If you don't know what the image of the Beast is, or where it comes from, then please see America in Prophecy first. From this study we learned that the second beast in Revelation 13 is the nation of America, and it is this beast that causes the earth to make an image of the first beast, which is the Papal Church of Rome (see The Real Antichrist for more info on that). Now the Roman Catholic Church isn't just a religious body, it also has civil powers, and between 538AD - 1798AD, the Roman Catholic Church had both supreme religious and civil power controlling the nations of the earth, and this is what the image of the beast will be. It will be a "religious" power that controls both the political and "religious" world.
Revelation 13:14 ...'And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.'
Now in 1517 a man named Martin Luther started a great Christian reformation by introducing a 95 point Theses against the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. Over the many years that followed the great reformation took place with Luther, Calvin, Knox, Cranmer, Zwingli and many others. The whole point of the great Christian reformation was to base their beliefs on the Bible and the Bible only, known as 'sola scripture'. These people could see the great doctrinal errors of the Roman Catholic Church, and through the grace and power of God, made a stand against the Church of Rome. This dealt a big blow to the Catholic Church, and as different denominations were being setup they could see their power over the people slowly slipping away.
The great Protestant reformation pointed to the papal church as the Bible antichrist. But sadly, this truth has been rejected by the majority of so called Protestant Christians today.
So what did the Catholic Church do against the reformation? They introduced a counter reformation. They commissioned Jesuit priests to write 'New' interpretations of Bible prophecy and introduced them to the world to confuse and deceive the masses, and to cause the world to take it's eyes off the Roman Church as antichrist. But a big blow came to the Papal Church when Napoleon's army marched into Rome in 1798 and captured the pope, putting an end to the Papal rule. Bible prophecy confirms this wound to the beast in Revelation 13:3,10,14. But this wound would be healed as Bible prophecy predicted ... Revelation 13:3 ...'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.'
Did you know that the Roman Catholic Church have shed the blood of TENS OF MILLIONS of Christians?
In 1929 Mussolini signed an agreement with the Vatican, giving them civil power again, which BEGAN the healing of this "deadly wound". Now ever since then, the beast (Papal Church) has been gaining more and more power, uniting with the nations of the world and gaining their support and is now calling the protestant churches back to her. And now in our day we have this ecumenical movement lead by the Roman Catholic Church to unite all denominations and faiths. Have any protestant churches reunited with Rome again? Oh Yes! Who started the great reformation, apart from John Wycliff? Martin Luther. And who was the first denomination to rejoin with Rome? Yes, you guessed it, the Lutheran church! Take a look at the following excerpts from the Washington Post in 1999:
"Four hundred and eighty two years ago today, the blunt speaking monk, Martin Luther nailed his legendary attack on the Catholic Church practices to a church door in Germany, an act of conscience that triggered the Protestant Reformation .... and more than a century of religious wars that killed hundreds of thousands."
"Now as the Augsburg accord suggests, the value of separate denominations is under question. The Lutheran - Catholic concord is "one of the most important ecumenical moments of the century", said the Rev. Joseph Komonchak ..... This document appears to be saying that the doctrine that Luther thought was central to the reformation, and which led him to undertake it, is not one on which there are serious enough differences between Catholics and Lutherans to justify the division of the church."
"Today, the heirs of that acrimony and fracture, the leaders of the modern Lutheran and Roman Catholic Churches, signed a document that officially settles the central argument about the nature of faith that Luther provoked. The agreement declares, in effect, that it was all a misunderstanding."
"The agreement is significant beyond the dispute over doctrine that it resolves. It has deep implications for future relations among Catholics and Protestants, said theologians and church leaders. Many said the accord gives added promise to the ideal of their denominations champion - of full communion, or merger, between the churches."
(The Washington Post, Nov.1, 1999)
So let me get this straight!! The reformation was a MISUNDERSTANDING?!! Millions of Christians dying for their true faith in the Word of God alone, rather than bowing down to the Papal Church was a MISUNDERSTANDING?!! If it was possible, Martin Luther would be rolling and jumping up and down in his grave! This is nothing other than the work of satan. But you may say that the Catholic Church has changed? That is impossible and I will tell you why - Catholic doctrine says that the pope is infallible. That means he cannot make any error, therefore any doctrines that the Catholic Church have been based on, no matter how old, CANNOT be changed. Also, did you know that Martin Luther's 95 Theses was based against the Catholic teaching of 'indulgences'? Did you know that 'indulgences' still continue this day in American Catholic Churches? Believe me, Roman Catholic doctrine cannot and will not change.