By Elder Lawrence Nelson
This message will reveal the great struggle between truth and error which started in heaven and spread to the earth soon after the creation of our world. We will discover that this war is still continuing in our day and is soon to end in a great climax with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
We discovered from the scripture in our last presentation that this tremendous battle is between the dragon – the devil with his pagan religion – and the woman – God’s true church who obey the teachings of Jesus. This war is taking place daily before our very eyes. Some of you may not be aware of this battle but everybody in the world today will be captivated by what is taking place, for the Bible declares, “All the world wondered after the beast.” Revelation 13:3.
Since we are dealing with a beast which Inspiration has declared receives its power from Satan, the dragon, we will need the help of God. Let us bow our heads in prayer asking for guidance. Oh loving Father, may Thy Holy Spirit enlighten our hearts and awaken our intellect so we may grasp the great warning message concerning this power as found in the Three Angels’ Messages in the book of Revelation. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Let us begin by reading Revelation 13:3, “I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; [note the following carefully] and his deadly wound was healed .” These are the five words which are astounding the world today. Now the question: Whose wound are we talking about? – The scripture says it is the beast of Revelation 13. Who is the beast? – In Revelation 13: 1-4 Christ reveals the answer to us in precise detail. As I read this scripture please open your visual aid of beasts and fasten your eyes on beast #6 titled “Papal Rome.” I am reading, “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
Did you note that of those who worship this beast God says, “They worship the dragon”? This is a most serious accusation given by God so please take your beast chart and look now at the dragon (beast #1). The Bible declares the dragon to be Satan, the devil. Let me read this to you from Revelation 12:9, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
When did this happen? – Satan actually entered the Garden of Eden on this earth and lied to Eve, telling her she would not die if she disobeyed God. I’m sorry to say that Eve believed the devil and ate of the forbidden fruit which she also gave to Adam and he ate of it. Thus, Satan gained control of this world because they obeyed the devil and became his subjects rather than God’s subjects. In the following generations the majority of Adam’s descendents likewise disbelieved God and accepted the devil’s lies of pagan doctrines. As a result the world became so wicked that God had to destroy the antediluvians with the flood.
Now keep your eyes fastened to the chart of beasts as we follow the history of Satan’s pagan kingdoms. After the deluge the dragon established his first universal kingdom called Babylon, the lion, in 606 BC giving to this kingdom its pagan religion which the Bible describes in Daniel 7 (see your beast chart #2). When Medo-Persia overcame Babylon the dragon passed the pagan religion and the government to the bear, the Bible symbol of Medo-Persia (see beast #3). Then we move to the leopard, Greece (see beast #4). This was the period of time in history when Alexander the Great conquered Medo-Persia and ruled the world. When he died he left four generals who ruled concurrently as God described the leopard with four heads.
When Greece crumbled the monster, pagan Rome (beast #5), became Satan’s next universal kingdom seizing control of the world. This was the time in history when Jesus was born into our world and after thirty-three years was crucified on a Roman, pagan cross. As time progressed pagan Rome also lost control when its empire was divided into ten kingdoms in 476 AD as God had predicted it would in Daniel 7:24. I read, “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.”
When pagan Rome became divided, and the little horn seized control, the dragon gave his power to the little horn as pictured in beast #5 who soon destroyed three of these kingdoms, and then became so powerful that the dragon was able to rule the world with the little horn and enforce his pagan religion. These continued his war with God’s people as we read in verse 25, “And he shall speak great words against the most High, … and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” When we compare the little horn, by what it did according to God’s Word, with that of the beast of Revelation 13 (beast #6), we discover that the little horn and the beast of Revelation 13 are one and the same power.
The following eleven undisputed facts prove beyond a doubt that this beast of Revelation (beast #6) is the papacy. Let us discuss these one by one.
1. The time of papal appearance . This papal power must arise after the Roman Empire divided into ten separate kingdoms in the year 476 AD. History reveals that the little horn came into power in 538 AD as Daniel 7:24 reads, “Another shall rise after them.”
