Revelation 13 - Rome rises on American power
Revelation Chapter 13 The Mark of the Beast – Spread by Rome and America
The Mark of the Beast is scary as it represents those whom Satan has fooled and then captured. Satan has done his job well as there is much evil on planet Earth. This gives many the feeling that Satan is in control, and that error cannot be withstood.
But God sets a limit on evil and even uses the effects of evil to achieve His will.
Chapter 13 opens with a lovely, yet simple illustration of the limits that evil cannot go beyond: the sand of the seashore. The sea (representing the restless masses of people) is mighty in power. Huge storms sweep up devastating waves onto the land, but the sea subsides after a while, and the sea returns to its natural limits. The seashore (representing the righteous) survives and remains to set the limits of the sea. Decent, godly people, by their good works and positive example, set a limit to corruption. It only takes a little salt, a minority, to stop all the meat from going rotten.
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.
The beast represents the pagan demonology and brutality of the pagan Roman empire.
The Roman empire was destroyed by the barbarians but the pagan Roman spirit resurrected to life on the ruins of the Roman Empire as the Roman Catholic Church. One historian described the Roman Catholic Church as baptized paganism.
The beast is a religious and political church-denominational power that rose to control the nations' minds and beliefs. The beast also represents the rise of human leadership to control the church until the commandments of man replace the Word of God.
The seven heads represent the seven hills that the original city of Rome was built on.
The Lateran Palace on the Caelian Hill remains the official headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. It replaced the temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva on the Capitoline Hill that was the headquarters of the pagan Roman Empire.
The ten horns are ten dictators who will give their military power to the end time Pope to enable him to rule the world during the Great Tribulation.
They are not crowned kings, but they have power as kings. They are dictators.
REVELATION 17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
"the name of blasphemy".
Blasphemy is when we contradict Scripture and take away from Scripture.
The churches have taken away the name of God. The Triune God has got no name. You cannot find one name for three People.
God has got a Name.
As the Father, God was known as Jehovah (which means Lord), and He dwelt above the Jews.
God was then manifest in the flesh when the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily in Christ Jesus, making Him the "Son of God". We cannot say "God the Son" as the Bible never uses this expression because God is a Spirit - God is not flesh and blood. So, the Man Jesus was not God.
COLOSSIANS 2:9 For in him [Jesus] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
I TIMOTHY 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh,
The Spirit that dwelt within the Man Jesus was God. Jesus was thus both Man and God. As the Son of God, Who was a Man, God dwelt with His people. Emmanuel, God with us.
MATTHEW 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
JOHN 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Today the "Spirit of God" still dwells in the Body of Christ (which means Anointed One) Who sits in Heaven on the mercy seat. But besides, God can pour out that Spirit into the hearts of men and women who believe. We call this an anointing or the Holy Ghost baptism. Each believer gets a portion of the Spirit. The whole church taken together has the fullness of God. The Bible never says, "God the Holy Spirit" because the Holy Spirit does not include the Body of Christ, Who sits as our Sacrifice on the mercy seat. So as the Holy Spirit, God can dwell in the hearts of His people.
God was above the people as the Father. God was with the people as the Son. God is in the people as the Holy Spirit to anoint them. Thus, the one Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is the Lord Jesus Christ.
His name is Jesus. Lord and Christ are titles. Many humans have the name Jesus too. To know which Jesus we are talking about we must use one or both titles with His name. Jesus Christ or Lord Jesus or Lord Jesus Christ.
To say that God's Name is "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" is wrong. Three titles cannot replace a Name.
By calling "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost" the Name of God, we effectively remove the Name of the Christian God.
God became a Man, and thus the human Name of God is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Water baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The Holy Spirit never died nor got buried. God the Father, never died nor got buried. Thus, water baptism has nothing to do with the Father or the Holy Spirit if they are different Persons from Jesus.
Any Name that replaces the Lord Jesus Christ as the Name of God is a grave error.
And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
The seashore is important in Scripture. It is the dividing line between land and sea.
The sea represents the unrighteous, restless multitudes of people who shift with the changing currents of circumstances and human opinions. The sand on the seashore was chipped off rocks at some stage by the forces of nature. Christ, the Word, is our Rock. Believers are born again of Him and remain part of His Word (Scripture).
I CORINTHIANS 10:4
And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
Thus, the sand on the seashore represents the righteous. The seashore represents the limits of the sea. God will only allow the sea (the unrighteous) to go so far in their attempts to undermine and destroy the righteous (the seashore sand). The righteous represent the limits that evil cannot go past. Your stand for the Bible does more to hold back error than what you are aware of. Early Christians were eaten by lions in the Colosseum in Rome. But for everyone that died, many pagans were so astonished by their courage and faith that they accepted the Lord Jesus. Eventually, this brutal spectacle was stopped. Another branch of evil had reached its limit. But these shocking murders had brought many pagans to salvation. A thief had to be crucified next to Jesus before he accepted salvation. Suffering in the flesh is often the only way to get us self-centred, luxury-loving, arrogant, self-satisfied, and complacent human beings to look beyond ourselves and see our need for a Saviour. God uses evil to jolt us awake, but He limits the spread of this evil so that it does not destroy everyone.
He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.
This Earth has its limits. An Earth day is 24 hours. Light and darkness cut each other off so that each has a limited time. The land is cut off by the sea. Life is cut off by death. Ultimately light will replace darkness, and the sea will disappear. Death, the sea, and dark nights are symbols of what goes wrong on Earth. These are essential for our growth. Hardship, grief, sin, error, deception, worldliness, etc. are essential to test us, strengthen us, punish us, and give us an adversary to struggle against.
Struggle is the law of growth.
Defeat and difficulty are the hammer and anvil, where our character is hammered out and made strong. When we compromise with error, we simply become wishy-washy Tribulation fodder.
So, all that is wrong is simply an instrument that is there for a while to mould us or hammer us into the shape that God wants from our lives, not what we want from our lives.
And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
The time is coming when there will be no more sea and no more darkness.
Error and evil are temporary until they have served their purpose.
Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass;
No one can go beyond the limits that God has set for them. Fallen human nature needs to be cut off from its natural greed and selfishness.
Each of us must learn to cope with the limits that God has set for us.
These limits are essential for our survival.
Each cell in our body is limited in terms of its size and function. Cancer is simply a cell that has rebelled against its limits, and it grows for the sake of growing. God uses evil and error to mould His church through seven different ages, but eventually, evil will be done away with. Until then, the Church must contend with and oppose the error of its age.
Fear ye not me? saith the LORD: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it?
But equally, good sets a limit to evil. Evil will never eradicate the truth. Believers can be dispersed, but the truth will spread due to their dispersion. Believers can even degenerate, but new ones will arise in other places. Salt limits the spread of decay. To save His children, God limits the spread and power of evil. Evil can only flow down the channels that God allows. So far, and no further.
(The Mongol horde overran Russia and eastern Europe under their military genius and general Tsubodai. The Hungarian army was eliminated. Western Europe was at their mercy because the Pope was wasting his efforts on fighting the Holy Roman Emperor, who was German. Europe had no general who could match Tsubodai. Then far away in Mongolia, the Mongol Khan Ogedei, the third son of Genghis Khan, died from excessive drinking after a brief reign of only 12 years. His eldest son Guyuk who was with Tsubodai and the Mongol army in Europe, then took the whole army back from Europe to Mongolia to participate in the election of a new Khan. Guyuk was elected as the new Khan to replace his father. Helpless Europe was saved by one man’s death that occurred far away from Europe, just at that critical moment. Thus, God pulls strings so that His will triumphs)
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?
To create depth in a picture, an artist uses light colours for highlights and dark colours for shadows. Light and dark are totally under the control of the artist. Each light and dark colour can only occupy a certain specific portion of the picture.
