Daniel and Revelation

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Verse 1 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 authority. 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 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 sea is a symbol of “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.” Revelation 17:15. A beast is the Bible symbol of a nation or power. It sometimes represents the civil power alone, and sometimes the ecclesiastical in connection with civil. Whenever a beast is seen to come up out of the sea, it denotes that the power arises in a thickly populated territory. If the winds are represented as blowing upon the sea, as in Daniel 7:2, 3, political commotion, civil strife, and revolution are indicated.

By the dragon of the previous chapter, and the beast first introduced in this, we have the Roman power as a whole brought to view in its two phases, pagan and papal; hence these two symbols have each the seven heads and ten horns. (See comments on Revelation 17:10.)

The Leopard Beast. —The seven-headed and ten-horned beast, more briefly the leopard beast, here introduced, symbolizes a power which exercises ecclesiastical as well as civil authority. This point is of sufficient importance to justify the introduction of a few conclusive arguments which prove it.

The line of prophecy in which this symbol occurs begins with Revelation 12. The symbols of earthly governments

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embraced in the prophecy are the dragon of Revelation 12 and the leopard beast and the two-horned beast of Revelation 13. The same line of prophecy evidently continues into chapter 14. Beginning, therefore, with Revelation 12:1, and ending with Revelation 14:5, we have a line of prophecy distinct and complete in itself.

Each of the powers here introduced is represented as fiercely persecuting the church of God. The scene opens with the church under the symbol of a woman anxiously longing for the promise to be fulfilled that the seed of the woman, the Lord of glory, should appear among men. The dragon stood before the woman for the purpose of devouring her child. His evil design is thwarted, and the child is caught up to God and His throne. A period follows in which the church suffers severe oppression from this dragon power. In this part of the scene the prophet occasionally glances forward, once even down almost to the end, because all the enemies of the church were to be actuated by the spirit of the dragon. In verse 1 of Revelation 13 we are carried back to the time when the leopard beast, the successor of the dragon, begins his career. From this power the church suffers war and persecution for the long period of 1260 years. Following this period of oppression, the church has another conflict, brief but sharp and severe, with the two-horned beast. Then comes deliverance. The prophecy closes with the church brought safely through all her persecutions, and standing victorious with the Lamb on Mount Zion. Thank God for the sure promise of final victory!

The one character which ever appears the same in all these scenes, and whose history is the leading theme through all the prophecy, is the true Church of God. The other characters are her persecutors, and are introduced simply because they are such. Here, as an introductory inquiry, we raise the question, Who or what is it that persecutes the true church? It is a false or apostate church. What is it that is ever warring against true religion? It is a false and counterfeit religion. Who ever heard of the mere civil power of any nation persecuting the

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people of God on its own initiative? Governments may war against other governments to avenge some wrong, real or imaginary or to acquire territory and extend their power. But governments do not persecute (mark the word— do not persecute) people on account of their religion, unless under the control of some opposite and hostile system of religion.

Leopard Beast a Persecuting Power. —The powers introduced in this prophecy —the dragon, the leopard beast, and the two-horned beast of verses 11-17— are all persecuting powers. They are actuated by rage and enmity against the people and church of God. This fact is of itself sufficiently conclusive evidence that in each of these powers the ecclesiastical or religious element is the controlling power.

Take the dragon: what does it symbolize? —The undeniable answer is, Primarily Satan, as shown heretofore, and secondarily the Roman Empire. But this is not enough. No one would be satisfied with this answer and no more. It must be more definite. We therefore add, The Roman Empire in its pagan form, to which all must agree. But just as soon as we say pagan, we introduce a religious element, for paganism is one of the most gigantic systems of counterfeit religion that Satan has ever devised. The dragon, then, is so far an ecclesiastical power that the very characteristic by which it is distinguished is a false system of religion. What made the dragon persecute the church of Christ? It was because Christianity was prevailing against paganism, sweeping away its superstitions, overturning its idols, and dismantling its temples. The religious element of that power was touched, and persecution was the result.

We now come to the leopard beast of Revelation 13. What does that symbolize? The answer still is, The Roman Empire. But the dragon symbolized the Roman Empire, and why does not the same symbol represent it still? Ah! there has been a change in the religious character of the empire. This beast symbolized Rome in its professedly Christian form. It is this change of religion, and this alone, which makes a change in the

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symbol necessary. This beast differs from the dragon only that it presents a different religious aspect. Hence it would be wrong to affirm that it denotes simply the Roman civil power.

A Symbol of the Papacy. —To this beast the dragon gives his power, his seat, and great authority. By what power was pagan Rome succeeded? We all know that is was by papal Rome. It matters not to our present purpose when or by what means this change was effected. The great fact is apparent, and is acknowledged by all, that the next great phase of the Roman Empire after its pagan form was its papal. It would not be correct, therefore, to say that pagan Rome gave its power and seat to a form of government merely civil, having no religious element whatever. No stretch of the imagination can conceive of such a transaction. But two phases of empire are here recognized, and in the prophecy Rome is pagan until Rome is papal. The statement that the dragon gave to the leopard beast his power and seat, is further evidence that the dragon of Revelation 12:3 is used as symbol of pagan Rome. But back of both powers, and leading them on in their wicked work, is Satan himself.

But it may be said that it takes both the leopard beast and the two-horned beast to constitute the papacy, and hence it is to these that the dragon gives his power, seat, and great authority. But the prophecy does not say so. It is the leopard beast alone with which the dragon has to do. It is to that beast alone that he gives his power, seat, and great authority. It is that beast which has a head that is wounded to death, which is afterward healed; that beast after which the whole world wonders; that beast which has a mouth speaking blasphemies, and which wears out the saints for 1260 years. It does all this before the succeeding power, the two-horned beast, appears. The leopard beast alone, therefore, symbolizes the Roman Empire in its papal form, the controlling influence being ecclesiastical.

Identical With the Little Horn. —To show this more fully, we have but to draw a parallel between the little horn of

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Daniel 7:8, 20, 24, 25, and this power. From this comparison it will appear that the little horn and the leopard beast symbolize the same power. The little horn is generally acknowledged to be a symbol of the papacy. There are six points by which to establish their identity:

1. The little horn was a blasphemous power. “He shall speak great words against the Most High.” Daniel 7:25. The leopard beast of Revelation 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. (Daniel 7:21.) This beast also (Revelation 13:7) makes war with the saints, and overcomes them.

3. The little horn had a mouth speaking great things. (Daniel 7:8, 20.) Of this beast we read: “There was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies.” Revelation 13:5.

4. The little horn arose on the cessation of the pagan form of the Roman Empire. The beast of Revelation 13:2 arises 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 1260 years. (Daniel 7:25) To this beast also power was given for forty-two months or 1260 years. (Revelation 13:5.)

6. At the end of that specified period of 1260 years the “saints,” “times,” and “laws” were to be taken out of the “hand” of the little horn. (Daniel 7:25.) At the end of the same period, the leopard beast was himself to be led “into captivity.” Revelation 13:10. Both these specifications were fulfilled in the captivity and exile of the pope, and the temporary overthrow of the papacy by France in 1798.

These six points prove satisfactorily the identity of the little horn and the leopard beast. When we have in prophecy two symbols, as in this instance, 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

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same length of time, and meet the same fate, those symbols represent the same identical power.

Received a Deadly Wound. —The head that was wounded to death was the papal head. We are held to this conclusion by the obvious principle that whatever is spoken in prophecy of the symbol of any government, applies to that government only while it is represented by that symbol. Now Rome is represented by two symbols, the dragon and the leopard beast, because it has presented two phases, the pagan and the papal; and whatever is said of the leopard beast applies to Rome only in its professedly Christian form. John says that it was one of the heads of this leopard beast that was wounded to death. In other words, this wound fell upon the form of government that existed in the Roman Empire after its change from paganism to Christianity. Thus it is evident that is was the papal head that was wounded to death, and whose deadly wound was healed. This wounding is the same as the going into captivity. (Revelation 13:10.) It was inflicted when the pope was taken prisoner by Berthier, the French general, and the papal government was for a time abolished, in 1798. Stripped of his power, both civil and ecclesiastical, the captive pope, Pius VI, died in exile at Valence in France, August 29, 1799. But the deadly wound began to be healed when the papacy was re-established, though with less of its former power, by the election of a new pope, March 14, 1800. [1]

Verse 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 heaven. 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

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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.

Speak Blasphemies. —This beast opens his mouth “in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” Mention has already been made in comments on the book of Daniel as to the significance of the expression, “He shall speak great words against the Most High.” Daniel 7:25. In verse 5 in this chapter of Revelation similar words are used, for he had “a mouth speaking great things.” Here, however, the word “blasphemy” is added, and this evidently points to the fact that the great words will be blasphemous enunciations against the God of heaven.

In the Gospels we find two indications of what constitutes blasphemy. In John 10:33 we read that the Jews falsely charged Jesus with blasphemy because, said they, “Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God.” This is in the case of the Saviour was untrue, because He was the Son of God. He was “Immanuel, God With Us.” But for man to assume the prerogatives of God and to take the titles of deity— this is blasphemy.

Again, in Luke 5:21 we see the Pharisees endeavoring to catch Jesus in His words. “Who is this which speaketh blasphemies?” said they. “Who can forgive sins, but God alone?” Jesus could pardon transgressions, for He was the divine Saviour. But for man, mortal man, to claim such authority is blasphemy indeed.

We might ask if the power represented by this symbol has fulfilled this part of the prophecy. In comments on Daniel 7:25 we saw clearly from the evidence submitted that he had spoken “great words” against the God of heaven. Now observe what is said regarding the claim of the priesthood to forgive sins:

“The priest holds the place of the Saviour Himself, when, by saying, ‘Ego te absolvo’ [I thee absolve], he absolves from sin. . . . To pardon a single sin requires all the omnipotence

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of God. . . . But what only God can do by His omnipotence, the priest can also do by saying ‘Ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis.’. . . Innocent III has written: ‘Indeed, it is not too much to say that in view of the sublimity of their offices the priests are so many gods.’ “ [2]

Note still further the blasphemous utterances of this power:

“But our wonder should be far greater when we find that in obedience to the words of His priests —HOC EST CORPUS MEUM [This is My body]— God Himself descends on the altar, that He comes wherever they call Him, and as often as they call Him, and places Himself in their hands, even though they should be His enemies. And after having come, He remains, entirely at their disposal; they move Him as they please, from one place to another; they may, if they wish, shut Him up in the tabernacle, or expose Him on the altar, or carry Him outside the church; they may, if they choose, eat His flesh, and give Him for the food of others. ‘Oh, how very great is their power,’ says St. Laurence Justinian, speaking of priests. ’A word falls from their lips and the body of Christ is there substantially formed from the matter of bread, and the Incarnate Word descended from heaven, is found really present on the table of the altar!’ “ [3]

“Thus the priest may, in a certain manner, be called the creator of his Creator. . . . ‘The power of the priest,’ says St. Bernardine of Sienna, ‘is the power of the divine person; for the transubstantiation of the bread requires as much power as the creation of the world.’ “ [4]

Thus this beast power blasphemes the temple in heaven by turning attention of his subjects to his own throne and palace instead of to the tabernacle of God; by diverting their attention from the sacrifice of the Son of God to the sacrifice of the mass.

