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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 66

The Beast Rising from the Sea

Picture 1 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Let’s pray:
Father,

Today, the subject of our lesson is «the beast rising from the sea», a prophetic character we need to better understand.

Please open our minds to the teaching You wish to give us through Your holy inspired Word, the Bible.

In the precious name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.
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Picture 2 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 12:3,9 Comments
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads. (...)

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
In our lesson «The Pure Woman», we have seen a great dragon with seven heads and ten horns.

This great dragon is none other than Satan.

The book of Revelation chapter 12 showed us some of his actions on the earth.
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Revelation 12:4 Comments
The dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her Child as soon as He was born. Knowing that the success of Jesus’ ministry on earth would bring about his ruin, Satan used a nation, the Roman Empire, to destroy the Savior of men.

But all his attempts failed.
Matthew 2:13
The angel of the Lord appears to Joseph in a dream, saying,

«Arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be you there until I bring you word: for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.»
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Picture 4 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 12:17 Comments
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. After his failure in trying to destroy the pure woman’s Child, that is, Jesus Christ, Satan then attacked the woman herself, God’s Church, and the remnant of the woman’s seed.

In his effort to destroy the woman and the remnant of her seed, Satan will use two powers, and the very next verses of Revelation give us a clue as to their identity...
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Picture 5 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 12:17; 13:1 [NRSV] Comments
Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus.

Then the dragon took his stand on the sand of the seashore.
By standing «on the sand of the seashore», Satan shows that he will use the powers of both the sea and the earth to achieve his aim.

In fact, immediately after that, two powerful beasts appear:
  • the first beast rising from the sea, which is the subject of this lesson;
     
  • and the second beast coming up out of the earth, which will be the subject of our next lesson.
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Picture 6 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 13:1 Comments
And I saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns. Let’s try to discover the identity of the beast rising from the sea.

Right from the beginning, its description indicates that this power is controlled by Satan, the great dragon, since it has seven heads and ten horns, just like the dragon.

But there is even more...
Revelation 12:3
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns.
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Revelation 13:2 Comments
And the beast which I saw was like to a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion. Surprisingly, the same beasts which were presented in Daniel 7 (the lion, the bear, and the leopard) make up the body of this beast.

Also, we can see that they had previously been listed in reverse order: whereas Daniel saw the fall of Babylon (the lion), Medo-Persia (the bear), and Greece (the leopard) in the future, the apostle John saw them in the past.

This explains the inversion of listing order.
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Picture 8 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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The beast rising from the sea is a combination of four pagan kingdoms
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Picture 9 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Daniel 7:3 Comments
Four great beasts came up from the sea. Like the four kingdoms of Daniel chapter 7, the beast rises up out of the sea.

Since the waters symbolize «peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues», this beast therefore represents a power which came out of a densely-populated place.
Revelation 13:1
I saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns.
Revelation 17:15
The waters which you saw, where the whore sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
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Picture 10 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Daniel 7:7,8 Comments
Behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly. (...) It had ten horns.

I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn.
Furthermore, the beast is strikingly similar to the little horn.

First, both take their power from Rome, which is symbolized by the fourth beast in Daniel chapter 7, and by the dragon in Revelation chapter 13.
Revelation 13:2
The dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
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Picture 11 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 12:4 Comments
The dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her Child as soon as He was born. We have seen that Satan, the great dragon, used the Roman Empire to attempt to kill Jesus at His birth.

And Satan also used the Roman Empire in order to give power and authority to the beast rising from the sea.

But how did this take place?
Revelation 13:2
The dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
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Picture 12 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 13:2 Comments
The dragon gave [the beast] his power, and his seat, and great authority. Both the little horn and the beast rising from the sea symbolize the same power: the Papacy.

When Roman emperor Constantine left the city of Rome in A.D. 330, he also left his place, «his seat», to the Bishop of Rome.

From that time on, the Papacy made every effort to establish its authority over Europe.
Daniel 8:24
[The little horn’s] power shall be mighty, but not by his own power.
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Picture 13 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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John 10:16 Comments
[Jesus said,]

«And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice.

And there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd.»
Now, let’s remember a very important point we have already seen in our previous lessons: God really loves the individuals who are in the Papacy’s system.