To create depth of character in us, God has to paint across our lives with light and dark events. So good and evil people are used by Him to mould us and test us. Both types are totally under His control.
Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
The Bible is a Book of Prophecies, giving us clues to future events.
Chapter 13 will reveal the remorseless rise of two great powers, the Roman Catholic Church and the United States of America. Both these powers play a key role in bringing the world into subjection to the Mark of the Beast.
I THESSALONIANS 2:6
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
God does not eradicate evil. At times He holds back His power to allow evil to develop. The evil that we have to face will be the test of our faith. Evil will always be something that disagrees with what is written in the Bible. Can we stay with what is written? If we cannot, then it simply reveals that we are part of the flow of evil and are deluding ourselves when we say that we serve God if we do so in a way that contradicts Scripture.
II THESSALONIANS 2:7
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
The word “let” means to “prevent”. God has not stopped evil. People will offer you a drink or a cigarette. People will swear in your presence. Then God sees what you do in response. If you bow down to the social pressure of wanting to be popular and join in with them, it simply means that you do not believe God as deeply as you think you do
But God limits evil. God will not allow evil to wipe out the truth from planet Earth. There will always be a remnant of true believers, even if they are isolated and rejected.
So, God is limiting the effects of evil so that the righteous can survive.
“Only he (Christ) who now letteth (prevents the full force of evil) will let, until he be taken out of the way.”
At the Second Coming of Jesus when He takes His Bride to Heaven, and the world goes into the Tribulation time when Christ’s Holy Spirit is no longer on Earth.
But when Christ catches away the Church to take them to the Wedding Supper in Heaven, then the full flood of evil will burst forth because the Holy Spirit will be removed from the Earth. If you think evil is bad now, just wait till the great Tribulation starts.
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work”. The denominational error was already at work in the early church. Sectarianism.
I CORINTHIANS 1:12
Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
I CORINTHIANS 1:13
Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
We are not content to be Christians. We feel that we have to take on some human opinion to be part of some denomination. We want to carry some human tags to identify with.
Denominations are the mystery of iniquity. Changing Scripture to fit in with human thinking. Looking up to human leaders.
II THESSALONIANS 2:8
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Jesus will finally destroy the Antichrist and his followers at Armageddon. Don’t you be one of them.
The mother denomination is the Roman Catholic Church. Her Protestant daughters are going back to her. Together, this ecumenical move will create the political-religious organization that will be taken over by the Antichrist. If people stayed with what was written in the Bible, the Antichrist would never be able to move when he usurps the Papacy. But Pope, Cardinal, archbishop are all unscriptural - so who cares about another unscriptural issue. Lack of Scripture opens the door to the flood tide of evil waiting to pour out over the Earth during the Tribulation.
II THESSALONIANS 2:9
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
The Antichrist system is just too subtle for us. If you do not stay with the Bible just the way it is written, the Devil will find a subtle point to fool you. The Scripture is the only shield that we have to protect us from his subtle cunning.
Consequently, we have to choose. Be part of the vast majority, the restless sea, or be part of the minority, the clean sea sand.
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.
The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
A woman symbolizes a church because the true church is called the Bride of Christ.
Rome is known as the City of Seven Hills. And the Roman Catholic Church dominates the city of Rome. A place became a city when a wall was built around it. The next map shows the wall (in red) that was first built around seven hills to form the city of Rome.
Romulus set up a toll system where a trade route crossed the Tiber river. His followers built their houses on the surrounding hills. When they had built on 7 hills, they built a protective wall around the 7 hills. Any buildings that had a protective wall around them was known as a city.
The City of Seven Hills would flourish and become known as the city of Rome.
Ten horns: Ten dictators with great military power.
A horn represents the power of a beast. When the Antichrist rules, these ten dictators will provide the Catholic Church with their military might.
They will have their brief hour of power in the Great Tribulation.
These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
They are probably very different countries (think Russia and China), but they unite under the Antichrist leadership, giving him their military power. He has religious control from a one-man dictatorship as Pope of the combined churches and political control because Roman Catholics are so widespread amongst the nations. The modern ecumenical move is pulling the Protestants and other non-Catholics, who are so easily fooled with Catholic beliefs and traditions, into the Catholic fold to give even more support to the end-time Antichrist. He will basically be unstoppable.
“And upon his heads the name of blasphemy”.
The Roman church, dominating the City of Seven Hills has made a serious mistake when it comes to the Name of God. “Blasphemy” is a very harsh word. We need to be careful here.
Pagans invented the concept of Trinity. One God in three Persons. The Roman Catholic mother church adopted this belief from the pagans. The Protestant daughters took over this belief from the Catholics. The word Trinity was always unscriptural.
The Trinity God has got no Name.
The Bible speaks of 'God the Father' but never says 'God the Son', or 'God the Holy Spirit'. Trinitarians cannot explain why. The expressions like 'First Person of the Godhead', 'Second Person of the Godhead', and 'Third Person of the Godhead' are completely unscriptural. Placing Christ into the Godhead as the Second Person is all wrong because Paul places the fullness of the Godhead into Christ.
God the Father is never mentioned in the Old Testament.
God had no Son in Whom He could dwell until Jesus was born. Thus, Jesus was the Son of God in Whom the fullness of God the Father dwelled and manifested Himself.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Trinity very neatly removes the Name of God.
The Father, the eternal Spirit from the Old Testament, has many Titles to describe His various attributes. He is called JHVH or YHWH, but these words cannot be pronounced and thus are not names. A name is something that can be spoken. Humans added in vowels to say Jehovah or Yahweh, but these are man-made titles that mean Lord. The Son has a Name, Jesus. The Holy Spirit has no Name in the Bible.
The Holy Spirit is claimed to be a separate Person but has no Bible name. Not very convincing.
Now try to find One Name for all Three People. It is not possible. So, the Christian God ends up without a Name. To keep the idea of Trinity alive, the church systems replace the Name of God with three Titles: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. There is nothing wrong with these three titles, but it is a bad and dangerous mistake to say that these three titles are a Name.
The “name of blasphemy”. We must be very careful. Any other name or claiming that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is a Name gets us onto perilous territory. The Christian God only has one human Name, the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not be fooled into changing this in any way.
When God was a Spirit, He was called Jehovah. When God was manifest as a Man, then He was called Jesus Christ. Once He took on the Name of Jesus in the Book of Matthew, then the Bible never again ever mentions the word JHVH ( which people call Jehovah). When He was called JHVH (or Jehovah) in the Old Testament, then the Old Testament never ever mentioned the Name of Jesus.
Consequently, the Jehovah (JHVH) of the Old Testament became the Jesus of the New Testament.
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.
We now go into the Old Testament. Daniel saw the rise of four great world empires. The first three are mentioned here. They all ruled for a while and then were defeated and went off the world’s stage. The fourth beast was pagan Rome, but when the barbarians defeated pagan Rome, Rome “rose from the dead” as the Roman Catholic church, and as such, the spirit of Rome still rules. The legs of iron in Daniel’s image were the eastern and western Roman empires. This solid iron changed into bits of iron mixed with clay in the feet of the image. The spirit of pagan Rome carried over into the Roman Catholic church whose denominational religion is really just baptized paganism.
Salvation belonged to the Jews, not the Gentiles, until it "crossed over" into the feet of the image, that represent the seven church ages.
A second vision by Daniel saw those four Gentile empires as vicious beasts.
Babylon was the lion. Eagle wings lifted it up to heaven to hear from the gods.
As a result, the Babylonian priesthood was rated as the most authentic pagan priesthood and the Babylonian Mysteries were held in great esteem by the pagans.
