The U.S. in Bible Prophecy
The founding of the United States has a very controversial history. Discovered by the Western world with the arrival of Christopher Columbus (himself a controversial figure), the U.S. became a place of refuge for those desiring to flee religious persecution. When the Constitution was created, a provision was put in place that no one religion would be enforced by the government. While the founding fathers were not exactly Christians, the principles that shaped the foundation of this country are very much God-like. The nation was founded on principles cherished by God himself. Tonight’s lecture investigated the role of the United States among God’s people and its pivotal role it plays in the end times.
The Bible does not specifically mention every nation known to man. You will not find countries such as Bangladesh, Australia, South Africa, etc mentioned in the Bible. While these and other nations affect many people today, the Bible only mentions nations that have an impact on God’s people. That’s why we read about Egypt and Babylon, about the Roman and Greek Empires. This is also why we do not see the Mongol empire mentioned, even though it was a large empire spanning most of Asia. The fact that the United States is mentioned (although symbolically) in the Bible reveals that it will impact God’s people at a certain time.
Earlier we saw the rise and fall of empires beginning with Babylon and ending with God setting up His kingdom. You can read that recap here. After the fall of Rome we examined how 10 nations arose, and then a smaller empire arose and uprooted 3 of those nations. That was represented by the little horn in Daniel that we see again in Revelation 13. In the beginning of that chapter we saw a vivid description of a beast (which we discussed represents a nation) coming up out of the sea (Sea represents nations, multitudes, peoples, languages, aka heavily populated area – see Revelation 17:15) that receives its authority from the dragon (representing the devil – see Revelation 12:9) and who receives worship from the entire world. In fact, the world says that this nation is so great that no one can challenge it (Revelation 13:4). We will unwrap the implications of this worship later on in the series.
In Revelation 13:11 we see another beast arise, but this time it comes from the land. We know the sea represents many peoples, so if the beast comes from the land it must arise as a nation from a remote and sparsely populated area. We realize that this nation must have risen to power recently, as there are not really many sparsely populated regions left. This beast has two horns like a lamb. Everywhere in Revelation we see that the Lamb points to Jesus, but not here. The beast is described as being lamb-like. It carries qualities that somewhat represent Christ, but is not Christ himself. But this beast has no crowns. Unlike the first beast which has crowns (representing monarchy), this beast must stand for freedom, where there is no totalitarian rule. We discussed in the lecture that this beast must represent the United States of America. It is relatively young (less than 300 years old), arose from an area not known to the earliest western civilizations, it is not a monarchy (constitutional republic, leader is voted by the people – or money with today’s setup), and as a beast it should have world wide influence (superpower, very large economy, world tunes in to our events). Those characteristics cannot apply to another nation today (unless a kingdom of Antarctica rises up).
When the United States first became a nation, it was a haven for those fleeing religious persecution. Its lamb-like qualities attracted people from different walks of life. But Revelation 13:11 ends by saying that the nation would speak like a dragon. It will start to sound like the speakerphone for the devil. Laws will reflect the will of the devil. Even now the rampant greed, corruption, death, and sin is a sure indicator that the nation continues it march towards speaking like a dragon. The Bible says that righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34). In a country where sin and immorality become the norm, it should not be a surprise that this nation does not behave in the same manner as when it was first founded.
Now the natural response to this would be for a nation to turn to God. To go back to the principles that made it great. After 9/11 church attendance skyrocketed and people began calling on others to turn from their wickedness and go back to God. Right now the trend is to go away from God, not toward Him. Whatever the cause may be, whether it is financial calamity, terrorism, or a natural disaster, there will be some catalyst that will cause the nation as a whole to say, “Let’s get back to God.” But remember, this beast speaks like a dragon, so even though laws may one day be passed as being beneficial to this nation, they will not be good. They will appear to honor God but will instead be honoring the devil. It is one thing to go back to God, but whoever says these things must be Biblically sound. The Bible should be your litmus test against the people that make this claim. Jesus that many will be deceived in the last days. Throwing the name of God into something does not make it holy if it disagrees with the Bible. Revelation 13 continues by describing this second beast as enforcing worship of the first beast of Revelation. There will be laws passed requiring worship of the first beast (seems unlikely now given our Constitution, but the Bible has plenty of experience predicting the seemingly impossible).
Revelation 13:16, 17 reveals that this nation will cause everyone to receive a mark in their hands (signifying the works that they do) or in their foreheads (what the individual thinks/believes). Without this mark there will be no buying or selling. According to the Bible, this nation – the United States – will be at the forefront of enforcing the mark of the first beast. Laws will result in coerced worship of a religious nation (again, seems impossible, but it will happen).
Here at the end of Revelation we see the first mention of the mark of the beast. We see that the mark will determine whether one can survive in the last days (buying/selling) by traditional means. Now some people jump to the conclusion that a credit card is the mark of the beast. A bank can shut down access to your account at will (even if there are checks and balances in place) to prevent you from buying or selling right now. That does not make money cards the mark of the beast. We see that preventing people from buying or selling is a result of not having the mark, but it does not make the card the mark. We will discuss this more in depth in the future, but do not fall for the mark being this sort of thing.
Furthermore, we see that the second beast will issue a death decree for those who do not worship a specific way (Revelation 13:15). Again, hard to imagine that happening in the US, but the Bible says otherwise. We also see that the US will make an image to the beast. The main issue in this chapter is the question of worship, and the US will be at the center of it.
While this seems out of the way for the US to enforce worship, enforced worship has happened before. In Daniel 3 we see forced worship under threat of going into the fiery furnace. Daniel’s friends stood up for God and chose death. They were delivered by Jesus. In Daniel 6 we see a law passed forcing worship of the king. Daniel chose to worship God at the risk of his life and was thrown into the lions’ den. Worshipping God in the end of time will require choosing death instead of lies.
The good news? We know who wins in the end!
Will you choose to worship Jesus and follow the Bible even if it means death? Will you give your life to the One who gave His life for you on a cross? Will you put your life in the hands of Him who has the power over death? The choice is yours.