Bible Study Subjects:
Back to Jerusalem
The Coming King
The Law of the King
Witch of Endor
Cities of Ash
A River of Life
Bowing to Baylon
A Tale of Two
Voice in the
A Jar of Oil
Above the Crowd
Bowing to Bablyon
Nebuchadnezzar gave the signal, and as the music from a thousand
instruments began to swell, the curtain fell, exposing a dazzling,
90-foot image of gold glimmering in the sunlight. Then, according to
King's command, all the officials who had gathered on the plain of Dura
fell prostrate to the ground in devout worship. All bowed down except
three young Hebrew men, who were servants of a greater King.
Nebuchadnezzar was beaming with pride and satisfaction--until it was
reported that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had refused to bow and
worship his image. Astonished that anyone would dare to disobey,
Nebuchadnezzar assumed these young advisers must have misunderstood his
decree. So he offered them one more chance to bow down--but they
refused! Now the king's expression turned to rage. He ordered his
soldiers to heat the nearby furnace seven times hotter than normal. As
fuel was piled onto the fire, the three men were firmly tied with ropes.
The resulting heat was so intense that it killed the soldiers who threw
them into the blazing inferno.
As the king peered into the roaring furnace, his mouth suddenly fell
open. With a trembling voice he asked, "Did not we cast three men bound
into the midst of the fire?" His counselors agreed that they had. Then
the king said, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire,
and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of
God." Daniel 3:25.
God delivered those brave young men in the fiery furnace because they
stood up for His truth. In the last days, God's people will have to face
a similar test.
does our story in Daniel 3 relate to Revelation?
13:15 . As many as would not ______ the image of the beast
should be killed.
the last days, God's people will be forced once again to worship
contrary to conscience or be slain. They will have to choose between
obeying the law of God or the laws of man.
are the three angels' messages of Revelation 14?
14:7 . Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his
_________ is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth,
and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
Revelation 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying,
Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she
made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Revelation 14:9,10 If any man worship the beast
and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God.
Bible tells us in Revelation 14:6-14 that in the last days, this
awesome three-point message of hope and warning will go to the entire
world to prepare people for Jesus' return. One of these messages warns
against worshipping the beast and receiving its mark. In this lesson,
we will identify the beast. In Lesson 14, we will identify the mark.
Eternal life itself may be at stake, so pray earnestly for God's
guidance and understanding as you study.
does a beast represent in Bible prophecies?
. The fourth beast shall be the fourth ________ upon earth.
Daniel 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four
Daniel 8:21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia.
Bible prophecy, a beast represents a government, kingdom, or political
power. God uses beasts to symbolize governments, as we do today--an
eagle (the United States of America), a bear (Russia), etc. In the
Bible, "beast" is not a disrespectful term. It does not suggest
beastly characteristics. The beast that has the mark is pictured in
Revelation 13:1-10, 15-18. Please take time to read these verses
before proceeding to question 4.
does the Bible identify the beast?
13:1 . And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a _______ 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.
Revelation 13:1-10, 15-18, God gives 10 clues to help us identify the
beast. He gives us a long list of characteristics so that we can be
absolutely certain of the beast's identity.
Point 1 - Rises up out of the sea (verse 1)
Point 2 - Receives its power, seat, and authority from the dragon
Point 3 - Becomes a worldwide power (verses 3, 7)
Point 4 - Is guilty of blasphemy (verses 1, 5, 6)
Point 5 - Rules for 42 prophetic months (verse 5)
Point 6 - Receives a deadly wound that heals (verse 3)
Point 7 - Is a religious power that receives worship (verses 4, 8)
Point 8 - Persecutes God's saints (verse 7)
Point 9 - Has the mysterious number 666 (verse 18)
Point 10- Is led by one supreme man (verse 18)
Only one power fits all 10 of these identifying marks--the papacy. But
in order to be certain, we will carefully consider them one at a time,
beginning with question 5.
beast arises from the sea. What does the sea, or water, symbolize?
17:15 . The waters which thou sawest ... are _______, and
multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
prophecy, water represents great multitudes of people, or heavily
populated areas. Prophecy predicted that the beast would arise from
amid the established nations of the then-known world. The papacy arose
in western Europe, so it fits Point 1. But what about the other nine
gives the beast its power and position?
13:2 . And the _______ gave him his power, and his seat,
and great authority.
beast--which has a mark that we must avoid--obtained its power,
authority, and capital city from the dragon. According to Revelation
12:3-5, the dragon is the power that sought to destroy the child Jesus
at the time of His birth. It was Satan who inspired Herod, a king for
the pagan Roman empire, to slay all the male babies in Bethlehem
(Matthew 2:13, 16). To whom did pagan Rome give her authority and
capital city? History is clear that pagan Rome turned over its power
and capital city to the church of Rome. The following historical quote
is typical: "The Roman church ... pushed itself into the place of the
Roman World-Empire, of which it is the actual continuation. ... The
Pope, who calls himself 'King' and 'Pontifex Maximus,' is Caesar's
successor."* So Point 2 fits the papacy, as well.
*Adolph Harnack, What Is Christianity? (New York: Putnam,
second edition, revised, 1901), p. 270.
far-reaching is the influence of the beast?
13:3 . And all the _____ wondered after the beast.
one would question that during the Middle Ages, the papacy was indeed
a worldwide power. In fact, the word "catholic" means "universal." We
can see that Point 3 also fits the papacy.
comes out of the mouth of the beast?
13:6 . And he opened his mouth in ________ against God, to
blaspheme his name.