“The mouth of a lion”. But pagan Rome and the Roman church were influenced by the first three beasts, the first three world empires. Babylon was the lion. The mysteries of Babylon, like the Trinity, came from Babylon to Pergamos and then moved on to Rome.
The Babylonian high priest was called Pontiff. The Pope is still called Pontiff. The Pope still preaches Trinity. Preaching mysteries that cannot be clearly understood is the key to getting people away from Scripture and binding them into a religious organization. Clever catchwords like Trinity and Christmas and Christmas trees will fascinate the people and stop them from realizing that these words are not even in the Bible.
Babylon was also symbolized as the head of gold. Money and wealth are essential if error is to be established and last. Grabbing for gold symbolizes the modern church systems.
“The feet of a bear”. The Persian empire was the first worldwide empire. To rule it they had to have a fixed organizational structure with different ranks of rulers, governors, and managers, etc. To build up a big church organization one needed a religious hierarchy of Pope, Cardinals, Metropolitans, Archbishops, etc. None of these titles is Scriptural. Each church had to be controlled by a priest who was loyal to the Pope. One-man rule thus operated in the individual churches as well.
A big religious organization will keep itself going and cannot really be stopped by any one person. Even if many people oppose it, the organization just keeps rolling on. So, a large denomination is essential to keep error alive. The bigger the better. Large numbers are an essential ingredient for error to survive.
Notice the modern-day churches how they base their success by pointing to their income and large membership. We are “rich and increased in goods and have need of nothing”.
“Beast which I saw was like unto a leopard”. Leopards are quick and agile. This represents the Greeks. Mentally agile and excellent debaters, as they originated philosophy and basic education such as mathematics. Bible schools or seminaries became a quick way of trapping young converts into the thinking patterns of the denomination. They can only pass if they learn what they are taught. By the time they are qualified, they are established in the specific denominational doctrines and will spend the rest of their lives spreading their denomination’s beliefs. Once a person has learned something, they are very reluctant to accept that they could be wrong. Can a leopard change its spots?
“And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”
From a human viewpoint, the Catholic church is a huge success. She has much power and influence. But Scripture says that the power behind this colossal church organization is the Devil.
Constantine became Roman emperor in AD 312. He then gave the Bishop of Rome the beautiful Lateran Palace as his seat. This palace was built on the Caelian hill, one of the original seven hills of Rome. What a boost to the prestige of the Roman Bishop. This is still registered as the official seat of the Roman church, even though more than a thousand years later they moved over the Tiber river into the magnificent Vatican buildings. At the Council of Nicaea in AD 325, Constantine gave his blessing to the Catholic Trinity. His boosting of the Bishop of Rome was further amplified by the huge amount of wealth that Constantine gave to the Bishop of Rome. When Constantine moved East to Constantinople around AD 330, he left the Bishop of Rome as his strong man in the West. The papacy was fast gaining political power. In AD 378 the eastern emperor Valens and 20000 Romans were killed by the Goths and Huns at the Battle of Adrianople.
Then Theodosius was offered the position of eastern emperor. He claimed, as a Christian, that he could not accept the title of Pontiff (high priest of the Babylonian mysteries) which had always been attached to the Roman emperor since the days of Julius Caesar. Theodosius called Damasus, the Bishop of Rome, by the title of Pontiff. Damasus won the election to the office of Bishop of Rome by murdering about 300 of his opponent's followers. Damasus was the uncle of emperor Theodosius, which also gave him a lot of political protection.
In AD 390 emperor Theodosius granted Bishop Ambrose to have spiritual power and authority over the emperor. Theodosius did this to compensate for his massacre of 7000 people in Thessalonica. Theodosius then began to persecute pagans and extended this to persecuting heretics, anyone who opposed Catholicism. By about AD 450 Roman Bishop Leo I claimed the right to kill heretics or Christians who disagreed with the Catholic church. The papacy was fast picking up 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.
Romulus, about 750 years BC, began building some huts on the Palatine hill which was near a ford where merchants following a trade route could cross the river Tiber. He then demanded a toll fee from the merchants before he allowed them to pass. The community grew until there were buildings on seven nearby hills. Then they decided to build a protective wall around the seven hills. Any group of buildings with a wall around them was called a city. Rome became known as the City of Seven Hills. The city wall is shown in red below). One hill, the Capitoline hill, was chosen as being the centre of government. From this hill was announced all the new laws for the empire. In AD 395 the Roman empire finally split into two and Rome was then the capital of the Western empire.
A black loop has been drawn around the Capitoline hill. The government buildings were built on the top of this hill. The main Temple on this Capitol was for the trinity of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva.
The Tiber river is shown in blue.
Then the barbarians broke up the western Roman empire. In AD 476 Odoacer of the German Heruli tribe, who was a general of the mainly barbarian Roman army, deposed the young 16-year old Western Roman emperor Romulus Augustulus, who had ruled for 10 months, and Odoacer became King of Italy. The Roman empire thus ended in the West. Odoacer did not live in Rome, so the Capitoline hill lost its status as the capital of the Roman empire. Laws were no longer passed here. The Capitoline hill received a deadly wound as it would never again be the centre of world government. Rome, as a city began to fade into obscurity as Italy ceased to be a military power. Rome was no longer the centre from which laws went out to govern the world.
Then a subtle change took place.
The Bishop of Rome whose official seat was the Lateran Palace on the Caelian hill, one of the original seven hills that Rome was built on, began to rise in power amongst the barbarian tribes. In the debris of the devastated empire, people looked to the church for help and for some semblance of stability.
Barbarian kings tended to live brutal and short-lived lives. They admired the continuity of the Roman church that had survived for close to 500 years. Around AD 400 Bishop Siricius of Rome, who was the 38th Bishop of Rome, became known as the Pope, and as the centuries went by the Bishops of Rome became insistent that only they could claim the title of Pope. By AD 450 Pope Leo 1 demanded to be regarded as Pontiff, high priest of the Babylonian mysteries. This gave him great prestige amongst the pagan barbarians. By letting the Bishop of Rome, also now called the Pope, crown them as kings, the barbarian kings could claim far more legitimacy for their descendants to follow them as king. Previously, whoever murdered them became king. So, the Pope rose in influence and power. As the Roman empire disintegrated, the Popes helped the people tremendously with charity, and eventually they took the lead in governing Rome and the surrounding areas (the papal states). When Pope Leo 3 crowned Charlemagne as emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in AD 800, the prestige of the papacy soared. Around 1200, Pope Innocent III claimed authority over the kings in Europe. The papacy had effectively picked up the authority and power that the emperor of Rome lost when Odoacer deposed him.
As a result, the deadly wound, the loss of pagan Rome’s political authority when the Capitoline hill was deprived of its world-governing power, was healed. The Popes, living on the Caelian hill, rose to a position of political and spiritual power amongst the world’s rulers. Today the Pope is still highly influential in world affairs. The biggest-ever gathering of world leaders was at the funeral of Pope John Paul II in 2005. The Pope of course has a phenomenal spiritual authority over the 1,4 billion Catholics that are spread around the world. The Vatican is rising to world dominance as a church power (the white horse of religious deception in the First Seal of Revelation Chapter 6) and as a political power (the red horse of the Second Seal) and as a money power (the black horse of the Third Seal).
And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
Pope Nicholas 1 (858 - 67) was the first Pope to wear a crown to show his equality with kings.
The white horse of religious deception. A bow without an arrow is a bluffer, a deceiver. No Scripture for his arrow.
:3 And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.
:4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.
Emperors and kings made their military power available to defend the Pope. The Popes also built up armies in the Dark Ages.
:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
Religion became Big Business. Selling indulgences, the forgiveness of sins, enabled the Popes to build St Peter's Church and the Sistine Chapel.
