By Elder Lawrence Nelson
What a thrilling subject we have for study. This is number two in this series. I hope you have your visual aids that go with this sermon. You will need to place them before you so you can participate in moving the symbol of the woman as instructed. This will allow you to visualize the tremendous struggle that has taken place in past ages between God’s church and the devil’s paganism. This will also help you to understand the continuing battle taking place today.
Before we turn to God’s Word I must tell you that I am faced with a very serious problem. This presentation is so vast in its scope, and so alarming in its nature, that my heart hesitates to proclaim it. I find myself like Saint Paul who wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:16, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” You may have wondered why he uttered such words, but if you will read the whole chapter he explains that he was faced with the same situation as I am. He had to contend with two groups of individuals – those who were members of the church, and those who were without the church. How could he preach the truth to church members so they would still love him when he knew that they would not like what he preached? Then he thought of the other group. How could he preach to those without the church about things that they must hear in order to be saved, when he knew that some would dislike what he was about to say and reject the gospel and be lost for eternity? Here I stand like Paul when he said, “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”
Some sixty-three years ago I was dedicated to God to preach the truth and nothing but the truth. I know that I shall soon have to meet my Lord in the final judgment and give an account, but being human I dislike to dispense unpopular truth. This is why I feel as never before the need of special help. Would you bow your head with me as I talk to my Lord? My dear God, I pray Thee that Thou wilt help me to preach the truth fearlessly. Please touch the hearts of these dear people that they will accept and obey Thy divine truth. In the name of Jesus I ask, Amen.
Our subject is “The Maid, The Moon, and The Monster.” These prophetic wonders must be understood by all. We will find that Jesus Christ has revealed each in detail. Please take your visual aid chart that you have before you and locate beast #6, which is called Papal Rome. Now you are ready to notice each detail as I read Revelation 13. “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.”
In tape one of this series we discovered from God’s Word and from history that this beast of Revelation 13 is a cartoon of the papacy as revealed by Jesus Himself. He warns, “If any man worship the beast and his image and receive his mark in his forehead,” we are told that they will be destroyed in the lake of fire. You will find that in Revelation 14:9, 10. This is the most serious warning recorded in God’s Holy Word. We love our Catholic friends and this is why we have produced these tapes. We wish that all of them would learn of God’s last warning message. We also love our Protestant friends. We want them to be in heaven. In fact, we want everybody to become acquainted with the alarming facts from God’s Word which we are about to uncover.
Many years ago, when this world began, the vast majority of people on earth decided that they did not want to obey God. Since man was created to worship God, these pagans decided to find something else they could worship instead of God. They chose to worship the creation rather than the Creator. As they looked around about them they beheld the sun in the heavens – the SUN – the most powerful giant of all of God’s created acts. Should the sun ever leave them, or stop giving of its heat, the world would freeze up and they would all die. They also noticed every spring that the sun made it possible to have an abundance of food to help them live through another year. So they said, “The sun will be our god. We will worship the SUN.” Being human, they said, “Our god needs a wife.” As they looked up at night and saw that beautiful moon, these pagans said, “The moon will be the wife of our sun-god.” Thus they worshipped the sun and the moon. They saw the sky filled with millions of stars and said, “These are the children of our gods. We will worship the stars also.”
I’m speaking plainly. Today thousands of so-called Christians are still following these pagan traditions by believing in astrology. They are making decisions in their lives according to what star they were born under. All such pagan worship is called mythology. You recall in tape #1 we studied the four beasts (or kingdoms) that came up out of the water which represented people, multitudes, nations and tongues. As the winds blew upon the waters, the Bible reveals that the wind represented wars by which each beast or nation was destroyed and another took its place.
Look at beast #2 on your chart which represents Babylon, the lion. It came into existence in 606 BC and ruled the world. But it was overcome by Medo-Persia, the bear, in 538 BC (see beast #3). Since Babylon was composed of three provinces – Babylon, Lydia and Egypt – God pictured the bear with three ribs which it devoured. God predicted something else. You will notice that the bear lifted itself up on one side. So the Persians overthrew the Medes and ruled the world.
But that didn’t last for long. God said the next world power would be Greece (beast #4), the leopard. It would come into existence very quickly as pictured with four wings. In just twelve years Alexander the Great conquered the world, but he died young at the age of thirty-three. Then his four generals, Cassander, Lysimachos, Seleucus, and Ptolemy ruled the empire concurrently. This is why the leopard had four heads. Isn’t it wonderful that hundreds of years before these events happened God foretold exactly what would take place?
