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The Revelation Explained by F. Smith

Part 4 out of 7

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would be peculiarly offensive to the State. Moreover, the conscientious
refusal of Christians to pay divine honor to the emperor and his
statutes, and to take part in idolatrous ceremonies at public festivals
... and their constant assembling themselves together, brought them
under the suspicion and obloquy of the emperors and the people." Pp. 49,

The dragon was stationed in the same heaven where the woman appeared.
This signifies his exalted position in the world. While the dragon was
in the height of his power and glory, Michael (Jesus Christ--Jude 9; 1
Thes. 4:16; John 5:28) and his followers appeared on the scene, and a
fierce battle for supremacy ensued, resulting in the final victory of
the hosts of Michael. That it was against the dragon as a religious
system that the Christians fought is proved by the kind of weapons they
employed. "And they overcame him by the _blood of the Lamb_ and by the
_word of their testimony_; and they loved not their lives unto the
death." Christianity never sought to overturn the civil empire, but did
with all the power of truth oppose the huge system of error sustained by
it and gained such decisive victories that the cry was heard, "Now is
come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power
of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which
accused them before our God day and night." The Devil himself suffered a
severe defeat when his favorite agents, the dragon and his followers,
were cast down from their lofty position and Christianity was exalted
instead. Says Butler: "The final victory of Christianity over heathenism
and Judaism, and the mightiest empire of the ancient world, a victory
gained without physical force, by the moral power of faith and
perseverance, of faith and love, is one of the sublimest spectacles of
history, and one of the strongest evidences of the divinity and
indestructible life of our holy religion." P. 40.

But the fact that many Christians lost their lives in this conflict
(verse 11), insomuch that the man-child is represented as being caught
up unto God (verse 5), shows that the dragon employed also the arm of
civil power in his opposition to the growing truth. The rapid increase
of Christianity, despite the violent opposition and persecution of the
Pagan party, can be no better represented than by a quotation from the
notable Apology of Tertullian, who wrote during the persecution by
Septimus Severus, about the end of the second century.

"Rulers of the Roman Empire," he begins, "you surely can not forbid the
Truth to reach you by the secret pathway of a noiseless book. She knows
that she is but a sojourner on the earth, and as a stranger finds
enemies; and more, her origin, her dwelling-place, her hope, her
rewards, her honors, are above. One thing, meanwhile, she anxiously
desires of earthly rulers--not to be condemned unknown. What harm can it
do to give her a hearing?... The outcry is that the State is filled with
Christians; that they are in the fields, in the citadels, in the
islands. The lament is, as for some calamity, that both sexes, every age
and condition, even high rank, are passing over to the Christian faith.

"The outcry is a confession and an argument for our cause; for we are a
people of yesterday, and yet we have filled every place belonging to
you--cities, islands, castles, towns, assemblies, your very camp, your
tribes, companies, palace, senate, forum. We leave to you your temples
alone. We can count your armies: our numbers in a single province will
be greater. We have it in our power, without arms and without rebellion,
to fight against you with the weapon of a simple divorce. We can leave
you to wage your wars alone. If such a multitude should withdraw into
some remote corner of the world you would doubtless tremble at your own
solitude, and ask, 'Of whom are we the governors?'

"It is a human right that every man should worship according to his own
convictions ... a forced religion is no religion at all.... Men say that
the Christians are the cause of every public disaster. If the Tiber
rises as high as the city walls, if the Nile does not rise over the
fields, if the heavens give no rain, if there be an earthquake, if a
famine or pestilence, straightway they cry, Away with the Christians to
the lion.... But go zealously on, ye good governors, you will stand
higher with the people if you kill us, torture us, condemn us, grind us
to the dust; your injustice is the proof that we are innocent. God
permits us to suffer. Your cruelty avails you nothing.... The oftener
you mow us down the more in number we grow; the blood of Christians is
seed. What you call our obstinacy is an instructor. For who that sees it
does not inquire for what we suffer? Who that inquires does not embrace
our doctrines? Who that embraces them is not ready to give his blood for
the fulness of God's grace?"

Another writer has said: "The church in this period appears poor in
earthly possessions and honors, but rich in heavenly grace, in
world-conquering faith and love and hope; unpopular, even outlawed,
hated and persecuted, yet far more vigorous and expansive than the
philosophies of Greece, or the empire of Rome; composed chiefly of
persons of the lower social ranks, yet attracting the noblest and
deepest minds of the age, and bearing in her bosom the hope of the
world; conquering by apparent defeat and growing on the blood of her
martyrs; great in deeds, greater in sufferings, greatest in death for
the honor of Christ and the benefit of generations to come."

This triumph of early Christianity over Paganism was a theme worthy of
the song. "Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our
God, and the power of his Christ." Even before the death of the
apostles, according to the younger Pliny, the temples of the gods in
Asia Minor were almost forsaken. No wonder, then, that even the
inhabitants of heaven were called upon to rejoice at so great a victory
attained by the followers of the Lamb. But the same voice also says,
"Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is
come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath
but a short time." This represents the violence of the Pagan party upon
its defeat, being exasperated to the exercise of greater opposition and
cruelty wherever the means and the power were still in their hands. Cast
down from his exalted position in the heavens--the religious sphere--his
ecclesiastical prestige lost, he had no place to abide but in the
earth--the political kingdom--whence he took up arms, and "woe to the
inhabitants of the earth." But "the days of Paganism in the empire were
numbered." The Devil knew that he had but a short time, therefore he
came down in great wrath. This is in accordance with the facts of
history. Paganism did not die an easy death, but struggled hard and

When cast from his high position, however, the dragon "persecuted the
woman which brought forth the man-child." The true idea expressed in the
original is that he _pursued_ the woman, and this signification is
indicated by what follows--"To the woman were given two wings of a great
eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she
is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of
the serpent." The _time_ as a definite period signifies one year; hence
a time, times, and half a time would be three and one-half years, or
twelve hundred and sixty days, as before explained. There is an apparent
incongruity or contradiction of statement in reference to the symbols
here; but it is a contradiction that when rightly understood throws
light upon the whole subject. It will be noticed that the woman and
Michael with his angels symbolize the same object--the people of God.
Under the latter figure they were triumphant and the dragon was
defeated. Yet after he was cast down, he turned upon the woman and
pursued her, and thus, the church appeared to be the defeated party.
According to this, then, the Pagan party is represented as _prevailing_
soon after he met _defeat_ and the church apparently _defeated_ soon
after her period of _triumph_. Here again we have two separate symbols
of the same object in order to represent two of its different phases.

This is explained satisfactorily by noticing carefully the facts. The
woman, who is always the true church composed of holy people, was at
first identical with the visible church, or the great body of
Christians, and in this condition was successful in spreading the pure
gospel and casting down the powers of iniquity symbolized by the dragon.
But the dragon politically, as symbolized by his being a beast from the
natural world, with heads and horns, remained in power for some time,
his religious prestige only being lost. Christianity did not attempt to
cast down the dragon in the sense of destroying the civil empire. As is
well known, a great spiritual declension followed the period of the
church's greatest triumph, which decline drove the woman, or the true
church, into the wilderness; hence to all appearances the church became
a defeated party. About this same time, the dying cause of Paganism
revived for a season in terrible severity in the latter part of the
third century; hence to all appearances the dragon was triumphant. This
supreme effort of Paganism's to regain its former position will be
better understood in connection with what follows regarding the flood
which he cast out of his mouth. But that the dragon was not permanently
triumphant is shown by the fact that he afterwards resigned his power
and position unto the beast. Chap. 13:2.

As to the meaning of the "two wings of a great eagle" given the woman to
aid her in her flight, I am not able to say positively. Some apply them
to "the grace and providence of God which watched over the church";
others to the "spiritual gifts of faith, love," etc., which, like
supporting wings, bore the church above her enemies. But I can not see
how the wings of a great eagle can properly symbolize such things. They
are not drawn from the right source. Perhaps nothing more is intended by
the wings than to denote the fact of her successful flight. That this
idea is the correct one seems quite clear when we consider the fact that
the remarkable deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage is
set forth under the same figure, that of eagles' wings. "Ye have seen
what I did unto the Egyptians, and how _I bare you on eagles' wings_,
and brought you unto myself." Ex. 19:4. With the wings of such a
powerful bird she was able to escape, so that the dragon could not
overtake her.

"And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman,
that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth
helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the
flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth." Here is a peculiar
combination of symbols from different departments--the serpent, a flood
of water, the woman, and the earth. The last two as allies is a very
unusual circumstance. Some refer the flood of waters to heresies that
arose in, or was connected with, the hierarchy about this time; but in
that case how could it be said that it was the serpent that cast it out?
Others apply it to errors that the Pagan party introduced baptized with
the name of Christianity, when they professed to become converts at a
later period. It is certainly an appropriate _figure of speech_ to say a
flood of error or of false doctrine; but whether a flood of water is a
proper _symbol_ of the same is another question. I do not think it is.
Water, being an object of nature, would point us to something political.
False doctrines are usually symbolized by something different from
objects in nature.

There is considerable difficulty in verifying the symbol, but I will
submit what up to the present has seemed to me as the most satisfactory
explanation. It appears from the description that this was about the
last great public effort the dragon made to overwhelm the church and
that he was exasperated to this supreme effort by the humiliating defeat
he had suffered. The means he employed was _water_, an object of nature;
hence we are to look for some great political event by which the dragon
made his master-effort to destroy the woman shortly after her flight
into the wilderness. In A.D. 284 Diocletian, a Pagan, succeeded to the
imperial throne. Before the close of his reign (305), the Christians
suffered the most terrible persecution ever received at the hands of
Pagan Rome. It continued ten years--A.D. 302-312. It was the design of
this emperor to completely extirpate the very name of Christianity, and
his unfortunate victims were slain by the thousands throughout the
empire. "But the master-piece of [his] heathen policy was the order to
seek and burn all copies of the Word of God. Hitherto the enemy had been
lopping off the branches of the tree whose leaves were for the healing
of the nations; now the blow was made at the root. It had once been the
policy of Antiochus Epiphanes, when he madly sought to destroy the
Jewish Scriptures. It was both wise and wicked. It had but one defect,
it could not be carried into complete execution. The sacred treasure was
in too many hands, and too many of its guardians were brave and prudent,
to make extermination possible. An African bishop said, 'Here is my
body, take it, burn it; but I will not deliver up the Word of God.' A
deacon said, 'Never, sir, never! Had I children I would sooner deliver
them to you than the divine word.' He and his wife were burnt together."
Butler's Eccl. History, p. 66.

But "_the earth_ helped the woman"--another unlooked-for political
event. Worn out with the cares of State, boasting that the very name of
Christ was abolished, and dying with a loathsome disease, the tyrant
abdicated his throne. A number of individuals claimed imperial honors;
but Constantine, the ruler of Gaul, Spain, and Britain, fought his way
against contending rivals and finally entered Rome, the capital, in
triumph. Enthroned as emperor of the West, he immediately issued an
edict of toleration favorable to the Christians (A.D. 313) and soon
became a professed Christian himself and by law made Christianity the
established religion of the empire. In 324, having crushed all rivals,
he became sole emperor of the Roman world, and with a view of promoting
Christianity convened what is known as the First General Council of the
Church, at Nicaea in Asia Minor, A.D. 325. The prestige of Paganism as a
religious power had been overthrown long before by the followers of
Christ, but now its political importance received a death-blow, only a
few expiring struggles appearing subsequently before the final downfall
of Western Rome. Thus, the earth helped the woman and swallowed up the
flood of persecution which the dragon cast out.