2. The papacy must destroy three of the ten kingdoms . History reveals that it destroyed the Heroli in 493 AD, the Vandals in 534 AD, and the Ostrogoths in 538 AD. Daniel 7:24 says, “He shall subdue three kings.”
3. The little horn of papal power would persecute . Historians agree that the papal power destroyed some 150 million people. Scripture states, “It was given unto him to make war with the saints.” Revelation 13:7. “And he shall wear out the saints.” Daniel 7:25.
4. The papal power would blaspheme God . How? – By assuming titles belonging only to God and claiming to forgive your sins. Revelation 13:6 says, “He opened his mouth in blasphemy against God.” This was fully explained in tape #2.
5. The papacy would attempt to alter the Ten Commandments . Look at any Catholic Douay Version of the Bible and you will see that they have amended the second commandment as found in Exodus 20:4. This commandment prohibits image worship.
6. The papacy denies that Jesus was born of sinful flesh . Everyone knows the teachings of the Immaculate Conception tradition which states that Mary, the mother of Jesus, never sinned. But God states very clearly in Romans 3:23, “All have sinned.” This is why the Bible says in 1 John 4:3, “Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh (meaning born of one who had sinned) is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
7. The papacy was to rule with universal power . Scripture states in Revelation 13:7, “Power was given him over all … nations.”
8. The dragon would give the papacy “his power, his seat, and his great authority.” Revelation 13:2. Now let us examine this scripture very carefully. How did the dragon give his power to the papacy? – As we have seen from the beast chart he passed his power from one fallen nation to another succeeding nation. The dragon power has always been a government enforcing pagan doctrines. The scripture states further the dragon would give his seat of government to the papacy.
I’m reading to you from The American Catholic Quarterly Review, April 1911 by Reverend James P. Conroy. “Long ages ago when Rome, through the neglect of Western Emperors, was left to the mercy of the barbarian hordes, the Romans turned to one figure for aid and protection and asked him to rule them. Thus in this simple manner the best title of all kingly right commenced the temporal sovereignty of the popes, and meekly stepping to the throne of the Caesars, the Vicar of Christ took up the scepter in which the emperors and kings of Europe were to bow in reverence through so many years.” Thus the papacy admits it received its power from pagan Rome, who got its power from the dragon.
But the scriptures state even more. The pope would actually sit in the seat of the Caesars and history agrees that it did. I’m reading from the book The Rise of the Medieval Church by Alexander Flick, p. 168, “The removal of the capital of the empire from Rome to Constantinople in 330 left the Western church practically free from imperial power to develop its own form of organization. The bishop of Rome, in the seat of the Caesars, was now the greatest man in the west and was soon forced to become a political as well as the spiritual head.” How amazing that what God predicts hundreds of years before it happens comes true exactly. It is also interesting to note that the papacy admits that its pope actually sat in the seat of pagan Rome.
I have in my hand the Current History magazine of August 1929. This magazine deals with current events and is used by political students in their study of historical events. On page 827 the pope himself writes that when the Roman emperor fled from the city of Rome, the pope did indeed sit in the seat of the Roman Empire. “In his first encyclical Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio (December 23, 1922) the pope wrote, ‘Italy, our dear native land, the country where the hand of God who guides the course of history has set down the chair of his vicar on earth in the city of Rome, which from being the capital of the wonderful Roman Empire was made by him the capital of the whole world, because he made it the seat of a sovereignty which since it extended beyond the confines of nations and states embraces within itself all the people of the world.” The pope agrees with God’s predictions.