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He blasphemes them that dwell in heaven by assuming to exercise the power of forgiving sins, and so turns away the minds of men from the mediatorial work of Christ and His heavenly assistants in the sanctuary above.

By verse 10 we are again referred to the events of 1798, when that power that had for 1260 years led the saints of God into captivity, was itself let into captivity.

Verse 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.

Two-Horned Beast. —This verse brings to view the third great symbol in the line of prophecy we are examining, usually denominated the two-horned beast. We inquire for its application. The dragon, pagan Rome, and the leopard beast, papal Rome, present before us great organizations standing as the representatives of two great systems of false religion. Analogy would seem to require that the remaining symbol, the two-horned beast, have a similar application, and find its fulfillment in some nation which is representative of still another great system of religion. The only remaining system which is exercising a controlling influence in the world today is Protestantism. Abstractly considered, paganism embraces all the heathen lands, containing more then half the population of the globe. Catholicism, which may perhaps be considered as including the religion of the Greek Orthodox Church, so nearly identical with it, belongs to nations which compose a large part of Christendom. A clear portrayal of Mohammedanism and its influence has been given in other prophecies. (See comments on Daniel 11 and Revelation 9.) But Protestantism is the religion of nations which constitute the vanguard of the world of liberty, enlightenment, progress, and power.

A Symbol of America. —If, then, Protestantism is the religion to which we are to look, to what nation as the representative of that religion does the prophecy have application? There are notable Protestant nations in Europe, but for reasons which

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will hereafter appear, the symbol cannot apply to any of these. A careful investigation has led to the conclusion that it does apply to Protestant America, or the United States of America. The reason for such an application and the evidence by which it is supported we will carefully consider.

Are they any reasons why we should expect that the United States would be mentioned in prophecy? On what conditions have other nations found a place in the prophetic record? First, that they have acted a prominent part in the world’s history; and second, and above all, that they have had jurisdiction over, or maintained important relations with, the people of God. In the records of the Bible and of secular history, we find data from which to deduce this rule respecting the prophetic mention of earthly governments: A nation enters prophecy when the work and destiny of God’s people are definitely linked with it. All these conditions are certainly fulfilled in the United States. The conviction has fastened itself upon many minds that the rise and progress of this nation has been of such a nature that Providence saw fit to forecast it in prophecy.

Governor Pownal, an English statesman, predicted in 1780, while the American Revolution was in progress, that this country would become independent; that a civilizing activity, beyond what Europe could ever know, would animate it; and that its commercial and naval power would be found in every quarter of the globe. He then speaks of the probable establishment of this country as a free and sovereign power as” ‘a revolution that has stranger marks of divine interposition, superseding the ordinary course of human affairs, than any other event which this world has experienced.’” [5]

George Alfred Townsend, speaking of the misfortunes that have attended the other governments in the Western Hemisphere says:

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“The history of the United States was separated by a beneficent Providence far from this wild and cruel history of the rest of the continent.” [6]

Such considerations as these are calculated to arouse in every mind a strong expectation that this nation will be found to have some part to act in the carrying out of God’s providential purposes in this world, and that somewhere it will be spoken of in the prophetic word.

Chronology of This Power. —At what period in this world’s history is the rise of this power placed in the prophecy? On this point, the foundation for the conclusions at which we must arrive is already laid in the facts set forth regarding the leopard beast. It was at the time when this beast went into captivity, or was killed with the sword (verse 10), or had one of its heads wounded to death (verse 3), that John saw the two-horned beast coming up. If the leopard beast, as we have conclusively proved, signifies the papacy, and the going into captivity met its fulfillment in the temporary overthrow of the papacy by the French in 1798, then we have the time definitely specified when we are to look for the rise of this power. The expression “coming up” must signify that the power to which it applies was but newly organized, and was then just rising into prominence and influence.

Can anyone doubt what nation was actually “coming up” in 1798? Certainly it must be admitted that the United States of America is the only power that meets the specifications of the prophecy on this point of chronology.

The struggle of the American colonies for independence began in 1775. In 1776, they declared themselves a free and independent nation. In 1777, delegates from the thirteen original States —New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia— in Congress assembled, adopted Articles

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of Confederation. In 1783, the War of the Revolution closed with a treaty of peace with Great Britain, whereby the independence of the United States was acknowledged, and territory ceded to the extent of 815,615 square miles. In 1787, the Constitution was framed, and by July 26, 1788, it was ratified by eleven of the thirteen original States; and on the 1st of March, 1789 it went into effect. The United States thus began with less than one million square miles of territory, and less than four million citizens. Thus we come to the year 1798, when this nation is introduced into prophecy.

John Wesley, in his notes on Revelation 13, written in 1754, says of the two- horned beast:

“He has not yet come, though he cannot be far off. For he is to appear at the end of the forty-two months of the first beast.” [7]

Age of This Power. —There is good evidence in the prophecy to show that the government symbolized by the two-horned beast is introduced in the early part of its career; that is, while a youthful power. John’s words are, “I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb.” Why does not John simply say, “He had two horns?” Why does he add “like a lamb?” It must be for the purpose of denoting the character of this beast, showing that it is not only of an innocent and harmless demeanor, but also that it is a youthful power; for the horns of a lamb are horns that have barely begun to grow.

Bear in mind that by the preceding argument on chronology, our gaze is fixed on the year 1798, when the power symbolized was then youthful. What notable power was at that time coming into prominence, but still in its youth? England was not, nor was France, nor Russia, nor any European power. For a young and rising power at that epoch, we are obliged to turn our eyes to the New World. But as soon as we turn them in that direction, they rest inevitably upon the

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United States as the power in question. No other power west of the Atlantic Ocean fits the description.

Location of the Two-Horned Beast. —A single declaration of the prophecy is sufficient to guide us to important and correct conclusions on this point. John calls it “another beast.” It therefore is no part of the first beast; and the power symbolized by it is likewise no part of that which is intended by that beast. This is fatal to the claim of those who avoid the application of this symbol to the United States by saying that it denotes some phase of the papacy; for in such a case it would be a part of the preceding, or leopard, beast.

Since this is “another” beast, “coming up out of the earth,” it must be found in some territory not covered by any other symbols. Babylon and Medo-Persia covered all the civilized part of Asia. Greece covered Eastern Europe, including Russia. Rome, with the ten kingdoms into which it was divided, as represented by the ten toes of the image of Daniel 2, the ten horns of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, the ten horns of the dragon of Revelation 12, and the ten horns of the leopard beast of Revelation 13, covered all Western Europe. In other words, all the Eastern Hemisphere known to history and civilization is covered by prophetic symbols respecting the application of which there is scarcely any room for doubt.

But there is a mighty nation in the Western Hemisphere, worthy, as we have seen, of being mentioned in prophecy, which is not yet brought in. There is one symbol remaining whose application has not yet been made. All the symbols but one are applied, and all the available areas of the Eastern Hemisphere are covered by the applications. Of all the symbols mentioned, one alone, the two-horned beast of Revelation 13, is left. Of all the countries of the earth respecting which any reason exists why they should be mentioned in prophecy, one alone, the United States of America, remains. Does the two-horned beast represent the United States? If it does, then all the symbols find an application, and all the ground is covered. If it does not, it follows that the United

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States is not represented in prophecy, and the symbol of the two-horned beast is left without a nation to which it can apply. But the first of these suppositions is not probable, and the second is not possible.

Another consideration pointing to the location of this power is drawn from the fact that John saw it arise from the earth. If the sea, from which the leopard beast arose (Revelation 13:1) denotes peoples, nations, and multitudes (Revelation 17:15), the earth would suggest, by contrast, a new and previously unoccupied territory. By exclusion from Eastern continents, and by looking to territory not previously known to civilization, we turn of necessity to the Western Hemisphere.

Manner of Its Rise. —The manner in which the two-horned beast was seen coming up shows, equally with its location, age, and chronology, that it is a symbol of the United States. John saw the beast coming up “out of the earth.” This expression must have been designedly used to point out the contrast between the rise of this beast and that of other national prophetic symbols. The four beasts of Daniel 7 and the leopard beast of Revelation 13 all arose out of the sea. New nations generally rise by overthrowing other nations, and taking their place. But no other nation was overturned in order to make room for the United States, and the attainment of its independence was already fifteen years in the past when it came into the field of prophecy. The prophet saw only peace.

The word which is used in verse 11 do describe the manner in which this beast comes up, is very expressive. It is {Greek- avnabai=non} anabainon, one of the prominent definitions of which is, “to grow or spring up as a plant.” It is a remarkable fact that this same figure has been chosen by political writers, without any reference to the prophecy, as the one conveying the best idea of the manner in which the United States has arisen. George Alfred Townsend says:

“In this web of islands, the West Indies, began the life of both [North and South] Americas. There Columbus saw land; there Spain began her baneful and brilliant Western

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empire; thence Cortez departed for Mexico, De Soto for the Mississippi, Balboa for the Pacific, and Pizarro for Peru. The history of the United States was separated by a beneficent Providence far from this wild and cruel history of the rest of the continent, and like a silent seed we grew into empire; while empire itself, beginning in the South, was swept by so interminable hurricane that what of its history we can ascertain is read by the very lightnings that devastated it. The growth of English America may be likened to a series of lyrics sung by separate singers, which, coalescing, at last make a vigorous chorus, and this, attracting many from afar, swells and is prolonged, until presently it assumes the dignity and proportions of epic song.” [8]

A writer in the Dublin Nation spoke of the United States as a wonderful empire which was “emerging,” and “amid the silence of the earth daily adding to its power and pride.”