"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." Finding that he could not destroy or exterminate
the church of God, he determined to make war upon its individual


And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up
out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his
horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

2. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his
feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a
lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great

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.

4. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the
beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto
the beast? who is able to make war with him?

5. And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things
and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty
and two months.

6. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to
blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in

7. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to
overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and
tongues, and nations.

8. And all that dwell upon 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.

9. If any man have an ear, let him hear.

10. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he
that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here
is the patience and the faith of the saints.

In this vision John beheld a beast rise out of the sea. His
appearance--like that of a leopard with the feet of a bear and a mouth
like a lion--indicated that he was some terrible creature. He was also a
persecutor of the saints, the same as the dragon that preceded him. As
before explained, this beast, also, symbolizes the Roman empire; for he
possesses the same heads and horns as the dragon, the only difference
being that the supreme power and authority, as indicated by the crowns,
is now vested in the ten horns, or minor kingdoms, instead of in the
seven heads. The dragon as a political power represented Rome before her
overthrow by the barbarians; the beast as a political power represents
new Rome.

A careful study of the characteristics of this beast, however, will show
that he represents more than a civil power. As a mere beast from the
natural world he could symbolize nothing more than some political power;
but it will be noticed that, combined with his beastly nature, there are
also certain characteristics that belong exclusively to the department
of human life--a mouth _speaking_ great things; power to magnify himself
against the God of heaven; the ability to single out the saints of God
and kill them, and to set himself up as an object to be worshiped, etc.
This combination of symbols from the two departments--those of animal
and of human life--points us with absolute certainty to Rome as a
politico-religious system. Ask any historian what world-wide power
succeeded Rome Pagan, and he will answer at once, "Rome Papal."

While it is not my general design to explain the many lines of prophetic
truth described under similar symbols in other parts of the Bible, yet I
will ask the reader here to pardon the slight digression while I call
attention briefly to a few thoughts in the seventh chapter of Daniel
regarding this same Papal power.

Daniel received a vision of four great beasts, which were interpreted to
symbolize four universal monarchies. Verse 17. These were the
Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Greco-Macedonian, and the Roman. The
fourth beast possessed ten horns, which were explained to signify ten
kingdoms to arise out of the fourth empire. This is identical with the
dragon of Rev. 12, except the latter possessed seven heads not mentioned
by Daniel. In the midst of the ten horns (ten minor kingdoms) grew up a
_little_ horn, which soon assumed greater proportions than his fellows,
taking the place of three of the original horns, and into his hand the
saints of the Most High were given for "a time and times and the
dividing of time," or twelve hundred and sixty years. This eleventh horn
differed from the ten in that it possessed a mouth speaking great
things, and the eyes of a man. A horn with eyes and mouth in it is a
very unusual thing, yet it is just such a combination as we might expect
when we possess a correct knowledge of symbols. Being drawn from two
departments--human life and animal life--this double-symbol directs us
to a politico-religious system that came up among the ten horns that
grew out of the old Roman empire. We instantly identify it with the
growing Papacy, which arose to a position of great authority in
conjunction with the new Roman empire.

Three of the horns, or temporal kingdoms, were overthrown in order to
give room for the complete development of this politico-religious power.
Since great changes have frequently occurred among the nations of Europe
originally embraced in the ten minor kingdoms, different powers have
been referred to as the three described in Daniel's prophecy; but the
most satisfactory explanation to my mind is that of the three kingdoms
in Italy that were overthrown as if to give the hierarchy room for
development, and that gave the Papacy its _first_ temporal sovereignty,
thus completing the symbol by constituting her a civil as well as an
ecclesiastical horn.

Odoacer, in A.D. 476, overthrew the old empire of the West and
established the kingdom of the Heruli in Italy. Seventeen years later it
was subverted by Theodoric, who established the kingdom of the
Ostrogoths, which continued sixty years; then it, in turn, was
overthrown by Belisarius, but was soon succeeded by the Lombards. The
Lombard kingdom was subverted by Pepin and Charlemagne, who, as
champions of the church, gave a large part of their dominions to the See
of Rome and thus favored the Papacy with her first temporal power. Thus
were the kingdoms of the Heruli, Ostrogoths, and Lombards plucked up by
the roots upon the very territory occupied first by the Papacy as a
temporal power, and as if to give it room.

The careful student of Daniel 7 will notice immediately the striking
similarity between the politico-religious system symbolized by the
little horn and the leopard beast of Revelation 13 under consideration.
The following parallels between them prove their identity:

"1. The little horn was a blasphemous power: 'He shall speak great words
against the Most High.' Dan. 7:25. The leopard beast of Rev. 13:6 does
the same: 'He opened his mouth in blasphemy against God.'

"2. The little horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against
them. Dan. 7:21. This beast also, Rev. 13:7, makes war with the saints,
and overcomes them.

"3. The little horn had a mouth speaking great things. Dan. 7:8, 20. And
of this beast we read, Rev. 13:5: 'And there was given unto him a mouth
speaking great things and blasphemies.'

"4. The little horn rose on the cessation of the Pagan form of the Roman
empire. This beast rises at the same time; for the dragon, Pagan Rome,
gives him his power, his seat, and great authority.

"5. Power was given to the little horn to continue for a time, times,
and the dividing of time, or twelve hundred and sixty years. Dan. 7:25.
To this beast also power was given for forty and two months, or twelve
hundred and sixty years. Rev. 13:5.

"6. At the end of the twelve hundred and sixty years the universal
dominion of the little horn was to begin to decline, being consumed and
destroyed unto the end. Dan. 7:26. This beast, also, Rev. 13:10, was to
be led into captivity and 'killed with the sword.'"

These points prove identity. To quote the words of a certain expositor:
"When we have in prophecy two symbols ... representing powers that come
upon the stage of action at the _same time_, occupy the _same
territory_, maintain the _same character_, do the _same work_, exist the
_same length of time_, and meet the same _fate_, those symbols represent
the same _identical power_." To this all must agree. Hence we have in
the vision before us a description of Papal Rome in her two-fold
character as a temporal and a religious power. The wounding and healing
of the head of the beast will be explained in chapter XVII.

How the same heads and horns can serve both the dragon and the leopard
beast will be better understood later. For the present it will be
sufficient to state that it is because they are the same beast in
reality, being clothed, in its later form, in a Christian garb, instead
of the worn-out garments of infidelity or heathenism possessed by the
former. This transfer is expressed in the following words: "And the
dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority." Verse 2.
This beast, then, succeeded to the dominion held by the dragon. It was
like an old, established firm retiring and giving its standing and
credit and well-earned reputation to a new partnership, to conduct a
similar business.

While this beast, as before observed, represents the developed religious
and political power of the Papacy combined, still the actions ascribed
to it show plainly that it is in its character as an _ecclesiastical_
beast that its terrible features are here delineated. No one would
suppose that a mere political power would set itself up as an object to
be worshiped, exalting itself above the God of heaven, and then single
out and slaughter the saints for not complying therewith. As far as
rendering obedience to civil governments is concerned, the Christians of
all ages have been the most peaceful and obedient servants of all. So we
shall hereafter refer always to the _beast_ as an ecclesiastical power,
unless otherwise stated.

This beast all the world admired. "And they worshiped the dragon which
gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is
like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?" The people
worshiped the established hierarchy, and they also worshiped the dragon
from which the beast obtained so much of his power. The expression
"_worshiped_ the dragon" shows plainly that it is the dragon as a
religious system that is referred to, and not the old civil empire. How,
then, could the old heathen worship be perpetuated in the church of Rome
and form a part of her religious services? By adopting rites and
ceremonies purely Pagan in their origin. Since I have already stated
that the beast and the dragon as temporal powers were about the same in
reality, except the change of sovereignty from the heads to the horns,
it will now be necessary to show the remarkable similarity in spirit
that existed between them as religious powers, the one being the
successor of the other.

1. The high-priest of the Pagan religions was called Pontifex Maximus,
and he claimed spiritual and temporal authority over the affairs of men.
The Pope of Rome possesses the same title and makes the same claims, and
he is clad in the same attire as the Pagan Pontiff.

2. The heathen were accustomed to wear scapulars, medals, and images to
shield them from the common ills and dangers of life. Romanists wear the
same and for the same purpose.

3. The Pagans, by an official process called _deification_, frequently
exalted men who had lived among them to a position worthy of special
honor and worship. Papists, by a similar process called _canonisation_,
raise their former men of prominence to the dignity of _saints_ and then
offer up prayers to them.

The foregoing practises are derived from Paganism; also from Judaism or
Paganism came their practise of burning incense in public worship, the
use of holy water, burning wax candles in the daytime, and votive gifts
and offerings. Other heathen principles are:

4. Adoration of idols and images, a practise expressly forbidden by the
Mosaic law and unsanctioned by primitive Christianity;

5. Road gods and saints (in Catholic countries);

6. Processions of worshipers and self-whippers (especially in Catholic

7. Religious orders of monks and nuns. One who has read of the vestal
virgins of old will recognize at once where monkery originated.

In the city of Rome there still stands an old heathen temple built by
Marcus Agrippa and dedicated in the year B.C. 27 to _all the gods_. In
the year A.D. 610 it was reconsecrated by Pope Boniface IV. to "the
blessed Virgin and all the saints." From that time until the present day
Romanists in the same temple have prostrated themselves before _the very
same images_ and have devoutly emplored them by the same forms of prayer
and for the very same purposes as did the heathen of old. The only
difference is, that instead of calling this idol Jupiter, they call it
Paul; instead of denominating that one Venus, they call it Mary, etc.
Well has Bowling said: "The scholar, familiar as he is with the classic
descriptions of ancient mythology, when he directs his attention to the
ceremonies of Papal worship, can not avoid recognizing their close
resemblance, if not their absolute identity. The temples of Jupiter,
Diana, Venus or Apollo, their 'altars smoking with incense,' their boys
in sacred habits, holding the incense box, and attending upon the
priests, their holy water at the entrance of the temples, with their
_aspergilla_, or sprinkling-brushes, their thuribula, or vessels of
incense, their ever-burning lamps before the statues of their deities,
are irresistibly brought before his mind, whenever he visits a Roman
Catholic place of worship, and witnesses precisely the same things."
History of Romanism, pp. 109, 110.

