Case III: The USA as the Earth Beast
Revelation 13:11, “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. “
It is to the second beast that we now turn our attention. Whereas the first beast was represented as coming up “out of the sea” (Rev. 13:1), the second beast is represented as “coming up out of the earth.” (Rev. 13:11) Details like this are not added in prophetic passages just to fill up space like an auctioneer’s chatter. Since “waters” can represent “peoples” according to Rev. 17:15, then “earth” would likely represent “absence of people.” The lion-leopard-bear nations of modern times have their origins in populated regions. But America arose quickly in an area that was largely unpopulated. The scattered nomadic Indian tribes, with their respect for the natural order, kept this land in a near-virgin condition. Thus America fits the description of the second beast as “coming up out of the earth.” Is there any other nation which could fulfill the prophecy this way? There are none.
The next part of the description of the second beast is that “he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon.” (Rev. 13:11) For anyone who does not take the Bible seriously, this would seem like a silly, at best poetic meandering of a deluded prophet. And, except to the eyes of faith, that is all it is. Giving prophets visions of mythical beasts is one of the methods used in the Bible to communicate meaning about the future. This beast vision has not been placed in the Bible for no reason. What nation is symbolized by this beast which speaks as a dragon with horns like a lamb?
“Lamb” is a biblical symbol of Christ. John the Baptist said of Jesus, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” Plainly the lamb is a symbol of Christ and thus this second beast being “like a lamb” would symbolize a country professing Christianity. Christians should try to be like their Savior. The description “like a lamb” would fit few countries in the history of this world. The U.S. has been the strongest professing Christian country in history. We talk about “manifest destiny” here, the strong Christianity of the Founders, the influence of Christianity on our laws and values. We send out more missionaries than any other country. Plainly the U.S. has been a “Christian country.”
But the prophecy also says that this nation would “speak as a dragon.” The dragon is a scriptural symbol of Satan. (See Rev. 12:9) A nation “speaks” through its actions. The lamb-like horns and dragon voice of this symbolic beast point to a striking contradiction between its professions and practice. In contrast to America’s record of helping the oppressed is an often shameful record of abuse, for example the enslavement of blacks and hypocritical persecution and treaty-breaking with the native Indians. But the prophecy is meant especially for our time. The aggressive talk of the current administration about attacking Iraq represents the first time in the modern history of our country where we are acting as the instigator and aggressor in relation to another nation.
When we are told that this beast, could be the U.S. “that exercises all the power of the first beast” we could ask, “What is the power of the first beast?” The power of the UN is undoubtedly religious and moral influence.
The U.S. will use the power of moral influence and the force of arms to somehow “cause” the rest of the world to “worship” this beast whose guiding voice is that could be the UN. The word “worship” need not be interpreted as religious worship. The Greek word comes from a word which means “to kiss,” and could thus just be a reference to worship in the sense of dedication. Nations are dedicated to their allies. When people kiss family members and close friends it is a form of honorary homage. The U.S. will turn the nations of the world to follow this massive coalition whose chief primate could be the UN. This implies that the United States will be in a weakened status from its current world position, because the U.S. would never otherwise point nations to a power center other than itself. We are the world’s most powerful nation and we want other countries to respect and follow us, not some other conglomerate of power.
The U.S. dropped fire out of the sky on Hiroshima and Nagasaki over fifty years ago, and a new era of war and diplomacy was begun. The “fire” power of atomic weaponry was exhibited “in the sight of men” all around the earth. Anyone who has read an account of the detonation of the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki knows that indeed, fire literally fell from heaven. An atomic bomb is detonated in the air, and it rains fire and intense heat on the earth. It is very likely that the U.S. will unveil modern laser weapons in its coming annihilation of Iraq and in its cat fights with other terrorist centers including Syria, Iran, and North Korea. The power of modern laser weapons, as yet unveiled, could indeed be the type of activity referred to in verse 13 as “great wonders.” When the atomic bombs were first dropped, Americans read in their newspapers about this strange and powerful new weapon. These bombs were a “great wonder” at that time. Modern laser weapons, once their powers of devastation have been demonstrated to the world, will again cause “great wonder.”
Moreover, here’s something to think about:
- It had horns “like a lamb,” typifying Christianity. Was not this country started because men came to these shores looking for freedom where they could worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience? But alas, it has developed into a great world power and today to a great extent it is a military nation whose mighty voice (like the dragon) can be heard in the affairs of the world. Its Presidents and diplomats are prominent figures at the various world conferences.
- This beast, Rev. 13:12, “causes the earth and all them that dwell therein to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed.” Verse 15 of Rev. 13 says, “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast.” Now let me ask you a question: what nation is most interested in and responsible for the UN? The idea, to begin with was conceived by one of our former Presidents, Woodrow Wilson. Today, where is the UN headquarters located? New York City. It’s a known fact, the United States is the main power in backing the UN. Remember the beast of Rev. 13:11 gives life to the image of the beast. Were it not for the life given the UN by the United States, it would be a lifeless image. Let’s remember the UN has no life or power of its own. It’s simply a lifeless image, or theory, without power and authority from other nations. President Eisenhower expressed this country’s attitude when he said, “The United Nations must not fail.” Yes, this country, by its active support of the UN, is causing all the world to worship the UN. The word worship means to look to, trust in, co-operate with, obey. If the present trend continues to develop, power is going to be given the UN to force the nations of the earth to bow before her.
- This beast of Rev. 13:11 “does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.” Rev. 13:13. Nuclear weapons. It’s a fact: Such terrific heat is generated by these bombs until it melts and disintegrates everything for miles around. The sand melted and became a solid sheet of glass from the first test bombs exploded in Arizona: The steel tower from which the bomb dropped melted like wax. The eyes of the world were upon the United States after the atomic bombs were dropped upon Japan. And not only that, do you remember Shock and Awe?
- This second beast greatly impresses the rest of the world because of the great wonders and miracles. Rev. 13:13-14. Isn’t it true that the United States with its knowledge and development of nuclear energy, along with its scientific know-how, is the amazement of the whole world? These facts enable the United States to cause the rest of the world to pay attention to the UN. Finally, time will tell if the US, will be a major player in the end-times, or will fall into obscurity.