Bible defines blasphemy as man claiming to forgive sins (Luke 5:21)
and claiming to be God (John 10:33). The papacy boldly claims the
power to forgive sins. Notice the following section from a Catholic
catechism: "Does the Priest truly forgive the sins, or does he only
declare that they are remitted? The Priest does really and truly
forgive the sins in virtue of the power given to him by Christ."1
The papacy also claims that the pope is equal with God. Pope Leo XIII
said, "We [the popes] hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty."2
Here is another startling statement about the pope: "Thou art another
God on earth."3 So Point 4 also fits the papacy.
1Joseph Deharbe, S.J., A Complete Catechism of the
Catholic Religion (New York: Schwartz, Kirwin & Fauss, 1924), p.
2Christopher Marcellus, Oration in the Fifth Lateran
Council, Session IV (1512), manuscript SC, Vol. 32, col. 761
3Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter "The Reunion of
Christendom," dated June 20, 1894, trans. in The Great Encyclical
letters of Pope Leo XIII (New York: Benziger, 1903), p. 304.
long would this first beast rule?
13:5 . And power was given unto him to continue _____ and ___
that in prophecy, one prophetic day equals one literal year (Ezekiel
4:6). This time period is repeatedly referred to in prophecy as three
and a half years, 42 months, or 1,260 days. Based on the 30-day
calendar used by the Jews, all three time periods total the same 1,260
prophetic days, or 1,260 literal years. The worldwide power of papal
Rome became official in A.D. 538, when Emperor Justinian's decree
making the papacy supreme was no longer opposed. The papacy was dealt
what appeared to be a death blow in 1798 when the pope was captured by
Napoleon's general, Alexander Berthier. You will notice that the time
period between A.D. 538 and 1798 is precisely 1,260 years. Point 5
also fits the papacy.
happened to the beast after the 42 months?
13:3 . And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and
his deadly ______ was healed: and all the world wondered after
already mentioned, the papacy received what appeared to be a deadly
wound in 1798 when General Berthier took the pope captive to France,
where he died in exile.1 Half of Europe thought that this
event signaled the end of the papacy, but God had said that the wound
would be healed and that the papacy's power and influence would be
restored until the entire world would follow her leading. Malachi
Martin, consummate Vatican insider, reveals the following in his book
The Keys of This Blood: "The pope is the best-known person of
the 20th century (p. 123), has formed personal relationships with the
leaders of 91 countries (p. 490), and is prepared for worldwide rule
now" (p. 143).2 Even a novice would recognize that today
the papacy is, in many ways, the most influential power on earth. And
with each trip the pope makes, his power and influence grow.
Multiplied millions worldwide look to the papacy as the only hope for
world unity, peace, and decency--precisely as God predicted. The
papacy clearly fits Point 6.
1Joseph Rickaby, "The Modern Papacy," Lectures on the
History of Religion, (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1910), Vol. 3,
Lecture 24, p. 1.
2Malachi Martin, The Keys of This Blood (New York: Simon &
the beast a religious power?
13:15 . And cause that as many as would not _______ the image of the
beast should be killed.
is obvious that this entity would be involved in spiritual matters.
The words "worship" or "worshiped" are used five times in Revelation
13 in reference to this power. Surely no one doubts that the papacy
fits Point 7.
does the beast do to the saints?
13:7 . And it was given unto him to make war with the saints,
and to _________ them.
is common knowledge that the papacy did persecute and destroy
conscientious Christians, especially during the Middle Ages, the peak
period of its control. Many historians say that more than 50 million
people died for their faith during this period of great tribulation.
Apparently the church felt it was doing God a favor by stamping out
"heresy." The pope has asked that the church be forgiven for its
atrocities, but the fact remains that it did persecute and destroy.
The papacy fits Point 8 also.
is the mysterious number that identifies the beast?
13:18 . His number is six hundred threescore and ______.
Revelation 13:18, God says to count the number of the beast's name and
that it is the number of a man. When we think of the papacy, the man
we naturally think of is the pope. What is his name? One of the pope's
official titles is "Vicar of the Son of God," which is "Vicarius Filii
Dei" in Latin (the official language of the church). Newspaper
articles, when referring to the pope as "Vicar of Christ," will often
enclose the words in quotation marks to show that they are a
translation of his title, or name. The book of Revelation is saying
that the Roman numeral value of the letters of his name will equal
666. Let's see whether or not Point 9 fits the papacy:
|V = 5
I = 1
C = 100
A = 0
R = 0
I = 1
U = 5
S = 0
||F = 0
I = 1
L = 50
I = 1
I = 1
||D = 500
E = 0
I = 1
112 + 53 + 501 = 666
There should be no doubt remaining. We have shown that all 10
characteristics portrayed in Revelation 13:1-8, 15-18 fit the papacy.
And this power has a specific mark that we dare not receive.
Now please note that there are many godly, loving Roman Catholic
Christians whom God counts as His children. There have also been many
gracious and courageous popes who loved God. This lesson is not an
attack upon our Catholic friends. It is an attack upon the devil, who
lures churches away from scriptural truth. However, God Himself has
told us that this institution has a mark we dare not receive. Sincere
Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and non-Christians will all be eager to
discover what this mark is so they can avoid receiving it. Let's thank
God that in His word He has exposed Satan's ugly plans to destroy us
In our next lesson, we will clearly identify the "mark" of the beast.
If you receive the mark of the beast, you will be lost. Many will
discover that avoiding the mark will involve a tremendous struggle.
But God can give us the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who
were willing to face death in order to honor God.
you willing to follow Jesus wherever He leads, even though you may
lose your friends?