This is why He gave us His Word, so that, by studying it, we may become aware of the warning God gives us, and responding to Jesus’ call, we may leave this system and join the Savior’s flock.
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Revelation 13:5 Comments
And there was given to [the beast] a mouth speaking great things. The rest of the description of the beast rising from the sea indicates without a doubt that it really symbolizes the same power as the little horn, that is, the Papacy. (For more details, please review the lesson «The Little Horn».)

First, both the beast and the little horn speak great things, pompous words, and this is indeed what the Papacy did...
Daniel 7:20
[The little horn] had eyes and a mouth that spoke very great things.
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Picture 15 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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«And he was given a mouth speaking great things.» (Revelation 13:5)
«The supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord in the one faith, complete submission and obedience of will to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself.»
(Leo VIII, On the Chief Duties of Christians as Citizens, Encyclical letter, 1890.)

«For not man, but God separates those whom the Roman Pontiff (who exercises the functions, not of mere man, but of the true God), having weighed the necessity or benefit of the churches, dissolves, not by human but rather by divine authority.»
(Decretals of Gregory IX, Book 1, C.7.3.)

«Hence the Pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven and of earth and of the lower regions (infernorum).»
(Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, “Papa II”, Vol. VI, p.26.)
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Picture 16 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 13:5,6 Comments
And there was given to [the beast] a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. (...)

And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle.
Both the beast and the little horn blaspheme against God.

Did the Papacy really blaspheme against God?

To answer this question, let’s look at the meaning of blasphemy in the Word of God.
Daniel 7:25
[That king] shall speak great words against the Most High.
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John 10:33 Comments
The Jews answered Him, saying, «For a good work we stone You not; but for blasphemy; and because that You, being a Man, make Yourself God.» So, as we have seen in the lesson «The Little Horn», blasphemy is not only taking God’s name in vain.

According to the Word of God, when a man makes himself God, or claims to have power to forgive sins, he speaks blasphemies.
Mark 2:7
Why does this Man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?
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Picture 18 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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The pope claims to be God and to have power to forgive sins:
«The Pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, (...) he is as it were God on earth, Sole sovereign of all the faithful of Christ, chief king of kings, having a plentitude of unbroken power.»
(Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, “Papa II”, Vol. VI, pp.25-29.)

«And God Himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of His priests, and either not to pardon or to pardon, according as they refuse or give absolution, provided the penitent is capable of it.»
(Alphonsus Liguori, Duties and Dignities of the Priest, p.27.)
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Picture 19 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 13:6 Comments
And [the beast] opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. By teaching salvation by works, and by claiming to be the mediator between God and men, the pope elevated himself to Jesus’ place, robbing Him of His ministry of intercession in the heavenly sanctuary.
Daniel 8:10,11
And [the little horn] waxed great, even to the host of heaven. (...)

Yes, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of the sanctuary was cast down.
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Picture 20 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 13:7 Comments
And it was given to [the beast] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. Both the beast and the little horn persecute God’s people.

History reports that more people were killed by the Papacy, during its reign in the Middle Ages, than by Hitler during World War II.

About 50 million people, who refused to recognize its authority, were killed by the Papacy.
Daniel 7:21
I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.
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Picture 21 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 13:5 Comments
And power was given to [the beast] to continue forty and two months. Finally, both the beast and the little horn reigned 1260 years:
  • «3½ times» = 3½ x 360 days = 1260 days;
     
  • «42 months» = 42 x 30 days = 1260 days.
The Papacy reigned precisely 1260 years: from A.D. 538, when it became a political power, to 1798, when it lost its power to France.
Daniel 7:25
The saints of the Most High (...) shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
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Picture 22 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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The little horn really corresponds with the beast rising from the sea
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Picture 23 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 13:10 Comments
He that leads into captivity shall go into captivity. The way in which the reign of the Papacy ended, after the 42 prophetic months, is also specified in Revelation chapter 13: having led many people into captivity, the pope, in turn, was taken captive.

In fact, on February 10, 1798, French General Alexander Berthier entered the city of Rome, took Pope Pius VI prisoner, and exiled him.

The pope died in a prison the next year, in the city of Valence.
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Picture 24 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 13:3 Comments
And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed.

And all the world wondered after the beast.
The apostle John then adds an interesting detail: the beast would be mortally wounded, but its wound would be healed. Then, the whole world «wondered after the beast».

