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Series THE GREAT CONTROVERSY with Pastor Mark Finley  |
Lesson 11.The Impending Conflict  |
Deciphering the End-Time Conflict: Worship, Identity, and Steadfastness  |

In Lesson 11, we delve deeper into the prophetic texts of Revelation to understand the impending conflict between good and evil. This lesson sheds light on the significant role of worship and identity amidst end-time events. Through the analysis of Revelation chapters 13 and 14, we are prompted to decipher the symbols and prophecies to recognize the challenges and opportunities ahead. It becomes clear that understanding this conflict is crucial to remaining faithful and steadfast amid the challenges of the end times.
Memory Text: John 17:17 – “ ‘Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth’ ”
11.1 Revelation’s Final Conflict

Revelation: Worship in the Cosmic Conflict
Revelation interweaves symbols with the eternal truth of a loving God and a cosmic conflict between good and evil unfolding through worship. Worship and creation are inseparably linked, with the Sabbath serving as a reminder of our identity. Worship of the Creator, manifested in keeping His commandments, stands in opposition to that of the beast. The faithful worshippers are strengthened by the “faith of Jesus,” which guides them through the conflict even when they cannot see or understand.
11.2 The Coming Crisis
The Climax in the Cosmic Struggle between Worship and Coercion
The prophecy of the mark of the beast in Revelation marks the climax of the battle between good and evil, where Satan desperately tries to deceive and compel souls. Historically, religious persecution among Christians is not new and will intensify in the end times. Refusal of the mark will have economic and ultimately life-threatening consequences. Believers are urged to have patience and hold fast to God’s commandments and faith in Jesus, as they will overcome through Christ’s power over the trials. The central conflict between worship and coercion becomes evident here.
11.3 Identifying the Beast, Part 1
Origin and Authority of Power in Revelation
Revelation 13:1–2 identifies the beast as a power deriving its authority from the dragon, symbolically representing Satan. This power originated from the Roman Empire and was exercised through political and religious institutions. The transfer of the throne from Rome to Constantinople paved the way for the rise of the papacy, seeking to elevate itself above humans and God. The key word for identifying this power is “blasphemy,” referring to claims belonging to God, such as the power to forgive sins and the privileges of God on earth attributed to the papacy.
11.4 Identifying the Beast, Part 2
Prophetic Fulfillment and Future Developments
Instead of worshiping the beast, God’s followers find joy in serving God, motivated by their loving hearts and the recognition of God’s faithfulness. Revelation 13:5 describes a period of 42 months, equivalent to 1260 years, marking the papacy’s dominance, which ended with the papal captivity. However, the prophecy predicts that this power will regain global influence. Today, the pope is recognized as a moral leader, suggesting the fulfillment of these prophetic words once again.
11.5 The Beast from the Earth
The Second Beast: The USA and Its Prophetic Significance
The second beast in Revelation 13:11–18 differs from the first by emerging from the earth rather than the sea, indicating a less populated area. It appears around 1798, aligning with the United States, which declared independence in 1776 and became a world power by the late 19th century. This beast has two lamb-like horns symbolizing political and religious freedom, but it speaks like a dragon, foreshadowing future oppression. It will exercise all the power of the first beast and compel worship, portraying the United States as a nation forsaking its freedom principles for a union of church and state.
11.6 Summary
Preparation for the End-Time Conflict: Identification and Steadfastness
Lesson 11 addresses the impending conflict described in Revelation. The central conflict revolves around worship, with faithful followers of God opposing worship of the beast. Historical and prophetic analyses identify the first beast as the papacy and the second beast as the United States, which will introduce religious persecution. The prophecies emphasize the importance of keeping God’s commandments and having faith in Jesus as a source of strength for believers. Amid deception and coercion, faith in God is highlighted as crucial.
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