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Bible Studies

27. The United States in Prophecy

Loyalty in Today's World

Throughout the centuries the Bible has revealed the rise and fall of nations with amazing accuracy. Their destinies were predicted in advance, but the Bible is not primarily a history book! Not every world power is mentioned.

Nations are brought into the biblical picture, not as independent political powers, but in the light of their role in God’s overall plan. The Bible reveals the role of nations in the longstanding controversy between Christ and Satan. In the last days of earth’s history the final conflict will center upon the question of loyalty to God as manifested by obedience to His law.

Working through both religious and state powers, Satan will attempt to coerce God’s people - with economic boycotts, fines, threats of imprisonment and death - to ignore God’s law by accepting a substitute Sabbath.

Will the United States play a significant role in this final conflict? Will America continue to champion principles of religious liberty and freedom of choice, or will it one day repudiate its heritage? Will church and state unite in America? What is our destiny? What does the Bible reveal?

In this lesson we will discover the answers to these important questions.

01. In Revelation 13, John saw two beasts arising. What is the location that each beast rises from?
Revelation 13:1
Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.
Revelation 13:11
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.

In lesson 26 we clearly identified the first beast as a religious system or power growing out of Rome.
As Revelation 13 describes, this beast received its seat of government from pagan Rome, became a universal system of worship, persecuted the people of God, claimed the power to forgive sins, and reigned supreme for 1260 years during the Middle Ages.
In Bible prophecy the sea represents a populated area of the earth (Revelation 17:15). The beast rising out of the sea represents a power arising out of the populated areas of the world. The earth, on the other hand, represents the opposite—an unpopulated or sparsely populated area. The second beast rises out of the sparsely populated area of the New World.

02. How does this second beast of Revelation 13 (the lamblike beast) unite with the first beast (the papacy)?
Revelation 13:12

And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

03. Read the following Bible verses and list four identifying characteristics of this second beast:

03(a). When does the second (land) beast arise?
Revelation 13:10–11
10. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. (For a description of the 'sword' see Romans 13:3-4)
11. Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
This lamblike beast with two horns arose precisely when the first beast was going into captivity. The Papacy received its deadly wound in 1798 when the French general Berthier took the pope captive. Ultimately the pope died in captivity. The second beast was to arise after the first went into captivity.

03(b). Where does the second beat arise?
Revelation 13:11

Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
The first beast arose out of, or from the sea, “peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues” (Revelation 17:15). It arose out of Rome from the populated masses of Europe. The second beast arose from an unpopulated area of the world. The Greek word for “coming up” is anabain, meaning “springing up.” It arises like a silent seed growing from the quiet earth. It arises rapidly from obscurity to become a world superpower.

03(c). What animal was chosen to describe this second beast?
Revelation 13:11
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
Throughout the book of Revelation Jesus is described as a Lamb. Lamblike qualities indicate gentleness, innocence, and freedom. Jesus gives each of His followers the freedom of choice. This lamblike power grants its citizens the opportunity to worship freely in harmony with the dictates of their consciences.
We should also notice that a lamb is a young animal. The lion, the bear, the leopard, and the dragon described earlier in the chapter are fully grown animals indicating older, established nations. The youthful lamb represents a nation just born.

03(d). The first beast has crowns on its horns (Revelation 13:1). Does the lamblike beast have crowns?
Revelation 13:11
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
Crowns indicate kingly authority. This new power has no crown or king. Horns are symbols of power or a kingdom. The power for this beast comes from another source: from the people. The two horns represent a democratic, republican form of government separated from a religious power or church.

04. What new nation was arising around 1798 in an unpopulated area of the earth with the features of youthfulness and liberty for all the people?

​Answer: The United States of America. How can this be?

a. The Pilgrims landed in the early 1600s. The Colonies grew rapidly. In 1776 the Declaration of Independence was drawn up. In 1787 the Constitution was written, and in 1789 the Bill of Rights was formulated. In 1791 the Bill of Rights was adopted. In 1798 the pope was taken prisoner by General Berthier. The United States was recognized as a nation by France, the same power that inflicted the deadly wound on the first beast. The United States arose exactly as prophecy had indicated, at the time prophecy indicated.

b. The United States was established by courageous Europeans filled with an adventurous spirit, attempting to flee the religious and political tyranny of the Old World. It was not established by conquering another nation, but by the establishment of a new one!
“The oppressed and downtrodden throughout Christendom have turned to this land with interest and hope. Millions have sought its shores, and the United States has arisen to a place among the most powerful nations of the earth” (The Great Controversy, p. 441).

c. The United States established two separate authorities - political and religious. The principle of complete separation between church and state was represented by the “two horns like a lamb.” The United States has been described as "a state without a king and a church without a pope" (E. G White, Facts of Faith, p238).

05. What surprising change does Revelation's prophecy foretell?
Revelation 13:11–12

11. Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
12. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

06. As church and state unite, what oppressive acts follow?
Revelation 13:15–17

15. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
16. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,
17. and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

When the early church was corrupted by departing from the simplicity of the Gospel, it lost the Spirit and Power of God. In order to control the consciences of the people, the church sought the support of the secular power - the government.
In order for the United States to form an image of the beast the church will use the authority of the state to coerce conscience once again.
An image is a “likeness to,” something that resembles.
The Papacy claims, as the sign of its authority, a substitute day of worship. Sunday is a “likeness” to the Sabbath, but it is not the Sabbath. It is a substitute or counterfeit day of worship.
In this astounding prophecy, the United States of America establishes a likeness to the Papacy by using the power of government to enforce a religious day of worship. In a time of great crisis, the people and their religious leaders put enormous pressure on their legislators to enforce this common day of religious worship.

07. How does Satan deceive thousands to put pressure on their legislators to form an image to the beast?
Revelation 13:13–14

13. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
14. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth—by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
Revelation 19:20
Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

In a period of social upheaval, economic difficulty, natural disasters, and international tension, church and state will unite in an attempt to establish peace. Satan will use false miracles to establish his claims.

08. Upon whom does God pour out His genuine Holy Spirit?
Acts 5:32

And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
John 14:15–16
If you love Me, keep My commandments.
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.

​09. What promise does our Lord give us for times of unusual difficulty in our lives?
Hebrews 13:5–6

05. Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
06. So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

10. How does Revelation describe those who have gained the victory over the beast and are ready for the coming of Christ and eternity?

Revelation 12:17

And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 14:12

Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

Revelation 22:11–14

11. He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”
12. “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
13. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
14. Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.

The conflict will soon intensify beyond our imagination. Through the power of Jesus Christ you can remain loyal through these last days. John saw in vision the triumphal celebration given in heaven for those who had been victorious over the beast and his image: “I saw . . . those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. They sing the song of Moses . . . and the song of the Lamb, saying: Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints” (Revelation 15:2, 3). Friend, don’t you want to be a part of that great celebration?

​Concluding Question
Would you like to make the commitment today not to worship the beast, but rather to be one of those who keep the commandments of God?

Read the Following Bible passages:

  • Matthew 17:20​​

  • Mark 11:22-24

  • Romans 1:5

  • Romans 10:17

  • Romans 12:3

  • Galatians 2:20

  • Hebrews 4:2

  • Hebrews 6:12

  • Hebrews 11:6

  • James 2:17

  • 1 John 5:4

  • 1 John 5:14