By Elder Lawrence Nelson
This subject should be of tremendous interest to all on earth, for our loving Savior has given to us a prophecy of the most powerful nation on earth in His book called The Revelation. You will be amazed as we unfold these divine predictions.
Let me begin with a personal experience. I once lived under another flag when I was a missionary in China. The war with communism made it necessary to return to America. While crossing the Pacific Ocean by boat I became acquainted with a lady who was fleeing from Russia and looking for freedom. As we entered the Golden Gate of San Francisco I noticed that she was pushing everyone aside on the boat deck so she could be the first to disembark. When the gangplank was lowered in place she literally ran across to the ground. Tears came into my eyes as I saw her kneel down and kiss the ground of America. This country was now her land of freedom.
This experience made me proud to be an American, and I still am. The United States is the greatest nation on earth today. Surely the God of the Bible, who has named other great nations in past history, has a purpose in unfolding America’s future for us. Let us pause here to ask God for special help that we may clearly understand this prophecy. Please bow your head as we pray.
Our loving Father, Thy Son Jesus has told us to ask in His name and Thou would grant the petition. Please, dear God, send us Thy Holy Spirit to guide us in this study that we may clearly discern the truth for this end time. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Let us begin with a few questions: What was the cause for America? Why did it appear? What is so different about this country? What is a democracy? As we search for the answers let me take your thoughts back to that cold, wet December 22, 1620 when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Why did they brave unknown seas? Why did they assume hardships in leaving their country, their homes, and their loved ones knowing full well that many of them would die before becoming established?
Each year we celebrate Thanksgiving to remember these Pilgrims, but the majority of Americans are only interested in eating a turkey and other goodies; they have long forgotten why these people came to this country. The Pilgrims had been living in a land that was totally under the control of the papacy. During the Dark Ages the Catholic Church controlled the world from 538 – 1798. These dear people wanted to worship God as the Bible taught. They lived during the time in history when a person could be burned at the stake for even owning a Bible. Never forget that. This is why they fled to America – to escape papal persecutions.
In a Catholic book, The Question Box, on p. 164 I read, “Catholic Europe before the Reformation regarded the pope as the supreme court of international law.” Another Catholic source called The American Quarterly of April 1911 tells us, “The Vicar of Christ took up the scepter of which emperors and kings of Europe were to bow in reverence through so many ages.” When this power ruled the world there were great persecutions.
You will recall that I read of such an example in our tape #2 from the book entitled The Rise of the Dutch Republic, Volume 1, p. 626, by John Motley. He writes of what happened just fifty years before the Pilgrims left for America. “On February 16, 1568 the Holy See condemned all the inhabitants of the Netherlands to death.” Can you comprehend such papal power? It was so mighty that when the people refused to obey the pope he could order a whole nation utterly destroyed. “Three million people, men, women, and children were sentenced to the scaffold.” It’s hard for us to comprehend such an evil persecution today because we live in a land of freedom. It seems that the vast majority have forgotten that the papacy was the cause of the rebellion of Protestantism and this was the reason why the Pilgrims fled to America.
As one studies the history books of this period he will discover that Protestants studied their Bibles and knew of the same events which we have been studying in these tapes. They found that the dragon was Satan. Now pause here and look at the “beast chart” that has been enclosed with this tape. Locate beast #1, the dragon. As they studied these prophecies they knew all about Babylon (beast #2) and of Medo-Persia (beast #3) and of Greece (beast #4) which was followed in 168 BC by pagan Rome (beast #5). They knew all about the little horn, for they found that it was the same as the papacy (beast #6). They studied the prophecy that the papacy was to rule the world for 1260 years and then receive a deadly wound. They read in their scripture, “I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death.” But keep in mind that this wound had not happened yet for the pope wasn’t taken prisoner until 1798 by Napoleon.
As these Protestants read the amazing verse found in Revelation 13:10 which says, “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity,” they knew from personal experience that the papal power led into captivity. Captivity into what? – The dragon power. As they studied further they read from the scripture, “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.” You will remember in our last tape that Berthier, a general under Napoleon, went down to Rome in 1798 and took the pope prisoner.