Edward Everett, in an oration on the English exiles who founded this government, said:

“Did they look for a retired spot, inoffensive for its obscurity, and safe in its remoteness, where the little church of Leyden might enjoy the freedom of conscience? Behold the mighty regions over which, in peaceful conquest —victoria sine clade [victory without strife]— they have borne the banners of the cross.” [9]

Will the reader now look at these expressions side by side— “coming up out of the earth,” “emerging amid the silence of the earth,” “like a silent seed we grew into empire,” “mighty regions” secured by “peaceful conquest.” The first is from the prophet, stating that would be when the two-horned beast should arise; the others are from political writers, telling what had been in the history of the United States of America. Can anyone fail to see that the last three are exactly synonymous

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with the first, and that they record a complete accomplishment of the prediction?

Another inquiry naturally follows: Has the United States “come up” in a manner to meet the specifications of the prophecy? Let us see. A short time before the great Reformation in the days of Martin Luther, more than four hundred years ago, this Western Hemisphere was discovered. The Reformation awoke the nations that were fettered in the galling bonds of superstition and oppression, to the great truth that it is the heaven-born right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. But rulers are loath to lose their power, and religious intolerance continued to oppress the people. Under these circumstances, a body of religious heroes at length determined to seek in the wilds of America that measure of civil and religious freedom which they so much desired. In pursuance of their noble purpose, one hundred of these voluntary exiles landed from the “Mayflower” on the coast of New England, December 21, 1620. “There,” says Martyn, “New England was born,” and this was “its first baby cry, a prayer and a thanksgiving to the Lord.” [10]

Another permanent English settlement had been made at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. In process of time, other settlements were made and colonies organized, which were all subject to the English crown till the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

The population of these colonies amounted in 1701 to 262,000; in 1749, to, 1,046,000; in 1775, to 2,803,000. [11] Then came the struggle for independence, the establishment of a united constitutional government, and the proclamation to the world that here all could find an asylum from oppression and intolerance. From the Old World came immigrants by the thousand, adding by peaceful means to the population and

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prosperity of the new nation. Large territories were purchased or acquired by treaty to make room for all who came to settle. Now, passing over more than 150 years, to the second quarter of the twentieth century, the territory of the United States has expanded to more than three and a half million square miles, and its population has increased to over 135,000,000 people.

The growth of the United States in material prosperity and enlightened development is an astonishment to the world, and furnished an ample basis for the application of the prophecy.

Character of Its Government Symbolized. —Under this division of the subject we find still further evidence that the symbol represents the United States. In describing this power, John says that it had “two horns like a lamb.” The horns of a lamb indicate youthfulness, innocence, and gentleness. As a power which has but recently arisen, the United States answers to the symbol admirably in respect to age, while no other power can be found to do this. Considered as an index of power and character, it can be decided what constitutes the two horns of the government, if it can be ascertained what is the secret of its power, and what reveals its character, or constitutes its outward profession. The Hon. J. A. Bingham gives us the clue to the whole matter when he states that the object of those who first sought these shores was to found “what the world had not seen for ages; viz., a church without a pope, and a state without a king.” Expressed in other words, this would be a government in which the ecclesiastical should be separate from the civil power, and civil and religious liberty would be characteristic.

It needs no argument to show that this is precisely the profession of the American government. Article IV, sec. 4, of the Constitution of the United States reads in part: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government.” Article VI: “No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust

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under the United States.” The First Amendment to the Constitution begins as follows: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” These articles profess the amplest guaranty of civil and religious liberty, the entire and perpetual separation of church and state. What better symbols of them could be given than “two horns like a lamb?” In what other country can be found a condition of things which would represent so completely this feature of the symbol?

Republican in Form. —The two-horned beast, with a noticeable absence of crowns upon its horns, symbolizes a nation with a republican form of government. A crown is an appropriate symbol of a kingly or dictatorial form of government, and the absence of crowns, as in this case, would suggest a government in which the power is not vested in any such ruling member, but is lodged in the hands of the people.

But this is not the most conclusive proof that the nation here symbolized is republican in its form of government. From verse 14 we learn that appeal is made to the people when any national action is to be performed: “Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast.” This is emphatically the case in the United States. The Constitution on which it was founded guarantees “a republican form of government,” as shown above. This constitutes another link in the chain of evidence that this symbol applies to the United States of America. There is no other government to which anyone could reasonably think of applying this symbol.

A Protestant Nation. —The two-horned beast symbolizes a nation which cannot be Catholic in religion. The papacy is a religion that is fundamentally a union of church and state. The Constitution of the United States of America (Article VI ) declares that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust,” and thereby establishes a perpetual separation of church and state. Civil and religious liberty is a fundamental principle of Protestantism.

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The founders of this great land, living close to all of the events that resulted from a union of church and state, were jealous of the liberties that they claimed as the rights of all, and were quick to denounce anything that savored of a union of church and state. From the religious standpoint, therefore, the United States is a Protestant nation, and meets the requirement of the prophecy admirably in this respect. Thus again the prophecy points directly to this nation.

Before entering upon a discussion of another aspect of this prophetic symbol, let us review the points already established:

The power symbolized by the two-horned beast must be some nation distinct from the powers of the Old World.

It must arise in the Western Hemisphere.

It must be seen assuming a position of prominence and influence about the year 1798.

It must rise in a peaceful and quiet manner, not augmenting its power and expanding its territory, as other nations have done, by aggressive wars and successful conquests.

Its progress must be so evident as to strike the beholder with as much wonder as would be the perceptible growth of an animal before his eyes.

It must be republican in its form of government.

It must be Protestant in its religion.

It must exhibit before the world, as an index of its character and the elements of its government, two great principles which are in themselves perfectly just, innocent, and lamblike.

It must perform its work after 1798.

We have seen that of all these specifications, it can be said that they are conclusively met in the history of the United States thus far; and that they are not met in the history of any other nation. It is therefore impossible to apply the symbol of Revelation 13:11 to any other nation than the United States of America.

To Speak as a Dragon. —Now that we have identified the United States of America as the power symbolized by the two-horned

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beast, we can follow through without fear or prejudice the course that that nation takes as marked out clearly in the prophecy itself. In doing so, let us observe once more that the dragon as the first of the three beasts in the chain of prophecy under consideration, was a relentless persecutor of the church of God. The leopard beast that followed was likewise a persecuting power, destroying the lives of millions of Christians during a period of 1260 years. As we come to the third beast, with two horns like a lamb, it is declared that he “spake as a dragon.” This can only mean that at some time his nature changes from that of a lamb to that of a dragon, that he speaks as a dragon, and that he does the same kind of work as the dragon before him.

Permit us to say at this juncture that it is with much pain that we contemplate a nation arising so peaceably and devoted to such noble principles of government, taking on the nature of the beasts that preceded it, and in doing so descending to the role of persecutor of God’s people. We have no other choice, however, but to be guided in our study by the divinely inspired outline so plainly given us in the prophecy. Since the United States is the power denoted by the symbol that speaks as a dragon, it follows that it will enact unjust and oppressive laws against the religious belief and practice of its citizens so that it may be justly called a persecuting power.

Verse 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.

To Exercise Persecuting Power. —Not only does this nation speak as a dragon, but it is declared that he also “exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him.” Looking back a little, we find that the first beast before him is the leopard, a symbol of the papacy. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that a so-called Protestant nation will exercise the persecuting power of the papacy, and thereby become pseudo-Protestant, that is, the “false prophet” mentioned in Revelation 19:20, and explained under the next topic.

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The exercise of this power takes the form of causing the people in his jurisdiction “to worship the first beast,” the papacy. The Greek word for “worship” used here is a very significant one. It is from the simple verb {Greek- kunevw} kuneo, “I kiss,” compounded with a preposition to indicate that the kiss is directed toward someone— in this case the papacy, or its titular head the pope. It is ordinarily translated “do obeisance to, bow down to,” and is used by the Septuagint in Nebuchadnezzar’s decree to all “people, nations, and languages” to “fall down and worship the golden image” he had set up in the plain of Dura. Daniel 3:4, 5. Such “worship” must mean to submit to the authority and decree of the one to whom obeisance is made. This is the picture given in the prophecy of the “worship” given to the papacy by a so-called Protestant people.

Verse 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.

“He Doeth Great Wonders.” —In that part of the prediction which sets forth the work of the two-horned beast we read that “he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.” In this specification we have still further proof that the United States is the power represented by the two-horned beast. That we are living in an age of wonders, none will deny. We would refer the reader to our remarks on Daniel 12:4 concerning the wonderful achievements of the present age, and for some illustrations of the leading triumphs of scientific and inventive skill.

But the prophecy is not fulfilled in the great advancement in knowledge, in discoveries, and in inventions so notable at the present time. For the wonders to which the prophet had reference are evidently wrought for the purpose of deceiving the people, as we read in verse 14: “Deceiveth them that dwell

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on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast.”

We should now ascertain by what means the miracles in question are wrought, for Revelation 16:13, 14 refers to “the spirits of devils working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world.”

In predicting events to occur just before His second coming, the Saviour says: “There shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Matthew 24:24. Here again are wonders foretold, wrought for the purpose of deception, so powerful that were it possible even the very elect would be deceived by them.

Thus we have a prophecy (and there are many others) setting forth the development in the last days of a wonder-working power, manifested to a startling and unprecedented degree to propagate falsehood and error. The “spirits of devils” were to go forth to “the whole world,” but the nation with which this development is especially connected in Revelation 13, is that represented by the two-horned beast, or false prophet. We must therefore conclude that the prophecy calls for such a work as this in America. Do we find anything like it at the present time?

There is a widespread belief and teaching current among all classes of society, that when a man dies and his body is laid away in the grave, an immortal “spirit” or “soul” within him does not really die, but soars away to its place of reward or punishment. This belief naturally leads one to ask, “If disembodied spirits are alive, why may they not communicate with us?” There are thousands who believe that they can and do, and who claim to have communication with departed friends.

But the Bible, in the most explicit terms, assures us that the dead are wholly inactive and unconscious until the resurrection; that the dead know not anything (Ecclesiastes 9:5); that every operation of the mind has ceased (Psalm 146:4); that

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every emotion of the heart is suspended (Ecclesiastes 9:6); and that there is neither work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, where they lie (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Whatever intelligence, therefore, comes claiming to be what from the word of God we know he is not. That our dead friends do not return to us is shown in 2 Samuel 12:23, where David says of his dead child, “Now he is dead, . . . I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” Any such intelligence that comes to us cannot be a good angel, for angel’s of God do not lie. Spirits of devils do lie, and this has been their work ever since the first lie about dying was told by their leader in Eden, “Ye shall not surely die,” when the Lord had said plainly to Adam, “Thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 3:4; 2:17.