Religion, politics, and money are the keys that open the door to world power.
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?
A beast is the symbol of a power. There is a strong urge in people to follow and look up to human leaders. Hero worship of a person is very prevalent. Film idols, singing idols and sports idols reflect this human tendency.
The strongest spiritual power that humans have built up is the Roman Catholic church. They provide Mary and the saints as objects of devotion. They bow down to the Pope to kiss his ring. The dragon is a symbol of the Devil.
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.
The people on Earth prefer to worship Satan rather than God. They do not want to stay with the Bible just the way it is written. They look for a church that allows them to live as they wish, dress as they wish, and earn their salvation through convenient ways that suit them.
Compromise and comfort in their pursuit of wealth is the main focus that people strive for.
The church that most people flock to is the Catholic church because it has by far the biggest number of followers. This great system can also be represented by its figurehead, the Pope. Each President of a country, however powerful, only rules his own country. As the church's spiritual head, the Pope has followers in every country so that no leader can compare with him in terms of a globally spread-out power base. No-one could declare war on the Pope because Catholics in every country would support him, including those in the country that declares war on him.
And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
The Pope has great worldwide influence but the doctrines of Catholicism that he speaks out on are not based on Scripture. So, God is not impressed.
42 months is three and a half years. This is the length of the Great Tribulation when the Antichrist, who will usurp the position of Pope at the end, dominates and crushes the world in a time of trouble that is so horrible that we cannot actually imagine it. The Holocaust, when the Nazis destroyed 6 million Jews and 6 million non-Jews in their awful death camps, was a preview of this terrible time.
These three and a half years will be the height of papal power. It will also be the worst time on planet Earth. For those who preferred an alternative to what God requires in His Word, they will get the full force of the Devil’s wrath and evil nature in the Tribulation. This intense shock will make them realize just how wrong they were.
And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
The Pope does not stay with the Scripture. Contradicting Scripture is not just an error - it is blasphemy. Claiming that the three titles of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are the Name of God is just totally wrong. Claiming that the Vatican with its beautiful buildings is the tabernacle or dwelling place of God is totally wrong. God dwells in the hearts of born-again people. That is His tabernacle.
2000 years ago God lived in a Temple (the holy place) in Jerusalem (the Holy City) in Palestine (the holy land). Only God is holy. His Presence made these places holy. God left the Temple at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus. In AD 70 the Temple was destroyed by the Romans. So God does not live there anymore. Now He lives in the hearts of born again people. So you can find holy people (because when they are born again the Spirit of God is within them), not some holy place. Thus neither the Vatican nor any other building can claim to be God’s tabernacle or dwelling place.
The Pope prays to departed saints. Catholics steadily offer prayers to Mary and various saints. Praying to people who have died is simply spiritualism. This reduces them to the level of witchcraft. It is just a variation of the old pagan ancestor worship. Spiritually it is very wrong.
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Around the year AD 400 Augustine of Hippo (in North Africa) said it was acceptable to persecute Christians who disagreed with Catholicism. Around AD 450 Pope Leo I interpreted this as permission to kill Christians who opposed Catholicism. So the killing started and grew in intensity as time went on. The Dark Ages and the Counter-Reformation that the Catholics launched after the Reformation of that bravest of reformers, Martin Luther, saw the Catholic church killing off tens of millions of non-Catholic Christians and dissenters. Now the battle has gone over to the spiritual realm, as the Catholic model of an organized denomination under human rulership has become the model for the Protestant churches as well. Denominational religion, based on human opinions, is the Mark of the Beast on human minds. Brainwashing and thought control is being stressed to get Catholics, Protestants, and other non-Catholics away from what is written in the Bible.
The mark is in the forehead, where the mind is. The mind becomes brainwashed by church error.
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
At the beginning of time, God wrote certain names into the Bible, the Lamb's Book of Life. These are the new names that will be revealed to us when we are changed and receive a new body. If your new name is in there then you will respond to what is written in Scripture. By staying with Scripture you become part of the Bride of Christ. If you prefer to believe something that cannot be proven from Scripture then you can be saved by receiving Christ as your personal Saviour, but you will not be part of the Bride. In the Great Tribulation, you will receive a severe wake-up call and have to die for your faith. One thousand years later you will be resurrected for Judgement Day. If you did not deny your faith in the Tribulation you will be spared but will spend the rest of eternity living outside that great city, New Jerusalem, because that is the new home for the Bride.
If any man have an ear, let him hear.
Hearing what is in Scripture and believing it and obeying it is the most important aspect of modern life.
We have to choose between the Bible or Denominational religion.
The Word or the world.
Christianity or Churchianity.
The Wedding Feast or the Beast.
Eat or be eaten. Think of the vultures who feast on all the corpses after Armageddon.
You must choose.
He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
Patience because evil has to run its course. The cup of iniquity has to be filled up. We must wait for God’s time.
Faith only comes from hearing God’s Word.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Catholicism has enslaved so many people into a system of denominational religion. The end thereof is the bottomless pit from which they can never escape.
Babylon, Egypt, and the barbarians got their ideas out of the pit of paganism. Churchianity (which is different from Christianity, in spite of claims to be the same) is designed to pull us back into that pit of paganism.
Tens of millions of non-Catholics were killed by the Catholic church during and just after the Dark Ages. Eventually, after usurping the papacy to acquire world domination, the Antichrist will abandon the Vatican as he imitates God’s New Jerusalem by moving to Jerusalem. Then the ten dictators who will give the Antichrist his military power will hate the Catholic church and drop a nuclear bomb on the Vatican City. A nuclear bomb is the ultimate sword invented by man as a weapon of war. Payback time for the Catholic Church which killed tens of millions with the sword in the Dark Ages.
God never forgets the sins that we did not repent of.
This Beast is this great spiritual power of denominational religion that Satan has inspired men to build up so that he could use this church power and the church's financial muscle to rule the world.
During the Middle Ages, while the Pope had religious power and could use the armies of the Catholic kings of Europe to exterminate his Christian opponents, then he could establish his authority.
But around AD 1750 John Wesley in England began to preach holiness and outreach in the great sixth church age of Philadelphia (which means brotherly love). This incredible man’s influence swept far and wide and suddenly the concept of getting the state to kill Christians who disagreed with you was not such an acceptable idea anymore.
So another great Beast, another great natural power had to rise up to assist the spiritual power of the Pope in his bid for world domination. Killing Christians now had to be stopped. A more subtle plan was to enslave them in denominational non-Catholic churches, and then unite these denominations in a great ecumenical merger. Then it will be easy for the superman Antichrist, once he has usurped the papacy, to bring the ecumenical movement under his control as well.
In the next half of the Chapter we witness the rise to power of the greatest single nation on Earth, America.
America’s role is to bring the Protestant churches into the ecumenical movement so that denominational religion can eventually be brought under the control of the Antichrist Pope.
Organized religion aims for big money and big numbers. America’s wealthy superchurches or megachurches lead the way. Glitz, worldly glamour, and slick showbiz combine with disco beat music. The impressive showmanship of their services and their charismatic preachers offering a prosperity gospel. One-man pastor-dominated churches are the trend. Impressive woman preachers. Divorce and remarry, who cares. Sexual license. All this is the spin-off of competitive 'Churchianity': my church is bigger and better than yours. My church is more comfortable and has a cleverer compromise with popular opinions.
American fashions lead the world. Jeans, T-shirts, Nike sport shoes, caps back to front. MacDonalds, KFC, and Coke. Shopping malls. Supermarkets. The internet. Google. Space exploration. Iphones. Ipads. Ipods. The atomic bomb was first exploded by the Americans at Alamagordo (almost sounds like Armageddon because 7 of the 10 letters are the same).
