1. Does Revelation describe a beast power that arises on the North American continent?
Revelation 13:11 says the lamb-like beast arose from the earth, in contrast to the other beast of Revelation 13, which arose from the sea. Adventists reason that since the sea equates to peoples and nations, the earth must equate to an abscence of peoples and nations. However, the context of the passage proves this to be a false assumption. Notice all the references to "earth" (Greek ge) in the surrounding Scriptures.
|Verse in Revelation
|And his [Dragon's] tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth (12:4)
||Earth is the abode of Satan's angels
|...he [Dragon] was cast out into the earth (12:9)
||Earth is the abode of Satan
|Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you... (12:12)
||The "earth" is inhabited (just as the "sea" is) and is the abode of the devil
|...the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth... (12:13)
||Earth is the abode of the Dragon
|...all the world (Greek ge) wondered after the beast. (13:3)
||Apparently the earth is populated, because the people in the earth follow the beast
|And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him... (13:8)
||People that "dwell upon the earth" worship the beast
|...and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast... (13:12)
||People dwell in the "earth"
|...And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth... (13:13)
||People dwell on the "earth"
|...the hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. (14:3)
||The 144,000 came from the "earth"
|...to preach unto them that dwell on the earth... (14:6)
||People "dwell on the earth"
By reading all the usages of the word "earth" that appear within 25 verses of the verse in question, there is certainly no indication the "earth" refers to an empty continent. In fact, the 50 verses surrounding Rev. 13:11 mention the "earth" 13 times, and here is what is said about the "earth":
- It is the habitation of the fallen angels
- It is the habitation of the Devil
- It is the habitation of people, both righteous (the 144,000) and wicked (those who follow the beast)
Thus, the very first identifying mark of the United States as the lamb-like beast is shown to be groundless.
2. What do the lamb-like beast's horns symbolize?
Revelation Seminars is correct in stating that horns represent "kings or kingdoms". Then, immediately following this, they contradict their very words by claiming the horns represent "America's two governing principles: civil and religious liberty." Then, as if they are not sure of themselves, they suggest the "two governing principles" could be "republicanism" and "Protestantism". Which is it?
The fact is, Seventh-day Adventists are not even certain what the horns represent. There is no precedent anywhere in Scripture to identify horns as "governing principles". It is simply guesswork, trying to make a symbol fit a pre-conceived idea.
3. Is the United States capable of forcing the whole world to worship the beast?
First, notice the horned lamb on the right. Adventists often like to portray the lamb-like beast as a North American Bison, thus tricking people to associate it with the United States of America. The fact is, the beast is described as having features like a lamb. Unlike all the meat-eating beasts of Daniel and Revelation, this creature is a vegetarian. It represents a docile entity. As far as animals go, lambs are weak, unaggressive, and are followers, not leaders. This creature is the absolute weakest creature illustrated in Bible prophecy. This is hardly a fitting symbol of the supposed super-power it is said to represent. It is a more apt symbol of a weak, docile, timid nation.
Second, is the United States willing or able to enforce a Sunday law upon the entire world? The United States has recently spent 8 years in a war in the small and thinly populated nation of Afghanistan trying unsuccessfully to control that nation. The United States has yet to capture the most important leader of the terrorists--Osama bin Laden. If the mighty military power of the United States is not capable of controlling a single, small nation, then how on earth are they going to control the entire world and force the entire world to pass a Catholic Sunday law?
Communist China now boasts the largest military machine on planet earth, complete with nuclear missiles capable of striking any city in the United States. Communist China is a rapidly growing super-power that repeatedly ignores the wishes of the United States. How likely is it that this atheistic nation will pass a law enforcing Sunday-worship?
India, like China, has a population of over a billion people, and like China, the vast majority are non-Christian. Like China, India has nuclear weapons. How likely is it that Hindu India is going to obey the United States' command to kill Sabbath-keeping Christians?
In Europe, the trend is away from capital punishment, which is viewed as archaic, inhumane, and ineffective by many nations in Europe. Furthermore, Europe is primarily post-Christian, and pays little attention to the wishes of the papacy. The European Union has an economy that more than rivals that of the United States, and many nations in Europe, such as Russia, France, and the United Kingdom have well-equipped militaries and plenty of nuclear weapons. The nations of Europe are not going to be intimidated by the United States into passing any laws requiring a death penalty.
Pakistan is another nation with nuclear weapons. It is extremely doubtful this Moslem nation would have any interest in enforcing a Christian law in their country, and it is unlikely they could be intimidated to do so. In fact, it is unlikely any of the Moslem nations, representing well over a billion people, would pass such a law.
Finally, last but not least, the nation of Israel is a nation of Sabbath-keepers. Israel also is rumored to have not only nuclear weapons, but sophisticated missile technology. It seems extremely unlikely the United States could coerce Israel to kill Sabbath-keepers, since they would have to kill a large segment of their population.
Catholicism can hardly be termed a "super-power". The Catholic Church is on a rapid decline throughout much of the world. Europe has largely moved into a post-Christian era and Moslems will soon outnumber Christians in many European nations. Former Catholic strongholds in Central and South America are rapidly being overrun by Pentecostal and Evangelical churches. Even Seventh-day Adventists have made major inroads into Latin America. Catholicism is already a minority in some Latin American countries, and if current trends continue, soon most Latin American countries will be primarily Protestant. Catholicism has been on a steady decline for over a century, and there is no end in sight. The largest and fastest growing religion on the planet is now Islam, not Catholicism. With every passing year, Catholicism loses relevance, prestige, and power.
In conlcusion, the SDA idea of the United States joining with the papacy to enforce its decrees on the whole world seems less and less likely with every passing day.
4. Will the United States join the Papacy and persecute Seventh-day Adventists?
The fact that this doctrine is even taught is enough to question the sanity of this organization. This is nothing less than an amazing piece of fiction. There is nothing anywhere in the book of Revelation about either the United States or Sunday laws. There is no evidence that any non-SDA group wishes to persecute or kill Seventh-day Adventists over the Sabbath. Most people could care less that Adventists go to church on Saturday. Adventists have concocted one of the greatest conspiracy theories of all times, and have denigrated and maligned the United States of America with absolutely no evidence to prove their wild conspiracy claims. For further insight into this subject, please read: National Sunday Law: Fact or Fiction.