Follow me closely. As the papacy received its deadly wound by the pope being taken prisoner and losing his world power, the Bible predicts another world power would arise in the world. I am reading the next verse – Revelation 13:11. “I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb.” Now take your beast chart and look at beast #7. I want you to notice that this beast appeared at the exact time the deadly wound was inflicted.
You will remember that when one of these beasts (nations) went down, there was always another to take its place. For example, when Babylon was destroyed Medo-Persia took over. When Persia ceased to rule Greece came into power. When Greece crumbled pagan Rome seized world power but was later overcome by the papal power. In the same year that papal Rome received its deadly wound the United States rose to world power.
Looking back in history we find that God had a plan for the United States to arise on time, for in 1492 Columbus discovered America. In 1620 the Pilgrims came to America and landed at Plymouth Rock. As the years went by the colonies began to form into a government. In 1776 the Declaration of Independence was made. In 1787 the Constitution was drawn up. In 1789 the Bill of Rights was formed. In 1791 the Bill of Rights was adopted. But now notice, in the year 1798 the French government, the very nation that brought about the destruction of the papacy in 1798, recognized the United States as now being a “world power.” Isn’t that amazing! God’s Word never fails. This nation arose exactly as foretold in Scripture.
Don’t think for a moment that we have discovered something new. Consider that great man of God known as John Wesley who studied his Bible diligently. He wrote in the fly-leaf of his Bible in Revelation 13, some forty years before the United States became a world power, these words, “He has not yet come, although he cannot be far off, for he is to appear at the end of the forty-two months of the first beast.” John Wesley knew all about the 1260 years of prophecy. He knew that in just a few years, in his time, this beast (the United States) was to appear.
Now let us notice something else about the United States. In Revelation 13:11 it tells us that it was to arise out of the earth not out of the water as all the other beasts did. Scripture states, “I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth.” The beginning of the United States was utterly different from all the other beasts of history. You will remember that “water” in prophecy stands for multitudes of people and nations as we read in Revelation 17:15, “And he said unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations and tongues.” All the other great nations like Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, pagan Rome, and papal Rome arose by destroying another nation; but not so with the United States. It developed slowly in a land with a few scattered bands of Indians where millions of buffalo roamed the prairies, not amid people of great nations. Have you ever thought that when our government decided to show a symbol of what this country is like when it began, it produced the “buffalo nickel”? You probably have one in your pocket right now.
In Bible prophecy God always gives special characteristics concerning each nation. For instance, concerning pagan Rome, that great monster (beast #5), we were told that it would have ten horns and three of them would be destroyed. The leopard beast (beast #4) would have four heads revealing that during its reign it would actually be ruled by four generals. Medo-Persia (beast #3) would lift up itself on one side revealing that the Persians would overthrow the Medes. All of these specific details were given by God years before they occurred so that we would never doubt His Word.
Likewise God has given us specific details concerning the United States (beast #7). In Revelation 13:11 it states that this beast would have two horns like a lamb. What do horns stand for in the Bible? – When you turn to Daniel 7:24 you discover that horns represent temporal and religious powers. Let me read that verse to make sure: “The ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings.” Then it states, “And another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first.” This means it would be a religious power.
Notice that the horns on the beast representing the United States were uncrowned. The papal Rome beast had a crown on each of its horns but not so with this beast representing the United States. Its horns were to be uncrowned. Why? – Because the Pilgrim fathers fled from a government governed by a monarchy controlled by the papacy. They didn’t want anything to do with this kind of government in this New World. They were determined that America would be a land of civil and religious freedom. Church and state would be separate – two uncrowned powers. This is what a democracy is all about – what the world had not seen for over a thousand years; a totally different kind of government – a state without a king and a church without a pope. Doesn’t God make it simple? It was to have two horns like a lamb and what could be more lamb-like than republicanism and Protestantism – both uncrowned.
Let me tell you something. This has been the secret of its great power and prosperity. This is why millions came from Europe to dwell in America. When the government of France saw the people of Europe fleeing to this new country of liberty they built for us the Statue to Liberty in New York Harbor. This beautiful lady represents a land of freedom – totally unlike that of Europe where church and state had been united.
Now, I have a confession to make. I don’t like to give the rest of this message. I am proud of this great country. I love my country, but as a servant of God I must preach what God has said. I read in Revelation 13:11 of the United States, “I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, (but now notice the change) and he spake as a dragon.”