About 9 out of 10 full-time preachers worldwide are in America. So American ideas, thanks to her dollar strength, ripple around the world. America does things in a big way and the rest of the world just keeps following. America is both loved and hated, but is always impressive. Their huge economy drives the world. Half the wheat that feeds the world is grown in America. They won the two world wars. They pursued a policy of nuclear armament and space exploration that Russia followed. But Russia went bankrupt in the process. They re-invented their military after the Vietnam fiasco to use smart bombs and stealth aircraft. Now the rest of the world scrambles to follow the American military model. This amazing American nation pulls the world after itself.
But we need to know where they are going.
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
Another beast, an animal unique to America: the bison or buffalo. The front half of the bison is covered in wool just like a sheep.
John had never seen such an animal, so he compared it to a lamb.
John could have compared it to a sheep. His choice of a lamb had a spiritual significance. Christ is the Lamb of God, so this powerful nation that was rising up had a godly beginning. George Washington, the first President of the United States of America had the reputation that "he never let a lie cross his lips". Abraham Lincoln was known as "honest Abe". A French visitor to America just after they became independent in 1776, described America as a land where the pulpits were aflame with righteousness.
The American Declaration of Independence remains one of the greatest constitutional documents that were ever written. From this godly beginning, America rose quietly and un-noticed to become a world power. After two world wars, they were the western world's superpower. But things were changing. Violence and broken treaties with the original Americans or Native Americans stained their flag. President Roosevelt allowed diplomatic planes to take the secrets of the atomic bomb to Russia during the Second World war. He allowed Russia to take over eastern Europe. He was unfaithful to his wife. President Clinton was called "Slick Willy" and got involved with a young woman working in the White House. The calibre had deteriorated. Nelson Rockefeller could not run for President because he was divorced and re-married. Then Ronald Reagan, divorced and remarried, became President in 1980. Standards were slipping.
President Obama refused to veto the United Nations condemnation of Israel, just before his term of office ended.
America had become far stronger, but not better. The Dragon, Satan, took political control to lead America away from what is written in the Bible. The Bible was banned in American schools in 1963. That was the year that William Branham revealed the mysteries of the Seven Seals in the Book of Revelation. In that year the Pope and the Catholic President of America, John Kennedy, both died.
The American superpower was needed to so impress the rest of the world that they would follow where America led. And America took the lead in developing denominational 'Churchianity'.
This beast rose from the land. The Roman beast arose from crowded western Europe with 70 million people in 1620 when the Pilgrim Fathers landed in America. This was represented as the sea. So, the land represents a few people. Historians claim that North America was once inhabited by about 100 million Native Americans. Then the Spanish conquered Mexico and brought with them the dreaded disease smallpox. The Native Americans had no immunity to this, and it spread to wipe out their population. Thus there were less than 10 million Native Americans spread out over the vast continent of North America when the Pilgrim Fathers landed in AD 1620. The population density was very small as America is much bigger than western Europe. The Pilgrim Fathers fled to America to escape the Catholic persecution in Europe.
The Dragon is Satan.
America has now handed over power to the Catholic church that they once fled from.
In 2020 the Americans voted in a trinity of Roman Catholics to rule them. Biden, Harris, and Pelosi. A man and two women.
The original Temple on the Capitol or Capitoline Hill was for the trinity of a male god Jupiter and two goddesses, Juno and Minerva.
The stage is getting set for the sixth of brother Branham's seven prophecies.
60-1113 CONDEMNATION BY REPRESENTATION
Then when these women help elect the wrong person, then I seen a great woman rise up in the United States, well-dressed and beautiful, but cruel in heart. She will either guide or lead this nation to ruination. (I've got in parenthesis "perhaps Catholic church.")
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.
Rome is the Mother of denominational religion. America has the most churches and the most wealth. Thus she exerts a tremendous influence on denominational thinking. Denominational thinking is based on human wisdom and tradition. The Roman Catholics have the oldest traditions which are copied by the other churches. Catholic doctrines involve the concept of Trinity and water baptism in three titles instead of the Name of Jesus Christ. The Protestants, with America in the lead, also subscribe to this idea. Christmas was invented by the Catholics as a rival celebration to the widespread pagan belief that it was the birthday of the sun god. Today that pagan belief has largely died out, but American churches, building on the gospel of materialism and big business profits, lead the world in celebrating Christmas (which is an unscriptural word for an unscriptural date of 25 December). The Bible does not ask us to celebrate the Lord's birth. Thus the world churches follow America who establishes Catholic beliefs.
And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
13 is a special number. This is chapter 13, verse 13.
13 is very much America's number.
The "wonders" that are done here are scientific or technological wonders.
The marvels of modern science that America achieved, gave her great prestige and admiration in the eyes of people.
America became a nation in 1776 when 13 states on the east coast united to form a Union.
Their original flag thus had 13 stars and 13 stripes.
Today, the flag still has 13 stripes but 50 stars as all the other states like Kentucky, Louisiana, and Arizona, etc. joined the Union.
The American seal shows an eagle (symbolic of America's dominance in airpower) grasping an olive branch with 13 leaves (symbolic of peace) and 13 arrows (symbolic of war). The seal has 13 stars in what is called the Field of Glory, and 13 stripes in a flag. The motto has 13 letters in Latin, "E Pluribus Unum", meaning "unity in diversity" (out of many, one).
This seal represents America's dominance in war (the arrows) and peace (the olive branch).
The two greatest scientific achievements of the last century, when America rose to world dominance, were the making of the atomic bomb which exploded over Hiroshima in 1945, and the landing of Neil Armstrong on the moon in 1969.
The atomic bomb was dropped from a height of 10 kilometers (6 miles) and exploded about 700 metres above the ground. Then a fireball, brighter than the sun, rushed down to the ground and consumed and destroyed everything below it for a few miles.
The American beast, bringing down fire from the sky during a time of war.
This shock and horror hastened the surrender of Japan to end World war II. Only America had an atomic bomb and everyone realized that they were now a dominant superpower. American prestige soared.
The photograph shows the awful fireball and shockwave of a nuclear bomb.
America was the first nation to develop this frightening technology and is, so far, the only nation to have dropped two atomic bombs during a war. Both bombs fell on cities in Japan.
Fire falling from the sky in the presence of people.
The first man to land on the moon did so in a lunar lander called Eagle (same name as the American Seal symbol). A very difficult part of the mission was in the re-entry into earth's atmosphere as the moon rocket rushed back to Earth at about 40000 kilometers per hour. This high speed caused severe friction and plasma compression as the rocket entered the Earth's atmosphere. The heat shield would heat up to over sixteen hundred degrees Celsius and this red-hot heat shield would then ablate (give off tiny red-hot particles that carried the excess heat away), leaving the men in the rocket at a comfortable temperature. The capsule descended like a flaming meteor for about three and a half minutes. Then the denser air slowed the rocket down and the flames subsided so that the parachutes could open. This flaming ball of fire, as it descended, was the last stage of the moon journey as they returned to the sailors and airmen who were waiting for them. Only America had landed men on the moon. No other nation managed this so far, by 2020. So, America won the space race against Russia and her international prestige soared.
A close up view of the descent of a moon rocket at it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere at high speed.
Photographed from a distance, the fiery re-entry trail that was about 125 miles long, of the returning moon rocket in the upper atmosphere.
The American beast, bringing down fire from the sky in a time of peace.
These two events demonstrated America's technological prowess and her financial power that she was able to find the money for these hugely costly scientific adventures. Thus, the world looked up to America for leadership. Russia challenged America in the space race and failed to get to the moon. Russia challenged America in the arms race of the Cold War and went bankrupt. Russia's image was dented, America's boosted.
And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; 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.
Only God can perform supernatural miracles like healing the sick or raising the dead.