Now let us consider the last part of number eight. The scripture states that the dragon would also give the beast his authority. The authority of the dragon has always been its pagan religion. Cardinal Newman in his book The Development of Christian Doctrine on pages 371 – 373 tells of the origin of the papal doctrines as taught by the Church. “Confiding then in the power of Christianity to resist the infection of evil and to transmute the very instrument and appendages of demon worship to an evangelical use, we are told by Eusebius that Constantine, in order to recommend the new religion to the heathen, transferred into it the outward ornaments to which they have been accustomed. The use of temples and these dedicated to particular saints, the ornaments on occasion with branches of trees, incense, lamps and candles, votive offerings on recovery from illness, holy water, asylums, holy days and seasons, use of calendars, processions, blessings on the field, sacerdotal vestments, the tonsure, shaving of the head, the ring in marriage, turning to the east, images at a later date, perhaps the ecclesiastical chant all are of pagan origin and sanctified by their adoption into the church.” This amazing quotation reveals that the papacy admits that all of its authority came from the devil’s paganism which included even Christmas and Easter as we discussed in our last tape #2.
9. Papal power was to rule the world for 1260 years. Revelation 13:5 reads, “Power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” Students of the scripture know that a Bible “month” is composed of thirty days. When you multiply 42 months by 30 days you get 1260 days. In Ezekiel 4:6 we discover that in prophecy a day stands for a year. “I have appointed thee each day for a year.” So, 1260 days = 1260 years in prophecy. Please note the exactness of God’s Word. The papacy began to rule the world in 538 AD and it continued its rule for exactly 1260 years until 1798 when Berthier, the general of Napoleon, entered Rome and took the pope prisoner thus ending 42 months (or 1260 years) of papal rule just as God had said.
This time period of papal-Rome rule was also given in Daniel 7:25. We read, “They shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Since a Bible month is composed of thirty days and a “time” in prophecy represents a year as found in Daniel 4:25 therefore a year equals 360 days. Two times would equal 720 days; one-half a time equals 180 days. Add 360 + 720 + 180 = 1260 days or years in prophecy. This is the exact time of papal rule as given in Revelation 13. There can be no question. The little horn and the beast of Revelation 13 are one and the same.
10. The papacy was to receive a wound in the head. Revelation 13:3 says, “I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death.” Now I want to read to you where the pope has used the exact words as the Bible uses. I am reading to you from the Current History magazine of August 1929 in a letter written by the pope himself. In it you will note that he declares himself to be the head of the papal organization. “That the Holy See is the supreme organ of the Catholic Church throughout the world, and that therefore the Holy See is the legitimate representative of the organization of the Church in Italy. Can it not be said, except in this sense in which it is said, that the head is the supreme organ of the human body.” I find it absolutely amazing that the pope would describe his office as being the head, using the same word as found in scripture.
Listen, he describes his being taken captive as being wounded in 1798. I continue to read on p. 846, “That our hopes have been disappointed because the long negotiations, although they had not always been easy, had opened our soul to the brightest hopes and what of all things we least expected were expressions that were heretical – worse than heretical – regarding the very essence of Christianity and of Catholicism. [Notice these words…] Efforts have been made to heal the wound.” Isn’t that amazing! What a confession in using the very words of the Bible. The pope admits that he is the antichrist because the pope says, “I am sitting in the very seat of the Caesars….I have the power of the Caesars….I am the head of the Church….I was taken prisoner and wounded….Furthermore, efforts have been made to heal the wound.” Why do you suppose he uses the words “heal the wound”? – Because God saw that we would need positive proof since this is a life and death issue. There must be no doubt.
11. Now for the last fact. “ His deadly wound was healed and all the world wondered after the beast.” Revelation 13:3.
Now let us do some very solid thinking. What made it possible for Napoleon to send Berthier into the city of Rome and inflict a deadly wound upon the pope? Remember, at that very time that the wound was inflicted the papacy was the greatest power on earth. Kings trembled before the pope. Millions lost their lives merely by reading the Bible which the papacy did not allow during the Dark Ages. For 1260 years no one dared to challenge the pope and live. What could have happened that made it possible for Napoleon to dare to inflict a deadly wound upon the pope by taking him prisoner? – It was the rise of Protestantism.