From the Bible we know all about the dragon. This power came down from heaven to disrupt God’s plan here on this earth and to lead men into captivity. We shall learn that Satan is doing everything possible to change this land of liberty in our day.
Notice what it tells us about this beast, the United States (#7), and what it is going to do. We don’t have to guess for God makes it very clear. The Bible says in Revelation 13:12, “He exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.” Now that’s a startling revelation! When will this change in America take place? – After the healing process which started in 1929. We studied all about this in our last tape. This was the date when the pope received from the dictator of Italy his Vatican State. Thus in 1929 is the date when the wound began to heal.
Let me illustrate. When a person has been in bed for a long time with a wound he doesn’t jump out of bed and carry on as usual the very moment that the doctor states that the wound is beginning to heal. Usually there is a long time of convalescence until he is able to continue as he used to do.
We will now discuss what is taking place in America as the papal wound heals. Keep in mind that after this healing takes place our nation is to speak as a dragon. What is happening in America that would make such a change possible? – You will remember that it was Protestantism that caused the wound of the papacy in 1798. God was using the Protestant Reformation to prepare the people for His Second Coming. This was the time when God also produced the mighty signs of a soon-coming Savior. For example, on November 1, 1755 God shook the world with the greatest earthquake since the flood which was known as the Lisbon Earthquake. He wanted to arouse the world to the nearness of Christ’s return. On May 19, 1780 God darkened the sun. That night the moon appeared as blood. On November 15, 1833 the stars “fell.”
We read in Revelation 6:12 – 17, “There was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains. And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” This great prophecy was to let the world know that the time of the end had arrived.
These signs followed with a world-wide message that the final judgment of God had commenced in 1844 as we read in Revelation 14:6, “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come.” But Protestant churches could not accept these warnings from God.
In 1914 came WWI which destroyed most of Europe making it possible for the healing of the wound in 1929. In this very year a change began to take place in America. Since Protestant churches had rejected God’s three angels’ messages they once more, sorry to say, began to teach papal traditions. I found a book Present Day Trends written by Beitz (sp?) in 1934 just five years after the healing of the wound began in 1929. He discovered that Protestant churches were beginning to change their beliefs. He sent a questionnaire to the ministers which revealed that these preachers in 1934 no longer could be called fundamentalists. Why? – Because they were turning back to the traditions of Rome.
Let me read to you a little of this survey. You may find it hard to believe. Remember, this was written in 1934.
24% of pastors no longer believed that there was a devil
50% no longer believed in hell
22% of Baptist ministers didn’t even believe in heaven
37% no longer considered the Bible to be God’s book
Isn’t that amazing? Do you see that a great change was beginning to take place in Protestantism immediately after the healing of the wound began.
Let’s take the Congregational Church:
44% of their ministers no longer believed in the devil
96% no longer believed in hell
44% no longer believed in heaven
91% said they could not believe that the Bible was God’s book
Thank God for the Lutheran ministry:
Not one of them said they didn’t believe in the devil. How could they? You’ll recall that Martin Luther saw the devil. However, they too were beginning to lose their confidence in God’s Word. 20% said they could no longer believe the Bible to be God’s book.
Turning to the Methodists we find that the survey told that:
70% of their ministry did not believe in a devil
92% did not believe in hell
The total results of this survey in 1934 revealed that 65% of all Protestant preachers no longer believed the Bible was God’s Word.
It is no surprise then that some 44 years later I discovered a magazine printed in America in 1970 called The Look magazine. You will find special issues of this magazine are still appearing on the newsstand today. In this issue of 1970 they gave a report of a survey taken in all of the Protestant seminaries in North America and believe it or not, they discovered that only 1% of all the young men studying to become ministers in Protestant seminaries in America in 1970 believed that Jesus Christ would come back to this earth. That should startle your thinking for these are the men that are now the pastors of Protestant churches in our land today. No wonder God says that in the end time they would have “a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” 2 Timothy 3:5.
Immediately after the healing of the wound in 1929 we had a president by the name of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was one of the smartest politicians to ever become president of this great nation. He recognized what was taking place. He saw that the church and state were beginning to get together. On December 6, 1933 he sent a message to Congress which said, “Churches are the greatest influence in the world today for spreading a new philosophy of government in which state and church are rightly united in a common aim.” What’s he talking about? What did he say was happening? – Notice that the Protestant churches were promoting a new program in which church and state were to be united. This was the beginning of the ecumenical movement and President Roosevelt knew what he was talking about.