Having failed in his direct attacks against the Christian church, with
the accession of Constantine, who established Christianity as the State
religion, the dragon soon clothed his pernicious principles in a
Christian garb and made war against the remnant of the woman's seed that
kept the commandments of God, through the rising hierarchy, under the
name of Christianity; but his heads and horns being visible, and he
being unable to control his tongue, his real sentiments crop out, and he
is easily identified. It is not to be supposed, however, that the beast
would appear suddenly in full possession of the immense power ascribed
to him in this chapter. On the contrary, Daniel represents it as a
_little_ horn at first, whose look finally became "more stout than his
fellows." Dan. 7:8, 20. Such ecclesiastical power was attained only by
the process of gradual development. According to the vision his
universal power was limited to "forty and two months," or twelve hundred
and sixty years. Since this has reference to the beast as an
ecclesiastal power, which according to Daniel grew up by degrees, the
time should be calculated the same as in chapter 11:2, 3--dated from the
time when the external, visible church was wholly in the hands of the
profane multitude of Gentiles and the true church crowded into the
wilderness. The nationalized hierarchy, however, continued to advance to
greater degrees of power over the nations, until it reached its zenith
under the pontificate of Gregory VII., A.D. 1073-1080.

The great things and blasphemies spoken by this beast are doubtless
fulfilled by the prerogatives and rights belonging to God alone which
this apostate church, especially through her regularly constituted head,
claims. In fact, the Pope is the real mouth of this beast, the one who
dictates her laws with great authority. He claims to be the vicar of
Christ on earth and supreme head of the church, even, as in the case of
Pope Innocent, denominating himself the one before whom every knee must
bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the
earth. He claims power over the souls of all men on earth and even after
their departure from earth. If this is not blasphemy against God, his
tabernacle, or church, and "them that dwell in heaven," then I am wholly
unable to imagine what would fulfil the prediction. Among the
blasphemous titles assumed are these: Lord God the Pope, King of the
World, Holy Father, King of kings, and Lord of lords, Vicegerent of the
Son of God. He claims infallibility (which was backed up by the
Ecumenical council of 1870) and has for ages. Further, he claims power
to dispense with God's laws, to forgive sins, to release from purgatory,
to damn, and to save.

All the inhabitants of the earth were to worship him, except those whose
names were in the book of life. Thank God that even during the dark age
of Romanism a people existed who were owned by the Lord and who refused
to render idolatrous worship to this tyrannical beast. For further
information regarding these medieval Christians, see remarks on chapter
11:3. But these saints who opposed the Papal assumptions were made the
object of fearful persecutions, until Rome glutted herself upon the
blood of millions of God's holy saints. This will be more fully
described in chapter 17, where this apostate church appears under
another symbol, "drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the
blood of the martyrs of Jesus." In all their severe trials, however,
they were comforted with the knowledge that Justice would not always
sleep, but that a time would come when her retributive hand would be
stretched forth to lead into captivity their persecuting enemies and
break their world-wide reign of tyranny and usurpation. "Here is the
patience and the faith of the saints." To a number of people God gave
special foresight of the coming reformation of the sixteenth century, in
which the universal spiritual supremacy of the Papacy ended. A few of
the many examples will be profitable.

Says D'Aubigne: "John Huss preached in Bohemia a century before Luther
preached in Saxony. He seems to have penetrated deeper than his
predecessors into the essence of Christian truth. He prayed to Christ
for grace to glory only in his cross, and in the inestimable humiliation
of his sufferings.... He was, if we may be allowed the expression, the
John Baptist of the reformation. The flames of his pile kindled a fire
in the church that cast a brilliant light into the surrounding darkness,
and whose glimmerings were not to be so readily extinguished. John Huss
did more: prophetic words issued from the depths of his dungeon. He
foresaw that a real reformation of the church was at hand. When driven
out of Prague and compelled to wander through the fields of Bohemia,
where an immense crowd followed his steps and hung upon his words, he
had cried out: 'The wicked have begun by preparing a treacherous snare
for a goose. But if even the goose, which is only a domestic bird, a
peaceful animal, and whose flight is not very far in the air, has
nevertheless broken through their toils, other birds, soaring more
boldly towards the sky, will break through them with still greater
force. Instead of a feeble goose, the truth will send forth eagles and
keen-eyed vultures.' This prediction was fulfilled by the reformers.

"When the venerable priest had been summoned by Sigismund's order before
the Council of Constance, and had been thrown into prison, the chapel of
Bethlehem, in which he had proclaimed the gospel and the future triumphs
of Christ, occupied his mind much more than his own defence. One night
the holy martyr saw in imagination, from the depths of his dungeon, the
pictures of Christ which he had painted on the walls of his oratory,
effaced by the Pope and his bishops. This vision distressed him; but on
the next day he saw many painters occupied in restoring these figures in
greater number and in brighter colors. As soon as the task was ended,
the painters, who were surrounded by an immense crowd, exclaimed, 'Now
let the popes and bishops come! they shall never efface them more!' And
many people rejoiced in Bethlehem, and I with them, adds John Huss.
'Busy yourself with your defence rather than with your dreams,' said his
faithful friend, the Knight of Chlum, to whom he had communicated this
vision. 'I am no dreamer,' replied Huss, 'but I maintain this for
certain, that the image of Christ will never be effaced. They have
wished to destroy it, but it shall be painted afresh in all hearts by
much better preachers than myself. The nation that loves Christ will
rejoice at this. And I, awaking from the dead, and rising so to speak,
from my grave, shall leap with great joy.'" History of the Reformation,
Book I, Chap. 6.

This bold witness for Christ was burned at the stake July 6, 1415, by
order of the General Council of Constance. When the fagots were piled up
around him ready for the torch, he said to the executioner, "You are now
going to burn a goose [Huss signifying goose in the Bohemian language];
but in a century you will have a swan whom you can neither roast nor
boil." Fox's Book of Martyrs. This was fulfilled in Martin Luther.

Henry Institorus, an inquisitor, uttered these remarkable words: "'All
the world cries out and demands a council, but there is no human power
that can reform the church by a council. The Most High will find other
means, which are at present unknown to us, although they may be at our
very doors, to bring back the church to its pristine condition.' This
remarkable prophecy, delivered by an inquisitor at the very period of
Luther's birth, is the best apology for the reformation."

Andrew Proles, provincial of the Augustines, used often to say: "Whence,
then, proceeds so much darkness and such horrible superstitions? O my
brethren! Christianity needs a bold and a great reform, and methinks I
see it already approaching.... I am bent with the weight of years, and
weak in body, and I have not the learning, the ability, and eloquence,
that so great an undertaking requires. But God will raise up a hero, who
by his age, strength, talents, learning, genius and eloquence, shall
hold the foremost place. He will begin the reformation; he will oppose
error, and God will give him boldness to resist the mighty ones of the

John Hilten censured the most flagrant abuses of the monastic life, and
the exasperated monks threw him into prison and treated him shamefully.
"The Franciscan, forgetting his malady and groaning heavily, replied: 'I
bear your insults calmly for the love of Christ; for I have said nothing
that can injure the monastic state: I have only censured its most crying
abuses.' 'But,' continued he (according to what Melancthon records in
his Apology for the Augsburg Confession of Faith), 'another man will
rise in the year of our Lord 1516: he will destroy you, and you shall
not be able to resist him.'"

In 1516 Luther held a public discussion with Feld-kirchen, in which he
upheld certain doctrines of truth that made a great stir among the
Romanists. Says D'Aubigne: "The disputation took place in 1516. This was
Luther's first attack upon the dominion of the sophists and upon the
Papacy, as he himself characterizes it." And again, "This disputation
made a great noise, and it has been considered as the beginning of the
reformation." Book I, Chap. 9. The next year, however, he entered
publicly upon the actual work of reformation.

Frederick of Saxony, surnamed the Wise, was the most powerful elector of
the German empire at the period of the reformation. A dream he had and
related just before the world was startled by the first great act of
reformation is so striking that I feel justified in repeating it in this
connection. It was as follows:

"Having gone to bed last night, tired and dispirited, I soon fell asleep
after saying my prayers, and slept calmly for about two hours and a
half. I then awoke, and all kinds of thoughts occupied me until
midnight.... I then fell asleep again, and dreamed the Almighty sent me
a monk, who was a true son of Paul the apostle. He was accompanied by
all the saints, in obedience to God's command, to bear him testimony,
and to assure me that he did not come with any fraudulent design, but
that all he should do was conformable to the will of God. They asked my
gracious permission to let him write something on the doors of the
palace-chapel at Wittemberg, which I conceded through my chancellor.
Upon this, the monk retired thither and began to write; so large were
the characters that I could read from Schweinitz what he was writing
[about 18 miles]. The pen he used was so long that its extremity reached
as far as Rome, where it pierced the ears of a lion which lay there, and
shook the triple crown on the Pope's head. All the cardinals and princes
ran up hastily and endeavored to support it.... I stretched out my arm:
that moment I awoke with my arm extended, in great alarm and very angry
with this monk, who could not guide his pen better. I recovered myself a
little.... It was only a dream. I was still half asleep, and once more
closed my eyes. The dream came again. The lion, still disturbed by the
pen, began to roar with all his might, until the whole city of Rome, and
all the States of the holy empire, ran up to know what was the matter.
The Pope called upon us to oppose this monk, and addressed himself
particularly to me, because the friar was living in my dominions. I
again awoke, repeated the Lord's prayer, entreated God to preserve his
Holiness, and fell asleep.... I then dreamt that all the princes of the
empire, and we along with them, hastened to Rome, and endeavored one
after another to break this pen; but the greater our exertions the
stronger it became: it crackled as if it had been made of iron: we gave
it up as hopeless. I then asked the monk (for I was now at Rome, now at
Wittemberg) where he had got that pen, and how it came to be so strong.
[In those days they used goosequills for pens.] 'This pen,' replied he,
'belonged to a Bohemian goose [Huss] a hundred years old. I had it from
one of my old schoolmasters. It is so strong because no one can take the
pith out of it, and I am myself quite astonished at it.' On a sudden I
heard a loud cry; from the monk's long pen had issued a host of other
pens. I awoke a third time; it was day light." History of the
Reformation, Book III, Chap. 4.

Frederick related the foregoing to his brother John, the Duke of York,
on the morning of Oct. 31, 1517, stating that he had dreamed it during
the previous night. The same day at noon Martin Luther advanced boldly
to the chapel at Wittemberg and posted upon the door ninety-five theses,
or propositions, against the Papal doctrine of indulgences. This was his
public entrance upon the great work of reformation. The importance of
the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century is incalculable. It gave the
deathblow to the universal spiritual supremacy of Rome. As we have
already seen, the Papacy had for centuries held despotic sway over the
minds and the consciences of men. One potent cause of the Reformation
was the great Revival of Learning that marked the close of the medieval
and the beginning of the modern period of history. This great mental
awakening contrasted sharply with the blind ignorance and superstition
of the Middle Ages, and caused many men to doubt the Scriptural
authority of many of the doctrines and ceremonies of the Church of Rome;
such as invocation of saints, auricular confession, use of images,
worship of the Virgin Mary, etc.

Scandals and abuses in the Church of Rome also hastened the Reformation.
During the fifteenth century the morals of that church had sunk to the
greatest depths of iniquity. The Popes themselves were, in some cases,
monsters of impurity and iniquity, insomuch that historians are obliged
to draw the vail over many of their dark deeds.

