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Lesson 10: America and Babylon *

Introduction: How good are you at putting together a jigsaw puzzle? You might begin by trying to match the color and pattern, then you make sure the shape is right. Getting the right piece is not always easy. Our lesson this week reminds me of a jigsaw puzzle. We are going to compare certain historic "pieces" and see which seems to fit the best. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible to see what we can learn!

  1. Sea Beast

    1. Read Revelation 13:1. From where does this beast come? (The sea.)

      1. Imagine catching this thing in your fishing net! If you did, could you say that you had seen one of these before? (Read Daniel 7:7. You have seen a Ten Horn before!)

    2. Read Daniel 7:2-3. From where does the Daniel 7 Ten Horn come? (From the sea. They may be the same Ten Horn.)

      1. What does the water from which Ten Horn comes represent? (Read Revelation 17:15. "Peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.")

    3. Read Revelation 17:7. Is this the same Ten Horn? (How many can there be? It seems the same.)

    4. Read Revelation 13:5-7. What do we know about this Ten Horn? (He is proud, he blasphemes God, and makes war against the saints. However, he has a limited time of authority.)

    5. Like us, Daniel is very interested in learning more information about Ten Horn. Let's follow Daniel's questions and see what we can learn. Read Daniel 7:19-22 and then Daniel 7:23-24. What are the ten horns? (Ten kings.)

    6. John is also astonished by Mr. Ten Horn. Read Revelation 17:8. What kind of a time line does Ten Horn have? (As far as the unsaved are concerned, he has a gap somewhere in the middle of his life.)

    7. Read Revelation 17:9-10. What are the "heads" of the Ten Horn? (They are "hills" and they are also "kings.")

    8. Read Revelation 17:11-12. What are the "horns" of Mr. Ten Horn? (Again we see that they are kings who have not yet received a kingdom. One of them also seems to be a beast. They are hostile to God. It seems that the odd time line really belongs to one of the horns.)

    9. Read Daniel 2:36-42. Do you recall this story from Lesson 2 in this series? What did we decide was the "fourth kingdom, strong as iron?" (The Roman Empire.)

    10. Let's put our jigsaw puzzle skills to work. Does this fourth iron kingdom of Daniel 2 seem to be the Ten Horn of Daniel 7, Revelation 17, and Revelation 13? (It fits well enough for me. The Revelation 17:9 reference to the "seven hills" connects it to the city of Rome, which is situated on seven hills, and is the capital of the Roman Empire.)

      1. Did the Roman Empire persecute the saints? (Absolutely. It killed Jesus. It killed Paul.)

    11. There is some information about Ten Horn that raises an issue. Read Daniel 7:15-17. This says Ten Horn arose from the "earth" and not the sea. What should we make of this? (I don't know. All of the other parts match.)

    12. Friend, the conclusion that we have reached at this point is widely held by students of the Bible. Where we go next, the question of the Little Horn was subject to more uniform agreement among the scholars of 150 years ago.)

  2. Little Horn

    1. Look again at Daniel 7:7-8. We have seen references to this "little" horn as part of the Ten Horn. What does that tell us about Little Horn? (It had its origin in the Roman Empire.)

      1. To what is this Little Horn compared? (A man.)

        1. What might that mean? (It suggests that the importance of the kingdom is centered in a person.)

      2. What does Little Horn displace? (It uproots three horns (kings). The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary describes the three kings and shows, as a historical matter, how their kingdoms were turned over to the Papacy - the religious power that arose from the Roman Empire.)

    2. Look again at Daniel 7:24-26. What does this view of Little Horn reveal? (That it opposes God, oppresses the saints, and tries to change "the set times and laws.)

      1. Did you notice the time period given? What is it? (One year, two years and half a year. This would equal 1,260 days, or if we conclude that these days are symbolic/prophetic years (see Ezekiel 4:6), it would be 1,260 years.)

      2. Read Revelation 13:5-7. What time period do we find here? (The same as in Daniel 7. Forty-two months times 30 equals 1,260!)

    3. What should we decide about this piece of the jigsaw puzzle? The JFB Commentary, as I mentioned above, says the Papacy is the Little Horn - which was a very common belief among Protestants 150 years ago. What do you think? (My heart and my head are in conflict. I hate attacking fellow Christians. In my religious liberty litigation I have represented wonderful, sincere Catholics who are now my friends. The entertainment media attacks on the Catholic Church make me angry. However, the historic transfer of power from the Roman Empire to the Vatican appears, in this jigsaw puzzle, to fit the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. Roman Emperor Hadrian, in A.D. 135, was central to the change in the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. According to the web site: the Catechism states "The Church celebrates the day of Christ's Resurrection on the 'eighth day,' Sunday, which is rightly called the Lord's Day." The Roman Empire and the Catholic Church have a very bad history of killing Christians. I cannot ignore that.)

      1. This 1,260 day/year time period fits A.D. 38 to A.D. 1798. The latter year is when the Pope was taken captive. What does this suggest about our jigsaw puzzle of history?

  3. Earth Beast

    1. Read Revelation 13:11. Notice that this beast seems to follow the Little Horn. Thus, it should come "out of the earth" around the last date for the Little Horn - 1798. When was the United States created? (July 4, 1776.)

      1. When was Australia founded? (January 1, 1901. However, its first penal colony was established on January 1788.)

      2. When was Canada founded? (July 1, 1867.)

      3. When was New Zealand founded? (May 7, 1856.)

      4. When did Peter the Great found the Russian Empire? (1721.)

      5. When was the French Revolution? (1789-1799.)

    2. If the date 1798 is important to determining the identity of the Earth Beast, we have several countries that have significant dates around that time. Let's examine them further to see if they fit our jigsaw puzzle. Revelation 13:11 says that this beast arose "out of the earth." Some suggest this means a lightly populated area. Which of our candidates fit that criteria? (The U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and, perhaps the Russian Empire.)

      1. Recall that Daniel 7:17 says that the Roman Empire arose "from the earth." If "earth" refers to geography, and not population, then that would point to France. The Russian Empire and the Roman Empire also overlapped.)

    3. Read Revelation 13:11-12. Have any of our candidates caused the world to worship the Ten Horn or the Little Horn? (My understanding of history is not perfect, but I think the answer is "no." The U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand have historically allowed religious freedom. The U.S. population (which is largely Protestant) has been prejudiced against the Catholic Church. The French Revolution was hostile to religion. The Russian Empire had the Orthodox Catholic Church as its state religion. However, in AD 1054 it split with the Roman Catholic Church over the authority of the Pope. None of our candidates fit this description - at least not so far.)

    4. Read Revelation 13:13. Have any of our candidates caused "fire to come down from the heaven to earth in full view of men?" (If you watched the U.S. invasion of Iraq, you saw this. Does television constitute "full view of men?")

    5. Read Revelation 13:14-15. Has this happened? (No.)

      1. What should we do about this piece of the jigsaw puzzle? (We need to keep our eyes open to see what power best fits the description of the Earth Beast.)

    6. Friend, the religious world did not expect Jesus to come the way He did, even though there were many prophecies about His coming. This cautions us to be alert and continue to study the Bible and compare current events. Will you commit to being ever alert?

  4. Next week: God's Seal or the Beast's Mark?
* Copr. 2018, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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