Let us explore this further. Since Protestant churches were turning from the Word of God they must have some place to go for doctrine. They began to preach a social gospel of Modernism based on higher learning together with the traditions of Rome. Let me give you proof of this change. In Dr. Arnot C. Gabilians (sp?) in the book Our Hope June 1940 I read as he tells of a pastor of a large Presbyterian church in Hollywood, California who “not only denied the existence of a literal hell, but taught the remedial and corrective sufferings of purgatory where needed to save the lost.” What’s this? – A Protestant church in America preaching that we need the teachings of purgatory to save the people? Where does such doctrine come from? – Not from the Bible. Purgatory is a teaching of the dragon found in the teachings of Rome.
He continues, “…Who was shocked some time ago to read this statement from a Methodist pastor, the son of a very prominent Methodist editor wherein he states, ‘He would be happy to have a Roman Catholic priest in his pulpit to conduct the mass.’” A Methodist inviting a Catholic priest to his pulpit to conduct the mass?! Do you know that the mass is where a human being believes that he can actually take the life of his Creator? Where does such a false belief come from? – Not from the Bible. It comes from tradition. Where did tradition come from? – The Bible states that it came from the dragon. Surely you can see that a change is developing within Protestantism in America.
In another book Present Day Trends and Worldwide Apostasy by W. O. H. Garman (sp?) I read, “While in Chicago some time ago we were told of an Episcopal Church in which they had confession, burned candles for the dead, and celebrated the mass.”
In the Atlantic Monthly of January 1922, Volume 1, #51 I found the following: Dr. Charles M. Sheldon, a noted Congregational minister had this to say, “The church is looked upon as the place to go hear someone. But people want something more than preaching, they want comfort and courage and help that does not come to them when it is handed out wholesale. The confessional of the Roman Church is a recognition of a human craving so deep and eternal that it is a bewildering thing to see how it has been ignored by Protestant churches which have emphasized preaching above piety and the pulpit above the person.” Amazing!
Today we hear of the interchange of pulpits all over the land between Roman Catholic priests, Protestant preachers and Jewish rabbis. I will never forget the day when I was pastoring the Woodside Church in Sacramento, California. My telephone rang and it was the priest of the nearby Catholic church on the telephone. He said, “I would like to come over and preach in your pulpit and I will let you come over and preach in my pulpit.” You can be sure I quickly answered, “No thank you.” My friend, I am trying to show you that a religious change is taking place in America.
There are now twenty-four leading Protestant churches who have joined together in a Federal Council of Churches for the one purpose of joining hands with Rome. On the other hand the papacy is reaching out its hand to the hands of Protestant churches calling them “our separated brethren.” Day by day we can see the growth of the ecumenical movement.
In Revelation 13:14 God has told us of its purpose. It states, “He deceiveth them that dwell on the earth … saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast.” I was amazed as I watched the television of the pope’s last visit to America, in which Protestant leaders proclaimed the pope as the greatest man of this hour. Protestant America is beginning to make an image to the beast.
Let me read it to you from Revelation 13:12, 15 – 18, “And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. … 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. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”
We are going to discuss these details in the coming tapes. In view of such a warning by God what should be the Christian’s attitude as we see these things developing before our eyes? I read in Romans 13:1 that “the powers that be are ordained of God,” therefore we must obey the laws of our government in every respect as a Christian until those laws conflict with God’s law. In Acts 5:29 Peter and the other apostles said, “We ought to obey God rather than men.” As a Christian we should be foremost in defending our great country, paying our taxes and praying for the President and those in Congress. Christians should honor the flag and serve in the armed forces as a Christian. Loyalty to our flag will be second only to God and to His flag. But let us remember a crisis is coming in which there will be a time of trouble such as never was. How we should thank God for the information our Savior has given to us in the book of Revelation so we will know how to conduct ourselves with the help of God.
Let us pray. Loving Father, help our minds to comprehend these great prophecies of the Bible that we will be enabled with Thy power to discern truth from error and to obey only Thee. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.