But the real occasion of the revolt of the northern nations of Europe
against the jurisdiction of Rome was the controversy regarding
indulgences. "These in the Catholic church, are remissions, to penitents
of punishment due for sin, upon the performances of some work of mercy
or piety, or the payment of a sum of money." When Leo X. was elected to
the Papal dignity (1513), he found the church in great need of money for
the building of Saint Peter's and other undertakings, and he had
recourse to a grant of indulgences to fill the coffers of the church.
The power of dispensing these indulgences in Saxony in Germany was given
to a Dominican friar named Tetzel. This fanatic enthusiast entertained
the most exaggerated opinion of the efficacy of indulgences. In his
harrangues he uttered such expressions as the following:

"Indulgences are the most precious and the most noble of God's gifts."
"There is no sin so great that an indulgence can not remit; ... only let
him pay well, and all will be forgiven him." "Come, and I will give you
letters, all properly sealed, by which even the sins that you intend to
commit may be pardoned." "I would not change my privileges for those of
St. Peter in heaven; for I have saved more souls by my indulgences than
the apostle by his sermons." "The Lord Omnipotent hath ceased to reign;
he has resigned all power to the Pope." See D'Aubigne's History of the
Reformation, Book III, Chap. 1.

Martin Luther was an Augustine monk and a teacher of theology in the
University of Wittemberg. Before Tetzel appeared in Germany, Luther
possessed a wide reputation for learning and piety, and he had also
entertained doubts respecting many of the doctrines of the church.
During an official visit to Rome in 1510 he was almost overwhelmed with
sorrow because of the moral corruption there; but while penitentially
ascending on his knees the sacred stairs of the Lateran, he seemed to
hear a voice thundering in his soul, "The just shall live by faith!"
This marked an important epoch in his career.

When Tetzel appeared in Saxony with his indulgences, Luther fearlessly
opposed him. He drew up ninety-five theses against the infamous traffic
and nailed them to the door of the church at Wittemberg, and invited all
scholars to criticise them and point out if they were opposed to the
doctrine of the Word of God or of the early church Fathers. Here the
invention of printing proved to be a powerful agency in advancing the
cause of reformation by scattering copies of these theses everywhere;
and soon the continent of Europe was in a perfect turmoil of
controversy. The Pope excommunicated Luther as a heretic. In reply
Luther burned the Papal bull publicly at Wittemberg. Shortly afterward
Luther produced his celebrated translation of the Bible in the German
language. Even a brief history of the entire Reformation would be too
large for the limits of the present volume, therefore with a few words
respecting the nature of the work of the Reformation we will pass on to
another prophetic vision.

The great secret of the early success of the reformers was their appeal
from the decisions of councils and regulations of men to the Word of
God. So long as the Word and Spirit of God were allowed their proper
place as the Governors of God's people, the work was a spiritual
blessing. But this happy state of affairs did not long continue. Within
a few years the followers of the reformers were divided into hostile
sects and began to oppose and persecute each other. Luther denounced
Zwingle as a heretic, and "the Calvinists would have no dealings with
the Lutherans." The first Protestant creed was the Augsburg Confession
(1530). This date marks an important epoch. From this time the people
began to lose sight of the Word and Spirit of God as their Governors and
to turn to the disciplines of their sects, which they upheld by every
means possible. Thus we find Calvin at Geneva consenting to the burning
of Servetus, because of a difference of religious views; and in England
the Anglican Protestants waged the most bitter, cruel, and relentless
war not only against Catholics, but against all Protestants who refused
to conform to the Established Church. The Protestants placed armies in
the field and fought for their creeds, as during the Thirty Years' War
in Germany and the long period of the Hugenot wars in France. The real
work of the Reformation, the promulgation of so much of the truth of the
Bible, was an inestimable blessing to the world; but the rise of
Protestantism (organized sectism) in 1530 introduced another period of
apostasy as distinct in many of its features as was that of Romanism
before it. The historian D'Aubigne recognizes an important change at
this period. He says:

"The first two books of this volume contain the most important epochs of
the Reformation--the Protest of Spires, and the Confession of
Augsburg.... I determined on bringing the reformation of Germany and
German Switzerland to the _decisive epochs of_ 1530 and 1531. The
history of the Reformation, properly so-called, is then in my opinion
almost complete in those countries. The work of faith has there attained
its apogee: that of conferences, of interims, of diplomacy begins....
The movement of the Sixteenth Century has there made its effort. I said
from the very first, It is the history of the Reformation and not of
Protestantism that I am relating." Preface to Vol. V.

11. And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and
he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

12. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before
him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to
worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

13. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down
from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

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.

15. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast,
that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as
many as would not worship the image of the beast should be

16. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor,
free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in
their foreheads:

17. And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the
mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the
number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his
number is Six hundred threescore and six.

The symbolic description of this beast directs us also to a political
and a religious system rising at the expiration of the twelve hundred
and sixty years' reign of the first beast, but that he was no such
terrible beast politically as the one before him is proved by the fact
that he had but two horns and they _like a lamb_. This beast rose "out
of the earth"--the Apocalyptic earth, or the territory of the Roman
empire. The first beast rose out of the sea, which, as before shown,
signifies the heart of the empire in an agitated state; for the ten
horns came up through the greatest political convulsions that the page
of history records. When John beheld the second beast "coming up,"
however, the empire was in a state of comparative quiet, although fierce
wars followed afterward. He stands as a symbol of _Protestantism_ in
Europe; although his power and influence afterwards extended beyond the
"earth"--the Apocalyptic earth--into "the whole world." Chap. 16:14.
That this beast came up upon the same territory occupied by the Papacy
is proved also by the statement that "he exerciseth all the power of the
first beast before him." It was predicted in a subsequent chapter
(17:16) that the ten horns, or kingdoms of Europe, after supporting the
Papacy during the Dark Ages, would later turn against her. This has met
a remarkable fulfilment under the reign of Protestantism.

The first two nations to turn violently against Popery were England and
Germany. They have ever since been the chief supporters and defenders of
Protestantism, and they are doubtless the two kingdoms symbolized by the
two horns of the beast. While at one time the Pope was a temporal
sovereign and could, by his political and ecclesiastical power, humble
with ease the mightiest nations of Europe before him, his authority has
been wrested from him by degrees, so that to-day not a vestige of his
temporal power remains, and his anathemas fall harmlessly. The nations
have asserted their rights as kings. When King Victor Emmanuel entered
Rome on the twentieth day of September, 1870, the Pope's temporal sun
set forever, and he does not control even the city in which he
lives--Rome. He is often referred to as "the prisoner of the Vatican."
"He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity," said the
prophecy; "he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the
sword." It was by force of arms that the Popes obtained and maintained
their temporal power over the nations, and by the force of arms they
have had their authority torn from them. Religion has been referred to
as "the basis of government"; for the legislators of any country are to
a great degree influenced in their deliberations by religious
sentiments. In all Protestant countries that greatest of Protestant
principles, religious liberty, is as truly recognized by statute as was
that infernal principle of the Papacy, religious intolerance, when
formerly enforced by law. Protestant principles have so far permeated
the nations of Europe formerly controlled by the Papacy that religious
toleration is generally granted. In Italy, the headquarters of Popedom,
where the Catholics are greatly in the majority, religious liberty is
granted by law. And even Spain, denominated by the Encyclopaedia
Britannica "the most Catholic country in the world," exhibits "a general
indifferentism to religion," meaning that the fanaticism and intolerance
of former ages that caused thousands, and perhaps millions, to be slain,
is rapidly dying out. In the vision before us, however, the special
actions ascribed to this beast--_speaking_, working miracles, deceiving,
making an image and imparting life to it, etc., which all belong
properly to the department of human life--show conclusively that it is
the character of this beast as an _ecclesiastical power_ that is the
chief point under consideration. He was not to become such a terrible
beast politically (for his horns were only _like a lamb_), but "he
_spake_ as a dragon." As soon as we enter the department to which
_speaking_ by analogy refers us, we find this beast to be a great
religious power; and it is in this character alone that he is dilineated
in the remainder of the chapter. That the description of a religious
system is the main burden of this symbol, is shown also by the fact that
it is in every case referred to in subsequent chapters as the "false
prophet." Chap. 16:13; 19:20; 20:10. Therefore every reference I make to
this second beast hereafter should be understood as signifying the
religious system of Protestantism, unless otherwise stated.

That Protestantism in its many forms can be properly represented by a
single symbol--a beast or false prophet--may seem a little strange at
first; but when we come to consider next the making of an image to the
beast, it will be seen that the Protestant sects, from God's standpoint
of viewing, are all alike in character, as were the multitudinous forms
of heathen worship represented under the single symbol of the dragon.
Hence only one beast, or the making of one image, was necessary to stand
as representative of the entire number. It will be noticed by the reader
that from verse 12 to the close of the chapter the term _beast_
signifies the first beast, or the Papacy, and that the second beast, or
Protestantism, is designated by the pronoun _he_.

_Image_ is defined to be "an imitation, representation, similitude of
any person or thing; a copy, a likeness, an effigy." The second beast,
then, is to manufacture something in _imitation_ of the first beast. If
any doubt exists as to which phase of the first beast, political or
ecclesiastical, is copied, it can be settled by considering what is said
of the image made from the original. "The image of the beast
should--_speak_." This directs us by analogy, as heretofore explained,
to the department of religious affairs; hence the second beast forms an
_ecclesiastical organization_ in imitation of the hierarchy of Rome. At
this juncture the Protestant will doubtless exclaim, "Oh, our churches
are nothing like the church of Rome!" But consider a little in the light
of truth. God's Word teaches that they bear the close relationship of
_mother_ and her _daughters_ (Rev. 17:5), and by the help of the Lord we
shall point out a similarity of character in this and subsequent
chapters. The symbol of the church of Rome in chapter 17 is that of a
corrupt _prostitute_, while the symbol of Protestantism is that of her
_harlot daughters_. The Roman church is a humanly organized institution
governed by a set of fallible men, their claims of infallibility to the
contrary notwithstanding. Protestant sects, likewise, are all human
organizations (even though they may sometimes deny it), and are governed
by a man or a conference of men. The Roman Catholic church makes and
prescribes the theology that her members believe. Protestant churches,
also, make their own disciplines and prescribe rules of faith and
practise. The Word of God, inspired by his Spirit, could not be enforced
in Romanism without destroying it; for its main spirit is Antichrist.
So, too, the whole Word in Protestantism would soon annihilate her
God-dishonoring sects; for they are all contrary to its plain teachings,
which condemn divisions and enjoin perfect unity and oneness upon the
redeemed of the Lord. What is said concerning the image of the beast
applies to sectarianism as a whole and the human organization of all her
so-called churches, regardless of the differences that exist between
them as individual institutions; for they may differ as widely as the
various systems of heathen religions symbolized by the dragon, yet they
can be represented by the single symbol of an image to the first beast,
because they are built upon the same general principles--are but human
organizations, falsely called churches of Christ, and are all contrary
to the Scriptures.