For 1260 years the Catholic power had dominated the world by the use of force. The Bible had been taken away from the people by the Church. Only the priests were permitted to read the scriptures. You could be burned at the stake for even having a Bible in your house. By this process the papacy was able to implant pagan traditions as the foundation of Catholicism. The God of love was hidden from the people and in His place God was taught to be a tyrant who could even burn little babies in purgatory. People were taught that they must work their way to heaven, they must pay money to obtain forgiveness of sins by buying indulgences. Millions died who never knew that you could be saved by grace as you read in Ephesians 2:8, 9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Millions were taught to pray to Mary to answer their petitions. But the scripture teaches in Matthew 1:21 that it was Jesus who could save and give them the peace that they desired. God’s Word plainly says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Millions never knew that God could forgive their sins. They were taught that it was the pope and priests who only could forgive their sins. It is no wonder that the 1260 year period of history was called the Dark Ages, but God had a plan to bring the hope of salvation to these misguided people who were held in ignorance.
God raised up some mighty preachers to spread the good news of salvation – John Wycliffe, Huss, Jerome, Luther, John Wesley and many others. These men of God opened the scriptures preaching that God was a God of love and that we are not saved by works, that the Bible and the Bible alone contained the Word of God, that tradition was nothing – nothing but paganism. They preached that Jesus was the Lamb of God, their Savior and Redeemer.
Little by little fear of the pope and the priests began to disappear. Hope filled the hearts of thousands as the Bible was printed and placed in their hands. Once again the prophecies of the Bible were studied. They found to their amazement that the papal system was the antichrist. Gladly the people gave their hearts to God and followed His counsel as we read in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace.” Thus Protestantism was born. Millions left the Catholic Church. Papal Rome was now faced with a crisis as the papacy began to crumble.
The French Revolution led in the revolt. Napoleon sensed this was an opportunity for him to rule instead of the pope. This is why he dared to do what no man had dared to think. He ordered his general, Bertier, to take the pope prisoner and on February 10, 1798 the pope was captured and placed in exile where he died. The prophecy of Revelation 13:3 was fulfilled: “I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; (but hold on – there is more) and his deadly wound was healed.” How could this possibly happen? Remember, Protestantism was now a power to be reckoned with.
Consider this illustration. A sick man who is about to die with some serious illness is taken to a physician. The first thing that the doctor looks for is the cause of his illness. After a careful examination the doctor discovers the cause and removes it. Then the patient begins to recover. Are you following me? If the papacy is to recover, the cause of its deadly wound must be removed so that the wound can be healed. Therefore, Protestantism must be weakened and overcome.
What did the pope do? – He called a great council to be held in Trent which lasted many years. During this time they gave study to plans whereby they could weaken and destroy Protestantism which was now teaching positively that the papacy was the antichrist as prophecy had proclaimed. Two priests were given the job to tackle the problem – Luis De Alcazar was chosen to develop the “preterism” theory in which it would be proclaimed that all Bible prophecy of the antichrist was fulfilled when Antiochus Epiphanies had desecrated the Jewish temple of Jerusalem. The other priest, Ribera, was to develop the “futurist” theory in which is would be taught that all Bible prophecy concerning the antichrist could not be fulfilled until the rapture took place. Would you believe it, the British Protestant theologians swallowed the futuristic theory hook, line and sinker! This is how the “secret rapture” theory, now believed by millions of Protestants, had its start.
This theory completely destroys the prophecy of Daniel and Revelation in which God teaches that the papacy is now the antichrist. In accepting this false teaching of the papacy Protestantism has accepted the tradition of Rome and are no longer able to preach prophecy from God’s Word as you are hearing in these tapes. Never forget the power of Protestantism has been the power of the Bible. When you lay aside God’s Word for false, pagan teachings the strength of Protestantism fails.
