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. 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 doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 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. 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. Revelation 13:11-18.

by Brother Emerson A. Wilson
Part I

The Confirmed Word
More than one-third of the Bible is prophetic. I merely make this statement because we have people who will tell you that they are "not interested" in prophecy. Well, my friend, more than one-third of the Bible is prophecy. "Prophecy" is history in advance, and it is so necessary that we understand it. To know the history of the past and the prophecy of the future is to have a perfect understanding of the confusing situation of our present day. I just want to make it clear that we are not wasting time when we study these things.

Peter said in II Peter 1:19, We have also a more sure (confirmed) word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place... He talks of being on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus, and of hearing God speak with Jesus, and of hearing God speak out of Heaven, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (verse 17) That was A.D. 32, and by A.D. 90, God had confirmed the fact that Jesus was His Son, His ONLY begotten Son, that He was the ONLY Way, the ONLY Truth, and the ONLY Life. The Apostles went everywhere preaching the Gospel, and Jesus confirmed the Word with signs following.

Now that was in A.D. 90. How much of a confirmed Word do we have today? Most everything in the Bible has been confirmed. Most every prophecy has come to pass, just as God said it would in His Book. We have less reason to doubt God's Word than any people who lived on the face of the earth, yet there is more unbelief today than at any other period of time.

I say that, not to find fault, but that you might realize the enemy is strong today. I am not building him up; I am only telling you the truth. Brothers and Sisters, he has a stronghold on a lot of people through unbelief. They just cannot believe the Word of God will come out the way God assures us it will. Every Bible prophecy which has been fulfilled has happened EXACTLY as God said it would,a dn so will the rest.

Hidden Treasures
Someone may ask, "Why don't more people understand prophecy if it is true?" First of all, we have legislated Bible reading and prayer out of the schools. A recent survey found that 6 out of 8 children, eight to twelve years of age, could not name three of the Ten Commandments. One out of forty-five could name three Bible prophets. A very high percentage in several schools could not give the name of even ONE Gospel.

It has not only been taken out of the schools, but the homes are also failing to teach it. After all, God ordained for it to be taught in the home, NOT in the schools. Too many so-called churches do not preach the truth, so some honest-hearted individuals are struggling with Bible study, trying to understand it.

Some people say, "I do not believe we ought to let our children choose their own religion." I do, too, but how are they going to choose when they don't know anything about anything? How are they going to make a right choice between truth and error when they have not been taught what is truth and what is error?

The Revelation is mysterious, but not too mysterious to be understood. There is nothing more precious than a mystery revealed. On the human level, man has delved into the mysteries of God and harnessed the natural treasures of the earth, and we are blessed by it. Jesus let us see that the Word is like a treasure hidden in a field (Matthew 13:44). To find this treasure, we must dig deep. Some highly-educated men say there is nothing in it, that the Revelation should not have been put in the Bible. Brothers and Sisters, the Holy Ghost can take you down to the depth where the trasure is hidden and there reveal it to you.

What is a mystery? Mr. Webster says a mystery is a religious truth beyond human understanding. The Bible is full of mysteries. The Bible reveals the mystery of godliness. The religious world cannot understand it; they say that no one can live free from sin and live godly. Well, there is a mystery to it; it is called the mystery of godliness. The mystery of iniquity is also revealed. Then over in Ephesians 5:32, Paul said, "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." What was that "great mystery"? The mystery of The Church, how God brings His people together and keep them together as one people. We hope you can agree now that studying prophecy is a necessary thing.

The End Of The Reign Of The First Beast
Papalism, as we studied in our last message, was to continue 42 months or 1,260 years. Since the first beast was to continue that long, it was to have much to do with this second beast.

Let us read Daniel 7:25-27. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. There in verse 26 where it reads, "But the judgment shall sit...", it is not talking about final judgment. He is saying that God is going to bring judgment on this. Truth always brings judgment on any contrary and corrupt condition that is going forth.

Daniel saw the first beast rising up, and that he was going to reign for 1,260 years. He also saw that the Word of God was going to be opened again, that judgment was going to be put on that system, that the kingdom was going to begin to come forth, and this first beast was going to be consumed with the power of God and his reign taken away from him clear to the end.

Now as we studied the falling away, we began to talk about The Church. When they fell away from truth, the true church was lost sight of, visibly. The true saints hid away in the dens and the caves. When we talk about The True Church being lost sight of, we are saying that she was lost sight of by name. Nowhere through here were the people of God called by a Bible name. They could not come out and take the outward stand for truth by taking the Bible name and outwardly declaring the doctrines of The Church. So, when The Church was lost sight of, she was lost sight of by doctrine and by name.