Next the Bible tells us that Greece would go down and Rome would take its place. Now at this point please focus your attention on beast #5. You are looking at the monster, the Roman Empire, which ruled the world in 168 BC. This was the time when Jesus was born in the world and was crucified on a Roman cross – the symbol of the sun-god. Consider this fact – there was one universal Babylon, one universal Persia, one universal Greece, and one universal Rome, but this would change; this kingdom of Rome would be divided. God predicted that it would separate into ten kingdoms and that is why He pictures this beast having ten horns. And it happened exactly as God said. Rome was divided into ten kingdoms in the year 476 AD. God further told us that three of these ten horns would be destroyed by a little horn who would then rule over the other seven kingdoms that were left. This happened in the year 538 AD and there is no question about it. God said it would take place, history has verified it and the church admits it.
Let me read of this prediction from the Bible. I’m reading Daniel 7:24, 25 which says, “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. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of 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 times.” In this scripture God gave us specific details. The little horn would be diverse, or of a spiritual power, destroying three of the ten kingdoms. Furthermore it would blaspheme, and it would claim to be God on earth, and it would remove the second commandment that forbids image worship. It would rule the world for 1260 years and persecute God’s children.
Speaking of persecutions may I read a paragraph from history? I am reading from The Rise of the Dutch Republic , by John Lathrop Motley, Volume 1, Part 2, Chapter 2, par. 12, p. 2. “On February 16, 1568 a sentence of the Holy Office [that’s the papacy] condemned all the inhabitants of the Netherlands to death as heretics.” Can you envision a power so great that it could say, “I’m going to wipe out a whole nation”? I continue to read, “From this universal doom only a few persons, especially named, were acquitted. A proclamation of the king, dated ten days later, confirmed this decree of the Inquisition and ordered it to be carried out into instant execution without regard to age, sex, and children. This is the most concise death warrant that had ever been framed. Three million people – men, women and children – were sentenced to the scaffold.”
Did you know that this power was so great in the fifteenth century that it could destroy by one command three million people? Don’t be surprised when history records that the papacy destroyed about 150 million during the Dark Ages.
Where did the Church of Rome get such mighty power to do such evil? I’ll read it to you from the Bible. The answer is found in Revelation 13:4 which says, “The dragon which gave power unto the beast.” Look at your chart and look up beast #1, the dragon. Do I hear you say, “Who is this dragon?” – Listen carefully, I’ll read the answer in Revelation 12:7 – 9. “There was war in heaven. Michael [that is Christ] and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.” God is telling us that it was the devil that gave his power to this beast. I am not saying it, God is saying it.
Now let’s take a closer look at this dragon as God describes him. Notice the details of the dragon in beast #1 on your chart. I am reading Revelation 12:3, 9, “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads…was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.” Now where do we find such an event taking place in the Bible? – We turn to Genesis, the first book of the Bible, and read in chapter three how the serpent [which God says is the devil] spoke to Eve, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”
Now what is taking place? – The same war that took place in heaven is now continuing on this earth. The devil, who was cast out of heaven, came down and he starts the same war on this earth that he fought in heaven, for Satan went to the angels in heaven and said, “Does God really mean what He says? You don’t have to obey God; I have a better way.” But he lied. Sorry to say, one-third of the angels believed the devil and when he came down out of heaven to this earth he said to Eve, “Did God say you can’t eat of this tree?” She knew what God had commanded for she replied, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” Here the first lie was spoken on earth, and as a result Eve believed the devil and ate of the forbidden fruit. Then she gave it to Adam and he ate; so both Adam and Eve were doomed to die because they disobeyed God.
But the Lord loved Adam and Eve just as He loves you and me. He didn’t want them to die, so the Lord said, “I am going to die in their place.” He came down from heaven to tell Adam and Eve the good news. The Lord took a lamb and made a sacrifice and said, “As this lamb dies I am going to be the Lamb of God to die for you in your place so you can live.” Isn’t that a wonderful Savior! How different God is from the dragon. The dragon would never die for you – he wants you to die with him.
The Son of God went and talked to the serpent and said, “Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” And then speaking to Satan He said unto him, “I will put enmity between thee [that’s Satan] and the woman.” Genesis 3:14, 15. Now He wasn’t talking about Eve, He was talking about His church, for we read in Revelation 12:1, “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 twelve stars.”