It was not long until Europe was engaged in World War I, leaving it in shambles with five million dead. Everything that Protestantism has stood for seemed to be lost. The way was now open for change. Men like Mussolini gained control. This dictator made it possible for the healing of the wound. Let me read this to you from The Question Box, a Roman Catholic book, p. 166, “There was no chance of a reconciliation between the popes and Italy so long as the liberals were in power. With the coming of Mussolini the whole situation changed. From the very outset of his regime he determined to settle the Roman question, and the powers that he possessed as a dictator gave him the opportunity that no Italian statesman, depending upon a parliament, could ever have had. The negotiations for both treaty and concordat began as early as the summer of 1926. Beron, acting for the government, and Pacelli for the pope, over 100 conferences were held between 1926 and 1928. The pope himself considering every detail in the twenty-nine audiences he granted to Pacelli. The final draft was completed on November 22, 1928, and on February 11, 1929 the treaty and concordat were signed by Cardinal Gasparri and Mussolini. The treaty proper, which consists of a preamble and twenty-seven articles, establishes the independence of the Holy See while leaving unchanged the religious freedom guaranteed to non-Catholics by the Constitution. It makes the Catholic religion the sole religion of the state. Recognize the sovereignty of the Holy See as the inherent attribute of its nature, erects the Vatican state as free and independent, declares the person of the pope sacred, settles the statute of the cardinal, Vatican officials and the diplomatic agents, and enacts laws concerning passports, customs, property rights, etc. The treaty ends with the pope’s recognition of the legitimacy of the dynasty of Savoy and his solemn declaration that he is fully satisfied with the independence guaranteed him for the carrying out of his spiritual privacy. The Roman question is finally settled.”
The pope also wrote about this in the Current History magazine of August 1929, p. 848 in which he stated, “Moreover, in the concordat there are face-to-face if not two states most certainly two sovereignties, in the full significance of that word, each perfect in every sense of its own sphere; which sphere is necessarily determined by the end which each pursues. And to this it is scarcely necessary to add the objective dignity of the ends pursued determines, no less objectively and necessarily the absolute superiority of the Church.”
During the last seventy-four years the papacy has been convalescing and regaining its strength just as God said. The deadly wound was to be healed. Soon it will assume all the power that it once held. You would be amazed if you could have visited the Vatican as I did on several occasions and see the parade of ambassadors in their limousines coming from the countries of the world to hold an audience with the pope. What brought about such a change? – The deadly wound has been healed. Even the United States has fallen in line, for on January 10, 1984 we sent our ambassador to the pope in spite of the fact that as a nation we claim the separation of church and state.
Consider the present power of the pope. He is the one who brought about the collapse of the Russian communism. It was the pope, you remember, who was able to persuade Gorbachev to develop perestroyka, reshaping communism with glasnost. I shall never forget seeing a video of Gorbachev kneeling before the pope, calling him the “Holy Father” and stating that he was the greatest spiritual force in our world today. Have you been watching the unification of Europe with their new currency called the “Euro”? Did you know that this new confederacy of nations was developed by a dedicated Roman Catholic who has been following explicit directions from the papacy? No wonder the BBC of England has produced a documentary entitled “The New Holy Roman Empire.” It’s true – all the world is wondering after the beast.
You may have heard of the Jesuit priest by the name of Malachi Martin who wrote in his recent book entitled The Keys of This Blood the astonishing words that in a few years the pope would rule the world. Beloved, this is a serious matter. Consider this: Up until now the pope has held a place at the table of the United Nations as an observer, but recently he has asked to be seated as a sovereign nation of the Vatican to be given voting and veto power. I believe that in a little time he will be completely controlling the United Nations organization and thus rule the world. And why not? Did God not state that the whole world would wonder after the beast?
As individuals we must get ready for the New World Order. What side will you take – the dragon’s side or the woman’s side? Now I’m getting into our next subject – “The United States in Prophecy” in which we read in scripture in Revelation 13:14 – 17, “Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” Oh beloved, I beg you, don’t miss our next study!
Let us pray. Thank you dear God, for giving us the sure word of prophecy so we can know beyond a doubt Thy truth as revealed in the book of Revelation. In His name we thank Thee, Amen.