Even as God had people (this will help you later in the message), so He has people today who are scattered around in sectarianism. Unless, however, they see the truth, The True Church is lost sight of for them. Why? My friends, they have a name other than the Bible name, and they are following some doctrine other than the true doctrines of The Church.

This first beast reigned until God in His great wisdom and power saw fit for the Word of God to be brought forth. God said that the reign of the first beast would be 1,260 years. So, when we get to the end of this 1,260 years, we can look for something to happen. We can look for the reign of this first beast, who had been killing Christians, burning the Word of God, and driving the Christians into caves and dens, to come to an end. No man knew how it would come to an end, but God prophesied that it would.

Friends, the only that that puts false religion down is the True Word of God, openly declared and stood for. Whenever the Word of God grows in the hearts of God's people and prevails, falsity loses its grip from the minds and hearts, and from the community. When God saw fit to bring the reign of this beast to an end, He began to turn the Word of God loose a little bit.

The Reopening Of The Word Of God
Going into history, we see how the Word of God was turned loose at approximately 1300. Remember that Rome had burned the Bible. The only copies they had were in Latin so the poor of the land could not read it for themselves. God knew that if the Word of God was ever turned loose, it was going to have to be translated back into the "common" languages that people could understand. So He moved on an educated man, John Wycliffe, and he translated the Bible into English. At approximately the same time, He moved on two great reformers in Bohemia: Jerome of Prague University and John Huss. At the same time that God made a move in England, He also made a move in Bohemia through these great reformers.

John Huss preached what Bible he understood with such power and fierceness that Rome raised up against him and burned him at the stake on July 6, 1415. The persecution was still going on, but it was about to come to an end. As they burned John Huss at the stake, he stood and said, "Let a goose be sanctified, but one hundred years hence, out of its ashes there will rise up a swan, who will uphold the truth that he has defended. (The name Huss in the Bohemian language means "a goose".) John Huss was speaking of Martin Luther, that lionhearted reformer who would follow him and turn the Gatling guns of truth loose on that empire and upon that false condition.

John Wycliff brought so much displeasure upon himself by translating the Bible into English that after he died and been buried forty years, Rome got so mad at him, they DUG UP HIS BONES, held a trial for him, nad burned his bones. Hatred is pretty deep when it will reach into a grave where a man's bones have lain for forty years!

Someone may yet contend, "That is history." Don't forget, the spirit of the dragon, of the beast, and of the false prophet has gone out to the whole world. So the spirit I am talking about is prominent in our day and time. It has gone into all the world and we need to consider it.

With all the rising up that Rome could do, Europe was being shaken from end to end by a power that generation had never known before. Under the sound of God's Word, the everlasting pounding of God's Word through Martin Luther and others, the Papacy began to crumble. Now, I want to tell you, you can build up anything you want to, but under the certain sounding of God's Word, if it is wrong, it will be pounded to pieces. Nothing false can stand the sounding of God's Word. That's why there are not many people in church today: their lives are such that they have no desire to change them, and the Word of God is to them like a hammer pounding on the rock.

Human Intelligence
The groundwork of a reformer was laid through Martin Luther and those men we mentioned, along with others, that would reach the whole world. We are eternally indebted to the reformers, every one of that early Protestant era. Why? They have given us education. That is why this second beast came up out of the earth. The first one came up out of the sea, out of wickedness and corruption, but this second beast came up out of the earth. "Out of the earth" means out of the minds of men. Much of this is run through human intelligence.

Most all the colleges and schools of higher learning, in the beginning, were started by some church group. There is much we have to thank the reformation for. We not only have education, but we also have open church buildings; we are free to have church services today in America. We have a democracy, this America, the home of the free, as we say it is.

With all the praise we can give early reformers for all they have brought us, we must make the statement that to call Protestantism "The Church" is to misname it! Protestantism NEVER was The Church and NEVER CAN BE The Church. That is a strong statement, but it is true.

Because there was so truth sounded out of Protestantism, some people say it was The Church. I want to give you good reasons why Protestantism never was The Church and never can be. All the coming together she can do is only brought by human intelligence. It is of the earth. It came up out of the earth, and anything which came out of the earth is going back down to the earth. Babylon is fallen; it has gone to a lower, degraded state of the earth than it was in the beginning. Movement after movement came out with some fire, some life, sinless living, and power in the midst, but they've gone down to a lower earthly level than where they started.