Birthplace of Spiritism. —Modern spiritism also answers to the prophecy in that it had its origin in the United States, thus connecting its wonders with the work of the two-horned beast. Beginning in Hydesville, New York, in the family of John D. Fox in the latter part of March, 1848, it spread with incredible rapidity through all the world.

Much excitement was caused by these supposed revelations, and some rather prominent persons undertook to investigate the “rapping delusion,” as it was commonly called. From that time onward, spiritism has remained a force in the modern world; and it is a force which has steadily grown. It is difficult to determine the number of its adherents, because so many who believe and practice its teachings regard themselves as belonging to no denomination at all; yet on the other hand many retain their membership in a non-spiritist denominational group while nevertheless attempting communication with the dead. It has been estimated that there are 16,000,000 spiritists in North America; and in the world —including those heathen religions in which spiritism plays so prominent a part— doubtless hundreds of millions.

As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle remarked some years ago: “The lowly manifestations of Hydesville have ripened into

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results which have engaged the finest group of intellects in this country during the last twenty years, and which are destined, in my opinion, to bring about far the greatest development of human experience which the world has ever seen.” [12] “If such a view of Christianity were generally accepted, and if it were enforced by assurance and demonstration from the New Revelation which is, as I believe, coming to us from the other side, then I think we should have a creed which might unite the churches, which might be reconciled to science, which might defy all attacks, and which might carry the Christian faith on for an indefinite period.” [13]

Teachings of Spiritism. —But the doctrines which spiritists teach are certainly not in harmony with the word of God. As to their attitude toward the Bible, notice the following paragraph:

“We have no desire to hide the plain fact that there is much in some parts of the Bible which does not amalgamate with our teaching, being, indeed, the admixture of human error which came through the mind of the chosen medium.” [14] “In no case are the books as they now stand the work of their reputed author. They are the compilation of Ezra and his scribes, and do but embody the conceptions and legends of the period. . . . We mention this to avoid at once the necessity of replying to any texts from these book which may be quoted as an argument.” [15]

As to the relation of spiritists to Christ and His atoning work, observe the following significant remark:

“They [the spirits] also testify that Jesus Christ has nothing to do with the question of life and death, and they know nothing about the ’mediation of our Saviour Jesus Christ.’” [16]

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Believers in spiritism have no place, either, for the second advent of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ:

“Jesus Christ is now arranging His plans for the gathering of His people, for the further revelation of the truth, as well as for the purging away of the erroneous beliefs which have accumulated in the past. I have heard something of this from other sources. Is this then the return of Christ? It is the spiritual return. There will be no such physical return as man has dreamed of. This will be the return to His people, by the voice of His messengers speaking to those whose ears are open.” [17]

Phenomena of Spiritism. —How significant are these words! Centuries ago the seer of Patmos declared that in this country would arise a power that “doeth great wonders,” and, lo, spiritism appears claiming to do these very things.

Spiritism answers accurately to the prophecy in the exhibition of great signs and wonders. Among its achievements the following may be noted: Various articles have been transported from place to place by spirits. Beautiful music has been produced independent of human agency, with and without the aid of visible instruments. Many well-attested cases of healing have been presented. Persons have been carried through the air by spirits in the presence of spectators. Tables have been suspended in the air with several persons upon them. Spirits also have presented themselves in bodily form and talked with audible voices.

The power represented in this prophecy is to make “fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.” But this as well as other manifestations of its power are for the purpose of deceiving “them that dwell on the earth.” The miracles that are wrought are by “the spirits of devils.” Revelation 16:14. And many are the warnings in the word of God against making contact with evil spirits. In the days of the early church solemn warnings were given to the church

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of God: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” 1 Timothy 4:1. God’s counsel to His people in these last days is, “When they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:19, 20.

Verse 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 killed. 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.

Makes an Image to the Beast. —Closely associated with this working of miracles is the erection of an image to the beast. The prophet thus connects the two in verse 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.” The deception accomplished by the working of the miracles prepares the way for compliance with this demand for the formation of an image to the beast.

To understand what would constitute an image of the papal beast, we must first gain some definite idea of what constitutes the papacy itself. The full development of the beast, or the establishment of papal supremacy, dates from the famous letter of Justinian, which was made effective in A.D. 538, constituting the pope the head of the church and the corrector of heretics. The papacy was a church clothed with civil power— an ecclesiastical body having authority to punish all dissenters with confiscation of goods, imprisonment, torture, and death. What would be an image of the papacy? —Another

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ecclesiastical establishment clothed with civil power, in other words, a union of church and state. How could such an image be formed in the United States? Let the Protestant churches be clothed with power to define and punish heresy, to enforce their dogmas under the pains and penalties of the civil law, and should we not have an exact representation of the papacy during the days of its supremacy?

To be sure we would. But is such an eventuality possible in a country whose foundation stones are civil and religious liberty, and where every man’s right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” has gone unchallenged throughout the years? Let us examine the evidence.

Nation Founded on Liberty. —The hand of God wrought with the noble and God-fearing men who laid so well the foundations of the new nation. Said the Hon. Henry D. Estabrook, speaking before the Connecticut Bar Association: “On this great continent, which God had kept hidden in a little world— here, with a new heaven and a new earth, where former things had passed away, the people of many nations, of various needs and creeds, but united in heart and soul and mind for the single purpose, builded an altar to Liberty, the first ever built or that ever could be built, and called it— The Constitution of the United States.” [18]

This was in the year 1787. The prophet saw the lamblike beast coming up out of the earth about 1798— surely this is no mere coincidence. George Washington, the first President of the United States, in his inaugural address said:

“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.” [19]

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In their reply to this notable address the Senate declared: “When we contemplate the coincidence of circumstances, and wonderful combination of causes, which gradually prepared the people of this country for independence; when we contemplate the rise, progress, and termination of the late war, which gave them a name among the nations of the earth; we are, with you, unavoidably led to acknowledge and adore the great Arbiter of the universe, by whom empires rise and fall.” [20]

Struggle Against Religious Tyranny. —These were not only godly men, but they were wise and farseeing men. When certain religious groups made appeal that “explicit acknowledgment of the true God and Jesus Christ” be made in the Constitution, their request was denied. In writing of this incident, Thomas Jefferson said: “The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.” [21]

The House Judiciary Committee, February 18, 1874, in reply to a similar petition, reported: “As this country, the foundation of whose government they were then laying, was to be the home of the oppressed of all nations of the earth, whether Christian or pagan, and in full realization of the dangers which the union between church and state had imposed upon so many nations of the Old World, with great unanimity [they agreed] that it was inexpedient to put anything into the Constitution or frame of government which might be construed to be a reference to any religious creed or doctrine.” [22]

History attests the fact that these great men who laid the foundation stones upon which the United States was erected looked forward with almost prophetic vision to the dangers to

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personal liberty which some day would confront the country. Their fears were well expressed by Thomas Jefferson: “The spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecution, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated, that the time for fixing every essential right on a legal basis, is while our rulers are honest and ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war we shall be going downhill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.” [23]

On the Fourth of July, 1788, an address was delivered by Justice James Wilson, in which he pointed out how the enemies of liberty were already working. He said: “The enemies of liberty are artful and insidious. A counterfeit steals her dress, imitates her manner, forges her signature, assumes her name. But the real name of the deceiver is licentiousness. Such is her effrontery, that she will charge liberty to her face with imposture; and she will, with shameless front, insist that herself alone is the genuine character, and that herself alone is entitled to the respect which the genuine character deserves. With the giddy and undiscerning, on whom a deeper impression is made by dauntless impudence than by modest merit, her pretentions are often successful. She receives the honors of liberty, and liberty herself is treated as a traitor and a usurper. Generally, however, this bold impostor acts only a secondary part. Though she alone appear upon the stage, her motions are regulated by dark ambition, who sits concealed

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behind the curtain, and who knows that despotism, his other favorite, can always follow the success of licentiousness. Against these enemies of liberty, who act in concert, though they appear on opposite side, the patriot citizen will keep a watchful guard.” [24]

Threatened With Ecclesiastical Domination. —Let it be noted that in the panorama of coming events which passed before the prophet John, he witnessed this same amazing change in the nature of the two-horned beast. It eventually began to speak “as a dragon” and to control the worship of its people, “saying to them that dwell upon the earth, that they should make an image to the beast.”

The beast “which had the wound by a sword, and did live,” is the papacy. This was a church dominating the civil power. In other words, it was a union of church and state, and enforced its religious dogmas by the civil power, under pain of confiscation of goods, imprisonment, and death. An image to this beast would be another ecclesiastical organization clothed with civil power— another union of church and state— to enforce religious dogmas by law.

Evidence that such an image will be formed is seen in the fact already large and influential organizations, such as the National Reform Association, the International Reform Bureau, the Lord’s Day Alliance of Christ in America, have been formed, by professed Protestants, and for years have been persistently working to the end of establishing and enforcing religious standards by law. Also Roman Catholic societies in the United States, in harmony with their tradition for centuries, are looking to a like end. Ultimately these two forces are destined to join hands in a common effort.

The avowed object of the National Reform Association is “to secure such an amendment to the Constitution of the United States as will . . . indicate that this is a Christian

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nation, and place all the Christian laws, institutions, and usages of our government on an undeniably legal basis in the fundamental law of the land.” [25]

Upon the question of making this a “Christian nation,” Bishop Earl Cranston, D. D., of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in an address delivered in Foundry Methodist Church, Washington, D.C., March 13, 1910, made the following observation:

“Suppose this were to be declared a Christian nation by a Constitutional interpretation to that effect. What would that mean? Which of the two contending definitions of Christianity would the word ’Christian’ indicate? —The Protestant idea, of course, for under our system majorities rule, and the majority of Americans are Protestants. Very well, but suppose that by addition of certain contiguous territory with twelve or more million Roman Catholics, the annexation of a few more islands with half as many more, and the same rate of immigration as now, the majority some years hence should be Roman Catholics, —who doubts for a moment that the reigning Pope would assume control of legislation and government? He would say, with all confidence and consistency, ‘This is a Christian nation. It was so claimed from the beginning and so declared many years ago. A majority defined then what Christianity was, the majority will define now what Christianity now is and is to be.’ That ’majority’ would be the Pope.” [26]

This association, organized for so-called “National Reform,” has no compunctions about uniting with the papacy to bring about its design to establish a national religion. It declares: “We cordially, gladly, recognize the fact that in the South American Republics, and in France and other European countries, the Roman Catholics are the recognized advocates of national Christianity, and stand opposed to all the

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proposals of secularism. . . . Whenever they are willing to co-operate in resisting the progress of political atheism, will gladly join hands with them. In a world’s conference for the promotion of national Christianity —which ought to be held at no distant day— many countries could be represented only by Roman Catholics.” [27]

Shall we notice the avowed objective of the other organizations?