The "miracles" referred to here are the uniting of the churches.
Protestants separated from Catholics and called the Pope the antichrist. Now they refer to each other as separated brothers.
It is "a miracle of denominational fuzzy thinking" that enables different beliefs to get together and pretend that they believe the same thing.
As long as the emphasis is on numbers present and worship, then doctrine is forgotten and anyone can believe whatever they want to. The main doctrine that binds the churches together is the Trinity. It involves so many unscriptural statements that people no longer rely on Scripture to establish their beliefs.
'First Person of the Godhead', 'Second Person of the Godhead,' 'Third Person of the Godhead', 'One God in Three Persons', 'Christ in the Godhead', 'God the Son', 'God the Holy Spirit' - none of these expressions appear in the Bible. In this blur of human opinion, people are not even aware that they have lost the Name of God. There is no one Name for the Trinitarian God. In the end people become used to fuzzy, unclear beliefs and thus accept other errors too, like getting baptized in three Titles, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and thinking that that is the Name of God.
Roman Catholicism is the oldest denomination. Roman Catholicism survived the breakup of the Roman empire and then acquired spiritual power over the barbarian tribes by crowning their kings and converting the tribes to Catholicism. Rome tried to revive the Roman Empire in the Dark Ages but that failed due to insufficient military strength. Then, shrewdly, they focussed on being a church, a political power, and a financial power. That was the path to denominational success. Now the other denominations are following her example with the great wealth of America leading the way. The Catholic church is the wealthiest organization in America.
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.
The image of the beast is the ecumenical movement that is gathering all the denominations together into a unified fellowship. There is no emphasis on doctrine as that causes separation. People can believe what they want to, as long as they are not too insistent on being Scriptural. There are more than ten different types of water baptism that are tolerated just as long as no-one gets baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. That is not allowed. Denominational religion will become compulsory. You have to belong to a certain denomination. Only the accredited ecumenical churches or denominations will be allowed to speak or preach. Outsiders will be stopped from preaching and their influence killed. When the Tribulation starts, all those dissenters who did not get caught up to meet the Lord in the air will be physically killed as well. People in churches are very self-satisfied. They believe they are safe and reject the idea that they need correction. They have need of nothing, they certainly do not need anyone to tell them that they are wrong. As long as they are rich enough to live in comfort, they will not budge from their denominational beliefs. Yet there are over 45000 different types of denominational and non-denominational churches. Each one believes they are right. But they are all different. So, they cannot all be right. But no-one is concerned. They believe their safety lies in loyalty to their specific church.
The whole trend is to get everyone into some denominational system of beliefs. America leads the way as they have the majority of preachers compared to the rest of the world. Just look at how praise and worship music has changed to reflect this. Beat music has replaced reverence. Entertainment is the key to church popularity.
The image of the beast is the ecumenical uniting of the Protestant churches into a worldwide religious and political organization.
The lifeblood of any organization is money.
To establish a one-world religious leader, the final Pope, each church must first fall under the domination of one man, the pastor. "Pastor" is only mentioned once in the New Testament but somehow he or she has usurped power over the church. The church is in submission to the pastor and that is the first step to getting the church in submission to the denomination. There is no Scripture that says a pastor is a shepherd. That is just a human opinion. No church is meant to be in submission to one person. That is the Roman Catholic system of having a priest in charge of the congregation. But that is how organizations grow, so the Protestants follow the Catholic example. The American denominations then only have to finance a pastor overseas as he will keep that congregation in submission to the American beliefs. For example, Mormons come from America to make their converts into Mormons. That is the mindset of all denominations.
America has more money than anyone else. Her money spreads around the world and the people to who she gives it have to agree with the beliefs of the donor. Thus, preachers all around the world are sold out and have to be in submission to the rich American denominations, and therefore these denominations spread around the world. Thanks to the American dollar financing "church growth", the various denominational beliefs keep spreading around the world and all of these local churches are financially advantaged if they keep in line with the American churches that finance them. The one who supplies the money is always the boss.
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:
America will bring the world into a form of financial bondage. Easy credit has allowed most people to accumulate large debts. There are two options for how people think of the mark of the beast. One is a physical mark of some sort which is very superficial and virtually impossible to enforce on such a huge population of almost eight billion that currently inhabits the Earth. Christians are waiting for a 666 tattoo or the implanting of a microchip in the forehead. But that will not sweep the world. At the moment doctors are not even able to vaccinate all children.
But what is sweeping the world is the far more deadly spiritual mark in our minds.
The brain lies just behind the forehead. You must go in the forehead if you want to find the brain. The brain is where our minds are.
Mind control (or 'brainwashing') is what the mark of the beast is all about.
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
God does not write on people's physical foreheads. God writes His laws into our minds to make us believe in Him. The physical forehead just represents the spiritual mind that is in our brains.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
The Holy Ghost baptism is the seal of God in an individual's life. It represents God's indwelling Spirit taking control of a person's ability to think and act. God seals our brains by means of His Holy Spirit taking control of our thoughts.
Satan is not original, he always wants to imitate God.
The mark of the beast is a spirit of error that takes control of the person's mind and makes them believe unscriptural doctrines and traditions. Any denominational belief or non-Christian belief will have this effect, as long as it is contrary to Scripture. We are brainwashed into believing things that are not in the Bible.
The mark in their right hands represents their actions that are guided by their beliefs. Your brain controls your hands. Your beliefs determine your actions. Your right hand represents your serious works when you really believe in what you are doing. Your left hand represents your works when you are doing something just because you have to.
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.
The mark represents that human minds are controlled by the thinking and doctrines of the denominations.
"Buy or sell" represents financial control. The Roman church rises to power as a religious power and financial power. America with her huge economy plays a key role in establishing the church domination of the financial world. America invented the Internet which plays a major role in generating wealth through our information age and keeping a check on people's finances. If the computer system does not recognize a person's credit card, it will be very difficult for that person to take part in financial transactions.
What happens when credit cards or bank accounts are only issued to members of a registered denominational name? You must be a Lutheran or a Methodist or a Baptist or a Pentecostal etc.
Then it is going to be difficult for anyone who is not identified by a church name to be part of the financial global network. Taking on our church name makes us a denomination. "I am a Baptist".
These denominational names are an idea that started with Christians in Corinth in the first church age, and developed in all the later church ages as people took on the names of charismatic leaders (Priscillianists) or other names that represented ways of thinking, like Gnostics (those who understand the mysteries).
In the New Testament, true believers only called themselves Christians or believers or disciples.
And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
Paul opposed those who tried to associate themselves with the name of some great Christian.
We should never call ourselves anything else than Christian.
"I am in the Message" is as unscriptural as saying "I am an Anglican" or "I am a Calvinist".
I CORINTHIANS 1:11
For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
Cephas means Peter.
:13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
Divisions arise because we are carnal, misled by the flesh and the material benefits and efficiency of a church organization, rather than being spiritual and striving for God's kingdom.
I CORINTHIANS 3:4
For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
Becoming an exclusive group by following some man is not the way forward.
The internet produced Televangelism which is now big business.
The number of his name. This refers to a man.
Christians have thought up countless names to describe the proliferation of 'Churchianity' into more than 45000 different denominations. All these denominational names represent human thinking and human opinions. For example, Baptists, who form the fifth largest Christian group in the world with over 105 million members. But even that is not enough. Are Baptists Calvinists (believing in predestination) or Arminians (believing in free will)? But even that is not enough. There are Baptists who are Reformed Arminians and Wesleyan Arminians and traditional Arminians. But even that is not enough. There are First Baptist, Second Baptist, American Baptist, Southern Baptist, General Baptist, Independent Baptist, Primitive Baptist – the list goes on and on. The Anabaptists were the first to practice baptism by immersion after the Reformation and many of them got drowned by other Protestant groups that believed in sprinkling babies.