Imparting life to the image of the beast simply signifies the complete
organization of the ecclesiastical institutions so that they are capable
of self-government and their decrees possess authority. Every living
body is animated by a spirit. The sectarian spirit that animates the
Methodist body will lead people into that body, etc.; but the one Spirit
of God will, if permitted, baptize us all into the one body of Christ,
where we can all "drink into one Spirit." 1 Cor. 12:13. "And he spake as
a dragon" signifies the great authority by which his laws are enacted
and enforced upon the people.

"And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from
heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 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." Fire from heaven upon Elijah's
sacrifice was the attestation of God to his divine mission. Bringing
down fire from heaven, then, symbolically describes the claims of this
beast to being a true prophet of the Lord.

At this point we must make a distinction which, being true in the facts
of history, must necessarily be intended in the symbolic representation.
According to the symbols of the preceding chapter the woman, or true
church, "fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of
God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and
threescore days." The time-prophecy is the same and covers the same
period as the reign of the Papal beast; therefore just as an important
change in the Papacy occured at the expiration of the prophetic period,
so also we must expect a radical change with respect to the true church:
it must no longer be completely obscured in the wilderness.

As the Reformation, and Protestantism as a religion, was the means of
ending Rome's universal spiritual supremacy, so also the same movement
must be regarded as possessing sufficient light and truth to again bring
into prominence the work of the Spirit and the true people of God. "Fire
from heaven" may therefore be regarded as describing the divine work of
reformation, the unfolding of truth accompanied by the saving power of
God. Such spiritual work has accompanied the origin of various religious
movements during the Protestant era.

The general description of the two-horned beast, however, brings into
prominence an evil characteristic--the disposition to lead people into
deception by making an image to the beast and then worshiping it. The
evil does not inhere in the work of bringing down "fire from heaven,"
but in image-making and image-worship, for which the Spiritual work
simply furnished an occasion. The Spiritual work of reformation is
therefore to be distinguished from the later work of creed- and
sect-making. And since the beast takes advantage of Spirit
manifestations, in order to deceive men, he becomes a sort of apostate
and is denominated "the _false prophet_." See Chap. 16:14; 19:20.

Ecclesiastically considered, the two-horned beast stands as the symbol
of the religious system of Protestantism as a whole--a peculiar
combination of truth and error, of good and bad, of "fire from heaven"
and false, miracle-working power (chap. 16:14); while the "image to the
beast" signifies the sectarian institution--the man-made,
man-controlled, unscriptural sect machinery manufactured in imitation of
the Papal original. To exalt such earth-born churches and lead people to
adore and worship them is but a species of idolatry and the rankest
deception. It is a sad fact that multitudes of people in Protestantism
are more devoted to their particular church than they are to the Lord
Jesus Christ. They can witness the open rejection of God's precious Word
and the vilest profanation of his holy name, without uttering a word of
protest; but let anyone say a word against _their church_, and instantly
they are aroused to the highest pitch of excitement--beast-worshipers!

The Protestant era has witnessed many wonderful reformations in which
the true fire of God fell upon waiting souls, but this initial work of
the Spirit has in each case been employed as an excuse for taking the
next step--making an image. Thousands of honest souls, lacking better
light, have been induced to submit to such human organization. But the
truly saved have always loved and adored their Lord more than the human
church to which they were attached, therefore they should not be
regarded as beast-worshipers. They are the ones whom the Lord
denominates his people when the voice is heard calling them out of
Babylon. Chap. 18:4.

The "mark of the beast" next claims our attention. The beast referred to
is the Papacy. How did the Papacy mark its subjects? Undoubtedly, by the
false spirit which animated that organization, branding them all with
its delusive doctrines and errors. In a previous chapter the servants of
God were represented as receiving the seal of God in their foreheads.
This was shown to signify the pure Word and doctrines of the Bible being
planted within them by the Holy Spirit. In making the sect image in
imitation of the Papal original, then, the principle of marking subjects
has also been copied. The members of every sect organization are
indelibly marked. You can not become one of them without solemnly
agreeing to believe the doctrines taught in their discipline and
accepting the government of their man-made institutions. Subscribing to
the rules of faith and practise that originated with the sect shows how
its members worship the image. They are also said to worship the first
beast, the original of the image. How is this fulfilled? In the same
manner that the worshipers of the first beast worshiped the dragon that
preceded it; namely, by accepting and believing false principles of
faith that originated in the system immediately preceding. Protestant
sects have transferred many of the false doctrines of Romanism to their
own creeds, hence they worship the first beast just as truly as the
Papists worshiped the dragon by accepting heathenish principles. The
greatest principle of false doctrine that originated with Catholicism,
and one that has been transferred to _every Protestant sect_, is, that a
human organization is necessary to complete the church of Christ on
earth. The church of Rome has an earthly head and a human government;
and Protestants, also, firmly believe the unscriptural doctrine that
they must bow to an organization of men and thus be under a visible
headship: they receive the mark of the beast. Many sects have also
copied other Popish doctrines, such as infant baptism, the destruction
of all outside of the pales of the church (?), infantile damnation,
sprinkling, and other things too numerous to mention. Thus, they worship
the first beast as well as his image.

They also receive the "name of the beast." Here again "beast" refers to
the Papacy. The Papal beast was represented as being full of the names
of blasphemy, which blasphemy was shown to signify the usurpation of
prerogatives and rights belonging to God alone. The greatest
ecclesiastical usurpation reached by the Romish hierarchy was that of
claiming to be the head of the church and the right to prescribe and
enforce their doctrines, naming their organization the _Holy Catholic
Church_. In making their sect organizations in imitation, Protestants,
as above stated, have transferred the same principle and make the same
blasphemous claim of a right to make disciplines to govern God's people,
and then name their sect machinery a _church_ of God. The name may be
Methodist, Baptist, Mennonite, Episcopalian, or what not, it is only a
_beast name_, yet a name that you must accept if you desire to become
one of them.

They not only receive the name of the beast, but also receive the
"number of his name." It will be necessary first to explain what is
meant by the number of a name. "The modern system of notation by the
nine digits and the cipher, was not introduced until the tenth century,
but on account of its superior excellence, has since superseded every
other. Previous to this great discovery, the letters of the alphabet
were used to denote numbers, each letter having the power of a _number_
as well as a _sound_. The same system is still retained among us for
certain purposes. The Roman letters I. V. X. L. C. D. M., have each the
power of expressing a number. This, however, was the common and the best
mode of notation that the ancients possessed." The number of a name,
therefore, was merely the number denoted by the several letters of that

The number of the name of the beast--the first beast--is said to be the
number of a _man_. When we enter the Romish hierarchy and search for a
man the number of whose name will be six hundred and sixty-six, where
could we go more appropriately than to the Pope himself, its authorized
head? The Scriptures point him out particularly as the "_man_ of sin,"
"the son of perdition." 2 Thes. 2:3, 4. Has the Pope of Rome a name the
letters of which, used as numerals, make six hundred and sixty-six? Yes.
He wears in jeweled letters upon his miter the following blasphemous
inscription: _Vicarius Filii Dei_--Vicar of the Son of God. Taking out
of this name all the letters that the Latins used as numerals, we have
just six hundred and sixty-six. U and V were both formerly used to
denote five.

V ..... 5 F ..... 0
I ..... 1 I ..... 1
C ... 100 L .... 50
A ..... 0 I ..... 1
R ..... 0 I ..... 1
I ..... 1 D ... 500
U ..... 5 E ..... 0
S ..... 0 I ..... 1

In some manner the worshipers of Protestant images also receive the
number of this name--six hundred and sixty-six. The name is that of
"Vicar of the Son of God." In all Protestantism (see remarks on chapter
11:7, 8) the true Vicars of Christ on earth--the Word and Spirit of
God--have been set aside, and conferences of men have taken their places
in all the official acts relative to spiritual affairs. Hence the number
of the name applies to them as well. What that number specially
symbolizes I do not know, unless it is, as has been explained by
others--_division_. While the policy of Romanism has been that of unity,
still the false claims made by one individual can be as well made by
another, and by many, which has been the case, as just explained;
therefore it would not be improper at all to make the Pope's number a
symbol of the whole, since his system has been so largely copied by the
rest. The whole structure of sectarianism is built on the principle of
division, and it so happens that there is always enough left to divide
again. So this special number is perhaps the symbol of endless division,
signifying the great number of human organizations claiming to be
churches of Christ. The church of God, however, is built on the
principal of unity; division is destruction to its true nature and life,
for it is Christ's body.

It is further said that "no man might buy or sell, save he that had the
mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." To "buy or
sell" is to engage in the ordinary pursuits of life and have intercourse
with human society. Applying this as a symbol to the analagous
department of the church, we have the fact set forth that those without
the special mark have no more recognized standing in the so-called
churches than men that are not allowed to buy or sell have in a
community. But _selling_, as a symbol, would specially indicate the
dealing out of truth, or the preaching of the gospel. A Holy Ghost
minister in the clear light of heaven's truth, independent of all the
creeds of Babylon, will not be allowed the privilege of laboring freely
among sectarians, after the truth for which he stands becomes well
known. And if he holds meetings in the community, the members of the
sects are often warned by their leaders against "buying"--receiving--it
from the Holy Ghost minister, because of his not having the mark or name
of the beast. Their ministers are specially marked, for they come out of
their colleges and theological seminaries with the stamp of their
respective doctrines upon them and a license from the sect to enter its
ministry; and those not thus marked or designated have no place among
them. This may also explain the manner in which the beast causes those
who will not worship the image to be killed--an analagous killing;
namely, an ecclesiastical cutting-off, or excommunication, as explained
in previous chapters.[9]

[Footnote 9: The early history of Protestantism shows that at that time
the principle of religious intolerance brought over from Romanism
manifested itself in the actual putting to death of numerous dissenters.
For example see pp. 252, 291-294 of the present work. It is possible
that the persecuting principle ascribed to the two-horned beast may
include both the literal and the ecclesiastical cutting-off, reference
being made directly to the intolerant spirit.]

The facts just stated are well illustrated by the following
circumstances. A few years ago a brother in the ministry went into a
certain town to find a place to conduct a series of holiness meetings.
He was directed by a Presbyterian lady to their pastor, who, she said,
was a believer in the doctrine of holiness. When he called on the
minister and made known his errand, the first question asked him was
this, "Are you a member of the Presbyterian church?" The brother
answered in the negative. He did not have the _name of the beast_. The
next question that greeted him was this, "Do you believe the Westminster
Confession of Faith to be orthodox?" He answered, "No, sir." He did not
have the _mark of the beast_. The last question asked was, "Do you
belong to any of the various orthodox Protestant denominations?" The
brother said, "No." He did not have the _number of his name_. The answer
was, "You can not have our house."

While on a missionary trip in the Near East, the writer, in company with
another brother, attended a Seventh-Day Adventist service in Bucharest,
Roumania. After the sermon another brother requested that we be given
the opportunity to speak a little, but the request was absolutely
refused. It was explained that we would say nothing against them or
their work but only speak about salvation; but we were not permitted
even to testify in a few words. The difficulty was that we did not have
either the "mark of the beast" or its "name."