In a History of the International Reform Bureau the society in a self-appraisal declares, “The Reform Bureau is the first ‘Christian lobby’ established at our National Capital to speak to government in behalf of all denominations.” [28]

On pages 61 and 65 of the foregoing work it is stated that the securing of compulsory Sunday legislation is one of the chief objects of this and other like organizations.

Speaking before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee against the Supreme Court bill, Professor Theodore Graebner, of Concordia College, St. Louis, made this interesting observation:

“Some 50 years ago the national Reform Association sought . . . to make all public education Christian and thereby make Jesus Christ the King of the nation. . . . The movement persists to the present day, and is issuing an enormous amount of literature all directed to the end of adopting a Christian amendment.” [29]

The actual objective of this organization is to force religion upon the people by legal enactment— to secure a Sunday blue law, and to standardize the Christianity of the people.

From a leaflet published by the Lord’s Day Alliance of the United States we learn that their objective is:

” (1) To preserve the Lord’s day [Sunday] for America; (2) to secure an active Alliance in every State not yet organized:

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(3) to induce the general government as far as possible to set the example of Sabbath observance.”

By all this is meant the securing, as far as possible, of compulsory state and national Sunday legislation— the very means by which the church gained control of the state and by which church and state were united in the fourth and fifth centuries of the Christian Era.

The Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America, which is by far the most powerful and representative combination of Protestant churches in the nation, claiming at its beginning to represent eighteen organizations and 50,000,000 communicants, in stating its reasons for existence declared:

“That the great Christian bodies of our country should stand together. . . [in dealing with] questions like those of marriage and divorce, Sabbath desecration, social evils,” etc. [30]

In defining how they purpose to deal with Sabbath desecration, the Federal Council declared:

“That all encroachments upon the claims and the sanctities of the Lord’s day should be stoutly resisted through the press, the Lord’s day associations and alliances, and by such legislation as may be secured to protect and preserve this bulwark of our American Christianity.” [31]

Thus it will be seen that the securing of the laws for the enforcement of Sunday observance is a prominent feature in all these organizations in their efforts to “Christianize” the nation. In doing this many fail to see that they are repudiating the principles of Christianity, or Protestantism, and of the United States Government, and playing directly into the hand of that power which originated the Sunday sabbath, and gained control of the civil power through Sunday legislation— the papacy.

This danger was clearly discerned by the lawmakers of the United States more than a century ago. In 1830, certain

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memorials for prohibiting the transportation of the mails and the opening of post offices on Sunday, which had been referred to the Congressional Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads, came up for consideration. The committee reported unfavorably to the petition of the memorialists. Its report was adopted, and printed by order of the Senate of the United States, and the committee was discharged from any further consideration of the subject. Of the Constitution it said:

“The committee look in vain to that instrument for a delegation of power authorizing this body to inquire and determine what part of time, or whether any, has been set apart by the Almighty for religious exercises. . .

“The Constitution regards the conscience of the Jew as sacred as that of the Christian; and gives no more authority to adopt a measure affecting the conscience of a solitary individual, than that of a whole community. That representative who would violate this principle, would lose his delegated character, and forfeit the confidence of his constituents. If Congress shall declare the first day of the week holy, it will not convince the Jew nor the Sabbatarian. It will dissatisfy both, and consequently convert neither. . . . If a solemn act of legislation shall in one point define the law of God, or point out to the citizen one religious duty, it may with equal propriety proceed to define every part of divine revelation; and enforce every religious obligation, even to the forms and ceremonies of worship, the endowment of the church, and the support of the clergy.

“The framers of the Constitution recognized the eternal principle that man’s relation with his God is above human legislation, and his rights of conscience inalienable.” [32]

Seeking to Establish Righteousness by Law. —A thousand pities that the religious leaders in these days are not equally sensitive to the dangers which lurk beneath their program to make the people good by legal enactment of religious dogmas.

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We are not unmindful of the noble service the Protestant churches have rendered to humanity and to the world by introducing and defending the great principles of Protestantism, by propagating the gospel, and by championing the cause of freedom.

Let no one think that we wish to reflect in any way upon the character of the men engaged in this enterprise. They are men of the highest moral standing, sincerely solicitous for the welfare of the nation, and honestly trying to check and remove the evils which are rampant in society. That their efforts will in many ways be productive of good, no one can doubt. We wish them all possible success in their work for the promotion of temperance, the elimination of war, the safeguarding of youth, and other like noble purposes. For these things all Christians are bound to work and pray.

Why then are these good men misled into doing something against which the Bible utters a solemn warning? The reason is that they have turned aside from the counsel of God given them in His word, and are going about to establish righteousness and the kingdom of God in the earth in their own way. They have slighted the prophetic portions of the Bible, by which one may know what stage of the conflict between the kingdom of Christ and that of Satan has been reached in his day, and how he can co-operate with the providence of God for the times in which he is living. They have lost touch with their divine Leader and with the means He is using today to advance His kingdom in the earth. They have a mistaken conception of the kingdom which is to come, and are looking for a kingdom mixed with earthly elements, to be set up by earthly agencies, such as the ballot, legislation, and education.

Under such circumstances it is not surprising that they should be working at cross-purposes with the providence of God. The mistake of failing to heed and be guided by the instruction of God’s word, is a fatal one. The more zeal a church has when it is off the track and pursing a wrong course, the greater will be the damage which it will do.

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The apostle Paul points to a time when men have “a form of godliness,” but would deny “the power thereof.”

We greatly regret to see the Protestant church active in the fulfillment of this prophetic picture. While the power of God is lacking, the outward services of true Christian worship are maintained. With the loss of the power of God the churches are turning more and more to the state to supply what they lack. It is the testimony of all history that just in proportion as any popular and extensive ecclesiastical organization loses the spirit and power of God, it clamors for the support of the civil arm and finally religion becomes a part of the state. Thus it will be in the formation of the image of the beast, for the prophecy declares: “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 killed.” Revelation 13:15.

Let now an ecclesiastical organization be formed, let the government legalize such an organization and give it power to enforce upon the people the dogmas which the different denominations can all adopt as the basis of union, and what do we have? Exactly what prophecy represents— an image to the papal beast endowed with life by the two-horned beast, to speak and act with power.

The Mark of the Beast. —The two-horned beast enforces upon its subjects the mark of the first beast. We have now in the prophecy three agents introduced, which we must carefully distinguish from one another to avoid confusion.

The papal beast is the power designated as “the beast,” “the first beast,” “the beast which had the wound by a sword, and did live,” and “the beast whose deadly wound was healed.” These expressions all refer to the same power, and wherever they occur in this prophecy, they have exclusive reference to the papacy.

The two-horned beast is the power introduced in Revelation 13:11, and is represented through the remainder of the prophecy by the pronoun “he.” Wherever this pronoun

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occurs, down to the seventeenth verse (with possibly the exception of the sixteenth verse, which perhaps may refer to the image), it refers invariably to the two-horned beast.

The image of the beast is usually called in the following chapters of Revelation, “the image;” so there is no danger of confusing this with any other agent. The acts ascribed to the image are speaking as a dragon and enforcing the worship of itself under the penalty of death. This is the only enactment which the prophecy mentions as enforced under the death penalty.

The mark of the beast is enforced by the two-horned beast, either directly or through the image. The penalty attached to a refusal to receive this mark is a forfeiture of all social privileges, a deprivation of the right to buy and sell. The mark is the mark of the papal beast. Against this worship of the beast and his image, and the receiving of his mark, the third angel’s message of Revelation 14:9-12 is a most solemn and thrilling warning.

This, then, is the issue which according to this prophecy we are soon to be called upon to meet. Human organizations, controlled and inspired by the spirit of the dragon, are to command men to do those acts which are in reality the worshipping of an apostate religious power and the receiving of his mark. If they refuse to do this, they lose the rights of citizenship, and become outlaws in the land. They must do that which constitutes the worship of the image of the beast, or forfeit their lives. On the other hand, God sends forth a message a little before this fearful crisis comes upon the people, as we shall see in remarks on Revelation 14:9-12, declaring that all who do any of these things “shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation.” He who refuses to comply with these demands of earthly powers exposes himself to the severest penalties which human beings can inflict. He who does comply, exposes himself to the most terrible threatenings of divine wrath to be found in the word of God. The question whether

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they will obey God or man is to be decided by the people of the present age under the heaviest pressure, from both sides, that has ever been brought to bear upon any generation.

The worship of the beast and his image and the receiving of his mark must be something that involves the greatest offense that can be committed against God, to call down so severe a denunciation of wrath against it. This is a work, as has already been shown, which takes place in the last days. As God has given us in His word most abundant evidence to show when we are in the last days, that no one need be overtaken by the day of the Lord as by a thief, so likewise He has given us the evidence whereby we may determine what it means to receive the mark of the beast, that we may avoid the fearful penalty so sure to follow its reception. God does not so trifle with human hopes and human destinies as to pronounce a most fearful doom against a certain sin, and then place it out of our power to understand what that sin is, so that we have no means of guarding against it.

We therefore now call attention to the important inquiry, What constitutes the mark of the beast? The figure of a mark is borrowed from an ancient custom. Thomas Newton says:

“It was customary among the ancients for servants to receive the mark of their master, and soldiers of their general, and those who were devoted to any particular deity, of the particular deity to whom they were devoted. These marks were usually impressed on their right hand or on their forehead, and consisted of some hieroglyphic characters, or of the name expressed in vulgar letters, or of the name disguised in numerical letters, according to the fancy of the imposer.” [33]

Prideaux [34] says that Ptolemy Philopater ordered all the Jews who applied to be enrolled as citizens of Alexandria to have the form of an ivy leaf (the badge of his god, Bacchus) impressed upon them with a hot iron, under pain of death.