This is a good place to reach for the visual aid which pictures a pure woman as God’s true church. Place it temporarily before you and notice that the woman is standing upon the moon for there is no light in the moon, only as it is reflected from the sun. No longer do you have to kill a lamb to receive forgiveness as commanded in the Old Testament; this is in the past. The old Jewish church ordinances are no more; the sunlight of the New Testament gospel is shining forth with the stars of the twelve apostles.
A pure woman in scripture represents His church. In Jeremiah 6:2 I read, “I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.” Who is Zion? – In Isaiah 51:16 we read, “Say unto Zion, Thou art my people.” From the very beginning of time God used the symbol of a pure woman in contrast with the dragon-power of paganism. This is clearly revealed in Genesis 3:15 which tells us, “I will put enmity between thee [that’s Satan’s church, paganism] and the woman [God’s true church].” What is enmity? – It is war. There is going to be a struggle between the dragon and the woman; there is going to be bloodshed. These two spiritual powers will be at war with each other just as they were in heaven.
Before we continue, take the visual aid of the pure woman and place it over beast #2 which is Babylon. This will help you to see that an actual fight is taking place between the dragon power and God’s people. The war that was in heaven is going to continue on this earth. Let’s see if this is what happened. In Genesis 4:1 we read that “Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain.” She also had another son, Abel. These two sons were vastly different. Abel loved the animals; he loved to take care of the sheep. And Cain chose the garden; he like to grow vegetables.
Both boys were sinners for the Bible declares, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23. Feeling the guilt of sin these boys wanted to be forgiven, so they came to the Garden of Eden where those celestial beings were guarding the tree of life, and they each built an altar for a sacrifice. Abel brought a lamb just as God had said, but Cain brought of his vegetables which God did not ask. They both knelt down and asked God to forgive them. Fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured the sacrifice of Abel, and when Cain saw that God would not accept his sacrifice, which was a counterfeit, he became angry and he killed his brother Abel. What did God say? – “I will put enmity [or war] between thee and the woman.” This war has continued down through the ages, as we shall discover.
What have we learned thus far? – An undeniable fact – you can never pawn off on God a substitute. God will never accept a counterfeit. I must state this again; you cannot pawn off on God a substitute. Sure, Cain had an offering, he also had an altar, he even asked forgiveness for his sins, but you can’t pawn off a substitute on God. God will never accept a counterfeit. The Bible plainly said, “Without the shedding of blood [there] is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22. Cain could not produce blood from vegetables.
When Cain disobeyed God he decided to leave the presence of the Lord, for scripture states in Genesis 4:16, “And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod.” Here we have two sides at war in this world. Let’s think this thing through. The woman’s side is the church of God composed of those which the Bible calls the “sons of God.” Those on the devil’s side the Bible designates as the “sons of man” which are composed of pagans.
God’s church was located, at that time, at the Garden of Eden and the devil’s church was founded in the land of Nod. God’s church was composed of men like Abel, Seth, Enos, Mahalaleel, Enoch, Methuselah and Noah who worshiped and obeyed the true God, sacrificing a lamb which represented Jesus, the Lamb of God, who would take away their sins. But those on the dragon’s side, like Cain, went to the land of Nod and these followers of paganism, were called the antediluvians who sacrificed their precious little children to their sun-god – the SUN. Such wickedness became so terrible that God said, “I will destroy the world with a flood.”
Immediately after the flood the dragon power continued with Nimrod who lived in Ur of the Chaldees where the tower of Babel was built. This was where the kingdom of Babylon developed into the first empire of the world. Here they worshiped the SUN in Baal worship, the dragon’s counterfeit religion. But on the woman’s side there was a man called Abraham whom God called out of the land of the Chaldees and directed him to the land of Canaan where his descendants built the city of Jerusalem. Here they worshiped the SON – the Son of God.
Please move the woman in your chart to cover beast #3. As God predicted wars now often existed between Babylon and Jerusalem making it possible for paganism to actually invade Jerusalem. We read of this in 2 Kings 23:5 where it says, “The kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places … in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.” Thus you see the battle between paganism and God’s church is continuing.
Because God’s people took part in such apostasy God permitted the king of Babylon to take them captive to the city of Babylon so they might learn not to worship other gods. But erelong Babylon crumbled before Medo-Persia, to which the dragon now gave his power to the Medes and the Persians.