And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with
him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name
written in their foreheads.

2. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters,
and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of
harpers harping with their harps:

3. And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and
before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn
that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which
were redeemed from the earth.

4. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they
are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever
he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the
firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

5. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without
fault before the throne of God.

There is no difficulty in identifying this company on Mount Sion as the
true people of God in marked contrast with the worshipers of all corrupt
and false religion. As to the chronology of the event, it is evident
that we have here a continuation of the same series of prophecy
beginning with the apostolic period in chapter XII, describing
alternately the true church and the false church.

At the beginning of this series the true church, symbolized by the
star-crowned woman, fled into the wilderness and was there lost to view;
while the leopard beast and the two-horned beast of chapter XIII,
symbolizing the two leading forms of organized Christianity, were
brought into prominent view. It is therefore fitting that the true
church should again appear and be given her proper position and work in
the world before the end of all earthly things.

That the company here brought to view represents the true church is
shown by its agreement with the church of God before the apostasy began.
In the seventh chapter we have seen that before the political calamities
befell the Western Roman Empire the work of sealing God's servants was
accomplished, twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel
being sealed, thus representing symbolically the fact that God's church,
comprising the true Israel, was perfect and complete, no part being
omitted. In the chapter under consideration we have this divine sealing
process again after the apostasy, and once more the definite number
144,000 occurs, showing that the church before the end is to be perfect
and complete.

The contrast of this company with the ecclesiastical powers in the
preceding chapter proclaims in an unmistakeable manner the fact that we
have here described a true reformation and work of God before the end of
time. In the morning-time of the dispensation the redeemed of earth were
represented as singing praises to Christ; so also the company here
brought to view unite in singing a song which only the redeemed can
know. This company is on Mount Sion, not in the darkness of the
wilderness, they are with the Lamb, not wandering after the beast; they
are not even following the beast that was "like a lamb," but they are
with the true Lamb, the Savior of the world; they have the "Father's
name written in their foreheads," not the mark or the name of the beast.
It is said of them that "these are they which were not defiled with
women, for they are virgins." Fornication and adultery, as will be
explained later, is a symbol of spiritual idolatry; and the chastity of
this redeemed company shows that they were free from the abominations of
the apostasy. They "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth." Their names
are in the book of life, and they do not worship the beast. Chap. 13:8.

Here, then, we have a symbol of the church of God in the latter days
standing distinct from the great apostasy.

6. And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having
the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the
earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

7. Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him;
for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made
heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

8. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen,
is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink
of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

9. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice,
If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark
in his forehead, or in his hand,

10. 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 in the
presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and
ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast
and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

12. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep
the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

13. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write,
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea,
saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and
their works do follow them.

Another phase of the last reformation is here brought to view--its
communicative genius. It not only stands clear from the apostasy, but it
sounds the warnings of God and proclaims his message. The first
messenger had a very important message to deliver, even "the everlasting
gospel." His message was not limited to the inhabitants of "the
earth"--the Apocalyptic earth--only, but included "every nation, and
kindred, and tongue, and people," showing that it was of universal
importance. It was not a new gospel, but the everlasting gospel, the
same gospel preached before the long period of apostasy. There is one
phase different, however, and that is that the _nearness_ of the second
coming of Christ is a leading feature; the messenger with loud voice
warns the people to prepare for the awful judgment just at hand by
turning to "worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and
the fountains of waters." The apostle Paul cautioned the Thessalonian
brethren not to entertain the idea that the advent of Christ was then
near at hand, for it could not come until after the great period of
apostasy that he predicted; but here is a messenger now claiming that
the "_hour of his judgment is come_"--an event just at hand. He carries
his special message to all people; for Jesus declared, "This gospel of
the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all
nations; and _then shall the end come_." Matt. 24:14. This represents
the restoration of gospel truth in the reformation that was begun about
the year A.D. 1880 and that is now being carried to all nations by a
holy ministry.

The nature of this restoration work is clearly shown. Its leading
feature is its missionary character, the proclamation of the pure gospel
to "every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." Since the days
of the apostles the whole gospel has not been boldly declared and
carried forward with burning missionary zeal. Romanism and Protestantism
have conducted their missionary work and, according to chap. 16:14,
their sphere of influence will extend throughout "the whole world"; but
here is clearly set forth the fact that God has authorized another
universal message and world-wide work wholly distinguished from all
others. The contrast between the worshipers of the beast and his image
and those composing the redeemed company on Mount Sion is so clear, also
the nature of the work done by each, that we can not possibly identify
them as being one.

This work of conducting a world-wide missionary enterprise may appear to
be a gigantic task, but the seeming impossibility vanishes when we
consider the fact (to be more fully developed hereafter) that God calls
into this service all his people who are yet under the sectarian yoke.
With this great host already dispersed over the world, the work of
making known this last message can and will be accomplished.

The positive statement that the _hour_ of his judgment is come shows
that the end is exceedingly near; hence the second and third angels must
follow the first in the closest proximity possible in order to introduce
their messages before the wrath of God is poured out upon apostate
Christendom. The time is so short that these three messengers can not
possibly refer to three distinct reformations in the world; hence they
must signify three important phases in the one last reformation that
carries the gospel to all nations in the short period of an "hour,"
which time also includes the final judgment.

A careful study of these three messages will show that they are
inseparably connected. The second cry was against Babylon, that she had
fallen. Rev. 18:1, 2 proves this fall of Babylon to be a moral one--a
giving away to ungodliness, iniquity and all manner of deception.
According to chapter 16:19 the great city of Babylon is composed of
three parts, being a confederation of the dragon[10] (heathenism), the
beast (Catholicism), and the false prophet (Protestantism). Chap. 16:13,
14. It is evidently to this latter division of Babylon that this second
message applies; for Paganism was always a false religion, and
Catholicism was always a corrupt one, during whose reign the church of
God, as already shown, was separate. Protestantism, then, was the only
part of the great city that could fall morally or spiritually. During
the space of three hundred and fifty years, from the formation of the
first Protestant creed, she held reign and authority over the people of
God, who were scattered among her hundreds of opposing sects.

[Footnote 10: That the dragon should be a part of great Babylon seems at
first improbable; but in this statement reference is made, not to the
dragon in his original, or Pagan, state, but to the form in which he is
manifesting himself in these last days to deceive the nations, working
in conjunction with apostate Christendom. This phase of the dragon power
which brings him into harmony with, and, in reality, a part of, modern
Babylon, will be more clearly understood when we come to consider the
three unclean spirits that come out of the mouth of the dragon, the
beast, and the false prophet (chap. 16:13, 14), and the release of the
dragon in chapter 20:7-9.]

In this condition the faithful children of God, although bearing the
mark and name of the beast, longed for restoration of the divine,
primitive standard; but in the cloudy atmosphere of that period they
could not clearly discern the whole truth. Later, when the full tidings
of the everlasting gospel came, there came also a revelation that
Babylon is fallen and that God is calling his people out of confusion
just before the end of time.

I call to witness every child of God who has been with the present
reformation from its beginning, if there were not three special phases
of the development of the truth, as follows: 1. A wonderful revival of
spirituality among a few of God's chosen ones, caused by the
"everlasting gospel" being revealed to them as never before. 2. The
knowledge of the truth and deep experience thus obtained prepared the
way for the next step, which was the discovery that the "churches" were
a part of the great Babylon of Revelation and were in a fallen
condition, "a hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and
hateful bird." Chap. 18:2, 3. Hence the cry went up, "Babylon is fallen,
is fallen." 3. Then followed immediately the message to God's people to
"flee out of the midst of Babylon and deliver every man his soul,"
warning them that no one could any longer bear the mark of the beast or
worship his image without forfeiting eternal salvation and that the
fearful judgments of heaven would soon descend upon every one who
refused to obey the message and to walk in the light. The last two
phases, which apply to Babylon, are the same and in the same order as
the description given in chapter 18:1-4. First, an angel from heaven
cries mightily with a strong voice, "Babylon the great is fallen, is
fallen"; and then "_another voice_" from heaven says, "COME OUT OF HER,
MY PEOPLE." The three successive phases of the message are now all
combined in one, and God is gathering his holy remnant "out of all
places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day" (Ezek.
34:12) into the one body of Jesus Christ. Halleluiah! John, also, saw
this glorious result of the three messages--"And I saw as it were a sea
of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over
the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of
his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they
sung the song of Moses the servant of God [a song of deliverance], and
the song of the Lamb [the song of redemption], saying, Great and
marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways,
thou king of saints." Chap. 15:2, 3. Let all the people of God rejoice!

"Hail the day so long expected,
Hail the year of full release;
Zion's walls are now erected,
And the watchmen publish peace.

"Now on Shiloh's wide dominion,
Hear the trumpets loudly roar:
Babylon's fallen, is fallen, is fallen,
Babylon's fallen to rise no more."

Those of the Lord's people who through lack of sufficient light were
yoked up with unbelievers in Protestantism, labored faithfully to
upbuild the very sectarian institutions that God was against and that
were destined to be destroyed, though they themselves were saved as by
fire; but from the time this reformation began the redeemed die in the
triumphs of a living faith, and their labors in upbuilding the true
cause and kingdom of God are still blessed and fruitful, being
perpetuated in the works that follow them.

"Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the
commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." As before mentioned, God's
people during the reign of Romanism expected her universal supremacy to
come to an end, and their patience was greatly exercised in waiting for
the appointed time to arrive. It came with a great spiritual
reformation. Then followed another period of apostasy, during which time
God's people again looked forward to something better in the future.
Many remarkable predictions of this present holiness reformation were
uttered by some of the most spiritual saints during the Protestant era,
and I can not refrain from mentioning a few of them in this connection.

D'Aubigne: "The nineteenth century is called to resume the work which
the sixteenth century was unable to accomplish." History of the
Reformation, Book XV, Chap. 1.

Fletcher: "Only He will come with more mercy, and will increase the
light that shall be at eventide, according to his promise in Zech. 14:7.
I should rather think that the visions are not yet plainly disclosed;
and that the day and hour in which the Lord will begin to make bare his
arm openly are still concealed from us. Oh, when will the communion of
saints be complete? Lord, hasten the time; and let me have a place among
them that love thee, and love one another in sincerity." This is an
extract from a letter written by John Fletcher to Mr. Wesley, dated
London, May 26, 1757, as given in Joseph Benson's life of Fletcher, pp.
39, 40.

D'Aubigne again: "In every age it has been seen how great is the
strength of an idea to penetrate the masses, to stir nations, and to
hurry them, if required, by thousands to the battle-field and to death.
But if so great be the strength of a human idea, what power must not a
heaven-descended idea possess, when God opens to it the gates of the
heart! The world has not often seen so much power at work; it was seen,
however, in the early days of Christianity, and in the time of the
Reformation; and _it will be seen in future_ ages." Book VI, Chap. 12.