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The word used for mark in this prophecy is {Greek- xavragma} charagma, and is defined to mean, “a graving, sculpture; a mark cut in or stamped.” It occurs nine times in the New Testament, and with the single exception of Acts 17:29, refers every time to the mark of the beast. Of course, we are not to understand in this symbolic prophecy that a literal mark is intended, but the giving of the literal mark, as practiced in ancient times, is used as a figure to illustrate certain acts that will be performed in the fulfillment of this prophecy. From the literal mark as formerly employed, we learn something of its meaning as used in the prophecy, for between the symbol and the thing symbolized there must be some resemblance. The mark as literally used, signified that the person receiving it was the servant of the person whose mark he bore, acknowledged his authority, and professed allegiance to him. So the mark of the beast, or of the papacy, must be some act or profession by which the authority of that power is acknowledged. What is it?

Characteristics of Papal Power. —It would naturally be looked for in some of the special papal power. Describing that power under the symbol of a little horn, Daniel speaks of it as waging a special warfare against God, wearing out the saints of the Most High, and thinking to change times and laws. The prophet expressly specifies on this point: “He shall . . . think to change times and laws.” Daniel 7:25. These laws must certainly be the laws of the Most High. To apply the expression to human laws, and make the prophecy read, He shall speak great words against the Most High, and think to change human laws, would be doing evident violence to the language of the prophet. But apply it to the laws of God, and let it read, He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and laws of the Most High, and all is consistent and forcible. For the word “law” the Hebrew has {Hebrew- hd*} dath, and the Septuagint reads, {Greek- novmo$}

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nomos, in the singular, “law,” which more directly suggests the law of God. The papacy has been able to do more than merely “think” to change human laws. It has changed them at pleasure. It has annulled the decrees of kings and emperors, and absolved subjects from allegiance to their rightful sovereigns. It has thrust its long arm into the affairs of nations, and brought rulers to its feet in the most abject humility. But the prophet beholds greater acts of presumption than these. He sees it endeavor to do what it was not able to do, but could only think to do. He sees it attempt an act which no man, nor any combination of men, can ever accomplish, to change the law of the Most High. Bear this in mind while we look at the testimony of another sacred writer on this very point.

The apostle Paul speaks of the same power in 2 Thessalonians 2. He describes it, in the person of the pope, as “that man of sin” “sitting as God in the temple of God” (that is, the church), and exalting himself “above all that is called God, or that is worshiped.” According to this, the pope sets himself up as the one for all the church to look to for authority, in the place of God.

We ask the reader to ponder carefully the question how he can exalt himself above God. Search through the whole range of human devices, go to the extent of human effort, and by what plan, by what move, by what claim, could this usurper exalt himself above God? He might institute any number of ceremonies, he might prescribe any form of worship, he might exhibit any degree of power; but as long as God had requirements which the people felt bound to regard in preference to his, so long he would not be above God. He might enact a law, and teach the people that they were under as great obligations to that as to the law of God; then he would only make himself equal with God.

But he is to do more than this; he is to attempt to raise himself above Him. Then he must promulgate a law which conflicts with the law of God, and demand obedience to his own law in preference to God’s law. The most effective way in

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which he could place himself in the position assigned in the prophecy would be for him to change the law of God. If he can cause this change to be adopted by the people in the place of the original enactment, then he, the law changer, puts himself above God, the lawmaker. This is the very work that Daniel said the power represented by the little horn would think to do.

Such a work as this the papacy will accomplish according to the prophecy, and the prophecy cannot fail. When this is done, what do the people of the world have? They have two laws demanding obedience— one the law of God as originally enacted by Him, an embodiment of His will, and expressing His claims upon His creatures; the other, a revised edition of that law, emanating from the pope of Rome, and expressing his will. How is it to be determined which of these powers the people honor and worship? —It is determined by the law which they keep. If they keep the law of God as given by Him, they worship and obey God. If they keep the law as changed by the papacy, they worship that power.

But further, the prophecy does not say that the little horn, the papacy, should set aside the law of God, and give one entirely different. This would not be to change the law, but simply to give a new one. He was only to attempt a change, so that the law that comes from God and the law that comes from the papacy are precisely alike, excepting the change which the papacy has made. The two laws have many points in common. But none of the precepts which they contain in common can distinguish a person as the worshiper of either power in preference to the other. If God’s law says, “Thou shalt not kill,” and the law as given in by the papacy says the same, no one can tell by a person’s observance of that precept whether he designs to obey God rather than the pope, or the pope rather than God. But when a precept that has been changed is the subject of action, then whoever observes that precept as originally given by God, is thereby distinguished as a worshiper of God; and he who keeps it as changed is thereby

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marked as a follower of the power that made the change. In no other way can the two classes of worshipers be distinguished.

From this conclusion, no candid mind can dissent, but in this conclusion we have a general answer to the question, “What constitutes the mark of the beast?” The answer is simply this: The mark of the beast is the change which the beast has attempted to make in the law of God.

Change in the Law of God. —We now inquire what that change is. By the law of God, we mean the moral law, the only law in the universe of immutable and perpetual obligation. Defining the term “law” according to the sense in which it is almost universally used in Christendom, Webster says, “The moral law is summarily contained in the decalogue, written by the finger of God on two tables of stone, and delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai.”

In our comment on Daniel 7:25, in regard to the prediction of the prophet that the papacy would “think to change times and laws,” we produced evidence from the Roman Catechism based on the unquestioned authority of the Council of Trent, and published by order of Pope Pius V by the Vatican press in Rome, that the church changed the day of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. While that catechism records the full wording of the fourth commandment as it reads in the Bible, and while it is retained in full in the official Catholic Bible in Latin, the Vulgate, and in its official translation into English, the Douay Bible; yet the teaching catechisms provided for Roman Catholic priests and teachers in modern times omit all that commandment but the first sentence, “Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.” and add extended testimony that the change of the Sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday was made on the authority of the Catholic Church and apostolic tradition.” Whatever may be said on the text of the Catechism of the Council of Trent and that of the Roman Catholic Bible about retaining the entire commandment as it reads in the Scripture, nevertheless the practice of the prelates and priests is

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to teach only observance of a Sabbath institution, but locate it on the first day of the week instead of the seventh, by the authority of the church.

Let it be borne in mind, that, according to the prophecy, he was to think to change times and laws. This plainly conveys the idea of intention and design, and makes these qualities essential to the change in question. But respecting the omission of the second commandment, Catholics argue that it is included in the first, and hence should not be numbered as a separate commandment; and on the tenth they claim that there is no plain a distinction of ideas as to require two commandments; so they make the coveting of a neighbor’s wife the ninth command, and the coveting of his goods the tenth.

In all this they claim that they are giving the commandments exactly as God intended to have them understood; so, while we may regard them as errors in their interpretation of the commandments, we cannot set them down as professedly intentional changes. Not so, however, with the fourth commandment. Respecting this commandment, they do not claim that their version is like that given by God. They expressly claim a change here, and also that the change has been made by the church. How these later catechisms, with their ecclesiastical imprimatur, read, is illustrated herewith.

Some of the simpler catechisms make no mention of a change in religious days, but state categorically that the Sabbath commandment teaches Sunday observance:

“Q. Say the Third Commandment.

“A. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.

“Q. What is commanded by the Third Commandment?

“A. To sanctify the Sunday.” [35]

Others say that the Catholic Church changed the day of worship. In A New Catechism of Christian Doctrine and Practice, we find the following under the subject of the third commandment:

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“What day was the Sabbath?

“The seventh day, our Saturday.

“Do you keep the Sabbath?

“No: we keep the Lord’s Day.

“Which is that?

“The first day: Sunday.

“Who changed it?

“The Catholic Church.” [36]

In the well-known Baltimore catechism, we find this explanation:

“Q. What it the third Commandment?

“A. The third Commandment is: Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day.

“Q. What are we commanded by the third Commandment?

“A. By the third Commandment we are commanded to keep holy the Lord’s day. . . .

“Q. Are the Sabbath day and the Sunday the same?

“A. The Sabbath day and the Sunday are not the same. The Sabbath day is the seventh day of the week, and is the day which was kept holy in the old law; the Sunday is the first day of the week, and is the day which is kept holy in the new law.

“Q. Why does the Church command us to keep the Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath?

“A. The Church commands us to keep the Sunday holy instead of the Sabbath because on Sunday Christ rose from the dead, and on Sunday He sent the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles.” [37]

In The Catholic Christian Instructed we read:

“Q. —What warrant have you for keeping the Sunday preferably to the ancient Sabbath, which was the Saturday?

“A. —We have for it the authority of the Catholic Church, and apostolic tradition.

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Picture on this page.

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“Q.—Does the Scripture anywhere command the Sunday to be kept for the Sabbath?

“A.—The Scripture commands us to hear the church (Matt. 18:17; Luke 10:16), and to hold fast the traditions of the apostles (2 Thess. 2:15), but the Scriptures do not in particular mention this change of the Sabbath.” [38]

In A Doctrinal Catechism we find further testimony to the same point:

“Ques. —Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept?

“Ans. —Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her— she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority.” [39]

In An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine we find this testimony:

“Q. —How prove you that the church hath power to command feast and holy days?

“A. —By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church.

“Q. —How prove you that?

“A. —Because by keeping Sunday they acknowledge the church’s power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin.” [40]

In The Catechism Simply Explained, are these questions and answers:

“What is the third commandment?

“The third commandment is, ‘Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.’

“What are we commanded by the third commandment?

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“By the third commandment we are commanded to keep the Sunday holy.

“The Jew’s Sabbath Day was the Saturday; we Christians keep the Sunday holy. The Church, by the power our Lord gave her, changed the observance of the Saturday to the Sunday.” [41]

This is what the papal power claims to have done respecting the fourth commandment. Catholics plainly acknowledge that there is no Scriptural authority for the change they have made, but that it rests wholly upon the authority of the church. They claim as a token, or mark, or the authority of that church the “very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday,” and set it forth as proof of its power in this respect.

“But,” says one, “I supposed that Christ changed the Sabbath.” A great many suppose so, for they have been so taught. We would remind such persons, however, that according to the prophecy the only change ever to be made in the law of God, was to be made by the little horn of Daniel 7, the man of sin of 2 Thessalonians 2; and that the only change that has been made in it is the change of the Sabbath. Now, if Christ made this change, He filled the office of the blasphemous power spoken of by both Daniel and Paul— a conclusion that is repulsive to any Christian.