Now please move the visual aid of the woman to cover beast #4, the bear. The war between the dragon and the woman continues. This was the time of Queen Esther, when a fellow by the name of Haman devised a plan to destroy all of God’s people in one day. But God raised up Esther, who not only saved the Jews but made it possible to destroy thousands of the pagans. Remember what God said to Satan in Eden, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman.” Since the dragon power had now been given to Persia, this new empire continued to fight God’s people.
As time continued Persia was overthrown by Greece. Now move the woman to cover beast #5, thus revealing the continued war between the dragon power and God’s church. This was the time of Antiochus Epiphanies. He went into the temple at Jerusalem and placed his own garrison of soldiers in the temple of God. As if that was not enough, he dedicated God’s sanctuary to the gods of Olympus. In order to further desecrate the Jewish faith, he took all the vessels of the temple and dipped them into a great bath of swines’ blood. He knew full well that there was nothing more repugnant to the Jews than swine. Continuing the insult he had his soldiers smear the swines’ blood over all the walls of the sanctuary. He even brought sun worship (that is Baal worship) into Jerusalem. This was the time of the apocrypha which was developed by the dragon, consisting of some fourteen books which you will find in the Catholic Bible, all of which were contrary to God’s Word. Thus the great battle between truth and error continues.
Please move the woman to cover beast #6. I believe you are beginning to get a picture of the continued battle between Satan and God’s true church. Next came the pagan Roman Empire in which the dragon power became so mighty he decided to take the life of Christ which he was unable to do in heaven. We read of this in Revelation 12. A woman clothed with the sun “and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pain to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. … And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” The devil actually tried to kill the baby Jesus as soon as He was born.
You remember that the Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, who received his power from the dragon was now in a position to tax all the world. You cannot tax all the world unless you control all the world. Let me read it to you in Luke 2:1, “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” This is why Joseph and Mary went down to Bethlehem to be taxed, and where Jesus was born.
But Herod heard about the baby Jesus. Who was Herod? – Herod ruled under Caesar Augustus and sent his soldiers down there and killed every babe in Bethlehem. You know the story. It was the dragon, standing before the woman, ready to devour her child as soon as it was born. But an angel of God told Joseph and Mary to take the child and flee to Egypt. Thus continued the war between the devil and the woman for the scripture says, “He was a murderer from the beginning.” John 8:44.
Satan having failed to kill the baby Jesus now decided to crucify Christ on his pagan cross. He captures the Jewish priests with his pagan traditions so that they rejected their Savior and accepted Caesar as their king and together they crucified the Son of God on a pagan cross which was the very symbol of sun worship in 31 AD. Are you catching the picture of this war between truth and error?
Let me read again what God said would take place in Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” It’s time for a great change in how this war is to be fought. When the devil crucified our Lord, Jesus died and was buried. As a seed is buried in the ground to sprout and bring forth a new plant, so Christ was buried and arose from the tomb to establish the Christian church. No longer need you kill a lamb to seek forgiveness. Salvation was now available to both Jews and Gentiles. In one generation Paul states, this new gospel had gone to all the world; thousands upon thousands believed.
Here move the symbol of the woman to cover beast #7 for the war is to continue between papal Rome and the woman, God’s true church. When the old dragon saw the growth of Christianity and his paganism diminishing he decided to bring forth his “seed.” Just as he had passed his religion to Babylon, and to Medo-Persia, to Greece and finally to pagan Rome he will now bring forth his “seed” the papacy. This is why God says in Revelation 13:2, “The dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”
History tells us how this happened. As the devil saw his pagan church crumbling he said, “I’m going to take my pagans and invade the Christian church – the seed of the woman. They will then be able to change the Christian faith and become like our pagan religion.” Reading in history you will find that one Roman Emperor forced his pagan soldiers to become Christians. How did he do this? – He had his priests stand by the road and when they passed by the priests threw water on them and declared that they were now baptized Christians. But you don’t make Christians that way for they still practiced their pagan traditions.
I’m reading from The History of the Intellectual Development of Europe by John William Draper, Volume 1, p. 309 (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1876). The author states, “Such was the tendency to adulterate Christianity. Nothing distinguishes you from the pagans except you hold your assemblies apart from them.”