Now, history reports that this is exactly what happened: the Papacy, having lost its political power in 1798, recovered it in 1929, when Mussolini, by the Lateran Treaty, restored temporal power to the Pope who has, since then, ruled over Vatican.
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Revelation 13:3,8 Comments
His deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. (...)

And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Due to the numerous travels of Pope John Paul II, the Papacy has gained much prestige throughout the world.

But the Word of God foretells that very soon, all those who dwell on the earth will have to choose who they will worship: either God or the beast.
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Picture 26 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 13:16,17 Comments
And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark. In fact, very soon, the beast will impose its mark on all the inhabitants of earth, without exception.

Those who reject the mark of the beast will go through severe difficulties, threatening even their lives.

On the other hand, those who accept this mark will be regarded by God as worshippers of the beast, and will lose eternal life.
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Picture 27 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 13:3,4 Comments
All the world wondered after the beast.

And they worshipped the dragon which gave power to the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying,

«Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?»
Worshiping the beast, and therefore worshiping Satan, the inhabitants of the earth will, without realizing it, defy God by proclaiming,

«Who is like the beast?»
Psalm 113:5
Who is like the Lord our God?
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Revelation 14:9,10 Comments
If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation.

And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone.
God warns us not to receive the mark of the beast, or our punishment will be eternal destruction.

But what is the mark of the beast?

This crucial question must obtain a very precise answer from the Word of God. This will be the subject of a future lesson.
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Picture 29 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 13:18 Comments
Here is wisdom.

Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred three score and six.
Before ending this lesson, let’s take a moment to solve an enigma which has mystified many students of Bible prophecy: the meaning of «666».

This number is a last clue allowing us to identify the Papacy as the power symbolized by the beast rising from the sea.
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Revelation 13:18 Comments
Here is wisdom.

Let him that has understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred three score and six.
The Bible doesn’t tell us to seek the inscription «666», but rather to «count», to calculate in order to get to 666.

In the apostle John’s time, there was a well-known game named «Gematria», in which one calculated the number of a name by adding up the numerical value of the letters of this name, according to the Roman numeral system: V=5, X=10, C=100, etc.

Now, the Pope’s official name is «VICARIUS FILII DEI», meaning «Vicar of the Son of God».
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Picture 31 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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The number of the name «VICARIUS FILII DEI» indeed adds up to 666
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Picture 32 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Revelation 13:18 Comments
Here is wisdom. Let’s remember that the number 666 alone would not be enough to identify the Papacy as the beast rising from the sea.

This is simply an additional clue, completing all the other identifying marks which we have already studied.

Now, we are ready to start our next lesson, in which we will study the beast coming up out of the earth.
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Picture 33 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 66
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Let’s thank God for His prophetic Word:
Our Father,

You have shown us that the little horn and the beast rising from the sea both symbolize the Papacy, a power which made war against the saints for 1260 years.

But we know that You love sincere people who are still in the papal system, and that You call them to come out of this system, and join Your Church.

Please give us the courage we need to leave this system, to join Your people, take a stand for You, and worship only You. In Jesus Christ our Savior we pray.

Amen.
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Lesson 66 - Test The test of Lesson 66 is waiting for you!

