Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
As America celebrates its Independence Day on July 4, something is missing in the media: what the Book of Revelation says about the future of this nation. In the 1776 era, Protestant Bible students recognized Revelation 12 and 13. They saw that a day is a symbol of a year, so that the 1260 years of terrible papal persecution were finished (12:6,14; 13:5). Jesus had said that "those days will be shortened," or no believers would be left (Matt. 24:22).
The first beast was the persecuting power of Revelation 13--clearly the historic papacy that oppressed Bible-believing Christians in the Dark Ages. The second beast the Founding Fathers were not too sure of, but time soon made the fulfillment crystal clear: it was the rising of the young American nation.
The "shortening" that Jesus mentioned was greatly helped by the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. History records no martyrdoms for faith in Europe after that date! Many European nations were encouraged to assert their God-given rights; the thirteen Colonies led the world in a revolution of freedom. The Founding Fathers wisely provided for the separation of church and state--a nation without a king, and a church without a pope. They did not intend to squelch religion; but the churches should proclaim the Word of God, the kind of true religion that alone can enable a nation blessed of God.
All went well for a few decades and the young nation prospered. Then came a disaster that Revelation 14 (speaking of the same era) had also foretold: the fall of "Babylon" (vs. 6; 18:1-4). This is a prophecy that explains why since the 1840s the Protestant churches have lost the spiritual power that they had in the early days of this Republic when true Christianity influenced the nation. But when the Protestant church loses its spiritual power, then it turns to the state to support its moral teachings. And then history comes full circle: persecution will be the result.
Many Americans are worried about the moral decline of this nation: the source of the problem is the fall of "Babylon." The solution is not uniting church and state, but genuine reformation within the church! The men and women comprising the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of this government need to understand Revelation 12 and 13. America has been wonderfully blessed; but it must never abandon the principle of religious liberty that has made it great.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: July 11, 1999.
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