Why should anyone labor to prove that Christ changed the Sabbath? Whoever does this is performing a thankless task. The pope will not thank him; for if it is proved that Christ wrought this change, then the pope is robbed of his badge of authority and power. No truly enlightened Protestant will thank him; for if he succeeds, he only shows that the papacy has not done the work which it was predicted it should do, that the prophecy has failed, and that Scriptures are unreliable. The matter would better stand as the prophecy has it, and the claim which the pope unwittingly puts forth better be granted.

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When a person is charged with any work, and that person steps forth and confesses that he has done the work, that is usually considered sufficient to settle the matter. So, when the prophecy affirms that a certain power shall change the law of God, and in due time that very power arises, does the work foretold, and then openly claims that he has done it, what need have we of further evidence? The world should not forget that the great apostasy foretold by Paul has taken place; that the man of sin for long ages held almost a monopoly of Christian teaching in the world; that the mystery of iniquity has cast the darkness of its shadow and the errors of its doctrines over almost all Christendom; and that out of this era of error and darkness and corruption, the the theology of our day has come. Would it, then, be strange if there were yet some relics of popery to be discarded before the Reformation will be complete? Alexander Campbell, founder of the Disciples of Christ church, speaking of the different Protestant sects, says:

“All of them retain in their bosom, in their ecclesiastical organizations, worship, doctrines, and observances, various relics of popery. They are at best a reformation of popery, and only reformations in part. The doctrines and traditions of men yet impair the power and progress of the gospel in their hands.” [42]

The nature of the change which the little horn has attempted to effect in the law of God is worthy of notice. True to his purpose to exalt himself above God, he undertakes to change that commandment which, among them all, is the fundamental commandment of the law, the one which makes known who the lawgiver is, and contains his signature of royalty. The fourth commandment does this; no other one does. Four others, it is true, contain the word God, and three of them the word Lord, also. But who is this Lord God of whom they speak? Without the fourth commandment it is impossible to tell, for idolaters of every grade apply these terms to the

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multitudinous objects of their adoration. With the fourth commandment to point out the Author of the decalogue, the claims of every false god are annulled at one stroke. The God who here demands our worship is not any created being, but the One who created all things. The Maker of the earth and the sea, the sun and the moon, and all the starry host, the Upholder and Governor of the universe, is the One who claims, and who from His position has a right to claim, our supreme regard in preference to every other object. The commandment which makes known these facts is therefore the very one we might suppose that power which designed to exalt itself above God, would undertake to change. God gave the Sabbath as as a weekly reminder of Himself, and as a memorial of His work in creating the heavens and the earth, a great barrier against heathenism and idolatry. It is the signature and seal of the law. This the papacy in its teaching and practice has removed from its place, and has substituted another institution, which the church sets forth as the sign of its authority.

Issue Is Between Sabbath and Sunday. —This change of the fourth commandment must therefore be the change to which the prophecy points, and the Sunday sabbath must be the mark of the beast! Some who have long been taught to regard this institution with reverence will perhaps start back with little less than feelings of horror at this conclusion. We have not space, nor is this perhaps the place, to enter into an extended argument on the Sabbath question, and an exposition of the origin and nature of the observance of the first day of the week. Let us submit this one proposition: If the seventh day is still the Sabbath enjoined in the fourth commandment; if the observance of the first day of the week has no foundation whatever in the Scriptures; if this observance has been brought in as a Christian institution, and designedly put in place of the Sabbath of the decalogue by that power which is symbolized by the beast, and placed there as a badge and token of its power to legislate for the church— is not the change from Sabbath

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to Sunday inevitably the mark of the beast? The answer must be in the affirmative. They hypotheses just set forth are all certainties.

Who Receives the Mark of the Beast? —It will be said again, Then all Sundaykeepers have the mark of the beast; then all the good of past ages who kept this day had the mark of the beast; then Luther, Whitefield, the Wesleys, and all who have done a good and noble work of reformation, had the mark of the beast; then all the blessings that have been poured upon the reformed churches have been poured upon those who had the mark of the beast; and all Christians of the present day who are keeping Sunday as the Sabbath, have the mark of the beast. We answer, Not so! We are sorry to say that some professedly religious teachers, though many times corrected, persist in misrepresenting us on this point. We have never so held; we have never so taught. Our premises lead no such conclusions.

Please give close attention. The mark and the worship of the beast are enforced by the two-horned beast. The receiving of the mark of the beast is a specific act which the two-horned beast is to cause to be done. The third angel’s message of Revelation 14 is a warning mercifully sent out in advance to prepare the people for the coming danger. There can therefore be no worship of the beast, nor receiving of his mark such as prophecy contemplates, until it is enforced by the two-horned beast, and knowingly accepted by the individual. We have seen that intention was essential to the change which the papacy has made in the law of God, to constitute it the mark of that power; so intention is necessary in the adoption of that change by the individual, to constitute it the receiving of that mark. In other words, a person must adopt the change knowing it to be the work of the beast, and receive it on the authority of that power in opposition to the requirement of God, before it can be said that he has received the mark of the beast.

But how is it with those mentioned above, who have kept Sunday in the past, and the majority of those who are keeping

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it today? Do they keep it as an institution of the papacy? —No. Have they decided between this and the Sabbath of our Lord, understanding the claims of each? —No. On what ground have they kept it, and on what do they still keep it? —They suppose they are keeping a commandment of God. Have such the mark of the beast? —By no means. Their course is attributable to an error unwittingly received from the Church of Rome, not to an act of worship intentionally rendered to it.

But how is it to be in the future? The church which is to be prepared for the second coming of Christ must be entirely free from papal errors and corruptions. A reform must hence be made on the Sabbath question. The third angel of Revelation 14 proclaims the commandments of God, leading men to the true Sabbath in the place of the counterfeit. The dragon is stirred, and so controls the wicked governments of the earth that all the authority of human power shall be exerted to enforce the claims of the man of sin. Then the issue is fairly before the people. They are required by the law of God to keep the true Sabbath; they are required by the law of God to keep the true Sabbath; they are required by the law of the Catholic Church, or the pseudo-Protestant church, and of the land to keep the counterfeit sabbath. For refusing to keep the true, the message threatens the unmingled wrath of God; for refusing the false, earthly governments threaten them with persecution and death. With this issue before the people, what does he do who yields to the human requirement? He virtually says to God, I know your claims, but I will not heed them. I know that the power I am required to worship is unchristian, but I yield to it to save my life. I renounce your allegiance, and bow to the usurper. The beast is henceforth the object of my adoration; under his banner, in opposition to your authority, I henceforth array myself; to him, in defiance of your claims, I henceforth yield the obedience of my heart and life.

Such is the spirit which will actuate the hearts of the beast worshipers— a spirit which insults the God of the universe to His face, and is prevented only by lack of power from overthrowing

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His government and annihilating His throne. Is it any wonder that Jehovah pronounces against so Heaven-daring a course the most terrible threatening that His word contains?

The Closing Work. —We have now seen what would properly constitute an image to the beast, such as the two-horned beast is to make, and also the prospect that such an image will sometime be set up in the United States of America. We have also learned what constitutes the mark of the beast, which is to be enforced upon all the people. An ecclesiastical organization composed of different sects in the land, in coalition with Roman Catholicism, by the promulgation and enforcement of a civil Sunday-sabbath law, would fulfill what the prophecy sets forth in reference to the image and the mark of the beast. These movements, or their exact equivalent, are called for by the prophecy. The line of evidence leading to these conclusions is so direct and well defined that there is no avoiding them. They are a clear and logical sequence from the premises given us.

When the application of Revelation 13:11-17 to America was first made, as early as the year 1850, these positions were taken respecting a union of the churches and a Sunday-law movement. At that time no sign appeared that such an issue would ever arise. But there was prophecy. The United States had given abundant evidence by its location, the time of its rise, the manner of its rise, and its apparent character, that it was the power symbolized by the two-horned beast. There could be no mistake in the conclusion that it was the very nation intended by that symbol. But here were predictions indicating a union of church and state, and the enforcement of the papal sabbath as a mark of the beast. It was no small act of faith to take the position at that time that the United States would pursue such a policy without any apparent probability it would do so.

The founders of the American Republic, in drafting its organic laws, never intended that any trouble should arise

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over a question of conscience. The Federal Constitution and most of the State constitutions have provisions guaranteeing the fullest religious liberty. But the development of the Sunday-law movement since 1850 amply demonstrates that the prophecy can be fulfilled in spite of the safeguards against intolerance erected by the founding fathers.

Just how the tyranny over the souls and bodies of men is to be developed is not specified in the prophecy. It may come by one man or a set of men —political, religious, or otherwise. But it controls all— small and great. It governs finances, for rich and poor feel its grip. It rules economics, for no one can buy or sell without its permission and mark. It dictates religion, for it forces all, under penalty of death, to worship according to its laws.

It is naturally repugnant to the American mind to think that religious persecution might mar the fair record of the nation founded on liberty at all. But during the entire history of the country, from its very founding, farseeing statesmen have recognized that the tendency to enforce religious dogmas by civil law is all too common with mankind, and is liable to break out in active persecution in unexpected places.

To the honor of the nation, it should be said that throughout its history noble statesmen have largely held in check the tendency which the founders foresaw working in the body politic. But no American can shut his eyes to the fact that paralleling these noble efforts, zealous but misguided religious leaders have attempted the civil enforcement of religious usages.

The prophecy predicts that a period of persecution will come. The two-horned beast causes all to receive a mark, and all who will not worship the image to be killed; that is, he wills, purposes, and endeavors to do this. He makes such an enactment, passes such a law. But it does not follow that all, and we do not think even many, will be put to death. God will interpose in behalf of His people. Those who have kept the word of Christ’s patience will be kept from falling in this

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hour of temptation. (Revelation 3:10.) Those who have made God their refuge will be kept from all evil. (Psalm 91:9, 10.) All who are found written in the book will be delivered. (Daniel 12:1.) As victors over the beast and his image, they will be redeemed from among men, and raise a song of triumph before the throne of God. (Revelation 14:2-4.)