Source of the Pictures of this Lesson
Header Picture: Picture from the Web site: www.revelationsofthebible.com Screen 1: Picture collection «ClickArt 65,000» by Broderbund, CD #4, NATSN056.JPG. Screen 2: BISHOP, Tom. «Woman and dragon of Revelation 12». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #40. Screen 3: MANISCALCO, Joe. In: «Images from the Bible and Sacred History CD», Chosen Works, MLI Software, JM213.BMP. Screen 4: ANDERSON, Harry. In: «Bible Readings for the Home», p.262. Used by permission. Copyright ©1980 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 5: «Seven-Headed Serpent from the Book of Revelation» (c.1530), Bible Society, London. In: «Revelations - Art of the Apocalypse» (GRUBB, Nancy), Abeville Press Publishers, 1997, p.58. Screen 6: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.189. Screen 7: BLANEY, William A. «7 Headed Lion-Beast with Ten Horns Coming Ashore» (1960), Phyllis Kind Gallery, New York. In: «Revelations - Art of the Apocalypse» (GRUBB, Nancy), Abeville Press Publishers, 1997, p.59. Screen 8: RUDEEN, Herbert. In: «The Bible Story, volume 7» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.26. Used by permission. Copyright ©1956, 1984 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Table of Screen 8: BISHOP, Tom. «Beasts of Revelation 13». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #41. Screen 9: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (February 1, 1986), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.1. Screen 10: In: MAXWELL, Arthur S. «The Bible Story, volume 6», p.61. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Used by permission. Copyright ©1955, 1983 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 11: In: «The Bible Story Library - Volume 7: From the Prophecies to the Way of the Cross» (ed. HODGES, Turner), American Handbook and Textbook Co., 1963, p.560. Screen 12: In: «Histoire du Monde: Volume 8 - Réformes et Explorations» (STEFFENSEN, J.-L.), Les Éditions Maisonneuve, 1967, p.680. Screen 13: VERLEYE, J. In: «The Catholic Children’s Bible» (THEOLA, Soeur Mary), The Regina Press, 1983, p.234. Screen 14: BISHOP, Tom. «Identification of the little horn» (detail). In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #22. Screen 15: In: WHITE, Ellen G., «The (New, Illustrated) Great Controversy», Laymen for Religious Liberty Inc., 1990, p.432-75. Screen 16: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (June 1, 1991), New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.24. Screen 17: Bida/Review & Herald Publishing Association. In: «Perspective Digest», Adventist Theological Society, Volume 2, Number 2, p.31. Screen 18: GHIRLANDAIO, Domenico. «Pope Honorius» (1484-85), Cappella Sassetti, Santa Trinita, Florence. In: «La Peinture de la Renaissance Italienne» (BECK, James H.), Editions Könemann, 1999, p.302. Screen 19: MARTINI, Simone. Naples, Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte. In: «Illustrated Lives of the Saints» (McNEILL, John), Bison Books Ltd., 1995, p.105. Screen 20: In: «Vous pouvez vivre éternellement sur une terre qui deviendra un paradis», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1982, p.50. Screen 21: Picture from: Generation of graphics on FlamingText.com (http://www.flamingtext.com). Screen 22: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (March 1, 1990), New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.10. Table of Screen 22: First picture: BISHOP, Tom. «Identification of the little horn». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #22. Second picture: In: «Prophecy Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1989, Daniel lesson #24 («The Mark of the Beast»), p.1. Screen 23: CONVERSE, James. In: «God Cares, volume 2» (MAXWELL, C.Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1985, p.329. Screen 24: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.190. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 25: Photo from Reuters/Bettmann, New York. In: «John Paul II» (EDWARDS, Patrick), Bison Books, London, 1995, p.54. Screen 26: «Men adoring beast with two horns» (15th century), from «Commentary on the Apocalypse» (Bruges, Belgium), The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. In: «Revelations - Art of the Apocalypse» (GRUBB, Nancy), Abeville Press Publishers, 1997, p.62. Screen 27: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (May 15, 1990), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.9. Screen 28: Digital Stock Photograph. In: «Signs of the Times» magazine (August 1999), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.8. Screen 29: IPicture from: Generation of graphics on CoolText.com (http://www.cooltext.com/). Screen 30: In: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #21 («La Babylone Mystique - la Courtisane»), p.4. Screen 31: In: WHITE, Ellen G., «The (New, Illustrated) Great Controversy», Laymen for Religious Liberty Inc., 1990, p.288-42. Table of Screen 31: First picture: In: WHITE, Ellen G., «The (New, Illustrated) Great Controversy», Laymen for Religious Liberty Inc., 1990, p.288-66. Second picture: In: WHITE, Ellen G., «The (New, Illustrated) Great Controversy», Laymen for Religious Liberty Inc., 1990. p.288-57. Screen 32: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (October 15, 1991), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.8. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 33: Picture collection «ClickArt 65,000» by Broderbund, CD #4, NATOT224.JPG.
Any copyrighted images not bearing a statement of permission, are used for the purpose of non-commercial scholarly commentary or criticism in accordance with section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law, and with article 29 of Canada Copyright Act (Chapter C-42), which by law can be without the consent or endorsement of the copyright holder. Images lacking attribution are either known or assumed to be in the public domain, or have an as yet undetermined status. Anyone having knowledge of proper attribution for an image is requested to contact us via email below so that it can be correctly noted. It is our intent to comply fully with applicable laws regarding intellectual property rights.

Lesson 66 - Test The test of Lesson 66 is waiting for you!