All through the Revelation and the Bible, it lets us know that the Word and the Spirit are the TRUE VICARS of The True Church. They are here in Christ's stead to manage The Church. It is by God's Word and Spirit that we are brought into the light of the church and kept in the light of the church. Even though the Word and Spirit rose up when holiness began to shine forth, men killed those two witnesses. Revelation, Chapter 11, tells of the two witnesses, the Word and the Spirit, lying dead in the street. Men didn't go very long before another spirit began to move in and work.

This is what bothers me. We'll never have any trouble with division among us by feeling differently about some scripture; we can still be one, love each other and work together. When a spirit rises up that begins to say, "I won't have anything to do with you if you don't see just as I do!" that's another spirit. When another spirit rises up, there will be another body, there will be a division, and there will be another work.

God understands us. He remembers that we are dust. He remembers that we may have different ideas about some things, but if we will keep the one Spirit of God, if we will endeavor to keep the one Spirit that baptized us into one body, we can remain one body. They, however, killed the Word and the Spirit, yet they went right on working.

The Power Of The First Beast
Someone may question, "How could they go on? How could it be alive?" Revelation 13:15 tells us, And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast... My friends, the life is in the spirit. We taught early in the lesson that the life was in the blood through the everlasting Spirit. Now, this first beast had power to give life, or give a spirit, to this second beast. We'll have more to say about that in just a little bit.

The question may arise: "What happened to the reformation?" When a different spirit got in, then creed-making began. The Augsburg Confession, the first human creed, was written in 1530; it was just the beginning of a long procession of creed-making. Through that creed-making, we have this second beast. John said that it came up out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb; those two horns are power, and they denote the beginning of Protestantism.

Where did it begin? Luther gave a state church to Germany. At the same time, King Henry VIII gave a state church to England. What do I mean by a state church? It was just exactly like the first beast--church and state together, the church governing the state. Protestantism in its early days began in Germany and England, with each having a state church.

We read in Revelation 13:11-12: 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. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast... What was the power of the first beast? The church reigning over the state. In Rome, if you didn't become a Roman Catholic, off came your head, or you were killed in some other manner. Here the same power rose up when Luther gave Germany a state church: if you didn't become a Lutheran, they'd kill you! In England, when you didn't join the Church of England and belong to it, they exercised the same power of the first beast: they killed you. The laws of the land don't let them kill us now, but if the law had been lifted, I'd have been killed fifty thousand times.

The spirit is still there. Oh yes, it is still there. I agree with the fact that there are good people in Protestantism, people who are actually saved and have the Spirit of God indwelling in their lives. I am merely referring to the spirit that dominates Protestantism: it is the same spirit of the beast.

Beast Talk
The first beast had power to give life to the second beast, and it spake just like the first beast. How did this beast speak? "If you don't become a Roman Catholic, your head is coming off!" Protestantism had a good start, but it wasn't long until they took on this wrong spirit, also. What was the Thirty-Year War? A religious war where different religious organizations put armies on the battlefield and fought for their creed. The Hugenot War was a religious war.

People today will hardly believe it: it's too amazing to believe that docile religious groups could ever have done that. Friends, the spirit of the beast phases out, then rises up every little bit, even today. You and I may have a good start, but another spirit can get hold of us. Those spirits are out there. Whenever you grieve the Holy Spirit and refuse to let Him have His way, any one of these spirits we've been teaching about is waiting--they'll be glad to come in and set up housekeeping within your being.

In England, King Henry VIII drew up the Bloody-Six Articles; he persecuted Catholics and Protestants alike. The Church of England, through the Bloody-Six Articles, persecuted and killed Christians. Consider John Bunyan, who wrote Pilgrim's Progress, in the Bedford Jail. Why was he in jail? The Church of England put him in there to die like a rat because he believed principles in the Bible which were against the teachings of the Church of England.

The Quakers were confined to prison by the thousands. This is what brought the Puritans to this country. Why are we really here in America? Why did our forefathers come here? Because the Church of England wouldn't give them freedom to worship according to the dictates of their conscience.

Well, they landed on these shores, and we rejoice in that landing every year. They came to get free from the persecution of the Church of England. But many who came on the boats were not true Christians; they were Protestants, too, so the spirit of it traveled with them. Their first year here, Christians (supposed to be) banished Roger Williams and a little group of his followers out into the cold. They made them sleep in the snow without any covers, to freeze to death, because they saw a little more truth than the first group which came over. I say "Thanks!" to those who had a deep enough love and appreciation for God and His Word that they would lay down their bones in the ice and snow before they would back off a God-given conviction of truth.

I want you to see that the spirit just followed right on. How wonderful it would have been if it could have been left in England, but everywhere there are people, they bring spirits with them. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian today has the right spirit. No Sir!

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