J.A. Wylie, that great historian said, “We are accustomed to speak of popery as a corrupt form of Christianity; we concede too much. The Church of Rome bares the same relation to the church of Christ which the hierarchy of Baal bore to the institute of Moses. And popery stands related to Christianity only in the same way that paganism stood related to primeval revelation. Popery is not a corruption simply, but a transformation. It may be difficult to fix the time when it passed from one to the other, but the change is incontestable. Popery is the gospel transubstantiated into the flesh and blood of paganism under a few of the accidents of Christianity.” The Papacy p. 4.
Now, does the Church admit this? I am reading to you from one of the highest authorities of the Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Newman who wrote the book entitled The Development of Christian Doctrine (London: Longmans, Green and Company, 1906). In it he says, “Confiding then in the power of Christianity to resist the infection of evil and to transmute the very instruments and appendages of demon worship to an evangelical use.” What’s that? – Here this Cardinal says they took all the devil worship from paganism and we brought it into the Church. Now is God going to accept devil worship? Does God accept a counterfeit?
I continue to quote from the Cardinal. Listen as I read the list of what he took out of paganism:
“The use of temples and their being dedicated to particular saints
the ornamented, on occasion, branches of trees
votive offerings on recovery from illness
holy days and seasons
the use of calendars, processions
blessings on the field
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.” p. 371 – 373.
Oh beloved, you cannot pawn off on God a substitute. God will never accept a counterfeit. The papal church says they took all of these things from paganism. I have been in India, in Burma and in China. I have seen the monks, the nuns and their asylums of paganism. This man, a cardinal, was correct when he said they took it all from paganism. Is God going to accept paganism?
Consider the mass. You have seen it on television when the priest puts on the tongue what is supposed to be the broken body of Christ made into a round circle wafer representing the pagan sun-god. Did you know that many Protestant churches today are using the round emblem of the sun in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper? In doing so they are making an image to the beast. No wonder God says that if any man makes an image to the beast he will be destroyed with hell fire. Think it over friend.
And what about Halloween – this belief teaches that the dead are suppose to come out of their graves on Halloween night. How is it that Christians can follow this kind of pagan trash, originated by the devil of paganism?
This cardinal said they got their holy days from the pagans so what about Christmas? Did you know that the pagans back in Babylon worshipped the sun? They noticed that on the twenty-first of December that the sun in its orbit was the farthest from the earth. They feared that their sun would go off and leave them and the world would freeze up and they would all die. But they also noticed that on the twenty-fifth of December the sun began to make its way back in orbit toward the earth and they said, “Our sun-god has been born anew.” Thus December 25 became the birthday of the SUN in old, pagan Babylon. How can Christians celebrate a day of satanic origin which was adopted by papal Rome, the seat of the dragon, and called Christmas – Christ-mass?
What about Easter? Easter is not the day that Christ arose – absolutely not! Easter is always determined by the first Sunday after the full moon after the sun passes the equinox. It is a day like Christmas which the pagans in Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome had worshiped their sun through the centuries. When the pagans came into the Christian church they brought these customs with them, but does God accept a counterfeit? You will never find this preacher going up on a hilltop on Easter morning to watch the sun come up. That is paganism.
I could go on. When you go into a Catholic church you will see the people dip their fingers into “holy water.” There is nothing in the scripture about holy water. The cardinal honestly states that he got all these things from demon worship. Even the wedding ring in marriage, which is a circle representing the SUN. Beloved, this is why you will never see me or my wife wearing a wedding ring. These things are of the dragon. God is looking today for a people who will separate from the traditions of Babylon and obey only Christ, the Son of God.
In Revelation 12:17 we read of today’s battle on the earth between the people of God’s true church and the dragon. It says, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed.” The great spiritual war now taking place is soon coming to a great climax. God says, “Don’t worship the beast, don’t receive his mark, don’t have anything to do with his image. Come out of her, my people.”
Won’t you share these tapes with your loved ones, your neighbors and your friends? Always use the visual aids of the beast with the woman so that the people who listen can see the struggle between God’s true church and the papacy.
My friend, which side are you following? God will never accept a counterfeit and neither can you pawn off on God a substitute. He is calling for you to separate from Babylon. “Come out of her my people.” God is calling for a people in these last days who will so completely separate from paganism that there won’t be a taint of pagan worship in their life and such people Christ will take to heaven when He comes.
Let us pray. Dear Father, help everyone who hears this message to determine to obey God and never to worship the beast, or his image, or receive his mark. In Jesus’ precious name we ask, Amen.