"It has been said that the three last centuries, the sixteenth, the
seventeenth, and the eighteenth, may be conceived as an immense battle
of three days' duration. We willingly adopt this beautiful
comparison.... The first day was the battle of God, the second the
battle of the priest, the third the battle of reason. What will be the
fourth? In our opinion, the confused strife, the deadly contest of all
these powers together, to _end in the victory of Him to whom triumph
belongs_." Book XI, Chap. 9.

Lorenzo Dow, comment on Rev. 14:6-11; 18:1-5: "The angel, or
extraordinary messenger, with his assistants, proclaiming the fall of
Babylon will be known in his time. Also the one warning the people of
God to come out of Babylon literally, spiritually, and practically, will
be known also, and such other threatening for the omission of compliance
is not to be found in all the Bible." Dow's Works, p. 533.

The following extracts are from an old book written about 1812 by
Theophilus R. Gates and entitled "Truth Advocated." Through the kindness
of a sister living in Allegan County, Michigan, the writer was enabled
to secure the following from the only copy of this book known to be in
existence--she having borrowed it of her neighbor, a relative of its

On Rev. 14:11: "I would here gladly drop the subject, lest I give
offense; but duty compels me to remark, what can not be denied, that an
inordinate attachment to certain systems and forms of religion, has
occasioned all the strifes, animosities, and persecutions, that have so
long agitated the Christian world; and if God be just, every one must
drink of the cup of his indignation, according to his offense. The beast
and his image, as it exists in Protestant countries, seems in this place
particularly meant; and our own land is full of the number of his name.
That such a testimony will one day go forth we must believe, or else St.
John saw that which will never be: and the testimony will as certainly
be received; for a company in the next chapter are to be seen that had
gotten the victory over the beast, his image, his mark, and the number
of his name. It is also equally true that as yet it has never gone
forth; and that at the time, great afflictions or suffering of some kind
will be undergone to exercise the patience of the saints.... It is at
this very time, no doubt, that the three unclean spirits, like frogs,
come out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet;
spirits of devils working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the
earth, and of the whole world, to gather them to the great battle of the
great day of God Almighty. The greatest possible efforts, indeed will
now be made by all the sectarians to keep up their existence ... nor is
it any wonder that hireling ministers and system worshipers, Demetrius
like, should be stirred up and raise no small stir about the way; for it
is evident, not only their craft is in danger of being set at naught by
this testimony, but also the great Diana of systems and forms of
religion to be despised, and their magnificence destroyed, whom now
almost the whole Christian world worshipeth." Pp. 281-283.

"And now commences an era of light and suffering, when the corrupt
churches (with the kings of the earth and great men united with them)
being about to be wholly brought down, make one general muster against
Christ and his true worshipers. These things are clear to me as a ray of
light; and whoever lives at this time will see as great opposition and
spite to the true way of righteousness then set forth from sectarians
and professors generally, as there was from the Jews towards Christ and
his testimony: and also, like the Jews, at the very time they oppose the
true way of the Lord with all their might, they will no doubt make the
greatest possible show of religion, will think they are the true church,
yea will have a zeal for God, carrying on religion with great success,
forming societies, sending missionaries among the heathen, etc., etc.
That such an event will take place is very clear." Pp. 286-288.

"This happy period I never expect to see: but known unto the Lord only
are all things. I know that such a time will be; for we are assured by
the angel, these are the true sayings of God: and I also believe that it
will take place _within two centuries_ from this time. But oh! how
corrupt doth the world now appear to me.... Help me, O Lord, I pray
thee, to do thy will.

"Whenever any body of people come into notice, establish their rules and
institutions, and become a respectable sect, they are the people of God
then only in name; they cease to have the nature any longer; and whoever
unites himself to the same, constitutes himself one of the beast's
party, and so far as his influence extends, he helps to establish the
kingdom of Antichrist in the earth. This is clear from the prophecies of
the Revelation, and it will answer no purpose to take offense when the
truth is spoken. These things will, moreover, sooner or later be
declared with great plainness by some one; and then will the man of sin
put forth all his strength; then will persecution come, and the beast
muster his armies to defend himself and to destroy the assailants, but
in vain; for however few their number may be at first, and however
furious the battle may rage against them, they are destined to conquer.
And herein the words of Christ will fitly apply, 'Fear not, little
flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.'"
P. 313.

Speaking of sectarianism, he says further: "The same round of things
will continue until the evil is remedied.... When this shall take place,
time only can determine with certainty. It will probably commence
slowly, and not come with any great outward observation. Few will at
first see or embrace the way, being strange to them, and appearing on
account of their prejudices, and the way they have been taught by the
false prophet, to be wrong and improper: moreover, being opposed to all
others, they will have all others to oppose them. But though they are
despised and hated, and few in number, the Lord is with them." Pp. 322,

On Rev. 16:13, 14: "I have already delivered my views with respect to
these unclean spirits ... and it is not necessary to say much here upon
the subject; only I would just observe, that this will be a time of
greater trial to Christians in general, and in a time in which more will
be deprived of every particle of true religion through the influence of
false ministers belonging to the different societies in Christendom,
than any that has ever yet been in the world. But while they are making
these great exertions, they are only preparing themselves and their
deluded votaries for a more awful and complete destruction. For God
Almighty is against them, and they against Him; though they will know it
not, but think perhaps all the while they are his peculiar favorites,
and that they are employed in maintaining his cause, like the Jews
before them, when it is only their own cause and men's traditions." P.

"I am but as the voice of one crying in the wilderness of error and of
sin, of wickedness and delusion, testifying according to the best light
given me; and any light that I can possibly communicate will in a little
time become as the feeble shining of the sun, by reason of the greatness
of the light that shall be hereafter." P. 354.

"A true and living testimony will go forth before this last period of
the awful judgments of God comes to a close, and in consequence of
rejecting it, like the Jews of old, the wrath of God will come upon them
to the uttermost. The testimony against the worshipers of the beast, by
the third angel, Rev. 14:9, is the testimony that effectually overthrows
the kingdom of darkness and establishes the truth as it is in Jesus,
pure and undefiled.... The authors of this testimony will ... unlike to
all who go before them, attack the evil at its root, and expose the
deceit, hypocrisy and wickedness of the different sects in a way that
has never before been done; for which they will suffer the greatest
persecution. You may look upon these things as the reveries of my own
fancy; but some day or other, people will witness to the truth of what I
now write." Pp. 421, 422.

"All the reformations which go before this last great reform will only
be partial and temporary. They will only lop off the branches, or at the
most, only strike at the body of the corrupt tree, while the roots
remain untouched and uninjured. But when this last testimony goes forth,
the very roots of the corrupt tree will be attacked." P. 426.

"Every sect is under an idea that whenever the Lord comes to establish
truth in the earth, it will be to establish their creed, raise up their
sect, and bring the whole world into their way. And when the faithful
witnesses whom God will raise up shall openly declare that they have all
gone out of the way, that the greatest professors have so much of guile,
selfishness and party spirit about them as to be nothing but hypocrites,
and that a person must be better than they are or be lost forever; that
sects are an abomination to the Lord; denounce eternal death upon every
advocate and adherent of men-made establishments; ... I say when such a
testimony as this goes forth, as it sooner or later will, no wonder that
the sects, all with one accord, should set themselves against it--should
call it heresy--declare it will ruin the churches if it is not
suppressed.... Although, as I have before testified, I am only as the
voice of one crying in the wilderness--a mere babe in the knowledge of
these things which are to be revealed hereafter, yet I expect to raise a
host of bigots and hypocrites against me.... Nor can it be very long
before the true light, in a very especial manner, will shine.... If
these things do not come to pass, then let me be called an enthusiast or
a deceiver." Pp. 444-446.

14. And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud
one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden
crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

15. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud
voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and
reap: for the time has come for thee to reap; for the harvest of
the earth is ripe.

16. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the
earth; and the earth was reaped.

17. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven,
he also having a sharp sickle.

18. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power
over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp
sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the
clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully

19. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and
gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great
winepress of the wrath of God.

20. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood
came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the
space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

The special characters of this vision and their work have been very
difficult for me to identify positively. Until clearer light on the
matter is received, I choose to withhold an explanation rather than to
indulge in speculation. Its usual explanation is to apply the gathering
of the harvest of the earth to the work of the reformation now taking
place and the vintage scene to the final destruction of the wicked,
their punishment being symbolized by the treading of the "winepress of
the wrath of God." This may be its signification. It is certain,
however, that in a subsequent chapter, the final judgment of the wicked
is symbolized by the treading of "the wine-press of the fierceness and
wrath of Almighty God." Beyond this I can not now speak with certainty.


And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven
angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up
the wrath of God.

2. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and
them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his
image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand
on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

3. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the
song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works,
Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of

4. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for
thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship
before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest:

5. And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the
tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

6. And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven
plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their
breasts girded with golden girdles.

7. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven
golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and

8. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God,
and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the
temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were

The scene presented to us in this vision is but an introduction to the
solemn scenes of awful judgment immediately following. The first thing
that attracted John's attention was a sign, great and marvelous, "seven
angels having the seven last plagues." The reason why these are
denominated the "last plagues" is because that "in them is filled up the
wrath of God." These are the completion, then, the finishing up of the
work of divine judgment against the persecutors of the church. When the
last one is poured out the work is done, the time of judgment is over.
These angels are not designed to symbolize any agencies on earth, for
they do not appear on earth; they are simply the conductors of the
Revelation. God never commissions his people on earth to perform such
great judgments upon their persecutors as the temporal judgments of the
seven last plagues will be shown to be; but, on the contrary, he has
given them the express command not to avenge themselves, but to suffer
wrong. He himself lays exclusive claim to this prerogative, saying,
"Vengeance is _mine_; I will repay, saith the Lord." Rom. 12:19.

As soon as the subject of the plagues is introduced and before they are
poured out, the narrative suddenly changes and a short history of God's
redeemed saints is given. This, perhaps, thus occurs for two reasons--to
assist us in fixing the chronology of the events described and to
encourage us with the thought that, even while the awful judgments of
God are being "made manifest" upon the haughty oppressors of earth, God
has a chosen people who have "gotten the victory over the beast, and
over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name."
They stand upon the "sea of glass, having the harps of God"--a symbol of
melody and praise--and sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb.
The song of Moses was that sung by the Israelites when they had escaped
to the further side of the Red Sea, thus securing perfect deliverance
from their enemies. So, also, this company of worshipers sing a great
song of deliverance--deliverance from the beast and his image. In
chapters 4 and 5 John saw the great host redeemed before the apostasy
standing on this sea of glass, singing the song of redemption--the song
of the Lamb--but this company are enabled to sing another song as
well--the song of deliverance--for they have "gotten the victory over
the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of
his name." Halleluiah! "Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God
Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints."

