,’ and Senator H.W. Blair, of New Hampshire, introduced it at their request in the United States Senate, May 21, 1888.
“Four days later, on May 25, 1888, Senator Blair, at the request of the National Reform Association, introduced ‘a joint resolution proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Respecting the Establishment of Religion,’ requiring that all public school children should be taught ‘in the common branches of knowledge, and in virtue, and morality, and principles of the Christian religion.’ If such an amendment had been enacted, it would have meant the legal establishment of Christianity as the national religion of the United States [emphasis mine].
“Both the Lord’s Day bill, and the resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution requiring the State to define and to teach ‘the principles of the Christian religion,’ failed to pass Congress. So on Dec. 9, 1889, Senator Blair, at the request of both these ‘reform’ organizations, reintroduced both the joint resolution for the proposed ‘Christian amendment,’ as it was then called, and the Lord’s Day observance bill, with a few slight changes which did not in the least alter the religious features in the measures. The bills created quite a stir throughout the nation, and hundreds of thousands of protests were sent to Congress by those who believed that this proposed legislation would establish a dangerous legal precedent, and would be followed up with still more intolerant laws resulting in a renewal of the old-time religious persecutions. [emphasis mine].
“The leaders of the National Reform Association who sponsored this ‘Christian amendment,’ expected, after its adoption, to beat down all opposition and suppress all minority sects. The American Sabbath Union leaders expected to cause the arrest of every person who dared to assert his conscience and practice his religion contrary to the provisions of ‘the Lord’s Day Observation Act.’
“The Rev. M.A. Gault, a district secretary of the National Reform Association, who assisted in framing the Lord’s Day Observance Act, said in a letter on June 3, 1889, just prior to the framing of the above Act: ‘We propose to incorporate in our national Constitution the moral and religious command. ‘In it [Sunday] thou shalt not do no work,’ except the works of necessity, and by external force of sheriffs we propose to arrest and punish all violators of this law.’ “ – Charles S. Longacre, The Church in Politics, ‘A Burning Issue” chapter, pp. 18, 19. (1927) Review & Herald Publishing Asso., Washington, D.C.
It started out as the American Sabbath Union then changed its name later to the Lord’s Day Alliance, calling Sunday as “the American Christian Sabbath.” Back then, The Lord’s Day Alliance “claimed to speak for nineteen Protestant denominations, representing more than 16,000,000 communicant members.” It should be remembered that this number includes the denominations listed by the National Reform Association.” It had auxiliaries in nearly every state in the Union, and in Canada, England, Australia, and other countries. This very recent American history should be learned and ever kept in mind by all freedom-loving Christian. History will soon repeat itself. This time it will be the final one fulfilling Revelation 13 prophecy that the “beast with two lamblike horns will speak like a dragon.”…