The important point is that Jesus said we must get baptized, but He never said that we must call ourselves Baptists.
So where do we find one name, where we can get a number from? One person, whose name has been used to build up the original Roman Catholic denomination.
Once that denomination spread its influence and power over Europe, the Protestants copied the Roman methods as their denominations competed with the Catholics for world dominion. The Catholic denominations set the pace and showed the world how to get a church to grow and survive. Non-Catholics imitate them, just like daughters will imitate their mother.
Individually, in terms of numbers, the Protestant denominations have been outperformed by the Catholics. But if all the Protestants could pull together, they would be a large bloc, about two-thirds the size of the Catholic church.
If the Protestants and Catholics merged then they would be close to one-quarter of mankind. Thirty-three percent of religious people are Christians (Catholics have 1,4 thousand million and non-Catholics have 0.8 thousand million converts ).
The second biggest religious group is twenty-one percent of the world's religious people that are Muslims.
Let us now consider the one name of a man that the Popes used in their rise to power over the barbarians which established them as the head of the most powerful church in Europe.
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.
Here is a subtle meaning to the sand of the sea that John was standing on.
Look at one of God's promises to Abraham.
And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.
No one can number the sand grains of the sea. Obviously, because there are too many of them. But look at four keywords: "which cannot be numbered". In other words, they cannot take on the number of the beast. This is a glorious quality of true believers. Because they stay with Scripture, they are immune to the number or mark of the beast. They will not be numbered in the membership registers of the denominational churches.
It was not until the eighth centurythat the Roman Church proclaimed authority over all of God's churches through the succession of Peter's bishopric. This was done with a forged document called "Donation of Constantine." It first appeared around the year 752 AD, four centuries after Constantine's death (337 AD). Bearing the forged name of the fourth century emperor, Constantine the Great, it originated the doctrine of apostolic succession and first coined the name "vicarius filii dei".
Although you are probably not fluent in Latin, we will quote one sentence from the Latin of the Donation of Constantine. This paper was confirmed by church council, incorporated in Roman Catholic canon law by Gratian, later endorsed by Pope Gregory XIII;(the Pope who changed the calendar) and cited by the Catholic scholar and historian Lucius Ferraris, who proved that it is a forged document.
"Ut sicut Beatus Petrus in terris Vicarius Filii Dei fuit constitutus, ita et Pontiffices eius successores in terris principatus potestatem amplius, quam terrenae imperialis nostrae serenitatis mansuetudo haber videtur"
Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Biblietheca, (edition of 1890), art, "Papa," II, Vol. VI, p. 43.
The translation reads :
As the blessed Peter is seen to have been constituted Vicar of the Son of God on the earth, so the pontiffs who are the representatives of that same chief of the apostles, should obtain from us and our empire the power of a supremacy greater than the clemency of our earthly imperial serenity.
Christopher B. Coleman, The Treatise of Lorenzo Valla on the Donation of Constantine, p. 13, writes :
If Constantine had, in fact, penned the former document, it would still not be authority to exalt the Bishopric of one church over all others; yet this forged document actually became a "tool" to implement the doctrine of Papal supremacy and infallibility through Peter.The Pope claimed that Peter has the keys to Heaven so you must please Peter if you want to get into Heaven.
What you do for the Popes, you think you do for Peter.
The Popes gain their prestige by promoting Peter to be the chief apostle, called him the Prince of the Apostles, and then claimed to be his successors.
Peter himself never claimed to be a Pope, nor was he interested in the wealth and territorial ambitions that have characterized the rise of the Roman Catholic church.
This emphasis on one man, Peter, and this claim that Peter was "Vicarius Filii Dei" opens an interesting possibility.
"Vicarivs urbis Romae" meant "in place of the city of Rome".
This was a title given to the emperor's representative in Rome when the emperor was away.
There is no capital "U" in Latin. A "V" is used in place of "U".
It is easier to carve straight lines in granite in a V rather than a curved U.
VV became W and is called "double U".
Latin uses certain letters for numbers.
(D = 500 C = 100 L = 50 V = 5 I = 1)
IN PLACE OF THE SON OF GOD
V I C A R I V S F I L I I D E I (Latin uses a V for our U)
5 1 100 1 5 1 50 1 1 500 1
All these numbers add up to 666 which is the mark of the beast.
Thus this specific title that the Roman Catholic church claims for Peter (which Peter himself never ever claimed) identifies the Roman Catholic church with the Scripture.
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.
A "score" means 20. "Threescore" means 3 x 20 = 60. The mark of the beast is linked to a man. The Roman Catholic Church has corrupted the ministry of the Apostle Peter to such an extent, that their whole system can now be linked to the mark of the beast.
Peter himself cannot be blamed for this as he never made these claims.
Was Peter ever an apostle to the non-Jewish churches? Was he ever an apostle to the Gentiles? No. Scripture is plain on this subject where we will learn some interesting facts about his apostleship.
First, we will discover that Peter was not the Bishop of Rome, but was an apostle to the Jews as Paul plainly states:
On the contrary, when they saw that to me [Paul] was committed [by God] the gospel for the uncircumcised [Gentiles], as to Peter that for the circumcised [Jews] (for he [God] who worked in Peter for the apostleship of the circumcised [Jews] worked also in me among the Gentiles--and when they recognized the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas [Peter] and John, who were considered the pillars [of the Jerusalem church], gave to me and to Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles, and they [Peter, James and John] to the circumcised [Jews].... Galatians 2:7-9,
Douay (A Catholic Bible translation)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pepin (or Pippin) (died 24 September 768), called the Younger, was the first King of the Franks (752–768) of the Carolingian dynasty. In 741 he and his brother Carloman succeeded their father, Charles Martel, as mayors of the palace and de facto rulers of the kingdom during an interregnum (737–743). After the retirement of Carloman (747), Pepin obtained the permission of Pope Zachary to depose the last of the Merovingian kings, Childeric III, and assume the throne (752).
(Unquote: Pepin needed the backing of the Pope to become the recognised king of the barbarian Franks.
The Pope needed Pepin to get rid of the barbarian Lombards who were invading Italy.)
Pepin's first major act as king was to go to war against the Lombard king Aistulf, who had expanded into the territory of Rome. Victorious, he forced the Lombard king to return property seized from the Church. He confirmed the Papacy in possession of Ravenna and the Pentapolis (five cities), the so-called Donation of Pepin, whereby the Papal States were established and the temporal (political) reign of the Papacy began.
Pepin helped the Pope so that Peter would let him into Heaven.
The Catholic church gained a strip of territory running from Rome across Italy, called the Papal states. The red portion on the map was Pepin's donation after the Pope went to Paris to beg him for help, with his forged Donation of Constantine.
The Pope crowned the barbarian Pepin king of the Franks in AD 752 as well as his son Charlemagne in AD 800 (the most famous king of the barbarian tribes). Thus the Pope became a kingmaker amongst the barbarians. As the barbarians converted to Catholicism, so the Pope became their spiritual head as well. The Pope was picking up the power that the Roman Caesars had lost.
With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
The papacy gained enough power and prestige to interact with kings and world leaders.
"Thou art the Christ the son of the living God" [Μatthew Chapter 16 verse 16]
Of all the disciples, only Peter had a clear revelation of who Jesus was.
Jesus said , "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock (the rock of revelation of Who Jesus is) Ι will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it [Matthew Chapter 16 verse 18].
I CORINTHIANS 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
The Pope changed this by claiming Peter was the rock. The same Peter who would deny Jesus three times.
Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
:34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
Peter (petros in Greek) only means a stone or pebble, not a rock.