As before stated (chap. 8:3), the heavenly world as opened up to John
appeared symbolized after the sanctuary of the temple. By "the temple of
the tabernacle of the testimony," out of which the seven angels came
fully prepared for their work, is meant the most holy place of the
sanctuary, called "the tabernacle of the testimony" because there was
deposited in it, beneath the wings of the cherubim, the ark of the
testimony, or God's covenant. It was therefore as from the most holy
place of the sanctuary--from the very presence of the Deity--that these
angels went forth commissioned to execute the seven last plagues. This
shows that they went by the divine command as ministers of vengeance.
The purity and beauty of their attire denoted both the spotless
excellency of their characters and the justice of the work in which they
were to engage. Although theirs was a work of awful avenging judgment,
still the garments they wore would not be soiled thereby; and their
flowing robes of white were girded up with a beautiful golden girdle.
Therefore there is no inconsistency between the purity and love of God
and the work of his vengeance. It would seem to human reasoning that the
two are irreconcilable, but these symbols teach differently.

These angels received their vials (goblets) of wrath at the hands of one
of the four living creatures, who are symbols of the redeemed sons of
earth. Their deliverance by one of these doubtless denotes that these
judgments were to be executed in their behalf and in answer to their
prayers. For centuries the wrath of deadly persecutors had been poured
out upon God's people, until the cry ascended from the lips of the
martyrs, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and
avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" Chap. 6:10. Now their
prayer is answered, and by their hand, as it were, the vials of wrath
are delivered with the divine sanction unto the seven angels to be
poured out upon these proud oppressors of the Lord's people. These
vials, too, were "full of wrath." What a fearful expression! _Full of
wrath_, even "_the wrath of God_, who liveth forever and ever." There
was nothing in them but wrath and that to the very brim.

As soon as the vials were delivered, "the temple was filled with smoke
from the glory of God." This symbol is taken from the Shekinah which
filled the ancient tabernacle. We read that when the tabernacle was
finished, "a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory
of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into
the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the
glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle." Ex. 40:34, 35. The same thing
occurred at the dedication of Solomon's temple. "The cloud filled the
house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister
because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of
the Lord." 1 Kings 8:10, 11. So, also, in the symbol before us the glory
of God filled the temple so that no man was able to enter. This is
intended to set forth the fact that these avenging judgments were for
the manifestation of the divine glory and that there was no access to
the throne of God nor to his mercy-seat to alter them or to stay their
execution. Such is the sublime scene presented to our view preparatory
to the pouring out of the seven last great plagues.


And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven
angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God
upon the earth.

2. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth;
and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which
had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his

A great voice out of the temple, now filled with the glory of the divine
presence, commanded the seven angels to enter upon their mission. It
came, therefore, from God, who alone fixed the time for these judgments
to begin.

Before an intelligent explanation of these plagues can be given,
however, the following points must be made clear: 1. _Where_ the vials
were poured out. 2. _Upon whom_ they were emptied. 3. _Why_ they were
thus poured out. 4. _When_ they were fulfilled, or, rather, at what time
they began to be fulfilled. These points we will first briefly consider
in the order named, after which we will discuss the _nature_ of the
plagues and their individual application.

1. The place where these vials of wrath were poured out was "upon the
earth"; that is, the Apocalyptic earth, or that portion of the earth
made the special subject of Apocalyptic vision; namely, the territory of
the ten kingdoms. The last two vials, however, will be found to embrace
a larger territory.

2. They were poured out upon those "which had the mark of the beast, and
upon them which worshiped his image." It has already been shown that the
image made by the second beast of chapter 13 was the Protestant
ecclesiastical organizations; hence the "beast" here referred to, to
which the image was made, must signify the ecclesiastical hierarchy of
Rome, the original. So the plagues fell upon the adherents of both
organized Romanism and Protestantism in Europe.

3. The reason why the judgments of the first three vials especially
descended upon them was because "they had shed the blood of saints and
prophets." Verse 6. That Romanism was a fierce oppressor of God's people
has already been noticed: Protestantism as their persecutor, also, must
now be considered further. Protestant sects after they first became
established and got power in their own hands, acted much in the same
manner as the church of Rome did before them, persecuting, banishing,
imprisoning, and even putting to death those who refused to receive
their tenets or to conform to the system of religion they had adopted.
The Lutherans, at first a pious, persecuted people, on becoming numerous
and exalted by the favor of the great, established a certain system of
religion and then, when it was in their power, persecuted, imprisoned,
banished, or put to death all that dissented. As early after the
Reformation as 1574, in a convention at Torgaw, they established the
real presence in the eucharist and instigated the Elector of Saxony to
seize, imprison, and banish all the secret Calvinists that differed from
them in sentiment, and to reduce their followers by every act of
violence, to renounce their sentiments and to confess the ubiquity.
Peucer, for his opinions, suffered ten years of imprisonment in the
severest manner. In 1577 a form of concord was produced in which the
real manducation of Christ's body and blood in the eucharist was
established and heresy and excommunication laid on all that refused this
as an article of faith, with pains and penalties to be enforced by the
secular arm. Crellius, in 1601, was put to death.

In Switzerland, before the city of Zurich was entirely safe itself from
the encroachments of Romanism, its Protestant council condemned a young
man named Felix Mantz to be drowned because he insisted that the
baby-sprinkling of Romanism was not baptism and that all who had
received the rite ought to be immersed. This sentence was carried into
effect. The severest laws were passed in different countries of Europe
against the Anabaptists, and large numbers were banished or burnt at the
stake. See Encyclopaedia Britannica, Art. Anabaptists. Protestants may
claim this was because of their fanaticism on other lines; but it
remains a fact, nevertheless, that the chief sentiment at the base of
these laws was religious persecution and that Protestants sanctioned and
carried them into execution.

King Henry VIII., the founder of the Established Church in England,
adopted the most stringent laws to enforce its doctrines. Certain
articles of religion were drawn up, known in history as the "Bloody Six
Articles." Concerning these the People's Cyclopaedia says: "The doctrines
were substantially those of the Roman Catholic Church. Whoever denied
the first articles (that embodying the doctrine of transubstantiation)
was to be declared a heretic, and burnt without opportunity of
abjuration; whoso spoke against the other five articles should, for the
first offense, forfeit his property; and whosoever refused to abjure his
first offense, or committed a second, was to die like a felon." Art.
Henry VIII. "The royal reformer persecuted alike Catholics and
Protestants. Thus, on one occasion, three Catholics who denied that the
king was the rightful head of the church, and three Protestants who
disputed the doctrine of the real presence in the sacrament,... were
dragged on the same sled to the place of execution." In speaking of that
period of history and of the religious persecutions of the times, Myers
says: "Punishment of heresy was then regarded, by both Catholics and
Protestants alike, as a duty which could be neglected by those in
authority only at the peril of Heaven's displeasure. Believing this,
those of that age could consistently do nothing less than labor to
exterminate heresy with axe, sword and fagot." General History, p. 553.

That religious intolerance even at a later date was practised in
England, witness the twelve years' imprisonment of John Bunyan and the
hundreds confined in jails throughout that country for not conforming to
the established religion. It was such severe persecution by that early
Protestant sect that drove the Puritans from England's fair country to
the then inhospitable shores of America, that they might have an
opportunity to worship God according to the dictates of their own
conscience. In Scotland the Covenanters "insisted on their right to
worship God in their own way. They were therefore subjected to most
cruel and unrelenting persecution. They were hunted by English troopers
over their native moors and among the wild recesses of their mountains,
whither they secretly retired for prayer and worship. The tales of the
suffering of the Scotch Covenanters at the hands of the English
Protestants form a most harrowing chapter of the records of the ages of
religious persecution." This list might be considerably augmented, but
it is unnecessary. However, that Protestant persecution and tyranny
should never reach the enormous extent of the Romanists before them is
proved by the fact that her horns were "like a lamb." Chap. 13:11.

4. It is very important for us to ascertain the _time_ for the beginning
of these plagues; for they can not be identified unless we understand
the chronology of the events described. It is a fact no one can question
that the seventh plague is the judgment of the last day, for in the
seven "is filled up" the wrath of God; hence they are denominated the
_last_ plagues. It is also a fact, well-known to all who are spiritual
and who understand the truth in the present reformation, that certain
events said to occur under the period of the sixth plague are _now_
taking place; namely, the confederation of all false religions to oppose
the people of God, led on by the "unclean spirits" that come "out of the
mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the
mouth of the false prophet." Verses 13, 14.

Therefore five of the plagues precede the time in which we are now
living. It is evident that the plagues could not begin before the
reformation; for the vials were poured out upon the "image of the
beast"--Protestantism--also. Hence we are directed to some period
between the sixteenth century and the present day for their
commencement. The reason _why_ the first judgments especially were
poured out will assist us in determining the starting-point--"They have
shed the blood of saints and prophets." This expression seems to
indicate that the time for the plagues to begin was after Romanism and
Protestantism ceased putting people to death because of their religious
sentiments. That this is the correct idea is clearly proved by what was
said to the martyrs when they cried unto God for the avenging of their
blood on them that dwell on the earth. "And it was said unto them, that
they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants
also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be
fulfilled." Chap. 6:10, 11. For additional information concerning the
terrible persecutions that followed the Sixteenth Century Reformation,
see remarks on chapter 6:10, 11.

We must now determine about what time the great persecutions referred to
ceased, or nearly ceased, and that will give us the right starting-point
from which to reckon the pouring out of the first vial. In A.D. 1685 the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes, by Louis XIV. of France, took place,
and in the terrible persecutions that occurred during his reign three
hundred thousand are said to have lost their lives. The time that we are
endeavoring to establish, then, must be later than the seventeenth
century. Louis died in 1714. Persecutions continued from time to time in
France, with considerable severity, until about the middle of the
century. "Soon after this ... the flowing of heretic blood ceased,
though an effort was made in 1765 by the Popish clergy to resist the
tendency to toleration by a remonstrance to the king." History of
Romanism, p. 608. A few individual cases of persecution may have
occurred later in other countries; but in the main we are safe in
pointing to about the middle of the eighteenth century for the general
cessation of these religious _murders_. We will now consider the nature
of the first plague.

The pouring out of this vial produced the most painful malignant ulcers
upon the human body. Such ulcers are evidently not political calamities;
for the symbol is drawn, not from nature, but from human life. Still, it
is not drawn from a human being as a whole (in which case religious
events would be symbolized), but only from his body. What, then, is the
analagous object of which the human body may stand as a proper
representative? Evidently, the mind. We would naturally pass from the
bodily to the mental; and what painful ulcers are to the one, marring
its beauty and filling it with burning anguish, such are blasphemous
opinions and malignant principles to the other.

Considering the time for this plague pointed out above, the student of
Revelation who is acquainted with the history of the past will scarcely
fail to discern at once, in the striking points of this symbol, those
horrible principles of infidelity, atheism, and licentiousness, which
were spread so extensively over Europe during the latter half of the
eighteenth century, and which were the most efficient causes in bringing
about the fearful convulsions which followed in the French Revolution.
That all may understand this matter in its proper light, however, it
will be necessary to state some of the facts respecting this "noisome
and grievous sore" that fell at that time upon the inhabitants of
Europe. In writing upon the causes that led up to the French Revolution,
Mr. Wickes gathered the following facts of history mainly from the
Encyclopaedia of Religious Knowledge, under the articles headed
_Philosophists_ and _Illuminati_. I will quote his own language, as it

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