Verse 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 Number of His Name. —The number of the beast, says the prophecy, “is the number of a man.” If it is to be derived from a name or title, the natural conclusion would be that it must be the name or title of some particular or representative man. The most plausible expression we have seen suggested as containing the number of the beast, is one of the titles applied to the pope of Rome. That title is this: Vicarius Filii Dei, “Vicegerent of the Son of God.” It is worthy of note that the Douay Version of the Bible has the following comment on Revelation 13:18: “The numeral letters of his name shall make up this number.” Taking the letters out of this title which are used as Roman numerals, we have V, 5; I, 1; C, 100; I, 1; U (formerly the same as V), 5; I, 1; L, 50; I, 1; I, 1; D, 500; I, 1. Adding these numbers together we have 666.

It has been argued that the title of the popes should be reckoned according to the Greek gematria, since John wrote in Greek, but since the title appears in Latin, and Latin is the official language of the Church of Rome and the language of its adopted Bible, the Vulgate, such a procedure would destroy the numerical value of that title in its own language. It would seem reasonable that a Latin title should exhibit its Latin numerical values rather than Greek values.

As to the practice of representing names by numbers we read: “It was a method practiced among the ancients, to denote names by numbers.” [43]

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“Representing numbers by letters of the alphabet gave rise to a practice among the ancients of representing names also by numbers. Examples of this kind abound in the writings of heathens, Jews, and Christians.” [44]

“It was a method practiced among the ancients, to denote names by numbers: as the name of Thouth or the Egyptian Mercury was signified by the number 1218. . . . It hath been the usual method in all God’s dispensations, for the Holy Spirit to accommodate His expressions to the customs, fashions, and manners of the several ages. since then this art and mystery of numbers was so much used among the ancients, it is less wonderful that the beast also should have his number, and his number is 666.” [45]

This title, Vicarius Filii Dei, or some equivalent form of it, has appeared so frequently in Roman Catholic literature and rituals for centuries, that it scarcely seems necessary to add other proof of its validity and importance. Some of the variations of the title are: Vicar of Christ, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Vicar of God. A quotation from the noted Cardinal Manning illustrates these various forms of the same title:

“So in like manner they say now, “See this Catholic Church, this Church of God, feeble and weak, rejected even by the very nations called Catholics. There is Catholic France, and Catholic Germany, and Catholic Italy, giving up this exploded figment of the temporal power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ,’ And so, because the Church seems weak, and the Vicar of the Son of God is renewing the Passion of his Master upon earth, therefore we are scandalized, therefore we turn our faces from him.” [46] (Italic ours.)

Several other variations of this title are used elsewhere in the same book.

On the importance of the pope’s position as indicated by the title under consideration, or its equivalents, we quote from

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J. A. Wylie, in his comment on the Apology of Ennodius written in defense of Pope Symmachus:

“We find the council [of Rome, A.D. 502 or 503] convoked by Theodoric demurring to investigate the charges alleged against Pope Symmachus, on the grounds set forth by his apologist Ennodius, which were, ’that the Pope, as God’s Vicar, was the judge of all, and could himself be judged by no one.’ ‘In this apology,’ remarks Mosheim, ‘the reader will perceive that the foundations of that enormous power which the popes of Rome afterwards acquired were now laid.’” [47]

In recent years, the validity of this title has been questioned, but historical evidence remains that this arrogated title has served to support the authority of the popes in building up their vast temporal supremacy during the heyday of Romanism in medieval times, and in maintaining their spiritual authority to this day.

The particular title Vicarius Filii Dei appeared as early as 752-774 in a document historically known as the “Donation of Constantine.” Though this document was later proved to have been written by someone else and signed with the name of Constantine the Great to give it the weight of his authority —a practice not uncommon in medieval times— yet this so-called Donation of Constantine was used as valid by at least nine of the popes over a period of seven centuries or more in establishing the spiritual and temporal supremacy of the bishops of Rome.

The title itself was obviously an invention to designate the office of Peter as the first pope in harmony with the widely known claim of the Roman Catholic Church that the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:18, 19, conferred upon Peter the first bishopric of the church —a view which Protestants have never allowed— and that this bishopric descended to his successors in the papal seat, as stated in the Donation of Constantine and maintained by the church to this day. [48]

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The document employing the title was confirmed by a church council, says Binius, a high Roman Catholic dignitary of Cologne, quoted by Labbe and Cossart. [49] It was incorporated in Roman Catholic canon law by Gratian, and when this last-named work was revised and published, with endorsement by Pope Gregory XIII, the title was retained. [50] When Lucius Ferraris wrote his elaborate theological work about 1755, he gave under the article “Papa” the title Vicarius Filii Dei, and cited the revised canon law as his authority. Again when Ferraris’s work was revised and enlarged, and published in Rome in 1890, the document and title were still retained. [51]

Of Ferraris’s theological work just cited, the Catholic Encylopedia says that it “will ever remain a precious mine of information.” [52]

We quote herewith from the Latin of the Donation of Constantine, confirmed by a church council, incorporated in Roman Catholic canon law, and cited by Ferraris:

“Ut sicut Beatus Petrus in terris Vicarius Filii Dei fuit constitutus, ita et Pontifices eius successores in terris principatus postestatem amplius, quam terrenae imperialis nostrae serenitatis mansuetudo habere videtur.” [53]

Christopher Coleman translates this paragraph from the Canon law of Gratian as follows:

“As the blessed Peter is seen to have been constituted Vicar of the Son of God on the earth, so the pontiffs who are the representatives of that same chief of the apostles, should obtain from us and our empire the power of a supremacy greater than the clemency of our earthy imperial serenity.” [54]

A freer translation by Edwin Lee Johnson, professor of Latin and Greek, Vanderbilt University, reads: “Just as the

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Blessed Peter was appointed on earth vicar of the Son of God, so also it seems that the Pontiffs, his successors, hold on earth the power of the chief rule rather than (that) His Excellency, His Imperial Serene Highness on earth, (should hold it).”

Thus closes Revelation 13, leaving the people of God with the powers of earth in deadly array against them and the decrees of death and banishment from society upon them for their adherence to the commandments of God. Spiritism will be, at the time specified, performing its most imposing wonders, deceiving all the world except the elect. (Matthew 24:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12.) This will be the “hour of temptation,” or trial, which is to come, as the closing test, upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth, as mentioned in Revelation 3:10. What is the issue of this conflict? This important inquiry is not left unanswered. The first five verses of the following chapter complete the chain of this prophecy, and reveal the glorious triumph of the champions of the truth.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[1] See Archibald Bower, History of the Popes, Vol. III, pp. 409-420; George Croly, The Apocalypse of St. John, p. 251.

[2] Alphonsus de Liguori, Dignity and Duties of the Priest, pp. 34-36.

[3] Ibid., pp. 26, 27.

[4] Ibid., pp. 32, 33.

[5] Quoted by Hon. Charles Sumner, “Prophetic Voices About America,” Atlantic Monthly, September, 1867, p. 290

[6] George Alfred Townsend, The New World Compared With the Old, p. 635.

[7] John Wesley, Explanatory Notes Upon the New Testament, p. 735, comment on Revelation 13:11.

[8] George Alfred Townsend, The New World Compared With the Old, p. 635.

[9] Edward Everett, “Oration Delivered at Plymouth, December 22, 1824,” Orations and Speeches, p. 42.

[10] W. Carlos Martyn, The Pilgrim Fathers, p. 89.

[11] “The People and Progress of the United States,” The United States Magazine, Vol. II, August, 1855, p. 71.

[12] Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The New Revelation,” Metropolitan, January, 1918, p. 69.

[13] Ibid., p. 75.

[14] William Stainton Moses, Spirit Teachings, p. 74.

[15] Ibid., p. 189.

[16] James A. Findlay, in The Rock of Truth, p. 288.

[17] William Stainton Moses, Spirit Teachings, pp. 150, 151.

[18] State Bar Association of Connecticut, Annual Report 1916, p. 73.

[19] Annals of Congress, Vol. I, p. 28.

[20] Ibid., p. 32.

[21] The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. I, p. 45.

[22] U. S. House Reports, 43d Congress, 1st Session, No. 143.

[23] “Notes on Virginia,” Query 17, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. VIII, p. 402.

[24] The Works of the Honourable James Wilson, Vol. III, p. 307.

[25] David McAllister, The National Reform Movement, Its History and Principles, p. 16, Constitution of the National Reform Association, Art. II.

[26] The Church and the Government, p. 7.

[27] Christian Statesman, December 11, 1884, p. 2.

[28] History of the International Reform Bureau, p. 2.

[29] U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings, Reorganization of the Federal Judiciary, Part 3, p. 681.

[30] Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, Report of the First Meeting of the Federal Council, Philadelphia, 1908, pp. 5, 6.

[31] Ibid., p. 103.

[32] “Sunday Mail,” U. S. House Reports, Vol. II, No. 271, pp. 1-4.

[33] Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. II, p. 296.

[34] Humphrey Prideaux, The Old and New Testament Connected in the History of the Jews, Vol. II, pp. 78, 79.

[35] James Butler’s Catechism, p. 34.

[36] James Bellord, A New Catechism of Christian Doctrine and Practice, pp. 86, 87.

[37] A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, No. 2, Prepared and Enjoined by Order of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore, p. 65.

[38] Richard Challoner, The Catholic Christian Instructed, p. 202.

[39] Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism, p. 174.

[40] Henry Tuberville, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine, p. 58.

[41] H. Canon Cafferata, The Catechism Simply Explained, p. 89.

[42] Alexander Campbell, Christian Baptism, p. 15.

[43] Matthew Henry, Commentary, Vol. III, p. 1065, note on Revelation 13:18.

[44] Adam Clarke, Commentary on the New Testament, Vol. II, p. 1025, note on Revelation 13:18.

[45] Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. II, p. 298, 299.

[46] Cardinal Manning, The Temporal Power of the Year of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, pp. 140, 141.

[47] J. A. Wylie, The Papacy, pp. 35, 36.

[48] See Christopher Coleman, Constantine the Great and Christianity, p. 178.

[49] P. Labbe and G. Cossart, Sacrosancta Concilia, Vol. 1, col. 1539-1541.

[50] Corpus Juris Canonici, 1622.

[51] Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca (Rome 1890), Vol. VI, p. 43, col. 2.

[52] Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Vol. VI, p. 49, art., “Ferraris.”

[53] Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca (Edition of 1890), art., “Papa,” II, Vol. VI, p. 43.

[54] Christopher B. Coleman, The Treatise of Lorenzo Valla on the Donation of Constantine, p. 13.