But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
So Peter wanted Gentiles to live by Jewish law. Paul corrected Peter, proving that Peter was not the chief apostle as the Roman Church claims. He had that doctrine wrong, so he certainly was not infallible! Something to remember for those who try to make him the first Pope.
And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
:30 But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.
And Simon he surnamed Peter;
Popes are known by their first name. But Peter was his surname.
So Simon Peter had a wife. Thus he certainly was not the first Pope as the Roman Catholic church forbids their hierarchy from priests to popes from getting married.
I TIMOTHY 4:1
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; …
:3 Forbidding to marry,
So the rule that priests and Popes cannot marry is certainly not Scriptural.
And Ι will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bοund in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven
On the day of Pentecost, Peter bound up the baptism of John the Baptist so that it was no longer valid. John only baptized for repentance but did not mention the Name of the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, the sacrificial Lamb, Whose Blood had made repentance possible.
Then Peter said unto them, Repent,
[that is how we are loosed from sin]
and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ
[evidence that we understand who God is and have not been fooled by human opinions.]
Upon this Rock, the revelation of Who Jesus is. He is God the Father, that great Holy Spirit dwelling within the Man Jesus Christ. As the Father, God was above His people the Jews. As the Son, God walked around in the Man Jesus who was Emmanuel, God with us. As the Holy Spirit, God returned to live in the hearts of His people, the church.)
for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
So the early church was saved through repentance and washed by the Blood of the Lamb. They also knew that the Lord Jesus Christ was the Name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This baptism loosed the understanding of Who God is.
The Jehovah of the Old Testament was none other than the Jesus of the New Testament.
If Peter was the first Pope and as such was infallible, then notice that he baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. Why do his successors, the long line of Popes, not do the same thing? They all baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, even though they cannot tell us what that name is.
But “binding and loosing” was claimed by the Pope as the power of withholding or granting forgiveness for sin, which the Popes used in their contests with the political authorities during the Middle Ages.
MATTHEW 16:22Then Peter took him [Jesus], and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee,Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
Having been given the keys, Peter went straight off into error, contradicting Jesus.
:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence
unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
A significant statement. The keys did not prevent Peter’s opinion from being satanic. So what about the Popes who claimed to have Peter’s authority.
Apostolic tradition means that the Popes claimed to be the successors of Peter, and as such they could forgive sin or withhold forgiveness as they chose.
Pope Boniface Ι (418-22) claimed that the government and essence of the universal Church, which Christ entrusted to Peter, descended to his successors, the bishops of Rome, and that the rulings of the Popes were irreversible. No one, Boniface declared, who disobeyed them could remain a member of the Christian community or hope for salvation.
(What about Paul who corrected Peter?)
Pope Gelasius Ι (492-96) was the first to refer to the Pope as Vicarius Petri (vicar of Peter) and even Vicarius Christi (vicar of Christ).
“Vicarius Petri” means in place of Peter. The Pope is Peter’s representative on Earth.
II THESSALONIANS 2:4
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God
[the rich and beautiful Vatican]
shewing himself that he is God
[being able to forgive sin or withhold forgiveness as the Pope can bind or loose sins.]
The bishop of Rome, in the days of the Roman empire, had been the Roman emperor’s representative when the Roman emperor was away from Rome.
In other words, the Roman bishop had been “Vicarius urbis Romae” (in place of the city of Rome)
When barbarian tribes had threatened the empire, the Roman bishop had emerged as the leader and representative of the emperor in Italy.
Then the Pope claimed to be Peter’s representative - Vicarius Petri.
Then the Pope claimed that Peter was Christ’s representative - Vicarius Filii Dei.
This title was only applied to Peter. There is no obvious evidence today that any Pope applied it to himself. Yet Peter never ever claimed such a title.
Thus Vicarius Filii Dei (666) has, as far as can be proven, only been applied by the Roman Catholic church to one man, Peter.
Peter is not in any way to blame for this, as he never made any such claims.
It is the Roman Catholic church that has attempted to elevate and corrupt the position of Peter.
The Roman church has actually put Peter in the place of Christ.
Christ is the Door, but Peter has the keys to the Door. This implies that it is more important to keep in with Peter because he has the authority to open Heaven's Door for you. As far as the Catholics were concerned, Peter actually decided who made it into Heaven.
Wanting to get into Heaven, the barbarians helped Rome because they thought that by doing that, they would gain the favour of Peter who would then let them into Heaven.
Worshipping a holy man is a sad human weakness.
Nebuchadnezzar built a statue of the holy man Daniel which is why Daniel did not have to bow down to the image of himself. Daniel was not to blame for this statue.
John twice fell down to worship an angel who was a prophet.
And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
We humans easily elevate a holy person. Even John, a very spiritual person, fell down to worship an angel.
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.
Peter never claimed this title. Peter never gave any authority to any bishop in Rome.
When Peter advised how the church should be managed he wrote to the elders, not to any bishop or any pastor.
I PETER 5:1
The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre,
[not to get rich]
but of a ready mind;
:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage,
[an elevated Pope or pastor]
but being ensamples to the flock.
It is clear that Peter never agreed with the idea of one man dominating a church.
The Popes wanted a priest to control each church. When the Pope controlled the priests, he automatically controlled all the churches.
Protestants have followed this Catholic tradition by allowing a pastor to dominate each church.
God wanted a group of elders to guide each church.
Paul wrote to the Romans and greeted a whole group of them by name in the last chapter of the Book of Romans, never mentioning Peter. It is obvious that Peter was not in Rome when Paul wrote.
There is no historical evidence that Peter was ever in Rome.
Paul spoke of ordaining married elders into positions of responsibility and called them bishops. Thus bishops can be married, which is not what the Roman Catholic church allows.
For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
Bishops are simply blameless elders. An elder is a man, bishop is his title.
Elders are always spoken of in the plural.
There were more than one bishop in the city of Philippi.
Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Peter was the apostle to the Jews.
The word “interpreter” comes from the Chaldean “petr roma” which means the “great interpreter’. The pagans believed this great man would interpret the will of their gods to them. To get power over the pagans the Popes had to invent a trinity like the Babylonians and Egyptians had.
When the barbarians came to Rome it was easy to convince them that the “petr roma” was none other than “Peter of Rome”. So Catholicism was built on Peter’s reputation. Hence Jesus called Peter "Satan" to show that a succession based on Peter is dodgy from the start.
Peter never claimed to be a Pope. He was married and baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. He preached repentance. He once said “ Silver and gold have I none” and then healed a beggar instead.
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
Popes are rich, unmarried, and invented “Father, Son and Holy Ghost" as the “name” of God. How can 3 titles be one name? They invented the Trinity where Jesus is shrunk down to be the unscriptural "second Person in the Godhead".
Paul did the opposite. He put the fullness of the Godhead in Christ.
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
We are told to call no man our spiritual father. If we are born-again, only God can be our spiritual Father.
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
Catholic priests are called 'father'.
Pope comes from the Greek word Pappas which means father.
I CORINTHIANS 11:4
Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
Have you ever seen a picture of the Pope without his head being covered? He always wears, in public, some form of head covering.
Why? Pontifex Maximus or Pontiff was the High Priest of the Babylonian mysteries, and he always had his head covered for his priestly duties. The Popes took over the title and as such have to have their heads covered.
The photograph shows the first Roman emperor Augustus, acting as Pontiff, with his head covered. A statue of the emperor Augustus who as Pontifex Maximus or Pontiff (High priest of the Babylonian mysteries) shows him with part of his robe over his head.
A modern Pope acting as Pontiff wears a white "skull cap" to cover his head.
The Pope wore the triple crown for over 600 years.
Jesus wore a crown of thorns.
Choose your leader.